Heart Choices: 2009-09-13 -->

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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?

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