Heart Choices: 2009-07-26 -->

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Fitness Friday~ Let's Cheer Sandy On

Today is Fitness Friday. Sandy of God Speaks Today is the originator of this meme. I decided to write about Sandy today because I think she could use our prayers and support.

You see, Sandy is at the SheSpeaks Conference. She's taken her book manuscript along with her and she's meeting with potential publishers. I've been praying about this since I know ...it's been her dream.

Sandy describes herself as a freelance writer, fitness buff, wife and mother with a quirky sense of humor. I can attest to that sense of humor.

Anyone who follows her blog called God Speaks Today knows that Sandy has a unique style of writing. She can make the most mundane topic come alive. She's real and honest and can motivate people in a fun way. That's one of the reasons I wanted to join her for Fitness Friday.

I even heard that she can sing and wanted to audition for American Idol. Is that really true Sandy?

This will be Sandy's second year attending SheSpeaks. She did some revisions to her original manuscript and is praying that this is her year.

Border's Books ...here comes Sandy!

Maybe one day I'll be able to say I knew her when. LOL.

I love how she asked for feedback from her blogging friends and even had us vote on the best title for her book.

What is Sandy's book about? Well, she knows what it's like to lose her 8 month old baby boy named Noah. He's waiting in Heaven so she'll see him again. And then only a few months after her devastating loss, her mom died suddenly and she was only in her 50's. That's one of the reasons Sandy is so motivated to live a healthy lifestyle.

Sandy writes so honestly about how she got through this stormy season in her life. She's a Christian and her faith in the Lord has been her foundation.

I think she's got such an important message to share in this book. I may not know what it's like to lose a baby but we all have our own stormy seasons in life. So, I think we could all learn something from her.

Would you add Sandy to your prayer list? I want to be an encourager to her and to let her know that we are praying for her.

I hope you'll visit Sandy's God Speaks Today and let her know.


Thankful Thursday ~ Summer Fun

It's Thankful Thursday and Lynn of Spiritually Unequal Marriage is hosting. Lynn has chosen the theme of 'summer fun' for this week.

It's been a challenging time for me this year. My husband and I aren't going to be able to get away this summer. And if you didn't know ...summers in Phoenix can be very hot with daily triple digit temperatures.

But I have a choice to make. I can have a pity party or I can make the choice to focus ...on all of the good things in my life.

So that's what I'm going to do.

I'm thankful for:

  • A husband who loves me
  • Air conditioning that works
  • Ripe peaches, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries
  • Digital magazines like Exemplify and Serious Life
  • My dad's health is good right now.
  • My niece Kristin is graduating from graduate school in speech pathology and she already has a job.
  • I am loved by the one, true living God and I know where I'll spend eternity.
  • My blogging friends that I've grown to LOVE (you know who you are)
  • The power of prayer
  • Completing the study of Romans on Opening His Word Together

I won a $100 gift card from 1-800-FLOWERS this week. Check out my twitter messages below. BTW, I'm Panda444 on Twitter.

Savvy Auntie's Day was on Sunday. They randomly chose a Savvy Auntie and ...I won!

Isn't it interesting how what you choose to focus on can actually ...change your attitude?

So, how about you? What can you be thankful for about this summer?


Wednesday's Walk ~ Norwegian Relatives

Wednesday's Walk down Memory Lane has become such a joy for me to write. I want to thank Lynnette of Dancing Barefoot ...on Weathered Ground for creating this meme.

There have been a few special benefits of joining in these Wednesday's Walks.
  • I actually found some new relatives on my father's side of the family after writing a post about my Grandpa Sumstad.
  • My niece Katie started reading these Wednesday posts because she's learning more about our family history.
  • I've made some new blogging buddies.
  • I've had fun searching through old family photos (more to come).

So, for this Wednesday's Walk, I wanted to share a few photos I received from a new relative in Norway. Ogee found his way to Heart Choices through another new relative named Bill Sumstad who lives in the Seattle area of the US.

Ogee wrote to me and told me that he was born and raised in Roan, which is next to Sumstad in northern Norway. His father's mother was my Grandpa's father's sister. Does that make sense? I think I need a diagram. LOL.

Ogee has been kind enough to send me some photos of that area of Norway.

Take a look at this view.

Looks like a great place to sit and relax. Take a look at the dog lying down. I'm sure my own Dad would love this, right Pop?

Not a bad place to eat!

From left, May Anita (Thomas' girlfriend), Inger (Ogee's sister), Ove (Inger's boyfriend) and Thomas (Inger's son)

I had to l augh because Thomas lives in Norway but he's wearing a T-shirt that says Brooklyn. My niece Katie lives in Brooklyn, New York. I'm not sure what the relation is but Thomas must a second cousin or something like that.

I want to thank my new cousin Ogee for the great photos he shared with me. I love how the internet has brought people together. We often only hear about the bad aspects but it can be used for such good too.

Happy Wednesday and don't forget to visit Lynnette for more posts on Wednesday's Walk down Memory Lane.


In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Who Are You In The Dark?

Today is "In Other Words" Tuesdays. Our host for this week is Deborah of Chocolate & Coffee.

Now, how can you resist visiting a blog with a name like Chocolate & Coffee?

The quote Deborah chose for this week is:

I agree with Oswald Chambers' quote. It's easy to appear one way in public but something else when nobody's around.

Now, I'm not pointing fingers but ...I'm just saying.

  • How many times have you argued with your spouse or kids all the way to church? You get out of the car and try to arrange your Sunday smile.
  • Have you ever complimented someone on their home but inside felt jealous and wondered why you couldn't have a home like that?
  • What about the times when you're in the grocery store and the clerk is just so slow? Do you become impatient or do you try to be understanding?
  • Have you ever talked to others about how important praying and reading your Bible is but lately you just haven't had the time to spare?
  • How do you answer your phone? Does your voice change when it's someone you consider "important"? Or do you treat all people with kindness?
  • Do you obey the speed limit when you see no policeman around?
  • Do you claim to forgive but continue to harbor bitterness about a wrong done to you?

These questions cause me to examine myself. Am I the same in public as I am in private when nobody's looking?

The reality is that God sees and knows all, including ...the motives in my heart.

So, who am I kidding?


Are You Authentic?

Are you authentic? We talk a lot about being real.

But when you blog do you let it all hang out? I was pondering this recently.

For several years, I was on the leadership committee for my denomination's annual women's conference in Phoenix. One of my jobs was to research and locate potential keynote speakers for this event.

It was fun communicating with people like Jennifer Rothschild. I actually got a return phone call from her hubby (her own Dr. Phil) while I was grocery shopping!

And Jennifer was our keynote speaker that year and ...did an awesome job.

Years before we actually confirmed Lysa TerKeurst as a keynote speaker, she phoned me at home from her cell. She was in an airport waiting to board her flight and she was calling me! I was so excited as she shared a testimony with me! I was thrilled when she finally spoke at our conference.

And I have to say that Lysa's ...the real deal!

But one year, our leadership team was really praying about the theme for the conference. We had already lined up Liz Curtis Higgs as our keynote speaker. I had nothing to do with arranging this as she'd been booked years in advance. But when we prayed about our theme, I remember "let's get real" kept going through my head.

When I suggested this theme, there was some skeptism. But the women graciously agreed to pray about this.

Jeanie, our team leader came to our next meeting with some exciting news. She had mentioned "let's get real" to Liz and ...she loved it!

Why was I surprised? The woman who shared that years ago she had a radio show and Howard Stern told her she needed to ...clean up her act!

After becoming a believer by the grace of God, her first best selling book was titled "Bad Girls of the Bible". Yes, Liz got it. She knew that many women needed some real practical advice about living out this Christian life. Not just the niceties because many women have some very real and difficult issues in their lives.

I have to say that Liz was a delight. She's an excellent speaker, an encourager and oh so funny. But she also knows when to get serious. I observed her speaking with many hurting women during our breaks, loving on them and speaking truth to them. I simply have to say that I love Liz Curtis Higgs! She's ...the real deal.

As I'm writing this post, I realize I still have so much more to say on this topic. So, if you have an interest in this topic, I may write several posts on this theme. I'll post another one next Monday so I hope you'll return for more. The Lord is working on my heart in this area too so maybe ...we can all learn together.

I have a few questions for you. How much do you share? Do you lay it all out there in your blog? Or are you selective? How do you protect the privacy of your loved ones?

Happy Savvy Auntie's Day!

Happy Savvy Auntie's Day!

Maybe you hadn't heard but Melanie Notkin, the CEO of Savvy Auntie has declared the fourth Sunday of July as ...Savvy Auntie's Day.

I joined this social network when it first began last year. It's a great place to go if you're an auntie.

And as a savvy auntie I wanted to celebrate.

I had won a giveaway from Jill's Forever N Ever N Always blog several months ago.

And do you know what it was?
A gift certificate to a spa! How cool is that?

My only problem has been that I've been working so much lately I haven't had time to redeem my gift certificate. How crazy is that? This from a gal who loves stuff like this.

So, in honor of Savvy Auntie's Day, I booked my appointment for a facial at Body Beautiful Spa in Phoenix.

Let me tell you, Silvia has magical hands and fingers. My face is so clean. I won't go into details but ...you know all those blackheads that accumulate? Well, I don't think she left any behind. My skin is sparkling!

I would highly recommend this place. I think I'm going to have to write about it on my Word of Mouth Phoenix blog. Thank you Jill and thank you Silvia!

If you know of someone who is a special auntie, I hope you'll wish them a Happy Savvy Auntie's Day.

I want to give a shout out to a few savvy aunties: Aunt Ruth, Aunt Christine and Aunt Charity! Enjoy your special day!
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