Heart Choices: 2013-01-13 -->

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What's On Your Bucket List?

What's on your bucket list?  You know ...the things you want to do before you die.

I recently watched a 2007 movie called The Bucket List starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It's about two men with terminal illnesses who end up as roommates in the hospital.  They decide to escape and experience as many items on their bucket list as they can before they die.  Along the way, they learn important lessons.

Too often people get to the end of their lives only to discover they never got to experience many of their dreams.

When I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist I remember a patient who worked in a job he hated for most of his adult life. Finally, he got to the day of his retirement.  He longed for the time when he'd be able to spend his days fishing and traveling.  But several months after retiring, he had a heart attack and ...died.

A 1959 episode of The Twilight Zone called Time Enough to Last made such an impression on me.  It's about a quiet bank teller who loves books.  He longs for time alone to read.  He takes his lunch break in the bank vault so he can read in solitude.  One day during his lunch hour, a nuclear bomb goes off.  The bank teller survives and finds himself alone as he emerges from the vault.  He quickly locates the library and finds books scattered all over.  Finally, he can read to his heart's content.  But as he reaches for a book, his glasses slip off and break.  Now he has plenty of time but he cannot do what he longed to do; read.

Is there something you long to do?  What's been keeping you from doing it?

Have you been postponing it for a time when:

  • You are retired 
  • Your kids are grown up
  • You have more money
  • You have more education
Is there still an unfulfilled dream inside of you?  

Blessings and love,

mccmicb via photopin cc

Faith Barista Jam ~ Beloved

 I'm joining in on this week's Faith Barista Jam.  Bonnie gave us the following writing prompt:

"How is God calling you to become the Beloved?"

When I think of the word beloved, I don't think of myself.  I think of my husband.  I think of Jesus.  But me being the beloved seems kind of odd to me.  And yet the question posed for this jam is how is God calling you to become the Beloved?  That is Debbie, right?

Even as a child, I had this hunger to be loved.  In my young eyes, I was different. I was born with a congenital heart defect.  I couldn't run and play with other children. I was sidelined in life because I couldn't keep up. I had to make frequent trips with my mom to the 'city'.  That was what we Long Islanders called New York City.  My doctors were located at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. My mom and I would sit for hours as we waited in the Clinic for my name to be called.

I was told I was special.  And my parents told me I was loved. But Beloved?  I didn't believe that.

I was always a dreamer.  I guess sitting on the sidelines for the first seven years of my life allowed me plenty of time to day dream.  I dreamed of my wedding.  I dreamed of walking down the aisle to my Beloved.

Many years have gone by since I was a child.  I am a very healthy adult.  Thankfully, my open heart surgery at the age of seven was a success.  I made up for lost time by my determination to keep up with the other children to prove I wasn't odd or different.

But beloved?  Am I becoming the Beloved of God?

You see my life has had lots of ups and downs.  My husband of 28 years loves me.  My family loves me.  But life hasn't always been easy or fun.  There have been many challenging times.

As a beloved of God, would that happen?

What I've discovered over the years of my faith journey is that I can know the Truth.  I go to the Truth; the Word of God; the Bible.  My emotions don't always feel what the Truth says.  But I still believe it and it seems that over time it is proved right to me.

As I grow in my love for Jesus, He shows me that I am His beloved. He holds me when I need comfort.  He provides friends to walk alongside of me just when I need them.  He provides what I need but not always all I want.  He knows what's best for me.  That's my Beloved.

Song of Solomon 2:16 says what I need to hear:

Blessings and love,


Weigh-In Wednesdays ~ New Habits

It is the third Wednesday of the new year.  Are you keeping those New Year's resolutions?  You know, the list of things you were going to do and the new habits you were going to develop?  I'm just checking in.  Maybe you didn't write resolutions but instead chose a one word for 2013.  Well, it's important to make sure you're making progress.  I did both.  I wrote a few resolutions and I chose a one word for 2013: SURRENDER.

So how am I doing?

I'm doing pretty good.  Not perfect mind you, but I didn't expect that.  After all ...I'm human.

But one thing is starting to take shape for me.  The habit of exercise is being renewed in my life.  I used to have the habit of daily exercise.  I did that for years and frankly never thought twice about it.  It was a HABIT.

Well, that went by the wayside when my life turned upside down a few years ago.

I used to have a beautiful workout room with all my equipment in one place.  I could watch TV or check out the beautiful view of the mountains.

Now I have a treadmill squeezed into my husband's office in our small condo.  But the treadmill works!  So I made the decision to get back in the habit of daily exercise.  Already, I'm beginning to feel more energetic.  I don't dread coming home from work and hopping on my treadmill.  My husband understands that I need that time and he does all he can to be sure it happens.  No distractions!

I've also been planning my meals.  Well, I guess I have to qualify that.  I'm doing better.  On Sunday afternoon, I prepare a few meals in advance.  I used my crock pot and I also made a huge salad with lots of veggies.  So I have meals to take to work with me for lunch. My  hubby has been a big help as he often helps with dinner.  He is so creative with the leftovers and makes delicious meals.  Thank you Greg!

I'm also loving our Weigh-in Facebook group.  It has been so encouraging to share recipes and things that work.  We are also accountable to one another; love that and I need that.

The important lesson I take away from this weight loss issue is:

Healthy habits must be developed.

It takes 21 days to create a new habit.  So for at least 21 days it may be hard to keep at it.  But if you do, you may find that you  no longer dread the behavior as it becomes a part of your daily life.

What habit are you in the process of developing?  Are there any healthy habits that you've developed and care to share?

I'm linking up with Kim of At Home with Kim for Weigh-In Wednesday.

Blessings and love,


What is the First Thing you do Every Morning?

What do you do first thing in the morning?  Do you pour yourself a cup of coffee in your attempt to fully awaken?  Do you take a shower?  Do you turn on the television to check the morning news or open up your newspaper?  Do you get on your computer?

I want to challenge you to spend time at the feet of Jesus.  You may know the story of two sisters; Mary and Martha.

Acts 10: 38-42 says:
As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!"  "Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

I'm in the midst of a Bible study called "A Heart that Dances" by Catherine Martin.  She wrote about the culture of the day when the above passage occurred.

Disciples sat at the feet of their teachers.  I think of the children in our Pre-K 3 class who sit and listen to their teachers.  (Well, they listen most of the time.)  In those days, the role of disciple wasn't open to women.  It would shock Hebrew men if a woman assumed the position of a disciple.  And yet, it says Mary sat the Lord's feet listening to what He said.  She soaked in His teaching.  This was radical at that time.

Martha was upset that her sister wasn't helping her with the preparations.  After all, these were the things a good hostess would do, right?  Of course, she complained to Jesus.

And how did Jesus answer Martha?

Jesus answered her with love.  "Martha, Martha".  He repeated her name.  He was able to see into her heart.  He knew she had a beautiful gift of hospitality.  But He assessed Martha's condition of being worried and upset about many things.  She had a priority of serving others.  That may seem like a good priority. But it was distracting her from the priority of sitting at the feet of Jesus to listen and learn.

Jesus challenged Martha.  Mary didn't reject being hospitable.  But she chose Jesus as her priority.  And that was the best priority.

So, now it's your turn.

What will you choose as your priority?

Each day you and I have a choice to make.  Of course, we also have many responsibilities.  After all, we may have families, children who need help, homes to keep orderly, meals to prepare, getting ready for work.  But will you choose to begin each day sitting at the feet of Jesus to listen, learn and obey?

  • Set your alarm clock thirty minutes earlier.  
  • Arrange your Bible, journal and pen in the place you want to study.  
  • Get the coffee ready to brew the night before.  
Spend that time first thing in the morning in the presence of the Lord.  I can tell you from experience that it will change your entire day.

I'm linking up with Kim for Morning Moments.

I'm also linking up with Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays.

And Joan of The Beauty in His Grip.

Blessings and love,

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