Heart Choices: 2013-09-15 -->

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Five Minute Friday: SHE

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


No matter what season of life I was in, I could always talk to her.  She was the best listener.

When I was a teenager, my friends would love to come to our house to hang out. My mom was always available to talk or to ...simply listen.

One time I came home to find a guy I used to work with sitting at our kitchen table talking to my mom about his new found faith in Jesus.

When I moved cross country to Phoenix, she encouraged me.  When she met my future husband for the first time, she welcomed him.

She loved children and babies and I guess just about everyone.  She always had a joke to share even when she was in pain.  She loved flowers and candles. She loved to laugh.  And she especially loved my dad and her children and grandchildren.

After she died, we discovered all of her recipes typed on cards.  She even organized all of her dinner parties with recipes and table linens.  She left a personal letter for each of her children.  She planned her funeral down to the songs she wanted played.

It's been eight years since she's been gone.  But I can still hear her voice in my head.  And I'm so thankful I can see her face reflected in mine when I look in the mirror.


Blessings and love,


Prepare for a Healthy Lifestyle

I'm on a journey to a healthier lifestyle.  In order to be successful, I need to prepare.

When I go hiking, I prepare.  I live in the city of Phoenix.  And Phoenix is a desert.  The temperatures can get hot even though it is dry.  Too many people go hiking unprepared.  There are way too many unnecessary rescues of unprepared hikers.

So how do I prepare?

  • I take plenty of water.  
  • I apply sun screen.  
  • I wear hiking boots.  
  • I pack a cell phone for emergencies.  
  • I take my camera so I can take photos to share. 

On my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I also need to be prepared.  After all, if I simply do what I want and eat what I want ...I will never achieve my goal.

So here are a few practical tips that have helped me. I'm sure you could add to this list.

  • Make a list before going to the grocery store
  • Don't shop when you're hungry
  • Shop the outer aisles where there's fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Purchase produce in season 

If you're going to be gone from home, be prepared. Those hunger pangs can hit and if you have nothing healthy, it can be way too easy to be tempted to eat unhealthy foods or what I like to call empty calories. That's when I can get into trouble.

Here's what I've found to be helpful.

  • I pack a lunch to take with me to work.
  • I always have my water bottle handy.
  • I take a few healthy snacks along.
  • I insert an ice pack in my lunch box to keep everything fresh.

I also prepare to exercise every day.

  • I have my exercise clothes ready the night before.
  • My Kindle is available so I can read while walking on my treadmill.
  • Water is readily available.
  • I mentally recognize that I WILL get up, exercise and not think about whether I want to or not 

Zig Ziglar has been one of my favorite motivators.  I want to remember that I'm on a journey to a healthier lifestyle.  One day at a time.  One choice at a time.

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

Blessings and love,


I Choose to Be Thankful

I choose to be thankful.  Every day we make choices. Life happens.  Challenges occur.

Our response to challenges shows our true colors. 

After all, it's easy to be thankful when life is going well. But what happens when bad things happen and life gets hard?

This past week I've been busy.  Since Heidi wasn't there, I got to work with Barcia.  And as four year old Indira always says 'she's Miss Debbie's friend'. Barcia loves the children.

One of the little girls in our class is named Sara.  I call her Sara Smile.  Hall & Oates had a song called Sara Smile many years ago.  Sara keeps asking me if she can hear her song.  So Barcia pulled up a YouTube video of the song for her.  She loved hearing the words 'Sara smile'. Of course, Brody and the other children had to gather around to listen to Sara's song too.  :)

My next door neighbor Caroline is celebrating another birthday.  So how does she celebrate?  She hosts a birthday celebration of exercise!  Caroline has been teaching a weekly exercise class at a local church for over 30 years. Maybe that's why she's in such great shape.  She certainly looks much younger than the number of candles on her birthday cake.

What a fun evening as we did a combination of step aerobics, Pilates, weights, and stretching.  Caroline creates her own tracks of Christian music.  She also begins and ends with prayer.  I loved exercising with a roomful of people of all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds.  A little taste of heaven maybe?

Susan (front), Anna May, Linda, me, Helen 
And then there was Sunday!  At church, I got to see my good friends Pete and Susan who are missionaries overseas.  They're on furlough for three weeks.  I'm looking forward to spending more time with them while they are here in Arizona. The photo above was taken a number of years ago.

I'm so excited about something that happened on Saturday.  My friend Sue's husband Jim was able to work on my broken computer and he fixed it.  My computer crashed in June, along with the book I was writing.  It was in Word and I wasn't able to access it.  I was so discouraged and have been trying to rewrite it from scratch.  Well, now I have my document so I'm back writing.

I continue to count my every day blessings ...

#953 Good friends
#954 Celebrating a birthday with Caroline
#955 Visiting with Pete and Susan
#956 Watching Sara's face as she listened to her song
#957 Getting my computer fixed
#958 Access to my book
#959 A sermon that spoke to my heart
#960 A sermon that confirmed what I am writing about is right
#961 Finally creating a Facebook page for Heart Choices
#962 Receiving 82 'likes' the very first day
#963 Heidi will be back to work today
#964 Hearing my niece Katie's voice on the phone
#965 Walking, swimming and enjoying exercise
#966 Receiving a personal email from a lady  named Vangie who reads Heart Choices
#967 I was blessed by her words of encouragement to me

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

Blessings and love,

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