Thursday, November 3, 2011


It was two years ago today when my father's struggle with cancer, diabetes and heart disease came to an end.  As hard as it was to see my father take his final breath, there was indeed a peace that surpasses all understanding because I know I will see my Daddy again.  Not a day goes by that I don't still miss his physical presence, but the precious memories I have in my heart can never be taken away.

As I woke up this morning, these words were laid on my heart...

It seems like yesterday when I held your hand
And yet my heart still feels the pain.
So until the day I arrive in God's promised land
I'll hold onto precious memories till I see you again!

My daddy will always be my "Favorite Daddy"!!

Each of us have loved ones we long to see again....share a memory of someone you long to see again?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Blackhorse Pub

This week's Friday's Food Find is one of our favorites in Clarksville.  Why you ask?  For one - we love original restaurants and another is because of the great food & atmosphere.

The Blackhorse Pub & Brewery is located at 132 Franklin Street in downtown Clarksville.  It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.  It is known for its wide variety of offerings on the menu.

Some of my favorites are the inferno flatbread, lemon pepper pita sandwich, greek dressing on the house salad, the beer cheese dip and the pizza!!  I love, love, love the PIZZA!  They have lots of speciality pizzas to choose from or you can create your own.  And Ron says it is probably one of the best places in Clarksville to go for a steak....

And if you save room for dessert - try the one called "A Little Sinful"...which you will have to share with friends or you will have to change the name to "A Lotta..."!!

A great Saturday outing would be to make a trip to Clarksville for lunch at the Blackhorse...visit the unique shops in our downtown area...stop in at our museum...and take a stroll at the Riverwalk.   Never know when you might see the Edmondsons taking a walk around our neighborhood now that we live downtown....

What are some neat restaurants or shops in your downtown?  Please share....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mourning into Dancing...

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
  You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
  that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent.
  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever"                                                            Psalm 31:11-12 ESV

Unfortunately, like many of you - I have experienced a lot of junk in my life.  Some were a result of my own poor choices...some no fault of my own.  Either way - these were very hard times in my life.  I struggle even as I type these words as to how much I share...what are my reasons for sharing...yet I know that God's Word is TRUTH!!  God did not cause these events to happen in my life, yet He has and continues to use each and every one for His good.  How you ask??  Let me explain my take on some of my story.  This is only - "my story"...
Many of you know that I am in my second marriage. My first marriage was to someone I loved very much, but who was so very different from all the wrong ways.  Our whole outlook and goals in life were different and the things I always told myself didn't matter when we were dating - really did when we were married!!  I went into the marriage thinking I could change him into the person I needed him to be (and I'm sure he felt the same way about me) and we know how that turns out. Needless to say, it ended after 9 years of marriage. My self esteem was at its lowest.  Yet, the huge blessing that came out of my marriage was our son, Jeremy. For all the hurt and pain during my first marriage - for no other reason, I would do it again.
During my first marriage, I became pregnant with my second child.  I was so excited!  I loved having siblings and wanted Jeremy to enjoy the same experience.  Of course, I prayed for a healthy baby, but also selfishly desired a daughter.  During my routine 20 week ultrasound, it was discovered that our baby had a terminal chromosonal defect and had no chance of survival. We were devastated. Our precious baby...our precious baby girl who we named Mary Catherine that I never got to hold is in Heaven. And yet God, through His mercy, did bless Jeremy with a sibling. He brought Ron and Nate into our lives! Jeremy and Nate are closer than any two brothers I know!! Thank you Jesus!

And I could share the time when Ron and I took a leap of faith and purchased our own business which we thought was the "dream of a lifetime" and how it didn't turn out as we had planned...or when we took a step of faith and Ron surrendered to fulltime vocational ministry not knowing how we would continue to pay our mortgage...or an even bigger step of faith when we answered an incredible calling from God and we joined other families to plant a church in our own hometown (crazy, huh?). Each of these stretched us tremendously, yet God used each of those to mold us and lead us to where we are today! He has blessed us beyond our wildest imaginations.

But why am I sharing any of these events at all? Because God has indeed used each and every one to mold me into the person I am today. I was not even a Christian until my early 30's which was after my divorce. Oh, how God has poured out His love, mercy and grace into my life through my times of mourning.... 

He has blessed me with an incredible husband and father to our two sons. Ron is my best friend who makes me laugh and he is my dance partner for life!

Allowing God to use all the "junk" in my life I can truly say to others "I know what you are going through...".  It has been one of life's greatest blessings. To my God alone be all the glory!!

So yes - God has turned my mourning into dancing and I will give Him thanks forever!!

What have you allowed God to use in your life to turn your mourning into dancing?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Philly Style....

Ron and I decided to take a quick trip for our anniversary over Labor Day weekend to one of our favorite cities - Philadelphia.  Ron received his second masters from Eastern University in Philly and we have enjoyed the city together several times.

My all time absolute favorite restaurant is in Philadelphia - Sabrina's Caf'e with locations in the Italian Market (best atmosphere), Fairmont & coming to the University City area.  Sabrina's is known for breakfast/brunch specials especially their french toast, but my favorite meal is always dinner.  The daily choices are absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!  Take my word for it - if you go to Philly - you've got to go to Sabrina's!

Of course - our trip would not be complete without our morning trip to the Reading Terminal Market for blueberry pancakes, turkey bacon and fresh coffee at the Amish diner...YUMMY!!!  And of course - we have to walk off our breakfast by checking out all the vendors located inside the Market.  There are fresh meats, fruits/vegetables, various restaurants and so much more.  And if nothing else you can sit in the food court and just people watch!!

Our first night there Ron took me to a really neat restaurant called Max Brenner located on Walnut Street.  Just about everything on the menu is cooked with chocolate and may I say it is a chocolate lover's dream come true!!  The food was great and the dessert that we shared (yes - Ron did share) was even better!!  The chocolate shop even gave me somewhere to occupy my time while we waited for our entree...Let's just say - this restaurant was the total package.

On South Street, the owner of Core de Roma recognizes Ron as this quickly became his Italian restaurant of choice during his trips to Philadelphia.  It is a cozy restaurant that you can easily walk right past it if you don't know to look for it.  The owner and his son always go out of their way to make us feel welcome and even let us create our own authentic dish if what we want is not on the menu.

So, as you can probably tell by now -  when everyone asked what we did during our time in Philly it's not hard to believe...we walked and we ate and we walked and we ate....I think you get the picture!!

Where's your favorite place to eat in Philadelphia?  What's your thoughts on a chocolate restaurant??

Monday, August 29, 2011

To Our Boys...

It's Monday and already it's been a tough week....last night we received a phone call that our good friends' son had been in an accident.  Before we even arrived at the hospital, the call came saying that this young man's life had ended much too soon.  Today, God laid it on my heart to send our boys the email below...

Jeremy & Nate…
As we sat with the parents of the young man who lost his life last night, I was overwhelmed with grief and sadness as they were in shock over the loss of their son….Not an ounce of me can even begin to imagine the pain they are experiencing.

It was a vivid reminder of how precious life is….not to take a moment for granted and how much I love the two of you and how very, very proud I am of the godly, young men you are.

My prayer every day for both of you has always been that you will love Jesus with all your heart….that you will make wise choices and that you will never doubt how proud I am and how much I love you!

You are AMAZING!!!

Thanks for being YOU!!!

Every day is precious....don't live with regrets....say a prayer for the many families/friends affected each & every day by tragedy...don't take ANYTHING for granted!!!  

If you have someone that needs prayer, please let me know....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just Call Out My Name....You've Got a Friend!!

Recently in our community group we were discussing 1 Samuel 20, which is about the friendship that David and Jonathan shared. It was a great time of sharing about what it meant to be a friend.

Not surprisingly - the girls were more vocal than the guys. Common interest, compatibility, accountability, and of course trust were a few of the qualities of a good friendship. We all agreed that we had different levels of friendships from those who might be our "facebook" friends to those who had been friends for a lifetime.

One of the questions Ron asked was "If you had a crisis, do you have someone who is not a family member you could call?" For some in the group, it was an easy question....for others - not. Either way, it was a time of reflection for all of us. We were challenged to consider not only the friends we have, but also what kind of friend we are to others....especially to friends in our community group, in our church family, or those we consider to be our closest circle of friends...

I believe with all my heart that I am NEVER alone! I believe God when He tells me in His Word that He will never leave me nor forsake me, so I know that my Jesus is the first person I turn to in times of need. But I also know God did not put us on this Earth to live life alone...He created us to be relational.

So thank you Jesus for my husband, Ron, who is my very best friend! There is no other person on this Earth I would rather be with than him. I am so proud of Ron who is an incredible husband, father and friend. His greatest desire is to serve God first and his family second. Someday Ron will indeed hear God say "Well done my good & faithful servant".

And my friends....God has blessed me with so many friends!!! But to be honest with you - I too have many different levels of friends. I envy others who say "she has been my closest friend since we were little" or "we are just as close as we were in high school or college". I cannot say I have either of those type of friends. God has blessed me with incredible friends throughout my life, but it seems that most have just been for a season.

And to be honest - I had to stop and think about Ron's question. I only have a few friends that I would pick up the phone and call in a crisis situation. There are only a couple of friends that I have allowed myself to open up and really know "me". Part of it is because of Ron's role as a pastor, but part of it is just self-protection...afraid of the risk of being hurt. (which could be a blog post of its own)

Bottom line - one of the girls in our group who actually has been my "friend" since elementary school summed it up when she said "to have a friend - you must be a friend". Exactly! It reminded me of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs - "You've Got a Friend"...

"When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend

If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you'll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there

Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend
When people can be so cold
They'll hurt you, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them
Oh, but don't you let them

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend"

What friend would you call in a time of crisis?

Has God ever laid it on your heart to call a friend just when they needed it most?

Now, say a quick prayer, ask God to give you a name of a friend in need, then do something about it...NOW! That's part of being a friend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Food Find - The Catfish House

This week's food find is The Catfish House at 116 Salem Road, Clarksville, TN.

I grew up just a couple of miles from The Catfish House, so there is no telling how many times I have eaten there in my lifetime!! Every time we had friends or family in from out-of-town we always went there to eat. And since there aren't a lot of restaurants to choose from on "that side of the river" - it was always nice to know you could get a great meal to go on the way home from a long day at work.

Even today it is one of our family's favorite places to go eat and Nate even picked it as his last Southern meal and enjoyed lots of sweet tea before heading back to Chicago for college.

Whether it's the fried catfish, cajun fried catfish strips, chicken tenders, grilled catfish, seafood, steaks, pastas, salads and don't forget all the delicious fixins like the beans, slaw, fries, baked potato & hushpuppies. One of my favorites is the onion rings appetizer. And if you are watching your waistline - there are several healthy choices as well....I'm getting hungry just typing!!!

And the desserts....OH MY GOODNESS!!! The desserts are all homemade by my good friend/owner - Cindy. Ron really likes the delicious carrot cake served warm and I love the incredible coconut creme pie. And yes - there are more to choose from...

So head to The Catfish House in Clarksville, Springfield, Smyrna or Bowling Green for a great meal, lots of smiles and family friendly too!! Open every day for dinner & Sunday for lunch

Where is your favorite place to take out-of-town family/friends?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Ri' chard's Louisiana Cafe

Okay - you may call it Richard's Cafe, but the correct way to say it is Ri'chard's!! I mean the owner IS from Louisiana!!! Just talk to him & you'll know!!

If you are looking for great cajun food - then head to Ri'chard's Louisiana Cafe at 4429 Whites Creek Pike, Whites Creek, TN. From Clarksville - just take I24 to Nashville, Exit 40 - take a right and when you get to the traffic signal Ri'chard's is on the corner diagonally across the street in an old grocery store.

The food is great with lots to choose from - gumbo, gator bites, red beans & rice, jambalaya, grilled or fried shrimp and on and on...And if someone in your group is not into cajun - no worries. There is plenty on the menu from a variety of sandwiches to steaks and there are always lots of specials to choose from. And the beignets are FABULOUS for dessert!!!

Oh - and there is live music EVERYDAY!!! And with it being so close to Nashville you will be surprised at the talent!! It is smoke free, great family atmosphere and even has a great new courtyard for outdoor seating!!

Hours are TU-F 5:30-9:30, S 1-9:30, SU 12-3 (And reservations are always a good idea 615-299-9590)

Where's your favorite Cajun place to eat?

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Okay, for those closest to me - you know that I am the world's worse procrastinator! I will put big things and little things off to the very last minute if it is something I just don't want to do. And the closer the deadline gets - the more miserable I get....

Take for instance Ron's tax return for his non-profit ministry that is due tomorrow...Yes - TOMORROW! We had already filed for the extension because I didn't get it filed back in May, so August 15th was the absolute deadline. I'm sure you are asking yourself - why would an accountant be filing an extension on a tax return? I mean it's not like she is having to gather the info and take it to somebody or even pay somebody...all she has to do is - DO IT!!! I AM a responsible citizen who always files our personal tax return before April 15th
, but there is just something about filing this one that always gets put on the back burner....the very back burner. I have had a calendar reminder on my phone go off everyday for the last two months...and it still did not get done until - today. Pretty sad, huh?

Know what's even sadder?? Once I sat down to do it - it took me all of 10 minutes to complete. TEN MINUTES!!! It has taken me more than ten minutes to turn off all the alarms that have gone off and to get over the sick feeling of just dreading doing it!!!

So - as I file away the completed 2010 return and Ron reminds me that it soon will be time to do 2011's (assuming I file it on time...) - I just want to have a gentle reminder if for nobody but me...

Quit spending more time procrastinating than it takes to do the thing you are procrastinating!!!

Am I all alone on this one??? What do you procrastinate doing??

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday's Food Find (On Saturday) - The Choppin Block

Okay - I know it's not's already Saturday, but what can I say? The week got away from me. I tend to be a rule follower, so I stand committed to my weekly post of sharing a Friday Food Find.

This week's Friday's Food Find is The Choppin Block at 2212 Madison St, Clarksville, TN. Beverly, the owner, is a great friend of ours and we love going there! It is a full service butcher shop with an incredible selection, but most people do not realize that they also serve breakfast, blue plate lunch specials everyday, sandwiches, salads, desserts...oh yeah - and everything is HOMEMADE!!!

Whether we drop by to pick up a couple of biscuits to go or stay a while for a hot breakfast of french toast or bacon & eggs - it is always a nice Saturday morning treat!! And Ron's favorite blue plate special is Tuesday when they have the Ribeye Steak sandwich!! I love the homemade pimento cheese and fresh fruit salad!!! And did I mention the twice baked potatoes??? And the homemade desserts??

The Choppin Block does so much more...they cater and they are the only Clarksville retailer for The Green Egg!

So please check out The Choppin Block (M-F 6-6 Sat 7-5)....tell them Cheryl sent ya!!

I love eating breakfast out - so please share your favorite breakfast place...near or far!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guest Post by Ron Edmondson "Honoring A Pastor's Wife"

Today I’m sharing a post my husband, Ron, recently revised and shared on his blog.  I love serving with him at Grace Community Church, yet realize there are many pastor’s wives that are indeed struggling….
“Honoring a Pastor’s Wife – Revised” by Ron Edmondson
One of the toughest jobs in the church is that of being a pastor’s wife. I know I’m biased, but I have one of the best in Cheryl. Cheryl has a full-time professional job, is an excellent wife and mother, but the demands on her as my wife are often overwhelming. There is never a day she’s not asked to minister to someone. She is every bit as much in the ministry as I am. She makes me so much more effective as a pastor. Some days…really most days…the demands are more than her time, but still she handles it with grace and a smile.
I work with pastors every week who are burned out from ministry. Almost weekly, I hear of a pastor or pastor’s wife ready to quit the ministry. My desire is to help you know how to honor and protect your pastor’s wife. In this post, I am not talking on behalf of Cheryl. These are tips to help honor every pastor’s wife, but this isn’t about Cheryl. She would never ask for this (most pastor’s wives wouldn’t either) and frankly we are in the best church environment I have ever experienced, as far as the way our staff and spouses are treated. We welcome the continued support, but in this post, I’m speaking on behalf of the struggling pastor’s wife; the one who has a sense of loneliness and often struggles even to come to church.
Here are a few tips to treat your pastor’s wife well:
            -Pray for your pastor’s wife and family daily.
            -Do not put too many expectations on the pastor’s wife. She    cannot be everywhere, at everything and know everyone’s name and family situation and still carry out her role in role in her own home.
            -Do not expect her to take your side on an issue opposing her husband. She will protect him as you would your spouse. In fact, this issue possibly causes the biggest tension for a pastor’s wife. If she feels her husband is being questioned, she may naturally become protective.
            -Protect the pastor’s wife from gossip. She does not need to know the “prayer concerns” that are really just a way of spreading rumors.
            -Let her have a husband and enjoy her family time. The pastor is pulled in many directions. If you can limit your demands on his schedule to his normal working hours it will help the pastor’s wife have a family life also.
            -Don’t demand she have a “position” in the church. She may want to, but her husband may want her free to greet guests with him. For me, I want to see Cheryl in the service as I speak, especially for the first service. I feel more comfortable when she’s nearby. I definitely want her in the halls to meet people. (She’s so much better at that than I am.)
            -Include her in invitations without placing demands or expectations on her to attend. The pastor’s wife is often one of the loneliest women in the church. She rarely knows whom to trust and often is excluded from times that are just for fun, but again, she can’t be everywhere; so invite, but don’t get frustrated if she has to say no.
            -Never repeat what she says. If the pastor’s wife happens to share information with you about the church or her personal life, keep it to yourself. There will be temptation to share her words as “juicy news”, but you will honor her by remaining silent.
            -If your church really wants to honor the pastor’s wife, find ways to give her extended time away with her husband and/or family. That is probably what she needs the most.

Feel free to give a shout-out to your pastor’s wife here on this post and share ways you can honor your pastor’s wife. If you are a pastor or pastor’s wife, I would love to hear your thoughts.
How does your church honor your pastor’s wife?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Da Vinci's

One of my many favorite foods is Italian!!

This week's Friday's Food Find is one of our recent discoveries in neighboring Hopkinsville, KY!!  It is Da Vinci Little Italian at 304 North Drive.

We have been told the owner/chef is actually from Italy.  The restaurant is not very big and is so popular that more times than not we have typically had a short wait for a table, but believe me - it is worth it!!  Whether you are in the mood for pasta or pizza - anything we have ordered has been great!  My favorite is the spicy Italian sausage & angel hair pasta and our youngest son, Nate, said it was probably the best fettucini  alfredo he has ever had.  The dinner salad with the house dressing is also a nice addition.

The homemade desserts are very good as well....especially the cannoli and the tiramisu.

So next time you are out for a drive and are in the mood for Italian - head to Da Vinci's!  You'll be glad you did!!! 

Where is your favorite place to eat Italian? Remember - it can be anywhere....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Told You....

I told you that I am a not the typical "pastor's wife".  Let me explain...

Even though I became a Christian as an adult and didn't grow up in the church, I had pre-conceived ideas of what a pastor's wife looked like.  She was always dressed very prim & proper without a single hair out of place...she had a sweet, poetic voice...she played piano and sang in the choir...was a great homemaker and cook... and the worse thing she probably ever did was skip choir practice when she was a teenager!!!  

Ron and I had been married several years when he realized God was asking him to surrender his life to full-time vocational ministry.  I was fully supportive of this as God had already laid His Will for Ron's future on my heart a few weeks earlier.  Together we had always been very active in church, but this would be a new chapter in our lives.  

In full time ministry, one of the first conferences we attended had a breakout session for pastors' wives that everyone kept talking about.  I was having a hard time deciding which breakout would even be applicable to me. I suddenly realized that "I" could attend the one everyone was raving about.  I "was" a pastor's wife!!!  May seem silly to you, but it was a huge revelation for me!

The funny thing is - I have none of these amazing qualities listed above...NONE!!!  And yet - God still allows me to be a pastor's wife!!  I am a follower of Jesus Christ who has been saved by His amazing grace!!!  I have a voice that is often scratchy...who can't play the piano OR sing....I can clean house (well - I have one!)...but I do NOT cook (yes - you heard me!! Ron does ALL the cooking!!!)...and I can't even begin to count the mistakes I've made and continue to make.  

Oh and yes - I survived the Blazin Wing Challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings!!!  Crazy huh?  What pastor's wife would do something like that??  Okay - so it was a team building challenge for work, but I did it!!

No - I'm not typical...but I love serving God beside my husband who I am so very proud of... I love people and being able to share the grace of Jesus Christ...and I love fulfilling one of my life verses (2 Cor 1:3-7).  

And I thank God for allowing me the privilege of serving a pastor's wife!!!

What pre-conceived ideas do you have of what a pastor's wife should be like?  If you ARE a pastor's wife, are you TYPICAL??  

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thanking God for Unanswered Prayers...

Have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayers?  

No - I'm not crazy!! Seriously, there have been times in my life when I have been overwhelmed with gratitude that God did not answer some of my prayers...or at least not the answer I requested at the time.  Don't get me wrong - I have no doubts that God heard my prayers.  I also have no doubts that God answered my prayers - it just wasn't always the answer I had given Him ahead of time! 

But my God is soooo incredibly awesome!!  He knows me better than I know myself!!!  God's ways are not my ways and yet - His ways are always for my best!!  God is my Heavenly Father and any parent knows there are times when you have to say "No" or "Not yet" or when you can see the bigger picture and need to protect your child from what he/she can't see - it's the same with God!! As His child, it's not always easy for me at the time and many times I don't like it when I'm going through it, but oh - how thankful I am for a God that loves me more than I can even imagine!!!

So every time I hear Garth Brooks' song "Unanswered Prayers" - I can sing along because some of God's greatest gifts are indeed unanswered prayers!!  

Now I can say prayers of gratitude - 

"Thank You God for not allowing me to get back together with that boyfriend"
"Thank You God that I didn't get picked for that team" 
"Thank You God for not allowing me to get that job"
"Thank You God for not allowing us to get that house"
"Thank You God for closing that door I prayed would open"

"Thank You God - some of Your greatest gifts are indeed unanswered prayers!!"

Has God given you any of His gifts of unanswered prayers?  Have you thanked Him?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Blondie's

This week's Friday Food Find is my favorite sandwich & coffee shop in Clarksville - Blondie's Sandwiches & Coffees located downtown at 135 Franklin Street and in the Foy Center on the campus at Austin Peay State University.  (Franklin St location open M-F 7-5, Sat 8-5)

Blondie's is family owned and has a unique, friendly atmosphere.  You feel comfortable from the time you walk into the door and I absolutely love hanging out in the outdoor courtyard!!!  It is not only beautiful, but also a peaceful retreat anytime.  If the weather does not permit sitting outside - hopefully my favorite table is available at the front window....

And the food?  From the bagels to the sandwiches to the salads to the soups to the desserts and everything in between!!!  Some of my favorites are the Grilled Blondie, BLT on wheat, Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad on Wheat and the Blondie's Original Salad.  Oh - and I love the iced tea!!!  I've been known to stop in just for tea!!!

So - next time you're downtown or on APSU's campus make sure you stop in and see my friends at Blondie''ll love it!!!

Where are some unique, downtown restaurants/coffee shops you have found?  And it can be anywhere.... 
                                 Never know when I might be in your neighborhood!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Food Find - The Depot & Jeni's Ice Cream

So apparently friends know that one of the things Ron and I enjoy doing is finding new places to eat.  Our boys often tease us saying that when they get to be "our age" they too will spend their free time driving to eat....Several people have suggested that I do a blog about the different restaurants we have found, so each Friday I will share one or two of our favorite places.  

First, I am sharing my favorite restaurant in this area....The Depot Bar & Grill, 1007 S Main St, Springfield, TN.  It is hard for me to believe a town as small as Springfield has a restaurant as incredible as The Depot.  Everything on the menu is incredible and reasonably priced!!!  The appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts, EVERYTHING!!!  My favorite is sweet potato fries and anything!!! And now they are open for breakfast as well which is equally great! Open 7 days a week-Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner (No dinner on Sundays)

Our newest find was Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, 1892 Eastland Ave, Nashville (East Nashville).  Our oldest son, Jeremy, took us there last week and yes - we will be returning SOON!!  Ron had read about Jeni's in a magazine, so we were excited when Jeremy told us where we were going.  The variety of flavors were unbelievable and the staff were very friendly and offered us as many samples as we wanted.  Two of Ron's choices were Salty Caramel & Strawberry Buttermilk and I had Salty Caramel, a chocolate with cayenne peppers (yes-I do like hot stuff!) and a Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.  Jeremy had a milk chocolate, a fresh mint and another one I can't remember.  Another one I sampled and really liked was goat cheese and raspberries...Oh yeah - and they use local ingredients.  It is a little pricey, but very, very good!!

If you are going on a trip and looking for a great place to eat - if we've been there we would love to share the great places we've found!!

Gotta go - it's time to eat!!!

Be blessed!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"How Do I Let Him Go?"

I received an email recently from a mom who was struggling with her son leaving for college this fall. Since she knew both our sons had been in college (Jeremy 2010 APSU graduate/Nate junior @ Moody Bible Institute), she simply wanted to know if she was "normal" to feel this way. I thought there may be other moms with the same struggle, so I decided to share part of my response below....

I know exactly what you are feeling. When Jeremy left home to go to college, I had such a hard time. It didn't matter that it was our hometown college. Honestly, before he left most nights I was still going in and praying for our boys before they went to sleep.

I remember at sixteen when Jeremy drove out of the driveway the first time by himself - I said to God "I am releasing him to You, God. I love my son so much-yet I know You love him so much more than I do. Please help him to make wise choices and keep Your Hand upon him." I did this again when he left for college....when he drove to VA Beach to intern for the summer by himself. The morning of his wedding - I walked the beach by myself and did it yet AGAIN. This time not only was I releasing him again to God, but also releasing him to his wife.

And Nate - WHEW!! I've had to release each time as well. And Nate going off to Chicago for college and now spending the entire summer studying overseas has stretched my faith and trust in God even more with my boy!!!

Honestly - as much as I love my sons, I know for them to be the men, husbands and fathers I would want them to be - I have to know that it would be different...that I would have to let them go. I have no doubt whatsoever that my boys love me, but I know that in order to do the job God has called me to - I've got to cut the "apron strings". I want my boys to be MEN!! In doing so - I can be at peace that all the things Ron and I have done to prepare the boys as they were growing up truly worked.

I'll share advice Ron has given me - every time you think about calling the boys...don't! (because I'd think of a reason to call them everyday - several times a day!! haha) If I have something I need to tell one of the boys - I text/email him and don't expect a response unless my message required one.

So just know that I feel your pain...that I'm praying for you...that your heart will survive this because I know deep inside you too want your son to be a self-sufficient, independent young man who makes wise choices...and that God truly does love your son as much as He loves His Son!!!

I'll also pray for God to give you the strength to hold up for your son - it's okay for him to know that you are going to miss him, but he needs to see that you trust God and that you also trust him and the young man he is becoming to let him go....

So any moms that are sending your sons off to college - whether it's in your hometown...a nearby city...across the state...or across the country....I know your struggle! I also know that you want your sons to be godly, independent men!!

Love your son enough to let him go.....

If your son is heading off to college - please let me know how I can pray specifically for you by commenting below....

Only by HIS grace,
2 Cor 1:3-7

You may also want to read a post my husband Ron wrote about mothers letting go of sons. You can read it HERE.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Queen of Good Intentions"

Okay, so this is a title I have given myself. I have often said if my actions were half of my intentions - oh the things I could accomplish!!! Unfortunately, this is not a recent issue with me. In junior high (middle school in today's terms), my history teacher told me I was the worse procrastinator he had ever met. And to hear my mom tell it - this is apparently a trait I inherited from my dad. I've proudly claimed to be a "daddy's girl", but this was one trait I would have rather not picked up on. Sad thing is - this may have rubbed off on our two sons as well. I'm trying to make a daily effort to follow through on some of my intentions as most are things I really need or want to do.

For example, last night an old friend came to mind that I had not seen or talked to for several years. This friend is elderly and has had health issues in the past few years. He had been very good to me growing up and I loved him very much. My first thoughts were that I would share this with his family when the day came for his memorial service (assuming he would pass away before me). Suddenly, I felt a voice asking me "Why wait to tell his family? Why not call and tell him?"

So that's what I did. Thanks to I was able to locate a phone number and call my friend. The conversation was short, but I said what I needed to say. I thanked him for always being so good to me and that I loved him. It was so nice to talk to my friend. More than that - there was such a peace about following through with the "good intention".

Today is a new day! And I have so many more "good intentions" on my list. Did you catch that? They are on a list!! (actually on the Notes App on my phone) So hopefully my intentions will turn into actions and I'll have a new name - "Queen of Good Actions"!! I like that A LOT better!!!

Do you struggle turning your intentions into actions? What steps have you taken to follow through on what you need and/or want to do? (Please share)

My Very First Blog Post - Reposted...

First Post As Guest Blogger....

Below was my first blog post on Grace Community Church's website in 2/2010.

A few things have changed, but the question still remains - "Who me?"

Guest Blog: Who me - a pastor's wife? by Cheryl Edmondson

Who me – a pastor’s wife???

After numerous requests to do a Guest Blog for Grace, I realized I had resisted as long as I could. It may be because there are so many great bloggers living at my house that I feel so intimidated at just the thought of trying.

The thought that kept going through my mind was what do I have to say that anybody would WANT to read? I feel God told me to just take this opportunity to share a little about myself….Ron’s wife … a mom to Jeremy (21) and Nate (18) … a daughter … a sister …. a friend …. a co-worker (again) … most importantly a follower of Jesus Christ and oh yeah – a pastor’s wife.

I am Cheryl Edmondson and the proud wife of Ron, who is one of the amazing co-pastors of Grace Community Church and together we have two awesome sons. I was born in Clarksville to J F and Earlene Burney and except for four years in Tuscaloosa, AL (Roll Tide!!) while my dad received his doctorate and my mother her undergraduate degree – I have lived in Clarksville all my life. I have two older brothers (Mike & Steve) and one younger sister (Laurie). I recently lost my dad due to several health issues. I was a “daddy’s girl” and miss him very much!!

I am blessed with more friends than I can count. I have been reminded lately during the time of my dad’s death and then again today as I attended the funeral of a longtime friend – how precious friendships are. There is a childhood poem that I was reminded of today - “make new friends, but keep the old ones…one is silver, but the other gold.” During both these times, I saw friends that I had not seen for years. Friends that I was very close to at one time …. But you know what? Our hearts were still connected when we saw each other again …. My biggest regret was that I had let so much time pass without spending time with these friends. That I had allowed myself to get too busy …. But we all do that – don’t we? Yes, what a sweet reminder of how precious our friends truly are.

My degree is in accounting and I have been employed in several positions over the years from the electric company to co-owning a small manufacturing company with Ron to working on a church staff to public accounting. After a short break from the working world, I have recently accepted a part-time position at Hope Pregnancy Center as Administrative Director. My passion is to do ministry and for as long as God allows me to work part-time – I pray that He will allow me to do ministry at HPC, but also be more flexible to do ministry for GCC.

Oh yes, the one I keep forgetting - I am a pastor’s wife!! It is the one I have to keep reminding myself of probably because it is the one I feel the least worthy to be. I’m just a regular person …. I have good days and bad days …. I make lots of mistakes …. I don’t read my Bible as much as I want to …. BUT I love Sundays!! My passion is to see others growing in their relationship with Christ!! I love it when God allows me to use things from my past to minister to others!!! (2 Cor 1:3-7) But I don’t have to be a pastor’s wife to do any of these. I loved these same things before Ron was called to vocational ministry. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time remembering that I am one ….

And yes – I am a follower of Jesus. I am so thankful for the amazing grace that God has poured out on my life. I became a Christian well into adulthood and regret all the wasted years. That’s why I am so thankful that God allows me to be a part of Grace Community Church and see the lives that He is changing in and through the various ministries… I pray that as long as I live God will use me to point others to the saving grace of my Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ!!!

That’s who I am …. a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend … follower of Christ … and … oh yeah … a pastor’s wife.

Only by HIS grace,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Long Overdue...Good Intentions

Well, I finally did it...I started my very own blog!

My procrastination finally got the best of me and even though I have run from it for a couple of years now - is official!!

So - now that it's my bedtime, my first blog post will probably be my shortest. This will be a time to share my heart, my struggles AND yes, for all of you who have been asking probably a restaurant find or two. So stay tuned - there is soooo much more to come!!!

Only by HIS grace,