Heart Choices: 2018-06-03 -->

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Five Minute Friday: FLY

It's Friday, so I'm linking up with Kate Matoung for Five Minute Friday. We receive a one-word writing prompt and get to write for five minutes. Since I've ventured back into the blogging world, it's good practice for me to write on the fly.  Our word prompt for today is FLY.

We've just finished up another school year. I teach the youngest class of preschoolers. The lifecycle of the butterfly is always a fantastic teaching experience in the spring. The students learn about caterpillars and how they eat and eat and grow fat. They are not very attractive at this time. They form a cocoon or chrysalis around themselves. We have a mesh butterfly netting in our classroom so the little ones can observe this process. We watch each day and finally, a butterfly emerges. A beautiful butterfly!

I ask my students if butterflies are supposed to stay in this cage. They shake their heads no. They are made to fly and pollinate. They have work to do! So, we venture outside to release our butterflies. Some take a little longer to realize they are free. They have become used to being cooped up. But once they taste freedom, they are gone. They fly away!

How about you? Are you meant to fly? Do you stay cooped up because it feels safer? Are you more like the reluctant butterflies who need a little push to get out there? God has given each one of us talents and abilities. Are you using your gifts?

Blessings and love,


Kate Spade's Death

I was stunned to learn of the suicide of Kate Spade, the fashion designer. It goes to show that you never really know what's going on in a person's life from the outside. She seemed to have it all; married for 24 years, a daughter, a successful career, name recognition, and lots of money.

I remember years ago dining in a Scottsdale, AZ restaurant with a friend. A gentleman came up to our table and pointed to my friend's purse. It was a Kate Spade bag. The man identified himself as Kate's father-in-law and smiled and said to keep buying her bags. And then he left.

Today, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in years. We were both shopping at Costco. During our conversation, I pointed to her bag; a Kate Spade bag. We both began talking about how sad the news about her death was.

I remember being shocked when Robin Williams committed suicide back in 2014. Another person who seemed to have it all and yet apparently did not.

According to WebMD, 42,000 Americans die by suicide every year. They want to end their pain. I remember learning about depression and suicide during my nurses' training.  My instructor told us that when a person is so depressed, they don't have the energy to commit suicide. It's the time when they seem to be doing better; that's the time they may have decided to take action.

I hope that increased awareness about depression will get people talking about this disease. Taking medications and talking to a counselor may be just what is needed. Maybe one person would get the help they need, and some good could come out of a tragedy.

Blessings and love,


What I Learned This Spring

It's been some time since I last posted on Heart Choices. I plan to return to a regular writing schedule. But before I embark on this new journey, I wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the things I learned in the previous season. After all, I consider myself a lifelong learner.

Here is my list in no particular order:

1. If you keep doing the same things, you can expect the same outcome. I learned I needed to do something different. 

Since 2010 when my life turned upside down, I allowed my emotions to dictate my habits. For most of my adult life, my weight was stable, and I exercised at least six days a week. But I returned to work in a completely different profession (a preschool teacher), moved to a much smaller condo, and became a bit overwhelmed with all the changes. As a teacher, there are always so many temptations in the way of snacks. Teaching little children can be tiring, especially when you're as old as I am. So my exercise and healthy eating habits got dropped and became quite sporadic instead.

My husband Greg and I decided enough was enough. We had to do something different. So, we went to Red Mountain Weightloss. My goal was to lose the extra 20 pounds I'd accumulated. I began the program and stuck with it. In the process, I lost 24 pounds! I am back to regular exercise and healthy eating and feel so much better. One of my goals was to be able to fit into my Worth Collection clothes. And they fit perfectly!

I had to change what I was doing to get different results. Now, I plan to continue to choose healthy habits to maintain this new weight.

2. It's good for me to work with younger women.

I teach in a private school that begins in Pre-K and goes through 12th grade. I think I must be the oldest teacher, but that doesn't bother me. I find it keeps me on my toes as I listen to a younger generation of co-workers. Even though I am old enough to be their moms, I've developed relationships with the other preschool teachers. There are things I can teach them, but there is also much I learn from them.

3. The lifecycle of the butterfly never gets old.

Spring is a fun time of year in preschool. The temperatures are rising, and the flowers are in bloom. Butterflies and hummingbirds flutter their wings as they feed on the nectar of colorful flowers. It's time to teach the lifecycle of the butterfly to my students.

Caterpillars feast until they grow bigger and fatter. They form a cocoon or chrysalis around themselves. Over time, they emerge as a butterfly. My class of little ones has the opportunity to see with their own eyes this miracle of change.

Little Sos excitedly states, "caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly" as Sterling adds "chrysalis." I love to see the learning process.

4. I discovered a new face cleaning regimen that works for me.

My aesthetic nurse friend referred me to a product line called Simply by Nature. They are relatively inexpensive, and everything is natural. I keep the serum and moisturizer in the refrigerator. I apply them in an upward motion, and my skin feels so soft and clean after using them.

5. I have a great job with summers off.

I worked as a nurse for 25 years. Now I'm working as a teacher. One of the best benefits of teaching is I have the summers off. I used to think teachers have it easy as nurses work all year long. But I realize that teachers need that break to get refreshed and energized for the next class of students.

For me, having summers off gives me the much needed time to write. I've been working on two books and even received edits back on one of them. With limited morning time to work on my writing, summers provide me with uninterrupted time to focus. For that, I am so grateful.

I'm linking up with Emily J Freeman as we share what we learned this spring.

Blessings and love,

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