During the month of November, I joined in with One Month of Thankfulness to take daily time to think about and reflect on things that I am thankful for. November always seems to be one of those months that leaves as quickly as it comes. We can spend most of our time in November thinking about our Christmas shopping that needs to be done rather than slowing down and taking the time to reflect on the blessings that surround us. I shared part one of this list a couple weeks back, check it out and then enjoy part two down below!
19. Going to the movies
20. Happy mail from friends
23. French press coffee
24. God's provision
27. Home-cooked meals
28. Saturday football watching with Dad
29. Quoting movies with Mom and Dad
What are some things you are most thankful for?
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It's amazing how one small thing can make a million memories come rushing back to you. Last night, my roommate announced that dinner was ready -- soup and rolls. I walked into the kitchen, filled my bowl with soup, a cup with water, and on the way to the living room juggled a roll in between the two. I sat down on the couch tuning into Ever After on the television and caught a glimpse of the Christmas tree in the corner as I took a bite of my roll. That one small bite immediately made me feel like I was back in Mississippi sitting at my grandparent's round table in their small, bottom floor apartment.
The holidays for me always open up a floodgate of memories. I remember that to get to my Dad's parent's apartment we had to drive down the "never-ending road", what my sister's and I called the interstate. Once off the exit we would take the road that passed in front of the shopping center that contained a Fred's and winded back eventually leading to the apartment. My Nanny loved Fred's, she always wanted to go inside. And anytime it was mentioned my Pop would just grunt, his equivalent of "no." I remember we always parked to the left of the apartment building and their's was the one under the staircase and to the left. It was a small place with equally small rooms, but around the holidays, it was full of people. You couldn't open the door without hitting someone. Pop was always in his chair, the round table behind him, Nanny in the kitchen. Deviled eggs and those rolls. Two things that will always take me back to that small apartment. That and Easter egg hunts. Because I'll never forget the year I actually found the golden egg with money inside. I'll also never forget returning to that apartment some time later to sort through all of their things after Pop's passing. Piles of photo albums, boxes and boxes full of tapes with Pop's preaching, and stacks of his Bibles that are now in my parent's house. Nanny moved in with us for a little while after Pop's passing and I remember sitting beside her on the couch as she checked her blood sugar every morning. I also remember her liking honey buns. Another something small that brings back memories every time I see a box of them in the grocery store.
Now, Nanny and Pop have both passed, but the memories will always stay. I pray they always stay. And I pray they always come flooding back with the bite of a roll or a deviled egg. Or the singing of Amazing Grace or whenever I look at a lake. Or whenever Mom makes duck dressing at Thanksgiving just like Nanny did. Or when we are flipping through old family photo albums, looking through Pop's typewritten sermons, or walking down the halls of the church where Pop's picture hangs on the wall. Or whenever the sweet, older ladies speak about how wonderful my Nanny was and they show us a picture they found with them and her laughing. Legacies and memories that I pray always stay.
And it makes me wonder what memories I'm making now. In fifty years, what small moment will take me back to this one today? What small moment will take me back to my small apartment, sitting on the couch eating soup with my roommate? What small moment will take me back to sharing Thanksgiving with my Mom and Dad in their home in Alabama, us around the table, enjoying family recipes, and resting on the couch. What small moment will take me back to cooking with Mom in the kitchen or watching football with Dad? What small moment will take me back to holding my niece or playing cards with my nephews? What small moment will take them back to memories of time spent with me? Small moments lead to big memories of legacies left. Enjoy the small, quiet moments. Because one day that something small memory, like a roll, will send you swimming into an ocean of memories.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Enjoy remembering the memories and enjoy making new ones!
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This post is part of the Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop hosted by Susannah.
The Pursuit of God written by A.W. Tozer is a book filled with ten chapters of eye-opening wisdom and words meant to encourage and deepen your faith. It may only be ten chapters, but they are best read slow and steady and maybe more than once. These chapters need to be read slow and poured over with great intensity. For the past ten weeks it's been my Saturday morning read. I would read one chapter each Saturday morning, because that was all my mind and heart could handle.
The Pursuit of God deepened and encouraged my walk with God immensely. It also convicted and struck me to my core. From the first chapter urging Christians to follow hard after God as he encouraged a "mighty longing after God" to the last in touching on the sacrament of living and how "it is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it." Each chapter is like a mini essay full of wisdom and captivating encouragement desperate to make us long and want more of God daily.
I read Tozer's book on my Kindle, so it is full of virtual highlights. But I will be buying a hard copy, because this is a book that will always need to be on my nightstand. It is one that you will always be able to open up and find a chapter relevant to whatever season or step in your pursuit of God you are in. Whether you want to know what the gaze of the soul really is or need the reminder that meekness and rest are found in Jesus alone. I highly recommend having a copy on hand, within grabbing distance, to be read often. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer has made it on the list of books I will read at least yearly.
When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us, for it is written that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth. The sweet language of experience is 'Thou God seest me.' When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth. -- A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Have you read "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer?
What is a book that has changed and challenged your faith in God for the better?
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I'm excited for this month's edition of The Circle! This has always been one of my favorite monthly link-ups and I've missed the past few, so I'm happy to be joining back in! The Circle is hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, and friend, Kiki, from In Its Time and this month is co-hosted by another favorite blogger of mine, Elena from Beautiful Hope. Kiki and Elena challenged us to write an acrostic poem using the word THANKFUL. I think this is perfect for the month of November, because Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this is the best time to slow down and reflect on all the blessings we have been given. I shared in my post yesterday that the holiday season can be busy and tiring for many people. We fret over the number of weeks we have left to shop or over the dinners we have to get cooked. It's easy to forget that the holidays are the perfect and best times to slow down, relax, remember and praise God for his blessings, and enjoy the time with our family and friends. The world can be turmoil all around us and things can be happening that we may not understand, but through it all there is thanksgiving. And we have much to be thankful for.
Trees. Full of new life and greenery in the spring, giving shade in the summer, turning beautiful colors in the fall, and the stark beauty of bare trees with twinkle lights in the winter. I love trees.
Hot Coffee. Especially on cool, fall mornings when I can return back to bed for a few minutes with my cup.
Aunthood. Being an aunt is one of the best things! I'm so thankful for the four of them and the happiness they bring.
Netflix. Thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from and allows me to binge watch my favorites like FRIENDS and Gilmore Girls. I'm currently addicted to Fixer Upper.
Kids. I've always been surrounded by them, whether it be at church or work. They have taught me patience, gentleness, love, and how to have fun by doing the simplest things.
Family and friends. The people who help make the holidays special, the people I can text or call whenever, the people who give me joy, the people who invite me into their homes, the people who do life with me. The real MVPs.
Undeniable love. I have to admit that this is a take away from Kiki's unconditional love. I was struggling with the "u" in this poem, but when I saw hers it was perfect! I'm so thankful for the unconditional love of God, that in every season of life, wherever I may walk, his love remains the same. And I'm thankful that his love is undeniable. In now knowing and experiencing his love, there is no way I can avoid it. His love is great, merciful, unconditional, and undeniable. God is love. "...but the greatest of these is love."
Laughter. Whether it be the chuckles or giggles of children or the deep belly laughter that makes you lose your breath, laughter can truly be great medicine. When laughter happens, those are the moments I want to remember.
What are you THANKFUL for this month?
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If you have been around this blog at any point around the holidays, you've probably read where I talk about the holidays being a major struggle for singles. Well, at least for this single the holidays can be rough. Family and friends do make the holidays so very wonderful, but it never fails that around this time I start thinking about traditions I could be having with someone by my side. I have dreams of what the holidays could look like in the future, but those dreams are just prayers right now. For now, I'm single and I'm determined to create my own traditions that one day I may or may not get to share with someone else.
One of these new traditions is to properly celebrate the month of November. This poor month can often get overlooked or made to pass by too quickly. The end of October brings Halloween and with it parties, candy, costumes, and fun events. Then, November quickly comes, but our minds may focus more on Christmas and how we only have a certain amount of weeks to get all the shopping done. Thanksgiving, to me, is a wonderfully overlooked holiday. It's a time where we can slow down and intentionally spend time with our family and friends. Christmas is busy! Thanksgiving just seems relaxed and slowed down. This year, I wanted to be intentional in remembering November and the time of thanksgiving that it brings. One of those ways has been to daily take time to think about things that I am thankful for. And with us being halfway through November already and Thanksgiving next week(!), I'm sharing part one of my list of things I'm thankful for. I'll share part two the first of December.
1. The Bible and a hunger for the Word of God
3. Alone Time
4. Slow, quiet mornings
6. Morning light pouring through the windows
7. Home with my parents
8. Redemption Church
10. My Grow Group
11. Children's Ministry
13. Friday night nachos and drinks
14. Saturdays in bed with books
15. Sunday naps
What are you thankful for this month?
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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!
Downtown Mobile has a couple of hidden gems on its walls. You'll just be casually walking down the street, you turn a corner, and then wham! You are face to face with a giant mural. I happen to love them. This one especially because it is a tribute to music and has such vibrant, fun colors. Plus, it looks like a party! And there is a reason for a party today!
This time last year, I shared my first #SnapshotsOfMobile post. I love capturing the little moments or the little things that we may always pass by. I also believe in being a tourist in your own hometown, especially when it has a lot to offer. Yes, I live in a city now, among the hustle and bustle, but I've also lived in a small town with four stoplights. I only wish that I had started this series then, because maybe I would have learned to appreciate it more while I was there.
There is always something beautiful around us waiting to be captured.
Take a snapshot and don't miss it.
Want to help celebrate one year of the #SnapshotsOfMobile series?
Take a snapshot of your own and tag it with #PASnapshots on Instagram and I'll share some of my favorites in the next Snapshots post!
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Cooking | Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas! This recipe seems to be a staple for me now. I made it a couple weeks ago and I'm putting it together again today! I love it because it's fast, easy, gives me lunch and dinner for several days, and super yummy! Not too mention, it makes the apartment smell soo good.
Planning | Birthday trip! I mentioned this last time, but I want to go somewhere fun to celebrate my birthday this year. Only requirements are that it be somewhere within driving distance (7 or 8 hours I can do) and somewhere I've never been before. If you have any ideas, throw 'em out at me!
Smelling | Fall Scentsy smells! When turned on, my scentsy warmer can fill up my entire apartment. Right now I'm melting some great fall smells like Farm Apple Pumpkin!
Appreciating | That the Lord is reminding me that when I feel empty, He will fill me again. And He fills me with grace, mercy, love, and His strength.
Anticipating | The holiday season! The holidays can be overwhelming for me, but this year I'm going to try and push those overwhelming things aside. I want to focus on what the holidays really mean and how they give me time with my family and friends. My mom's birthday was on Halloween and that really seems to kick off the season. Next is my dad's birthday, then Thanksgiving will be here, and Christmas before you know it! I can't wait to see my sister and sweet niece again. Then, the start of The Golden Year, I turn 27! on the 27th of December. I apologize now for how much I may repeat "The Golden Year." :)
What are you currently up to?
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P.S. We surpassed 100 "likes'! You guys are the best!