Heart Choices: 2018-08-12 -->

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Five Minute Friday: Loved

It's Five Minute Friday when I link up with other writers. We are given a one-word prompt and get to write for five minutes flat. Our word for this week is: LOVED.


Oh, to be loved! I remember my mom used to tell me I was in love with love. I had all these romantic aspirations. Words of love and affirmation, flowers, candlelit dinners ... you get the picture.

But love doesn't always play out that way. The pain of rejection and unfulfilled promises can cause people to shut down emotionally.

How thankful I am to have a husband who loves me the best way he can. He looks for ways to make my life easier, even if it's something as simple as making me breakfast in bed or programming a reminder on our Alexa app to tell Debbie he loves me each morning. He also has her play the "Good Morning" song by Mandisa and Toby Mac. He knows I love that song.

But the best love that impacts every part of my life is God's love. When I consider how often I mess up and miss the mark, I'm amazed that He really does love me. He offered me the gift of salvation through Jesus, and I'm forever grateful.

Because I know how much He loves me, that love overflows to others. That's the best part. I can spread His love to people who may not be like me or agree with me. In myself, I can't do that. But with God all things are possible.


Blessings and love,


Put Your Busyness on Hold

Is your life busy? Are there enough hours in the day to get everything done on your to-do list?

The conversation often goes like this:

How are you?
What are you up to?
So much. I'm so busy.

Busy, busy seems to be a mantra I hear all the time from women. It almost begins to sound like a badge of honor.

But do we really need to be so busy? Why do we fill our schedules with so many activities?

Sometimes I say yes to things because:

  • I don't want to disappoint someone
  • I'm afraid of missing out
  • I want to keep up with the crowd
  • I know it will be fun
  • I enjoy the friends who are participating
In the morning, I begin my day in quiet time with the Lord. I read a devotional, my Bible, and pray. Lately, I've been asking God what He wants me to do with my time. 

When I crowd my calendar with good things to do, I sometimes miss out on God's best for me. 

That best might be something as ordinary as sitting with a friend as she shares her heart. Or maybe it's taking time to call a lonely relative who could use a listening ear.  Or time might be best spent playing a game with your child or grandchild. 

How many times have you ignored someone because you were in too much of a hurry? I'll admit that I've done that.

So, don't jump at the next invitation or opportunity presented to you. Of course, there are certain things we really need to accept. But too many activities don't leave us enough time to pursue what God has called us to do. 

Blessings and love,


The Power of Habit

For many years, I cultivated the habit of rising early to exercise on my treadmill. I didn't think about it. I just did it.

But along the way, stress interfered, and my habit got thrown to the wayside. Instead of getting up early, I stayed in bed. Over time, I almost forgot. Instead, I gained twenty-four pounds and felt sluggish. My clothes didn't fit anymore. This didn't happen overnight. But slowly my lack of discipline showed up in ways I didn't like.

According to the dictionary, a habit is 'a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.'

Habits are things you do without thinking. In the book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, he describes the habit loop. It starts with a trigger that signals your brain to begin an automated mode. The routine is what you do, feel, or think. And then there's the reward. What do you get out of the behavior? Remember that our brain tends towards the short term; instant gratification.

Habits can be negative such as overindulging in food, sweets, alcohol,  or drugs. I'm amazed that some people are shopaholics, always buying the latest fad or acquiring things to feel good about themselves. (I don't like shopping)

Habits can be positive such as eating healthy, exercising, getting enough rest, reading good books, and staying in touch with family and friends.

Establishing healthy habits makes things simple. So, it's important to take the time to think about what you do on a regular basis, especially in response to certain triggers.

For me, it took losing everything to break my healthy habits. Over a short period of time, my husband and I went from living a life of luxury to being totally broke with no home or savings. We sold everything that was worth anything to pay our bills and keep our heads above water. You can read more about my story here.

As I look back, I can certainly understand the shock and depression that enveloped my day to day existence. But life goes on and I had a choice to make. Would I settle into a new normal that wasn't very healthy? Or would I once again, establish new habits that would meet my long-term goal of being the best I could be, no matter what my age.

It took time but I am now back to my normal weight. I lost the twenty-four pounds and can fit into my clothes easily. I don't have to try on three outfits because my slacks are too tight. I can even buy things online to avoid shopping.

I checked email this morning and received a timely newsletter from Rob Hatch. He's a business coach, President & Co-founder of Owner Media Group, Inc. His partner is Chris Brogan, a social media marketing consultant. My husband and I worked with him on a project a number of years ago.

Anyway, in Rob's newsletter, he wrote about 6 simple habits. Here's his list:

  • Start
  • Finish
  • Eat
  • Sleep 
  • Move
  • Connect
His message was about simplifying. How do you start and finish your day? Eating and sleeping come next. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy can change the way you feel. Moving, no matter what form, can change your body chemistry.  Go for a hike, ride your bike, take a brisk walk early in the morning or stretch out on your mat. It really does change how you feel. Rob's last point was to connect. That is such a good habit as we need one another. Sometimes when you're stressed, it can be all too easy to isolate yourself. Instead, talk to a confidant or exercise with a friend.  

So, what about you?
  • What are your habits? 
  • Do you have any unhealthy habits you might need to reconsider? 
  • What triggers prompt you to lapse into behaviors that may not be the best? 
  • Have you established any good habits? 
  • How did you deal with the old triggers? 
I'd love to hear about your struggles or your successes in the area of habits. After all, it's a journey and we can help one another. 

Blessings and love,

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