Thursday, January 20, 2022

Matters of the Heart

 What Warms Your Heart?

Above all else, guard your heart
for everything you do flows from it. 
Proverbs 4:23

Hello everyone!  We're getting close to the time where we think about hearts, love, friendship, Valentines and even heart health.  So, today I'm thinking about what warms our hearts. Those things that make our hearts happy, nourish us and cause us to smile. Of course when we mention our "heart" it can have all sorts of meanings including our soul, our thinking, the love we feel and our actual biological heart. I thought I would share some things that warm my heart and I hope you will share as well in the comments. And I'll say up front that The Mr. my fur babies and family warm my heart, but I'm focusing on other things in this post.

I'm an avid tea drinker and look forward to that first cup of the day as my time to wake up, have devotions and greet the new day. I continue to drink iced or cold tea throughout the day, Over the years, I have made the change to drinking mostly decaf tea as cold tea but my hot tea in the morning is definitely caff! I have read that tea is healthy for the heart. If so, I should have a very healthy heart!
I was thinking the other day about the number of times each day I am involved in reading. And it's a lot! Whether I am reading a book, blogs I follow, emails, texts or some type of directions, I am an avid reader. I have a habit of re-reading favorite books over and over again and I will continue to do that, I'm sure. But, I am pleased that since Christmas I have read three totally new books and enjoyed them very much. I fell in love with books as a baby, memorizing nursery rhymes. And from the time I encountered Dick, Jane and Sally in first grade I have been a reader and hope to always be. My sweet mother was also an avid reader and even when she was suffering from dementia and really couldn't read anymore, she kept a "favorite" book in the bed with her. The pages were all crumpled and worn but it was her book. I wish my sisters and I had kept that book. Readers keep a good book by their side no matter what!
For as long as I can remember, the Holy Scriptures have been a part of my life. As a small child, I learned about scriptures through stories of Jesus at my mother's knee, as well as in Sunday School. When I was in third grade, and considered able to read the scriptures on my own, my church presented me and the other third graders with a Bible. I still have that Bible. I try to read the Bible on a daily basis although I sometimes fail. But the scriptures always warm my heart, help me to grow as a Christian and keep me steady in my faith. And for that I am always grateful.
I am told that, as a baby, there were certain songs that I loved and would sing along with. As a youngster, I enjoyed singing hymns in church and can remember trying to learn how to sing harmony with the hymns. In third grade, I began taking violin lessons and continued lessons and playing all through public school and into college. After college, I taught music and played in a symphony here in Asheville. As a retiree, I began directing handbells at my church and also began taking flute lessons, something I have always wanted to do. I married a trumpet player and have supported him throughout our marriage as he has continuously played solos and in various brass groups and, along the way, I have become quite the lover of brass music. Throughout the day, I enjoy music playing on the radio. How could I ever not be a lover of music? It warms my heart. 
I had to chuckle just typing this. To say that I have a "sweet tooth" is putting it mildly. And in some ways that is really too bad. I lived all the way through my forties being able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted without gaining weight. And sweets figured prominently in what I wanted! But, oh my, when the fifties came along how times changed my friends! I had to rein in my love for sweets and that is just not fair at all! I love chocolate and that's a health food, right?! I typically have a little something every day. I try not to, but it's really hard. Sigh. 
Are you surprised by this? I have always enjoyed shopping and getting something new, or at least new-to-me, in terms of clothing and items for the house. It's always fun to think about how to style a new article of clothing or an accessory or what vignette I would like to create in what room of the house. Learning how to be a thifter has helped with the budget in terms of being a shopper. Years ago I had a friend, who has since moved away, and we would go to the mall most Tuesday evenings while our husbands were at band practice and eat pie (there's that sweet tooth again) and then go shopping. I didn't buy something every Tuesday, but it was fun to window shop. And eat pie. Sigh.
One of the things I wanted to do in retirement was find new ways to be creative. And I think, for the most part, I have. I have tried a lot of ways of being creative and I don't think I am the typical creative person meaning that I'm not an artist or a quilter or someone who crochets or knits. I do things like writing my blog, journaling in various ways, decorating cards, making music and doing other little crafts from time to time. And, yes, coming up with vignettes is being creative. Styling outfits is creative. Just trying to do things in a "Debbie Way" is being creative. 
And warms my heart.
Well, you knew I had to add this to the list of what warms my heart, right?! It's funny. I go through phases with blogging where I just don't feel like I have a thing to say or I feel like I don't know what direction I'm going in with the blog or I feel like I look silly styling outfits. And then, I catch a second wind and start blogging away and it's just like new! And here I am still at it six years into this blogging adventure. This blog is something that is All Mine. I love being able to decide what goes into it. My dear friend, Sharon, noticed that I had changed the header and the background color recently. I like being in charge of making those changes. It keeps the blog fresh and helps me to feel that there is that "something new" to the blog. This has been the only time in my life that I have gotten to be the CEO of my own organization!
And now it's your turn!
What warms your hearts?
Until Next Time,

*Thank you to Carol at for the use of the heart with tree inside. 


Karen Anderson said...

This was so nice to read, and I can relate to so much of what warms your heart, truly I can. Something that warms my heart is coming home to my little sanctuary at the end of a day that’s been busy or when I travel. (And travel is something that really warms my heart.) I love walking through the door into my peaceful home and find myself smiling when I do! Also, I dog sit, by choice, two or three times a week for my son and daughter-in-law. I've continued even though Moose is no longer a baby, because he's such fun to be with. What warms my heart is taking him with me in the car, and he'll lean over my seat and lick my cheek and make me laugh. He's a huge dog, affectionate, and very much my buddy. Your list and reasons for those choices do resonate with me!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Karen. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. How nice to have Moose in your life and enjoy your time with him! We keep thinking about getting a dog but, with our girls, we have to make a right decision if we do get a dog. They were here first. I'm also glad you are enjoying your peaceful home and that it makes you smile!

Sharon said...

What a delightful post, Debbie! It provides a whole new perspective on February and hearts. I think everyone has things that warm their hearts, and it's a nice way to think about February and Valentine's Day. It's interesting how many of the things that warm your heart are also heart warmers for me. Creativity is one of the most heart warming things for me, but I think of creativity as a mindset. A public school art teacher once told me that creativity doesn't really require a specific medium like paint or clay. Rather it's the urge to create and to follow through with that desire to create in ways that are meaningful to the person creating. Those words have stuck with me over the years, and it has led me to see creativity in all kinds of endeavors. Your post has truly been food for thought for me. Today, I'm going to think about all the things that warm my heart.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Sharon. I love my posts being called "delightful" and "food for thought". I like what the art teacher told you about being creative. I feel that is true and more and more am learning about my own creativity.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

nice read and it's so important to all of us - you have a sweet heart said...

Hi new friend, you somehow found my little corner of the blogging world and let a sweet comment about the health of my soon-to-be-born grandson. I have not had much time for reading comments on my blog so taking this Sunday morning while my hubs is too congested to go to church to try to catch up. So glad to meet you. I think we have a lot in common and hope to get to know you better in the coming year.

I am a reader, too. Started out with our mutual friends Dick and Jane. A few years ago I bought a D&J primer just to have a piece of my childhood here with me now.

All of your creative activities interest me. Maybe we could get together for some kind of creative link up?

Will add your blog to my Feedly feed.
Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Iris said...

WOW, I am running waaay behind - but I love this post. So many things to be thankful for that we so often take for granted.