Heart Choices: 2012-09-02 -->

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Am I Graceful Enough?

It's Five Minute Friday and I'm linking up with The Gypsy Mama.  We write for five minutes flat on a word given to us by Lisa-Jo.  The word for this week is ...GRACEFUL.


As long as I can remember, I've always been trying and striving.

I want to be graceful.

I want to be able to speak and move and do things right.

I love to watch dancers.  They move their arms and bodies to the music in a way that is so rhythmic and elegant.

As a child, I was awkward.  I had the tendency to fall down and even up the stairs.  My mom sent me to dance school to learn some grace.

I've always loved to hear inspiring speakers.  Their words seem to flow and invigorate and motivate.  I listened to tapes in my car on my way to work for years.  I attended speaker workshops and became a Dale Carnegie teacher helper.  I would give example speeches.

I love to read books.  Authors who seem to use words to inspire and teach.  I work on my eBook but it takes such effort.  The words don't always come so easily.  

I seem to always strive but not come to the finish line of my perception.  But then I remember something.

His grace is enough.

I am accepted and loved by my Savior.  It's not about me always striving and trying.  It's resting in His love and yes ...His grace.


Blessings and love,

photo credit: kelsey_lovefusionphoto via photo pin cc


Do You Need Accountability When Losing Weight?

Losing weight seems to be on the mind of many of the women I see every day.  We talk about it.  We complain about it.  We try and try ...again.

I recently heard about Weigh-In Wednesdays from Barbie of My Freshly Brewed Life.  Each week those who are working on their weight check in with Kim of At Home With Kim.  It's a place of accountability, encouragement and information.  I need to lose 20 pounds.  Although I know exactly what to do, I thought I could use some accountability.

I've always been very self-disciplined with diet and exercise.  You see, for 25 years I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist.  I had to work with heart patients and motivate them to adopt healthier lifestyles.  I always felt it was important to walk your talk.

This is how I used to look.  I had lots of energy, could run up and down the stairs at my house with ease, hiked the mountains several times a week and went on my treadmill six days a week.

My exercise area was very convenient.  It became a daily routine. I'd walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes and do my stretches.  I used weights every other day.  More than 100 sit-ups were a part of my daily routine.  My stomach was flat.  I was able to keep my weight stable for years.  If only I'd kept this habit up!

Fast forward ...

I've experienced several years of extreme stress.  After selling our home, including all of the furniture and exercise equipment, I didn't exercise on a regular basis.  I was depressed and it was too hot to walk outside.  After all, I live in Phoenix.  I began to recite many of the same excuses I'd heard from others over the years.

My weight increased with the lack of regular exercise and eating foods I never used to consume.  Here I am at my heaviest at a wedding in 2010.

Lately, I've been feeling better.  I'm enjoying my job.  We moved into a condo that is closer to town and my work.

I'm ready to get back in shape.  

I want to be able to fit into the clothes I now have stored away.  I want to be able to get dressed quickly in the morning and not have to change because my outfit doesn't fit well.  I think I took those years for granted but never again ...

I've already begun losing a few pounds since I started exercising.  I was thrilled when I was able to purchase back my original treadmill. Woo hoo!

This treadmill is key for me.  

In Phoenix, the weather can often be too hot to walk outside.  I need something that is convenient.  I don't like to go to a gym.  I don't like to have to depend on another person to go exercise.  So having access to my treadmill makes all the difference.

A group at my work are joining together to help and encourage one another in our weight loss.  We are each contributing $5 at the start. We will weigh in every Friday and record our weight in the nurses' office.  The ending date we set is November 21.  The person who loses the most percentage of their weight gets all the money in the kitty.

So, I figure between my work group and Weigh-In Wednesdays with Kim, I should be able to hit my goal of losing the extra weight.  There's something to be said for accountability.

I just finished reading a book "Every Body Matters" by Gary Thomas. I would highly recommend this book as the author puts things into proper perspective about how proper eating and a fit lifestyle impacts how we serve Christ.  Gary talks about our bodies being instruments and not ornaments.  I liked that.  When I am fit and healthy, I have more energy and feel better.

How about you?  Do you  need some accountability to lose weight?  Maybe you simply need to become more fit and strong.  If you'd like to come along on this journey with me, please feel free to add your comments.  You can also read Kim's Wednesday posts on At Home with Kim.  I will write about my progress.  After all, I write about the choices we make every day.

Getting fit and healthy is a great heart choice!

Blessings and love,


Thankful for Simple Blessings

As I continue to count my every day blessings, I have to smile.

This used to be my bathroom in our previous home.  I enjoyed taking long bubble baths in this tub.

This is the bathroom in our condo.  It's much smaller  but I can still enjoy taking a long bubble bath.

The tub may not be as fancy but I still get to light my candles and listen to soft music.

I've realized after experiencing so many losses over the past few years that it really doesn't matter where you live.

I'm thankful for simple blessings:

#516 A place to live
#517 A wonderful family that I love
#518 A job where I get to work with little children
#519 A husband who tries to help create an atmosphere of love in our home
#520 Receiving a sweet note from my Vice Principal thanking me for my positive presence on campus
#521 A group of co-workers who are joining together to be accountable as we lose weight and become healthier
#522 A clean condo

I had to leave you with this photo of my nieces Kristin and Katie with little Kenzie Lee.  This baby is so loved.  Katie came down from New York to Florida to visit our family.  Unfortunately, I'm in Arizona so I couldn't be with them but I enjoy the photos.

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

Blessings and love,


A Day in the Life of a Pre-K 3 Class

Today is Labor Day.  I'm thankful for a three day weekend.  After all, I need this extra day of rest.

However, I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work in a classroom of three year old children.  It takes lots of patience.  And it's certainly helped motivate me to get back into shape.  After all, it can be hard keeping up with 19 little ones all day long.

I thought I'd share a day in the life with you today.

We always start our day saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  It's so cute to hear the voices of 3-4 year old children singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Since this is a new school year, we're back to the letter "A".  We have a poem and the children get to go on an "A" search.

They get to learn so much.  The beginning of the school year involves lots of teaching and reinforcement.  Heidi and I love to make learning fun in our classroom.  The children already know a few of our sayings.

It makes life easier when there are a variety of colors for scissors.

And here's another one:

There's no crying in preschool.

We took that one from the movie "A League of Their Own" when Tom Hanks character tells a woman who is on the baseball team he is coaching "There's no crying in baseball."

At the beginning of the year, there's always one or two who cry.  But they become distracted and eventually find that our day can be such fun.

They get to learn "on, under, beside ..."

They learn to write their name.

They learn to sit crisscross, applesauce, hands in your lap.

They learn that we're all friends in our class.

Miss Debbie has fun teaching a few things that aren't on our syllabus. Only a few of the children have mastered the art of snapping their finger.  Last year, Max was our best class snapper.  And this year it's Sam.  He's had an advantage though as his big sister Lily has been teaching him.  But Sam is the best snapper and he often greets me with a snap of his fingers.

Heidi read a book to the children called 'Pete the Cat'.  Sawyer loved the song that accompanied the book and often sings it in our class. He puts on a huge smile and starts singing spontaneously.  It's too funny!

I get to go to:

  • Computer class
  • Spanish class
  • Music class twice a week
  • Art class
  • PE class twice a week
Instead of sitting on the sidelines watching our PE teacher and the children, I love to join in.  I get down and do sit ups and push ups and jumping jacks and play duck, duck, goose.

Last week as I was doing push ups, little Colin jumped on my back and held my neck with his arms.  He got a little ride on Miss Debbie's back and had a big laugh.  I kept telling him to get off of my back but he just laughed and laughed.  I turned around and found a sea of faces in the window.  Many of the older kids I had in our after school program were watching.  They got a big chuckle at the sight.

I love our class.  At the end of each school year, I get sad as I have to say goodbye to the kids.  I'm so glad I still get to see many of them as they wave hello when we pass one another.  But I find that each school year provides me with another opportunity to love and teach children.  What a gift!

So on this Labor Day, I choose to be thankful for my job, the kids, Heidi and my other co-workers.

Colossians 3:23-24

New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance(A) from the Lord as a reward.(B) It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Blessings and love,

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