Feb 27, 2014

book review//whispers of hope

"Prayerful lives are powerful lives"
Beth Moore
Several months ago, I was approached about reviewing Beth Moore's Whispers of Hope, a ten-week devotional focusing on prayer. I finally started it in late January and have gone through half of the devotional so far. It is a wonderful and helpful resource geared towards prayer and I wholeheartedly recommend it. 

Whispers of Hope consists of seventy daily devotionals that correspond to a Bible passage, main verse, and a prayer guide. This has become a great way for me to pray with the Word fresh on my heart and has allowed me to keep track of prayers so I can see God's faithfulness in answering those prayers in His timing. It has also reminded me of the importance of daily praising God, confessing my sin so that it does grow deep roots, surrendering to God's authority, and praying for others. 
The prayer journal section for each day consists of the acronym P.R.A.I.S.E.
 Lift up God's name and mention His character and attributes.
Confess sins as early as possible. Repent daily of wrongful actions and thoughts.
Ask God to make you aware of His authority in your life.
This list will never end! Pray for others!
Pour out your heart to Him regarding your own needs
Ask God to give you what you need to be victorious every day.
+ + +
Have you heard of or read Whispers of Hope? If so, what are your thoughts

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Feb 25, 2014

travel tuesday // san antonio adventures [pt. 2]

I have been missing in action the past few weeks from the blogging world, but am excited to share part two of my San Antonio adventures at the end of January. See part one [here]. 

We drove out nearly an hour from San Antonio to visit do some sight-seeing. The sun was bright but we wanted to venture through the dark underground beauty of the Natural Bridge Caverns.  At 180 feet below ground level, ancient formations of stalagmites, stalactites, and chandeliers decorate the limestone walls.
 Next door to the caverns is the Natural Caverns Wildlife Safari where we drove through acre upon acre, stopping to feed [a zebra almost bit me!] and admire various types of animals.
After our little adventures through caverns and a safari, we drove over the the adorable town of Gruene (pronouced 'green'). We had lunch at the amazing and well-known Gristmill Restaurant, meandered around the various shops, and listened to some good ol' live country music
What a fun day! I wish I could go back in time and enjoy the simplicity of wandering through natural beauty and the vintage town. 

Feb 7, 2014

hello february // goodbye january

My snowy view at one point during my 4 hour commute from my work yesterday [typically takes 35 minutes]
Wowzers, January is over. How did that just happen? And we're already done with the first week of February? Mind blown.  It seemed to fly by for me, but ended beautifully. I was able to visit a close friend in Texas last weekend and had an amazing time. January was also a month of intentional planning. I slowly went through Lara Casey's Goal-Setting series and prayerfully wrote plans for 2014. And for these goals to bear fruit, I need to keep myself accountable each month to what I am doing in reaching these goals. So, blogging friends, here are some of the more public goals I made for January and how I did/did not meet them, then I want to finish off with February goals!

January Goals
++  read one book every month [read 2 books] 
 ++ run/gym 2x/week [yes!]
  ++ meet blogging friends [skyped with Natalie]
++  invest more time in my younger brothers' lives [took one of my brothers to dinner after his basketball win!]
++ hang out with my "little sister" I mentor [sadly, this did not happen in Jan!]
++ memorize 1 verse/week [memorized 3 verses in Jan]
++ journal at least 3 gifts/blessings every night [yes!]
++ get off phone and computer by 11pm & no electronics in bed [I think this was true for 3/4 of the month, which is an improvement!]

February Goals
++ read one book [started Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by James Ford]
++ get back to hitting 3 miles 1-2/week by the end of Feb 
++ organize paperwork and do taxes by the end of Feb
++ hang out with "little sister" that I mentor
++ meet with one of my brothers for dinner to get to know him better
++ spend 1 hour each week reviewing journal articles and notes on nursing-related education
++ wake up earlier than my usual time so that I can start doing morning devotionals instead of leaving them for nighttime. I have been waking up the last 1.5 weeks before my alarm clock and have started doing devotionals in the morning and what a difference that makes!

[ See more of the goal-setting series in the link here. ]

Feb 4, 2014

Travel Tuesday // San Antonio [day I]

I wanted to start February with my monthly goals, but I realized I need to prayerfully consider them before I just post them for all to see. I want my goals to continue to be intentional and purposeful; not just something I halfheartedly put together so I can say I did it. So, until my heart and head agree on what goals I'll have in February, I wanted to share the first post of photos from my wonderful long weekend in San Antonio recently. It was a beautiful weekend full of reminiscing with friends who had moved down there in past years, making new friends, and exploring what the city has to offer. Come along for a photo adventure to Texas, y'all :)

I arrived in San Antonio to a blistery wind, but we all made the best of it and explored the historic part of downtown, namely the River Walk. As a network of beautifully landscaped walkways beside the San Antonio River, it is a tourist hub for fine dining and shopping... and in our case, just going for a long stroll and admiring the beauty around us.  We felt like we were in Venice!
 Does anyone recognize the platform below? There is a scene in Miss Congeniality that was filmed here, the Arneson River Theatre.
 I had SO much fun spending the weekend with these two gems!
 We walked through a street of beautiful historic buildings near the River Walk. 
 And then we saw the grandeur and old-time charm of The Menger Hotel
 We ended up walking to the Alamo! What an amazing opportunity to 
 Dinner at "Texas' worst BBQ", which ironically is known as one of the best places in town: Rudy's! I got to reconnect with great friends who moved down to San Antonio in the past years.
Such a joy to see these sweethearts!

Excited to share the second day in San Antonio next week!