Heart Choices: 2010-01-03

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How Can I Keep From Singing?


It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders. I didn't want to miss another day of blogging and visiting some of my favorite blogs.

I had one of those down days on Thursday. I wrote a blog post entitled "Have You Ever Felt So Tired?". Recently, I decided I was going to be a bit more transparent. I love to encourage others but there are days when I need a bit of encouragement myself and ...it was one of those days.

But I'm so blessed and thankful to have such awesome blogging and real life friends. I almost cried as I read your comments. I didn't feel so alone as you shared similiar feelings at times and suggested things that worked for you. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

Do I have it all together?

NO WAY!

My response to all of that encouragement is to ...sing and praise and worship.

Last Sunday we sang this song in my church. I've heard it in my head often since then so I thought I'd share it with you this week. There's nothing like hearing Chris Tomlin sing. So much better than if you heard me; LOL.



This song was one of our theme songs a few years ago at my church's women's retreat. I thought I'd share a few photos. This song sparked a few memories from our fun time at Bison Ranch in the Arizona mountains.

What a fun time we had that weekend! I hope you enjoy visiting other blogs on this Then Sings My Soul Saturday.



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Have You Ever Felt So Tired?


Have you ever felt so tired? My niece Katie loves to shop and I think this photo was taken after a long day of bargain hunting in New York City.
Or take a look at Rachel, Jamie's daughter. Her little legs were so tired after a day walking. She's wiped out!

I think I've been doing pretty well lately under the circumstances. In the past, I would have been freaking out about the uncertainty in my life. But I've been learning what it means to ...abide in Christ.

I'm also learning though that I need to be on guard. I still must contend with my flesh this side of eternity.

Just when I think I'm getting it all together, I have a day like today when ...I'm so tired and weary.

It's interesting as I reread that last paragraph. I noticed I wrote "when I'm getting it all together". Yeah right!

Abiding in Christ means that I yield it all to Him. I allow Jesus to work in and through me. I rest in Him.

But right now I feel more like this photo. I'm juggling so many things right now and trying to keep them organized.

And the truth is, this is how my home office looks right now. A bit messy wouldn't you say? I find it interesting how often my exterior environment often reflects what's going on inside.

How can I go from feeling so great just a few days ago to feeling so tired and weary? I didn't even write a Thankful Thursday post today. In retrospect, maybe that would have been helpful.

For several days last week I was so excited as I awakened each morning with a song in my head and heart. I loved it. The words to Hillsong's song "Still" stayed with me for several days. I even posted the video of the song on my Then Sings My Soul Saturday post here.

But it reminds me that we can't live our life by feelings.

I even wrote about that very thing on this past Tuesday's post titled "Responding to Difficulties" here.

I have to remind myself that my feelings don't always reflect the truth. And my theme for 2010 is to "trust and obey". Now that doesn't mean only when ...I feel like it.

There will be trials and challenges in life. I don't have all the answers and I struggle from time to time. It's a moment by moment choice. Will I depend on myself or will I run to the One with all of the answers?

I choose to run to God and ...abide in Him.

How about you? Do you go back and forth between living by your feelings and living by faith? I need all the help I can get.


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Listening to God


holy experience

It's Walk with Him Wednesday and Ann of A Holy Experience has invited us to write about ...listening to God.

First of all, I find it truly amazing that the one true living God who created the universe and every little creature would even want to be in a personal relationship with me. But the Bible tells me He does. And I accepted and received this ...by faith.

When two are in a relationship there is an exchange that takes place.

Consider the marriage relationship. If I did all of the talking and my husband simply listened and never responded, it would be a one sided relationship. It takes a proper amount of speaking and ...listening to one another.

In my relationship with the Lord, I have a tendency at times to do all of the talking. You know, here is my list of requests Lord; like He was some kind of a Santa Claus. How disrespectful is that?

The more I get to know Him though, the more time I desire to spend with Him.

I look forward to my daily morning quiet time. As I come before the Lord in prayer, I praise Him first for who He is. I then thank Him for His presence in my life. I open the Scriptures to read from His Word. There have been times when a particular verse of Scripture seems to leap off the page. It's like God is saying:

"Debbie, pay attention here. I'm speaking to you."


Here are some ways I listen to God:

  • Spend time in prayer
  • Ask the Lord to open my eyes and my ears to all He has for me this day
  • Pray that I would be sensitive to His leading this day
  • Ask His Holy Spirit to teach me as I study His Word
  • Meditate on Scriptures
  • Ask for opportunities to apply what I've learned
  • Reading Christian books from authors who share the truth
  • Listening to sermons from preachers who teach the truth
  • Being quiet enough to hear His still, small voice throughout my day
  • There are times when the Lord awakens me with a song
  • My Christian sisters have shared truth with me and keep me accountable.

How often do you get so busy in our day to day activities and responsibilities that you allow the world to drown out His voice?

Let's not allow this to happen. If you want to live a life that has eternal consequences, it's so important to ...listen to God.

How about you? Do you do all the talking? Or do you spend the time needed to listen?

I look forward to reading your comments. After all, I love to listen to you. LOL.

Blessings,

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Responding to Difficulties


It's In Other Words Tuesday and Karen of In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus is our host. This week she has chosen the following quote for us:

Now, this is a subject I've been studying and learning lately. So, it's a timely quote for me.

When life is going along smoothly, it's easy to have faith and praise God. But when those trials and difficulties come along as they eventually do ...it's not as easy.

I've fallen into the trap of asking this first question:

"Why is this happening to me?"

And then the second question is:

"When is this going to end?"

But I have to say that I'm growing in this area. The last few years have been very unsettling for me. I like certainty and stability and they've been just the opposite.

But the Lord is teaching me and I can see that I am growing in my faith and trust. I know He is trustworthy. I am spending time daily in His Word and in prayer. I am seeking His Will.

My theme for 2010 is "trust and obey". And my verse for this year is:

"Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

And do you know what? When I do this, it works. But I've got to lay it all down and not take it up again.

Even though my questions are not being answered at this time, I make the choice to live by faith and not feelings. And why do I choose to do this?

  • I know that God will direct me as I continue to seek His guidance.
  • I know that He has a purpose that is for my good and His glory.
  • I know that this difficulty will not continue forever.
  • I know that God has perfect timing.
  • I know that there are lessons He has for me to learn in the midst of the difficulty.
  • I know that I will be able to be used to help others who go through similiar problems since I've experienced it myself.

Our response as we go through difficulties tells the world what we truly believe.

What does the world see in you? Do you live by your feelings or do you live by faith?


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Living a Life of Eternal Consequences


Extravagant Grace

Happy 2010! It's the beginning of a new year. In fact, it's the beginning of a new decade.

I'm joining eLisa of Extravagant Grace for Living Intentionally Together. From January 1-7 you are welcome to write a blog post, join in and link up. We're focusing on establishing our priorities and goals for 2010.

There is an excellent guide that eLisa has provided here that you can download or print called Living Intentionally. It was inspired by Anne Ortlund's book "Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman".

I've prayed and read the Scriptures and I'm ready to join in. The overriding question is:

Am I living a life of ...eternal consequences?

Or am I more concerned with my own comfort and stability in life so ...I can feel good?

My Life Verses:

"Let your life shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what god's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

My Life Purpose:

Inwardly, to continue to grow in intimacy with the Lord so I will live a life of rest, peace and love ...in Christ.

Outwardly, to live out a life of love towards others. When people notice the difference I desire to give God the glory.

My Life Goals:

  • To be a godly wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece and friend
  • To be a helpmate to my husband
  • To share my passion for Christ by loving others
  • To grow in my writing and speaking abilities
  • To mentor younger women in the ways of the Lord
  • To live a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise, drinking more water and eating fruits, vegetables and fish.
  • To be debt free and live below my means so I can share with others
  • To live a life of dependence on the Lord; abiding in Him.
  • To memorize more Scripture verses


2010 Theme:

Trust and obey

2010 Theme Verse:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

One Year Goals:

Priority 1: That God would be first in my life before anyone or anything else. My love for my husband will be an overflow and the fruit of the Spirit will become more evident. This results in a more loving atmosphere in my home.

Priority 2: That I would regularly attend and be involved in my church and Bible study class. I don't want to live my Christian life alone. Praying and caring for my Christian brothers and sisters is a privilege and an encouragement. It also shows the world a different way to live as believers who love each other.

Priority 3: That I would be an encouragement to other women through my writings on Heart Choices and possibly speaking opportunities.

So, how about you? Will you take the time to pray? Why not ask the Lord what He would like you to learn in 2010? What character traits do you need to develop?

Let's consider ways we can live a life that has ...eternal consequences.

Blessings and happy new year to you,


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