Every other Friday, I'm going to be sharing snapshots that I have taken in and around Mobile. Not only do I want to share with you guys this place, but it will help me to get out and explore. I love the idea of "snapshots", because sometimes they are quick and can be hurried, but always capture a memory. My photos may not always be perfect or frame-worthy, but I hope you enjoy them. I hope you enjoy seeing little glimpses of Mobile and I hope this encourages you to get out, explore your town, and take advantage of all your place may offer. This is #SnapshotsOfMobile. Enjoy!
I didn't intentionally mean to not share a snapshots post for four months, but the summertime happened and not a lot of blogging happened then. Which means that the snapshots series hit pause as well. But, we are back now! And what better way to reintroduce the #SnapshotsOfMobile series than with a photo of the Mobile skyline itself. If you stick around here long enough, you will soon learn that city skylines are one of my favorite thing. I love to take photos of them, I love to look at photos of them, and I love to just stare at them. In case the blog header wasn't a big clue or anything. I used to drive across Mobile Bay everyday to work, but now I'm driving the opposite direction. However I still drive through downtown every morning and lately with the time slowly changing, I'm once again blinded by the morning sun bouncing off the buildings. While I was stopped at a stoplight one morning, I rolled down my window and snapped this photo. The sun may have been blinding my eyes on the right, but when I looked to the left, all I saw was the glow and reflection of yellow, lighting up the sky. Not a bad way to begin your morning.
What is your morning drive to work like?
Do you leave before the sun even rises or do you get to enjoy some beautiful, fall mornings on the way?
Snap a photo of your morning drive and tag with #PASnapshots, I'd love to see it!
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We are told that many things can make us happy. Money, our own house, the perfect job, a spouse, recognition. Well, I don't have any of those things. So, does that make me unhappy? The opposite actually. Because I can finally say that I'm beginning to find true contentment where it truly lies, in Christ. I'm choosing to settle only for contentment in Christ and nothing less.
I don't ever want to settle for less than what God wants for me. Yet, there will always be a part of me that wants to settle. Because, a part of me thinks I consider settling, out of fear that what I have now will never come along again if I let it pass me by this time. And something is better than nothing, right?
No. Not if it is not what God has planned for me. If I settle, does it mean that I didn't search enough? Did I not do my part enough? Was I wrong to quit the full-time job? Am I enough for someone else? Maybe so or maybe not. But, if I settle, does it mean that I just quit trying? Does it mean that I quit believing in God's best for me?
God gave me the ultimate gift. He gave me His Son. And Christ died so that I may have life to the fullest, so that my complete satisfaction, my contentment, my freedom, can be found in Him and Him alone. All is lost if my contentment is to be found in money, the perfect job, or a husband. For my contentment to be true and lasting, it can only be found in the one thing that is true and lasting, Christ. Christ must be my contentment.
And if I am settling for contentment, in Christ and nothing less. Well, it really isn't settling after all. It's gaining everything that matters.
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Last week I shared how the Lord has given me a renewed hunger for His word. Reading the Word is no longer something that I just check off my to-do list, but a part of my day that I look forward to. The Bible is alive and convicting, but also full of promises and encouragement for us to hold on to. Through the years I've bounced around in how I do my quiet time and what kind of study I do. Usually I've been involved in a small group, or leading a group, and that determined what I did in my quiet time. I've gone through many daily devotionals, completed (for the most part) yearly one-a-day journal/devotionals, and I've just flopped open the Bible and read whatever page it landed on. Earlier this year, I started receiving the Today in the Word monthly devotional. A ministry of Moody Bible Institute.
Each month, the Today in the Word devotional has a different focus. Some months you will go through one book of the Bible, others you will bounce around to different passages throughout that related to one topic. For example, I've gone through the books of Job and Mark, done a month of love, and this month we are covering great sermons from the Bible.
It amazes me how each month has been a topic that I've been wanting to study more on, has been something I've needed to study, or been a topic that meets me right where I am, in whatever season of life I was walking. Mark was a book that I had been wanting to read for awhile and was one of the first monthly focuses I went through with Today in the Word. Job is an Old Testament book that always seemed daunting and hard to read. While it can be difficult to read, that month's devotional was one of my favorites and as I dug deeper into Job, it quickly became one of my favorite books of the Bible. I read Job in a season of my life when I needed it the most. That probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't received the Today in the Word devotional.
The layout is simple, telling you the passage to read at the top, and then a short, yet wonderfully written devotion that goes with that passage. At the bottom is a section to help you apply what you've read to your daily life (sometimes there are book recommendations here also). From this section I journal out what was discussed that day, how I can apply it in my life, what it challenged me to do, and usually a prayer. Today in the Word also includes a prayer request, usually for the ministry or Moody Bible Institute.
I have loved having the Today in the Word devotional to help revive my quiet time. It has been one of the big ways that the Lord has renewed my love for His Word. Without it, I probably would have never read Job, a book I normally shyed away from, but now love. I always look forward to getting my next issue in the mail, excited to see what we will learn about that next month. My mom recently saw the current issue and said she was interested in it, so I have signed her up to start receiving it! If you are interested in getting Today in the Word, you can sign up on their website or e-mail me your mailing address and I can sign you up!
What does your daily quiet time look like?
Do you have a specific devotional you follow, read a book at a time, bounce around?
Have you ever heard of Today in the Word?
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Today in the Word and Moody Bible Institute did not ask me to write this post or give me anything for it. I seriously enjoy this devotional and the studies they provide and wanted to rave all about it. :)
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2: 42-57
Friends, those verses above describe the first church and how church should be today. My church just recently relaunched and we are now going through Acts in our services and in our small groups. I have been enjoying it immensely! The book of Acts gives us great instruction and vision on how we, as believers, should meet with one another. The fellowship between believers that we read in the verses above is the kind of fellowship that I crave. I'm so thankful the Lord has given me a community that is willing to fight for and be in that kind of fellowship.
These verses show a devotion to the Word of God, to another another, and to prayer. This past year the Lord has given me a renewed hunger for His word. I love reading in general, but now I can truly say that I love the Word. It isn't just something I check off my to-do list now, but a time that I crave and enjoy. A time that convicts me, but also shows me where the Lord is taking me and reminds me of all that He has done for me. His Word truly is living.
And with a renewed love for the Word, the Lord has convicted me to renew my devotion to prayer. Honestly friends, it hasn't been much devotion. Yes, I pray and mostly throughout the day. But, I don't pray intentionally and boldly. They are mostly self-centered, empty promises, and if-then's to God. And daily I will begin to change this. So friends, this leads me to a question. How can I pray for you?
Yesterday I took to social media to ask this question. And you guys responded. I got facebook messages, text messages. So again, I'm coming and asking again. How can I pray for you? What do you need prayer for? What can I boldly and intentionally approach the throne of God with on your behalf? I have bold prayers for my life as well and I believe that the Lord hears us when we call His name. Do you? Let us today begin to live a life that is devoted to prayer.
How can I pray for you?
Send me an e-mail, facebook message, comment below. However and whatever you need prayer for, I want to boldly approach the throne with you. The Lord hears us when we call His name, so may we pray. How can I pray for you?
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Eating | All things fall related. Pumpkin cookies, sugar cookies with pumpkins on them, pumpkin muffins that are the epitome of fall in your mouth, chili, homemade buttermilk biscuits, crock-pot soups, and coffee. Which you don't really eat, but I'm including it anyways. And in an effort to take back my mornings and enjoy them, I'm going to try and actually eat breakfast in the morning. My day would go so much better I think.
Exploring | I would love to find some new places around me to explore for fall. Visiting a pumpkin patch would be so wonderful. I've only done that a couple of times and I always had so much fun! Also, for my birthday this year (27!!) I'm wanting to take maybe a weekend trip somewhere and maybe stay in an Air B&B. I've heard some good things and I think it would be a fun way to explore a new area. I want to go somewhere that is in driving distance, but somewhere I've never been before.
Wearing | Y'all, I was actually able to pull out my boots and that cardigan (pictured above and on your right) this past Sunday. I was so excited. Hasn't exactly gotten to scarf weather, but we are close. I'm choosing to believe! Also, I'm dying to pull out my flannel shirt I found last year. Fall weather is the best weather.
Admiring | How wonderful our God is. He never ceases to amaze me in the ways that He provides for me. Whether it's my car breaking down near where I go to Bible study, so I was near help. Or multiple friends offering me rides until I got it back. Or how He gives us beautiful days to enjoy with our windows down and music praising His name. He gives us great friends to walk through life with. And He gives us protection when we need it. He gives it all, whatever our need, He gives. Generously.
Collecting | Pictures for an October photo challenge that I found. Let's just say I'm cheating some days, because there are days that I forget about it. But, it's fun thinking about ways to capture the moment. I'll be sharing some soon!
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The fall following college graduation, I packed up my first apartment in two groups. Things that my parents would take back home and put into storage and things that would fit into two suitcases and a backpack that would come with me to California. Never would I have ever guessed that the Lord would lead me to California, but it opened up a whole new world to me and allowed me to visit places and meet people that would change me. I'm sad to say that I haven't shared a lot about my time on the West Coast, but I have been wanting to. What better way to start than by sharing photos of the beautiful and magnificent Yosemite National Park.
Yesterday was the the 125th birthday of Yosemite National Park! The land was first protected by President Lincoln in 1864, but didn't become a national park until October 1, 1890. Famous spots include El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and more. After spending time in the Tahoe area, the Sierra Nevada region of California is now one of my favorite places in our nation. It is absolutely gorgeous! From Lake Tahoe, to the rising mountains, tall pine trees, clear rivers, great hiking, and the beauty of deep snow in winter. Guys, I just love it. The trek to Yosemite from Tahoe City, is beautiful in itself with winding roads that take you farther and farther up and down through twists and turns. Then, after miles of trekking, you reach what they call the "Tunnel View" at Yosemite. It's your first glance into the park and one that will take your breath away. Guys, the Lord our God is a wonderful Creator and Yosemite National Park is one of His greatest. Enjoy this small glimpse into a beautiful and breathtaking part of our world.
Happy Birthday, Yosemite. Stay magnificent.
The Tunnel View before entering into Yosemite National Park. El Capitan is on the left, Half Dome seen in the middle, Three Brothers on the right, and Bridalveil Falls seen below Three Brothers. I can't explain my first thoughts when seeing the park. It was like the first time I saw the Grand Canyon, tears may have come to my eyes.
The view from Glacier Point. Half Dome is on the left (people climb this!) and Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls on the right.
Bridalveil Falls. The falls got its name because when the wind blows, the water mist seems to fly out and it looks like the veil of a bride.
El Capitan. Guys, when we first drove past this, it literally made me say, "Wow!" This is the largest granite monolith in the world! It is over 3,000 feet high and people come from all over the world to climb it.
Lower Yosemite Falls. You can't even see the Upper Falls in this picture and I wish this picture did it justice. But, it simply doesn't. The height of the falls and the sound of the rushing water are something to be seen for sure.
Mirror Lake. My absolute favorite stop while in Yosemite and this is probably one of my top favorite photos that I have ever taken. (It even looks amazing in black and white.) The reflections are absolutely stunning and the water is ice cold. I could have stayed in this one spot for hours.
Have you ever been to Yosemite National Park? If not, I truly hope you get to experience it one day.
What other National Parks have you visited?
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