Heart Choices: What I Learned in 2015 -->

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What I Learned in 2015

I'm a life long learner. I believe there's always something new to learn no matter what your age.

So as 2015 comes to a close, I thought I'd take the opportunity to list some of the things I learned this past year.

1. I love teaching my very own class of little ones.

I really didn't expect to have a second career.  For 25 years I worked as a cardiac nurse and finally retired. But sometimes life happens in unexpected ways. It's a long story but I'm now a preschool teacher. I'm so glad I worked with Heidi for four years first as she taught me so much about how to teach.  When I was given the opportunity for my own class ...I felt prepared.

2.  I'm learning to enjoy the moment.

This is an ongoing learning process for me. Working with little children helps open my eyes to the wonder of the ordinary. A plane flying overhead, birds singing in the trees, a rainbow, the moon in the sky, rain, puddles, laughter.  My camera has become a constant companion so I can capture the moments to remember.

3. Marriage is worth all the hard work it takes.

I love my husband. But marriage is hard. It's not all romance and good times. Having lots of money doesn't fix everything. In fact, it can create a new set of problems. After 31 years of marriage and being in a place I never anticipated or wanted, I have to say that my marriage is better than it's ever been. We have much less materially but Greg and I are closer than ever. We're working as a team. We celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary in November and he surprised me by having 31 red roses delivered to my work. What a guy!

4.  Getting and staying in shape at my age takes effort.

The past five years have been stressful. I discovered that sweets and foods I love can provide instant gratification. But unfortunately, they tend to add extra pounds to the body. I knew I needed to do something about this. For most of my life, I exercised and maintained a consistent weight. As you get older it's harder to keep those pounds off. So I created a plan in May and stuck with it. My day now begins with exercise. I get everything ready the night before so when I wake up I have no excuses. I jump into my workout clothes before my brain can argue about the early hour. Walking on the treadmill affords me time to read my Kindle. I've read more books this year because of this extra time. I also established a diet plan that I could live with. I lost twenty pounds and intend to keep it off.

5.  I love to watch Fixer Upper on HGTV.

I'm a nester. I love making my home special no matter what my circumstances are. Years ago, my home was featured on  an HGTV show called Homes Across America.  I wish I could say I still lived there but ... I don't. My home is now a very small condo. Watching Chip and Joanna Gaines make something beautiful out of homes I would never think of buying has opened my eyes. No matter where you live or what your budget, you can make your house a home.


6. Prayer and quiet time with the Lord is essential each morning. 

Many years ago, I began having a daily quiet time. I've gone through many ups and downs in life. I realize now more than ever how important it is for me to give the Lord the first fruits of my day.  So after my exercise, I sip my first cup of coffee as I read my Bible and pray. I journal and write down much of what is on my heart. As I look back at my journal, I can see many answered prayers. I am able to thank Him and praise Him for His faithfulness.

7. Treasure those special family moments.

My dad will be 87 on his next birthday. Frankly, I feel blessed that he is doing as well as he is considering his heart condition. I thank God for that. My brother Steve and his family and my sister Christine and her family all now live in Florida. I don't get to visit as often as I like. How thankful I was to spend Thanksgiving with them this year.

My sister Chris, my dad, me and my brother Steve
So what have you learned in 2015? I could go on and on but I think these are the highlights.

I'm linking up with Emily P. Freeman's blog Chatting at the Sky.

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Looks like you have a learned a lot through all your changes!

    Fixer Upper is one of my faves, too. You are right, whatever we have can be fixed up to feel like home.

    God bless and may 2016 bring even more blessing to you.

  2. Your list is beautiful, Debbie. I congratulate you on achieving your goals and important ones, they are! You inspire me.

    May 2016 be your best year yet! Blessings to you.

  3. I love this glimpse of the many adventures you had in 2015. Congratulations on a year well-lived and loved! You continue to bless many, Debbie, including me. Happy New Year!

  4. I always enjoy my visits with you and this was no exception. There is always something to learn isn't there? Some things I find myself learning over and over again in different ways. One thing that sticks with me is God is good! Simple but so true! Wishing you and Greg good health, joy, and abundant blessings from above in your new year!

  5. Debbie, your beautiful heart shines through every post. Learning at every age is important and keeping our eyes on what God is trying to teach us makes us into vessels He can use. I pray your 2016 will be filled with blessings beyond measure....Hugs

  6. Such a beautiful recap of 2015. Praying for a blessed 2016!

  7. I love your list Debbie! Isn't it interesting the way god unfolds our lives, not always the same picture that we would think it should be, and yet... so much good comes when it is done His way. As always, your heart shines through these words.

    I also love Chip & Joanna Gaines, and plan to get to their new store during the coming year. Each home they do is like a cinderella story, isn't it?

    Love you sister, and Happy New Year to you and Greg, and congratulations on 31 years worth of red roses! :)

  8. I love what you learned! So many lessons are things that God is still teaching me! I recently blogged about what I learned in 2015 about the *word* God gave me - healing. He always has a way of expanding my heart, showing me new revelations of how HE defines these words.

    This year, He has given me the word, grateful. And I think He has big plans!!


    (I also love Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna seem like such sincere, helpful people. And I love their style. Oh, and your family photo is pretty precious...)


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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