Day trippin in Hendersonville, NC

IMG_2238So today I day tripped in Hendersonville. It’s not super far from my hometown and it’s probably one of my favorite places to go on a weekend, only being like 30-40 minutes away.

We mainly walk through the downtown area and go to good ole Kilwins. There’s a really great used book store called Joy of Books to peruse and if you’re down for coffee (who isn’t?) there’s Black Bear Coffee Co. which I still have yet to go into…

The old courthouse stands as the Henderson County Heritage Museum and I mean, it’s actually really interesting if you’re into history like moi.

It’s a pretty dope little mountain town, right up the road from Flat Rock, where the Carl Sandburg Home stands, and about 30 minutes away from Asheville. Anyway, I love this little town… IMG_2241IMG_2243IMG_2250IMG_2266

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Jumping into the storm

So it’s been a while… I’m still alive and I will survive. As of late I feel like I’m on the struggle bus and what does one do when they’re driving the bus? She writes! No, my eyes are not on the road at this very moment but on a computer screen screaming “WHY ME!”

To be honest I knew this season of struggle was on its way. I felt really calm a month ago, like right before a storm hits. You can smell it in the air, the wind is blowing, and on the horizon you see a huge, impending, formidable storm coming for you.

33783218305_9f0059fcba_oSchool is going well, yet it feels unchallenging. Work is extremely slow and I don’t know where I’m going to next. I’ve fallen for the lie that I look like Sloth from the Goonies. I’m constantly worried about my family, and the Lord and I seem to be drifting apart… When Jesus stood on water during the storm He didn’t say “hey, look at that cloud over there! It looks like your life because you failed.” He said “Take courage. I am here. Come and stand out here with me.” And yet, in this moment in my life I keep allowing the storm to get in the way. I’m bending over the side of the boat going “What? I can’t here you. Hey, look at that cloud!”33626778372_1e4a5d5d21_oI wake up every morning believing God is gonna scrub me of this sinful thinking but the truth is is that it’s up to me to get up and decide it’s gonna be a good day. He does get me up, and he pushes me here and there but he allows me to choose. He sent Jesus to let me know He’s got my back, to not forget, and to always keep my eyes on Him- to jump out in that storm. To keep my faith. To hold firmly and never let go.

So I’ve woken up today and I decide that.

He won’t get rid of my struggles like a quick snap of the fingers but He’ll stand by me through them all. Maybe I just need to grab some courage from within my life preserver and jump. I might fall in the water but I know how to swim to Him. He won’t let the sharks get me. 33626740072_6d6ac983b7_o

Rain

The rain fell for the past two days and it was nice. The chill cold air came rushing on in and I got to see my breath again. I like the cold. I like trying to get warm from it. Burrito-ing myself in the stack of blankets, burning my tongue on hot drinks, and pulling on layers of clothes to just peel off later. 31055641630_66e8a7b1da_oThe beginning of the rain started at the parade with little droplets that kissed my face. They fell from the sky in the evening. We all sat on the side of the road watching as marchers, greeters, wavers of the crowd came singling on through the hoards of all of us. We saw dragons, and pink ladies, and “Merry Christmas” everywhere. The sound of the drums rumbled in my chest… Oh how I love that feeling. 30617682263_14b513d30a_oI woke this morning to find the rain was still here. There’s something comforting about listening to it. It could be a torrential downpour outside my window or a light pattering on the top of my tent and whatever it is makes me want to burrow my head deeper into my pillow- the land of dreams. The rain slows things down. It washes the dirt away, and consoles me, even if it grows bitter outside. 30617679873_ab8ecdd8c6_o

Thinking in the woods

28726195214_02410beeeb_o The truth is I love contemplation. I was born a thinker. My mind tends to soar the highest peaks to the deepest depths of the ocean and I don’t think it’ll stop. My favorite part of this trip were the moments of immersed reflection in the midst of the burning of my legs on the steepest of trails. The forest got quiet and the wind would blow and I felt good.

I felt God with me and I was happy.

I recommend everyone to go outside and recollect. Breathe in, let it go, and keep trudging. 29270977641_7bec3b7eb1_o 29270580661_9bf1517156_o 29315918036_0a7bdbd938_o 29349217255_69a58052e5_o 29270980671_841aca4927_o

Food hangz of Greenville

So this past week or two- eh, maybe three, nope, more like a couple of months, my friend Rachel and I decided to have something I like to call #foodhangz. We meet up at a cool “hipster-ish” restaurant or coffee house and chat about the ole grind. We did this so much so that it convinced me I should write a post about most of the places we chilled at. All of them being basically awesome in their own way. I recounted our steps and started in Traveler’s Rest which is a part of Greenville County, SC but to be specific it’s not actually a part of Greenville the city- even though I’m sure a lot of people would beg to differ. 26495013883_faaa9c8d83_oSidewall Pizza Company or as most of us just call it Sidewall, is some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. They have their own rendition of the popular “Hawaiian” pizza, adding jalapeno peppers to make it spicy but sweet. Recently I tried the roasted mushroom pizza. It had mushrooms, oysters, shallots, and more mushrooms. It was freaking delicious. I could, but don’t dare me, eat a whole pizza by myself.26495025703_4e10f121be_o ^^This is their new location in downtown Greenville. Only open at designated times. Check out their website for the deets. And yes, that is moi.26495010113_e0cb765405_oANYWAY, There’s also Tandem Creperie. I believe their name explains exactly what they serve which is crepes (duh). All kinds as a matter of fact. From savory to sweet, from ham to Nutella. They also serve waffles, seasonal treats, and make the best lattes I’ve ever had. This is one place I wish I could’ve taken pictures of inside. It’s bright, it’s got light, and I feel all the more happier when I leave the place. Oh! And happiest service I’ve experienced in a long time. 27065737436_1533eb6d4b_o26495021663_f6466ab3ae_oThen I moved my way to Greer- which is still a part of Greenville County but like I said not in the city- or town- I don’t know what your definition of a city is but Greenville is surely growing up. So next is Due South Coffee Roasters. Nestled in an old warehouse, with art studios and craft schools around, they grind, roast, and serve up their coffee. This is somewhere to sit and study and to chat? To be completely honest, and this is my opinion, I wouldn’t sit and chat here. The acoustics aren’t great and when they get to grinding the beans it can get pretty loud- but great ambiance for sure.27004663532_76fbb5ac70_oSo Tupelo Honey Cafe is definitely a chain… But I enjoy brunch and brunch enjoys me–and Tupelo Honey provides me with brunch. This southern fried restaurant was not my favorite when it first opened because of the not so great service but when I went recently I completely enjoyed my time. I recommend the Eggs Betty. Mmm-mmm-mmm!26493368564_2a94966d51_oAnd now, for the grand finale, I give you Methodical Coffee! Best. Coffee. Ever. I don’t care if you’re from the planet coffee and your blood flows with the morning nectar, this is the best coffee had by far from any place I’ve gone to. I wish I could’ve also taken a picture of the inside but I don’t know if that would’ve been legal. They’re a tiny coffeehouse hidden amongst the overgrowth of downtown Greenville but they’re a jewel in the land of tattooed, ambiguous, hipsterdom. I love the place.27004652072_ebbc904927_o 27004676772_652926b72c_oGreenville might be small but it’s growing, and the areas around it thrive as well. I’m excited about all the places popping up and I can’t wait to experience them all. It makes me excited yet I’m a little pensive. I don’t know if I’m staying in Greenville or if I’ll be jet-setting (God willing) to far and wide places. I can’t wait to teach but I know I’ll always have a home. So this is where I’ll end. Have a good night!

P.S. Next up Swamp Rabbit Brewery!26495018943_58f809c1e4_o