As we’re back home and rested .. my mind and heart keeps going back to the Mountains of East Tennessee .. our last couple of days there we were able to take the kids to Dollywood .. which they thoroughly enjoyed .. the workers there were genuinely happy to see everyone .. and yes .. good to feel somewhat back to .. haha .. a normal routine .. on the last day .. Bob and I were able to get down to Glades Rd .. if you’re not familiar with this section of Gatlinburg .. it’s a stretch of about 8 miles of local Artists and Crafters .. it’s always been an awesome experience .. and yes .. this trip was bigger than the many others we’ve taken on this road .. we visited each shop .. bought a little something from each owner .. and yes .. we .. “listened” .. we listened as each one of them told us about their own experience as they dealt with the raging fires in the area .. most all of the shop owners are locals .. many being generation after generation of crafters growing up in these hills .. one of the Artist we spoke with left her house in the middle of the night when the fire moved on to her back deck .. running barefoot in her gown through the fires .. she was burned badly on both arms as well as one of her legs .. as she was running .. a police officer spotted her .. grabbed her up and got her to safety .. and yes .. two days later .. she’s back in her shop .. waiting for the visitors to come so she can continue on to her rebuilding process .. haha .. mountain tough for sure .. and yes .. there are so many many more of these stories .. families who have lost their homes .. and yes .. even some of their family members .. I believe the death toll to date has risen to 14 and the displaced because of over 1500 lost homes is tremendous .. it’s a hard time for the families in East Tennessee .. but friends .. from what we witnessed .. and yes .. from what we’ve personally heard .. not one of these people are complaining .. they have not stopped .. they have not looted .. there’s been no self centeredness .. nor .. was anyone we saw .. even mad .. haha .. oh yes friends .. I’ll repeat it again .. these people are “mountain tough with a strong faith in God” .. they’ve joined together as one family .. God’s family .. they have bound their hearts and minds together .. to keep moving .. and yes .. it’s going to be a challenge .. and yes .. it’s going to be tough .. and yes .. there are going to be days when they feel like they can’t go another step .. haha .. but they will .. for He who watches over us all .. will indeed give them the strength they need .. when they need it .. to keep moving .. my heart is full for these people .. to watch and listen to each of them .. was an experience I will not forget .. so friends .. if you can .. go visit them .. spend a little money .. enjoy the people .. take the time to ask them questions .. and yes .. listen .. and I mean really .. “listen” .. to their stories .. for the truth is .. sometimes .. that’s all we need .. a simple “listening” ear to share what God has done for us .. for even in our worst days .. He is there to love .. guide .. and yes .. direct us in the way He wants us to go .. and yes .. I can personally tell you this .. not one of the people we met whined or moaned .. no way .. they all were grateful and glad to see us in spite of the situation they were in .. faith at it’s finest folks .. haha .. I’ve listed below a few ways to give posted from people we know personally .. give what you can to help these families .. for yes .. every dollar counts .. and yes yes yes .. as we all move forward with our lives .. we’ll see again and again and again .. haha .. oh yeah .. love wins period
“Do not be anxious about anything .. but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”

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