Heart Choices: 2009-09-20 -->

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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

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