Heart Choices: 2013-06-09 -->

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 ~ Listen

It's Five Minute Friday when I link up with Lisa Jo of The Gypsy Mama We receive a one word prompt each week and then write for five minutes flat.  Our word for today is LISTEN.


Sometimes I think listening has become an old art form.  People gather together.  Conversation ensues.  But distractions often occur. Instead of having a real conversation we:

  • chat 
  • text 
  • take photos to post on our favorite social network
  • tell people where we are
What happened to old fashioned conversation?  I yearn for it at times.

One of the true gifts we can give to another is to truly ...listen.

Forget about all the advice you want to give that person.  Forget about thinking of the next clever thing you will say to them.  Look into their eyes.  Give them your undivided attention.  Simply listen with your heart.

Will you choose to offer this gift of love to another?


Blessings and love,


The Key to a Healthy Lifestyle

What's the key to a healthy lifestyle?  You might be thinking that it must be a particular diet or fasting or exercising like a maniac.  I don't think so.  People lose weight all the time.  But so many of them gain it back ...plus more.

I believe the key to a healthy lifestyle is creating and establishing healthy habits.

I want to share something I read years ago.

I Am Called Habit

I am your constant companion,
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am at your command.

Half of the tasks that you do you might just as well
turn them over to me and I will do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed; you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done.
After a few lessons, I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great people
and the regret of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine but I will work with all its precision
plus the the intelligence of a person.

Now you may run me for profit or you may run me for ruin.
It makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me and
I will lay the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

I am called Habit!

(author unknown)

For many years, I was in the habit of exercising daily.  Stressful circumstances caused me to get out of that habit.  I fed my emotions with sweets and popcorn.  It was amazing to me that after a few months, my habits changed and not for the good.  I stopped exercising except for an occasional walk.  The result?  I gained about twenty pounds and felt tired all the time.  Now you  may be thinking that twenty pounds is nothing.  Maybe you need to lose 40 or 50 pounds.  But remember that each person is different.  I'm thankful that I made the decision to stop before it got worse.

Habits take time to develop.  For years, I read that the magic number was 21 days of consistency.  But recently I came across a site called The Health Behavior Research Centre Blog.  They challenge that number with their own research.  They claim it takes 66 days to form a new habit.  That means performing the new behavior consistently for 66 days.

Regardless, all I can say is ...

  • Start exercising and keep doing it
  • Think of it as something you do before leaving your house, like brushing your teeth
  • Rethink your breakfast by adding fresh fruit instead of going through McDonald's
  • Learn to drink your cup of coffee black instead of adding creamers
Whatever change you are trying to make, hang in there.  It obviously takes time to establish new habits. But I do believe they are key to a healthy lifestyle.

Here's what I'm doing.  I've been consistent for the past two weeks in my exercise.  I have my exercise clothes all ready the night before.  I take my water, my Kindle and I get on my treadmill.  This works for me and is something I know I can do.  I've tried gym memberships and it doesn't work for me.  I need something easy and available first thing in the morning.  I do my treadmill for 40 minutes right now.  I started at 30 minutes but worked up.  I plan to increase my time a bit more over time.  But I get to read my Kindle Fire while I work out.  Who says they don't have time to read?

I also have my hand weights available.  I have a series of exercises I accomplish every other day.  I do 12 reps two times for each exercise.  I then use my mat and do stretching and a few Pilates moves I learned from my neighbor and exercise guru Caroline.  I'm pretty much done with it all within an hour.  My weight is down three pounds.  You might be thinking that's not much but I'm OK with that. I'd rather do slow and steady and ...be consistent.

So let's get personal.  Are there a few habits in your life that are sabotaging your success in creating a healthy lifestyle?  Have you ever tried committing to being consistent in your exercise?  Is there a new habit you'd like to create?

I'm linking up with Kim of Making 40 Fantastic for Weigh-in Wednesday.  I encourage you to visit Kim as she always has great tips.  If you're a blogger, feel free to join in and link up your post.

Blessings and love,


Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the best medicine.  When was the last time you really laughed?  You know what I'm talking about.  It's when your belly aches from laughing so hard.

I've had a few of those moments when I tried to hold it back.  I was in my cardiovascular nurse specialist course and our instructor Edie was seriously teaching.  My friend Yolanda whispered something to me and ...I couldn't hold it back.

Despite my attempts to contain myself, it wasn't happening. Thankfully, our class was small in number and even Edie ended up laughing.

Laughter is contagious!

Sometimes it happens when I'm with family.  My brother Steve has a way of reminding me of something from our childhood and laughter ensues.

Here are a few benefits of laughter:
  • Laughter relaxes your body.
  • Laughter boosts your immune system.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel good chemicals
  • Laughter increases blood flow, protecting your heart
So how can you bring more laughter into your life?

  • Watch reruns of I Love Lucy or other comedies
  • Spend time with people who are fun and laugh
  • Watch children interact with one another
  • Keep things in perspective
  • Don't take yourself so seriously
  • Smile
I'm sure you could add some of your own to this list.  Counting my blessings is also another way for me smile and laugh.  So, I'm continuing to count my every day blessings ...

#856 Hugs and smiles from the children in summer camp
#857 Observing the little ones do cannonballs into the pool
#858 Hearing squeals of laughter when I sprayed the children with the hose
#859 Listening to the children as they play with one another
#860 Watching the children play house with their dolls
#851 Doing hula dancing with the little children
#852 The sound of Sawyer laughing
#853 Observing a hummingbird in my garden
#854 A wonderful motivating sermon on being passionate about mission
#855 Ongoing growth in my walk with the Lord
#856 Keeping an eternal perspective

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

Blessings and love,

My Morning Quiet Time

My morning quiet time is something I treasure.  I spend time in God's Word.  I pray.  I listen.  I praise Him and thank Him.  It has become a constant in my life.  On the rare occasion that I miss this time, my husband will ask me if I had my quiet time.  He notices when the fruit of the Spirit isn't so evident.  I am dependent on the Lord for my daily walk.

This photo was taken when I was living in my dream home in the Biltmore.  I loved that home and was so grateful for the beautiful views of the mountains.  I no longer live there.  Instead, I have to walk to the parking lot of our condo to glimpse the mountains that once were in my backyard.  My home now is much smaller.  But I've realized that what's most important hasn't changed.

Psalm 46:1-5 says:

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day."

No matter where I live physically, God is with me.  He longs to spend time with me.  Sometimes it's so hard for me to fathom that fact.  But it's true.  And He wants to spend time with you.  Will you take some time each day and begin it with Him?  He will begin to open your eyes.  He will speak to you.  And I can tell you that over time others will notice and ...God gets all the glory.

So this is where I now get to spend my morning quiet time.  Yes the surroundings look different.  But He never changes.

I'm linking up with Barbie of My Freshly Brewed Life for The Weekend Brew.

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

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=]