Heart Choices: May 2008

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Look for the Rainbow

I love rainbows! Because it rarely rains in Phoenix, Arizona I don't get to see many of them. But whenever it does rain, I'm always searching the sky when it stops to find a rainbow.

I remember when I was a children's leader in Bible Study Fellowship. The year we taught the little three and four year olds the Book of Genesis, they became so excited about rainbows. You see, in the 9th chapter of Genesis in verses 12-16, God made a covenant with Noah after the flood that He would never destroy the earth again with a flood. The rainbow was to be a sign or reminder of this covenant. Every time it rained, the children would start looking for a rainbow and could tell their moms what it meant. Children learn so easily!

I want to make that heart choice to notice and find joy in everyday things like rainbows. To have an awareness of the many blessings each day, no matter whether it's sunny or rainy and to always remember to look for the rainbow.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is tomorrow and how easy it is to view it as a day off from work or an extra day to get things done. But this year I want to make the choice to remember the people who gave their lives for the freedoms I often take for granted.

I am so grateful to live in a country where I have the freedom of speech. I can speak my mind, even if it's in disagreement with the government.

I'm also grateful for the freedom to worship openly wherever I choose. Our founding fathers were very wise to allow for religious freedom. You cannot mandate that people worship in one particular way. After all, you can keep the "rules" outwardly but rebel inwardly. True worship is a heart choice. I want my outward actions to demonstrate what I believe in my heart.

I am so grateful to the people in the military who are serving to protect our country. Although many in the press criticize our war efforts in Iraq, there are reports of improved conditions. I've read about women who are now able to attend school and a park that was recently reopened to the public so families could have fun. In the recent past, it was a place for sniper attacks and totally unsafe for families.

I'm most grateful to God. I'm thankful for His love and for the freedom I have in Christ.

Katie in NYC

Here's Katie with her cup of java outside Mama Mia, a great play we saw together.

Only in New York Week

New York City is one of my favorite places to visit. Growing up on Long Island, it was easy to take the Long Island Railroad into the city for some fun and excitement. It was about an hour ride from Lindenhurst to Penn Station and the atmosphere was night and day. I loved the uniqueness of the city and the wide assortment of things to do. But I also looked forward to returning home to our quieter village. However, I loved living so close the the city so I could visit whenever I had the train fare.

My niece Katie recently made the daring move to the Big Apple. She has grown up in Florida her whole life and longed for a change. After graduating from beauty school, she wanted to get some real world experience in the big city so she packed her bags and made her move this past month. I've been sending her some links for things to check out. While I was exercising on the treadmill, Live with Regis and Kelly happened to be on and they mentioned that this week would be "Only in NY Week". They would highlight some of their favorite places to go and eat. You can click on the image above to link to their website and view videos of some of their favorites.

Speaking of Heart Choices, Katie made a choice to try life in a new city far from home. I applaud her for her courage and I pray for her safety. I also feel a bit responsible for introducing her to NYC as I took her there for her first visit after she graduated from high school. However, she has secured an apartment and her first job at a salon on 5th Ave! Here is the link to the salon: AKS Salon.

The Practice of Gratefulness

I am so grateful for my daily early morning quiet times. What a great way to start the day! It seems like the first cup of coffee always tastes the best.

I've established a habit of reading my Bible, praying and often reading a devotional or two. Occasionally, if I have time, I'll read a chapter or two from a current book I'm reading. Lately, I've been reading "Radical Gratitude" by Ellen Vaughn.

Ellen writes about becoming more aware of all that we have to be grateful for. She is a wonderful story teller and relates stories of her childhood. I loved how she wrote about how certain smells can instantly evoke memories from years ago; like the smell of a perfume her mother wore or the smell of sheets hanging out to dry. I instantly related as I remembered some of my own memories. She reminds us that as we open our eyes to all we can be grateful for, we often become more grateful people in general.

I know I can put my head down and get so absorbed in work or worries and not notice the sunrise or the beautiful mountains that surround me. I am thankful for the reminder of taking the time to notice and appreciate the specialness of the many things, people and opportunities that I've been given. Thank you Ellen, for reminding me of the heart choice I can make to be a thankful person.
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