Heart Choices: 2013-11-10 -->

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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,


What Kind of Legacy Will You Leave?

What kind of legacy will you leave?  Do you think about things like this?  I know I do.  When I'm gone from this earth, I hope I've made a positive impact for the Kingdom of God.

I had a wonderful example in my grandfather.  It's hard to believe that it was 42 years ago this past Monday since he died.  I was in nursing school when I got the phone call.

To continue reading, please link over to ...Laced with Grace. 

Blessings and love,


How I Try to Age Gracefully

Our culture celebrates youth.  I still feel young inside but when I look in the mirror, I see changes that I prefer not to see. :)

I try to do the best I can with what I've been given. My mom was a good example for me.  But I do believe keeping weight down through proper eating and regular exercise is vital for me.  After all, I need lots of energy working with 3 and 4 year old children all day.  And they help keep me young.

For this Weigh-In Wednesday, I thought I'd share a few tips I learned along the way.

I love to cook.  I have many of Giada de Laurentiis' cookbooks.  Her recipes are so yummy.  But I always wondered how she stays so slim with all those temptations around her.  So I pre-ordered her latest book and have been reading it.

Here's a quote from Giada about her number one philosophy on eating:

Eat a little everything, but not a lot of anything.  It's such a simple idea but it took me a long time to embrace it fully.  I don't believe in deprivation; it just fuels cravings and creates a vicious cycle of negative feelings.  On the other side, overindulgence with any one thing just dulls your taste for it, leaving you eating more of it, trying to get that same pleasure, which isn't a good thing.

I used to be able to afford lots of expensive creams for my skin.  I'd buy them through my dermatologist ...but no longer.  Skin Script is a local company and when I can I purchase their line of skin care.  They aren't as expensive as some other brands and are very hydrating for aging skin.  I think you can order it online. And when I run out I often use good old Neutrogena skin cleanser for dry skin. I never leave home without sun screen.  This light Norwegian skin burns easily and nothing is more aging than that.

In Giada's Feel Good Food book, she offers some advice for skin care.  I tried one of her suggestions.  I exfoliated my face with a homemade paste of three tablespoons of white rice flour mixed with two tablespoons of an inexpensive olive oil.  I applied it to my face and left it on for a few minutes.  Then I gently scrubbed in a circular motion with my fingertips and rinsed it off with warm water followed by cool water. My face felt very hydrated and smooth.  It wasn't very easy making it stick so I probably washed it off sooner than she recommended. But it still seemed to help. She does this every night.

I'm blessed with lots of hair on my head.  At my age, most women are starting to get grey but I've been fortunate to not have grey.  Watch, now that I wrote that, I'll probably start.  :)  But my mom went grey in her 30's so I'm surprised I'm not.  I do like highlights and low lights.  I only get them done twice a year though but I probably need them more frequently.  It always gives my hair more body.  I sometimes use good old Alberto VO 5 oil treatment.  I had to order it online as I couldn't find it in the drugstore.  But it does hydrate my dry hair.  Today I even tried using olive oil and wrapped a hot towel around my head when I took my shower.  I had to wash my hair well to get the oil out completely.

I try to exercise every day.  If I think about it when I wake up, I know I won't do it. But if I have everything ready before I go to bed, I awaken at the first sound of the alarm and ...simply do it.  No if's, and's or but's. This is what works best for me. No engaging my brain about this at all.

I'm sure you have many more tips on how to age gracefully and I welcome your advice.  But I also want to say that smiling and having a positive attitude keeps you looking young.  I had to laugh when my pastor joked about making sure our faces knew the joy and hope we have inside.  There should be no sour Christians.  Let your light shine!

I'm linking up with Kim of Just for Clicks for Weigh-In Wednesday.

Blessings and love,

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