Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragement through the process of moving and getting started with the Residency program!
We have gotten all but a few boxes unpacked and are just about settled into our townhouse in Thompson’s Station which is about 25 minutes south of Brentwood on I-65. It is a very nice and growing area that reminds us a lot of Holly Springs. The neighborhood is VERY quiet and has tennis courts, a playground, and a pool (which Bailey has been enjoying just about every day). The next step in getting settled is to hang up some pictures and get the last few boxes unpacked.
Bailey will be starting school in just about 2 weeks and she is very excited! Prior to starting full time, she will have a few times where she will go to the school to be assessed and get a basic orientation, meet teachers, other students, etc. Since she is so social, she has already met several kids in the neighborhood (at the pool) who are going to her school so hopefully she will see some familiar faces. It’s really nice that the school has a process to get new kindergarteners plugged in slowly rather than basically “throwing them off of the deep end” on day 1.
This past Sunday, we met up with the other TRAIN Residents and their families and headed to Gatlinburg for our orientation retreat. (See picture above) We stayed in a gorgeous cabin with an incredible view of the mountains and the downtown area. We had a great time getting to know the other families that we will be in community with for this coming year as well as Bob (the Church Multiplication Minister @ Brentwood) & his wife Cristina and Steven (the Church Multiplication Assistant) and his wife Carrie. The retreat marked the official beginning of our TRAIN Residency and Brentwood rolled out the red carpet making us feel very welcome – first with a gift basket before the retreat and during the retreat with first rate accommodations and great meals! We also took some time to take the kids to Ripley’s Aquarium one afternoon which (as you can imagine) Bailey absolutely LOVED! (Check out the pics from the retreat HERE)
One of the things we were a little concerned about was how Bailey was going to get along with the boys – Isaiah and Isaac. Those concerns quickly vanished after about 20 minutes at the cabin. They are all about the same age and had a blast playing together and were extremely well behaved! Bailey had such a great time with them that she didn’t want to leave!
We did have a great weekend relaxing and hanging out together, but we also worshiped, studied the Bible, prayed, and took Communion together – not to mention diving into all that we will be doing this year for the training. I have to admit, it was quite overwhelming to see all that we will be responsible for over the course of this next year, but I can see that it will have a tremendous impact on us individually and collectively and on the churches that we will each be planting! The training consists of group and individual projects, weekly meals together with the other TRAIN families, weekly accountability groups and bonding for the guys and girls separately, training for the wives, and MUCH more! Please pray for us to budget our time well so that we don’t get completely overwhelmed! We will be going full steam ahead starting this Sunday at Brentwood Baptist.
BTW – “TRAIN” is the name of the Church Planting Residency Program at Brentwood Baptist. We residents are affectionally referred to as “TRAINiacs” and the TRAIN metaphor is used quite often (i.e. “leaving the station”, “full steam ahead”, “TRAIN wreck”, etc.) Although it may be a little cheesy, we have fun with it!
Thank you again so much for your love, prayers, support, and encouragement through this journey! You are an important part of our lives and we are so thankful for you! Stay tuned and we hope to hear from YOU soon as well!
Spreading HIS Fame…
Todd, Dawn, & Bailey