Heart Choices: 2013-07-07 -->

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Five Minute Friday ~ Present

It's Five Minute Friday when I link up with The Gypsy Mama.  We receive a word each week and we get to write for five minutes flat.  Our word for this week is PRESENT.


Today I'm only working a few hours.  I feel like I already packed much into this day.  I get to spend three hours with the children until their parents pick them up.  I step into the classroom and the only ones I see are Jennifer and two little ones still asleep on their nap mats.  I feign surprise and ask Jennifer where have all the children gone?

Next thing I hear are squeals of laughter coming from behind the cubbies.  Out jumped nine excited children shouting, "Surprise.  Here we are Miss Debbie!"  They were giggling and smiling.

As I began to unpack my camera (of course) and place my belongings in the desk, the children spot my bubble wrap.  Before I know it, they are on the floor trying to pop the bubbles.  Interesting how engaged they can be as a group using a common object for entertainment.  Priceless!

I notice one who is beginning to wake up.  She is always excited to see me so I sit on the floor next to her. A sleepy eye opens and I see the beginnings of a smile.  Her hand reaches out and she moves her head onto my lap attempting to open her beautiful green eyes.  Once she is fully awake, she's ready to show me that yes she can still count to 100 all by herself!

I remind myself to be present in this moment.  My  husband is always reminding me to treasure these precious moments.  Time goes by and life can change quickly.  I've learned that from experience.  So even on the days when I am working only a few hours, I choose to be present in the moment.  Live, love, laugh. Be present.


Blessings and love,


Weigh-in Wednesday Progress

Wednesday is Weigh-in Wednesday for me.  It was started by Kim of Making 40 Fabulous. We even have a private Facebook group where we share recipes, tips and advice.  It's been a wonderful place of support and encouragement for me. If you would like to join us, simply let me know.  I do believe group support is so helpful when making lifestyle changes.

So here's where I am today.  It's been five weeks since I made a commitment to make exercise a daily habit in my life.  This is what's happening.

I've been consistent in exercising every day except for three days. The latest research states that it takes about 66 days of consistently doing an activity before it becomes a habit.  I'm not quite to that point yet but I'm close.  The three days I missed were days when I had off work and figured I'd get my exercise in later in the day.  Big mistake! Before I knew it, time got away from me and ...I didn't do it.

That's a lesson for me as I discovered that I need to exercise first thing in the morning before my brain is engaged.  This way I don't need to make a decision every morning.  It's a done deal.  But I also need to prepare the night before.  I have my workout clothes assembled and ready along with my water bottle and Kindle.  I basically get dressed while I'm half asleep and step on that treadmill.

Believe me, I wake up very quickly!

I set a clear goal to establish exercise as a daily habit.  I knew the obstacles I faced to accomplish this goal and so I made adjustments to overcome them.  Accountability is important for me to achieve my goal.  Writing about my progress on Heart Choices and participating in the Facebook group are ways to stay on track.  

Many people never try to accomplish a goal because they cannot envision themselves achieving it.  I love the Ziglar quotes as they provide such encouragement.  You need to be able to envision yourself achieving your goal.  What I take away from this is that goals must be realistic.  I've seen too many people set a goal of losing 20 pounds within two months or something like that.  My goal is to live a healthy lifestyle so it's not a diet and exercise program.  It's a way to live from now on.  If I won't be able to stick with it, it won't work for me.  I don't want to gain and lose and gain even more.

It's not a diet but a way of life.    <Click to tweet>

I'm also working on cutting back on my calories.  I've discovered that sometimes it's the little things that add up.  My weight is coming down but a bit more slowly than I hoped.  So I've increased the intensity of my exercise a bit.  I still have about 12 pounds I'd like to lose but I'm doing it slowly.

How are you doing?  Do you look at losing weight as a short term goal or a long term lifestyle change?  What kind of support do you like? Are you a loner when it comes to making changes or do you prefer groups?

Blessings and love,


Learning to Trust

Walking by faith requires trust.  But what happens when you find it hard to trust.  After all, people you thought you could trust may have let you down.  That hurts!  And who wants to experience that kind of hurt again?  So we determine not to trust or depend on anyone but ourselves.  But how's that working for you?

This summer I'm working with preschool children in camp.  Every morning the children have swim instruction.  James was a new four year old child.  As we walked single file towards the swimming pool, he kept telling me he didn't want to go under water.  I introduced James to his swim instructor Jenna and told her about his fear.  I observed James throughout his first swim lesson.

Jenna worked on establishing trust with James.  She took off her sunglasses so he could see her eyes.  She told him she wouldn't let him go.  She held his hand as she taught him to blow bubbles in the water.  He still hadn't put his head in the water though.

Jenna finally got James to lie on his back so he could learn to float.  I could see him struggling for control.  Each time he took his eyes off of Jenna, he began to sink and get scared.  She kept asking James to look at her eyes and reassure him that she wouldn't let him go.  I could see his body relax and ...he floated.

When the lessons were completed, James was smiling and excited. Until the next day ...

Once again, James began to tell me he was not going to go under the water.  Jenna worked with James assuring him that she wouldn't let him go.  Finally, she talked to him about putting his head under the water.  He agreed as she held his hand.  His head went under and then up he came.  He laughed.  It wasn't so bad after all.  When he left to go home that day, he excitedly told his mom that he had gone under the water.

The next day James came to camp, he kept telling me he wasn't going to swim.  I asked him why.  He said he didn't want to put his head under the water.  I asked him if his eyes hurt when he went under the water.  He said no.  I asked him if his ears hurt him and again he said no.  Finally, he looked at me and said "I want to do it myself."

I don't know if James had an experience in the past that caused this fear.  But isn't this something we adults often say?  "I want to do it myself." We are afraid to trust someone else and depend on ourselves even when we don't know what we're doing.

God is trustworthy.  He isn't like humans who may have disappointed us in some way.  As a child of God, He holds our hand.  Sometimes I forget this and get scared.  Instead of looking to Jesus, I look to myself and I begin to sink.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

James continues to take swim instruction each day at summer camp. Jenna continues to work with him on developing trust and he is growing in confidence as he makes progress.

How about you?  Are you learning to walk by faith trusting in the God who created you and loves you?  Or are you depending on yourself?

I'm linking up with Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays.

Blessings and love,

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