Heart Choices: June 2012

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Five Minute Friday ~ Dance

I'm linking up with the Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.

We are to write for five minutes on the following prompt:   'DANCE'.

I love to watch dancers.  They seem so graceful and free.  I long to let myself go like that.  But I seem to worry too much about how silly I look.  So I hold myself back.

I've been watching the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance".  I'm amazed by the top 20 contestants this year.  The talent is simply amazing.  To think that they have to learn several new dances each week with different choreographers is beyond me.  To see their graceful lines and their ability to move so effortlessly ...all I can say is wow!

But I realized something.  The dancers on the show are focusing entirely on their craft.  They are receiving teaching, encouragement and often criticism from some of the best choreographers.  And each week they improve.  It's amazing what focus and training can do.

My dancing is nothing like this.  I love movement and grace.  I even took dance lessons as a child and for a year as an adult.  But I never focused fully on dancing.  It was just fun exercise for me.

Dance recital
Can you find me in the back row?  I'm the third from the right.  Yes, I even followed through and danced in a recital.  I'm just glad we got to wear costumes that covered up much.  But it was fun!

1 Corinthians 10:31 says:
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

I may not be a dancer.  But I've been given unique gifts from the Lord.  I want to use them for His glory. 

Blessings and love,


A Smile Can Make a Difference

A smile can make a difference!

I was on Facebook (of course) and noticed my friend Lisa Shaw posted this:

Sitting in the waiting room again for my daughter's physical therapy from the accident and FINALLY someone I can relate to....a woman with a warm smile says, "Good morning everyone". Ahh I love people like that! On this rainy, cool early morning our smiles and greetings brought sunshine in. If you know me then you know I'm big on smiles and lovin' on people. :) blessings all!!

Source: etsy.com via Debbie on Pinterest

It's amazing that something so simple can infect an entire room of people.

I thought of George.  He was a man with a contagious smile. George died in 2003 but I smile every time I think of this man.  He always had a smile on his face.  

Every year for my birthday George called me and sang "happy birthday".  If Greg answered the phone, he'd talk to him and then ask if he could sing to me.  Btw, George was an elderly man from my church.

At George's funeral, Pastor Dan mentioned that George liked to call people on their birthdays. He asked how many of us had been blessed by George's singing.  Almost the entire audience raised their hand.  Then Pastor Dan asked how many of us thought we might be the only one George called each year to sing to.  We all laughed as most of us again raised our hand.

I want to be like George.  How lovely to be able to light up and relax a group of people with a simple smile.  

I found the vinyl decal in the photo on Pinterest.  I'm thinking of buying it to put on my bathroom wall as a reminder each morning.  I may not like all I see when I look in the mirror these days but a smile can make a difference.

Btw, Lisa Shaw has one of the best smiles I've seen.  Having the pleasure of meeting this gal in person, I can say that her smile can light up any room.

Blessings and love,


Show Me the Way to Go

Show me the way to go.  Signs along the way direct us.  We have the choice to follow them ...or not.

God's Word gives us clear directions.  But again, we have the choice to follow those directions or to ...go our own way.

Which way will you choose?

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

Blessings and love,


Keeping an Eternal Perspective

Today I'm hosting "In Other Words Tuesday".  I invite you to participate by writing your own take on the following quote.  Come back to Heart Choices and link up with your direct URL.  If you are not a blogger, you are welcome to add your comments on our quote for this week.  I love to read your thoughts.

“The eternal perspective is the ability to see all of life from God’s point of view and have what you see affect how you live in the present. Simply stated, the eternal perspective is the ability to walk by faith in God’s Word.”~ Catherine Martin, from A Heart To See Forever

Walking by faith can be challenging.  It's one thing to say you believe that God is in control.  But what happens when your emotions get in the way?  What happens when you aren't seeing answers to the prayers you've prayed again and again?

I don't know about you but there are times when I want to see, hear and feel where I'm going.  And yet God calls us to walk by faith and to trust Him.

I'm in the process of unpacking boxes as we're getting settled in a small condo.  I was delighted when I happened upon a box filled with my journals.  I love to write and as I opened several there were stories I'd almost forgotten.  Prayer requests were written.  From this vantage point, I was able to see that the Lord had heard my cries and many were answered.  Not all were yes.  Some were no or not yet.  But I realized God had better plans for me than some of my requests.

Looking back through the pages of my journals gave me such hope. It was a reassurance to me that God was active and in control of my life, even when I didn't always FEEL it.  I could believe God's Word. There is truth in God's Word.

Believing God encourages me to walk by faith.  

This world is not my permanent home; I'm just passing through. However, while I'm here I want to allow Him to use me for His Kingdom purposes.  I pray that He will give me eyes to see and ears to hear from His perspective.

I can listen for His prompting as I stay close to Him.  Instead of becoming impatient with the grocery clerk who is obviously having a difficult day, I may be able to offer her a smile and word of encouragement instead of being cranky myself.

2 Corinthians 4:18-19 says:
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

How about you?  Are you so focused on the here and now of life that you forget that this world isn't your permanent home?  

  • Spend time in prayer and reading your Bible each day.
  • Take time to listen to what He has to say to you personally.
  • Ask God to give you eyes to see and ears to hear what He wants for you.  
  • Ask Him to give you His eternal perspective.  
Keeping an eternal perspective will change the way you live in the present.  

Blessings and love,


Hosting "In Other Words Tuesday"

I will be hosting "In Other Words Tuesday" next week.  This is the quote I've chosen for us to write about:

“The eternal perspective is the ability to see all of life from God’s point of view and have what you see affect how you live in the present. Simply stated, the eternal perspective is the ability to walk by faith in God’s Word.”~ Catherine Martin, from A Heart To See Forever

Here's how it works.

  • Take this quote and write a blog post about it.  
  • Share what's on your heart after reading this quote. 
  • Come back to Heart Choices on Tuesday, June 26.
  • Link up using your direct URL for your post.
  • Have fun visiting others who participate.
  • If you aren't a blogger, you can add your comments for this quote on Tuesday. 
I encourage you to join in and participate next week.

Blessings and love,


Thankful Thursday ~ Little Blessings

This is the face I had to say goodbye to yesterday.  Isn't she adorable?

I was visiting my family in Florida for the past week.  My niece Kristin and her husband Kevin had their first baby 8 weeks ago and her name is Kenzie.  And did you notice that she loves her aunt?  I think that t-shirt is for her Aunt Katie who is Kristin's sister but I know she loves her great Aunt Debbie too.  :)

I love how Kenzie watches everything you do.  I started making clucking sounds with my tongue and she tried to imitate me.  After that, we were all clucking.  The things adults do for babies!

I got to spend time with my dad, my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband and Kristin and Kevin and Kenzie.  We all got a big surprise on Father's Day when my niece Katie showed up.  She lives in NYC and decided to fly down unannounced.  It made the trip complete!

Katie, Grandpa (my brother Steve), Kenzie

I'm linking up with Iris of Grace Alone for Thankful Thursday.

Blessings and love,


What Time is it?

What time is it?  Everyone always seems to be in a hurry.  Multi-tasking is a given.  I notice a person look at me and I think they’re talking to me. But then I see the ear piece and realize they are talking on their cell phone.  Although I enjoy our modern conveniences, there are days when I miss quietness and a time when people sat and simply talked and …listened to one another.
To continue reading, please link over to Laced with Grace.

Blessings and love,


Change is Inevitable

Change is inevitable.  

So why is that I seem to wish things would stay the same?  I guess because it's familiar.

I had a wonderful three day trip to southern California this past week.  It was a gift from my Uncle Bob for my Aunt Ruth's birthday. We had fun reminiscing about the good old days.  And now my aunt and uncle are called Nana and Pop Pop.  Life changes and we all get older.

My younger cousins are now parents.  This is Jake and Kate.  It was such fun spending with them.  I love their precious smiles and their energy.  I have to say they look like Sumstad's.

Here's the family.  Rod is my first cousin and eldest son of my Aunt Ruth who is my father's sister.  His wife Jodi is a person I feel so relaxed around and hope to get to know even better.

I am heading to Florida tomorrow to visit my dad and brother and sister.  Again, there are many changes that have occurred.  

I get to meet Kenzie Lee for the very first time!  Check out that adorable smile.  Your great aunt Debbie is on her way.  Brace those cheeks for lots of kisses.

Yes, life changes.  Kids grow up.  Many changes are good.

I'm slowly learning to embrace change.  As I look around our small condo that we recently moved into, I realize that I'm smiling more. Greg and I are spending more time together.  We are on the mend after many years of upheaval and ...change!

Nothing in this life is permanent without change.  It's also teaching me to trust God.  

Blessings and love,


California ...Here I Come

I'm continuing to count my every day blessings.

My Uncle Bob bought me a plane ticket and surprised my Aunt Ruth for her birthday.  I leave tomorrow for three days in southern California.  It's been too long since I last visited my aunt and uncle. I will also get to see my cousins and their families.

This is my aunt and me when I last visited a number of years ago.  Hmm ...I still have those flip-flops.

Source: google.com via Calico on Pinterest

I'm hoping the weather will cooperate so I can go to the Santa Monica pier.  Greg and I spent much time in Santa Monica years ago and we both love it.

I would love to put my feet in the ocean and feel the sand between my toes.  I can't do that in the desert of Phoenix.

#442 A trip to California
#443 Time with my aunt and uncle
#444 Time to get to know my cousin's children and one of them is three years old!
#445 Getting to know my new next door  neighbor Caroline (who is a Christian and very nice)
#446 Enjoying summer break when I have more time to unpack and get settled in our new home
#447 Swimming in our condo's pool and not having to take care of it
#448 Being close to everything in Phoenix
#449 Walking to Greg's mom's house in the mornings
#450 Seeing photos of my new great-niece and knowing I'll get to meet her later this month
#451 Experimenting with different colors as we paint our place
#452 Spending time with my hubby
#453 Keeping up with family and friends on Facebook
#454 Having more time to blog

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

Blessings and love,


The Chance to Give

I watched a TV show called Secret Millionaire last evening.  I'd never seen it before but I was intrigued by the previews.  Each week a person or family with much money leaves their mansion and goes undercover into an impoverished area to see what it's like to live in these conditions.  During this time, they're given limited funds and a place to live in the neighborhoods they are exploring.  After a period of time, they reveal themselves and give money to some of the people or charities that touched their heart.  

It touched my heart as I watched the homeless up close, a woman who runs a home for women and children who are escaping domestic violence situations, a young man who puts together toiletries to hand out to the homeless on Skid Row.

How easy it is to live and never see the faces of those who are truly struggling.  To realize that $3 a day for food is not much and very difficult to purchase anything that is nutritious and healthy.

These Scriptures came to my mind this morning:

Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."

In the show, there was a scene where a group of women and children were about to sit down to eat a meal together.  They all joined hands and prayed, thanking God for their food.  The undercover millionaire joined in too.

That touched my heart!

I know what it was to have plenty.  And I know what it is to have little.  I've been on the giving and receiving side.  And I can tell you that it's more fun to give.  Receiving can be very humbling.  

This past week, I've been writing about vision and perspective.  Open my eyes Lord! 

  • May we see past the outward appearances and into the hearts of people.  
  • May we ask God to truly open our eyes.  
  • May we be obedient when we are given an opportunity to help and not make excuses.
I hope that TV shows like The Secret Millionaire will open people's eyes to the needs in their own communities and stimulate them to take action.  

I'm linking up with Charlotte and Ginger for Spiritual Sundays.

Blessings and love,


God Will Make a Way

God Will Make a Way is a song with a powerful message.  The message is one of trusting God even when things seem impossible.

During my prayer time this morning, the Lord opened my eyes to how He has been working in my life.  Sometimes I'm so busy pleading and get involved in 'doing' that I miss really seeing how He is working.  I want to see and to acknowledge.  I want to thank Him and praise Him.

Over the past few years I had no idea what would happen next.  I was shaken and my life was being turned upside down.

But as my husband and I are trying to get settled in our condo, I look around and thank God for how He provided for us in so many ways.  And my heart is overflowing with gratitude.

I'm linking up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders for Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Blessings and love,


Open Your Eyes

Open your eyes.  What do you see?

Do you have temporal vision for the here and now?

Or do you have eternal vision that comes by faith?

It can be so easy to get caught up in feelings and circumstances.  After all, we're only human.

But God calls us to trust Him.

I recall some years ago when I used to climb up the mountain behind my home.  I was in good shape so at that time it was easy for me to do.  When I got to the top, I had a great view of Phoenix.  I could see all the way to downtown.  I always looked for the steeple of my church in the distance.  I would sit down and pray and then climb down the mountain.

On the way down the mountain, I often asked for God to open my eyes; the eyes of my heart.  I asked that He help me to see people as He saw them.  Help me to look past the outward appearance to the heart.  Help me to truly see the needs around me and in this hurting world.

I want this to continue to be my prayer.  My circumstances may have changed and my surroundings look different.  But open my eyes Lord.  Help me to see with Your eyes of love.

I'm linking up with Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.

Blessings and love,

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