Heart Choices: May 2014

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Rest for the Weary

Rest for the weary. Sometimes I long for time alone to do nothing. I would love to read for hours and not feel like I should be doing something on my to-do list. I love to sit quietly in my garden listening to the sounds of the birds chirping. If there is a slight breeze, I might even smell the roses.

I live in the desert of Phoenix where there's no beach and little rain. But I've discovered a way to still enjoy the sounds of the surf or a fresh rain. I simply listen on my computer. I can almost imagine myself in the midst of a downpour. I find that restful.
I'm in the midst of reading Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray. I find myself so absorbed in her story. It causes me to think of my own. How easy it can be to get caught up in always doing and miss out on what we were created to do and be. I don't want to cover over the hurts from the past through busyness. I want to allow God to awaken me to His desires for me; to be who He created me to be.

I would encourage you to purchase a copy of Bonnie's book (yes this is an affiliate link).  But I think you will be blessed as you read her story.

I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista as we uncover our own stories.

How do you find rest when you're weary?

Blessings and love,


How Do You Get Rest and Refreshment?

Quietness and rest seem to feel very foreign to me lately. Busyness has slowly crept into my life.

I work in a private school. For the past four years, Heidi and I have worked together. As I prepare to say goodbye to our Pre-K 3 class, I'm also preparing to say goodbye to my co-worker and friend. I don't like goodbyes. We talk of getting together but I know how busy life can become.

In the midst of wrapping up the school year, I'm preparing to lead our school's summer camp. So there's no break between end of school and the beginning of new responsibilities. Add to that early morning video conferences and long hours ...well frankly I'm tired.

My dad flew into Phoenix for the weekend. He had visited his sister in California and she arranged for his ticket to include a stop in Arizona. We had a world wind weekend of catching up and having fun together. 

But now, I take a deep breath realizing my need for some quiet time.

To continue reading, please link over to Laced with Grace.

Blessings and love,


How Do You Feel About Mother's Day?

Each May a special day is celebrated. Mother's Day is a big deal; as it should be. After all, mothers are special people who often don't always get the thanks and recognition they deserve. But do I dare ask a question? Are you one of the women who dreads Mother's Day? It's supposed to be a wonderful day. There are so many days to celebrate diverse groups of people and certainly mothers are to be thanked and shown appreciation. I applaud that. But I have a confession to make. For many years, I dreaded Mother's Day.

To continue reading, please link over to Lisa Shaw Cares.

Blessings and love,


Arcadia Edible Garden Tour: Part 1

The Arcadia Edible Garden Tour is a semiannual event in my neighborhood. I was so excited to begin my morning adventure last Saturday. My friend Theresa and I were prepared with our map in hand.  It was early and we were ready to go!

So many people are getting back to growing their own vegetables, fruits and herbs. With all the chemicals and food additives you find in grocery store items, I get that people are looking for alternatives. I want to know what's in the food I'm putting into my body!

You never know what you'll discover when you step into someone's backyard. Nestled in a neighborhood within walking distance from my condo was our first stop along the way: The Boho Farm.

I got so many ideas for planting my own little edible garden. The owner Caroline hosts brunches and dinners at her home using fresh ingredients from her garden. I had the opportunity to speak with her for a few minutes.
Fresh peaches are my all time favorite fruit. 

The photographer in me couldn't stop shooting. I loved the signs, the pillows, and ...loved the farmer work shoes.

I loved the fresh jams and honey for sale. Caroline teaches classes on jam making.

Of course, my friend Theresa took this opportunity to taste the freshly made lemonade. They offered a variety including lavender lemonade.

What an exciting start to our journey. At the risk of creating a very long post, I will save the rest for another blog post to be published soon.

Blessings and love,


Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!  It's a day to celebrate all mothers. It can also be a day of sadness for some.  My mom died in 2005 and I miss her all the more on Mother's Day. Here we are celebrating her 75th and last birthday. But I am comforted knowing that I will see her one day again.  Thank you Jesus!

Mother's Day used to be harder for me. But something wonderful has happened in the last few years. I feel as though I've inherited a family of children. Since starting my job at Rancho Solano Preparatory School, I spend my days with children. This has been my fourth school year and I work with Pre-K 3's.  I also get to spend my afternoons with Pre-K 4 children in an after school program.

The children are amazing.  They are so open and loving. And I am so grateful!

So on this Mother's Day I want to wish all the mothers out there the best. I pray that you will be celebrated. This video will touch your heart, I'm sure.

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

Blessings and love,


Move it May Challenge

Getting in shape and staying in shape takes commitment. I don't know about you but I'm in it for the long run. It's not a diet but a healthy lifestyle. No matter how old I am I want to be able to move easily and not miss out on life.

The month of May is Move It May.  The Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) The Heart Truth program is the sponsor and I want to help get the word out.  I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years.  And I personally had open heart surgery at the age of seven for a congenital heart defect. So I'm very familiar with heart problems.  I want to encourage you to take action to prevent any in your own life.

The Move It May challenge is centered on physical activity and healthy eating. For some time now, I've participated in a group called Weigh-In Wednesday. I've not been consistent in blogging every Wednesday on this topic. But I have been actively working at my goal of living a healthy lifestyle. I want to always keep my eye on the goal.

These posters hang in our physical education (PE) room at our school. I snapped the photos to remind me and keep them front and center.  I love how the children in our school are so active.  They love to run and play. And twice a week our Pre-K 3 class goes to PE. They are learning early in life that moving and keeping active physically is so important to their health.

This morning I exercised on my treadmill for 40 minutes, used my light weights, and then did my little routine consisting of some Pilates, stretching and sit ups. It's a plan that works for me with my busy schedule. As the end of school is wrapping up and summer camp will soon begin, I know I can't afford to not exercise and eat healthy. I need lots of energy and I know how much my daily routine helps my body.

So how about you?  Did you exercise this morning? Will you take the Move it May challenge and do something physical?  I will be posting more on this topic throughout the month here and on Facebook, Google + and Twitter.

Blessings and love,


My Takeaway from Dr. NT Wright

Last week I attended an event at my church that was hosted by Fuller Theological Seminary. The speaker was Dr. NT Wright. I really wanted to hear what he had to say as I've read his book Surprised by Hope.  It caused me to think more about heaven and the mission of the church.

Dr. Wright is from Scotland and wasn't exactly what I expected. I thought he'd be a stuffy theologian.  After all, he's a prolific writer and New Testament scholar. He was introduced as Tom Wright and I loved his Scottish accent. I can't say that I agree with everything he's written. But then again, I've not read a whole lot of it. :) He was a very engaging speaker and there were several points that I took away from it.

  1. You become like what you worship.
  2. Humans are designed to reflect God's image.  Christians are to be God reflectors, angled mirrors reflecting His love.
  3. Celebrate the beauty of God's creation.

I loved an illustration that Dr. Wright used. He talked about stone cutters who were given a job to do. They focused on their part in the building of huge cathedrals. It wasn't until after it was all put together that they could point to the small part they played in the final product.

Each of us has been given talents by God. We are to do our part even though it may seem small. One day we may get to see how it was used in the larger picture.

I witnessed that type of thing first hand at our school. The preschoolers were in Art Class and had the opportunity to contribute to a mural.  One child painted black lines and another a colored portion.  Here's a look at the final product.

So if you sometimes think that what you're doing is so small, be encouraged. God can use your simple part in the larger picture after all.  Each part counts! Thank you Dr. Wright.

Blessings and love,


What a Mess!

I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker  for Five Minute Friday. I'm writing for five minutes flat on the writing prompt: MESS.


I love to watch the children in our preschool eat cupcakes. They make such a mess!  And yet they have such fun in the process.

There are moments in my life when I feel like it's such a mess.

Merriam-Webster has a definition of mess as 'a situation that is very complicated or difficult to deal with'.

Well, that's my life right now!

If you could see what's going on in my brain you'd be amazed. If you could know all the circumstances I'm dealing with, you'd be shaking your head. I feel like I'm juggling so many different tasks. When I commit to do something, I always try to do my best. But then I feel overloaded and become stressed. And then I'm a mess. How thankful I am that I know what to do when I feel a mess.

I stop.  I try to get to a quiet place. And I pray.

This happened to me only yesterday when I was feeling a mess. I was able to get away by myself for half an hour to be alone.  I silenced the voices of expectation and tuned in to my Savior.  I prayed for His guidance. I felt His love as He opened my eyes beyond my mess.

So in the mess of my life, I am humbled and thankful. Jesus always seem to make something beautiful out of my mess.


Five Minute Friday

Blessings and love,

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