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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Give Thanks

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders. I encourage you to visit other participating blogs.

Since this is the month of celebrating Thanksgiving, I thought I'd post an all time favorite song of mine. It's Don Moen's Give Thanks. I love the beautiful images in this video. So, sing along, enjoy and ...give thanks!

Happy Then Sings My Soul Saturday and thank you for visiting Heart Choices.

I'm thankful for all of my bloggy friends.


Fitness Friday ~ Discipline of Exercise

It's Fitness Friday and dare I mention the word discipline? Discipline sounds so rigid and legalistic. After all, aren't we all ...about grace?

My mom was such a good example of a disciplined person. Although she had a weakness for chocolate, she only purchased one large Nestle's chocolate bar each week. She would break off a single square each day and that satisfied the urging. There was no sneaking back and eating another piece either.

Mom was also disciplined about exercise. She would work out on her treadmill just about every day without fail. Even as her health was failing, she tried to get in some form of exercise. I even have a photo of her on the treadmill in her bathrobe. She knew it helped give her energy and keep the weight off.

I recently read a post on Internet Cafe that was written by Gina of Chats with an Old Lady. Now, I had to find out how old Gina is and do you know what? She's only in her late 40s; much younger than me. Oh well, lately it seems everyone is younger than me but that's OK.

But her post was entitled "Have You Worked Out Today?" and I thoroughly enjoyed it and could relate. Here's an excerpt from that post:

"One day while on the treadmill I was thinking about how hard it is for me to step on the thing every day. I started to think about how I am the same way spiritually. I am drawn to the Word, know how important it is for me to be in it, and love the benefits of spending time with the Lord. Unfortunately, my flesh does fight the discipline of sitting down, quieting my mind, and listening to the Lord. It seems like it is a battle every day to not get distracted and to choose to spend the time I need in the Word!

I heard someone say once that American Christians are "lazy, fat, and happy!" Just like I would probably be lazy and fat if I didn't discipline myself to get on the treadmill every day, the same would happen if I didn't discipline myself to be in the Word. As I age, I will become more vulnerable to disease and obesity if I don't exercise. The same will happen if I am not in the Word, learning how to discern between biblical and unbiblical thinking. I will become lazy and fat spiritually, and will open myself up to wrong ways of thinking, if I don't discipline myself to spend time with the Lord, nurturing our relationship."

I thought this was right on. You can read Gina's full post on Internet Cafe Devotions.

So, even though you might dislike the term discipline ...we need it in our lives.

Do I skip my exercise sometimes? Yes, of course I do. But it's choosing to create a habit of exercise even if my natural flesh wants nothing to do with it.

(Photo credit: Southern Living)

Today, will you simply go for a walk around the block? Or go to the park and walk? You might ride your bicycle (the pink one Helen) or climb a small mountain. Just do something to take care of your health and get moving.

Slow and steady but ...it's a great way to start.

Now, don't forget to stop by Sandy at God Speaks Today for her Fitness Friday post about working out when you have small children. And Sarah of All Pain, No Gain is sharing her photos after 8 weeks of rest, so check it out.


Thankful Thursday ~ Trials

It's Thankful Thursday and Iris of Grace Alone is hosting us for the month of November. My friend Iris is the originator of this meme which I've grown to love. Knowing that I'll participate each week, I'm on the lookout for all I can be thankful for each day. Thank you Iris!

However, Iris chose the theme of trials for this week. Can I really be thankful in the midst of trials?

Well, this is exactly what the Lord is teaching me during this season of trials in my life. So, I can personally answer with ...a resounding YES.

What am I thankful for in the midst of my trials?

I'm thankful that:

  • Instead of only focusing only on getting out of my trials, I'm learning to focus on trusting the Lord in the midst of them.
  • I learn valuable lessons if I choose to rest in Him.
  • Each trial has a purpose to grow me up.
  • I have the opportunity to glorify God.
  • My faith is growing.
  • I have the opportunity to share with non believers the reason I have hope and faith despite life not always being easy.
  • I have become more empathetic with others who are going through trials.
  • I'm drawing closer to the Lord.
  • I'm learning to live a lifestyle of prayer.
  • I'm learning to not attempt to escape my trials through things in this world.

I will close with a letter from Sheri Rose Shepherd's book His Princess: Love Letters from your King. It's entitled "My Princess ...triumph through trials":

"I see you when you are in the garden of grief, My princess. I hear your cry for help in the dark hours of the night. I Myself cried out in the garden the night I was betrayed. In My suffering I asked My Father for another way - a less painful way. Yet I trusted his will and purpose for My life and knew the ultimate victory was at the cross. Just as olives must be crushed to make oil, I poured out My life as a love offering for you. Don't ever doubt that I am with you and that I long to take you to a place of comfort, peace, and victory. Even when you cannot see me from where you are, I am working on your behalf. Give to Me the crushing weight of your circumstances, and come to Me in prayer. When it is time to leave the garden, I will walk with you across the valley and straight to the cross - where your trials will be transformed into triumph."


Your Savior and your Victor

How can I not be thankful in trials after reading that?


Walk with Him Wednesday ~ Listen

holy experience

Lately, I find that I crave quietness. Our world has become so busy and hectic. Although I enjoy being with people, I also need time alone. And it seems that during this season in my life, I don't mind that aloneness. I'm still able to be in contact with so many people online through blogs and Facebook. And I love that.

Ann Voskamp of Holy Experience hosts a Walk with Him Wednesday. We share a spiritual practice that draws us closer in our walk with Jesus. I have to say that I enjoy her posts. I feel so peaceful and calm whenever I visit. What a gift she has with words! Thank you Ann.

Spending so much time in my home office has actually provided me with more time to be still without outside distractions. I have my morning quiet time but that doesn't end my time with the Lord.

I may be quietly working on my computer but I glance down and see a laminated Scripture verse that I posted in front of me. The words from Isaiah 41:10 tell me that I have nothing to fear. My God will strengthen me, help me and uphold me. Such words of reassurance ...in a time of uncertainty.

I've used this Joyful 'Toon before but it seemed so perfect for this post.

Are you so involved in busyness that you can't even hear His voice as you go through your day?

It can be easy to get caught up in all of those good things we do for God and yet miss out on ...His best.

How about taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus and simply be still? Allow His Word to saturate your mind. It takes time to do this.

It's hard for me to listen to loud music and focus on my work. I'm so easily distracted.

However, I find that quiet background piano music seems to work fine for me. I have CDs by Fernando Ortega that are perfect. And I've also found beautiful piano music on a website called Secret Place Ministries. It helps to quiet my mind and yet I can still get my work done.

I take breaks from my work so I can visit many of my favorite blogs. I often receive emails for prayer requests and I'm able to immediately stop and pray. You know how easy it is to tell someone you'll pray and have the best of intentions but ...then forget?

I've found that's another benefit of being at home and not running around all day.

Do you have any spiritual practices that help you listen to God?

I know many of you may be in different seasons of your life with children and school. But maybe you've found ways to still stay close to the Lord throughout your day. I encourage you to share them with us in the comments.


Our 25th Wedding Anniversary

Today is Greg and my 25th wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been so many years.

I remember like it was just yesterday as we repeated our vows to one other in the little chapel in Vail, Colorado on November 3, 1984. We promised before God and our families ...to have and to hold from now on, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.

Greg spent much time trying to find just the right song for our small wedding reception at The Lodge in Vail. He was so proud that he found the perfect song when he played it for me. It was Lou Rawls' song "Forever I Do"; the wedding song. I cried.

We've been through so much together. We've had our ups and downs. But we've also had many good times.

This is Greg and me on our honeymoon. We spent a few days in Vail after the wedding but then moved on to Keystone where we stayed in a friend's condo.

Greg is all about ...experiencing life. He loves trying new things. In fact, he even planned a company years ago with this very concept. Hmm ...maybe it will still come about?

I had never been snow skiing in my life but of course I had to experience something new with my husband despite my ...fear of heights.

I can't say it went very well but it was a new experience.

Greg is super smart. It was a little intimidating at first as he has an IQ in the genius range. Here he is reading on our patio while vacationing in San Diego.

Our first New Year's Day together, he asked me about my goals for the year and I looked at him and said ..."What goals? Let's just see what happens."

You see, I'd been a fly by my seat kind of gal. But I can tell you that over the years I've learned so much from Greg. Now, I'm the one asking my friends about their goals. LOL.

But this gal loves to read and is a committed life long learner. So, I learned about setting goals and still do that. However, I think I'm reading a fashion magazine in this photo.

This was one of our first Christmases together. Check out my hair style. It was popular at the time.

Greg had worked in New Orleans for several years and wanted to show me what it was like on Bourbon Street. It was a crazy time and many years ago but ...it was an experience.

We had a fun time in Miami with some friends one year. Greg's friend owned this speedboat and it was such a unique and exhilarating experience. We bounced over those waves on the Atlantic Ocean. These were the days of Don Johnson and Miami Vice.

One year Greg took me to Maui. How fun and beautiful an experience that was! Isn't he cute?

We live in the Grand Canyon state so it's a convenient vacation spot. We used to have a boat on Lake Powell which is another amazing place to visit. Greg and I both enjoyed water skiing. He loved that I could drive the boat so he had a chance to ski too.

I noticed a quote on Susan's blog and she gave me permission to use it today:

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have."

I liked that. Through ups and downs of life, I'm so thankful for my husband and partner through life. I love him more today than the day we married. I think some of the most challenging times can either make or break couples. And I believe we're closer today than ever. And for that ...I'm so grateful.

Happy 25th Anniversary Greg! I believe the best is yet to come.



Update on My Sis

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement towards my sister Christine. I'm so blessed to have such kind blogging friends who really care. Many of you have asked about how she's doing and have continued praying for her. Thank you so much!

I received a phone call from Chris yesterday and she got good news! Yay God!

For those of you who don't know, my sis had been diagnosed with an almost completely detached retina several weeks ago. She had surgery but the doctor wasn't too optimistic that she would have full recovery of her sight. She had to stay home and go through a rigorous schedule of two hours upright and then two hours down 24 hours a day.

At first, this wasn't too hard as she was tired but after a while ...this was quite difficult to maintain. She couldn't read and her vision in that eye was very poor. She could barely see shadows and yet she had to try to keep the eye open so she wouldn't develop "lazy eye".

On top of this, she owns a consignment shop and is totally dependent on that income. Thankfully, she has awesome friends who stepped in to help during the past 4 or 5 weeks but Chris is eager to get back. She's a popular sanguine personality and is going nuts staying at home and not seeing her customers who have become her friends.

She was so excited when the surgeon told her he couldn't believe how much her eye had improved. Immediately, Christine told him it was because of the prayers of so many people. She told him that her sister had a blog and people from all over the world were praying. He said that whatever they were doing ...worked!

Her surgeon was amazed about her progress and expects a full recovery. And do you know what? That's what so many were praying for ... a full recovery.

How's that for the power of prayer?

So, my sister Christine and I thank you for your prayers. She has gone through much through the years. I believe in the midst of this particular trial, she has learned that ...God is faithful.

And yes ...He hears the prayers of His people.

How amazing is that?

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