Live, Laugh, Love, and be Thankful

“Maybe I don’t take life seriously enough, but to me, most people take life too seriously.”  If you know me personally, there is a good possibility you have heard me say this.  Don’t take this as permission to be irresponsible and immature.  What I mean by this is… at the end of the day, what will I be glad I did?  I see so many people who work themselves to the ground, striving to have all the things.  I absolutely believe in providing for yourself and your family!  But for me, some of the best things in life are free.

The people in my life mean more to me than any other thing on this earth.  God always comes first.  Indeed, the main reason I started this blog was that I love reaching out to people.  I love being able to bring a smile to someone’s face, or help someone along.  You could ask one of my best friends, Chanel.  I have told her many times, if I make her laugh, I completed my goal for the day.  (All of the housework or errands or writing that gets done is just a bonus.)  The people who tell me what an impact I made on their life… and I didn’t even know I was doing anything… that means the world to me.  Sometimes it is easy to feel like we aren’t really making a difference.  Let me assure you – people watch your life, whether you are aware of it or not.  What a reminder to be following God closely!  My prayer for years has been – when people see me, that they wouldn’t see Kerri Brown.  But that they would see God in me.  He’s the perfect One.  It sure as heck isn’t me!

And now for today’s story…

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About two months ago, I started going to Christian Fellowship Church.  I had gone there once with a friend to hear a group sing, and there was something that made me want to come back.  I finally made it back, and the love I have experienced flowing through this church has literally at times overwhelmed me – almost to the point of tears.

This past weekend was packed full of activity with my new church family.  Pastor DaRon and his beautiful wife Becky invited the young adults of CFC to join them Saturday on an outing in Elijay, Georgia.

Our group met at Chic-fil-A for breakfast.  No better way to start off the day, right?  Or that could be turned into a declarative sentence…  No better way to start off the day right!  We ate breakfast, chose our carpool, loaded our stuff, and we were on our way.

Simple enough, right?  Eh, nah.  Of course, I was along, so something had to happen!  Anyone else out there just one of those people that things seem to happen to?  Not five minutes down the road, Michael had to stop to fix something on the back of his truck.  I had not planned on driving, so I didn’t have a full tank of gas.  I pulled across the street to a gas station to fill up.  I had to go inside and pre-pay.  The guys pulled over to the gas station when they finished what they were doing.  The pump was slow getting started, but it finally began pumping.  All’s well.  Or maybe not.  At $7.77, the pump suddenly stopped.  On the screen, it simply stated, “Pump Stopped.”  I messed with it, trying to get it to work again, but it wouldn’t.  I was looking at the girls in my car, saying, “I don’t know what the deal is!”  Michael came over to check it out, and without a word, went inside to take care of it.  We ended up just getting my change, and I decided to just go with the three-quarters of a tank of gas instead of making another stop to top it off.  I have never stopped at that gas station before, and I never will again!

Ok, so – back on the road!  The drive was anything but dull with four young ladies in one car!  Karaoke, movie quotes, mispronouncing words, and – Heaven help me – boys.  I have never been the boy-crazy type.  So being in a car full of boy-crazy girls was very… entertaining!  We also entertained ourselves by pestering the guys in the truck in front of us, sending texts when Michael neglected to use a blinker, or passing them just to be funny.  Before anyone starts a mental lecture, no one was texting and driving, or driving recklessly.  When we arrived at the Walmart in Elijay, Michael decided to be funny and just drive around in circles in the parking lot.  I didn’t know where we were going, so I was following him.  So, of course, I’m following him around in circles.  I finally just parked, taking his fun away.

We met up with DaRon and Becky… half an hour after we were supposed to be there!  We went to the Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  If anyone is near there, you have to get their hot cider.  I’m just sayin’.  You’ll thank me later.  We walked through the orchards to the old barn at the top of the hill.  Now, about half of our group enjoys hiking, and the other half doesn’t… so you would get mixed responses if you asked if it was worth the hike, I’m sure.  I thought it was 100% worth it.

Having finished at the orchard, we drove back to Elijay, where we went to a quiet little campground by the river.  It didn’t stay quiet for long, let me assure you.  Not when the tv was set up outside, and our group of sports fans got to watch the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Florida Gators.  GO DAWGS!  Woof, woof!  The guys also tossed a football around.  But the main game that we played was Spike ball.  Now, I have watched the youth play this every Wednesday night for several weeks, and I was still confused as to exactly how this game worked.  But when Michael and Haley took a break, Jake and I stepped in to play Ashton and Ivie.  I had never played the game, so Ashton once again patiently explained the rules to me, and Jake kept encouraging me even though I kept messing up.

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Y’all know me.  Being around water is my happy spot!  So being beside the river with a group of good friends, I was in my element.  We even had a campfire – of sorts.  Shoutout to Jake for working so hard to try to keep the fire going in the dampness!  We did manage to make some S’mores, so we were good.

After a full day on Saturday, we were in for more fun on Sunday!  We spent Sunday morning in church, then a group from our church went to a corn maze that afternoon.  I had never been to a corn maze, but I had so much fun.  Lydia and I took turns choosing which direction we would go, and we managed to find all twelve of the numbers scattered throughout the maze.  After the maze and games, we went to the Pizza Farm.  Our church had reserved a back room, and we young adults all sat at one table, where we were kept very entertained by the cutest little seven year old boy ever.  I told Lydia that he was the master of ceremonies!

It was another full day, but it was one of the best weekends ever!  There was so much laughter and bonding.  I was doing what I love:  spending time with people I love, and who love me.  And I am so very thankful that God blessed me with this crazy crew.  I wouldn’t trade any of them.

I would like to encourage you to make the time to just live life.  I know life gets busy, and it has to be taken care of.  But sometimes you need to just step back and let it be ok that some things go undone.  Make time to live.  Make time to laugh.  Never lose sight of love.  And above all, be thankful.  I love this quote – “What if you woke up tomorrow, and only had the things that you thanked God for today?”  I thank God every day for all of the innumerable blessings He bestows.  And I thank you for being here and reading this now.

Love and Prayers,

Kerri

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