Heart Choices: Faith Barista Jam: Be Yourself -->

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Faith Barista Jam: Be Yourself

I'm joining up with Bonnie for a Faith Barista Jam. It's been six months since our last jam and I'm so excited to participate again.  I'm a bit late in getting my post published but I really wanted to participate in this one.

Bonnie has written a book that will be published in January and I look forward to reading it.  She's been such an inspiration to me and many others.

Writing has become such an important part of my life. For years, I've kept a journal.  As I read my Bible, I take notes about how I can apply what I'm reading and what God is teaching me.  If I read a book, I often write down quotes that speak to my heart.  I record many of my prayer requests.  There are many times when I've poured out my heart in sorrow or pain.  I tend to write what I'm feeling instead of always talking about it to others.  The Lord knows my heart and I find it helpful to write it out.

At times I go back and read some of my older journals. What I discover is that even when I felt as though my prayers weren't being answered, I can see how God has been actively working in my life.  Often He answers in ways I don't expect. And in the  process it is me who is being changed and not always the other person I'm praying about.

Being myself is something that has been challenging for me. Growing up with a heart defect, I was very aware of how I impacted others.  I never wanted to cause my family any pain.  I knew my health created anxiety for them.  Maybe that's why it was easy for me to learn to be a people pleaser.

I've always been a hard worker, trying to do my best no matter what the job. Whether it was caring for patients as a nurse, visiting the home bound, cleaning my house, or working with preschool children ...I try to work as unto the Lord.

But who am I?  What do I really love?

Discovering my heart's desire has been a work in progress.  

The opening lines in Mark Batterson's book Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny really spoke to my heart.

There has never been and never will be anyone else like you.  But that isn't a testament to you.  It's a testament to the God who created you.  You are unlike anyone who has ever lived.  But that uniqueness isn't a virtue. It's a responsibility. Uniqueness is God's gift to you, and uniqueness is your gift to God. You owe it to yourself to be yourself.  But more important, you owe it to the One who designed you and destined you.

As I read Psalm 37:4 I've realized that as I delight myself in the Lord, He does give me the desires of my heart. And often those desires were so well below the surface that I wasn't fully aware of them.

Pain and loss often get written in my journals but I don't always understand the why's.  But lately, I find that in the midst of the pain of the last few years God has been comforting me and reassuring me that He is indeed in control.

Never would I have imagined returning to the workforce after retirement of almost ten years. Working with preschool children has been such a gift from the Lord. I was unable to have children of my own and yet longed for them.  I wrote about my pain in my  journals but told myself that life goes on so ...quit whining.

But God answered my prayers in such an unexpected way and in an unanticipated time in my life.  When I was in need of a job, my pastor's wife introduced me to her principal.  I've been working at the school now for three years.  I am surrounded by little children all day long.  Only God would use a very difficult time in my life to bring me such joy and love.

The God who created me surely knows me better than I know myself.  He has a plan for my life and my job is to listen and obey Him.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) says:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Those words are such a comfort to me.  I'm learning to surrender to His plans for my life.  And those plans are good.

I'm linking up with Bonnie for this Faith Barista Jam.


Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Sweet, sweet post Debbie! It is often so hard to see how God is at work in tough situations in our lives until a long time afterwards, and sometimes never. But, He is in control and we just have to trust Him for the results. You are such an inspiration!

  2. This was a great post Deb and packed with SUCH truths. Trusting God for our ULTIMATE good is not an easy thing to do, especially for a control freak like me. But remembering God LOVES me is what I need to do..He is interested only in my good and in prospering me...jer 29:11. I love how He put you in that school and fulfilled one of the desires of your heart! Enjoy your day!

  3. Dear Debbie
    I have once read of how a mother explained to her child just how special he was by telling him that God has painted special, unique pictures on his fingertips and that no one else in the whole wide world has the exact same finger prints than him! That made me think and feel so incredibly special. I don't have to be anyone else but me when Pappa values my individuality so much.
    Blessings XX

  4. Debbie, Thank-you for sharing your journey--and God's faithfulness. I am sure that you are a blessing to the children in your care.
    I am glad that we re-connected.

  5. So beautifully written, Debbie. I love honesty and transparency (to a certain point) in people, cause it helps openness and depth in the relationship. I do love the way you shared your story here. It is so encouraging and hopeful. God knows what He is doing in each of our lives.

  6. So beautifully written, Debbie. I love honesty and transparency (to a certain point) in people, cause it helps openness and depth in the relationship. I do love the way you shared your story here. It is so encouraging and hopeful. God knows what He is doing in each of our lives.

  7. Dear Debbie, I'm so glad you wrote and shared even if you thought you were late. It is never too late. :) And we are on the same journey together, learning to be the me God created us. Now, that I've gone back to unearth the memories of the little girl in me, I realize even more deeply the impact of being present and really seeing a little child. You don't know what the little girls and boys are living with back home, away from the preschool, so I want to encourage you -- the loving presence you are to them -- even if you feel it's just being you -- is shining a beautiful lasting impression on them, they will carry into the rest of their lives. You are Jesus to them. Those children are so blessed to hear your voice and see your smile everyday. Love you!

  8. I love that God made us each so uniquely...it adds such color and interest to our world! Now, the only "trick" is to live as the person God created us to be! One day at a time, right? :-)

    Blessings, Joan

  9. I totally get this at many levels. Recently the Lord showed me scripture confirming that I was born for my generation...even my birth was in His timing for His reason. We have a long way before we come out of our pit and there are times I wonder if it will ever end...but like you, God brings in things that I never could have imagined would be blessings.
    Thanks for allowing me into your journey, for I have been deeply blessed. I am finding "me" in the midst of it also.

  10. I really treasure the idea that knows our desires--our true desires at a deeper level and will satisfy these as we delight ourselves in Him. Sometimes what we think we desire is not always what we really want or need.
    Thanks for this post, Debbie.

  11. Beautiful Debbie - peace and prayers


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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