Heart Choices: March 2011

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Why I Love Facebook

I love Facebook!  It's a place where I can connect with friends and family from all over the world.

Where else can you go on your birthday morning and find so many birthday greetings? :)

Living in Phoenix, I don't get to see many of my cousins.  But all I have to do is check out their Facebook profile and I can see the latest photos.

These are my California cousins.  Rod is pictured with his son Jake.  My Uncle Bob is in the middle and my cousin Russ is pictured with his son.

Of course, their daughters had to join their brothers in a photo op too.

And I laughed so hard when I saw this photo.  My cousin's son is the one on the right ...priceless!

Then there are those long lost family photos I get to see.  Kristin and Katie are in this one at a birthday party.  Katie is the little girl with the pony tails and Kristin is on her left.  The girls are all grown up now and I missed ever seeing this photo until Facebook.

I also get to join Facebook groups.  My parents grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  I joined a Facebook group of people who attended the same church as my parents and grandparents so I got to see old photos.

This picture was taken back in the 1930's.  My dad is the birthday boy in the center.  All of the other children were identified on Facebook.  How cool is that?

I've many more reasons for loving Facebook.  But this is just a start.  Keeping in touch with family, friends and blogging friends has been a wonderful adventure for me.  I'm getting very good at Google Translate so I can converse with my Norwegian relatives.  And I am getting reacquainted with many of my Lindenhurst High School classmates.  With a reunion coming up this summer, it makes it more fun to 'talk' ahead of time.

So, if you've hesitated getting on board I'd say go for it.  How about you?  Are you on Facebook?

Blessings and love,


How I Experience Emotional Rest

I'm linking up with Bonnie for another Faith Barista Jam.  The topic for this month is restoring soul rest.  What a timely topic this is for me. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we could take a vacation from our problems?

Greg and I laugh each time we watch the movie "What About Bob?" with Bill Murray. If you've never seen this movie, it's worth renting.  Laughter is good for emotional rest you know.  

Coastal Living
I'd like to take that vacation and stay in this beautiful ocean front setting, wouldn't you?  I'm sure I'd get lots of emotional rest here.

But the reality is that I can't take a literal vacation from my problems.  They have this annoying habit of not really going away, no matter where I stay.  As I go through this difficult season in my life, the emotions of fear and anxiety can easily take over.  But as the name of my blog says, I have Heart Choices to make. 

You see, I may not get to chose all of the circumstances in my life but ...I can choose how I respond.

For me to experience emotional rest, I must make a few choices: 
  • I choose to trust that God sees and knows all the details of my life.
  • I cast all my cares upon Him.
  • I choose to recognize and act upon those Divine appointments as I stay close to the Lord.
  • I choose an attitude of gratitude as I look for the many simple blessings God has provided for me.
  • I choose to not only study the Bible but I obey it.
  • I choose to be a vessel of God's as I share His love with others; sometimes with words.
 I know I could add more to this list.  But how about you?  How do you experience emotional rest?

 Blessings and love,


You Are More

Four years ago I began blogging.  I hadn't even realized it until Beth of I'm Heading Towards My Destiny wrote a post celebrating her four year blogoversary.  I checked the archives of Heart Choices and realized that my first post was on March 16, 2007.

Some of my early posts were about beauty.  I was concerned as I saw young girls trying to look like the models in the magazines.  I had seen a short video produced by Dove.

So many unrealistic expectations on women, including me! 

Now that I have turned 58, it's much harder to keep up the outward looks.  When I look in the mirror, I wonder who that person is sometimes.  Inside I feel one way but outside ...I look different.

As a Christian, it's what's inside that is most important.  I know that!  I don't judge others by their looks.  And yet, I find I'm very critical of myself.

My friend Jill of Forever N Ever N Always created an I AM BEAUTIFUL project.  She is challenging women from all over to join in.  I encourage you to link over and read all about it.  I still haven't posted my photo but ... I will.

In the meantime, I am posting the song "You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North for Then Sings My Soul Saturday.  I'm linking up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders

The words have an important message that goes along with the I AM BEAUTIFUL project.

Blessings and love,


Friday Photo Flashback ~ Lake Powell

Friday Photo Flashback

I'm on spring break and I finally began cleaning out my garage.  This has been on my to-do list for some time. 

In one of the boxes, I found an old photo album dating back to 1985.  Greg and I were married at the end of 1984 so this was our first year of marriage.  I knew I had to link up with Alicia of More Than Words for Friday Photo Flashback.

Greg's sister Amy and a friend had invited us to fly up to Lake Powell in a small prop plane.  We got to spend a week on a rented houseboat.  What a fun time we had together!

Lake Powell is a huge lake on the border of Arizona and Utah.  It is 186 miles long and has 2,000 miles of shoreline.  At times, it's as smooth as glass.  There's nothing like the reflection of the mountains in this lake.

Greg and I had such a good time that we purchased a boat and kept it docked at Lake Powell for several years.  Those were the days of water skiing and camping out.  Such fond memories!

What have you found in your garage lately?

Blessings and love,


My Struggle with Soul Rest


Today I'm linking up with The Faith Barista for a jam session.  Bonnie's topic for this month is on restoring soul rest. 

Right now, I'm struggling in this area.  I long to experience that soul rest no matter what circumstances may be occurring in my life.  But I must admit; I've not quite arrived at that point yet. 

I look back at this photo of me as a little girl.  Little did I know what was ahead in life for me.  

Since then I've learned what it's like to:
  • Go through open heart surgery as a child of seven
  • Attempt to make up for lost time as I was determined to be able to keep up with other children
  • Have an exciting and fun life in high school
  • Be blessed with many friends, including many that began 50 years ago
  • Get married young and go through a divorce
  • Move cross country with only what I could take in my car
  • Meet my husband Greg and celebrate 26 years of marriage last November
  • Have a career in cardiovascular nursing for 25 years
  • Struggle with infertility for many years and never be able to conceive a child
  • Be flat on my back after C-spine surgery
  • Be blessed with an abundance of material possessions
  • Move into my dream home
  • Experience great health and being in the best shape of my life
  • Share many blessings with my family
  • Have fun adventures with my nieces Kristin and Katie
  • Find a wonderful church family and recommit my life to Christ
  • Lose material possessions and sell my dream home
  • Become depressed and gain twenty pounds and feel out of shape
  • Have to return to work after many years with a lapsed nursing license
  • Find a job working with little children in a private school
  • Be blessed by the love of 19 three year old children and 15 first graders in my after school class
  • Work at losing weight and getting back in shape
I long to be like the Apostle Paul and be content in all circumstances. 

Philippians 4:13 goes on to read:
"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

I am learning that the secret to soul rest is abiding in Christ moment by moment.

As I spend time in prayer ...He comforts me.
As I read His Word ...He gives me wisdom.
As I take time to spend time with Him ...I get to know Him better.

I am very slowly learning to lean on Him; to trust Him. 

My emotions have a way of taking over at times. 

So I return to the Scriptures and replace the fear with the Truth. 

"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
Do you struggle with soul rest?  How do you deal with life's challenges?

Blessings and love,


Word-filled Wednesday

I'm linking up with Internet Cafe Devotions for Word-filled Wednesday.

Blessings and love,


Changing Your Perspective

Today I'm hosting "In Other Words Tuesday" so I got to choose our quote for this week.

I recently read a book by Cherie Hill called "Be Still: Let Jesus Calm Your Storms".  It was such a timely read for me as I've been going through a very challenging season.  As I speak with friends and read many blogs, I find that I'm not alone.

Here's the quote:

"When we align our thinking with God's, we're given a glimpse of what it's like to see through His eyes.  When we're able to view our storm from His perspective ...it changes everything."
                              ~ Be Still by Cherie Hill ~

So, how do I align my thinking with God's?

God has not left me alone to figure things out according to human wisdom.  The Bible is the inspired Word of God.  It is just as relevant today as when it was written.

When I am afraid, I replace that fear with ...the Truth.

When I become anxious, I remember that He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me.

I apply the Word of God to the storms in my life and ...I am calmed.

My human emotions can easily take over.   

But when I remember who I belong to, I learn to depend more fully on the Lord.  After all, He is in control of all things.  Nothing is impossible for Him. 

As I learn to lean on Him and trust Him, He shows me that He is faithful and has my best interests at heart.

In the midst of the storm, my perspective begins to change.

So, how about you?  Have you aligned your thinking with God's in the midst of your storms?

I encourage you to link your blog post below or simply leave your comments.  I look forward to reading them.

Blessings and love,


Living Fully in the Moment

In my quest to live fully right where I am, I find that I'm beginning to find delight in simple things.  I received a dancing solar flower for Valentine's Day from one of our three year old students.  I've placed mine in my kitchen window.  When the sun hits, it begins to dance.  Both Greg and I laugh each time we see it.

#15 Dancing solar flower

After lunch each school day, the three year old children lie down on their nap mats.  They're encouraged to spend time resting.  Most days almost all fall asleep.  Notice the red cowgirl boots on Kambria.  Her older brother's class had Western Day.  So she joined in too. :)

#16  The sight of a child's cowgirl boots
#17  Seeing my niece Katie's photo in a magazine photo shoot. 

Katie is the blonde on the right and she works at Fringe Salon  on Broome Street in the lower east side of Manhattan.  If you go to NYC, be sure to check them out and ask for Rosie.  Although her name is Katie, there is another Katie who works there so my Katie became Rosie. :)

I finally used a gift card I received at Christmas to purchase a copy of Sarah Young's book Jesus Lives.  Thanks Charity!

#18  Soaking in the love of Jesus
My friend Iris Nelson is an excellent photographer.  She recently published a beautiful book of her photos accompanied by Bible verses.  She provides encouragement as only Iris can do.

Iris had a contest when she was naming this book.  She blogged about it on Grace Alone and asked for input from other bloggers and ...I won!

I thought this cover photo was perfect for the title: "Fill Me to Overflowing".

Iris was so kind to mail me a copy of the book.  Btw, I highly recommend it.  It's a perfect book to give as a gift to others.  Iris took every one of the photos.  You will be able to see how beautiful Arizona is.  And both Iris and I get to live here.

#19 A wonderful friend and a beautiful state in which to live

#20 Spring break this week

#21 A much needed time of rest and refreshment

#22 Beautiful weather in Phoenix

#23 The sound of birds chirping in the early morning as I pour my cup of coffee

#24 The sound of my keyboard as I type out my blog post

Have I mentioned that I love the world of blogging?  Working full time has cramped my time so I've not been able to visit all of my favorite blogs.  I hope to do some catching up this week though.  I've made so many wonderful friends through blogging.

#25 Blogging; a wonderful way to encourage others and to be encouraged

Reading Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are has begun to change my outlook on life. 

I am beginning to notice the ordinary simple things in life and to be ...thankful.

I am linking up today with Ann at A Holy Experience to participate in One Thousand Gifts.

Blessings and love,


Hosting In Other Words Tuesday 3/15

I will be hosting "In Other Words Tuesdays" this week.

The quote I chose for us to write about is:

I want to encourage you to join in this next Tuesday, March 15th.  Simply write a blog post on this quote and link up with us here.  I look forward to reading your post.

Blessings and love,


TSMSS ~ Tunnel by Third Day

I'm happy to be joining in on Then Sings My Soul Saturday with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

I heard this song called "Tunnel" by Third Day on the radio today and ...loved it.

The lyrics are wonderful and timely.  So many people are going through challenging times.  It helps to be reminded that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I won't pretend to know what you're thinking
I can't begin to know what you're going through
I won't deny the pain that you're feeling
But I'm gonna try and give a little hope to you

Just remember what I've told you
There's so much you're living for


There's a light at the end of this tunnel
There's a light at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
There's a light at the end of this tunnel
Shinin' bright at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you

So keep holdin' on
You've got your disappointments and sorrows
You ought to share the weight of that load with me
Then you will find that the light of tomorrow
It brings a new life for your eyes to see

So remember what I've told you
There's so much you're living for


So keep holdin' on
Keep holding on

So remember what I've told you
There's so much you're living for

[Chorus] x2

There's a light at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
Shinin' bright at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
So keep holdin' on
Keep holding on
Keep holding on, now.

You've got your disappointments and sorrows
But I'm gonna try and give a little hope to you

Blessings and love,


Have You Missed A Divine Appointment?

Have you had any divine appointments lately? You know those times when you interact with someone and you just know it was orchestrated by God.

Do you pray and ask God to open your eyes to what He has for you today?

I'm over at Laced with Grace today.  I encourage you to link over there for the rest of the story ...

Laced With Grace


Walk Your Talk

It's In Other Words Tuesday and our host for this week is Tami of The Next Step.  Tami chose the following quote for us to write about:

"It is no use walking anywhere to preach
unless our walking is our preaching."
   ~ Francis of Assissi ~

How do you live day to day?  What happens when you think nobody is looking?  Do you walk in love?

You can be the most eloquent speaker and teacher of the Word.  But the Scripture says ...it must be done in love.

I remember attending a Christian conference.  The teacher was very intelligent and knowledgable as he presented the material.  However, as he exited the stage during our break he didn't realize that his microphone was still turned on.  When the audience heard his irritated words, we were shocked and he was embarassed!

Lesson to self; walk your talk. 

There's always someone watching, especially if you are preaching to others.  And always remember that even if you think nobody sees you, nothing is hidden from the Lord.  He sees it all!

My paternal grandfather was a great example of someone who walked his talk.  As a little girl, I loved to accompany  him to the stores.  When we walked into the bakery, he was always greeted with smiles and of course, everyone knew his name.  I loved it when they yelled "Hi Henry". 

That was my Grandpa and he walked in love wherever he went.

Maybe that was why he often had new friends accompany he and my Nana to church on Sundays.  He was always inviting new faces he met.  How could they resist his smile and warm personality?  He couldn't help but share the love of Christ with others.  It overflowed to others so easily.

How about you?  Do you walk your talk?

You and I may  not be preachers but as Christians, we can choose to share the love of Christ with others.

Blessings and love,

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