The past several days have been a whirlwind! You can follow along with what I've been up to below through a mixture of pictures from my camera and from my phone.
My dad came into town last Thursday morning for my graduation. We had a great time exploring Duke's campus (the chapel is under construction but the campus is still as beautiful as ever!) and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The Duke Gardens are absolutely AMAZING and I loved showing my dad! Seriously, the flowers right now are to die for. If anyone wants to do a session there soon, please let me know!
On Friday I graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree! I'm still in disbelief that I actually graduated and finished my degree. SEBTS's degree is 90+ hours and has taken me SIX years to complete while working full time! Many people ask me why I got my seminary degree and I hope to write a full post in response to that question at a later date. But for now, I'll just say that I got my degree for the knowledge and because I think every believer (man and woman) should love the Lord with their minds and should pursue theological knowledge. While I'm not going to become a pastor, it is my prayer that this degree will make me a better child of God, mentor, wife, mom, church member, etc. I hope the Lord will use this degree for His glory!
Thank you Jesse Winchester for capturing some of these graduation pictures!!
It was a blessing to be able to graduate with Will, Ryan, and Sean. We have all known each other for many years and have done a discipleship program called "Generation LINK" at Crosspoint Church together. I'm also very thankful for Jeremy Chasteen's influence (pictured in the second image below). Jeremy was my boss for several years (when I was the Assistant Director of Generation LINK) and he has always encouraged me to continue pursuing theological education in the context of the local church. I'm very thankful for his influence and for the influence of Crosspoint Church. Crosspoint made it possible for me to get theological education by paying for a large portion of my degree!
I'm thankful and honored Alex and I got to take a picture with Dr. Finn (pictured above) and that I grabbed a picture with with Danny Akin, President of SEBTS (pictured below). Dr. Finn is one of our favorite professors and is going to be Alex's PhD mentor.
After graduation we hopped on a plane that evening for Miami! Alex grew up in Miami and moved to South Carolina with his family when he was 15. The church Alex grew up in, Emmanuel Baptist Church, invited him to preach on Sunday morning and Sunday evening. We had an absolutely wonderful trip and I loved seeing where Alex grew up and meeting so many of his friends! Pictured below is an incredible picture that one of Alex's close family friends painted for us of one of our wedding pictures! How amazing is that? I love seeing how a photo can be turned into another beautiful piece of art. I know Alex and I will treasure this painting forever!
Our time in FL was pretty jam packed and we loved getting to see Alex's grandma Jo (unfortunately I didn't get a picture with her) and staying in the Barker's home. We did get away for a few hours on Saturday evening and had an AMAZING seafood dinner on the beach.
Alex did a great job, by God's grace, preaching on Sunday morning and Sunday evening. I was so proud of him! His messages really encouraged and convicted me and I think they encouraged the church as well. If you'd like to listen to or watch his messages, you can find them here.
Thank you for following along with me as I shared our whirlwind weekend!