Heart Choices: 2012-09-09 -->

Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style

Five Minute Friday ~ Focus

It's Five Minute Friday with The Gypsy Mama.

We receive a writing prompt and have five minutes flat to write.

Our word for today is ...FOCUS.


I've always been one who needs total quiet to really focus.  When I would do homework as a kid, I couldn't listen to music at the same time.  I would become distracted too easily.

My husband has the ability to focus.  He can block everything else out and have that razor sharp focus.  I admire that about him.  That's something that has helped him be so creative and entrepreneurial in his career.

I tend to do many things but never perfectly.  It takes too much effort, time and I tend to enjoy many distractions.  After all, I am a popular sanguine personality.

However, I've learned that there are times in my life when FOCUS is needed.  I can't always stay in the generalities of life. Is that a word?

I've been trying to live more intentionally.  And that requires me to focus on what's really important.  With limited time and resources I want to focus my energy on what God has gifted and called me to do. With much prayer and focus on Him, I know I can do it.  Not Debbie, but Christ in me.  And then He gets all of the glory.


So are you focused?  Or are you distracted?

Blessings and love,

Photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via photo pin


My Spiritual Whitespace

Have you ever heard of spiritual whitespace?  Bonnie of Faith Barista introduced me to that term back in March of 2011 with this post.

For this week's Faith Barista Jam, Bonnie gave us the writing prompt to share what God has been speaking to our hearts during our quiet times.

How important it is to take time to be still and listen to His voice. After awakening each morning, I spend time praying and reading my Bible.  I have my journal opened with a pen handy to record any insights I receive from this time alone.

If I were to immediately turn on the TV or get on the internet, my emotions take over and rule my day.  So, I make the choice to begin my day with the Lord.  After all, He is sovereign.  No news headline takes Him by surprise.  So instead of doing ... I make the heart choice to be still.

I have been doing a study on the book of Revelation.  In the past, I've read through it many times.  But I wanted to spend more time there and to understand it better.  I found a workbook called "A Heart to See Forever" by Catherine Martin.  What a blessing this study has been for me.  It has challenged me to 'embrace the promise of the eternal perspective'.

What I have been hearing and learning in my spiritual whitespace is this:

  • I have a future and a hope.
  • I can rest in the promises of God.
  • I am to live a life of faith.
  • No challenge is too hard for God.
  • The world may be in chaos with wars, elections and killings but this isn't my eternal home.
  • I am to live a holy life growing in faith and knowledge.
  • I am to trust all of my circumstances to God.
  • I am to listen and ...obey His Word.
Hebrews 11 is a chapter about faith.  Listed are many names of people in the Bible who lived by faith.  Many were tortured and persecuted.  They were living by faith when they died.  They were able to persevere by faith.

I want to live by faith.

I want to be counted faithful until my last breath.

In my spiritual whitespace, God has been impressing on me the importance of walking by faith.  To have an eternal perspective no matter what the news headlines proclaim.  I don't put my head in the sand. But I do know that time is short and I want to make each moment count in light of eternity.

May He use me as an instrument to share His light with the world.

What are you learning in your spiritual whitespace?

Blessings and love,


Fitness as a Way of Life

Are you working on losing weight?  Or are you simply trying to get more fit and healthy?

I've come to this conclusion:

Fitness needs to be a way of life.  

Too many people I know have been on diets and lost weight.  But over time, I see that weight return and often even more to boot!

In the past, I've been consistent with my weight.  However, I've written about the last few very stressful years and that I've gained some weight.  You can read my account related to weight here.

I'm so glad that I have two accountability groups to help me lose 20 pounds.

At Home with Kim offers a place to discuss weight loss progress honestly each Wednesday.

At work, we have a large group of teachers who are trying to lose weight.  We weigh in each Friday and update our progress.  I've found this most helpful since we can encourage one another, especially when there are temptations like cupcakes in the teacher's lounge.  There is a spirit of camaraderie I see developing within our campus among those participating.

I've been exercising in the morning before work on my treadmill.  I must confess that I've missed a few days.

Here's my schedule:

  • Alarm goes off at 5am (I don't think about it and quickly get up)
  • Coffee in hand
  • Quiet time with my Bible, journal, pen already set up the night before
  • Exercise on treadmill (time depends on whether or not it is a hair washing day)
  • Weights every other day
  • I try to do my shoulder exercises because of my previous rotator cuff injury (homework from my Physical Therapist Kristina)
  • Make and pack my lunch for work including salads, fruit
  • Have breakfast of cereal and fruit
  • Shower and dress
  • Leave for work by 7:30am
Oh and in the midst of that I try to check Facebook for any birthdays and messages.  I also try to write my blog posts in the evening when I get home from work and then review them before publishing in the morning.  If I have time I read a few of my favorite blogs.  But I often have to wait until the evening for that.

Life is busy!

But health and fitness are my goals.  I want it to become a regular habit and way of life like it used to be for me.

Think about the following:

And I especially love this one:

So I encourage you to persevere and encourage one another to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.

How are you doing with getting fit?

Blessings and love,


Kids Make Me Smile

I love children!  I love their innocence.  I love how they say things without thinking.

They eat their lunch and snacks with gusto!  A milk mustache is a natural consequence.

Our Pre-K 3 class was in computer class.  The instructor takes attendance and each child raises their hand and says 'here'.  She called Melika's name and we heard a loud 'here' coming from the bathroom.  She then proceeded to yell that she was doing poo poo. Too much information but ...we had to chuckle.  

My great niece Kenzie is fascinated with herself.  Aunt Katie taped her and when Kenzie was fussing, she played the short video. Kenzie was mesmerized and started cooing and smiling.  

Kenzie Lee cannot get enough of watching herself!

Three year old children often have not mastered the art of snapping their fingers.  But little Sam is a wiz at it!  He's so proud that he can snap.  So Miss Debbie showed him how to snap, clap and point.  Sam will now wink at me and begin his little snapping routine.  I can't help but laugh!

After lunch, the children have nap time.  We quietly wake them up so they can have snack and get ready to go home.  These two little boys were being so gentle as they were trying to awaken their classmate.

Some of the children are signed up for after school classes such as cheer leading and dance.  I love to snap photos of them as they look so cute in their outfits.

#523 Laughter of children
#524 Innocence of children
#525 Hearing the responses from children
#526 Little girls all dressed up in dance outfits
#527 The tenderness the little ones have when waking up their friends
#528 The excitement of a snapping boy
#529 Seeing my great niece in photos and videos
#530 Phone calls with each of my family members in Florida
#531 Much needed rain in Arizona
#532 Slightly cooler temperatures this week
#533 Beautiful cloud formations in the sky
#534 A weekend of rest

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience as I count my every day blessings on Multitudes on Mondays.

Blessings and love,

[name=DEBBIE PETRAS] [img=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2CDrwq9-7eo/WV6tdbP-QgI/AAAAAAACfb0/ViqQSnSVaDsMLXyz3AEEzZ5-78luBHOGgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Debbie%2BFace%2Bblog.JPG] [description=]