"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘Great Smoky Mountains’

Our Great Smoky Mountains Adventure

When we made the long drive to Sevierville, Tennessee to attend Polishing the Pulpit, we knew it would be a busy, busy week. And in fact, on most days we were running from one class or activity to another from early in the morning until late at night. There were, however, two days where we found ourselves with a chunk of free time in the middle of the afternoon, and we were able to make some great family memories during those times.

On Saturday afternoon, we made the short drive to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the scenery was absolutely breathtaking! We grabbed some sandwiches on the way so we could start the afternoon with a picnic lunch.

Then we went on what started out as a family hike at Chimney Tops.

How cool is that tree? Here’s another view:

It soon became apparent that a family with a 16-year-old and a two-year-old will not all hike at the same pace…so we sent Troy and the big kids on their way and Remi and I did the snail’s-pace version on our own.

Not surprisingly, the homeschool mom in me came to the forefront, and our hike became a very interesting little preschool field trip. We inspected rocks, leaves, moss, bark, spiders, butterflies, berries, roots, squirrels, acorns, streams, webs, logs, beetles, petrified wood, seeds, and even a couple of millipedes. (I had no idea they could be that big!)

Next up was a splash in the Little Pigeon River.

Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be more beauty than I could drink in. How gorgeous is this old bridge?

At one point we looked up to find that my little brother’s family had chosen the same spot for their afternoon off. The kiddos were thrilled to be able to splash, climb and explore with their cousins.

How fun to be a kid in a place like this!

Finally, here are my two favorite photo-captured memories from the day:

To be honest, I don’t even remember why he was laughing so hard. I only know that I can’t help but smile every time I see this picture.

It just makes me happy. 

And as for this one…well, I probably don’t need to explain why I love it so much…

“ You are worthy, O Lord,
      To receive glory and honor and power; 
      For You created all things, 
      And by Your will they exist and were created.”

(Revelation 4:11)

Thanks for stopping by!

Want to learn more about Polishing the Pulpit? Check out all these related posts:

What exactly is PTP?

PTP highlights

What I learned at PTP (Part 1)

What I learned at PTP (Part 2)

What I learned at PTP (Part 3)

Traveling Smiles


What, exactly, is PTP?

Until a few years ago, I had no idea what Polishing the Pulpit was. Even then, when I first heard of it, I thought it was “just a preacher’s seminar.”  Now I know better…and I am so thankful. Our family  spent the past week in Sevierville, TN,  in the incredibly beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, attending an event that was definitely not just for preachers.

The printed program dubs PTP “a life-changing event to refresh the spirits” of all Christians…“a spiritual boost”…and that’s exactly what it was. While there, the same word kept popping into my head over and over: WOW!

122 speakers from 13 states

476 different classes in multiple tracks

2351 people in attendance

Not only were there class tracks for preachers, youth ministers, elders, and deacons; there were also tracks for teens, women, children, homeschoolers, Bible class teachers, members, widows, and Spanish speakers. Other tracks included marriage and family, small churches, evidences, missions, and technology.

Workshops were taught by doctors, lawyers, preachers, elders, professors, authors, politicians, and even a former atheist.

There were multiple singing sessions, lots of fellowship activities for the teenagers, and on-site shopping for all kinds of great resources. Opportunities were provided for marriage & family counseling and for job hunting, and there was a Song Leading School (for all ages) and a Future Preachers Training Class (for boys/young men).


I am so thankful we had the opportunity to be a part of this incredible event. I’m thankful for what we learned. I’m thankful  for the fellow Christians we met for the first time and for the ones we got to spend time with once again. I’m thankful that our family was able to focus on growing in Christ all together, all week long.

WOW! If you are ever able to be a part of this event, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I know our family will never, ever forget it.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll be sharing some of the highlights of the week. Until then…

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out these other PTP-related posts:

What I learned at PTP–part 1

What I learned at PTP–part 2

What I learned at PTP–part 3

PTP Highlights

Traveling Smiles

Our Great Smoky Mountains Adventure

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