Heart Choices: 2013-08-18 -->

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Five Minute Friday: Last

It's Five Minute Friday when I link up with The Gypsy Mama.  Each week we receive a one word writing prompt.  We get to write for five minutes flat. Our word for today is LAST.


Being first is the place to be.  After all, who wants to come in last?  Who wants to be the slowest?  It's all about winning, right?

  • Being at the top of the class
  • Winning the race
  • Being the boss
  • Having lots of money
  • Accumulating the latest possessions 
  • Being independent
This seems to be the way of the world.  

But in the Kingdom of God it's turned upside down.  

It takes faith to walk in the Spirit.  It requires trust in God.

When it seems like:

  • People have all they need and you're struggling  
  • Someone else gets promoted when you know you deserved it 
  • People get away with things
  • Others receive praise and you feel unappreciated
 I make the daily choice to submit to the Lord.  I allow Him to lead and guide me throughout my day.  At times, it seems hard. And many times I fail.  But I persevere in His strength.

"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."
Matthew 19:30


Blessings and love,


My Experience at the Pritikin Center

Creating a healthy lifestyle can be confusing.  You'd think with the volume of information available at our fingertips in this day and age, it'd be easy.  Just do a Google search on 'losing weight' and you'll find a variety of results.  There are so many different diets and of course they all claim to work.

It used to be less confusing. Eat less and move more. But it turns out that the type of foods we eat is important too.  

How thankful I am that I had the opportunity to stay at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa two times.  The first time was January 1, 2000 when Greg and I were determined to live a healthy lifestyle.  We stayed for two weeks.  We exercised in their gym every morning. Our program consisted of aerobic exercise using the treadmill, weights and stretching.  They were designed specifically for us by Masters educated exercise physiologists.  Our target heart rates were calculated according to the results of our Treadmill tests.

We stayed in their beautiful facility at the Santa Monica Hyatt.  Pritikin has since moved to Miami Beach. Our room was ocean front so we got to sit and watch the sun set every evening.  The Santa Monica pier was easily seen from our room as well.

Each day we ate our meals in their dining room.  We were encouraged to eat breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack.  And we lost weight.  Can you believe it?  No starving. But we ate lots of healthy food and attended classes during the day.  We even had cooking classes to teach us how to cook healthy so when we returned home we'd be prepared.

Every afternoon, Greg and I would take walks along the Santa Monica pier.  We often roller bladed along the path from Venice Beach to Malibu.  What a fun time!

We stayed for two weeks.  When we returned home, we tried to maintain a similar lifestyle but it was more challenging.  But we absolutely made major changes and as a result lost weight and felt more energetic and healthy.  We even returned the following year for one week refresher program.

I wish I could go back!  

Unfortunately, Pritikin is an expensive program.  I do subscribe to their newsletter though.  But it's hard to stick to it if you like to go out to eat.  I enjoy an occasional popcorn and when I returned home from Pritikin, I couldn't believe how salty it tasted.

In the meantime, I have the knowledge and know how.  As many of you know, I worked as a cardiovascular nurse for 25 years.  I taught many heart patients how to live a healthier lifestyle.

So I'm sticking to my plan which is now finally becoming a habit for me.

  • Treadmill for 30-45 minutes each morning before work and even on the weekends
  • Weights every other day
  • Stretching daily on my mat
  • Sit-ups, planks and a few more Pilates moves daily
  • Water, water, water
Most days all I drink is water.  But if I occasionally go out to eat, I do enjoy an iced tea.  I'm happy to report that my clothes are not as tight.  My scale hasn't gone down as quickly as I'd like but it's heading in the right direction.  I have more energy.  But I  must confess that by the end of the day, I'm tired.  However, that might have something to do with the fact that I work with children aged 3-5 all day long.  And they are active!  :)

Accountability is important so I'm linking up with Kim of Just Just for Clicks for Weigh-In Wednesday.
Blessings and love,


Can You Hear Me?

Can you hear me?  Children are so funny.  I observe Shaan talking into the megaphone.  So I sneak up on the opposite end of the play equipment and say something back to him. I watch as he laughs and looks around.  Who is talking? And then his little friend stands beside me and speaks to Shaan as she laughs and laughs. Can you hear me?

Three year old Lizzie is all decked out for the first day of school.  She even sports her new bright pink watch. When I ask her what time it is, she immediately looks at her watch.  But then she smiles and looks up at me.  Silly Miss Debbie!

I love to see children interacting with one another. Our Pre-K 3 class had the opportunity to participate in Buddy Reading for the first time. Our three year old children were paired up with fourth grade students. The older students attempted to form a relationship and read to the younger ones.

What a joy to watch these interactions.  Not all of the younger children cooperated but most of them eventually sat and listened.  Can you hear me?  Yes they did!
Diego is a fourth grader that I know fairly well as I've had him for several years in after school programs. He's a popular sanguine personality who has a challenging time simply sitting and not talking.  He tends to like to do his own thing.

Well, he was paired with three year old Sammy who has similar personality traits. There wasn't much listening going on between the two boys at first.  Diego kept looking over at me, shrugging his shoulders.  He thought it was too hard to engage the little one.  I had to chuckle as he was beginning to realize what it was like when the tables were turned.

But eventually, he discovered what worked.  Excitedly, he called out "Miss Debbie ...look".  He found a book about colors. And Sammy was identifying each color as Diego pointed to the crayons.  They were interacting and enjoying this time together!

I have such a heart for reading.  As a child, I loved to sit and read my books.  I could spend hours lying on my bed with a good book.  That love for reading can begin at an early age so I love the Book Buddy system in our school.

I continue to count my every day blessings ...

#902 Books, books ...lots of books to read
#903 I used my Barnes and Noble gift card and received all of the books I ordered
#904 Children learning to interact with one another
#905 Children learning to read
#906 Diego finding a solution as to how to engage a younger child
#907 The gift of laughter
#908 The excitement of seeing familiar faces of teachers, students and parents after the summer break
#909 Observing the physical growth of many of our former students
#910 A wonderful sermon on Galatians 3:10-14
#911 Getting to see two of my blogging friends Clif and Charlotte
#912 A weekend of rest

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

Blessings and love,

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