I wanted to tell you before we dive in today that I started these Friday Fellowships because I just have so many neat friends and I thought it would be fun to do little interviews and share them!!! Some of them have no forms of social media or platforms - they are just all special to me! So that's what this is about! And I had someone say to me last week that all my friends seem to be just like me. Maybe that's true. We may all have a lot in common but I think it's so important to NOT judge books by their covers. I happen to know that if you look deep - the women I've shared have had children die, parents die, cancer, job loss, divorce, family members with addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, financial struggles, children with special needs, rebellious children, and so on. Some of this they have been willing to share and some don't really want to be so open in such a public way. But I hope you know that though I know so many of their struggles - I love each of their hearts and I love to share them on here. It's not a parade of perfect people. It's sharing people who know their need of a perfect God. Desperately.
So my guest today is someone that I'm so glad I have connected with over the years. Amy Hannon and I go WAY back. She is from the town right next to mine - Mountain Home, AR. She dated a boy I grew up with our senior year and she was at my prom. (My tiny little in the cafeteria in Flippin, AR prom). Well fast forward about 20 years and we connected through my blog when she was designing t-shirts and dishes. Somehow we connected the dots that we knew of each other in high school. And now that my parents are retired they joined the same church her parents go to. Our mothers were actually in the same sorority at U of A. So we were just destined to be friends.
Amy Hannon is a pastor's wife. She owns THE cutest kitchen store you will ever see, Euna Mae's. And she hosts a cooking show on our local NBC station. And this fall she is going to have a cook book come out and will have a national book tour so I'm going to need you to all get ready to buy her book! What I love most about Amy is she loves Jesus and she loves others. We are the same age but she is obviously a little more down the road on parenting than me. She has two kids in college and one in high school and she just has the best kids and is so close to them. She ALWAYS has a house full of kids. ALWAYS. And she loves feeding them and spending time with them. She is THAT house. And I love it. She says she always keeps things on hand so she can make quesadillas at 11 p.m. if she needs to just because it gives her a chance to talk to her kids and their friends. I love that. Her ministry truly is hospitality.
(Thankfully these frat boys will never read a mom blog but this is what it looks like at Amy's house ALL the time! )
1. What is your favorite Food? Really? You’re gonna ask a soft, Southern cook what her favorite food is right off the bat? All food. All. Food.
2. What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now? (FASHION) I’m not fashionable in the least. I shop at Target, Old Navy and wherever else I can buy tunics. So I guess that makes my answer “tunics.” Yes tunics. Flowery ones, ruffly ones, and ones with ties at the neck. If they are ruffly AND have a tie at the neck, then I’m in heaven. Sam says I look like I dress from the Loretta Lynn collection. She was a good gal. So I’ll take it.
3. Tell us about your Family? My hubby is a preacher at Fellowship Bible Church. He’s my college sweetheart. We’ve been on staff there since we were 22 years old. He’s really smart, really passionate about Jesus, and hysterically funny. I have three babies - Grace (20), Luke (18), and Isaac (16). They. Are. The. Best. I love being their mom more than aaaaalllll of the other things I’ve ever done. They are just like their daddy, smart, passionate about Jesus, and funny. I gave them good hair and eyelashes.
4. What is the most important quality in your Friends? OR tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget. Oh my. I’ve started this and deleted and restarted and deleted. And here’s what I’ve decided to go with. There’s not one quality that I treasure. I value my friends for their own unique wiring. One is especially loyal. One is especially real. One is especially witty. One is especially kind-hearted. One challenges me spiritually. We have friends in all shapes, all sizes, and in all seasons that the Lord brings us; and we should seek to appreciate what makes them unique and special to us. Every relationship we have plays a role in our lives, so I hope to see God’s wiring in them and enjoy all they bring to my world. And I hope they do the same when they think about me.
5. What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey? And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently. I’ve learned the power of authentic hospitality. It’s my thing, y’all. It’s my thing. There is so much power in serving food to people in your homes or taking food to people in their own homes. It demonstrates God’s goodness and grace in their lives, and it opens the door for all kinds of good spiritual heart-connecting to happen. I have come to understand the significance of gathering around and giving food, so much so, that it has become my passion to encourage women to use their homes to feed bellies and hearts. I’m not talking about Pinteresting a fancy table or foraging for ingredients. I’m talking about making spaghetti, opening your door, praying for God to move, and then letting Him use what comes out of your kitchens and homes for His glory. Intentional kitchening. “Love deeply, welcome gladly, serve faithfully, so that in all things God may be praised.” 1 Peter 4:8-11
6. What is your biggest Fear? The older I get the more peace I have about God’s sovereignty in my life and in the world. BUT LISTEN TO ME. That wasn’t always the case. I could fret myself into an epic tizzy worrying about Sam, myself, my kids, everyone’s safety, the well-being of the world, the weather, acceptance, success, SARS, Swine Flu, Zika, what fabric I was gonna choose for my pillows...you name it. I was plagued with fear and anxiety for years. BUT GOD. He stilled me. He grew me. He replaced fear with peace. And He grabbed my face in both hands and reminded me that nothing can separate me from His love. Now, do I still occasionally write my own obituary in my mind when I’m boarding an airplane, YES. Fear still knocks, and the Enemy still tries to lure my mind waaaaayyyy down that dark, terrible path. But God is faithful, He pulls me back together, and He leads me beside quiet waters. Mmmm. Good stuff right there.
7. What are some of your Favorite things right now? Goat cheese. Anytime, anywhere. Deep Relief essential oil on my neck. It burns so good but wards off my husband. A girl has to make her choice, ya know. Diet Coke with easy ice. Errr day. My new candlewick quilt on my bed that reminds me of my grannie’s bedspread. She actually had two of them because she and my papa slept in separate beds. My very-quickly-growing mountain of cookbooks that I cannot quit ordering. Is there a pill for that? Maybe an accountability group? Sam’s and my relationship with our bigger kids. It’s just such a treat. Nothing witty to say because I got a little weepy with gratefulness right now. Moving on.
8. What has been your biggest Failure? Like so many women, I feel like I listen to the Enemy tell me all kinds of garbage about my worth, my ability, my impact, etc. And I think my biggest failure is listening to him. I’ve chickened out many times in pursuing things, people, conversations, ideas, and opportunities that could’ve been really great! So rather than going forward with confidence, following the Spirit, and forging ahead with a LET’S DO THIS, JESUS attitude, I shrink back and wimp out. Ugh. We should never let the Enemy tell us one more thing. Ever. Can we all agree on that?
9. What do you do for Fun? I cook. I cook, cook, cook, cook, cook. I don’t shop. I don’t craft. I don’t pamper myself. I don’t hike. Gross. I cook. I cook for my family. I cook for my friends. I cook for folks who need a little lovin’ on because Life has been unkind. I try new things. I make old things. I make desserts and yummy carbs. I really need to learn to love hiking. And when I’m not cooking, I’m reading cookbooks on the couch with Sam while we Netflix or work through our DVR list. And sometimes I hop up and go make something that I just read in one of my cookbooks.
10. Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things) I have teenage boys.
11. What is your favorite FILM? (movie) Oh gosh, I love The Help. I want all of those women to be my friends. And I want to make fried chicken with Minny. OH and White Christmas. The red dresses, red lips, and furry hand muffs at the end with the snowflakes falling while they sing to the General and the army in the barn. I mean, warm fuzzies and tears every time. It makes me feel like all is right with the world.
12. What is one Fact we might not know about you? I don’t wear shorts.