People Loving People

As you can probably tell by other posts on this blog, there is a soft spot in my heart for my beloved 12th South Neighborhood.  When I drive through, I want to open my arms and give the whole street a big hug. Whether it’s the craftsman-style houses, the families strolling down the sidewalks, the coffee shops, or the FOOD, it’s definitely my kind of place.

Whenever I get the chance to suggest a dinner location for any occasion, I always start with the list of 12th South restaurants. On any given night, you can find me at any one of the following: Burger Up!, Taqueria del Sol, 12th South Taproom, or Bar Taco. But, truthfully, you say 12th South, I say “What time?” 

With that said, it should come as no surprise that when Adam asked where we should eat last Saturday night, I immediately responded with Taqueria del Sol.  Adam, knowing that he shouldn’t even try to compete with such a tasty suggestion, agreed.

Besides the food, one of the things I love most about my neighborhood is the people we see when we are out. Nine times out of ten, we will see someone we know. While this night was no exception, our encounters were particularly noteworthy. 

On our way to dinner, Adam and I were discussing the pros and cons of a decision that I had been tossing around in my head for quite sometime.  I had ultimately made my decision, but Adam couldn’t quite understand my choice.  Immediately after pulling up to the restaurant, we ran into a friend, who, out of nowhere, reaffirmed the decision for me.   Thank you, Jesus – I needed that sign...and to prove to Adam that I was right (wink, wink).

Then, while eating dinner, we ran into a partner who works with Adam.  After talking to us for a few minutes, he sneakily paid for our meal. A small deed that wasn’t necessary but that will certainly stick with me for a long time. The fact that this small act of kindness even crossed his mind (much less that he actually followed through with it), spoke volumes of his character and the respect he must have for Adam. This made me one proud wife! {insert cheesiest grin}

We spoke with many different people while sitting at the bar that night and even made some new friends through our mutual love for the Grizzles (who lost a heartbreaker to Golden State… I think). Well, to be totally honest, I don’t really care for the NBA.  I either cheer for the Grizzles (the home state team) or whichever team has a former Duke player on the roster. But, back to the point: all these interactions really reminded me of the deep love God has for his people. 

Photo from  intsapray.com

Photo from intsapray.com

In my opinion (and its my blog so that’s all that matters), the best way to witness God’s love is to experience people loving people. Even though it was just your typical Saturday night out in 12th South, Adam and I were reminded of the importance of loving those around us the way God loves us – even complete strangers. It’s amazing what lessons you can learn from the people you interact with when you just slow down and truly pay attention. 

Don’t even get me started on paying attention during a lesson – I’m a teacher – I ask little humans to pay attention to me all day long. But, what I am challenging you to do as you go through this day, or maybe even this week, is to pay attention to people loving people… and even people loving you. And my prayer for you is that through this experience you will gain an understanding of just how much God loves his people. 

-Taylor Ann 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...comfort

There is something so comforting about ice cream. It is often craved on hot summer days when you need to cool off, or as an after dinner treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.

It’s a big hit in our family. My husband is ice cream’s biggest fan. If ice cream had an Instagram account, he would be its number one follower. One place that we particularly love is Jeni's in our local 12th South neighborhood of Nashville.

It’s not uncommon for us to pop in for a waffle cone on any given day. In the past, when we lived about a half a mile away, Adam would hop on his bike and tell me he was going for a “quick ride,” only to return 20 minutes later with a whole pint of Brambleberry Crisp in tow. “What? I exercised while getting my ice cream,” he would say as I gave him the look of crazy when he returned.

While Adam and I may not see eye-to-eye on what constitutes a workout, we can agree on our love for ice cream. 

My personal favorite is Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flakes – formally known as the Buckeye State. They had to change the name because most people in Tennessee didn’t know what they were talking about when using the word “Buckeye” to describe ice cream. This is Big Orange Country, after all! While The Buckeye State is my number one pick, I do explore other flavors – The Green Mint, Black and White Cookies, Vanilla Bean. All are delicious, worth the calories, and oh so satisfying. But, there is just something special about the Buckeye State. 

Just like we have our favorite flavor of ice cream or dessert, most of us also have a favorite Bible verse – one we resort to when we need that little reminder that God is with us. That verse that provides us the comfort of His love that satisfies our soul.

Proverbs 3:5-6 has been my go-to verse for years. Since high school, that verse has been my soft landing in times of trouble and happiness. I love when it pops up in places where I am neither expecting nor looking for it. It is almost like God is sending me a secret message that only He and I know about. My heart flutters when I hear it in a message on Sunday, or when I see it in a book I am reading.

I think I love it because it is so straight forward. As someone who worries (a lot), I need that reminder often. This verse is clear and to the point.

“Trust in the Lord your God and lean not on your own understandings. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

While I have a favorite flavor of ice cream, there are other flavors that I turn to from time-to-time. And while I also have my favorite verse, there are other verses that I turn to for guidance and comfort for a number of reasons. Here are a few:

For Friendship:

“A friend loves you all the time, but a brother was born to help in times of trouble.” – Proverbs 17:17

For motivation:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

For grief:

“I’ll refresh tired bones; I’ll restore tired souls” - Jeremiah 31:25

For love:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above” – James 1:37

For celebration:

“People cannot understand the wonderful things God does. His miracles are too many to count.” – Job 5:9

What’s your go to verse? What’s your favorite go-to ice cream? 

- Taylor Ann 

Besides the ice cream and I am also loving this chambray dress from Soca Boutique. I've linked some other chambray options below.

Jcrew (currently 25% off) || Lulus Dress One || Lulus Dress Two || Lulus Dress Three || Forever 21 || Target || Nordstrom