Heart Choices: 2011-12-04 -->

Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style

The Reason I Can Thrive

Today I am hosting "In Other Words Tuesday".

The quote I chose for us to write about is:

"We can thrive -- and even offer life-giving rest to others -- because God is at home in us."  Bonnie Gray ~ Faith Barista

When I first read this quote on Bonnie's blog Faith Barista, it really resonated within me.

God is at home within me.  How amazing is that?  And yet, I realize how easy it can be to take this precious gift for granted.

When I received Jesus as my personal Savior, His Spirit came to live within me.  However, it wasn't until years later that I came to appreciate, acknowledge and finally surrender to the Holy Spirit's leading in my life.  He became Lord of my life.  I still struggle for control at times because my flesh is still active as long as I'm living on this side of heaven.

However, as I've gone through some tough seasons of trials and challenges, I've learned to more readily submit to His leading.  I'm learning that He is trustworthy and to listen and obey more quickly.

I've discovered that I am surviving even in the midst of many losses:

  • The death of my mother
  • The loss of my dream home
  • The change in life circumstances and return to full time work
  • The loss of time with friends I love and enjoy
  • The loss of financial freedom
As I was driving to work on the freeway recently, I realized that I was not only surviving ...I was thriving.

I had fought many of the changes in my lifestyle and had many moments of anger and sadness.  But I've learned so much during this time of uncertainty and change.  Material possessions are temporary and can easily be taken away.  But my relationship with the Lord continues to grow more intimate.  He is with me and He continues to teach me.  He has a plan and a purpose for my life.

I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening with friends.  I have close friends who are missionaries overseas.  Pete and Susan had served in China and now Taiwan and were home on furlough.  During the evening, Susan pulled me aside and shared something that touched my heart.  She told me that she often shared some of my story and used me as an example to encourage some of the women who were new believers.  I was close to tears when I heard this.

And recently at work, a teacher came up to me and said that I surely must have a perfect life.  She noticed that I always seemed to be so happy and smiling.  I almost laughed out loud since I was back to work because my life had been turned upside down.

But I also realized why I could be happy and smile.  Yes, my day to day life was completely changed.  But I have come to learn what it is to rely on God as ...my Comforter, my Sustainer, my Strength, and my Contentment.  I am learning to rest in Him.  How thankful I was that others noticed.  And I could quickly give Him the glory.  He is the reason I can smile.  He is the reason I can be content.  He is the reason I can share that life giving rest with others.

I encourage you to take this quote and link up your blog below.  I love to read how each person interprets our quotes differently.  You are also invited to add your comments to this post.

Blessings and love,


The Joy of Learning

I am a life long learner.  I've often described myself this way because I truly believe we are never too old or too young to learn.

It is such a blessing to witness the look of excitement and triumph when a little child learns something for the first time.
This week the children in our three year old class sorted their snacks. Cheez-its and Cheerios were sorted and graphed on paper.  Once they completed the assignment, they place their hands on their heads.  Every one of the twenty students accomplished this task.

The children learn sight words such as "the, and, on, in".  They begin to recognize these words in their reading books.  I love the little booklets that use the words they've learned along with little pictures.  The children pair up and read to one another.  Oh my, I almost tear up as I watch this happen.  Their little voices sound so sweet as they learn to read.  When they finish, they get to take the booklets home to read to their mommies and daddies and sisters and brothers and dogs and cats and grandmas and grandpas.  They love to tell Heidi and me who they will read their book to.

Google image
I had to laugh as I taught little Max something new.  I taught him to snap his finger.  He tried and tried for so long.  His little fingers just weren't able to accomplish this.  Even while he was on the playground, he'd come over to me and show me how he was trying.  The next day, he proudly approached me and ...snapped his finger.

If only more adults could learn from children.  Persistence and practice takes time but ends up with results.

The children were so excited when a visitor came into our room.  Heidi's dad is a retired fireman.  He was so kind and patient with the children as he explained that firefighters were their friends.  His instructions were clear and the children got to try on his helmet, boots and other pieces of equipment.  It was such a fun day for them.
I had the pleasure of meeting my good friends John and Helen this week for Sunday services.  It was Helen's birthday so I had asked her what I could do.  She asked me to attend church with her and I was so glad I agreed.

No matter how far I believe I've come in my spiritual walk, I learn how much I need prayer.  During the service, the pastor asked if anyone needed prayer would they raise their hand.  In the midst of seeking those everyday blessings, I still have moments that are very challenging and uncertain.  I recognize my need for the Lord and the prayers of others.

As the pastor prayed, many hands were touching my back and arms. I began to wipe tears from my eyes as I felt the love and support from others.  What a blessing that was for me to experience.

#248  The joy of seeing the excitement on children's faces as they learn to read
#249  The simple joy of learning to snap a finger
#250  Celebrating a dear friend's birthday
#251  The blessing of prayer
#252  Feeling the love from others
#253  Having a life long friendship

I'm linking up with Ann Voscamp of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

Blessings and love,

[name=DEBBIE PETRAS] [img=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2CDrwq9-7eo/WV6tdbP-QgI/AAAAAAACfb0/ViqQSnSVaDsMLXyz3AEEzZ5-78luBHOGgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Debbie%2BFace%2Bblog.JPG] [description=]