The Power of Pulling Away

I planned on sharing a post on how I’ve used reflection to gain perspective during or after a conflict, as well as a reflection tool today. But since I’ve had a week out of town at my in-laws, I’ve not had the time to prepare that post. ๐Ÿ™

After all, I wanted to pull away and focus on my family and friends, so this week I’m going to simply share some moments from my trip along with a few words about the importance of “pulling away.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Pulling Away

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One important thought I wanted to share is that pulling away from a routine schedule is not only important to refuel, but to gain perspective and direction whenever we are facing some confusing or uncertain situation in life. I’ll be sharing next week a bit more of what that means and looks like. So this week my words will be few and my photos will be many!

My hubby is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee and his parents live in the second oldest Tennessee town of Dandridge in log cabin at the foothills of the Smokies.

So we spent part of our time visiting with themโ€”bringing our youngest twenty year old son Braden along as well. We always want to take advantage of those rare and fleeting moments when he can join us for a vacation. #emptynesters

Here are some photos of our time with family, including a quick days trip to Smoky Mountain National Park with a hike up to Laurel Falls with Gary and Braden.


My in-laws beautiful cabin

B and B LF edit

G and B LFalls

L Falls 500

A section of Laurel Falls

But during our weekend, we annually try to get together with our dear friends (Kelly and Nickie Kinder) that have been friends of ours since before Gary and I got married eons ago! We went to Jonesborough, Tennessee which is the oldest town in Tennessee and is full of beautiful historic architecture, quaint shops, restaurants and cafes.

We actually hit it on Saturday morning when their farmer’s market was up and wooing us to buy fresh fruit, veggies, honey and artwork. Here are some photos from that brief trip with Kelly and Nickie . .ย  .

Jonesborough 500

Tomatoes 500

Love the colors of farmer’s markets!

Cabbage 500

Honey 500

Honey Bees 500

Kelly talking bee-keeping with the master bee keeper

Gary and Kelly 500

Gary and Kelly at our early morning coffee break

Walking Tour 500

On our walking tour with a “Trump” delegate fresh from the convention!

Messy Marriage 500

Look what I spied on our walking tour … messy marriage in progress!

Gary and Kelly Book 500

Kelly loves Jimmy Buffett so we were excited to find his book!

Nickie and beth 500

Nickie and I under a lush Crepe Myrtle tree.

Dinner out 500

Ended our great weekend with a dinner of pizza!

Be sure to join me next week as I share more on the power of reflection!

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What fun trips or times of pulling away this summer are you and your family doing or have done?


What benefits have you gained because of pulling away?

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Nanahood, Moments of Hope, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Wholehearted Wednesday.

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  1. I am so glad you had this time away with family and friends. Pulling away from routines is so necessary and restorative. I love how our paths could have almost crossed again this past week. My older son and fiancee got engaged last summer at Laurel Falls so I was excited to see your pictures from there. Since I just pulled away too, I can share the benefits are being able to focus your mind on things other than your ordinary routines. There is a chance for deeper reflection, time with God and renewal of mind, body and spirit. I could go on but I probably will share that in a post myself sometime soon. Can’t wait to join you again next week! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Mary. Yes, rest and fun with our families and friends is so healing and necessary to our lives. How interesting that your son and his fiance got engaged there. My father in law said he had attended a wedding there under the falls one time. Must be popular lover’s destination. And I hope you had a great time on your trip in the southeast as well as lots of time for reflection. Thanks so much for your encouragement, my friend!

  2. bluecottonmemory says:

    What a lovely pulling away, Beth! You were almost so close to where I live ๐Ÿ™‚ Wishing you blessing as you settle back in!

    • Yes, Maryleigh, it was lovely. And we will be going through Louisville–not sure how close that is to you–more often come this fall and beyond. Our oldest son and his wife are moving there mid-August. We should try to meet sometime when I’m in your neck-of-the-woods!

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says:

    Great post, Beth! And I love the pictures. Y’all look so happy!

    Pulling away is vital, and for a couple in our position, it;s vital in more than one way. I’m doomed to a routine; Going for a ride in the car hurts too much, so I am essentially property-bound, and have adapted a routine here that minimizes physical discomfort. I wasn’t always this way; I was the soul of spontaneity before I got sick, and, “Hey, let’s go to Paris tomorrow!” was a definite possibility.

    It’s no fun for Barbara, and I encourage her to go out and do things on the weekend – hiking, or antique-mall-browsing, or going to the gym. She doesn’t need to hang out with me, watching a DVD because it’s all I can do (and I tend to lose the thread of the plot halfway through and have to skip back).

    There’s more – she has to pull away FROM ME, as well, to minimize the emotional damage that will come at my death. Some people don’t need this; she does.

    As for me, I have found that enforced stillness is not without its rewards. The act of stirring a bowl of minute rice in the microwave can be a throwaway moment, or if given attention it can have a value all on its own.

    We tend to ignore small things in our lives; but a mustard seed is quite small, isn’t it?

    • I have an idea that you and Barbara might feel is too weird to try, but what about both of you hold hands as you imagine the most beautiful and meaningful place you both have visited in the past, Andrew. Then you share back and forth what you are envisioning doing there or having done there. I would think that would be a great way to “travel.” In fact, that’s what I do every time I begin to pray. I envision meeting with Jesus (since that’s literally what I’m doing) at some beautiful and serene place that I’ve visited before–or would like to visit. It’s very meaningful and won’t involve a bumpy car ride to some destination! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I also agree with your “stillness” analogy. There’s probably a lot of moments in your day that you are now savoring and experiencing fully unlike any other time in your life. Hugs and prayers coming your way!

  4. So glad that you shared your pictures, but even more thankful for these words about pulling away. I need to give this some serious consideration.

    • Thanks, Michele! Yes, I think most writers and bloggers struggle to stop writing or ministering, but we cannot give when we are running low. I hope you carve out that break for yourself, my friend!

  5. Looks like fun! I love Laurel Falls! It’s been years, but I still remember hiking to the falls with my family when I was a teen. Visiting from Coffee for your Heart ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sounds like you must have lived in Tennessee or near Gatlinburg when you were younger, Tasha. That would be a wonderful place to hike at regularly. I told my husband that as we were walking. Although, I have to confess, I have a beautiful little park nearby that I walk at regularly. I go at sunset and the colors on the little pond are brilliant and awe-inspiring. Thanks for joining the conversation, my new friend!

  6. How very fun to share a bit of your time away, Beth! Yes, pulling away, a change of pace and scenery with those we love … this is what summertime’s all about.

    • Thanks, Linda. It’s fun for me to share some of my sights and moments of joy here too. I don’t really like taking much time to share that kind of stuff. I’m usually more about what can I share that will “teach” something, but I know it’s important to share from my life as well. Thanks for your encouragement and kindness to me, my friend.

  7. Beth, Jonesboro is one of my favorite places and is about 90 minutes from our home. Loved the pictures – so many familiar places! Thanks for the linkup.

    • So you must live in the southeast. We should connect sometime when I’m down that way. I go there often, since my in-laws live there. I’d love for you to email your location and we could plan a face-to-face sometime! Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend!

  8. pioneerpat1 says:

    What a very nice place to relax. Thanks for hosting and have a great day,

    • Thanks, Patrick. I always so enjoy the photos you share of your visits to various places out west. I rarely get out there, so it’s great to see some of the places that I can maybe one day visit! Thanks for encouraging me, my friend!

  9. I am so glad you took the time to get away and pull away! I keep doing the getting away but not the pulling away! I keep pushing into the night to keep things going. I need to STOP and trust God has this even if I step back for a bit! Thanks, friend, for the much needed reminder! Tennessee looks beautiful and like fun family time together!

    • Ha! Yes, that can be the flipside of “getting away”–not really pulling away, Lori! I hope you do take time to pull away sometime soon. You are in that very demanding season of life, when kids are needing to be taken here and there and life picks up a frenetic pace. I don’t think you are letting that pace negatively impact you and your family, but I do see it hurting, even devastating, some of the young families in my church and social circles. I just want to grab those young moms by the shoulders and say, “Slow down! Be still and know that He is God–not your schedule!” Sorry! You just touched on a nerve for me, because I know personally how important this is. Hugs to you, my friend!

      • I agree, Beth! I believe that in the next several years, we will begin to see more literature and data reflecting the effects of our fast paced and overfilled schedules on our health, development, children, and families!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures with us. It looks like you had a great time. It is always nice to pull away and do things that we refresh our hearts. I have been trying to pull away this summer and not feel bad about getting work done. It is what I need and it is what my family needs!

    • Yes, we did, Jaime. I always hesitate to show pics like that. I mean, who cares what I did on vacation. But I’m learning that there’s value in letting you all know about me personally. And yes, pulling away is so important–all throughout our year. I’m so glad to hear that you are doing that very important task–resting!

  11. Beth, I’m so glad you got to pull away and have a time of refreshment with family & friends. You’re right. It’s so important! Thanks for hosting. Have a great week-end. Blessings!

    • Thanks for coming by and encouraging me, Donna. I really appreciate your support and friendship! Hugs to you!