Heart Choices: 2012-08-12 -->

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Five Minute Friday ~ Stretch

I'm participating in Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo of Gypsy Mama. We write for five minutes flat on a word that she gives us each week.

Our word for this week is ...STRETCH


I don't like being stretched.  I tend to stay in my comfort zone.  It hurts when I am being stretched.

I recently tore my rotator cuff.  That's what I get for lifting heavy garbage bags and heaving them into the garbage dumpster with one hand.  My left shoulder suffered the consequences to the point where it was hard to sleep at night.  My shoulder would ache.  I couldn't reach back with my arm.

I am almost finished with two months of Physical Therapy.  And believe me ...I've been stretched.

I learned that the muscles around my shoulder needed to be strengthened.  I had to build them up.  I also had to stretch out my shoulder muscles.  The whole process was painful.  But I am now sleeping through the night. I can actually reach back with my arm.  I have almost no pain.

I realize that in my life I need to go through some stretching to move forward.  

God has a plan for my life.

If I stay complacent and in my comfort zone, I may miss out on all He has planned for me.

So I give in to His stretching.  At times it is painful.  But I know it's for my good and His glory.


Are you allowing God to stretch you?

Blessings and love,


A Letter to My Younger Self: What I Know Now

What I know now.

Have you ever wished you could go back and tell your younger self things you've learned along the way?

Bonnie of Faith Barista gave to us a challenge in our Faith Barista Jam for this week.

Write a letter to yourself at an earlier time in your life. Share what you know now about the faith journey with your younger self. Your younger self can be any age you feel prompted to address. e.g. “Dear Jane, ….”.
When I was seven years old I had open heart surgery to repair a congenital heart defect.  This was back in 1960 before the current surgical techniques.

Dear Debbie,

I know you are scared.  That boy in your class ran up and told you that his mom said you were going to die.  But remember how Mom talked with you and comforted you?  You will come through the operation fine and be better than before.  You won't have to ride that special needs bus anymore.  You'll be able to walk to school with the other children.  You won't have to feel so alone.

God has a plan for your life.  

When you invited Jesus into your heart you became His child forever.  Mrs. Anderson explained what that meant but it will take time to understand.  Everything that happens to you will be used for good.

God sees the times when you were counting the hours in the Intensive Care Unit, waiting for the next needle sticks, trying not to cry, wanting to be brave.  As you were lying in the oxygen tent with tubes connected to your little body, He heard the cry of your heart as you longed for Mom to be able to hold you.  That cry won't be wasted.

In the years to come when you grow up and become a heart nurse, you will have a tender heart for your patients.  After all, you know what it's like to experience heart surgery and to be scared.  You will show the families how they can still touch their loved one despite all the tubes in the ICU.  You will try to teach and comfort with love and kindness.

Just trust God.  He can be counted on.  You don't have to try to make everything OK for everyone.  After all, you're only seven years old.  It's OK to cry once in a while.  You don't have to hold it all in so you won't upset anyone.  God sees your heart and your tears.  And He loves you and cares about you.

Nothing is wasted.  God will use this experience for good.  You can count on that Debbie.

Blessings and love,


Running the Race

The London Olympics have come to an end.  I found myself glued to the TV screen as I watched amazing athletes compete in their category.

I cheered on the U.S. Women's Gymnastic team.  I was thrilled when Gabby Douglas won the gold medal for Best All Around and gave God the glory.

To continue reading, please go to Laced with Grace.

Blessings and love,


The Joy of Teaching Children

Teaching little children can be challenging.  It's a new school year and a new classroom of little three year olds.  This is their first experience of being in a classroom ...to learn.  

It takes time, positive reinforcement and lots and lots of patience.

So what do we focus on in the beginning of the school year?

Good Manners

Good manners are so important.  It cannot be taken for granted. The little ones learn to say 'please' and 'thank you'.  As they are given jobs to perform for the day, Heidi thanks them and they are prompted to say 'you're welcome'.

A High Five chart is highly visible in our classroom.  Each time they are caught using good manners, they receive a star next to their name.  It's too cute to see their smiles when they receive a star.  At the same time, Heidi and I use good manners with each other.  After all, we want to model what we are teaching.

During snack and other meal times, there are many opportunities to practice good manners.

Walking in a Line

Getting from one area of our campus to another can be challenging with a group of three year old children.  So they learn to walk in line. By the end of the school year, this runs very smoothly.  But in the beginning it can be kind of funny.

We sing a little song to help them remember.

"Keep your hands where they belong; in your pockets or behind your back.  Look at the head in front of you.  Catch your bubble."

When they catch their bubble, it reminds them not to talk.  This can be quite the challenge.


It can be so hard for children to listen.  They want to talk when they want to talk.  We teach them to turn on their listening ears.  They practice turning them on for us.  Frequent reminders are needed at first.

As I look at some of the initial teachings that occur in our classroom, I realize that adults need to learn too.
  • How often do you talk when you should be listening?
  • Do you model good manners?
  • Are you careful as to who you follow?

How thankful I am to apply some of these lessons to my own adult life!

I'm continuing to count my every day blessings with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

#477 The opportunity to teach good manners to children
#478 The first week of school behind me
#479 The excitement of watching the London Olympics
#480 A weekend of much needed rest
#481 The excitement in my dad's voice as he described his new home
#482 Seeing baby pictures of my great niece Kenzie on Facebook each day
#483 Making progress on my eBook
#484 Enjoying the company of my co-workers
#485 Hugs from the children each day
#486 Hearing three year old Sam come up to me and say "I love you Miss Debbie"
#487 Seeing the sweet faces of the children from last year's class
#488 Helping children in older classes with their homework in the afternoon
#489 Watching 7 year old Roxy choreograph a dance as I played a song on my Kindle Fire
#490 Completing the decorating of our condo

I couldn't resist sharing a photo of little Kenzie.  I thought she looked like she was trying to pray.

Blessings and love,

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