Heart Choices: September 2014

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Make Heart Choices not Hard Choices

Today is World Heart Day. When I read their slogan "Make Heart Choices NOT Hard Choices", I recognized an opportunity.

I chose Heart Choices as the name of my blog many years ago. I was working as a cardiac nurse. Initially I planned to conduct workshops for heart patients to teach them how to make healthier heart choices.

When blogging became an option for me, I began to write about making heart choices. And it has evolved into heart choices for body, mind and most importantly ...spirit.

I still feel strongly about getting serious about heart health. I've seen too many people impacted by heart disease. The lifestyle we choose to live can greatly impact our risk for heart disease.

I've heard too many people say they want to enjoy life and if they die of a heart attack ...so be it.

They think it's a good way to go. They think it's a quick way to die.

Well, I have news for you!

Yes, many people die suddenly and quickly from a heart attack. But many others survive and become dependent on others. I've seen previously healthy people suddenly have to deal with home health nurses, oxygen, walkers. You get the picture. And it's not pretty!

I've said it before. But I'll say it again.

I've seen life from the spectrum of the elderly and now more recently with young children.

Research has given us much information to help us live a healthier life.

Choose healthy habits no matter what your age.

It's never too late.

One step at a time. One day at a time.

Maybe today is the day you take a walk.

Maybe today is the day you choose to eat an apple instead of the bag of chips.

It's a life long process.

Let's  begin to make heart choices not hard choices.

What will you do today that is a healthier choice?

Blessings and love,


Where is Your Focus?

Where is your focus? We live in a time when multi-tasking is applauded. We can accomplish much as we navigate our day, switching gears as required.  One of the parents of a camper in our summer camp program came up to me and asked if she could clone me. She said she observed how well I was able to multi-task and she needed someone like me to help her. I accepted her compliment graciously but laughed inside.

How easy it can be to focus on the immediate. I often spend my time getting things done that are right in front of my face. Clean the house, do the dishes, water my flowers, get ready for work, read a few blogs, check Facebook. You get the picture!

To continue reading, please link over to Lisa Shaw Cares as I am writing today for Women Walking with Jesus.

Blessings and love,


Five Minute Friday: Hold

It's Five Minute Friday when we are given a one word prompt and get to write for five minutes flat. The word for today is: HOLD.


There are days when life seems wonderful and filled with fun. But there are days when life is very difficult.  I remind myself that these are seasons in life. And in each season there are lessons for me to learn to help me grow.

But I must confess there are days when I'm barely holding on.

Life is so different than what I expected. But God ...

I am reminded of the Scripture above from Psalm 73:23. David was going through a difficult season in his life. He was brought back to the reality that God was with him, holding him.

As a child of God, I remember that He is holding me. He holds me with His right arm. So no matter what valley I may go through He is with me holding me.

This gives me hope as I take one more step of faith.


I'm linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday.

Blessings and love,


Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain in Phoenix is a novelty. Normally, I'm thrilled when I hear the sound of rain on our roof. But early this morning was a different story. We had record rainfall. The ground in a desert like Phoenix can't absorb the rain quick enough so flooding occurs. We have many washes that are normally dry but they quickly fill up in storms like these. This morning we had almost five inches which is more than our annual levels.

I woke up to the sound of commotion. My next door neighbor's condo was flooded. Greg and I quickly checked our condo for leaks. There was a small damp area in the dining room. But the back patio area looked like a river. It was almost up to the Arcadia door. My front patio was covered in water.

I went outside to see if I could help and was greeted by several other neighbors. Their condos were completely flooded too. All of our units are on the ground floor but our elevation is slightly higher.

Many of the schools in our area were cancelled as the roads were treacherous. I had two choices to get to work. The freeway was closed before my exit and the back roads had many washes. Greg didn't want me to chance it in our car. So I stayed home.

It was quite a day for those of us in Phoenix. Hopefully, tomorrow will return to normal. I look forward to returning to work and seeing the faces of the children.

Blessings and love,


Five Minute Friday: Whisper

It's Five Minute Friday. We are given a one word writing prompt and get to write for five minutes flat. Our word for today is: WHISPER.


The children were busy playing and making much noise. They were focused on the toys and not listening. I watched as Heidi tried to get their attention to no avail.

Then she began to talk softly. A few heads looked up as they heard her voice. She continued to talk softly and gave instructions. Several other heads began to check to see what the few children were doing. I was amazed how she managed to change the atmosphere from a noisy classroom into listening students. And she did it with a soft and quiet voice.

I consider my own life. The noise of the urgent seems to take over. The freeway traffic, the sound of the news blaring from the TV, the voices that yell for attention. Each day I am greeted by the sounds of little children at work. I hear shouts of "Miss Debbie, Miss Debbie". They want me to hear their voices as they share stories of boo-boo's and new toys and what mommy said. I try to listen but I can only focus on one at a time.

The words to a song by Fernando Ortega echo in my head. "In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus". The soft voice that doesn't shout for attention.  

In order to deal with my very noisy world, I need to take time each morning to listen to that still soft voice.

I desire to hear His whispers in my heart.

I choose to open my Bible and pray before venturing out.

His whisper gets my attention.  And it makes all the difference in how I respond to a noisy world.


I'm linking up with Kate Motaung who is now hosting Five Minute Friday.

Blessings and love,


Choosing What's Best

The children in our preschool class of three year olds were instructed to sit 'crisscross applesauce, hands in your lap'. But one little boy refused to listen. Each time his name was called he glanced up. But then just as quickly, he returned to what he was intent on doing.

It can be frustrating getting children to understand and do what is asked. They want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. If only they would listen and obey. After all, it's for their good.  And time won't be wasted with time out's and discipline.

As I thought about this, I realized how like little children we adults can be.

How often have I been intent on doing what I want to do, when I want to do it?

That still, small voice within my heart warns me to stop. It's time for me to focus on reading God's Word and pray. Just rest in His presence.

I read about spiritual whitespace from Bonnie Gray of Faith Barista. Taking the time to be quiet. But that rest my soul requires all too often gets pushed to the side only to be replaced by activity.

My computer sits right in front of me. I wonder what's going on in the world? Maybe I should quickly check Facebook or email? I have a list of TV shows I've recorded. Maybe I'll just watch one.

I realize I'm really no different from the little boy in our class who is intent on doing his own will. He doesn't realize how much he's actually missing out on by making the choice to not listen.

How much am I missing out on by insisting on my will?

Children teach me so much about myself. How about you?

Do you get distracted and caught up in what you want to do? Do you push aside quiet time spent with God? Is your to-do list taking over what's most important?

I love Cherie Hill's quote from her latest book.  I don't want to be so focused on the next few minutes that I miss out on God's best for me.

What choice will you make?  Can you identify?

Blessings and love,

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