Heart Choices: My Time of Solitude -->

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My Time of Solitude

(Photo Credit: Away Network)

I had a time of solitude last week.  It was so refreshing to drive only two hours north of Phoenix and be in the cooler temperatures of Flagstaff.  The higher altitude was such a welcome relief.

I spent a lot of time in this chair.  I had my Bible, journal and a few books with me. 

This was the view I had as I sat in my chair.  To see the green and all the trees was very special to a gal who lives in the desert.

Aren't these views fabulous?

God spoke to me in the mountains.  I don't mean audibly but in my heart.  I've been going through a very challenging time and it's continued now for several years.  Frankly, I'm tired of feeling the way I do.

But I had a spirit of discouragement.  I was feeling sorry for myself and having a bit of a pity party. Have you ever had one of those?

As I spent more time in the Word and prayer, I became more hopeful.
Romans 15:13 says:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
God is the God of hope.

As I trust in Him, the fruit of the Spirit includes joy and peace.

It is in the power of the Holy Spirit that I can have hope.

Trust and obey has been my theme for 2010 and I can say that I'm learning.  I seem to be a slow learner but with the Lord's help ...I'm growing in my faith.

It's interesting that I received an email upon my return from my blogging friend Janette of Janette's Sage.  She wrote that she felt led to share an article with me.  Guess what it was about?  Hope deferred makes the heart sick from Proverbs 13:12.  The article went on to say that the enemy uses discouragement as a weapon against us.  Well I say ...goodbye discouragement and hello to hope.  

I belong to God and He is a God of hope.

I've much more to share but I'll do several posts on this time away.  

How about you?  Have you felt discouraged lately?  Or do you continue to be hopeful despite the circumstances in your life?

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Yes and no, about the discouragement I mean. Yes, I am discouraged because I don't seem to get some things together. No, because I know that I trust a God who does not look at my failures, but loves me despite of them.

    Oh, Debbie, what a beautiful place you went to - I need time away from the valley, but at this time no money and no time for it...maybe soon.

    Love & peace,
    <>< Iris

  2. So,this is my much-awaited post! And what a lovely time you had with the Lord! You very well know, too how much I needed to hear this! Sister Debbie, thank you for your sweet thoughts and prayers. Feeling better and from my old neck injury in '97, I had learned that instead of whining when in pain, just go to His feet of mercy and grace! But I'm sooo grateful to have precious family in His Name, who are quick to bend their knees and lift up prayers [for others in need, like me!]...Glory be to our good Father Who hears them all.

    "I seem to be a slow learner but with the Lord's help ...I'm growing in my faith." :

    I think like that story when the hare and tortoise had a race and the tortoise ended up winning, it's better to be slow and finish the race than be quick and falter at the end!!! Praying for the Lord's strength to be yours! He is able!

  3. Ahhhhh! That is what your photos said to me and your words filled with His love for you and all of us!

    Yes, put all of our hope in Him!

    Say good-bye to the lies holding you back and down and say YES to the TRUTH AND PROMISES THAT WILL LIFT YOU UP!

    Love you,

  4. First of all the pictures and the views you had were gorgeous. How wonderful to get away like that and spend time with the Lord. As for pity parties? I KNOW I have had more than I could ever count. My arthritis in my knees (and now my lower back and neck) has left me feeling quite slow and incapacipated recently and it is truly hard not to feel sorry for myself. Especially when I see MUCH older women (living in this senior citizen park this is soo easy) than myself scoot around like it was nothing...I am in lots of pain everyday and I really need two more surgeries (knee replacement) as soon as I can bear it. And yet with my recent one so fresh in my mind, I am not seeing that happening too soon, or if it would even really be wise. I know it is one of the reasons (besides just eating too much of course, haha) I am putting on weight. I just don't move around enough. I just never seem to be or do what it is I feel like I should be. Do you know what I mean? Yes, pity parties are VERY EASY for me. And yet I have truly found of course they are NEVER productive. The enemy jumps in and really has a hay day with me. I have to go to His feel everyday and more than once and even then I fail. I LOVE knowing He loves me no matter what. That He has a plan and a purpose and nothing happens outside of His perfect will for me. He really does work ALL things together for good ~ even though it seems like surely there must be some mistake. And your right...hope in Him is where we just have to put our focus, otherwise it really is too hard sometimes. Isn't Janette wonderful? I just love her. I will pray for you Debbie and for whatever it is your are struggling and dealing with. Looking forward to your other posts. HUGS, Debbie

  5. Oh Debbie, what an absolutely beautiful gift you were given to be able to spend some time alone with your Savior. The scenery in that place is stunning. I can attest to feeling discouraged lately. AS you know, we are facing a hard time right now with our move, and I have been allowing the fear of the "what ifs" to cloud my view of Him. Thank you for filling me with HOPE-filled words today.

  6. Our pastor spoke about hope on Sunday. It was an inspiring message and one that I am going to delve into more. He is the God of hope and we certainly can cling to that when life gets tough. xo

  7. Discouragement from every angle, and you're right... a tool of the enemy. It's one of the reasons I'm working on "remembrance" this week--so that I have a strong defense against such attacks.

    Speak what you know to be true, sister; live it all the more.

    I'll do the same.

    PS: Wow, beautiful place; I want a retreat like that!

  8. I am so glad God spoke to you through that article...I know He did to me as tears flowed from my eyes reading it...allowing the balm of His truth to heal the "deferred hope".

    I pray that you and others will be lifted from how the enemy wants us to give up our hope! Our hope is in Him!! Our circumstances are at His feet and may our "hope" be restored.

  9. Debbie:

    I love what you are sharing! 'Hope deferred' has spoken to me so many times through the years. It hits all of us at different times, and satan loves it. My dad used to say 'discouragement' is one of the most used tools in satan's toolbox.

    I know God has refreshed you during these days away and I am so glad. Keep claiming those verses and let's trust God as we move forward!

    Love you!


  10. Glad you had this special
    time with the Lord.
    I have found that satan's
    two greatest weapons against
    God's people are fear and
    despair. If he can get you
    to take your eyes off of
    Jesus and keep them on your
    circumstances, he will win
    over you every time. We
    simply must take every
    thought captive to the
    obedience of Christ Jesus
    and keep our eyes on Him

  11. Bounced over from HCB!

    I love the line "I belong to God and he is a God of hope". So true.

  12. What an incredibly beautiful place of peace and restoration...just like God's loving arms. I am so glad you were able to get away like this. It is human nature to have pity parties at times...we all do. Just designate an amount of time, do it and then move on with blessings from above. God is always there for us.

    Sending you peace, strength and much love. I hope you have a blessed week.


  13. Debbie I do think alone time is important and I really enjoy it.
    Beautiful post and photos.

    Blessings, ~Melissa :)

  14. Hi dear friend, Loved seeing where you were able to stay last week and hear the refreshing that the Lord provided. It is amazing how sick our hearts can become from hope deferred...but I agree with you and say no more.
    Love you Debbie,

  15. I agree! I'm saying "goodbye discouragement and hello to hope" too! In fact, without hope, life is pretty miserable, but praise God that our God IS our hope! I am trusting in Him =)

    Can't wait to read more!!

    Living for Him, Joan

  16. Looks like a beautiful retreat. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I have been so weighed down by a very long-term difficult situation at the church where I work. I am sad to say that I have let Satan pull me into hopelessness and dispair about the situation and it has greatly affected the rest of my life. I would love to read the article your friend sent you if it is appropriate for you to share. My email is atfelix79@yahoo.com Thanks for the encouragement of your posts.

  17. What a blessing - to have some days of solitude in such a peaceful place. I know God will continue the work He confirmed in you while you sat in the comfortable-looking chair!

    "Don't let Satan BLOW it out.....!"

  18. From the looks of your picture, this can be a place I would love to retreat to. I have felt discourage more than I can count on my fingers. I am in middle of something now. Despite all, I try stay hopeful. It's as if I cannot afford not to be hopeful and have faith. Because without I feel like my situation may be a lost cause and I don't want that. Reading your post, has given me extra strength to press forward, to stay hopeful, and to keep on keepin' on. Blessings to you!!

    One thing I know for sure this situation I am dealing with is only for a season. :)

  19. Gorgeous views...what a blessing to spend time alone with the Lord in such a place...but regardless of where we are...or our circumstances...He IS faithful...and our one true hope....

  20. Oh Debbie. I am so grateful that God blessed you with such a beautiful place. i have had some of those moments with Him, some of those amazing spots to sit in and LOTS of those pity parties. I praise His name for holding onto us when those days come and instead of turning away, He brings us closer to Himself.
    You were blessed to be a blessing and you so are!

  21. Just this morning I was reading in 2 Cor, chapter 1. I was gripped anew by God's provision for comfort, and for the ultimate benefits that are wrought in suffering. I don't always (ever) like the reality of it, but I'm learning to turn and face the wind, no matter what.

    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your mini-retreat. Wish I could have joined you. You know you can call me any time!

    Hugs and much love, dear friend.


  22. I love that thought - good-bye discouragement and hello hope!! How encouraging:) And what an absolutely wonderful place to get away for a bit - so glad you had such a special time.

    Good by discouragement!!

  23. Debbie,, I have wished and asked God for a very long time now why you have not been to my blog??? And wondered if someday you would... Sooo WOW,,thank you sooo much for stopping by... It means so much to me..
    I adore Lisa and Tammi and pray for the nightly,,they have been a HUGE source of encouragement to me and I have learned MUCH about my walk with Jesus from Lisa..
    I do hope we can get to know each other better now..
    Hope I do not seem tooo pushy ;0)
    May God continue to bless you Sweetie.
    You to are an Awesome woman of God,,and I am blessed by your note..
    Hugs Dena

  24. Praying much encouragement into your life sis, love you.

  25. Ahh..Debbie...Hope deferred. Yes. I know what that feels like. It does make the heart sick. But just like the title of your blog: "Heart Choices," we can make a choice to feel discouraged, or run to the Word and find HOPE. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post--pictures, words, and encouragement! I'm so glad you were able to get away, and what a Get-away it was! :) I can almost breathe the fresh air! :) Hugs!

  26. One thing I'm sure of, our God refreshes us in our times of solitude and prayer with HIM. Love those alone moments with Him even in difficult times because it is then that I can just lay it all out before Him and linger there in His Presence.

    You have my love and prayers dear friend.

    Beautiful photos!


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