Heart Choices: 2010-05-16 -->

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It Is Well With My Soul

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.
This week my focus has been on God as my Peace or Shalom.
True peace isn't the absence of problems.
Peace can only come through an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.
I choose the song "It Is Well With My Soul". 
Bill Gaither begins this video by sharing the story behind this song that was written so many years ago.  
Horatio Stafford was still able to say the words "it is well with my soul" despite losing so much.

Is it well with your soul?

Blessings and love,

Flashback ~ Lindenhurst High School Reunion

Friday Photo Flashback
It's Friday Photo Flashback when I link up with Alicia of More Than Words.

Today I'm going back to 1991 and it was my 20 year high school reunion.  Yes, you read that right.  I graduated from Lindenhurst High School in 1971 before many of you were even born. :)

The day before the reunion I got together with several of my girlfriends for lunch at Maryjane's house. 
We had so much to catch up on. 
From left to right: Maryjane Mazzapelle, Lois Copozzi, JoAnn Hoza, me and Donna Lorelli.
Yes, there were so many Italians in my school. After all, it was Long Island.

This photo was taken at the evening reunion event. 
Maryjane is with her high school boyfriend and yes, he's been her hubby for more than 30 years.  They are now grandparents.
Lynn Jaeger is next to Lois and I'm on the end.
They were getting us ready for the group photo.  I think I was trying to tell my husband Greg to take a picture too.  All I can say is that after that night, I could barely talk.  But it was worth it since I had such a good time.
Next year is going to be our 40th reunion!
Let me assure you; time goes by soooo fast ...


Reach Out and Touch

Touch is one of our seven senses given to us by God.

Babies have a need for touch that is essential for proper growth and development.

Studies done in hospitals and orphanages demonstrate that infants lose weight and become ill without touch.

My mother obviously knew the power of touch.  She could never resist holding and kissing those little babies.  She never tired of it even when all of her kids got older too.  :)
To continue reading, head over to Laced with Grace.


Word Filled Wednesday ~ Be Still

It's Word Filled Wednesday and I'm linking up with Amydeanne of The 160 Acres Woods.

Spending time with the Lord is essential for me. 
Even though I'm a Christian, I still must contend with my flesh this side of eternity.  

So I make the daily choice to meet with God very early in the morning.
If Jesus needed to take time to spend with His Father ...how much more do I?

I pray, read chapters from my Bible and journal.
He teaches me lessons and helps me to mature in my faith.
As I look back in my writings I can see that ...He is faithful.

He will speak to your heart but you must ...take time to be still and listen.

Blessings and love,

I took this photo on the beach of East Hampton on Long Island, NY.

Hearing God in our Pleasure and Pain

I'm honored to be the host for this week's In Other Words Tuesday.  I encourage you to link up your posts on McLinky below.  If you aren't participating, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.  I always love to read your comments. :)

Here is the quote that I choose for today's In Other Words Tuesday:

When my life is going along smoothly, I'm very grateful to God.  I'm already in the habit of having a morning quiet time.  So for me, that continues whether my circumstances are good or not so good.

Spending time alone with the Lord keeps me grounded in His Word and close to Him.

But I have to admit something.  When I'm going through painful or difficult circumstances my quiet time takes on a more significant role.  Those are the times when I'm desperate to hear from Him.  I've cried out and been so honest regarding my feelings about people, situations and when life seems so unfair.  I'd rather tattle to God than to call all my friends and share things that I might later regret.  I heard Beth Moore say that once and I thought it was good advice.
I had the opportunity to spend time in Carmel, California one summer with some friends.  It was a good time in my life and I remember taking long walks along the beach.  The smell of the salt air and the sound of the crashing waves was so calming to me.  I could easily hear God's voice during my times of prayer and enjoying the beauty of His creation. 

However, I've recently experienced a time of much pain.  After living in our beautiful dream home for twelve years, we had to downsize and move.  Our last night in this house was spent on blowup mattresses since we sold all of our furniture.  So much was happening and I remember crying out to God. 

Where are you Lord?

I learned that He hadn't gone anywhere.  I had become so distracted by my problems that I wasn't listening to Him.  I couldn't hear His voice.  I had to remember Psalm 46:10:

"Be still and know that I am God."

A wonderful reminder so that we can hear God speak in our pleasure but also in ...our pain.

Blessings and love,


Syttende Mai

In case you're wondering what Syttended Mai means it's the 17th of May celebration or Norwegian Independence Day.  This is a major holiday in Norway similar to our 4th of July celebration.  Norwegian Americans like my family celebrate this day too.

You see, I was raised by Vikings.  These are my parents and me below.  They weren't really Vikings but you can't convince my husband Greg of that.  He always laughs about my strength and genetic background.  Scary huh?

The Norwegian Constitution was signed in 1814.  However, Sweden ruled over Norway until 1905.  There is a bit of an ongoing rivalry between these two countries.  I remember hearing jokes like " a thousand Swedes, running through the weeds, chased by one Norwegian."  I guess you have to be Norwegian to get it; lol.

Parades and celebrations are held throughout Norway on May 17th but also in some parts of the US. The Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn is where my parents were raised. It was like Little Norway in the 1920's until the 1960's.
Even my nieces Katie and Kristin were dressed in the Norwegian bunads to celebrate.  Notice the Norwegian dangling pins that are so beautiful.
Of course, food is always involved in Syttende Mai celebrations.  I love to make Norwegian waffles.  The smell of cardamom is sweet and delicious.  Guess what I'm making today? 
Here's my dad with a special cake that's often made for weddings.  It has the most delicious almond taste to it.  I love it!  My grandmother used to make these cakes.

So I'd like to say Happy Syttende Mai to my Norwegian friends and relatives including Sonja, Felisol, L-Jay, Hilde and Grethe Hagen, Dad, Aunt Ruth and so many more ...

Blessings and love,


Monday Morning Reflections ~ Shalom

It's Monday Morning Reflections and I continue to study Ann Spangler's book "Praying the Names of God" with Jill of Forever N Ever N Always.  This week our focus is on God as Yahweh Shalom. 

Is it hard for you to think of peace when you have problems?  What happens when you read the newspaper headlines or hear about the ongoing fighting in the Mideast?  Is your son or daughter in the military? Can you have peace when you know their life may be in harm's way fighting for freedom?

For seven long years, the Midianites played havoc over the Israelites because they had done evil in the Lord's eyes.  Gideon was hiding out in a winepress threshing wheat.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon calling him a mighty warrior and saying that God was with him.  He was told not to be afraid and that he would not die.

"So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it THE LORD is Peace." Judges 6:24

Ann wrote:
...God's mere presence would be enough to transform this fearful man into a mighty warrior capable of winning the peace for an entire nation.
In case you missed this video from last week, I'm going to post it again.  My blogging friend Elaine Olsen recently released her book called "Peace for the Journey" and her book trailer is so good.  It speaks on this topic of peace and where to find it.

Shalom does not refer to the absence of problems or a state of inner calm.  Ann writes:

Shalom comes from living in harmony with God.  The fruit of that harmony is harmony with others, prosperity, health, satisfaction, soundness, wholeness, and well-being.  When you pray to Yahweh Shalom, you are praying to the source of all peace.  No wonder his Son is called the Prince of Peace.
The Israelites had been freed from their slavery in Egypt and were in the Promised Land.  If you are a believer, you have been delivered from slavery to sin.  However, do you look to other things to provide you with security and peace? 

  • Your spouse

  • Your children

  • Financial freedom

  • A well paying job

  • Popularity

  • Beauty

  • Beautiful home

  • Vacation
You may  have some temporary relief with any of the above, but you will only have lasting peace when you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Real peace comes only from God.  That constant conscious communication with the only One who can provide lasting peace and security.

Blessings and love,

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