Last weekend I traveled to Nashville to enjoy some time off and be a part of my friends’ wedding. I thought I would write a bit about it because

  1. 1. My blog is the only record of my thoughts that I keep
  2. There was some fun stuff that happened
  3. So I can make sure I remember that my newly minted DJ name is “DJ PJ.” This is perhaps the most important point of all.

Anyways, this trip was a joy-filled weekend in which I ate zero vegetables unless you count guacamole and salsa as a vegetable. I have no qualms about eating vegetables but I also have no qualms about eating BBQ and or donuts for 50% of my meals.

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Let’s do a list of the highlights, shall we?

1. Mcgee and me and my basil plant

I bought my Airbnb friends/hosts a basil plant as a housewarming present, and it turns out that Nashville was a thousand degrees when I was there so there was a whole lot of housewarming going on. Since I was planning to treat myself to a coffee soda in Germantown before I met up with my Airbnb friends, I had to take my plant potted in a lime green plastic container I purchased for 98 cents with me into one of Nashville’s hippest coffee shops. I definitely got some weird looks, but once I saw a patron at a restaurant with a bonsai tree occupying the other seat in his booth. Good news: the basil plant survived Nashville’s heat and the dagger stares of coffee shop patrons and currently is providing Andy and Amanda some delicious, fresh garnish for all of their food adventures.

2. Reunited and it felt so good

Last time I was in Nashville, my tastebuds encountered the confectionary delights that are Five Daughters donuts. These donuts are a miracle of science; the first time I had one I cried actual tears. This trip, you best believe I brought my new cooler I received for my 23rd birthday and I bought those donuts and I put the leftovers in my cooler because to let these donuts spoil or become stale would be nothing short of a tragedy. Behold: lemon icebox and maple bacon.

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Also it’s worth noting I went running before I got these donuts to work up an appetite and to work my muscles after a long car trip. I headed right to the donut shop after my run and was so super sweaty and had no makeup and looked kind of like a kid who had been at summer camp for too long. I figured that I only knew like 5 people in Nashville, so surely I would not see anyone during my donut run.

THINK AGAIN, UNIVERSE.

Of course I saw one of the five people I know who happens to be the lead singer in one of my favorite bands. I couldn’t not say hi to her though because we had a great chat the last time I saw her in concert. So fueled by the positivity that comes with having just consumed a delicious donut, I worked up the courage to say hi! Nothing bad happened! I may have looked like I had been to sweaty rodeo but I still had my donuts and my dignity (maybe)!

3. New Friends!

Though I was in town to see old friends, I had the chance to meet and make some new friends! That was a huge blessing for the trip, and I was very inspired by the conversations I had. It’s amazing to be surrounded by folks who are so creative and so in love with The Lord. I truly appreciate the gift of someone’s time, and felt the impact of my new friendships softening my heart and pointing me towards the magnificence of the Creator who inspires us to create. I can’t wait to see my new friends again! I hope one day I can call them old friends.

My new friends also really taught me a lot about encouragement and the power of an encouraging word. It is LIFE-CHANGING stuff, people. I am digging deep into what it means to be an encouraging person, and hope to keep the level of inspiration my new friends instilled in me.

4. Old friends who love each other (and love me!) 

As I mentioned, I was in Nashville to celebrate the marriage of my friends! Guys: marriage is so cool and I find it so inspiring to see couples say their vows to each other. My oldest college friend, Laura, got to marry the love of her life, Cameron, and they couldn’t be a better team! They both are funny, spirited, fiercely loving, smart, encouraging, and so well suited for each other. I got to be the DJ and emcee of their big day (Hence “DJ PJ,” folks). Before the wedding it was pouring rain, but once it was time for the ceremony, the clouds parted and the service was a beautiful, personal, worshipful time that left me in awe of the message of marriage and the realities it points us towards.

Laura and Cameron also had chips, guacamole, queso, and burritos for their wedding food which was DIVINE. I got to attend the wedding alongside some of my college friends who I hadn’t seen in a while, which was such a sweet thing. Since I was also the DJ, we also had the chance to BREAK IT DOWN to some classic Whitney Houston “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” together which is always a treat.

Also they got married on a farm that Johnny Cash owned for 35 years and there was a live band that played Johnny Cash’s songs and I was in heaven. HOORAY!

5. I did a dumb thing but it was very okay!!

As I touched on earlier, it was VERY rainy the day of the wedding. This was no spring sprinkle, but a straight up MONSOON, folks. When it came time for my to arrive at the venue, I was so focused on getting all my computer stuff inside and out of the rain that I didn’t account for the fact that my keys were conveniently locked inside of my vehicle! Since I was responsible for things the whole afternoon and evening, I put off calling AAA to help me until about 10 PM when the reception was over. Little did I know what the next hour would hold for me and my 2010 Honda Civic!

As it turns out, getting the keys or tripping the lock in my car was a near impossible task. Nothing was working, and believe me, if we could dream a solution, we tried it. At this point it was raining, I was exhausted, and my current options for accessing my keys all included fees of $250+ and/or a brick through my car window. I had resigned to despair and shed ugly tears while declaring something melodramatic and at that very moment, IT WAS ALL OVER! The mechanic was able to pry open the lever to pop my truck, and friend Robbie climbed through the back seat and retrieved mg keys. I was so relieved and happy that I laid down on the pavement and cried while it was still raining.

But real talk, y’all: my friends stayed with my the WHOLE time the Key Fiasco of 2017 was going down. They didn’t lose faith, they didn’t get annoyed with me, they didn’t leave and go to sleep. They stayed! It was so very kind of them. I felt grateful to the lesson that experience taught me: even when we give up on God, he always delivers! I am undeserving.


This is my second time being in Nashville, and I just had such an enjoyable time. I came home inspired, rejuvenated, and grateful. I also came back and realized I needed to eat some vegetables but besides that I had no complaints! Tess, my 8 month old golden retriever, was so happy to see me even though I looked like a dejected cast member of TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I can always count on my dog to love me at my worst…and my friends, too!

My heart is filled up, and my travel itch was scratched. However, my friend did challenge me to pray about where and if I might travel next, since this chica has only been on a plane twice in her life. It’s fun and scary to be challenged to think big like that, but I am excited to see what is coming next!

Until then, I want thank Tennessee for its Southern hospitality, its delicious donuts, and its great people. Until next time, Nashville.

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Posted by:Grace Leuenberger

"I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

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