Heart Choices: August 2015

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The Cottages of Carmel

Several weeks ago, I spent several days in one of my favorite places. The village of Carmel-by-the Sea is a charming ocean side community frequented by artists, writers, and poets. I enjoy the peace and quiet of strolling through the neighborhoods that have no sidewalks or street lights. The cottages are known by their name.

This was my fifth visit to Carmel and the fourth time I had the opportunity to stay for a few days. My first visit was simply passing through as I drove along 17 Mile Drive on my way from San Francisco to Los Angeles. But staying here is so different. The longer I stay I find myself becoming less stressed and more relaxed. I enjoy the quiet.

So I invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy a few of the charming Carmel cottages.

I had the opportunity to stay in a beautiful Carmel cottage. Here is a peek into my bedroom during my visit. It brings a smile to my face as I see the peaceful blue color and the brightness of this room. 

Along with the beauty of the cottages, I loved the blooming flowers, the sound of the surf, the smell of the salt air, and even the sound of the many dogs!

Have any of you visited Carmel? Did you stay in one of the cottages? 

Blessings and love,


How is God Calling You to Say Yes?

How is God calling you to say yes? That is the question posed by Bonnie of Faith Barista for this week's Beloved Brews Thursday.

I must confess. The first thought that went through my head was this.

"Oh no, now I have to say yes to do something God wants me to do and ...I'm so tired."

But maybe God is calling me to say yes to how He wants me to live. Resting in Him.

I tend to feel very capable and rise to the occasion for whatever task I encounter. I make my lists. I write out my goals. I work quickly.

After all, I just finished working a long hot summer as the Site Leader for our school's summer camp. Triple digit temperatures and lots of children can be tiring. I worked long hours doing what was required. As I got into the spirit of summer camp, I enjoyed so many aspects of my job. But once the summer came to a close, there were only a few days to rest prior to the start of a new school year.

I'm so fortunate to have lovely friends who rent a home every summer in Carmel, California. This is a place that nurtures my soul. They sent me a plane ticket to spend a few days with them. It was just what I needed.

Every morning I took long walks on the beach savoring the cool ocean breeze. I love the sound of the surf pounding the shore. Dogs run freely as they jump into the ocean to retrieve a ball. I had time to sit and read and to pray. Time to reflect. Time to do nothing. Time to rest.

One evening my friends and I went to Mission Ranch. They have a restaurant that is situated on 22 acres with views of Point Lobos, Carmel River Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The resort had been rescued from condo developers by Clint Eastwood, the former Mayor of Carmel. We were seated at a table overlooking sheep grazing in a meadow. The sound of live piano music brought a smile to my face.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me." 
John 10:27 (NIV)

As I watched the sheep, they reminded me of passages from Scripture. I watched as the sheep began to move slowly towards a gate. The 'shepherd' opened the gate for them. They knew him. They trusted him and entered as they were fed and provided for.

I want to live so close to Jesus that I hear His voice and follow Him. I want to enter His rest even as I live and breathe and go about my life. Whether I am working as a preschool teacher or as a nurse or writing a book or being a good employee, friend or wife. I want to live resting in Him, trusting Him to provide for me.

Hebrews 4 describes entering the rest of God. I've been drawn to these passages and read books about these passages. But I want to live these passages.

God is calling me to say yes to enter His rest.

Even as I go about my day, I can still enter His rest. As I obey Him and trust Him, He guides me. This is what I want for my life.

How about you? What is God calling you to say yes to?

I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista for Beloved Brews Thursday.

Beloved Brews Linkup

Blessings and love,


Always Be Ready

It's been a very busy summer for me. Ten weeks of summer camp with lots of little ones and I was ready for some much needed rest and relaxation! I'm fortunate to have wonderful friends who rent a house in Carmel, California for the summer. They invited me to fly over for a few days and I took them up on it. I'll have to post more about that in another post.

But what I wanted to share today is about always being ready. Let me explain.

I was on my way home. I was leaving Carmel on a foggy day with a temperature of 59 degrees. I knew it would be sunny with triple digit heat in Phoenix. I found my seat on the airplane and settled in.

A lovely woman several years my senior sat next to me. I had noticed her in the terminal as she was carrying a beautiful plant. We exchanged pleasantries and discovered that she was a recently retired teacher. We spoke for some time about schools and teaching.

I can't remember how we got on this topic. I think I mentioned that my previous career was in nursing. I've been at the bedside of many patients when they died. She was quite curious about this and began asking me if I had witnessed any near death or unique situations surrounding death.

I told her several stories. I had no stories of people coming back and talking of bright lights, etc. Only one patient that I can recall had a horrific experience that frightened him after he was resuscitated. But I shared several stories of people who accepted Jesus into their hearts before dying. I told her about Vivian who prayed only three days before her death. At her funeral, I was able to share with her family and they rejoiced as they had been praying for years for this.

I also told this very educated woman about having to be perfect to come before a Holy God. On a scale of 100, maybe Billy Graham or Mother Theresa might be in the 90's but where would we be? And that's where Jesus comes in. He paid the price for our sins by living a perfect life; 100%. Through Jesus we can come before a Holy God and be accepted.

1 Peter 3:15
Maybe I planted a seed that day. I don't know. Chances are I will never see this woman again. But I hope I planted a seed. And maybe someone else will come alongside and water it.

One plants and another harvests.

It reminds me of the plant she was carrying back to Charlotte.

Always be ready!

Blessings and love,

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