Heart Choices: 2009-12-20 -->

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God of All Comfort

Christmas is a wonderful time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior; Jesus Christ. But for many, who are going through loss of loved ones or children with life threatening illnesses ...it can be so difficult.

Many of you are familiar with Abby Riggs, the daughter of Brent and Michelle. They've shared Abby's story on ...Where Laughter Lives :: The Riggs Family Blog. But it broke my heart to read about how they had to postpone their Christmas celebration as Abby is back in the hospital. Abby needs our prayers but her parents Michelle and Brent need them too. Will you join me in praying for this family?

(It is Sunday morning and I was just checking blogs and found the wonderful news that Abby came home from the hospital after having another spinal tap. God is so good and thank you for your prayers. You can read about it on the Riggs Family Blog here. She still needs our ongoing prayers though.)

And there was news of several deaths including the dad of Loren of The Magoo News. And Susan of Runner Mom lost her dad suddenly (Elaine of Peace for the Journey shares about it here.)Laurie of Beauty for Ashes just lost her mom one week ago.

My heart goes out to Melanie of Bella ~ Mella. Her son Andrew died this past week. I'm sure it comforts her to know she will see her son again one day but in the meantime ...it hurts so much.

It's a hard thing to go through, especially at this time of year.

Denise of Shortybear's Place spent time in the hospital this Christmas with her husband who had a stroke. Her "lovebug" has stabilized but Denise's health isn't the best.

May we remember our blogging friends who are going through difficult times right now. We can offer comfort through our prayers and words of love.

I love eLisa of Extravagant Grace's Scripture graphic above of 2 Corinthians 2: 3-7. Such words of wisdom to encourage others.

Much love,


Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Not That Far From Bethlehem

I almost forgot that it was Saturday so I'm a bit late in getting up my Then Sings My Soul Saturday post.

I chose a song called "Not That Far From Bethlehem". This song is sung by three young gals from my church; Jamie, Carol and Julie. It was taped at my church so ...I hope you enjoy.

It doesn't seem like Saturday. I guess with Christmas Day falling on a Friday, I got a bit messed up. But I hope to do some blog hopping today and sing along with others who are participating in Then Sings My Soul Satuday. You can link up or visit others by going to Amy's Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Happy Saturday and thank you for visiting Heart Choices!


Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas to all of my family, friends and blogging buddies.
The best gift we can receive is a personal relationship with Jesus.

Christmas Decorations at Rich Gifts Graphics & Blog Design for Christian Ministry

He will give you true JOY no matter what's going on in your world.

May you celebrate the reason for the season; the birth of our Savior.

Blessings and love,

(JOY image credit: Edie of Rich Gifts)


Christmas Fun 2009

(Image credit: Norway.com)
Merry Christmas! I can't believe it's almost Christmas Eve 2009. Time seems to fly by so quickly. Although I hoped to blog more throughout this past week, somehow time got away from me.

However, I've been on Facebook and have enjoyed getting back in touch with some of my extended family from all parts of the world. My cousin James uncovered some old photos of our family and posted them for all the world to see. But, they really are cute and we've all had a good laugh adding our comments and memories.

Many of you are having a white Christmas but in Phoenix that's not the case. However, I can say we're having a cold spell which means ...low 60's during the day.
This is a photo sent to me by a cousin in Norway. I believe it's on the road to Sumstad, the town where my grandpa was born and raised.

Here are a few of the fun things I've done this week. My friend Terri invited me to our annual Christmas Tea at the Phoenician Resort. We've been doing this for the past 12 years or so and I always look forward to it. This is the Christmas tree in the hotel so beautifully decorated.

Take a look at the delicate little tea sandwiches they served. Aren't they cute?

And of course, the variety of teas! I feel like such a lady getting all dressed up and being served tea ...once a year.

And this is a completely edible gingerbread house. It was baked and put together by the pastry chefs at the Phoenician. It's much too pretty to eat. They even had a little train running on the tracks throughout the house.

I also went to a Christmas Luncheon hosted by my friend LA. A dozen of us women get together once a month. Our common bond is our love for the Lord, for each other and we all met at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).

The lighting in this photo isn't the best but it's the only one of the whole group of us.

This is LA. She's got the best sense of humor. She and a friend even wrote a book called The Proper Pig Guide to Mealtime Manners. Yes, she's actually holding a miniature piglet. Her book is a cute way to teach children and yes ...even adults, manners at the table.

We have lots of fun as a group but best of all ...I love how we get to pray for one another.

So, I really do things occasionally other than work; LOL!

I'm going to close out with a video of a song I love from the early '70s. It's not anything spiritual but I simply love the voice of Karen Carpenter. I always listen to this song on Christmas Eve.

I wish each one of you a Merry Christmas. I'm thankful for my family, friends and ...my blogging friends too.

Sending hugs to each of you.


The Gift of Friendship

The gift of friendship ...what can I say? I am so thankful and grateful; yes I am!

In fact my friend Sue bought this door hanger for me one year and I always have a special place for it each Christmas. Thank you Sue!

Since I've been spending so much time in my home office, it's hanging on the door where I can see it and ...remember my friends.

This past week, I had several opportunities to celebrate with a few of my favorite friends.

And since my blogging friends have become so important to me, I thought I'd share with you. I thought I could write it all in one post but I may need to separate them into several so I don't lose half of my readers; LOL.

I'm so blessed by my friendship with Jamie.

We met because of her daughter Ellie. When Ellie was about 2 or 3 years old, she was in my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. I was her children's class leader for three years. And one day, Ellie spotted me in church one Sunday as her dad Todd was holding her. I hadn't realized until then that we went to the same church.

A deep and wonderful friendship developed between her mom Jamie and me.

I'm actually old enough to be Jamie's mom but I've found our age difference hasn't mattered at all. Jamie is mature beyond her years or else I must be "young at heart" (LOL).

Jamie and Todd moved to San Antonio about five years ago but we've continued our friendship. They were celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary and ...do you know what they chose to do?

They ran a marathon in Tucson!

Now that's a true Fitness Friday gal. I even interviewed Jamie for Fitness Friday twice. You can read the posts here and here. She has five kids that she home schools and is in great shape. You need to find out ...her secret.

Since Jamie and Todd were flying into the Phoenix airport and renting a car to drive to Tucson for their race, they arranged to meet me for breakfast.

The Farm at South Mountain was the perfect place to meet. For anyone who is visiting Phoenix or who lives here, this is a fabulous "must see". They have several places to eat, a farmer's market, little shops, organic farming and an outdoor area to picnic and ...have fun with your kids.

We ate at The Morning Glory Cafe, which is outdoors. But we were so glad they had heaters and believe me, we chose a table close to one of them that morning.

Todd is a teaching leader in a men's class of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) in the San Antonio area. If you ever have the opportunity to check out the BSF website, Todd's face is the photo on their video. And three of his kids attend also in their age group. Can you imagine that they are doing homiletics?

I was so excited to learn of some of the new changes in BSF. For the first time, they will be studying Isaiah this next year. The verse that sits right in front of me as I'm typing away on my computer is:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

That Scripture has helped me through many a trying day, believe me. When I begin to fear, I look down at that verse and am reminded of how God is my strength.

Hmm ...as a graduate of BSF, I'm praying about whether to return next year.

I had such a fun time catching up with Todd and Jamie that morning. The kids are growing so fast. I was so excited to learn that their 15 year old son Braden read "Do Hard Things" after I interviewed Lexi who is another 15 year old. You can read that interview here, just in case you missed it. Lexi had shared about how much this book impacted her life. BTW, Lexi is Jill's daughter of Forever N Ever N Always and now Lexi has started a blog called Choosing to Wait.

Braden has decided to lead a study group of his teen friends through the "Do Hard Things" book.

I get so excited and hopeful for this next generation when I learn about teens like Braden and Lexi. Yay God!

I wanted to share one more photo before ending this post. Two of Jamie and Todd's daughters Mary Beth and Ellie performed at their Christmas piano recital. I can't believe how quickly they are growing and maturing. I met Ellie when she was only three years old and I remember when Mary Beth was born!

Again, I'm so thankful for the gift of friendship. I hope you'll come back as I continue to share this Christmas week. Our bloggy world seems to be a bit quiet as many bloggers are taking time to spend with their families. But I will be here!

Merry Christmas!

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