Heart Choices: 2015-12-06 -->

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

One Word Advent: Peace

What is the one most important thing our society needs?  This is the question posed in the movie Miss Congeniality starring Sandra Bullock. Listen to the answers from the beauty pageant contestants.

(If you cannot view video, click here)

It seems that every time I turn on the television to watch the news there is another ALERT. A horrific bombing, a shooting, terrorism, hate groups. While many are bent on destruction, most in our society would claim to desire ...world peace.

But is that really possible in our world today?

I am linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista as we write on the word PEACE for One Word Advent.

Years ago as a child, I remember flirting with the possibility of working for the United Nations. It was a brief dream as I enjoyed my Spanish class in middle school. I loved the idea of helping build peace between nations and I had visited the United Nations in Manhattan. That career choice went by the wayward and instead I pursued a nursing career. But peace was and is something I desire.

Yes, we can and should make attempts to bring varying groups together.  But history has shown that not all people truly want peace. I read about Neville Chamberlain who was the British Prime Minister in the late 1930's. He was dealing with the threat of Hitler and his forces but he took on a policy of appeasement. The following year World War II was declared. There are forces in this world set on destruction and who do not desire peace.

But there is a way to peace. Peace can only be found in a person and His name is ...JESUS.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) 

In this world we will have trouble. Jesus told His disciples this before He was to be crucified.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33 (NIV)

I read of people such as Pastor Saeed Abedini who sits in an Iranian prison because of  his faith in Jesus Christ.  He is being tortured and separated from his family in America.

I thank God for Jesus who came into this world to save us.

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:9-10 (NIV)

So during this advent season I will thank God for the peace He provides for me through a relationship with Jesus. No matter what storms come my way, He is with me and gives me His strength.

Blessings and love,


Be Thankful

I was in the habit of counting my every day blessings on Heart Choices. In fact, I'd recorded more than 1,000 blessings but somehow I got out of the habit. I decided it's time to start writing them down again.

Being thankful changes my perspective. Instead of viewing my life through the lens of what's wrong, it causes me to notice all that's good.

Over my Thanksgiving break, I was able to travel to Florida to visit my family. My dad will be celebrating his 87th birthday. My siblings' families are growing with grandchildren and I didn't want to miss out.

Here is my dad with his great grandson Kameron. Such a precious sight! How thankful I was to spend time with both of them.

This past week my mother-in-law Gloria celebrated her 90th birthday. One of her favorite desserts is cheesecake. So Greg, his two sisters and Frank and me sang happy birthday and ate cheesecake. So thankful that she is living in her own home and is even able to drive. And she is so sharp. Amazing, I know!

I work with some amazing teachers. Here are three of them at a recent Christmas party. We laugh and enjoy each other. I am old enough to be their mom but how grateful I am to be included. We have a wonderful relationship for which I am thankful.

I now have six Mini-Mustangs in my class. In January, I will have at least two more students and possibly four. Since the children are under the age of three, I need some help. So I've been given an assistant to help me. I'm so thankful to have Miss Patricia! Both of us started working at our school in 2010 and so I know her well. She's worked with me in summer camp too.

I'm so thankful for good health. I've been working out daily and have lost more than twenty pounds. It helps me with endurance and strength dealing with little ones all day. I have to admit I sleep well at night.

However, I did catch a cold recently. Today I stayed home from church so I could simply rest. Greg took care of me as I sipped tea and took naps.

How thankful I am that I can watch my church service online and not miss out. However, this morning I watched the Brooklyn Tabernacle church services. It was one hour and 40 minutes but I loved every bit of it. The worship was so inspiring and I found myself singing along as I sat comfortably in my pj's. Pastor Jim Cymbala shares Scripture and always gives application to our lives. I love that. I've visited this church twice when I was in New York City. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Manhattan. I felt like it is a foretaste of heaven as every skin color and background are represented. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

I read a book on the plane written by Sarah Mae entitled Longing for Paris.  It's not a book about a trip to Paris but instead finding fun and joy right in the midst of where you are. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.

I'm so thankful for so many free videos and booklets I can obtain online. Emily P. Freeman posted four videos that totally blessed me. You can sign up and access them here. Emily's latest book is called Simply Tuesday and I hope to read this one soon. As you can tell, I love to read!

I loved this quote from Emily.

"Psalm 46:10 reminds us to be still and know that He is God. I'm learning that stillness is to the soul as de-cluttering is to the home."

Don't you just love that?

Once I begin to count my every day blessings, it's easy to go on and on and on ...

I pray that you will make the choice to begin to count your every day blessings. What are you thankful for? I'd love to hear.

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=]