Heart Choices: May 2011

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I Love Shutterfly

I love Shutterfly!  Father's Day is coming soon.  I received a discount code for 5 free Father's Day cards from Shutterfly.  Now I don't need 5 cards since I only have one dad.  But I wanted to share the card I made with you.

My dad's computer isn't working right now so I know he won't see this card on my blog.  :)

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I received a beautiful Shutterfly photo book from the parents of our Pre-K 3 class.  It was awesome!  If you're not familiar with Shutterfly, you MUST check them out.

Blessings and love,


Multitudes on Mondays

Counting my blessings has become easier.  I'm noticing the simple gifts each and every day.

This past week was one of celebration and fun.  It was our last week of school so there were parties and lots of sad goodbyes.  I felt so privileged to get to work with such precious children and a wonderful teacher named Heidi.
#75 Working with Heidi who makes work fun even when it's hard and very tiring

#76 A beautiful photo album that Heidi put together for me as a gift.  She took the time to interview each child in our class and ask them what they liked about Miss Debbie.  She wrote their responses down next to each child's photo.  I cried when she gave this special gift to me.  I will treasure it always!

I was invited to a birthday party for Kaylie!  Kaylie is Iva's daughter and I've known Iva since she was about 14 years old.  I wrote a blog post on Heart Choices all about Iva and you can read it here.   I hadn't seen Iva in three years so this was a very special day for me to see her again.

Iva and Kaylie
Little princess
Blowing out her three candles
#77 The blessing of celebrating a child's third birthday

#78  Reuniting with someone who is very special to me

#79  Remembering Iva's grandmother Ruth who died several years ago and how she would have loved to meet Kaylie

#80  A surprise visit with my friend Terri and her husband Steve

#81  A week to spend at home and not have to drive to work

#82  Fresh strawberries and watermelon

#83  Having time to cook new recipes I found online

#84  The blessing of working under the guidance of a wonderful principal at our school.  I was sad when Stephanie announced at our final year end meeting that she would not be returning next year.  There was an audible gasp in the room as so many have come to love her.  But she has a wonderful opportunity ahead of her and I wish her well.  But ...she will be missed!

#85  Having time this week to write more blog posts on Heart Choices

#86  Having time to visit many of my blogging friends whom I've neglected lately; sorry.

# 87 I won a blog giveaway on a new blog called My One Pursuit.  The writer of this blog is the pastor of my blogging friend Barbie of My Freshly Brewed Life.  Barbie and I have met in person when she visited Phoenix last year.  This is what I won:

I encourage you to visit this blog and you will be blessed.  The giveaway was to kick off the new blog and to equip the winner with tools to move them into a deeper pursuit of the Living God.  Well, I already ordered a few Kindle edition books to help me.  I am so very thankful.

#88  I was able to send letters to several members of a Marine division serving in Afghanistan through a website called Motomail.  A member of my church sent us an email with several servicemen who weren't receiving mail and asked us to help out.

May we remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives as they served in the military to protect the USA.

Blessings and love,


New Lyrics for Hallelujah

During our Sunday morning church service, the music minister played his guitar and sang Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah".  However, the lyrics Gale sang were different.  They were written by George Stroh, the pastor of Maranatha Bible Church in Peoria, Arizona.

I searched online for the music without singing and found this video on YouTube.  The lyrics that Pastor George wrote can be viewed below.  The song was written to those who have been praying for loved ones.

George Stroh's lyrics to the tune of Hallelujah:

Well I heard about a Savior who has come to die for me and you.
But you don't really care about Him, do ya?
They say He is the promised one, the truth, the life, God's first born son,
the King who always hears the Hallelujah!

Chorus: Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well you  need to hear that God's the one who loves you so and sent His Son.
But you still don't believe in Him, do ya?
He's paid the price we couldn't pay, He's risen, alive, will come someday,
the King who always hears the Hallelujah!

Repeat Chorus

Well it's time for you to trust in Him, the one who can forgive your sin.
It's not too late to change your mind, but will ya?
You must repent, receive His love, accept the gift from God above,
And join the choir that sings the Hallelujah!

Repeat Chorus

Well I pray someday you'll come to Him, this Savior who has died for sin.
then you will truly be a Christian, won't ya?
Your life will change, sin satisfied, your heart renewed, your glorified,
And then you'll sing with us the Hallelujah.

Repeat Chorus

Blessings and love,


IOWT ~ David Wilkerson Quote

I'm hosting "In Other Words Tuesday" today.  I encourage you to join in even if this is your first time.

The quote I chose for us to write about is from the last blog post of David Wilkerson, founder of World Challenge.  He died April 27, 2011 in an auto accident.

I was so saddened to read of the sudden death of David Wilkerson.  I remembered reading the book "The Cross and the Switchblade" many years ago.  It was the story of how David worked with drug addicts and gang members in New York City.  The book was made into a movie and I remember being amazed at the transformation of  Nicky Cruz, a former gang member after he was led to the Lord.

I'm sure when David Wilkerson wrote his last blog post, he had no idea he'd be meeting the Lord later that day.  I guess none of us ever knows that for sure.

As I contemplate this quote, I can't help but think of the way my life has been turned upside down in the last few years.  So many changes.  And yet I continue to pray.

I must confess that there have been days when I cried out to God, asking if He'd forgotten me.  You see, my human emotions can get in the way at times.  But I believe by faith and I know that I know ...He will never leave me nor forsake me.  

He knows all the intimate details of my life:

  • Moving from my dream home 
  • Living in a temporary dwelling 
  • Returning to full time work 
  • Losing so much freedom
I may not understand the why's of it all.  But I trust my God who has my life in His very capable hands.  

Through it all, my eyes have been opened. 
  •  I have a new understanding for others going through challenges. 
  •  I am learning to notice the simple everyday blessings I used to take for granted.
  • I am learning to enjoy the moments along the way. 
  • I have been given an opportunity to work with little children.  The Lord knew how much I longed for children of my own for so many years.  So, in the midst of difficulties, He provided me with a job in a private school.  What a comfort and joy they are to me!

I don't know what the future holds.  But I listen for His still small voice as I read my Bible and pray.  I praise Him in the midst of the storm, trusting Him with my tomorrows.  Maybe one day I will understand but for now ...I continue to walk by faith.

Blessings and love,


Hosting "In Other Words" This Tuesday

I will be hosting "In Other Words Tuesday".  I invite you to join in this coming Tuesday, May 24th.  Simply post this quote in your blog post and write your thoughts.  If you click on the image for In Other Words Tuesday, you can get the code to past into your blog.  Be sure to link up here on Heart Choices with the direct link to your post so we can visit one another.  It's always interesting to read one another's viewpoints on the chosen quote.

This is the quote I chose for us to write about this week:

This quote was taken from a blog post on David Wilkerson Devotionals on the day of his death, April 27, 2011 in an auto accident.  He was the founder of World Challenge.

So come back on Tuesday.  I look forward to reading your blog posts.

Blessings and love,


Love Has Come

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Life may seem a bit chaotic and uncertain, but love has come and ...His Name is Jesus.

We may continue to face challenges in this life but one day ...every knee will bow and acknowledge Him.

In the meantime, will you spread His love to all you come in contact with?

I know this life is filled with sorrow
And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts But I know there will come a day When our tears are washed away With a break in the clouds His glory coming down And in that moment

Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
That God is love
And love has come for us all
Every heart set free
Every one will see
That God is love
And love has come for us all

For anybody who has ever lost a loved one And you feel like you had to let go too soon I know it hurts to say goodbye But don't you know it's just a matter of time 'Til the tears are gonna end You'll see them once again And in that moment

Oh, and on that day
We will stand amazed
At our Savior, God and King
Just to see the face
Of amazing grace
As our hearts rise upand sing

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Thank You for the cross
Singing glory, glory, hallelujah
Christ has paid the cost

Spread His SONshine today!

Blessings and love,


Finish Strong ~ Laced with Grace Today

Today I'm over at Laced with Grace.  I'm writing about finishing strong.  Whether it's the end of a school year, a long chronic illness, financial uncertainty ...we want to finish strong.

Life may be uncertain but if we walk by faith we will make every moment count.

Laced With Grace

I encourage you to link over to Laced with Grace to continue reading.

Blessings and love,


Count Your Blessings

As I was contemplating my post for today, the song "Count Your Blessings" was playing over and over in my head.  With all the uncertainty and struggles, it's good to sit back and actually ...count my blessings.

So I continue my list of simple blessings and link up with Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience.

I love how the parents dress their little preschoolers each day.  I had to chuckle at a few of the t-shirts they wore and of course, Miss Debbie had to snap a photo.

#68 Kambria's happy shirt brought a big smile to my face.

#69  The cutest t-shirt

Rachel asked me what her shirt said after I told her how precious it was.  She thought that was pretty cool and that her mom really is cute.

#70  Brother for sale

I wonder who put the price tag on Hunter's shirt.  I loved it.

#71 The blessing of unique backpacks.  Vera was so excited to show me the new one she got.

On my long drive in to work, I look for simple blessings.  Tara, my carpool buddy, has gotten used to me pointing out something that grabs my attention.  For some time now, I noticed people riding horses along the road but never had my camera ready.

#72 A glimpse of a horse in the middle of the city.

I also had the unique pleasure of accompanying Tara to pick up her wedding dress after work on Friday.  Tara is getting married to her fiancée Josh at the end of July in West Virginia.  Her mom is quite a distance away so I was so happy to be there for her.  Her dress is so elegant and I know she will make a beautiful bride.

#73  Seeing Tara in her wedding gown

I was sick all weekend but I got to spend lots of time with my hubby Greg.  He was also sick.  I guess if I'm counting my blessings I must be thankful for this time together.

#74  Spending time with Greg

Blessings and love,


Strong Enough

It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

The song I chose for this week is "Strong Enough" by Matthew West.  I've always considered myself to be a strong person.  But my personal strength can get in the way at times.

Instead of looking to 'self' for strength, I need to allow God to be my strength.  I need to come to the end of 'myself' and allow Him to work in me and through me.  That's real strength.

Where does your strength come from?

Blessings and love,


Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week.  It was my very first celebration like this and ...I loved it!

For the 25 years I worked as a nurse, I never experienced anything like this.  But I guess patients come and go while teachers get to stay with the same students and parents all year.

This is how Heidi and my desks looked all week.

Many of the children brought in a flower or two for each of us.  They were all so lovely and our room smelled awesome.

There was a lily in the bunch and three year old Lily got a kick out of that.  She said "That's a lily and I'm a Lily" and laughed.  Too cute!

I couldn't miss this opportunity to take a photo of my friend and co-worker teacher Heidi with her son Scott. They are standing outside of our classroom.  Scott is in my first grade after school program too.

And here's a photo I captured of our students giving Heidi some love.

In the middle of this celebration week, we still had to do some work. The children are learning to read using their site words.  I cannot believe how three year olds can learn so quickly.  They get to hold a site word and the whole class reads together.
The children were so excited as we started with a caterpillar and over the week watched as it transformed into a butterfly.  We took them outside so we could release the butterflies.
One of the butterflies was so slow to leave as he clung to the orange slice.  But when he finally let go and flew, the children were so excited and waved goodbye.

All week we had the opportunity to wear jeans and even flip flops.  I loved that as I usually live in flip flops.  This photo was taken in our teacher's lounge.  My car pool buddy Tara is standing to the right of me.

We have an exploration time every day for the children.  Ellie was playing with the building blocks instead of actually building with her classmates.  But it provided me with another photo opportunity!

Oh and did I mention that the Parent Association provided us with an English Tea?  What a special treat it was!

It doesn't get much better than this!  Thank you for all your hard work and time Mrs. Parrish.

We had a Pep Rally for Teacher Appreciation Week too.

Our cheerleaders got in on the action and excitement of the pep rally.  Some of these girls are only three years old; too cute!
The winner of our Mismatched Outfit award went to Mrs. Jones.  She went all out.  I just hope she didn't have to stop at the grocery on her way home from school; lol.

Check out these sunglasses!  It was hot and sunny during the pep rally.

Here are some of the teachers playing musical chairs.  The kids got a kick out of this one.  Of course, there's Heidi in her mismatched outfit and dancing.  I love working with Heidi as she always makes everything such fun.  That's a good thing with three year olds!

Many of the children participated in Crazy Hair Day.  Here's Mena who is one of my first grade after school students.  It's a good thing it washes out!

I would love to share more but this post would go on and on.  But we did get to have 15 minute chair massages, a candy bucket and a special lunch brought to Heidi and I from one of our student's moms.  Thanks Jennifer!  It was delish!

All in all, teacher appreciation week was a hit!  We had such fun and it provided me with many photo opportunities.  So to all you teachers out there ...keep up the good work!

You are appreciated!

Blessings and love,

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