Heart Choices: 2009-10-11 -->

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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Be Still

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

This week the Lord was teaching me to ...be still.

I have such a tendency to run ahead of Him. I seem to think I'm so capable in my flesh. But that's not where I want to live. I want to abide in Christ and allow Him full access to ALL of me. When I do so, He directs my steps. And believe me, I need that guidance.

Happy Saturday to each one of you and thanks for visiting Heart Choices for TSMSS!


Fitness Friday ~ Body Image

It's another Fitness Friday. Sandy of God Speaks Today, Sarah of All Pain, No Gain and I decided to each write a post on the same theme. Our theme for this week is ...proper body image.

As women, we're constantly bombarded with messages on TV, billboards, and magazines about how we "should" look. It's so sad because we're seeing more eating disorders in young girls than ever before. It's unrealistic and unhealthy to look like many of the models that they try to emulate.

I posted this video earlier this year but if you missed it, it's really worth watching. If you think that models look so perfect, you need to take a few minutes to watch this.

Have you heard of Photoshop? If you have a little cellulite, that can easily be erased. A few wrinkles around your eyes? Instantly gone like magic.

And we wonder why women have poor body images?

Should we take care of our bodies? I believe we should. But for the right reasons.

If you're a Christian, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

If you're overweight, always tired and sluggish it can be hard to be about the work that you've been called to do. Personally, when I feel good and have energy, I'm much more eager to reach out to others.

But our body structures will be different. Some people have a larger bone structure and will never be a size 4 or 6. Another woman might have a smaller bone structure. We're each created differently.

I believe the important thing is to strive for a healthy lifestyle. Eating a variety of foods including many water rich foods like fruits and vegetables is healthy and lower in calories.

Foods like candy,cookies and chips may taste great but are empty calories with no nutritional value. And believe me, a handful has LOTS of calories.

Jesus walked everywhere He went except for the occasional boat trip. The disciples didn't have to be concerned about getting on a treadmill. They got lots of exercise from ...plain old walking.

Today we drive our cars everywhere. And of course, we have to get the parking spot closest because who wants to walk that far? We sit at our computers or watch TV and don't move around much. Kids can sit for hours playing video games. We need to get up and start moving more.

I've been reading a love letter each day from a book called His Princess: Love Letters from your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd. Listen to this letter on beauty.

"Your real beauty is a work of art - hand carved by Me. I have given you beautiful lips to speak words of life, beautiful eyes to see Me in everything, beautiful hands to help those in need, and a beautiful face to reflect My love to the world. I know you don't see yourself the way I do because you compare yourself to beauty idols that will soon be forgotten. I will work wonders that will radiate true beauty from within. And when my work is completed, your character will show off My craftsmanship, and your beauty marks will be remembered by all that were loved by you. Love, Your Radiant King"

Isn't that an awesome way to consider the beauty of each one of us in God's eyes? If we would only see ourselves as He sees us ...unique but greatly loved.

So, let's keep things in perspective. Take a walk, chose an apple (from the good tree) instead of those chips and remember that ...God loves you.


Thankful Thursday ~ Love in Action

Today is Thankful Thursday and Lynn of Spiritually Unequal Marriage is our host. Lynn is such a dear blogging friend of mine. She wrote about how many people seem to have a sense of entitlement these days. One way to pull that entitlement attitude into proper perspective is ...God's perspective.

In reality, I don't deserve anything. If it were not for my personal relationship with Jesus, my life would be miserable and I wouldn't have the hope of spending eternity with Him. Talk about depressing!

Despite any current trials and challenges, I have much for which I can be thankful. I have truly been encouraged by others this week.

I haven't been to my Sunday morning Bible study group for several weeks now. Each week, I plan to be there but with all of the current stress, I haven't made it. I'm so thankful for the prayers of my Life Group family and that they've not given up on me.

Check out this cartoon from Joyful Toons. That is exactly how I felt when I had a visit from my friend Marcia on Monday. Marcia is the group leader of my Bible study. Look at what she brought to surprise me!

Marcia presented me with an encourgement basket! I was so touched by the kindness of my friends. Many of them are going through their own difficulties and challenges and yet ... they gave from their heart.

I am not a very emotional person but I was truly touched and overwhelmed. I was at a loss for words. I have to say I prefer to be the giver of gifts. It can be difficult to receive but I want to do so graciously.

Besides lots of yummy goodies (Greg enjoyed them too), there were many envelopes with cards of well wishes. And did I mention the gift cards to restaurants. Walmart and Starbucks ...here we come!

I am blown away by the family of God. It was just like the Acts church. Not only do they love and encourage one another but they put that love in action. And I am one grateful and thankful woman.

My desire is to become so sensitive to others going through similar circumstances and be able to put my love in action too.

Thank you Life Group of North Phoenix. I love you and appreciate each one of you!


Walk with Him Wednesday ~Being Still

holy experience

I recently discovered a blog called Holy Experience.

It is written by Ann Voskamp. Read how she describes herself:

"I'm plain Ann without the fanciful "e." I'm a farmer's wife. I homeschool our six crazy exuberant farm kids. I deal with a lot of dirt. Especially in my own heart."

I love her humility. Ann is an excellent writer and her writings can be found on Dayspring, Christian Women Online and the San Antonio Christian Beacon. Many might have a tendency to be prideful but not Ann. She goes on to say:

"Truth is, I'm broken and bruised."

I decided to join in her meme "Walk with Him Wednesday". This is what Ann has asked us to consider writing about:

"And for Walk with Him Wednesday tomorrow, perhaps prayerfully consider sharing with community: How do you slow down? How do you be still and know God?"

I'm going to get right into that topic. Right now, I'm in the process of learning many lessons. The only way I can get through this difficult season in my life is to trust the Lord. My flesh is going crazy but I'm learning to die to self more each day.

As a believer, I have this ongoing struggle. I'm a new creation in Christ but I still have my flesh to contend with this side of eternity. The lesson I'm learning is to ...abide in Him.

When I abide ...I won't satisfy the desires of my flesh.

Here are some of the ways I'm slowing down and being still before God:

I'm spending time with the Lord each morning. Sometimes I sit on my patio with my Bible and a cup of coffee. Other times I sit in my comfortable chair in my home office. I praise Him and thank Him for who He is. I read from His Word and take time to listen and write down what I learn in my journal. I'm trying to live a lifestyle of prayer instead of always sending up those SOS prayers all the time.

I'm becoming more aware of the beauty of His Creation. I used to go through my day often oblivious to the beauty that surrounds me. Now, I tend to grab my camera and snap photos when I see something awesome, like the sky or the mountains I love or a bird.

I spend more time at home and less time running around. It saves gas money too. I work from home but ...I really enjoy being home.

I'm getting rid of clutter. The more stuff I have the more preoccupied I become with the stuff. And that's not to mention taking care of the stuff.

It's amazing how much we accumulate over the years and why? I don't need it all.

So, I've been consigning clothes and selling things on eBay. I'll donate some things and maybe even have a garage sale. I had a book sale and invited my friends. I didn't realize how many cookbooks I actually had!

This is my start to slowing down and being still before God.

How about you? How do you balance the busyness of life and listening to the Lord. Do you make time to be still before Him?


In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Places of Triumph

On this "In Other Words Tuesday" our host is Kathryn of Expectant Hearts. She chose the following quote for today:

This quote was a bit challenging for me to write about at first. You see, earthly cares can easily weigh me down ...if I'm not careful.

I can get so caught up in those sufferings, trials, defeats and disappointments. I then attempt to deal with them in my own strength but ...I soon grow weary.

I pray to the Lord and ask for relief. And then He reminds me that I am not alone. I have His presence within me. I have all I need to live this present life ...in Him.

But I need to abide and trust Him day by day and moment by moment. This is a lesson I'm learning right now.

The author of this quote, Hannah Whitall Smith lived in the 1800's. She was a woman acquainted with sorrow, sufferings and disappointments in this life. And yet she wrote a book entitled "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life".

It helps me to remember that I'm just passing through, this isn't my permanent home. When I yield every part of my life to the Lord and trust Him ...He changes my perspective.

I want my soul (mind, will and emotions) to be taken to high places of triumph instead of discouragement and defeat.

So I chose to trust the Lord and abide in Him. It makes all the difference and in the process He gives me ...His peace.


Seeking Peace

Peace, peace ...world peace. Many people and groups claim that world peace is what they long for. It was recently announced that President Obama is the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Even beauty queens say they desire world peace. It reminds me of the movie "Miss Congeniality" starring Sandra Bullock. She plays FBI agent Gracie Hart who goes undercover in a beauty pagent. It's quite funny because she's not very feminine but gets quite a makeover. She eventually succumbed to the beauty queen mentality and when asked her question during the pagent, her required response was "world peace".

What do you picture when you think of peace?

(Photo credit: Country Living)

I can just picture myself sitting in this chair overlooking the river with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate. But that time of peace would be temporary. Enjoyable but ...temporary peace.

Maybe you're in the midst of some trying circumstances. After all, this is a very uncertain time economically. Many people are concerned about their jobs and paying their bills. Our military is involved in Afghanistan and the mideast during a great period of turmoil. There are hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that occur. And then there are children who rebel. How can anyone have peace?

But I want to share something that I received in the mail last week. It was a giveaway prize on Jill's Forever N Ever N Always. BTW just a hint; if you leave comments on people's blogs during giveaways you're in the running for prizes. However, that's not why I leave you guys comments. I hope you know that.

At first, I thought His Princess: Love Letters From Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd was a children's book but ...I was so wrong.

I love this book! I want to share an excerpt with you that touched my heart.

"My Princess ...I AM YOUR PEACE

I long to give you rest for your soul and peace in your heart. I know sometimes it looks like life has no peace to offer - just one big problem after another. It's true that the world is filled with hatred, envy and every sort of evil, so please don't be looking for peace in people or attempting to position yourself where there are no problems. The kind of peace the world tries to offer is built on false hope and man-made idols that will eventually crumble. The peace I give you will transcend any trial or tribulation that comes against you because it is supernatural. So position yourself completely in My care, and let go of all those things you cannot control. Then you will find true peace. In the middle of chaos and confusion, I will always be your safe place - a place of peace. I'm asking you, My princess, to share with others the peace I give freely to you.

Your King and your Perfect Peace"

I don't know about you but I loved reading this.

True peace can only be found in Christ! As long as we're on this side of eternity, there will never be true and lasting peace. But in the midst of trouble, worry and turmoil, know where to run ...to Jesus.

How about you? Any thoughts on peace you'd like to share?

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