Heart Choices: September 2011

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Do You Want to Become a Mentor?

Have you ever thought of becoming a mentor to someone?  Maybe it's crossed your mind but you're not sure how to mentor.  And then you wonder if there are any young women who would like to be mentored.  Maybe you're concerned about the time commitment.  After all, you're busy enough as it is!

Well, I want to introduce you to a place that may help you decide.  It's all about mentoring teens and college aged girls and it's called More to Be.  The founder is eLisa Pulliam.

If you've been blogging for some time now, you may remember her previous blog called Extravagant Grace.  I subscribed to it and loved reading her posts.  She is an amazing woman of God and very transparent (my kind of gal).  She didn't grow up in a Christian home and experienced a time of rebellion.  So she understands!  You can read all about eLisa here.

After becoming a Christian in 1993, the Lord has been doing a work on her heart.  She has a passion for teenage girls and women.  She is doing what God has called her to do and ...I'm so excited.

Read what eLisa has to say about the ministry of mentoring at More to Be:

It is time for a life that is more. to. be.
It is time to become more like Christ as we get to know God personally and grow in our relationship with His Son.
It is time to experience life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit drawing on the truth revealed through the Word.
It is time to impact the next generation as we live with them established and rooted God’s purposes.
It is time.
Will you join me?

More to Be is participating in the 31 days linkup this year.  It will be an opportunity to learn all about mentoring.  eLisa will be blogging here.

The start date for the 31 days is October 1st and in case you didn't realize that is this coming Saturday.  My how time goes by so quickly.

So mark your calendars!

I encourage you to stop by and visit More to Be.  

Blessings and love,


WFW ~ Down to the Details

I remember telling my nieces how God numbers the hairs on their heads.  Kristin and Katie both gave me this incredulous look.  I am awed by that too but ...it's a fact.  

How thankful I am that God knows all about me; even down to the tiniest detail like knowing how many hairs are on my head.

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

Blessings and love,


Multitudes on Mondays

Each week, I look forward to Monday when I get to share the everyday blessings of my week.  I continue to be on the lookout each day and I try to remember to write them down.

The three year old children in our preschool class were learning about the senses.  Vision was the emphasis as we made binoculars with black construction paper.  And then we all went for a walk to SEE things.

How interesting to see things through the eyes of a child.  The wonder of seeing the cloud formations and a simple flower somehow appear more special.

It also reminded me of how innocent the children are.  As we grow up, how often do we set our eyes on things and people that maybe we should not?  I thought of the song "Oh be careful little eyes what you see".

#174  The experience of seeing things through the eyes of three year old children

#175  A reminder to be cautious as to what I set my eyes upon

Each week we present a new letter to the children.  This week our letter was "D".  They begin to learn phonics in this way and it's so fun to see them discover words that start with D.

Danielle was excited because her name starts with the letter "D".  In fact, it is a capital D, not lower case D.

#176 Children who are excited to learn new things

#177 The adventure of searching for things that begin with the letter D

#178 The excitement when words like dancing and diaper are shouted as they begin with the letter D

The children learn to sit criss cross applesauce when they gather to hear a story.  This helps make room for all of them and also to avoid anyone stepping on another's fingers.  They need to be reminded though.

#179 To see children learn the expectations and to begin to listen and follow them

On Saturday, I joined with a small group of women from our church for a brunch.  It was such fun to get together and talk, eat, and to hear a testimony.

Our theme was on hospitality.  I immediately thought of Sandy Coughlin's blog called The Reluctant Entertainer. She wrote a fabulous book by the same name and ... I have it.  No excuses for not entertaining when you can have access to great simple ideas.  After all, the emphasis should be on your guests and helping them to feel welcome in your home.

Wouldn't you know it?  Debbie Moore spoke about this very concept.  She had each of our tables answer questions to keep us on our toes too.

And one of the prizes was Sandy's book "The Reluctant Entertainer".  How perfect is that?

As we left the restaurant, I was so thankful for this church family.  It was good to hear another's story of their life before meeting Jesus.  But it was even better to hear the difference He made in her life and in her heart.

#180 Having friends who share my faith

#181 For women who are willing to be transparent and share from their life story with others

#182 For the encouragement I receive being together with friends

Have you begun to look for your everyday blessings?  I encourage you to share them each Monday as I link up with Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience.

Blessings and love,


Autumn Reflections

Photo Credit: Victoria Magazine
Today I'm participating in another Faith Barista Jam.  Bonnie has asked us to write on the following topic:

Autumn Reflections: Reflect on your journey of faith as you enter into the autumn season. 

I grew up in New York where there were four seasons.  Autumn was one of my favorite seasons with its cooler temperatures and the changing color of the leaves on the trees.  I loved the smells in the air; a new season.

Now that I live in Phoenix, Arizona the fall season is quite different. We still have HOT temperatures!  In fact, today's high is predicted to be 103 degrees.  It doesn't feel or look like autumn has arrived.

But what about my faith?

As I enter the autumn season ... my faith is strong.  

I've had to weather many storms recently with many life changes.  It hasn't been easy but I couldn't have survived and thrived without my faith.

My fall season of faith is ...letting go.

I'm definitely in that season right now, no matter what the outside temperatures are in Phoenix.

Returning to full time work after a long absence has been a unique experience for me.  I'm older now and I'm not at the beginning of my career.  But how thankful I am to be working with little children.  It's been a sweet blessing from the Lord to me.

I'm learning to not hold tightly to 'stuff'.  I'm learning to release so many earthly belongings but after all, it's a great way to simplify.  And how much do I really need after all?

I'm getting to the point where I desire what God desires for my life.  After all, He created me and knows me best.  I pray that His desires become my desires.

Instead of looking back to what I lost, I am beginning to look forward with HOPE!

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43: 18-19 ESV

I am entering this autumn season with hope and joy, knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for my life.  I choose  to walk in His ways and allow Him to work in me and through me.

Now that's a journey I can get excited about!


Blessings and love,


Everyday Blessings

It's Multitudes on Mondays when I continue to count my everyday blessings.  When you begin to live your life being on the lookout for the blessings, it really does change your perspective.

I am so excited to share the news with you!  My niece Kristin got married a little over a year ago to Kevin.  And they just found out ...they're having a baby.

When I wrote that I wanted to start singing that Paul Anka song "Having My Baby".  I loved that song!

The baby won't be born until the end of April but everyone in my family is so excited.  It will be the first great grandchild.  And I will get to be a great aunt.  I'm thinking of the name Grandtante which means 'great aunt' in Norwegian.

#164  The excitement over a new baby in our family to love

In our preschool class, the children were learning the letter "C" this past week.  Heidi and I equipped them with little cameras made out of black construction paper and yarn to go around their necks.  Then we took them on a hunt for things that began with the letter "C" on our campus.  It was too cute!

Clicking cameras, clicking cameras is something they say to learn the sound of the letter "C"

#165 The excitement of the children as they went on a hunt for things that began with the letter "C".

#166 The smiles of the children when they found something and shared it with their teachers 

I was so excited to learn that I won a blog giveaway from a website called More to Be.  I am going to write more about this ministry later this week because it involves mentoring young women.  I believe this is so important for teens to have someone to talk to and walk with them along those challenging years.  eLisa used to have a blog called Extravagant Grace and I loved it. She stopped blogging for a time and this is the ministry that was birthed.  I can't wait to share more about it with you.

I won this beautiful necklace.  You can check it out for yourself on this Etsy shop.
I also won the book "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily Freeman.  I was excited about this too as I had just seen the video promo on Emily's blog Chatting at the Sky.

#167  Winning a blog giveaway

#168  The excitement over a new ministry called More to Be that teaches older women how to mentor the younger women

I know I've been busy lately but I guess I didn't realize how busy I'd been.  My good friend Lisa Shaw just released her new book.  It is called "You are Beautiful in God's Eyes".  I was able to buy a Kindle copy because I couldn't wait to read it.  So far I've read about four chapters and ...it's good.

You can purchase your own copy here or on Amazon.

I am so proud of Lisa.  She is beautiful inside and out.  And did you know that I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa in person?  When I went to visit my family in Florida, Lisa drove more than two hours to come and have coffee and Norwegian waffles with me.  Can you believe it?  She's the real deal.  What you see is what you get ...my kind of friend.  Love you Lisa!

#169  Rejoicing with a true friend as she wrote and published her book

#170 Knowing Lisa's story and seeing where she is now; God's grace!

My mother-in-love Gloria has returned to her own home.  She fell and broke her hip requiring surgery and  months of Rehab.  The last month she spent at her daughter's home so she wouldn't be alone but she was anxious to return home.  Greg and I got to visit with her today and she looked great.  Praise God for answered prayer.

When I first wrote about Gloria breaking her hip, I asked for prayer on Heart Choices.  Bethany of Raindrops & Rainbows asked me for her address and sent her a card.  This is not the first time Bethany has done something so kind.  She occasionally sends cards to my sister Christine after I wrote about her too.

But Gloria was so impacted by Bethany's kindness that she wrote her a letter.  She showed me the envelope that was ready to be mailed.  She couldn't get over the fact that someone she didn't even know was praying for her and took the time to send her a card.  What a lesson that is for me!

#171 Answered prayer for my mother-in-love's health

#172 Seeing the impact of a kind Christian blogger who took the time to write to her (thank you Bethany)

I received the sweetest card this week from a friend I've known since the second grade.  Robyn  sat in front of me in Miss Richmond's class when I first moved to Lindenhurst.  I was behind and didn't know how to write in cursive.  Robyn would help me out and I never forgot that.  We were best friends in high school and when I was in nursing school.  She's one of those friends who will be a forever friend and I'm so grateful for that.

#173  Having a forever friend like Robyn

This week has been hot and busy.  But I'm so glad that I am noticing those everyday blessings.  How about you?  Isn't it time you started jotting them down too?

Blessings and love,


TSMSS ~ Let Faith Arise

This morning I awakened early with this song in my head.  It's called "Let Faith Arise" by Chris Tomlin. Since it's Then Sings My Soul Saturday, I knew I had to post it.

As I read the words to this song, it was a reminder and an encouragement for me.  No matter what's going on in my life, I can count on God.  He is my refuge and my strength.

Happy Saturday!

Blessings and love,


Are You Thirsty?

Are you thirsty?  Have you ever had an unquenchable thirst?
Your throat becomes so dry and you can’t seem to drink enough water to satisfy that thirst.
Living in the desert of Phoenix, I’m familiar with this kind of thirst.
I’ve gone for long hikes in the mountains.  Even though I always carry my water bottle with me I still return home thirsty.
I'm over at Laced with Grace today so to continue reading, click here.

Laced With Grace

Blessings and love,


Faith and Friendship

Faith and friendship.  There's something beautiful about those kinds of relationships.

I scanned a card I received from one of my closest friends.  Don't you just love cards like the one above?

Me, Helen, Anna May, Linda, and Susan
I've been blessed with some wonderful friends.  As I look at this photo, I am reminded of how good God is.  I continue to count each one of these women a good friend of mine.

  • We've walked through many trials together.  
  • We've prayed together. 
  • We've laughed together.  
  • We've cried together.  
We are each going through different seasons of our lives.  But we were brought together through our faith and love for Jesus.  And believe me, that creates some solid friendships that can weather many a storm.  How grateful I am for my friends!

Right now, I'm in a season of my life when I don't have enough hours in the day.  Working full time with a long commute doesn't allow me the extra time to 'do lunch' with friends or to simply sit and talk for hours.  I remember the days when that was possible and it was ...lots of fun!

But how thankful I am that my friends have not deserted me!

I even have long distance friends like Jamie.  We met when I was a children's leader in Bible Study Fellowship.  I had Jamie's daughter Ellie in my class and we became fast friends.  Jamie and her husband Todd moved from the Phoenix area to San Antonio, Texas but we continue to remain friends.  We have that solid bond of our faith.  When we get together it seems like no time has past.  We can pick right up where we left off.  How I love that!

And then there are blogging friends.  What a joy to get to know a woman's heart through her blog and then get to meet her.  I've had the privilege of meeting about a dozen bloggers.  Here I am with Iris of Grace Alone and Lori of Lori's Reflections.

I thank God for my faith and my friendships.

How about you?  Do you have any special friendships?

I am linking up with Bonnie of The Faith Barista for this jam session on 'faith and friendship'.


Blessings and love,


Counting Blessings Even in the These Times

I look forward to Multitudes on Mondays when I can share the everyday blessings I encounter throughout my week.  I have to be on the lookout since I feel accountable writing this post each week.  And that's a good thing.

It's been very hot here in the Phoenix area with temperatures still remaining in the triple digit range.  I came out of work eager to get home only to discover I had a dead battery!  However, a kind co-worker gladly allowed me to attach my jumper cables to her car to get my engine started.
Google Image
I was able to get home and call AAA who replaced my battery.

On the way home, I noticed how beautiful the sky and clouds were.

So of course, I had to take a photo to share.  In the midst of those frustrating days, it's good to notice the everyday blessings.

#154  A kind friend who was willing to help me out in my time of need

#155  Having AAA to call for my car battery 

#156  A beautiful cloud formation with the sun shining through to remind me of God's provision and goodness 

My weekdays go by so quickly and by the time I get home I'm so tired.

Thankfully, my husband Greg has had a variety of meals all ready for me. I'm so grateful for his thoughtfulness.

My friend Helen was so kind to think of me this week.  She called and asked if she could drop something off.  Low and behold, she showed up with a complete meal for Greg and me.

I was so thankful and so was Greg.

#157 A thoughtful husband who enjoys making fun meals with our leftovers

#158 A good friend who took the time to prepare a meal for my family

I couldn't let a week go by without sharing a few blessings I had with the children.

It was Evan's fourth birthday and his mom brought in colored cupcakes for our class to enjoy during snack time.  Heidi and I laughed as they gobbled up those yummy sweets and didn't even realize their little mouths were covered in the colors.  As you can see for yourself, Maya choose a pink cupcake.  I think she's really enjoying it, don't you?

#159  Watching little children eat sweet cupcakes with no regard for being proper

This week the three year olds were introduced to the letter B.  They practice writing B's, both lower case and upper case.  They identify words that begin with the letter B.  And they also get to pick out all the B's in a poem.
Heidi and I were so excited when they were able to find the nine "B's" in this poem.  Patrick found a hidden b.  Yay!

#160  Seeing the children learn and really get it

#161  Working with Heidi who is an incredible teacher

#162  Getting to share the delight with Heidi when the children progress in their learning and understanding

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11, many of the children wore red, white and blue.

Speaking of 9/11, I recently read a book on my Kindle that grabbed my attention. Escape From the World Trade Center was written by a woman named Leslie Haskin.  She describes in vivid detail her escape from the 36th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center.  I was caught up in her description of the events and emotions on that day.

How inspiring it was to learn that despite post traumatic stress disorder and a long recovery, she eventually embraced the faith of her childhood.

She had a praying mother.   

Why am I not surprised?  Btw, I had a hard time putting this book (or should I say my Kindle) down.

# 163 Hearing a story of good in the midst of such tragedy of 9/11

I invite you to be on the lookout for those everyday blessings.  We have plenty of tragedies and bad news in this world, but there's always something for which we can be thankful.

You can always join in with Ann of A Holy Experience.  Or you can simply begin keeping a daily list.  Believe me, it will change your perspective.

Blessings and love,

Photo Credit for "count your blessings":  Saying It Sweet
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