Heart Choices: September 2009

Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style

Over The Top Award

I was honored to receive the Over the Top blog award from Heatheroz of Oswald Cuties. Heather is a new blogging friend of mine and I'm just getting to know her. She's a mom of four and has such a beautiful face.

I loved reading Heather's answers to this fun quiz as it helped me to get to know her better. Thank you Heather! BTW, I hope you'll go to visit the Oswald Cuties. They really are too cute!

Here are the rules (I hate that word; LOL):

  1. You can use only one word!
  2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers!
  3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
  4. Have fun!

So, here goes:

  1. Where is your cell phone? Hiatus
  2. Your hair? Blonde
  3. Your mother? Heaven
  4. Your father? Home
  5. Your favorite food? Salmon
  6. Your dream last night? None
  7. Your favorite drink? Coffee
  8. Your dream/goal? Writer
  9. What room are you in? Office
  10. Your hobby? Blogging
  11. Your fear? Failure
  12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Traveling
  13. Where were you last night? Bed
  14. Something that you aren't? Singer
  15. Muffins? Tops
  16. Wish list item? Watch
  17. Where did you grow up? NY
  18. Last thing you did? Type
  19. What are you wearing? Sweats
  20. Your TV? Big
  21. Your pets? None
  22. Friends? Many
  23. Your life? Stressful
  24. Your mood? Determined
  25. Missing someone? Mom
  26. Vehicle? Lexus
  27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
  28. Your favorite store? Online
  29. Your favorite color? Red
  30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
  31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
  32. Your best friend? Helen
  33. One place that I go to over and over? Bathroom
  34. One person who emails me regularly? Noreen
  35. Favorite place to eat? Postino

And now I get to pass this award to 6 of my favorite bloggers:

  1. Nananor of Life's Blessings
  2. Kim of Homesteader's Heart
  3. L-Jay of My Little Norway
  4. Mary of Pile of Smiles
  5. BP of Raindrops & Rainbows
  6. Charlotte of At Home in Scottsdale

I have lots of other favorite bloggers but I hope you'll visit a few of the ones I chose today.

It was actually fun to participate in this one. But it was hard to always come up with a one word answer. My husband says I'm a woman of many words so I'm thankful to ...be able to blog.


In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Trust

It's In Other Words Tuesday and Jennifer of Scraps & Snippets is hosting this week. Jennifer chose the following quote for us:

“Believer . . .banish your fears; cast out all doubts; lift up the happy head; clap the exulting hands; rejoice; give thanks. Your heavenly Father cannot set you in wrong place. Your loving Savior cannot lead you in wrong paths. All is well.”
by Henry Law

When I think about banishing my fears and casting out all of my doubts, the subject of trust comes to mind. Because there's no way I can do this ...without trust.

As a believer, the object of my faith and trust is Jesus. I know that He is trustworthy. Even if people may have let me down in life, Jesus never will.

When I consider:

  • He loves me
  • He formed me in my mother's womb
  • He knows me better than I do
  • He knows my innermost desires
  • He knows what's best for me
  • He has my best interests at heart
  • He's more interested in my character than in my comfort

So, I can rejoice and clap my hands because I can trust Him wherever He leads me. His path is good and right. So, all is well!


How To Experience Autumn in Phoenix

Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of year. I remember the crispness in the air, the changing of the leaves and school starting. After all, I grew up on Long Island in New York.

But since I now live in Phoenix, I need to choose to be more creative.

Did you know we have to wait until about November before it feels like fall weather here? But I have to say that I don't miss the cold winters in NY. That's when I remember why I've grown to ...love Arizona.

There are ways to experience autumn while living in Phoenix. Did you know we can drive two hours north and experience the changing seasons in Flagstaff? And it can be done in a day or a weekend very easily.

Greg and I used to own a home in Flagstaff and made the drive every weekend for about 8 years. We loved lighting our fireplace and cuddling under our down comforter. But then we'd drive back to Phoenix, returning to warmer weather for the week. It was a great mix while it lasted.

But now I enjoy decorating my house for this season, even though I still have the air conditioning on. I unpack the candles and arrange a centerpiece on the kitchen table. I especially love the scented candles that smell like fall.

Have you ever made Paula Deen's recipe for her Pumpkin Gooey Cake? It's so delicious but ...oh so many calories.

I love to pull out some of my favorite photos of friends. BTW, today is my friend Jamie's birthday and this is a picture of four of her kids. She now has five.

Happy Birthday Jamie!

As a blogger, I get to visit many friends from all over online. Some of you may already follow Beth in North Carolina of I'm Heading Towards My Destiny.

But did you know that she and her husband have a corn haze? I may not be able to visit their Green Acres in real life but ...I can visit online.

I'd get lost in that corn maze! I told Beth it would make a great jogging trail. If I lived closer, I'd be by for some fun and a visit. But thanks to the internet, I can almost experience a personal tour.

So, no matter what's going on in your life you can ...choose your response.

It may still feel like summer in Phoenix, but I'm choosing to still get into the spirit of fall. Apples, pumpkins, scented candles.

How about you? How do you experience autumn?


Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Amber Thompson

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I join up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Yesterday I wrote about a teenager named Lexi. In case you missed it, I highly recommend you read it. Lexi is Jill's daughter of Foreven N Ever N Always. She's an unusual teen in this day and age and I love to highlight some of the good things this younger generation is doing. It really gives me ...hope for the future!

I decided to post a song that I first heard on a Gaither DVD called "Heaven". I watched it not long after my mom died. The entire DVD is wonderful and was so comforting to me.

The song is called "Jesus, I Heard You Had A Big House" and it is sung by another teenager named Amber Thompson. She sings with The Nelon's along with her mother Kelly Nelon Clark and Jason Clark and she's 18 years old now. But when this song was recorded, she was much younger. I'm so glad she's still singing though. She has such a pure voice. I hope you enjoy it!


Lexi Is No Typical Teenager

When you think of teenagers, what first comes to mind? Self absorbed, don't want to be seen with their parents, and moody might be a few.

Well, I want to introduce you to someone who doesn't fit that mold. Is she a teenager? YES she is but ...she's just the opposite of most teens I know.

Her name is Lexi and she just happens to be the daughter of Jill of Forever n Ever n Always. If you know Jill, you won't be surprised that she'd have a daughter who also loves children and cares about others. After all, she has 7 brothers and sisters. She is tech savvy but I think that's a good quality.

Lexi started a not for profit organization called Jumps4Joy. She even has a blog that you can visit. I asked if I could interview her because I wanted to stimulate some word of mouth about this worthy cause.

I also wanted people to see that not all teens are self-absorbed and concerned only about themselves. There's hope for this next generation and ...Lexi is a great example.Here's a list of questions I emailed to Lexi along with her answers:

1. Most teenagers your age are more focused on themselves. You have such a heart for others, especially children. How did this come about?

God truly has remolded me over the years I have been a teenager and He has given me a heart to serve children in 3rd World Countries. I think it all started when I went on my first missions trip with
Compassion International to Guatemala. I don't think I truly realized how poverty stricken the children we sponsored were until I literally stepped into their 2 room house with tarps as a roof and tin slates as walls. I will never forget the moment when we asked a mother where
their "toilet" was and she looked at us like we had 3 heads and said very plainly, "There isn't one". The only latrine that we would actually recognize as a toilet was a few miles away. Also being able to see where my siblings have come from made a difference in my walk with God. Its so humbling to see people in need and then hear them give
thanks for the little belongings they do have.

2. What is it like being the oldest of 8 children? Do you ever get time alone? Do your siblings look up to you as an example?

Being part of a big family is lots of fun. Yes, there are always going to be hard days...but we all work together because its what God calls each of us to do. I go to a co-op one day a week and have multiple music lessons and dance lessons. I am also super busy with school and jumps 4 joy stuff, so, I am never really bored. =)

Yes, all of my siblings look up to me and I know it is a big responsibility. When I read God's word, He shows me how I need to act and conjure myself as to be a godly role model for my siblings.

3. Have you had the opportunity yet to visit any of the countries where your brothers and sisters came from?

Yes, I have visited Guatemala 4 times but have not had the
opportunity to travel to Africa yet. =)

4. I know you’re only 15, but do you have any idea what direction God is leading you for your life in the future?
Well, I know God is calling me to minister to children, whether it be in Africa or Central America, I'm not sure. I have felt the call of God to help them and thats one reason why I started Jumps 4 Joy. I also love
my teen generation and I would also love to be a teen speaker to encourage teens to step out of their comfort zone and do hard things. The book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris inspired me to start Jumps 4 Joy. I LOVE this book and encourage all ages to read it!

5. On a real personal note, how is it to have Jill as your mom? J (I think she’s awesome.)

She is totally awesome. I love you mom!!

6. Is there any lesson you’ve learned that has impacted your life the most?

Reading the book, Do Hard Things, really made me look at how I was living my life. Was I wasting it? Was I living the desires of God? Or the desires of myself? On September 19th, I was privileged to go to the Do Hard Things (The Rebelution) Tour in Washington D.C. I got to meet Alex and Brett and their sessions were amazing. I learned so much
about myself and how the low expectations of the world and our minds can put shackles around what we believe teens are capable of. 100 years ago, teens were getting married, getting their first job at 9, becoming captains of their own ships at 12, and becoming the only nurses in their village to the sick. You look around now, and you think, "These teens were once active and successful?" It's so sad and teens are capable of so much more than the world expects us to do.
Doing hard things is following the desires of God and surpassing your limit to do something bigger than yourself.

Lexi, you rock! So, what can you do? I'm so glad you asked.


Thankful Thursday ~ Simplicity

It's Thankful Thursday and for the second week in a row, I'm soooo glad. And no, that wasn't a typo. LOL. It's just so good for me to focus on what I'm grateful for. As I've written before, this is a very trying time in my life.

Laurie of Women Taking A Stand is our host. She has chosen the theme of ...SIMPLICITY.

It's kind of funny to me but I really do crave simplicity. But my life is far from simple right now. I've had to focus my energy on helping my hubby in his company. I've not had much time for recreation and fun. Working all day from my computer keeps me at home most of the time.

However, I've learned much about what's really important. And being at home, there are some advantages and for that ...I'm thankful.

Simplifying has provided certain benefits such as:

  • Saving gas money
  • No time for shopping (and spending money on things I don't really need)
  • Realizing that I don't need material things to make me happy.
  • I use my Kindle (it was a gift) and so I don't accumulate so many books to store.
  • I've sold china, coins, jewelry and much more on eBay and got cash.
  • I don't need to buy trendy clothes. I have a few expensive classic pieces that last forever and never go out of style.
  • I've started to grow herbs to use for cooking. It saves money too.
  • I make 99.9% of our meals at home from scratch.
  • I download recipes online for free.
  • I use a small line dryer instead of using my indoor dryer for clothes, except for sheets and towels. It saves money and I love the smell.
  • I love to start my day in quiet time (prayer, Bible and journal) and coffee of course.

So, here are a few photos of my favorite things about simplicity.

Fresh basil smells so good!

I love the smell of clean clothes. I have a much smaller and collapsable line dryer.

I know exactly where to go to find my source of joy and fullfillment. It's not found in any material things, activities or people. It's found in my relationship with the Lord. And for that ...I'm eternally thankful and grateful.

I feel better already. See what focusing on being thankful can do for your attitude?


Where Do You Turn For Comfort?

How often do you seek comfort in the midst of trials? Do you pray and ask God to please take away all of your problems or pain?

It seems like most people are going through trials of some kind lately. Christians are not immune. Contrary to some popular preaching on health, wealth and prosperity … we are told to expect trials.

I'm over at Laced with Grace today so if you'd like to read the rest of this devotional, I hope you'll visit me there.


Why You Should Read Heart Choices

Heart Choices is a blog about how your day to day choices determine ...what your tomorrows will become.

Your choices impact body, soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit.

This tag cloud provides a visual snapshot of what Heart Choices is all about.

A few points:

  • I love to blog!
  • I love to meet new friends through our blogs.
  • I'm a Christian who loves to share the love of Jesus with others.
  • My background includes working as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.
  • I'm a life long learner.
  • I choose to focus on being grateful despite ongoing challenges.
  • I am learning to be more transparent and real.

I welcome ALL people to visit Heart Choices. We may not agree about everything but I enjoy interesting discussions, as long as they are respectful. I hope you'll come back and visit again.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Let The Words

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

This past week has been very challenging. Between a personal situation and concern for my sister Christine after her sudden eye surgery, it helps me to see how other people handle adversity.

When I think of Jennifer Rothschild ... I realize how fortunate I am.

Jennifer Rothschild is completely blind. She wasn't born blind. When she was 15 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare eye disorder and she progressively became blind. However, she is so talented.

Not only does she sing and play the piano but she is also ...a well known Christian speaker and author.

I've had the privilege of hearing her speak and sing in person at my church. She was our keynote speaker at our women's conference one year. And I even got the phone call from her husband accepting the invitation for her to speak. What a pleasure she was!

Her latest Bible study is "Me, Myself & Lies". Listen as she sings "Let The Words". The lyrics and melody are simple and repetitive. But I think they are worth repeating over and over. How often do the words we speak get us into trouble?

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Remember to choose your words carefully and ...listen more than you speak.


Update on My Sister Christine

(image credit: Sarah Dawn)

Thank you for your prayers for my sister Christine. If you haven't read my post about her need for surgery, you can access and read it here. I was able to speak with her briefly last evening after the retinal surgery. She is at home recuperating. She sounded groggy from sedation but otherwise good and optimistic as always. She's overwhelmed with gratitude for all of your prayers and concern.

Chris was in surgery over two hours. There was much scar tissue and the surgeon found thinning in her retina, which he said might be a hereditary condition. My mom had a history of several near retinal detachments. But the bottom line for my sis is that there was much damage and it will take 6-9 weeks for her retina to fully reattach. I don't know yet if there will be any permanent damage to her vision.

In the meantime, there is a disciplined schedule of lying in specific postions. For four hours, she has to lie face down and one hour up and then repeat the process for the first week. The second week is three hours down and one hour up. The surgeon told her this would help with the full reattachment of her retina. Needless to say, this will be challenging for a person used to being very active.

Praise the Lord for good friends who agreed to cover for her at Christine's consignment store Clothes Line Too for at least three weeks. Thank you for helping out like this.

I want to thank each one of you for your prayers for Christine. The outpouring of love and encouragement has overwhelmed both me and my sister. I want to add a special thank you to Philip from Cyprus for posting the request for prayer on his Traveling blog and to BP of Raindrops & Rainbows for sending Chris a get well card.

Much love from,


Thankful Thursday ~ His Masterpiece

I'm so glad it's Thankful Thursday because I needed it. So much has been going on in my life lately, that I really needed to take some time to choose to focus on what I'm thankful for.

Laurie of Women Taking a Stand is our host and she has chosen "His Masterpiece" as our theme. You can link to her blog and join in or visit other participating blogs.

I know that I'm a work in progress. The Lord isn't finished with me yet. And I'm so thankful that He hasn't given up on me, despite my desire to be in control. Sometimes it takes going through very difficult seasons to finally realize I'm not in control.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do."
Ephesians 2:10

God not only looks at where I am today but He knows what He has planned for me in the future. I want to cooperate and not insist on being in control. To completely surrender to His will takes ...faith, trust and obedience.

But I know He is trustworthy. I believe He is using me to be salt and light to spread the love of Christ to others.

I'm so thankful that:

  • I've been given the gift of friendship from people all over the world. On Tuesday, I wrote a post asking for prayer for my sister Christine. I am overwhelmed (and so is Chris) with the response. Even my friend in Cyprus, reposted what I had written on his blog and also translated it into Greek. You can read it here. As a result, Christine has been prayed for by people from far corners of the world. How awesome is that? And thank you Philip.
  • God has entrusted me with people who don't yet know Him as their personal Savior. I have to live dependent on Him so that the fruit of the Spirit is evident as I trust Him to live in a God honoring way despite many trials. I'm so thankful for the privilege of His presence in my life.
  • I am so thankful for the internet. It may sound wierd to some of my friends but it has become such a ministry and a way to connect with people I would never have had the opportunity to meet. I've met many new relatives from Norway, established friendships with people from all over the world and truly come to love and pray for so many.
  • I'm thankful that God uses my trials to pray and encourage others. There's nothing like understanding a situation when you've also walked in the same shoes. We are able to comfort and encourage one another.

I could go on and on and for that I'm thankful. Being thankful changes my perspective. And then I remember to focus my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith.

How thankful I am that He hasn't given up on me and that He is chiseling away the areas in my life ...that don't reflect Christ.


Pray for My Sister

My sister Christine needs your prayers.

She's been experiencing black floaters in her eye for some time now. Because she's a small business owner, she doesn't have health insurance due to the high cost.

One of Chris' customers was concerned about her. She brought an optometrist into Chris' consignment shop. He became quite alarmed and gave her the name of an opthamologist that he recommended. He insisted it was an emergency.

My sister found out that her retina is almost completely detached and because she didn't seek help earlier there's much scar tissue. So her future vision in this eye most probably will be impaired.

The surgery is quite costly but thankfully the Lion's Club has been so kind to her. After completing the forms, they agreed to pay for Christine's surgery. Praise the Lord!

Chris is so grateful and hopes to arrange a fashion show to benefit the Lion's Club in return for their kindness.

Chris is asking for prayer.
The surgery will be this Thursday, September 17. I assured her that I would write a post and ask my blogging friends to join in and pray for her too.

Since it's vital for her to work and drive in the future, she's praying that her sight would not be permanently affected.

She also needs coverage for her consignment store called Clothes Line Two in Clearwater, Florida. Since she's the sole owner, she doesn't have employees. However, she has wonderful giving friends who have offered to work for her while she's recuperating at home.

BTW, if you live in the Clearwater area of Florida maybe one day you can stop in and say hello to Christine. Tell her you're a friend of her sister Debbie of Heart Choices. She's very friendly and lovable. After all, she's my baby sister.

Thank you in advance for your prayers.


In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Affliction and Faith

I have the privilege of hosting "In Other Words Tuesdays" today. If you're not familiar with this meme, let me explain.

Each week we are given a quote and all participating bloggers write about that quote. I find it a wonderful writing exercise. I enjoy visiting the other blogs to read their unique take. If you'd like to participate, simply enter your direct link below on MckLinky.

The quote I choose for this week is:

"Affliction will either warm you up toward spiritual things or turn you cold."
Joni Eareckson Tada "A Lifetime of Wisdom: Embracing the Way God Heals You"

As I think about Joni Eareckson Tada's life, I'm amazed at the way she has handled affliction. I remember hearing the story of her diving accident as a teenager and how she suddenly found herself a quadraplegic. She was totally dependent on others for simple things like eating and wiping her tears.

I love her honesty as she admits that it took some time to adjust to this new way of life. She went through stages of anger and she voiced them to God. Eventually, she came to the point of acceptance and has been used by God as an advocate for the disabled. Speaking, writing, music and art are a few of her talents that have inspired me.

I've also met people who have turned away from God because of afflictions. I knew an elderly woman who was so angry with God after losing her 18 year old son to leukemia. She couldn't understand why God would take her son away and she became very bitter.

When I met her she was suffering with chronic congestive heart failure. We had many talks about her relationship with God. I'm thrilled to write that she eventually came to the point of surrendering her bitterness and seeking forgiveness as we prayed together. She invited Jesus into her heart and ...three days later she died.

What a merciful and patient God we serve!

As I go through my own afflictions, my desire is to grow closer in my walk with the Lord. I may not understand the whys of my situation. But I know the One to whom I can look and depend on ...no matter what.

How about you? How do you respond to affliction?


When Your World Turns Upside Down

(Photo credit: Tina Anderson)

Have you ever felt like your world has turned upside down? Do you look around and wonder ...how did I ever get to this place?

Lately, that seems to be more common than you may think. Can you identify with any of the following?

  • Job layoff
  • Unable to pay your bills
  • Rebellious children
  • Miscarriage
  • Death of someone very close to you
  • Owing more than your house is worth
  • Chronic illness
  • Cancer
  • Depression

My friend Sue gave me a book called "The Upside of Down" by Dr. Joseph M. Stowell. I've found much wisdom as I read the pages of this book.

We all have trials in this life. As believers, the Bible says to expect trials.

But we do have a choice as to ...how we respond.

Do we learn the lessons that these trials provide? Do we learn to persevere?

I wrote another post called Life Isn't Easy concerning some of the reasons we may suffer trials.

But have you ever gotten to the point of feeling overwhelmed by the trials?

I know that for me, there are times when I tend to isolate myself because it's too hard to put on a happy face. And yet, I'm not the type of person who goes around like a martyr or wanting people's sympathy. I'm a fighter and I don't give up easily.

But sometimes it's just hard to go about normal activities like going to church or meetings with friends. When they greet you with a smile and say "how are you?". Do they really want to know or are they just being polite?

I think people are often uncomfortable about what to say when they know you're going through difficulties.

So, here's a few of my thoughts for people who have friends who are in the midst of suffering:

  • Sometimes the best thing is say nothing
  • Don't give advice about what they should do
  • Don't try to cheer them up by saying something like things will get better
  • Listen more than you speak
  • Don't judge them and tell them what they're doing wrong unless it's blatant sin
  • A simple hug is wonderful
  • Send a card telling them you're thinking of them and praying for them
  • Let your friend know you're there for them

I may be way off base with this and so I'm open to your suggestions and thoughts on this topic. Maybe you have a friend who is going through difficulties or maybe you are the one? Why not share what you do or what helps you during these times?


Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ I'm Clean

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders. On the day after 9/11, I wanted to share a story of transformation.

If you've never heard the testimony of Calvin Hunt, I hope you'll take the time to listen to this video. You'll be encouraged as you hear his story and amazing voice.

If you still have any unsaved loved ones, do not give up. Keep praying and sharing the love of Jesus. There is nothing that is ...too hard for our God.

Calvin Hunt is a man who was once addicted to crack cocaine. His wife prayed continually for him. Listen as Calvin is interviewed and learn how his wife's prayers were answered in an amazing way. He now sings in the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The words to the song "I'm Clean" have such meaning when you realize how the Lord forgave him and ...he's finally free.

Do you have any doubts that God can change any man's heart?


Remembering 9/11

We must never forget 9/11/01. The US has not been the same since that fateful day. We still live in a world that is uncertain and ...we must be on guard.

I was at home that morning. Since I live in Phoenix, AZ we are three hours behind NY time. I had Fox Cable News on while I was getting ready for a Bible Study Fellowship leader's meeting. I watched in horror as the plane hit the second tower.

How could this be happening? I was thankful I was able to pray with the other BSF leaders as we gathered for our meeting that morning.

I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. I've been to the city so many times and always remember the NY skyline with the Twin Towers. I've returned to NYC many times since then and each time I go I always visit this site.

It's eerie to see the hole where the Towers once stood. There is a list of all of the names of the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

I love Alan Jackson's song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning".

We need to continue to pray for our country, now more than ever. Let us not become complacent. And let's never forget"


Thankful Thursday ~ Undeserved Kindness

It's Thankful Thursday and I realize how good this meme really is for me. When you're going through many trials (challenges), it's easy to dwell on what's wrong. But that's not how I choose to live.

I choose to remember that I can be thankful ...in the midst of the storm.

The reason I can live this way is because ...I trust the Lord with my life.

And anything that happens to me is first filtered through His fingers of love. He has a purpose in it even though I may not understand right now.

So, how can I not be thankful?

Laurie of Women Taking A Stand is our host and she's chosen the theme of ...undeserved kindness.

I've always enjoyed being on the giving side. However, there are times when we must learn to receive too. And right now, I've been so thankful for much undeserved kindness.

Take a look at this, would you? I recently met two of my favorite bloggers, Iris of Grace Alone and Laced with Grace and Lori of Lori's Reflections. Iris made this beautiful page from our luncheon and gave one to Lori and one to me. I love it, Iris! I'm thankful for your creativity and ...your kindness.

I'm so thankful for my friend Sue. She has prayed with me and for me over many years. She's always been there to invite me to coffee or lunch and has showered undeserved kindness on me is so many ways. This photo was taken at a women's conference. Sue is on my left and her sister Barb is on my right. BTW, I met Sue when her son Mikey was a patient of mine when I was working as a nurse.

And my prayer partner Helen has provided me with much undeserved kindness. She's the one who gets to listen to my rants and raves, tears and laughter. I thought she'd give up on me but she hasn't and ...for that I'm so thankful.

My mother-in-law Gloria has given me such undeserved kindness. She's a little shy when it comes to photos but I know she likes this one. It says much about her as she's so smart and always curious. And have I mentioned that she's a first time author? Her book "Love, War and Eternity" by Lori Dare Lewis (I told you she's shy) can be found on Amazon. It's not a Christian book but it's a good read about a ficitional love story set in the background of WWII. I may be biased but I think she's a great writer.

Our relationship has grown so much over the years as we've come to appreciate much about each other. Of course, we have the common bond of love for her son, my husband Greg.

But I've also seen how she shares love with others. She's always eager to give. There are many times when she stops by with extra groceries or a meal she made. Her excuse is always "there was a sale and I had coupons" or "I made extra and I know Greg loves this". She even includes peach yogurt which is my favorite. This undeserved kindness has been much appreciated. Since my mother died several years ago, Gloria has assured me that I too am her daughter and not just a daughter-in-law. And I'm blessed by that and so very thankful.

I could go on and on but I don't want this post to get too long. I began this post a little late for a Thankful Thursday but I'm so glad that I chose to write it. I'm feeling so much better as I focus on this topic of being thankful.

I am also reminded to keep my focus on Jesus, my source of hope and strength. He provides me with all I need ...just when I need it.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

[name=DEBBIE PETRAS] [img=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2CDrwq9-7eo/WV6tdbP-QgI/AAAAAAACfb0/ViqQSnSVaDsMLXyz3AEEzZ5-78luBHOGgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Debbie%2BFace%2Bblog.JPG] [description=]