Heart Choices: 2008-10-05 -->

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Thankful Thursday - Friendship

Thankful Thursday has become a blessing in the midst of these challenging and uncertain times. Making the choice to write on the topic of thankfulness one day a week has been so good for me. When I focus on what I'm thankful for I find myself smiling...instead of frowning and complaining.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." Proverbs 15:13

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." Proverbs 15:30

Today, I want to focus on the gift of friendship. I remember as a teenager, hearing it said that when you get older if you have more true friends than you have fingers on one hand, you're very fortunate. People change and move on but only a few continue to remain friends. I feel very fortunate to not only have friends that I've known since the second grade but true friends that I've gained more recently.

A true friend comes alongside you and listens. She sometimes tells you what you need to hear...even when you don't want to hear it. She tells you when you have something stuck in your front teeth. She prays for you, weeps with you and laughs with you. I am so grateful for my friends. Here are a few to share with you.

Anna May, me, Susan (in front), Linda and Helen

Jim, me, Barb and Sue

A few of the group of 12

Me and Jean, my forever sister

Terri and me

Pauline and me

Jamie & family in San Antonio

Susie who has been a mentor

Marcia and me

Maria and Debbie

Wow; I'm really grateful for these Thankful Thursdays. I found myself smiling as I was posting a few of my favorite friends. Be sure to visit Iris' blog for more Thankful Thursday posts.


Love to Hike

Hiking is one of my favorite types of exercise. I don't get to hike as much as I'd like to since I live in Phoenix, Arizona. With temperatures in the 100 degree plus range during the summers, there's no way I'm going outside to hike. That's why my treadmill comes in handy.

I had planned to continue the theme of my last blog post about getting organized to reduce stress and take care of your heart. But yesterday my computer crashed, which caused me lots of stress. Isn't that ironic?

However, the temperature outside was so nice. So I decided to get out my hiking boots and hit the trail. I'm very fortunate to have a range of mountains right behind my home. Why not practice what I preach with a healthy way to deal with my momentary stress? So, equipped with my ipod and digital camera, I took off. I thought I might share some of the views with you.

Starting out

I can already see over the rooftops to the downtown city buildings

Lots of cactus along the way

Almost to the top

I love the mountains!

So, what's the point to this blog post? Life happens. Computers crash. Financial markets falter. Circumstances change. We may not have control over all of our circumstances but...we can choose how we respond to them.

So, take a deep breath (that's good for you too) and do something today. Listen to some upbeat and inspiring music and get out and walk, bike or hike. It just might bring a smile back to your face...like mine!

Let me know what you did for yourself today. I'd love to hear from you too.


How Getting Organized Can Help Your Heart

What does getting organized have anything to do with the health of your heart?

Do you ever feel like the woman in this picture?

Even if you don't work outside of your home can you relate to feeling overwhelmed and out of control at times?

Is your multi-tasking becoming a major problem?

Does the thought of getting organized give you feelings of anxiety and dread?

Maybe you like to live life on your terms and take pride in doing things your way. You've got your own system, even if you're the only one who understands it. Nobody is going to tell you that you need a schedule and "rules to follow". No way! After all, if you don't feel like doing something...it's just not going to happen.

Or maybe you're just the opposite. You live by a structured schedule and have become quite compulsive when your perfect life is upset by other people. Why can't your child or husband understand that there's a place for dirty laundry... and it's not on the floor?

Well, maybe you might consider another approach.

An approach that provides more balance and yet brings some organization to your life. And I might add...it's less stressful. But it involves some planning, discipline and cooperation from family members to succeed.

I was talking to a friend recently and she asked me how I had enough time to read so many blogs and books. She said that she's always doing laundry and cleaning and never seemed to have any extra time.

It prompted me to share a few secrets I've learned that have helped me:

  • I have set days for specific tasks. Saturday is my day for cleaning the house, doing the laundry and ironing, food shopping and errands. That's a lot to do on Saturday but this way I'm not worrying about getting everything done during the week. My husband knows by now to put his clothes in the hamper...or else they don't get done. You may need to teach your kids that they don't need to change their clothes three times a day. Did I mention there is a learning curve for everybody involved? You may find it easier to break up your tasks during the week and focus on one area of your house each day instead of doing it all at once.

  • I always clean out the kitchen sink every day. There's nothing like seeing a sink filled with dirty dishes. I learned about this from FlyLady. If you've not discovered her website you must check it out. She has great tips to get organized.

  • I set out my exercise clothes and any equipment needed the night before. If your plan is to include exercise on a regular basis, taking this extra step the night before is essential to your success.

    Have a daily quiet time and organize your materials ahead of time. I find that spending some day alone each morning helps me tremendously. For me, this involves time to pray, read my Bible and be still. You may have other ways that you use to begin your day. I just know that for me, I am so much easier to be around and get stressed less quickly when I have my time alone.

I will focus on this topic for the next few posts because I believe it is so important to living a healthy life with less stress. I welcome your comments about ways you've found that are helpful for you.

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