Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Highlights of 42 Days of Travel: Texas

It had been almost exactly two years since I’d been back in Texas, so it was pretty neat to be back. The best part was being there with my husband!! :)

And of course, it was awesome being with my family for a few days. They even picked us up from the airport after a full day of driving from Memphis. We've gotten spoiled in being together so frequently ever since Jake came into the picture!

It was pretty great for Jake to finally meet my grandparents (maternal) in East Texas! I loved that Jake was barely through their door before my grandma was cooing "bless your heart". Gotta love good southern talk! 


I always say that there's not much to see in Texas, it's the PEOPLE that make it a great place. I hope Jake saw that as we experienced the generosity of old friends and family our five days there! It was really nice to be able to stay with the Whisenant family in their beautiful McKinney home.

Jake and I had arrived from Italy on the evening of July 3, just in time for 4th of July festivities! (July 4th is also my sister Heather's birthday, but she had work the next day in Memphis so joined us the evening of July 5 in Texas.)

Waiting for the concert
(L-R: Emma, Jennifer, Jake, Betsy Whisenant) 

The Whisenants treated our family to a "Patriotic Pops Concert" on July 4th - so much fun! The baby moved a lot during the more energetic pieces and Emma got to feel her new niece/nephew. Definitely one of the highlights of our time in Texas!

Lighthouse Christian Fellowship (Prosper, Texas), Jennifer's home church, really rolled out the red carpet for us. It's always great to be back, although sometimes it's easy to miss the "good ol' days" when my family knew everyone. A lot has changed since we helped start Lighthouse in 2001 and it's great that there's been so much growth.

Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Children's Ministry

After the music, Jake and I were invited up to talk alongside Pastor David Vestal. He shared a bit about the early days of Casa de Amor, I followed up, and then Jake shared a bit of our story, at the same time giving a very encouraging message to singles or anyone feeling like God is not listening and doesn't care. Several people afterwards told him very sincerely how much his message touched their heart!

Then the kids did a special dance prepared with Casa de Amor in mind while our powerpoint rolled, and then Lena from Lighthouse shared about child sponsorship. By the time my family got back to the tables, I think half of the sponsorship packets were GONE! People were lined up to sponsor and ask questions. It was an amazing reception and really wonderful to gain so many new supporters at once!

Jennifer and the new children's pastor at Lighthouse chatting in Spanish

Heather visiting with parents of one of her former violin students

Jake manning the table

Also a definite highlight of our brief time in Texas was the fellowship time we had on Sunday evening for any friends and relatives in the area who wanted to come visit. We quickly ate some food and then talked to people for hours as they caught up with me and also met Jake. First they were checking him out, but I think he passed inspection. ;-)

I love hearing Jake talk and he did an excellent job of sharing "our story" yet again! 

Some of our guests

Katie & baby Nathan McBride, Jennifer, Emily Butts 

It was so neat to finally meet Katie McBride! She and her twin sister drove (with Katie's baby) all the way from Louisiana to the get-together. Katie did a fundraiser for Casa de Amor back in 2004, I think even before we had children, and has been a faithful supporter ever since. Wish we lived closer to each other!

We flew out of Texas the very next morning bound for a whole new land for me.... Washington!


  1. LCF is such a blessing to CDA!

    I'm so glad you got to see so many friends and family while you were in Texas! Wish Ohio wasn't so far and I could have been there!

  2. Oh my word...Emma is so big! I had to stare at the picture for a few minutes before realizing it was her! It has been way too long since I last saw her....dragging around that dead skunk if I remember right. She has grown into such a beautiful young woman. -Amber Bowman


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