Heart Choices: 2012-07-15 -->

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A Thousand Little Things

A thousand little things.  I've been counting my every day blessings most Mondays with Ann Voscamp of A Holy Experience.  Ann is the author of One Thousand Gifts, a New York Times bestseller.
I love the group  Point of Grace and recently heard this catchy tune. I thought it went right along with having a thankful heart for those little things each day.  Enjoy ...

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

Blessings and love,


Five Minute Friday ~ Enough

It's Five Minute Friday when I link up with Lisa-Jo of Tales from a Gypsy Mama.  The rules are to set the clock for five minutes and write.  No worrying about getting it perfect; just write.  Our prompt for today is ...ENOUGH.

So here goes ...start.

Enough!  How much stuff does a person need?  I'm so tired of unpacking boxes as we've been moving for months now.  Yes, it's challenging given that we started out with a house that was almost 4,000 square feet plus a vacation home that was 2,500 square feet. And we're trying to fit it all into a 870 square foot condo with no garage for storage.  Yikes!!

What's in the boxes?  I don't even remember half of what is in them.  I have clothes that I haven't worn in years.  I have boxes of Christmas decorations.  Boxes of cards.  Boxes of ribbons.  Enough!

What do I do with boxes of receipts from business expenses?  And photo albums, oh my.  The older albums take up so much room.  I hope to scan in my photos and create new albums that take up much less room over time.  But how many photos can I save?  I almost feel like a person on the TV show 'Hoarders" as I find it hard to part with many mementos.  But enough ...

I will no longer keep every Christmas card or birthday card I receive.  There's just no room for it.

I will upload all of my photos online.

I will go through my closet and donate clothes I no longer fit into or haven't worn in the last year.

However, I will keep my Worth Collection clothes that I cannot part with.  I paid too much money for them years ago and they are classic.  I will lose at least ten pounds so I can fit into these clothes once again.  Enough ...


Blessings and love,


Who Has Impacted You?

Who has impacted you?  Do you ever consider the people who have most influenced your life?  

Maybe it is:
  • A family member 
  • An author whose book influenced the way you think
  • A person who offered you encouragement
  • A famous person you try to emulate
  • A person who demonstrated integrity despite difficult circumstances
  • A teacher who gave you a love for learning
  • An achiever who overcame obstacles to pursue their dream
It may be that the person who impacted you is now dead.  But what you learned from them lives on.  

I've been impacted by many people.  Today I want to mention two people and both of them have since died.  However, the impact they made in my life lives on.  

Eileen suffered for years with a heart condition due to arteriosclerosis and a heart valve problem.  However, despite frequent emergency room visits and hospitalizations, she always found humor.  I could always hear sounds of laughter even before reaching her cubicle.  She took dance lessons at the senior center and joined a dance group of older ladies who entertained people in nursing homes.  She loved reruns of I Love Lucy and old black and white movies.  She loved high tea and sipping from the good china cups.

Eileen taught me to live, love and laugh.    

Georgia died of a heart condition that was similar to the one I had corrected when I was seven years old.  However, her heart defect wasn't discovered until she was much older so irreversible changes occurred.  She struggled each day trying to get enough oxygen.  But her impact touched many.  She was the person who introduced me to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  She suggested that I study the Bible verse by verse and apply it to my life.  She invited me and personally sat next to me through my first session which I loved.  I continued in BSF for years and even worked as a children's leader for seven years.  

Georgia taught me to love God's Word and to apply it to my life.

How about you?  Can you name someone who has impacted your life?  Hopefully, it's in a good way but it may not be.  A negative influence may be just the thing that propelled you to live differently.  Will you share at least one person that impacted you?   

Blessings and love,

Photo Credit: Exclusive Concepts

You Are Beautiful

You are beautiful!  It can be hard to hear those words and really believe it.  After all, I see the magazines and watch TV.  The women look so perfect.

When I was younger, it was easier.  But as I'm getting older, I don't really like what I'm seeing in the mirror.  

I began blogging in 2007.  I reviewed the blog posts I wrote at the beginning of Heart Choices.  I found one that I titled 'What is Real Beauty'.  Dove produced a commercial in 2007 that won an advertising award.  You've got to see what really goes on behind the glossy photos that we see in magazines.  It's unrealistic and places such pressure on women.

I met a new blogging friend in October of 2008.  Her name is Jill Samter.  I read a post she wrote on her blog and left a comment. She visited Heart Choices that day and left one for me.  Since that day, I've come to know her heart as I've followed her journey.  Jill is always accompanied by her camera and photographs life all around her.  I've been so inspired by how much she has grown in her craft.  

Oh and did I mention ...Jill has nine children?   Jill and her husband adopted seven children from different countries.  

Jill is passionate about women discovering their true beauty.  This is her promotional video for the work she is doing.  I cried when I watched it.

The world sends women the wrong messages about beauty.

1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV):

But the Lord said to Samuel, (A)“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, (B)but the Lord looks on the heart.”

If only we could get this message in our hearts and truly believe it!  

I have to admit that I struggle with this.  The last few years have been hard on me and it shows on my face.  But those struggles have resulted in a stronger faith and an increasing trust in the Lord.  So the extra wrinkles may represent lessons I've learned.  And I want the beauty that is inside of me to shine out and bless others.  

I encourage you to visit Jill Samter Photography to read her words as she introduces the I AM BEAUTIFUL project.  

Blessings and love,


Look Back, Forward or Always in the Present?

Is there value in looking back?  I often hear that it's important to look forward because there's nothing you can do about the past.  So why look back on what may be painful?

But I also know that history can teach us important lessons.  And learning those lessons may prevent us from making more mistakes in the future.
Big Sur, California
I've been pouring over a box full of old journals I discovered while unpacking boxes during my recent move. I've also been looking at photos I've taken over the years.  I'm looking for photos to frame and display on the walls of my new home.  I smiled when I found this one taken back in 2006 in northern California.  A fun time with good memories.

I've spent much time reading many of my journals.  I poured my heart and soul into them.  I am transported back to the feelings I had while writing.  Some were joyful and others not so much.  I notice an ongoing theme.

Heart Choices was a name I used over and over years before I began blogging.  I always believed that we have choices to make in life.  Every choice has consequences; some good, some not so good and others just plain bad.  I also realize that not all choices I've made have been the best.  But I can certainly learn from them.

Looking back, I see how faithful God has been in my life.  

I also realize how many hours I've spent with dying people.  I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.  I recorded the stories of many of these people.  I spoke at many of their funerals.  My husband has often commented that he never knew anyone who had so many experiences with dying people.  He's always encouraged me to write about what I learned from them.

Looking back, I see times when I was so joyful despite difficult circumstances.  I see periods when it was so evident that the Lord was using me for His purposes.

And then there were times when I became so overwhelmed with my feelings.  Feelings of sadness and frustration.  I would give in to them and it spilled over into the words I wrote in my journals.

As I read the Psalms, I see David who also experienced many times of joy and many times of sadness.  I am working on memorizing Psalm 25.  I've found that it's a bit more difficult to memorize the older we get but I am determined.

Listen to verses 1-5:
"To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.  Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.  No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.  Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

I want to trust God with my life.  I want to give Him my hurts, my anxieties, my hopes and my dreams.  I want to give Him my past and my future.  And I want to give Him my now; the present time.

So as I look back a bit, I am discovering that I have much to share. Lessons I've learned, prayers that were answered even when I couldn't see that at the time.

Looking forward, I can trust that God is faithful.

So where are you?  Think about your life for a moment. 

  • Do you spend any time in the past?  
  • Do you always tend to focus on the future?
  • Do you try to live your life being present in the now?

In the present, I know that God is faithful.

Will you think on these things for a moment?

I'm linking up for Spiritual Sundays.

Blessings and love,

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