We just wrapped up a fantastic week enjoying the sites and visiting friends in Nashville. Here are a few things we loved about our visit:
1. Sunday at Immaneul.
Our first morning in town, we visited Immanuel Church, where Ray Ortlund serves as the pastor. We loved spending the morning there and meeting a whole bunch of folks (it was funny how most people assumed we were moving to town rather than visiting). What I most loved about the morning was the way Ortlund employed William Bridge’s Exodus 34 liturgy to engage the congregation and remind us of the truth of God’s character and our confidence in Christ.
2. The downtown library.
We’ve been to story times at libraries before, but we were shocked to see the production at the Nashville Public Library. They put on an amazing show for the kids, the type you’d normally expect to pay for. Library Pete and Mary Mary clearly have a lot of fun.
Beyond the story times, the downtown library itself is gorgeous. It was terrific to roam around there.
Emily’d never tried the fabled Chick-Fil-A before our visit on Monday. She’d long heard me going on about how delightful it is and she kept thinking, “Really? It’s a chicken sandwich.” She had something like a McDonald’s chicken sandwich in mind—and when she took the first bite, her response was telling:
“This – is – good.”
Turns out I didn’t oversell it.
3. Hanging out with Trevin Wax, Micah Fries, Jonathan Howe, Matt Capps and Michael Kelley.
Wednesday we spent time a lot of time at LifeWay and with the great folks who work there. Really enjoyed meeting Michael Kelley in person for the first time (shame we didn’t have longer). Having lunch with Trevin, Micah, Jonathan and Matt was a real treat and they were incredibly hospitable (especially since we had our three kids with us). We also got to spend time with Matt and his lovely family before we left town. Our girls were happy to make a Nashville friend.
Side note: While we were away, I read Trevin’s soon-to-be-released fiction book, Clear Winter Nights. I’ll tell you more about it later.
4. Really old Bibles.
One of the coolest things at LifeWay is found in their library—they’ve got a display cabinet showcasing a number of extremely old Bibles, including a reproduction of the Gutenberg Bible and the Gun Wad Bible, the first Bible printed in America on American made paper. As the story goes, the reason it’s called the Gun Wad Bible is because it was used as cartridge paper during the American Revolution.
5. People love kids.
One of the things that amazed us most during our stay was how we didn’t get the sense we were burdening society by being outdoors with our three kids. People smiled and talked to them and generally made us feel welcome wherever we were with them. This was a really nice change because, although it doesn’t always happen, we sometimes get the sense our presence is offensive to others here in London (usually at a store).
Those are just a few of the things we loved about our vacation. I could probably list a ton more, like my daughter discovering she likes comic books, our trip to the Frist Center for the Arts, visiting the Parthenon in Centennial Park, Hudson getting his land legs…
In fact, aside from some issues with our hotel and our car having a bit of surprise repair work (and if you’re in the area, go to Antioch Auto Center!), it was a practically perfect vacation.
We’re glad to be home and looking forward to getting back into the normal routine, but we’re already looking forward to when we get to go back. Nashville, consider yourself warned.