Heart Choices: 2013-03-17 -->

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Spring in my Heart

Happy spring!  Spring is a bit different in the desert of Phoenix. It's amazing to see a cactus bloom with beautiful flowers.  The orange and grapefruit trees produce delicious fruit ripe for picking. A sweet pleasing fragrance fills the air.  There's a special beauty in this season of spring.

However there's also a down side to all of these blooms; allergies. So many people in the Phoenix area suffer with allergies this time of year, including me.  :(

I guess there's two sides to everything.

I'm joining up today for a Faith Barista Jam.  Bonnie gave us our writing prompt as:  SPRING

It's the last two weeks of Lent.  Originally the word Lent comes from old English word meaning "spring".  Imagine Jesus whispering the word "spring" into your heart. Reflect and share what "spring" means to you in your current journey of faith.

I see with my physical eyes the desert blooming.  Spring is a season of growth.  I also see that spring is a season of spiritual growth.  I choose to listen to the whispers in my heart.

As I look forward to Resurrection Sunday or Easter, the Lord is preparing my heart.  I remember how Jesus spent 40 days in the desert.  And may I remind you that this time of testing occurred right after Matthew 3:17

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased."  

Matthew 4:1-2 goes on to say:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Can you imagine fasting for forty days in the desert?

Living in a desert I can tell you that water is essential for survival. Dehydration is a very real danger and can even cause people to become lightheaded and pass out.  And yet that is when Jesus was tempted by the devil.

Despite being tempted in areas that I would have a hard time resisting, Jesus never gave in.  Instead His response to the devil was to quote Scripture.

I have to admit that probably wouldn't have been my first response. Think about it for a minute.

  • You're hungry
  • You're tired
  • You're extremely thirsty
  • You're alone in the desert
Not one of my personal experiences or temptations is anything compared to what Jesus went through.

As Jesus whispers 'spring' into my heart, I'm reminded that I can trust Him in the midst of my personal challenges in this season of life.  During this time of testing I ask myself:

  • Do I truly believe God's Word?
  • Do I trust God when my life has been turned upside down?
  • Do I look forward with hope?
  • Do I remember how much He loves me?
  • Do I realize that I am not alone and that He is with me?
I can tell you that I'm learning that I do believe and trust Him.  My faith is actually growing stronger through the trials and storms of life.  I believe His Word.  And I can look forward with hope.

After all, Easter is coming!  Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross.  But that's not the end of the story.  If that was the end, my faith would be in vain.  He rose to life on the third day and appeared to many.  He ascended into heaven and now sits on the right hand of the Father continually interceding for His children.

I realize that He is with me on my life journey through each season. Spring is a wonderful reminder for me.  I listen to His whispers in my heart.  Therefore I can be ...joyful and hopeful.  

Blessings and love,


Working on Getting Back in Shape

Have you set any goals for this year?  I have to ask.  How are you doing?  Have you made some steady progress or are you ready to give up?

One of my goals for 2013 was to get back in shape and live a more healthy lifestyle.

Last Saturday I went hiking with my neighbor Caroline.  We decided to tackle Squaw Peak which has been renamed Piestewa Peak.  It's a challenging climb but I remember how I used to be able to practically run up to the top and down.  It's a different story now!

I was equipped with my back pack filled with camera (of course) and my water bottle (much needed).  I had on my hiking boots and I was ready to climb.  It started off easy enough but as I continued I found myself getting so tired and winded.  Oh my, this could not be happening to me!

I came upon this bench and had to take a break.  I could feel my heart pounding fast.  I have to laugh because one of the thoughts that crossed my mind was 'Moses must have been in such great shape.  I can't imagine carrying those heavy stones with the 10 Commandments down a mountain.  And he had to have climbed up the mountain first; oh my.'

But as I paused to catch my breath and take a few photos, I realized how endurance is something that needs to be maintained.  If you don't use it, you lose it.  I thought of many patients who lost muscle mass when they were bedridden or disabled for a period of time.  Muscle needs to be rebuilt.  Aerobic capacity needs to be built up again too.  My internal dialogue was reassuring me that I could work at this; yes I could!

As I started back on my climb, I had to laugh at this shirt a young man was wearing.  He obliged me as I took a photo.  Yes, each one of us is like nothing you've ever seen before!  It reminded me that we come in all shapes and sizes.  God created us with different abilities.  But I am determined to take care of this body so I will have the energy and strength to be about what He has called me to do.  And I must add that working with three and four year old children all day requires much energy.

So I continued my climb.  I wish I could announce that I made it to the top that day but ...I didn't.

However, this hike helped me to gauge what still needed to be done to accomplish my goal of living a healthy lifestyle.

  • I will be back Piestewa Peak.  
  • I will be back many times.
  • I will not give up.
  • I will reach the top once again.  
  • I am determined!
So I ask you.  How are you doing?  Have you set goals and are you working towards reaching them?  Do you still have a ways to go?

Blessings and love,


Spring Break

Spring break in Phoenix is the perfect time of year.  The weather is beautiful.  While most of the country has been dealing with winter weather, we experienced sunny days in the high 70's.  It kind of makes up for the triple digit heat during the summer.  And yes, it's a dry heat.  But I have to say that 110 degrees is HOT!

I compiled a list of all I wanted to accomplish during my time off.  As always my list was more energetic than I was.  But I'm thankful that I had fun with friends and time to exercise and work on my book. I'll have to share more about that later in the week.  But for now just know that I'm editing and getting those transitions working more smoothly.  It just takes time!

I had some time to visit with my good friend Helen.  In fact, we sat outside Paradise Bakery at Desert Ridge talking, sipping iced tea and watching the fountains.  

However, on my drive home the unexpected happened.  A man cut me off in his car as he made a right turn in front of me.  Thank goodness no one got hurt.  But my poor car ...

I love my car!  I purchased it 13 years ago but it still looks great despite many miles.  I was so relieved that the other driver's insurance company will be paying for my damages.

I've been wanting to do something with my hair lately.  So I got it cut shorter and I like it.  I'm not one who takes lots of time styling and blow drying my hair.  It's got to be fast and this cut seems to be working for me.  Thank you Jennifer!

I went for many walks and finally had the time to attend my neighbor Caroline's exercise class.  This gal has been teaching Pilates and aerobics classes for 30 years.  Her Thursday evening class is a great workout.  I kept up with much of the aerobics.  But the Pilates part was harder for me as I'm just not that flexible.  But I'm not giving up. I want to work at it.

Caroline and I also hiked up a popular mountain in Phoenix on Saturday morning.  The views were fantastic.  I didn't do as well as I hoped since I didn't hike all the way to the top.  In years gone by (when I was in good shape and pre-stress years), I used to almost run all the way to the top.  But I guess I'll have to work on my endurance again.

Along the way I had fun taking photos and watching the people.  One lady was shouting loudly that there were free massages at the top in her attempt to motivate people to keep going.  :)

Although I enjoyed my time off, I do miss the children in our Pre-K 3 class and Heidi (of course).  So I'm looking forward to getting back to my usual routine this week.  But I'll be on the lookout for those every day blessings for sure.

#735 Spending time with my former car pool buddy Tara
#736 Not having to get up early but ...still getting up early
#737 The driver of the other car accepted full responsibility for the accident
#738 My car will be repaired this week and I won't have to pay my deductible
#739 Finally seeing the movie "Quartet" with Maggie Smith (enjoyed it)
#740 Time to exercise
#741 Time to eat healthy and plan meals
#742 Making a batch of Norwegian waffles (I used nonfat sour cream and skim milk)
#743 Longer quiet times in the morning this past week
#744 Discovering that my symptoms are all related to allergies and sinus

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

Blessings and love,

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