Heart Choices: 2013-01-06 -->

Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style

Five Minute Friday ~ Dive

It's Five Minute Friday when I get to link up with The Gypsy Mama. Lisa-Jo gives us one word each Friday.  We get to write for five minutes flat.  Our word for today is ...DIVE.


I remember the first time I dove off the high board at the public swimming pool.  I stood in line many times but at the last minute I got scared.  But this time, I would do it.  There was no turning back when I climbed those stairs to the top.  There were people in line. As I stood on the diving board my legs were shaking.  I held my nose and jumped.  I felt the rush of water.  When I surfaced, I was smiling.  I did it!

I think of my walk with the Lord.  I was afraid of diving in.  What if I became like one of those Jesus freaks?  What would people think? After all, I wanted to have friends.  I didn't want to be seen as someone who thought they were holier than others.  So I dabbled.  I'd put my foot in the deep end but take it out.  I had moments when I felt inspired and got in line.  But I got scared and backed out.

When I finally dove in, I realized how much I had been missing.  It was refreshing!  When I gave my whole heart to the Lord, He opened my heart in ways I never knew was possible.  He gave me a love for others.  He opened my eyes to see things from His perspective.  I didn't feel holier than others.  I suddenly had a compassion and love for others.  His grace and mercy extended to me overflowed to others.

So dive in!  Don't dabble or simply put your foot in the deep end.  Go for it.  You will not regret it.


Blessings and love,

 photo credit: Roberto_Ventre via photopin cc

Faith Barista Jam ~ One Word

Bonnie of Faith Barista invited us to join her for our first Faith Barista Jam of 2013.  And this is what she gave for her prompt:

"What is your one word for 2013?"

My word is SURRENDER.  I wrote about my one word here.  But I think I still have more to say about it.

Many years ago, I probably read every single book that Catherine Marshall wrote.  I was inspired by her writings.  Maybe you've heard of the book Christy?  It was made into a television series starring Kellie Martin.  It was the story of an idealistic young girl who became a teacher to the children of a remote town in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Catherine was married to Peter Marshall who became the well known Scottish Chaplain to the Senate in the 1940's.  I remember watching the movie "A Man Called Peter".  It was about how the couple met, his ministry in Washington DC and his early death.  I even took my nieces to the church where Peter Marshall was a pastor when we visited Washington DC.

Meeting God at Every Turn was a book Catherine wrote that especially impacted my heart.  As the wife of a well known and highly respected pastor and the mother of a three year old son, she had responsibilities.  But Catherine had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to be bedridden. She prayed for God's healing as she felt so useless in bed.  But ...she continued to be sick.

She was confined to bed for three years.  However, during that time she helped her husband with his sermons and writings.  And she prayed and talked to God.  The Lord was doing a mighty work in her heart. She finally prayed what she called the prayer of relinquishment.

Lord, I understand no part of this, but if you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my life -- well, it's up to You.  I place myself in your hands, for better or for worse.  I only ask to serve You.

How many of you could pray a prayer like that and really mean it? But that ended up being the beginning of Catherine's healing.  She slowly began to get better.  Before her death in 1983, she wrote many books and impacted many people, including me.

I've prayed that prayer of relinquishment.  I can tell you from experience that it helped me through many situations that I had no control over.  It requires trust in God.  And it comes back to my one word for 2013; SURRENDER.

I think of Paul and how he wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  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. 

I'm in the middle of a Bible study by Catherine Martin called A Heart that Dances. I was once again reminded of Catherine Marshall's prayer of relinquishment.  During those three years of illness requiring bed rest she came to know God in a more intimate way. That's what happens when you spend time with God.

How like God to bring to my mind something I needed to remember at the beginning of a new year; my year of SURRENDER!

Blessings and love,


Where Is Your Hope?

Where is your hope?  When you are going through a difficult time, where do you turn for help?

I can tell you that I've gone through seasons of tremendous upheaval.  I never imagined that my life would change so drastically. I thought my life was set ...

To continue reading, please go to Laced with Grace.

Blessings and love,


A New Year of Blessings

It's a new year and a new opportunity to count those every day blessings.  Instead of focusing on what's wrong, I choose to find the good, the beautiful, the lovely.  It makes all the difference in the world as I notice and count the blessings.  It changes my attitude for the better.


I was thrilled to see my friends Todd and Jamie.  These parents of five kids continue to stay in great physical condition. Can you believe they actually choose to do an annual marathon on their anniversary weekend?  I say good for them and what a great example they are to others.  And in the process I always get to meet them as they pass through Phoenix.

Pre-K 3 Class

I returned to work after a two week break for the Christmas holiday. Although I enjoyed my time off, I missed my co-workers and of course the children.  They were so excited to share all they had done during their vacation time.

Our class had the opportunity to begin having science classes.  In their first class, they studied snow with each of their senses.  They recorded their observations as they circled a thumbs up or thumbs down in response to the questions.  It was a very good start.

My Book

I continue to work on writing my book.  Although I love to write, it can be isolating to spend hours on end in front of the computer.  The premise for my book is starting to take shape.  See what you think but it's not in the final stages yet.

No Regrets is about living your life so you have no regrets when you’re on your deathbed.  It’s about recognizing what’s really important in life and readjusting your priorities.  Learn the lessons people shared before they died so you can focus and pursue your life to the fullest before it’s too late.  

Weight Loss Goal

I didn't do very well with my weight loss goal before Christmas and the holidays. But there's still hope for me.  I joined up with Kim of At Home with Kim as we offer encouragement, support and accountability to one another.  What a joy it has been getting to know my fellow blogger Kim.  I know we can reach our goal this time!

#625  Spending time with friends
#626  Getting back to work
#627  Seeing the smiles on the children's faces
#628  Receiving hugs from the children
#629  Catching up with my co-workers
#630  Making progress on my eBook
#631  Focusing on making healthy choices
#632  Making new friends as we encourage one another
#633  Special morning quiet times
#634  A wonderful Bible study A Heart that Dances by Catherine Martin

I encourage you to continue to count those every day blessings.  I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

Blessings and love,

[name=DEBBIE PETRAS] [img=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2CDrwq9-7eo/WV6tdbP-QgI/AAAAAAACfb0/ViqQSnSVaDsMLXyz3AEEzZ5-78luBHOGgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Debbie%2BFace%2Bblog.JPG] [description=]