Earlier this month, we left Nashville for a quick trip to Louisiana and Mississippi.
We stopped in Collierville to stay with the sister and got to hug this cutie before leaving the next morning!
The first stop was in Ruston, LA at Temple Baptist. We got to town and ate at an actual sit-down restaurant, which is rare. Applebee's. Because we like affordable, consistent foot. (But mostly, we didn't have time to look for the local joints.)
Oliver enjoyed a lemon.
No pictures of the show, but how about this set up? Loved it.
We played for the youth and they were fantastic. Seriously, so polite, attentive, worshipful. Made for a fun night. And Oliver did great in the nursery. (Also, the nursery wing had a playscape in it. A playscape! If we lived there, that thing would be a draw for sure.)
The next morning, before heading to Mississippi, we had time to workout and grab breakfast. The ladies write on the bananas and I just though how adorable.
We also had time for Oliver to play with toilet paper.
It was his first road trip with his new bag from Grammie and Paads.
Next stop was Mississippi Statewide Wesley.
We drove to Pulaski, MS, stopping in Jackson for some less than mediocre Mexican food, and got checked in.
We have a climber on our hands.
I have to share this story:
A few days prior to hitting the road, I was nursing Oliver before bed. He stopped, looked up over my shoulder, smiled and pointed, and said "Dah!" I just smiled. Lots of things are "dah." He said it a few more times then went about his business. I didn't think anything of it.
Then we went to Timbercreek Camp where Statewide is held. Got to the dining hall where this painting of Jesus hangs. Oliver got the same face, same point, and same, "dah!" Over and over, smiling and smiling.
Trent and I got teary. It may be a complete coincidence, but what if he's seen Jesus??? Think of how awesome that is!!
We played at Statewide in 2013 and it is literally one of our favorite stops. The students sing with a passion that is nothing less than amazing. We were so honored to get to come back.
We led worship Friday night and it was a late session. Oliver fell asleep in his stroller in the back. (Don't worry, someone was with him.) He actually stayed asleep when we picked him up which does NOT happen. Bless him.
We got back to the camp early Saturday morning to sound check and I had to capture all the stuff that was needed to get through 4 songs with this kid. Snacks, on snacks, on snacks…after breakfast. Lawd have mercy. (Wouldn't change a thing.)
Oliver became big buds with Pastor Frank. It was the sweetest.
We had time before lunch to enjoy the beautiful weather and beautiful grounds.
After lunch, we ran through some other songs and then Trent and I led a session! We were surprised some people came. It was "Living a life of Worship" and I think we did pretty good!
Some students asked us to sing a song before we left. We sang "These Arms" and I even tried to play percussion while holding Oliver. You can imagine that did not work out. So I got up, held him, and shared Trent's mic. At the end of the song, while Trent was singing (and we're still holding out hope that one of the kids got video of this) Oliver patted his daddy's shoulder and leaned in and put his head on it. As if on cue!!!
We cried. It was precious.
We ended up getting to go back to the room and we all slept for 2 hours!!! TWO. I woke up and was so confused. You know that feeling. Like, "what's happening? Where am I? What time is it? Am I supposed to be somewhere?" It. Was. Awesome.
We gave away a t-shirt and CD at the evening service which meant I ran around and got them all hyped. Fun times.
Frank had to leave early the next morning, so we had to get a pic with him. (He even texted our other volunteer, Melinda, the next morning to check on him.) Heart of gold.
We had a bass player with us and he captured this shot without us knowing and I'm so glad he did.
There he is! Jared's a Mississippi boy and also leads worship. He did great!
And here's our other OliVolunteer. Melinda was so sweet and dealt with the fussy one so well! Even when he wanted to be with Frank who had a phone that would play Baby Einstein.
Allyson puts the whole Statewide retreat together and does an amazing job. On top of being a mother of 4, homeschooling, and super woman. Love her.
This particular weekend, I was feeling insecure in the whole motherhood department. The last morning we were there, Allyson said, "Shellie, you handle Oliver being with you all on the road so well." And here's the thing…it was genuine and the Lord knew I needed to hear it.
And I cried. He's so good.
We left with full hearts (and clear eyes…ba dum bum. Texas Forever.) Seriously, though. Such a blessing!
And this is what I call, "I didn't feel like putting on my tennis shoes and these flats were just right there so I put them on with my socks so I could go use the restroom" picture.
Not my finest moment.
Or is it...