Heart Choices: 2012-12-23 -->

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Have You Surrendered Yet?

Have you ever felt a strong call from God?  Was there a moment in time when you knew that He was calling you to follow Him in a particular direction for your life?

I've had this happen to me.  Many years ago, I had the most vivid and memorable dream of my entire life.  I'm always a bit wary of people who focus on dreams. I believe that our circumstances and emotions can play tricks on us.  God speaks to us through His Word and He never contradicts Himself.

But this dream was different for me.  I was living my life in a good and decent way.  But I wasn't walking in obedience to the Lord.

God spoke to me in my dream.  No I didn't hear an audible voice. But I knew.  He was giving me a glimpse of the world through His eyes.  And nothing was the same.

I awakened sobbing.  This had never happened to me before.  My husband woke up and instantly knew something significant had occurred.

I attempted to share what happened but the tears kept flowing.  This was not something I normally do much of (crying).  Greg grabbed a pad and started writing as I described my dream for him.

I'd like to say my life totally changed that day but it didn't.  Although I was touched in an amazing way, it still took me several years before I let down my guard and yielded my life to the Lord.

Surrender.  What will it take before you surrender?  Surrender your ways, your goals, your desires and begin to trust the One who made you.

I've discovered that He planted desires in me.  I had to trust Him enough to get in touch with His plan for my life.  And that required trust and surrender.

Blessings and love,

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Do You Keep in Touch With the People Who Matter to you?

What's most important in life to you?  Often people devote much time to accumulating things.  Magazines and advertising fill us with a longing to buy this product and then I'll feel ____.  You can fill in the blank.

I love this plaque.  It focuses on how the important things in life are not ...things.

Faith, family, friends

I've been engrossed the last weeks in my journals.  I'm thankful that I discovered them in a box during our latest move.  The lessons I learned, the prayers I now see were actually answered, the people I love and care about, the friends who hung with me through thick and thin.

People are much more important than things.  

We will all leave this earth one day and guess what?  You can't take anything with you!  I wonder how many people will regret not spending enough quality time with the people who mean the most to them.

I think of the Griffin family.  Yesterday they invited me to their home for lunch.  I first met the Griffins about 19 years ago.  Their son Mike was a patient in our Cardiology practice.  He suffered from cardiomyopathy, a disease where the heart muscle is weakened which makes it difficult to pump blood and oxygen to the rest of the body.  I came to know this family through the difficult times as Mikey died at the young age of 28.  That was almost 17 years ago but we've continued to maintain a beautiful friendship.

Sue and her sister Barbara have seen me through some very trying times too.  Their prayers, love and friendship have encouraged me.

I've had the pleasure of many Christmas luncheons with Jim, Barb and Sue over the years.  Yesterday as I stepped into their lovely home I immediately remembered Mikey when I stepped on the Christmas decoration that shouted "Ho, ho, ho".  He loved Christmas and decorated with lots of fun stuffed Santa Clauses.  There were decorations on their tree with reminders of Mike.  Even though it's been years since he's been gone, we can now laugh and reminisce about the good memories.

Yesterday I asked a question on Heart Choices.

What would be your biggest regret if this was the last day of your life?  

You can read more about it here in case you missed it.  Many of you responded with comments and I appreciate that.  If you didn't have the opportunity to respond, it's not too late.  :)

Today I want to ask you another question.

Do you keep in touch with the people who matter to you?

Relationships can be challenging.  Not all families get along well. Holidays can certainly bring that out.  But there may be people in your life that you love and care about.  Do you keep in touch?  If you found out you were going to die, who would you want to spend time with before that day?  Is there someone you may need to call or get in touch with?

Blessings and love,


What Would Be Your Biggest Regret If This Was the Last Day of your Life?

It may be a difficult question to ask.  But I believe it's an important question to ask.

What would be your biggest regret if this was the last day of your life?

Too many people get to the last day of their life unexpectedly.

  • A fatal car accident 
  • An unexpected diagnosis with no cure 
  • A sudden heart attack without warning
Most people seem to think there's plenty of time.

Time to deal with:

  • Issues you've been suppressing for years  
  • Bitterness and rage against perceived injustice done to you
  • Relationships that need healing
  • Unfulfilled dreams you've kept locked inside
  • Anxiety over loved ones
  • Words that need to be spoken
The reality is we don't know the exact day and hour of our death. It's a subject most people don't want to think about.  But of one thing I am sure.  Death will happen to each one of us one day.

I'm in the process of writing an e-book on this topic of death.  I believe there are many lessons we can learn from the dying about living life in the now.  I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.  I've walked alongside of hundreds of patients and their families as they were dealing with life and death.  I kept journals filled with many of the stories of people who died.  Believe me when I say ...the dying can teach us lessons.

But today I'd like to ask you to consider this one question.

What would be your biggest regret if this was the last day of your life?

I'd love to read your responses.

Blessings and love,

photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc

Getting Back to Weigh-in Wednesdays

Weigh-in Wednesday already?

In my heart I'm thinking ...

  • the Christmas tree is still up 
  • there are goodies under the tree 
  • the smell of cardamom (Norwegian spice) is in the air
But what better day to start?  After all, I'm still on winter break from school.  I have time to start getting back into the habit of regular exercise.  And I can begin to plan and prepare healthy meals while I still have some time at home.

I signed up for the Biggest Loser competition at my school.  But I lost!

It figures that the winner was my cohort Heidi, whom I think didn't even need to lose weight.  But she won the pot of money.  So she can go shopping for some new clothes.  Way to Heidi; congratulations!  (Note to Heidi: can you hear Sawyer?)

Heidi is now in the best shape of her life.  She lost ten pounds and gained muscle.  Her pants are so loose she actually loaned them to me until ...they become too loose on me.  And that's what's going to happen!

I did go for a long walk with my next door neighbor several days ago.  We walked for more than 90 minutes and I have to say the time went by so quickly.  You know when you're walking and talking, you forget time.
There's nothing like beautiful scenery to get your mind off the fact that you're walking a long time.  I have to say that we have the most amazing winters here in Phoenix, Arizona.  This is the time when I forget all about the triple digit summers and simply ...enjoy.

When we passed by this view, it brought back such memories.  This is the mountain I used to hike up every day a few years ago.  I used to call it my mountain.  Well, I think it's time for me to reclaim 'my mountain' again.  Don't you think?

So, how about getting started even before the new year?  Yeah I know it's only a few days away.  But I for one, want to take advantage of this time off.  Part of losing weight is the planning.  So this week I will spend planning out my meals.  I take my lunch to work so this is important.  In between, I continue to press on in the writing of my book.  Those very early morning hours are the best writing time for me; no interruptions and my mind is most alert.

I'm linking up with Kim of At Home with Kim for Weigh-in Wednesday.  Won't you consider joining in?  How are you doing with your progress?  Did the Christmas goodies cause you to give in and simply enjoy?  Well, it's a new day and the time to start getting healthy.  In the process, we might just look good too.  And that's a good thing!

Heart Choices

How about making the CHOICE to take better care of your body?  I can guarantee that it will help other parts of your life too.

Blessings and love,


Merry Christmas

I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!  Thank you for taking the time to follow and read Heart Choices.  I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for each and every one of you.  I get excited to read each comment.  I know that many are reluctant to comment and that's OK.  But it's fun when you join in on the conversation.  :)

I'm on a two week break from school.  Between visiting with friends and family, I'm working very hard writing my book.  Those early morning hours are spent typing away on my computer.  In case you don't know, I'm writing the lessons I learned from the deathbeds of many patients I came to know when I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.  There's much to be learned and I for one don't want to have regrets when it's my time.  Keeping the end in mind keeps me motivated and energized to live intentionally.  I've so much to share so ...I hope you stay tuned.

Our Christmas tree is up and decorated.  I was concerned that it wouldn't fit in our small condo but it looks beautiful.  Here are a few close up photos of my ornaments.

I have many ornaments that were gifts from friends over the years. And of course I have a few Norwegian ones too.

Annual Christmas Tea

Every year I look forward to an annual Christmas tea with my friend Terri and her cousin Janet.  We've been doing this for years and how thankful I am to have this opportunity.  This year we went to the Arizona Biltmore Resort.  The food was fabulous and everything was so festive.

Take a look at these little sandwiches.  There was smoked salmon, dill and shrimp salad, lobster basil salad, and more.  The three of us finished off this whole tray.  Can you believe we had two more courses?  There were peppermint scones and eggnog spiced pound cake.  And then we had to leave room for dessert: gingerbread mousse swan, peppermint crunch brule and cinnamon crisp truffle.  

Here are the three of us after we ate.  We were still able to walk around and enjoy the beautiful Christmas trees.  What a fun time with good friends!  Thank you Terri.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas celebration.  In case you are feeling stressed during this time of year, remember the reason for the season.  

Blessings and love,

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