Heart Choices: 2008-11-23 -->

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November Giving Thanks Challenge


The "Giving Thanks Challenge" was hosted by South Breeze Farm in Iowa. This is the second year it's been done and the idea was to encourage the attitude of thankfulness.

If you turn on the TV or read the newspaper today, there's plenty of bad news and reasons to become anxious. That's the reality of our world today. But we can make the choice to take time to focus on what's good and the things for which we are thankful. I've enjoyed writing blog posts on Thankful Thursdays and I know for a fact, that it's helped me with my own attitude. So, why not a whole month? After all, God has blessed me with much to be thankful for.

As you can read from my latest posts, I had the opportunity to attend the Women of Faith Conference last weekend. A very special thanks goes to my friend Helen who made this possible. Helen is my Elizabeth. You can read what that means by reading this blog post.

I'm also very thankful for Marlene who included us in her group. We were so blessed with excellent seats on the floor level. I couldn't believe it but ...we got to sit in the 1st row!!!

I'm so thankful for: my husband Greg, family, good health, strength and stamina, turkey and the fixings, my church family, bloggy friends, Twitter, Facebook, Classmates, coffee in the morning, good books, friends, freedom of speech and the ability to worship freely and the beauty of God's creation.

Living in Phoenix, the sun does shine most days but I was thrilled with the change in weather we had over the Thanksgiving holiday. It actually rained in Phoenix.

I took this picture from my upstairs patio. Isn't the sky beautiful?

This month, I also had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with one of my favorite families; my friends from San Antonio, TX. They were visiting relatives and took an afternoon to spend with me!

Jamie and Todd introduced me to their newest arrival; little Rachel. They now have five children and I can't believe the wonderful job they're doing. Jamie is home schooling and ... the results speak for themselves. Way to go, Jamie!

I'm also thankful for all the prayers for my friend Jeanie and her new husband Duane. You can link here to read about their situation. I spoke with Jeanie yesterday and she was pleased to report that Duane is now alert and responsive. He knows his new wife and can respond to verbal commands. This is a big thing! He's still on the ventilator and will require more surgery but at least this is positive news. Jeanie said to me, "God is working a miracle." So, keep on praying and thank you.

I'm really enjoying this thankfulness thing. The focus of the Heart Choices blog is to encourage people to make healthy choices; body, mind and spirit. And remember that our day to day choices determine what our tomorrows will become.

Will you make the choice to list what you're thankful for? I'd love to hear from you.


Good Things In Small Packages

Patsy Clairmont is a petite woman but ... she packs a lot of dynamo into that small body of hers. She can bring joy and laughter to almost any situation.

As a speaker for the Women of Faith conferences, she shares stories that truly touch the heart. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to hear her this past weekend.

Patsy spoke about her friend of 50 years named Carol who was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer has spread to other organs of her body. She has undergone chemotherapy and become quite weak and depressed.

Patsy wanted to be able to say something positive to Carol to help lift her spirits. She prayed and asked God to give her a verse from the Bible but the only one that kept coming to her was Genesis 1:3 "let there be light". In her lighthearted speaking style, she shared how it's not good to argue with God. But she told Him that maybe a Psalm might be more appropriate for this situation. And yet ... she kept hearing "let there be light".

So, she called Carol and said she had a word for her and repeated "let there be light". Carol was perplexed and thanked her but wasn't sure what that meant for her. She had an appointment with the doctor after her latest bone scan. He posted the films to discuss and told her that what he hoped to see was light. Light would indicate the areas where her own antibodies were fighting the cancer! Well, who would have known that but ...God!

Patsy said that this lifted Carol's spirits, knowing that God saw her pain and knew all the details of her struggle with cancer. I encourage you to watch her YouTube video as Patsy shares this story. You can link to her page here.

Do you want to say just the right words to a friend in need to offer encouragement but don't know what to say? Sometimes, simply being there beside a friend is best. Ask God to give you the words as Patsy prayed.

Patsy Clairmont is not only a great speaker. She's also up to date on the latest internet tools. Can you believe it? She's on twitter, a micro-blogging tool!

Panda444 Phoenix says thank you!!! I so enjoyed W of F. You're a pint sized dynamo. Hugs and God bless you all. 11:16 AM Nov 23rd
patsyclairmont Thanks. Phoenix was a hospitable place to close out our year. Thank-you for being there. 8:36 AM Nov 24th

She even responded to my twitter to her!!!! A big hug and thanks to Patsy Clairmont!


Weight Loss Perspective

Let's keep weight loss in perspective. Yes, we all know how hard it can be to lose weight but there are plenty of things in life that are worse.

That was Luci Swindoll's perspective when she spoke at the Women of Faith Conference this past weekend in Glendale, Arizona.

Luci shared a story of how she made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to see if surgery might be indicated for her painful knee. The surgeon told her that before he would operate she needed to lose 80 pounds! And her response? I CAN DO THAT! (I like that attitude.)

Luci continued to say how she picked up a diet book that her surgeon suggested and she began to follow it. One day she looked in the mirror and thought something about her looked different. She's a master story teller and squealed with delight to discover that she had lost TWO POUNDS! (I have to say that I might not have been so excited myself.)

But not Luci. She realized it was a start and that she was on her way. And do you know what? She's lost 40 pounds so far. Way to go, Luci! (Note to self: learn from this)

Luci said that she thought about how many people leave the doctor's office after receiving bad news that they have cancer or some other disease. And she was so grateful that all she had to do was to lose 80 pounds. What a great perspective!

Weight loss can be hard ... but it helps when you have a Luci Swindoll attitude!

So, let's quit complaining and start moving and eating healthier. After all, there could be worse things in life. Let's keep our perspective!

A Woman After My Own Heart

Nicole C. Mullen is so much fun! Not only is she a talented singer, dancer and speaker but she's also a great motivator. Let me tell you, after seeing her well developed arm muscles for myself, I am definitely motivated to increase my free weight exercises for sure.

I had the opportunity to see Nicole this weekend at the Women of Faith Conference held in Glendale, AZ. And let me tell you, she is high energy! No wonder she was the main attraction after lunch. When everyone returned to the arena a bit sluggish .. she had us on our feet dancing and singing.
I love women who are influencing the next generation. Nicole has an organization that mentors young women called Baby Girls Club. She also takes a group of very talented young dancers along with her when she performs. Her daughter Jasmine is a part of this group and she sang a song with her mother called "Black, white and tan". As a Christian, Nicole teaches that skin color makes no difference.

I first became aware of Nicole C. Mullen's music when Direct TV started airing musical holiday concert specials during Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July on channel 101. She is the winner of eight Gospel music Dove awards and I can see why.

If you need some good, fun music to work out to ...I think any of her CD's will get you moving and quickly. And at the same time, you might just have some fun.
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