Upon arriving to Nashville, Abby and I just dove right in. Hotel? Bah! Who cares about checking in! We had our rental. Our GPS. A really cute map. And we had our excitement. This was my first trip away from any of my people. Ever. I've never traveled without my Nate (He really is the best travel partner ever). And I've never left my children for 5 days. Crazy town, I know.
After a whirlwind first day, full of Loveless Cafe dining (YUM), Hillsborough exploring, bookstore stalking, and finally finding our hotel (a fabulous 2 minutes from my conference: thank you husband for that!) we finally put our feet up and couldn't stop grinning about the day.
|biscuits and jam at the Loveless Cafe.|
Thursday morning we woke up excited and ready to adventure in Franklin. Everyone we met told us we HAD to check out Franklin. So we opted out of seeing the Parthenon (I know, right) and drove south to the most amazing little town. Abby said she had never been anywhere so old. I thought about that for a while and decided I really did love history. (Thanks dad for reading me all those encyclopedias AND fairy tales).
Franklin was a dream. We wandered around surprised and, let's face it, a little swoony. We were THOSE people with our camera slung around our neck gasping and oohing and also grieving the fact that we were going to have to leave this beautiful town for the reality of South Texas.
|Abby getting her Starbucks in Franklin|
|in Franklin stealing Abby's starbucks|
After walking around for a while (I was a pokey little puppy and Abby was gracious to my tired, pregnant self) I was ready to find that little bakery that one of the shop keepers had recommended and put my feet up. My stomach was growling, my body was tired, and I just wanted some tea. Or soda. Whichever came first.
That's when we saw it. A shop we had passed earlier in the morning that hadn't yet opened. It was adorable with the headline "Compassion + Fashion" and our interests were piqued.
So in we walked. And then we abruptly stopped. Above the doorway was a verse. Plain as day.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” -1 John 3:17-18
Yea. I know, right? Chills. The works. Below I've pasted what is on their website in their "About" section.
"Philanthropy opened in June of 2007 with the belief that a business built around charitable works and grounded in Christ could make a difference in the world.We opened as a platform for our customers to make a difference. By carrying a variety of fashion forward clothes and accessories that are perfect for the modern woman (or man!), we strive to keep our customers consciously and compassionately stylish. We are a Christian, locally owned and operated – one of a kind shopping experience. By pledging at least 10% of our total sales to designated causes, nearly $200,000 has been raised in just 4 years. In addition to giving to our local community, we donate to organizations in Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Haiti."
Abby and I lost it. We just went nuts. They had areas around the shop that had items where there was a 100% net donation. Sandals (which Abby bought). Whistles. Keys. Scarves and hats knit by women from some third world country. Their list of missions, local and far, was so very impressive and it made our stomachs churn. Both of us cried on and off through the nearly 2 hours we spent there. They had a wall of prayer requests that broke my heart. I filled out a few prayers and tagged them to the wall and I took a prayer away with me. Abby and I had our arms full of goodies and in the end we left with our hearts full of motivation and thanksgiving. We had never encountered a place like that. The staff was warm and caring and sensitive to their shoppers. More than once I saw a shopper weeping over something and a member of the staff encouraging them, loving them. I was weepy as we left, hungry to show that kind of compassion.
|The prayer wall in Philanthropy|
So I am compiling a list of goals for myself. When I have the list formulated, I wish to share with you here. See if you can be a part of the journey of more giving and more compassion and less self indulgence.