Heart Choices: 2009-02-01 -->

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Fitness Friday ~ Go Red for Women

Today is Fitness Friday. But did you know it's also another special day?

It's National Wear Red Day!

The purpose of this day is to raise awareness for the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

Did you know that heart disease can be prevented?

The American Heart Association has established a special website where you can learn about your risk factors for heart disease. They also have resources to help you make healthier lifestyle choices. I encourage you to visit their site.

I thought this topic went right along with Fitness Friday. After all, eating healthy and exercising will help reduce your risk factors for heart disease. So, add that as ...another reason to stay motivated.

When I worked as a cardiovascular nurse, I dealt with patients who already had heart disease. I conducted a survey to discover their greatest fear.

I expected them to say they were afraid of dying. But no.

They were more afraid of surviving a heart attack and being left disabled.

They wanted to be able to continue to do the things they enjoyed, whether that was playing golf, walking, shopping or simply playing with their children or grandchildren. They just didn't want to be dependent on others.

Well, you might be young and heart disease may not be high on your list of concerns ...yet.

But consider your family history. Both my grandfather and my dad had heart disease, so it's a concern for me. I want to do all I can to prevent this disease so that no matter how long I live I can be active and energetic.

What about your cholesterol? Are you getting any aerobic type of exercise? How do you deal with stress? What about your blood pressure readings?

Be sure to learn about your risk factors so you can be proactive to prevent future problems.

And don't forget to:

  • Eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains.

  • Eat smaller portion sizes.

  • Drink water.

  • Take a walk or a hike or dust off the treadmill today.

  • Take a moment to relax and take some deep breaths.
Let's stay healthy and prevent heart disease. And how about showing some support for the American Heart Association's campaign?

Let's all wear something red today in honor of National Wear Red Day!

And don't forget to visit Sandy at God Speaks Today for her Fitness Friday post. I heard it through the grapevine that she's writing about the most important meal of the day. Can you guess what that is?

It's breakfast, of course! And I totally agree with her on this one, so head on over to her blog.

And by the way, would you leave a comment and let me know if you're going to wear something red today? Please join us and Go Red for Women!

Thankful Thursday ~ Change

It's Thankful Thursday. When I checked host Iris' blog Grace Alone to find out what this week's Thankful Thursday theme was my immediate reaction was ..."OH, NO".

You see, the theme is CHANGE. And I have to admit something ...I hate change.

This is my natural reaction to change. And yes, I know this painting was done by a Norwegian artist. Hmm ...are other Norwegians like me?

  • I prefer my life to be ordered.
  • I like to anticipate and prepare for my week in advance.
  • I make lists.
  • I set goals.
Now, my sanguine/peaceful personality may not be naturally organized but I've found it helps me to stay focused. But I guess the peaceful part of me likes things to stay the same. I seem to crave stability so when unplanned changes occur, I don't like it.

So, how am I going to be honest and write about how I can be thankful for change? Well, here goes:

  • I am thankful that I keep a journal so I can look back and remember seasons in my life that were changing and uncertain and ...I actually survived and was better for it.
  • I am thankful for family and friends that sometimes hold my hand and offer words of encouragement, love and prayer when life seems uncertain.
  • I am thankful for the prayers and encouragement of blogging friends who I've never met face to face.
  • I am thankful for my relationship with God who has a good plan and purpose for my life, even when I don't understand.
  • I am thankful for my husband who has been helping me to see the future as a new adventure instead of something to dread.
  • I am thankful for books. I love to read and I picked up a book on my shelf the other day called "The Prayer that Changes Everything" by Stormie Omartian. Now, I've read this before but as I flipped through the pages I came across a chapter about difficult times.
Here's a quote:

"Every time you walk through a difficult time and maintain an attitude of praise and worship before God, you will find your faith, patience, and love becoming stronger, more established, and more settled. That is the hidden power of praise working in your life."

What a great way to deal with change.

  • I will make the choice to praise God in the midst of difficult times.
  • I will make the choice to worship God in the midst of changes that I may not understand.

How about you? Are you thankful for change? Do you have any examples of changes that turned out to be good?

I hope you will link to other Thankful Thursday blog posts and be encouraged.


In Other Words Tuesdays

This is the first time I'm participating in the meme In Other Words Tuesdays. Loni at Writing Canvas started it and I recently had the pleasure of meeting her online through her blog.

Loni recently wrote about her daughter's open heart surgery for a congenital heart defect. And wouldn't you know? I had open heart surgery too for a congenital heart defect when I was seven years old. I immediately wanted to communicate with Loni to hopefully encourage her and Jessica. And so we connected which ...made my heart happy.

I love it when God brings people together like that!

Well, on to In Other Words Tuesdays. This week our host is Amy of In Pursuit of Proverbs 31. You can link to her and find other blogs who are participating this week. I love the theme for this week. It is:How many times have you seen the warnings but completely ignored them? Unfortunately, I've done that much too often.

It reminds me of something that happened to me many years ago. I was late and driving a bit over the speed limit and ...it was raining! Now, how dumb and dangerous is that?

Before I knew it, I was taking a bend in the road and my car began sliding right towards a telephone pole. I remember it seemed like everything was happening in slow motion but it was too late and I was helpless to stop it. I wrapped my car around the pole. I was lucky to be alive but my head was bleeding profusely. It was late at night in a deserted area so I was thankful for the couple who happened to drive by and stopped to help. A few stitches near my eye at the emergency room and I was patched up. But a valuable lesson was learned!

Don't ignore the warning signs. I wish I could say I always pay attention to the warnings but I tend to learn things the hard way and with much repetition.

God gives us warning signs in the Bible. The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom and warnings of dangers to avoid. The Ten Commandments provide warnings for us ...if we pay attention.

But the warning that spoke to my heart recently came from the book of Hebrews. I've been studying it recently, after discovering a blog called Opening His Word Together. Scott's wife is Jill of Forever n Ever n Always. And she's been downloading podcasts as he teaches from the Bible. He's a great teacher and he recently taught Hebrews verse by verse.

The warning that spoke to me comes from Hebrews 2: 1 "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard so that we do not drift away."

And what have we heard? That Jesus is our High Priest who fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the Law to redeem me. How grateful I am! So, each day I should be growing closer in my relationship with Him. But how easy it is to drift away.

Stress comes along and distracts me. Life doesn't always go along smoothly. People don't always act the way I think they should. The economy is a mess and I find myself getting overwhelmed with things in this world.

Warning: don't drift away! It can happen very slowly and incidiously.

  • Are you too busy to read your Bible?
  • Do you find yourself praying SOS prayers during the day because you had no time to actually sit and spend time with God?

One of the comments that Scott mentioned about Hebrews 2 was that if you're not more in love with Jesus today than yesterday ...you're backsliding.

So, let's heed the warnings and not drift away. What about you?


The Agony of Defeat ~ Super Bowl XLIII

The Arizona Cardinals were in the the Super Bowl and ...the people of Phoenix were so excited!

Although I have to admit I'm not a huge football fan, I couldn't help but join in the excitement. After all, Super Bowl fever can be catching.

When I went to the grocery store or even to church on Sunday, people were wearing their red Cardinals t-shirts. People were smiling and talking about the big game to complete strangers. I love this part.

It brought back memories of the 2001 World Series when the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees. And they actually won!

We had Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Jay Bell, Mark Grace and Steve Finley. Greg and I even got tickets to one of the playoff games. Talk about an exciting time for Phoenix!

Here's a tidbit you probably didn't know but ...Greg's sister Roxann was Curt Schilling's 1st grade teacher at Indian Bend Elementary School in Paradise Valley, AZ! How cool is that?

But then I remember 1993. The Phoenix Suns were in the NBA playoffs and almost won it all! Phoenix was in a sea of purple. Those were the exciting days of Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, AC Green, Dan Majerle, and Danny Ainge.

But oh, the agony of defeat!

I tend to remember the players and love to learn about their families and stories. It helps me to be more engaged in the game. I guess it's a female thing.

The player that captured my heart this season was Kurt Warner, the quarterback for the AZ Cardinals. I love that he wasn't handed anything. He played arena football for years. He married a woman who had two children of her own. And they now have seven!

And I was so glad that he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award and received the trophy just prior to the start of the Super Bowl game yesterday.

Kurt is also a man of faith who chooses to always give God the glory. The press may not like how vocal he is about his relationship with Jesus but he seems to be compelled to do so. And I love and respect that about him.

So, now it's the day after the big game. And even though the outcome wasn't what we hoped for in Arizona, ...life does go on.

We're proud of our Arizona Cardinals. And they did play a very exciting fourth quarter!

But congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of Super Bowl XLIII!
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