Heart Choices: 2012-01-29 -->

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The Voice of Truth

In today's world, it can be so easy to get distracted.  So many voices vying for my attention.

What voice do I listen to?
  • The one who tells me I'm not pretty enough, good enough, thin enough?  
  • The one who creates doubt and fear within me?  
  • The one who says your situation will never change?  
I make the daily choice to listen to the voice of Truth!

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

Blessings and love,


Thankful for Birthday Blessings

It's Thankful Thursday and my heart is overwhelmed with love and gratitude.  You see, yesterday was my birthday.  It was the best birthday I ever had!

So on this Thankful Thursday I wanted to share my day with you.

This was my desk with so many flowers.  Each child brought in a flower and gave it to me.

Each morning all of the three and four year old Pre-K classes gather in the Ramada to say the pledge of allegiance together.  And then they called me up as everyone sang Happy Birthday to Miss Debbie.

Check out the birthday cake.  There wasn't a piece left by the end of the day!

This was the best gift of all; getting hugs from the children.

My  heart was so full of emotion.  Little did I know several years ago that through circumstances not of my choosing would I be back working full time.  And yet, I love it!  I think about what I would have missed out on if life continued as I expected.  So I'm learning to trust God more and more.  He knows the desires of my heart better than me.

I wanted to say thanks to Heidi, Vicki, and Annie who made my day so special.

I'm also thankful for Facebook as I enjoyed the birthday greetings from friends and family.  I love that I'm still connected with friends from my growing up years, cousins and family even in Norway.

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

Blessings and love,


True Peace

If you asked most people what they would love to have, many would say ...peace.

As I gaze at this photo, I could just imagine my husband and me sitting in those lounge chairs having a very peaceful and relaxing time.

Tami of The Next Step chose a quote about peace for this week's "In Other Words Tuesday":
“True peace comes from embracing what is, not from ceaseless striving to change everything around me to make my life more safe, secure, comfortable.”  Dan Meadows in the Mosaic Bible

As I read that quote, I thought about how the world seems to describe peace:
  • An end to all wars
  • No crime
  • Freedom from oppression
Realistically, this is most unlikely to occur in the world in which we live.

Security, harmony and calm might be another description of peace. Taking a vacation to a place like the one in the photo above might be enjoyable for a time.  But it eventually ends and we go back to our life once again.

I've found that the only way to have real peace is ...in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  

Only He can provide us with peace with God (spiritual peace) when we accept Him as our Savior.

Once I received this GIFT, I have His abiding peace to get me through many challenging days.

Instead of ceaseless striving to change and control everything around me, I can REST in Him.

How do I do this?
  • I Pray about everything.
  • I'm learning to trust God and His ways.
  • I'm abiding in Him each and every day.
No matter what storms are going on around me, I can remain calm because I place my trust in God.  He is sovereign over all.  Nothing happens to me that isn't filtered through His hands of love.  I learn lessons through the hard times and cling to Him more closely.

I embrace what is and that is ...Jesus!

Blessings and love,

The Joy of Learning

There is a joy in learning.  I've always had a love for reading.  As a child, I vividly remember my mom reading to me.  I would sit with her for hours. I think these memories are so strong for me since I was sedentary the first seven years of my life due to a congenital heart defect.

But now I get to participate with three and four year old children as they are beginning to learn to read.  Each week, they have new sight words such as "the", "as", "see", etc.

The children get very excited as they learn new words and get to read to one another.  At the end of the week, they get to take their little books home and we ask them who they will read them to.  The replies include ...my dog, my mom, my baby sister.

When the children sit in a group, they are expected to sit "criss cross applesauce".  We often have to remind them of this.  Anika forgot and seems to be getting very relaxed here.  :)

During PE class, the children participated in a Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.  It was kind of hard for our little ones to actually jump rope.  But we were so glad to get a little help from the fourth graders.  They teamed up with the children to show them how to jump rope.

It seems that every PE class has its pitfalls.  Inevitably, there's a boo boo involved.

But it's amazing how a Dora the Explorer band-aid helps make it all feel better.

I'm looking forward to this new week.  We are going to have a Snow Day.  In Scottsdale, this is challenging given our recent 70 degree temperatures.  But there's nothing like manufactured snow to play in! At the end of the week, we have Pajama Day.  I had to check my closet to find some PJ's that would be appropriate as the teachers get to wear them to school too. :)

Have I mentioned how much I love working at Rancho Solano?

#332  Eyes light up as the children learn more new words
#333  Observing the children read to one another
#334  Realizing how often the children imitate what Heidi and I say each day
#335  The excitement as the children applaud when good manners are being used
#336  Learning new motor skills such as jumping rope
#337  Watching the children learn early that exercise is important for heart health
#338  The smile on Olivia's face after a band-aid is applied
#339  Greg's mom is home from the hospital and doing much better
#340  Coming home to a meal prepared by my  husband Greg almost every day 
#341  So thankful that Greg is a great cook and very creative (no recipe)
#342  Amazing weather with temperatures in the mid to high 70's
#343  A wonderful verse by verse study of the Book of Revelation at church by Pastor George Stroh (yes Linda's husband)
#344  A wonderful working relationship with Heidi; we work so well as a team
#345  My dad called from Florida so excited when a friend from Sons of Norway came up to him and mentioned that she was Facebook friends with his daughter (me)
#346  Arranging a family reunion of some of the Sumstad's who are traveling through Arizona in February at the Farm at South Mountain

Photo Credit: The Farm at South Mountain

I'm linking up with Ann Voscamp of A Holy Experience as I continue to count my every day blessings.  Isn't it time you joined in?

Blessings and love,

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