October began in Franklin, NC at a Fresh Grounded Faith event held at the beautiful Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. The mountain air was so refreshing and the women we met were delightful! Lysa Terkeurst and Michael O'Brien added the perfect blend to the event. Afterward, we enjoyed lunch at Caffe Rel. Not only was the food amazing and interesting, the service was superb. The atmosphere makes you feel like you're in a French cafe somewhere off the Riviera. You definitely don't feel as if you are in a restaurant connected to a gas station. Seriously! This classy eatery is in the same building as the Hot Spot gas station! You simply must give it a taste test when you visit. And hey, you can fill up your car while you're there! I had the baked salmon with mango chutney...amazing. And the desserts are unbelievable. I had the caramel cake and thought of Minnie from The Help with every bite. Have you read that book yet?
The book I dived into this month is My Antonia by Willa Cather. First published in 1918, this soulful tale about the daughter of a Bohemian immigrant is told from the pen of Jim Burden, her privileged childhood friend. Ántonia, who struggles with the downside of life, is an independent, strong and happy survivor. She is a portrait of an American immigrant, a reminder of the female's early struggle, a snapshot of the human heart with all its capacity for forbearance and its desire for love. I loved how Cather paints such vivid word pictures of nature, the prairie and the vastness of the plains. It was like seeing it, feeling it and living it! What an interesting novel. You should give it a taste test.
I must also tell you about a CD that has really blessed me. It's called Hidden in My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture. It may have originally been designed for infants, but I love listening to it. It is sophisticated, calming, lovely, truthful and really reaches into my soul. The proceeds from one out of every ten CDs are donated to crisis pregnancy centers around the world! How cool is that?
We also went to Pensacola for Fresh Grounded Faith, and my parents were with us. Again, my dad prayed for the women. It was wonderful. Stormie Omartian and Abby Rike were so inspiring, and Michael O'Brien sang us into heaven! My friend Lori and my first piano teacher, Mrs. Rucker, were there, too! What a soul-enriching time for me. I'm so grateful for dear friends and family, aren't you?
So, give these things a taste test:
1. Caffe Rel in Franklin, NC
2. My Antonia by Willa Cather
3. Hidden in My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture
4. Bring your friends and family with you to A Fresh Grounded Faith event. It's more fun when you're there! Read here how my most annoying friend rewrote my Top 10 list for attending a Fresh Grounded Faith event.