Last weekend I spent a glorious weekend at a place I affectionately call Robinson Mountain. My dear friends, Mark and Sharon Robinson, live near Nashville and I always enjoy a relaxing visit in their home. The week prior to my trip was a week full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Providentially, this trip was so well planned that had I not already had my reservations made, I would have taken a road somewhere to get away from what had become a whirlwind week.
It's hard to encapsulate what the weekend was merely in a blog post, so I've decided to just share a few highlights of the weekend. By far, the weekend was better than I could have imagined. I'm confident enough to say that the lessons learned, the conversations shared and the experiences I had that weekend will forever make a difference in my life.
- When I first booked my reservations, I wasn't sure how long I was going to stay. After confirming the dates with Sharon, she surpised me with the news they had gotten us tickets for a concert featuring Selah on Friday night. By far, my favorite Christian group. Upon hearing the news, I didn't know whether to shout or cry. The concert was fun and so encouraging from the music sung and the testimonies shared. What a way to kick off a weekend.
- Through the wonders of Facebook, I was able to see a high school classmate that I'm sure I hadn't seen since high school or shortly thereafter. We'll abstain from how long that's really been. She attends the same church as the Robinsons and when I posted my status on Facebook about what church I was attending that weekend, one of my close friends from high school, Julie, said she was certain that was where Lisa attended. A few messages later and we were able to coordinate seeing each other in person briefly while she cared for some sweet children in the nursery. My motto, "Facebook will change your life" continues to prove itself over and over.
- One of the beautiful things about Robinson Mountain (and there are many) is the homey touches. For those of you unfamiliar with "homey touches," rent Shrek and you'll learn what those are. Those things that make a house a home. Each time I come to Robinson Mountain, Sharon and Mark ask me what I want to eat so they can customize the menu. This trip it was hamburgers. Ok, not that gourmet, but for someone who eats healthly as much as possible and consumes enough chicken to sprout feathers, a good hamburger is heavenly. And, I also enjoy our tradition of s'mores made in the fireplace. If the food isn't enough to spoil me, there are sweet gifts at my bedside when i arrive...devotional book, CDs, and other special touches. No question that the gift of hospitality oozes from their very pores.
- Another bonus of visiting Robinson Mountain is attending their church on Sunday. As a lay leader at my church, it's refreshing to go to a church and soak it all in without responsibilities or having my ministry radar on full force. Add to all that goodness, the fact that the Worship Pastor is Michael Smith, (no not that one), who was the Worship Pastor at my church for years. He was a musical mentor to me and taught us how to truly worship the Lord through music and leading others to the throne. We were able to catch up and have lunch with him, his wife, Melissa, and son, Spencer. The common thread of Ninth & O Baptist Church ran through all of us at the lunch table and shows how God weaves a tapestry in our lives.
- Conversations with Mark and Sharon are by far one of my favorite things about my visits. I met them five years or so ago on an outreach visit with my church after they had visited one Sunday. Little did I know how God would bind our hearts and connect us beyond that night. I could write a whole blog on their insights and wisdom, but I think it can be summed up simply. These two godly servants have walked a road that has been full of blessings yet full of many obstacles and challenges. But unlike most of us, you'd believe they were the richest, most blessed couple in the world. And they are. Their riches are founded in the One who loves and cares for them through it all. And that is the greatest lesson I could ever learn from them. Their love for their Lord and each other is a model I hope to mirror if God blesses me with the privilege of marriage one day.
The road to Robinson Mountain is a journey I always look forward to and a path I hope I travel often, no matter where that mountain may be.