Miss America Inspiration {Coffee for Your Heart}

There is something about beauty that is inviting and inspiring. I can find it in just about anything…except maybe ugly possums with their beady little eyes and razor sharp teeth.

Beauty can open up a soul and send it soaring into the heavens.

I feel that way about ballerinas. Such beauty in their graceful movements.

contemporary ballet

contemporary ballet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve never been to a ballet, but I remember watching the Miss America pageant of 1995 where I caught a glimpse of beauty as Heather Whitestone danced a ballet recital for the talent portion of the competition to the song Via Dolorosa. As she twirled in rapid succession, tears streamed down my face. I was enraptured by the beauty.

If you were not around to watch the pageant, you might not appreciate the beauty unfolding in this scene. You see, Heather Whitestone was profoundly deaf at that time. She had 120 decibel hearing loss in her right ear and 90 decibel hearing loss in her left. She was deathly ill at 18 months old. The antibiotics the doctors gave her left her with the terrible side effect of hearing loss. She wore a hearing aide which helps with the sounds of high tone and pitch. With it she can hear sirens, thunder, music, and the telephone. But she still can’t listen to talk radio and she depends on closed-captioning for watching television. Reading lips is something she also learned to do to help her to have conversations with those not hearing impaired. The hearing aid open the door for her to ballet. She can vaguely hear the music with the help of the hearing aid, but what also helps her as she dances is the vibration of sound. Without the hearing aid, she hears nothing.

Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone

Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone

I remember hearing about this woman before the Miss America pageant and felt compelled to watch it though I hardly ever watched the pageant before. At the close of ceremony when the winner was announced to be Heather her fellow contestant had to turn and point to her and mouth, “YOU WON!” Heather’s jaw dropped in surprise as she was hugged by the other ladies and the former Miss America pinned the crown on her head. It has got to be the most memorable moment of all the Miss America pageants!

I bought Heather’s book, Surprised by Joy, years later after she won Miss America. In it she encourages everyone to trust God with their dreams. She speaks a little about her own personal testimony dealing with her deafness and how God brought to pass many dreams for her. One of those dreams included being able to dance before millions.

I can’t imagine living life in total silence. Even silence for the hearing is not all that silent. As I sit here typing, I hear the tapping of my fingers against the keyboard, the low hum of my laptop, and outside the motor of a car passing by. For Heather, even with her hearing aid, she would not be able to pick up those sounds.

Which is why what Heather was able to do on that day in 1995 in her pointe shoes was truly breathtaking! She gives all the praises to God for giving her the ability to reach her dreams to dance before millions, though she was never able to become a professional ballerina. Her inspiring beauty outside and inside challenges me to pursue all the dreams God plants in my heart.

My friend, may you also be inspired to pursue the dreams God has for you! He will be your strength to enable you to run after those dreams in your heart. Open your heart to Him and allow Him to surprise you.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5

Click here to take you to the youtube video of Heather’s ballet performance.

Click here if you would like to view the announcement of the Miss America 1995 winner, and grab some tissues! 😉

You are reading a series from Coffee for Your Heart as inspired by Holley Gerth. If you would like to participate along with Holley to pour out love and encouragement to others, please visit her site at http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love/

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What Brings Me Joy {Coffee for Your Heart}

Snow Cat

Snow Cat (Photo credit: clickclique)

What brings me joy, you ask?

Get ready. I made a list. 🙂

  • The sweet smell of my new candle, Frosted Cupcake. Thank you, Michaels craft store.
  • The kind words of a friend.
  • A cup of coffee mixed with my now favorite creamer, Coffee Mate‘s Creme Bruleé, which I can’t find any where at Walmart. grrr!
  • The violet and pink hues of a sunset.
  • A fresh blanket of snow draped over tree limbs and tucked into the needles of fir trees.
  • Good quality time with family and friends.
  • The woodsy smell of my melted wax in my wax warmer. (If you don’t have one of these, you’re missing out!)
  • Cozying up with a good book before I turn out the lights.
  • The wood burning smell of a fireplace in the winter.
  • The moment when you’re checking out at a store and you find out the item you want to purchase is on sale. Cha-ching!!
  • Those “red letter words” of God that jump out at me and meet me right where I am. When I say,”red letter”, I don’t mean the words of Christ that is written in red in some Bibles, but the Word of God that seems to directly speak to you right where you are just at the moment you need it. Amen!

These are only a few things that bring me joy. There’s more, but this is enough for now.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace.

English: Photo of a stone fireplace. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All these warm the cockles of my heart. They are like sweet kisses from the Father when I receive them during the hard days or good days.

Now, I throw the question back at ya. What brings you joy? Feel free to respond in the comments. 🙂

Blessings in Christ!

Welcome to Coffee for Your Heart! This series is an opportunity to pour out some love and encouragement to others every Wednesday. If you are interested in joining, please visit Holley Gerth’s website and sign up for her emails here.

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You Already Won {Coffee for Your Heart}

Hey, ya’ll! I’m sorry I haven’t posted the latest Coffee for Your Heart til now.

You’ve ever had those weeks where you feel like your efforts are in vain? Nothing you do is right. You tried to get everything on your to-do list done, yet find yourself not accomplishing all what you set out to do. They say men struggle with the fear of failure, but I think women do too. I know I do!

Knight by sincerelyhiten

photo by sincerelyhiten.

I set out to write a blog to post on Wednesday. I started out Monday working on my finances and before I knew it, time went flying by, and the window of opportunity closed. After that I vowed to work on the blog the next day, but then something else came up. I was asked to teach on Wednesday so I worked on that instead of writing Tuesday night. Since then, no time became available to me to work on writing til now.

Besides that, I had moment after moment this week where I failed at something or perceived to have failed. My failures seemed to pile up high in a heap. I picked apart my deliverance of the lesson from Wednesday and thought of how horrible I was.

What’s a girl to do?

I don’t know how I ended up with this man-related weakness, but my self-worth seems to be tied to what I do. I know it’s not supposed to, but at times I find that it is.

It’s that need for the applause of men. A pat on the back for a job well done or a word of praise, a little affirmation to let you know you are right on. Instead, you get nothing. All you hear is the sound of crickets in the background.

At one point you were certain you were doing the will of God and then next, you’re questioning whether you and God are on the same page.

From there my mind flashes forward into the future and predicts this is the way it is always going to be. I will never get it right and never measure up. I will never be able to do enough and be enough. I will always fail.

These self-defeating thoughts keeps me from experiencing the victory God has already won for me.

I know these thoughts are definitely not from God. They are from the enemy of my soul who seeks to devour my faith in Christ.

Beloved, I am standing here before you (metaphorically speaking), in my own vulnerability to let you know today, if this is your struggle, we can stand on the promises of God.

Put away those thoughts that come to you to tell you are defeated.

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

How do I know?

Because the Word of God promises us that we are more than conquerors because of Christ’s work on the cross (my paraphrase, Romans 8:37).

Are you facing tough battles today that seem to be overwhelming you? Know this, my friend, you have already won!

I am telling myself this and now I am telling you, mighty warrior of God: Pick up your sword with your battled-weary hand and keep at it til you see the victory manifested. He will provide all the strength you need.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” 2 Cor. 10:4

“For I hold you by your right hand–I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you.'” Isaiah 43:13

In Christ, you have already won!

You are reading Coffee for Your Heart which comes to you from Holley Gerth’s place, www.holleygerth.com. If you would like to join in the weekly encouraging writing prompts, get yourself on over there and sign up to receive her email. This day’s writing prompt is from the theme “No matter what happens, you’re going to be ok because…”

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Joy is…

Flower photo

Flower photo (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things. ~ Kay Warren

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Impossible!

For those out there that think their problems are too big or that they are not enough to meet the task. “You are enough for anything God wants to do through you!”

Lessons by Heart

Chosen by God…that’s you and me.

We remember the day we were anointed to become kings and priests before our God (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6).

That we were chosen had nothing to do with skills, talents, gifts, abilities, looks, but was based on our heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Despite being chosen, some of us may not yet be “installed” into the place to which we were called – like David who was anointed to be king of Israel, but was not crowned until many years later.

What do we do in the meantime? Let’s drop in on David in 1 Samuel 17 to see what David did.

We find three of his older brothers with Saul’s army at the Valley of Elah. Across the valley was the Philistine army, along with their champion, Goliath.

Saul had already been rejected by God as king, and David already anointed to take…

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He Is With You {Coffee For Your Heart}

He is patient with you...

He is with you… (Photo credit: jlwo)

Forgive me if this message sounds like a repeat from the last post. The writing prompt this week is “What encouraging words do you want to hear when you are having a bad day?”

Honestly, when I’m having a hard day, the most encouraging words I can hear is this:

The Lord is with you and He is for you! He is singing and rejoicing over you!

This is been one of those weeks…ah-hem…excuse me, one of those two weeks that has been tough. I’m in the midst of a trial that is going to go on for awhile and it’s easy to get discouraged and wonder what God is doing.

If you know what I’m talking about you look for God’s hand but don’t see it. A fog has enveloped you and you can’t see God’s hand much less your own hand in front of your face.

So you pray, “Lord I need to see you. I need some encouragement. Please send me something!”

These are the words He sent me and now I send them to you as His messenger.

He is with you and He sings over you. He dances over you.

You may be going through the fire right now, but He is with you dancing in the fire, rejoicing over you because you are precious to Him.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place…because you are precious to me. You are honored and I love you. Do not be afraid for I am with you…”  Isaiah 43:2-5

So raise your drooping head, Beloved. Raise your hands up to Him. Drink in His presence and love.

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