Heart Choices: November 2011

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I Choose to Rejoice

Source: Google image
For "In Other Words Tuesday" I have chosen several verses of Scripture that have special meaning for me in this season of my  life.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 says:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.
 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk didn't understand God's ways.  It seemed that evil and wickedness prevailed in that time and that God did nothing.  He eventually came to a point of trusting God's timing and ways.

This past year has been a time of uncertainty for me.  I like to plan and dream.  What will my life be like next year?

I don't know.

I've learned what it is to have plenty.

And I've learned what it is to have nothing.

I've seen people seem to get away with lies and deceit.

But I've learned that God sees all and knows all.  He looks into the heart and motives of a person.

And so as I patiently wait ...I choose to rejoice.

How do I do this?

  • I've learned to be on the lookout for the everyday blessings even in the midst of uncertainty
  • I've learned to rejoice in the relationship I have with God through Jesus
  • I've learned that material possessions are temporary and can easily be taken away
  • I've learned to be grateful for all I have
  • I've learned that God is faithful to provide what I need
  • I've learned that God is my strength
  • I've learned to allow God to work in me and through me for His purposes
  • I'm learning ...to trust God by faith.

I'm linking up with Loni of Writing Canvas for In Other Words Tuesday.

Blessings and love,


More Thanksgiving Blessings

I love Thanksgiving!  Yes, we always eat way too much food.  But it's a time when family can come together and simply enjoy one another.  This year Greg and I went to his sister Amy's house.

Amy and Paul, our hosts
I offered to bring the stuffing.  Last year I found the best stuffing recipe so I knew it would be good.  I 'pinned it' on Pinterest so it would be easy to find the recipe in the future.

After saying grace, we all went around the table to share what we were thankful for.  What a blessing that was for each one of us.  God is good!

Greg and I were invited to attend the Arizona State Football Finals on Saturday.  The game was between Desert Vista and Hamilton High School.  My niece Sarah attends Desert Vista and she is in the Color Guard.  They were performing before the big game so we wanted to see her in action on the field.

Sarah in the stands after the performance
It was the best game to attend.  Desert Vista were the underdogs as Hamilton was undefeated all season.  Well, here is the final score.  Desert Vista High School won 45-19!  There was lots of celebrating.

Of course, I had to share the blessings of the little children I get to work with each day.  The school had a special Thanksgiving feast and the parents were the hosts.  Our class of three year olds dressed up as Native Americans as they donned their felt vests and headdress with feathers.  They looked so cute!  They even got to sing a turkey song they'd been practicing.

#238  The blessing of family
#239  Answers to prayer regarding the health of my mother-in-love
#240  Spending time with my nieces and nephew
#241  Plenty of food to eat
#242  Giving thanks to God together as a family
#243  Cheering on Desert Vista High School football team
#244  Watching my niece Sarah perform in the University of Phoenix Stadium
#245  A winning state football title for the underdogs
#246  The blessing of listening to little children sing
#247  Seeing the children's sweet smiles 

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience as I continue to count my everyday blessings.  It's not too late to join in so I encourage you to start counting.

Blessings and love,


Thanksgiving Blessings

Google image: Norman Rockwell
Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings.  As I gaze at this Norman Rockwell image, everything looks so perfect.  A family gathered together with smiles on their faces.  I don't know about you but my life isn't all that perfect.

Not all families can get together.  Not all families get along.  But there are still many blessings that we can focus our attention on even when life isn't perfect.

Our class of three year old children were so excited to make turkeys out of cardboard paper and paper plates.

I got a chuckle out of Ava's too large uniform with the boots.  I think she spent the night at her dad's house.  :)

I love the little hands and feet of the children.  They are too cute!

And I'm amazed at the positions they are able to maintain and ...be comfortable.

My niece Kristin is 16 weeks pregnant.  She and her husband Kevin are so excited about their little jellybean.  Doesn't she look so cute?

#228  Celebrating a special time of year

#229  The cooler weather in Phoenix ...finally!

#230  Seeing the excitement on the children's faces as we share stories about Thanksgiving

#231  Searching for Thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest

#232  Spending time in God's Word

#233  Listening to verse by verse teachings again in Hebrews by Scott Samter

#234  Losing weight and getting to wear some of my older clothes that I loved

#235  The hugs and love I receive each day from the children at school

#236  Receiving a special gift from my husband for our 27th anniversary

#237  Finding the lost diamond from my wedding ring on the floor at school

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays as we continue to count our blessings.

Blessings and love,


I'm Over at Laced with Grace

Are you living your life as a sprinter or a long distance runner?

You may think this doesn't apply to you if you're not a runner.  However, I'm talking about our faith walk.

Walking by faith takes perseverance.

I encourage you to join me at Laced with Grace to read more ...

Laced With Grace

Blessings and love,


On the Lookout for Everyday Blessings

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.  But you have to be on the lookout for them.

Our school held a Veteran's Day pep rally.  As I gazed out over the crowd of little faces, I couldn't help but smile and thank God for each one of them.  When everyone recited the pledge of allegiance, our little preschoolers immediately continued with:

Help us to do the things we should and be to others kind and good

The older kids got a kick out of that.  Our principal commented that we were training the youngsters well.
#220 So thankful for the men and women who serve our country in the military to help keep us safe

#221 Listening to children sing our country's national anthem

#222 Seeing letters written by the students collected to be sent to soldiers in the military 

I am so blessed to be working with a wonderful teacher and friend. Heidi celebrated her birthday this past week.  We sang happy birthday to her several times during the day and she got to wear this special crown.   Isn't she cute?

#223 The blessing of working with a teacher who is smart and ...fun

#224 Celebrating a birthday along with a classroom of three year olds

#225 A long weekend

#226 Prayers answered in regards to a loved one's surgery ...success

#227 Extra time with my hubby

I love Pinterest.  I find some wonderful blessings as I read some of the words of wisdom and see the cutest photos of little ones.  Here are a few of my favorite blessings this week from Pinterest:

I'll leave you with these special blessings.  I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.  Maybe you'd like to count your own blessings and link up too?

 Blessings and love,


Not a DIY Diva ~ A Must Read

Not A DIY Diva is an eBook written by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room.  I began following her blog several years ago and this book is a natural extension of her philosophy of finding beauty and contentment in our homes.  She is such an encouraging person and has reached out to me several times just when I most needed it.  Thank you Melissa!

Melissa is all about being authentic.  She readily admits that she's not the best 'do it yourselfer'.  She recognizes that you can't do it all perfectly.  After all, she's a mom to three children, a wife and a writer.  

I had to chuckle at the tag line "How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World".  I love Pinterest but it does have a a tendency to distract me and increase my wishlist when I don't use it as an organizational tool.  At least, that's what I tell myself.  (But it really does organize my recipes.)

The eBook is divided into two parts.  The first part is about overcoming obstacles on your journey to authenticity. The second part is about staying inspired to continue living authentically.

Here's a sneak peak into the first chapter:

How many of you can identify with this?  I'm raising my hand for sure. I don't know about you but looking at some of those beautiful homes in magazines sometimes causes discontent with what I have.  

Melissa is a dreamer (like me) but she shares what she's learned along the way.

I’m still a dreamer in search of a fairy tale, but now I’m on the road to creating
the kind of dream life that was meant just for me. In learning what it means to
live an authentic life, I am finding greater purpose, fulfillment, and contentment.
Instead of chasing a life meant for someone else, I’m endeavoring to embrace the
life I have without excuses or unrealistic expectations.

I found Not a DIY Diva engaging and easy to read.  At times, I found myself laughing in agreement.  But I also began to think long and hard about my own uniqueness.  What truly inspires me?  What 'home inspiration words' describe my family?  Melissa gave me much to consider, including the courage to simply be myself.

Whether you live in a beautiful mansion or a small apartment, I will guarantee that you will finds pearls of wisdom from reading this eBook.  You will love Melissa along the way too.

And did I mention that the cost of this eBook is ...only $3.99!!!!

It's less expensive than one of those glossy magazines with all those beautiful homes.

So, check out the website and find out more about Melissa Michael's Not a DIY Diva.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this eBook by Melissa but was not asked for a review.  I simply couldn't help myself.  :)

Blessings and love,


The Blessing of Joy

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.  But they can be so easy to miss when I'm focusing my mind on all of my difficulties or all that's wrong in this world.  It's very possible I could miss something beautiful right in front of my eyes.

Google Image
This morning I woke up to rain outside.  Now that may not seem like a big deal to many of you but it is a rare sight in Phoenix.  Finally, the fall season has arrived and I can begin to wear a sweater.  Woo hoo!

I don't know where my umbrella is but frankly, I don't even mind getting a bit wet.  The rain feels good.  I sat on the back covered patio in the dark so I could hear the raindrops as they fell to the ground. And I thanked God for the rain.

#212 Much needed rain

#213 The sound and the smell of the rain

Friends of mine are missionaries overseas.  Pete and Susan are on furlough but return to Taiwan soon.  I attended a gathering on Saturday evening so we'd have the opportunity to spend time together.  What a joy that was!

Here are a few photos:

Susan and Annie
We laughed, we sang, we ate, we praised God, we shared testimonies, and we were served the Lord's Supper.

What a blessing to be among life long friends.  We all met many years ago in church.  Each one of us has been on a journey with a story to tell.  I  noticed that in our sharing time, each one gave praise to God even in the midst of trials and difficulties.  It's not always been an easy road following Christ.  But it is so worth it. How thankful we are that He never gives up on us!

Helen and John hosted the evening.  How blessed I felt to be a part of this community of believers.  And of course, I had to post a photo of my friend Helen in her kitchen.

And finally, here's Pete and Susan sharing a kiss.  How cute they are!

#214  Spending time with life long friends

#215  Hearing about the faithfulness of God

#216 Praising God in song

#217  Sharing Communion with my friends

#218  The sound of laughter and joy

#219  Having FUN

So how about you?

Are you counting those everyday blessings yet?

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience.


Blessings and love,


WFW ~ Time

Time is short.  The older I get, the more I realize this fact.  I don't want to waste the time I have on this earth.  I want to grow in wisdom.  I want to share the love of Christ with others.  I want to shine His light.  

I want Him to work in me and through me to touch others.

How about you?

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

Blessings and love,

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