Heart Choices: January 2016

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One Word Coffee: Today

I'm linking up with Bonnie Gray of Faith Barista for One Word Coffee. Our one word for this week is TODAY.

I found at least two occurrences in my Bible where the word TODAY was emphasized.

Psalm 95 was a call to worship God. But it included a warning to not repeat the mistake the Israelites made while wandering in the desert for 40 years.

"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, 'They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.'"
Psalm 95:7b-10 (NIV)

As Moses was leading them to the promised land, they complained and argued. They were thirsty and they wanted water. It was at this time and place that God told Moses in Exodus 17:6

"Strike the rock and water will come out of it for the people to drink." 

God provided for their needs despite their lack of trust and obedience.

Hebrews is a letter written to Jewish believers. In the third chapter of Hebrews, there is a warning to not make the same mistake as the Israelites in the desert.  Psalm 95:7-10 is quoted. He encourages them to trust and obey God and not fall into the same sin in their today.

I think of my today.

The words to the children's song come to my mind and I find myself singing the simple tune.

"Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey."

I teach preschool. Every morning I remind my little students to turn on their listening ears. They go through the motions of turning on their ears. However as the day proceeds, I find myself reminding them again and again to listen and follow my instructions. They stop what they're doing and turn their listening ears back on. But they have a natural tendency to go back to doing what they want to do.

It's an important lesson for me. Every morning I take time to tune my listening ears to the Lord. I read my Bible and pray. I write down what I'm learning and what I think God is saying to me in my journal.

However, as my day progresses I often get busy and caught up in what I'm doing. But God is so good. I may be walking with my students to Spanish or PE. Suddenly, the children will become so excited as they point to the birds in the trees chirping to one another. In those moments, I'm reminded of how God cares about the little birds and how much more He cares for me. Is He trustworthy? Oh yes He is!

Today, I want to enter God's rest and walk with Him even while I'm going about my day. When challenges come up as they often do, I will remember to trust and obey. After all, there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

So I ask you. Will you make the choice to trust God with your today?

Blessings and love,


One Word Coffee: Rest

Let me ask you a question. It's only the beginning of 2016. But are you already tired and weary?

Writing about the word REST brings scenes like the one in the photo to my mind. Peaceful, quiet, leisurely time. Listening to the chirping of the birds. Feeling a cool breeze on my face. No interruptions. No special place I have to be. Simply sitting quietly sipping a cup of coffee with no demands pressing upon me. Simply being and enjoying the moment.

But let's get back to reality.

I rarely have time for scenes like the one I described. I work full time as a preschool teacher. I have a family and responsibilities. There's always something left on my to do list.

My husband Greg and I have been traumatized by an event that turned our lives upside down five years ago. We've gone through stages of denial, anger, bargaining and depression.  We're slowly coming to the point of acceptance. But it's not been easy.

Spending my days with little children has helped me to heal. I picture the scene from the Bible in Matthew 19.  Little children are surrounding Jesus. Their parents brought them to Jesus. But the disciples scolded the parents for bringing them. Here's what Jesus said in verse 14 in the NLT.

"But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."

What are children like? I can tell you so many stories from my day. They clamor for attention. They are trusting. They love to hold my hand. They love it when I give them my undivided attention and patiently listen to their words. Sometimes they seem to take forever to tell me something. But I think of how patient Jesus is with me.

How many times do I cry out to God over and over? I wonder where He is since my prayers don't seem to be answered according to my time table. Why hasn't He restored what we lost?

For Christmas, my friend Sue gave me a Casting Crowns CD. I've been playing it in my car on my way to work. There's a song that I play over and over. I have it on repeat. The words are so meaningful to me. It's called "Praise you in This Storm".

So I come to a point in my life when I have a choice to make.

A heart choice. 

Do I continue to wrestle with the why's? Or do I trust Him and rest in His promises? The Bible tells me He never leaves me. It tells me He loves me. It tells me I can trust Him. I don't have to figure everything out myself and take on such burdens.

My part is to simply believe what He says and to ...trust Him.

When I give up my struggle to be in control, I can rest. I remember His Truth. Jesus has me covered.

Here's what happens when the children give up and rest. They fall sleep!

I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista for our Wednesday One Word Coffee. And the word for today is REST.

Blessings and love,


My One Word for 2016

My one word for 2016 is FOCUS.  I'm getting tired of another year passing by without completing a goal I've had for several years. The urgent always seems to get in the way. Before I realize it, another day, weekend, month and then year have gone by.

Let me tell you something. The older you get, the faster time seems to go by.

This morning during my quiet time, I was so blessed as I read this Scripture:

"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." 
Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

In order for me to have focus in 2016, I need to spend time with the Lord and to hear His voice. I don't want to go through this time as another completed task on my to-do list.

When I drive, I need to heed the stop signs and traffic signals. To navigate through this life with focus, I need daily guidance from the Lord.  

I can easily get sidetracked in life when I don't pay attention to the warnings. (I couldn't resist sharing this warning sign with you.)

It's so easy for me to go down a rabbit hole. That's how I describe it to my husband. I start out with the intention of working on my book. But then I get a prompt that I have a new message in my email or a friend posted something on Facebook. It gets my attention and off I go. Before I realize it, an hour has passed by without any progress on my writing.

I need focus!

So my plan for 2016 is to FOCUS on listening to His soft voice as He leads and guides me. I want to use the gifts He has given me to be a blessing to others.

I am linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista for One Word Coffee Wednesday.

Blessings and love,

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