Heart Choices: 2013-09-01 -->

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

Who Do You Resemble?

Who do you resemble?  I'm often told I resemble my mother.  I take that as a compliment.

However, a little four year old girl insists that she and I look alike.  Mind you, Melika has the most amazingly beautiful green eyes, olive skin and dark curly hair. Miss Debbie has blue eyes (with maybe a slight tint of aqua), blonde straight hair and light skin.

But Melika will look closely at me and point to my eyes.  She tells me that Miss Debbie has the same eyes as hers.  And they are green eyes!

Since she was in our class last year and I now have her in my after school class, I think she takes a few liberties.  After all, I know her well and she knows me. I often have to remind her to listen to me the first time.

I asked her why she doesn't always listen and she thought for a moment.  She smiled and said "because I love you".  While that was very sweet, I told her that if she loved me she should listen to me and not give me a hard time.

I realized there's a spiritual lesson in this for me and maybe ...you.

As a Christian, I love the Lord with all my heart. As I grow in my relationship with Him, I become more like Him.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) says:
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

1 John 3:2 (ESV) says:
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

So how can I become more Christlike?

  • Surrender to the Lord
  • Grow in my relationship with the Lord
  • Follow and obey Jesus
John 14:23 (NIV) says:
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.  My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

I think that's pretty clear.  

If you love Jesus, obey His teaching.

My hope is that as I spend more time with the Lord the fruit of the Spirit will become more evident in me.  

How about you?  Who do you resemble?  Do you listen and obey those you love?

I'm linking up with Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays.

Blessings and love,


Five Minute Friday: Red

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


Red just happens to be my favorite color.  When I moved cross country to Phoenix, I drove my red corvette.  I was in my twenties and single, after all.

Red seems like such a bold color for a gal who isn't all that bold.  But in many ways it symbolizes much about me.

I was the child who was forced to sit on the sidelines because of a heart defect.  I was the child who walked door to door with my mother raising money for the American Heart Association as we carried our red signs.  I was the adult who became a cardiovascular nurse.

Red to me is passion.  And I am passionate about Jesus, my family, the many people I took care of over the years as a nurse, and the children I get to work with every day.

Yes, red is my favorite color.


Blessings and love,


Begin With the End in Mind

Begin with the end in mind.  That's what I heard during Professional Development Day yesterday at school. Teachers were discussing 21st Century learning. Phrases like critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity were used.  What do teachers want the end product to look like?  Take backward steps to get there.

As I soaked in this knowledge, I thought it could also be applied to weight loss and incorporating a more healthy lifestyle.  Begin with the end in mind.

What do I want the end result to look like?

Well, if I'm honest I wouldn't mind if the end result looked something like this. After all, Denise Austin is only a couple of years younger than me.  I may never end up looking like this fitness guru but I can set some realistic goals along with my idea of what my end product will look like.  

I need to use my creativity to come up with a plan that works for me.  There are a few obstacles I need to overcome:
  • Working full time
  • Working with 3-4 year old children all day long
  • Fatigue at the end of the day
  • Limited time
  • Desire to spend time doing other things
I need to collaborate:
  • My buddies in our private Facebook group have been so helpful
  • Sharing healthy recipes with others
  • Finding out what's working for others with the same goal
  • Generating ideas to make working out fun
I use critical thinking skills to solve problems I encounter in my journey to losing weight and establishing a more healthy lifestyle.

I communicate with others as I strive to reach my goal.  Believe me, writing a weekly blog post about my progress helps to keep me accountable.  Sharing the end result I desire with those who often influence my decision making helps too. 

Even though my end result may not look like Denise Austin, I have to say that I do like her hair style.  :)

In the meantime, I need to get on that treadmill before it's time to get ready for work.  How about you? Do you have a picture in your mind of what your end result will look like?  

Don't forget to begin with the end in mind.

I'm linking up with Kim of Just for Clicks for Weigh-In Wednesday.

Blessings and love,


Give Thanks

Give thanks.  I want to have an attitude of gratitude.  I want to live my life on the lookout for what's good and pure and lovely.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

There's plenty in life that can get me down.
  • I see people hurting  
  • I see injustice  
  • There are wars and rumors of war
  • There have been drastic changes in my lifestyle
Early this morning, I went hiking in the mountains.  I was prepared with my backpack containing my camera and plenty of water.  My plan was to go back into my old neighborhood and hike up 'my mountain'.  This mountain was located behind my house and I used to almost jog up and down it every day.  I prayed many a prayer while hiking that mountain.  I'd get to the top and look out at the city of Phoenix.  I would spot special places including my church.

I've been reading in my Bible about making a point of remembering what God has done in my life.  I thought if only I could just hike back up 'my mountain', I could look out and thank Him for many answers to prayer.

It's a gated community but I knew where there was a space I could easily walk through.  However, I hadn't realized that since I moved they installed cameras. As I approached the gate a faint buzzer began sounding. I decided it wasn't worth attempting to go in only to be embarrassed by security exiting me out.  So I hiked adjacent to the gated community.

It was early as the sun hadn't risen in the sky.  I wanted to get exercise (which I did) but I also had another agenda.  I wanted to remember how far the Lord has brought me over the last four years.  I found a large rock and sat down enjoying my view of the city of Phoenix as the sun was rising.

I prayed and thanked God for always being with me and providing me with His strength.  Yes, there have been many changes in my life.  Changes that I would not have chosen.  Changes that I didn't anticipate.

If my life had continued the way it had, I may have lived in a very comfortable and beautiful  environment. I may have had lots of money to travel and buy whatever I liked.  I would have been able to visit family more often.  I would have been able to not work full time and continue with my volunteer work.

But then the Lord showed me how far I've come.

If nothing had changed:

  •  I would never have met many of the people I now get to work with and call ...friends.
  • I would not have the pleasure of being greeted each morning by the sounds of little children calling "Hi Miss Debbie".  
  • I would not have grown closer to my husband.
  • I would not have realized how loosely we are to hold on to things of this world.
And so I ...give thanks.

#924 Good health
#925 Strong legs to hike
#926 Beautiful views of Phoenix as I hiked in the desert
#927 Lots of water to drink
#928 Good friends
#929 Lots of children to love
#930 A cute condo to live in
#931 The best next door neighbor
#932 A close relationship with my husband Greg
#933 Learning to depend on the Lord
#934 So thankful for the strength He provides for me each day

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

I'm also linking up with Joan of The Beauty in His Grip for Sharing His Beauty.

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=]