Heart Choices: What I Learned This Spring

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What I Learned This Spring



I've discovered that the best way for me to move forward in life is to look back. I don't keep my eyes on the past, but I try to reflect on what I learned. It's too easy to focus on what's ahead, but then I don't enjoy the everyday moments and gifts.

So, here are six things I learned this spring.

1. Change is good. 

I teach preschool children. Introducing the season of spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I ask my class a question. 

Who can tell me something about spring?

I hear answers from the mouths of excited children. 
Bunnies and caterpillars; 
Flowers and butterflies. 

Spring is a time of change. Caterpillars go through a process called metamorphosis. My students had the opportunity to observe as the caterpillars formed a chrysalis. We talked about being patient and what that word meant. 

Little Addy remembered and shouted out, "Are we there yet?" She knew the opposite of patience. 

Eventually, butterflies emerged. It was time to let our butterflies go. 


As I think about the ugly little caterpillar and how it eventually emerges as a beautiful butterfly, I realize change is good. I have a confession: change is challenging for me.  I prefer consistency, but change can bring out the best in us just like the emergence of the beautiful butterfly.

2.  I discovered the KonMari Method.

I stumbled upon Kon Mari on Netflix. I often become frustrated and overwhelmed with stuff. I laugh as I tell my co-worker Hillary that I want to be like her when I grow up. Mind you; I could easily be her mother. (That's what happens when you go back to work in your 60's; everyone is younger.) But, Hillary's classroom reflects her organization skills.  I tend to reshuffle my piles instead of discarding what's not working or necessary. 

Kon Mari is all about discarding items that no longer have value. So, I tried it at home and emptied my dresser drawers. I took each piece and thought about whether I liked it and how I felt wearing it. By the time I completed this task, I had a pile of clothes to donate to goodwill.  I then proceeded to fold my clothes carefully so I could find each one by color. 

I have to admit I've not perfected this method. It's a work in process. 

3.  I love flowers and sweet smells.

Even though I live in a small condo, that doesn't stop me from incorporating flowers and sweet smells. There's a small courtyard out front, and my roses bloom beautifully, especially in the spring. I added a hummingbird feeder. I enjoy cultivating my garden.  On my small back patio, I also have flowers and hummingbird feeders. Early in the morning, I sit quietly in my chair. I hear the sound of hummingbirds as they put their long beaks into the sweetness of the feeder. Often, they will come right in front of my face as though they were speaking to me. 


I decided to bring the smells of spring inside my home. I received many sweet gifts from the parents of my students for Teacher Appreciation Week. Flowers, candles, and distillers of sweetness. My desk,  located in a quiet corner of my living room, is a place of beauty.

4. I love the music of Lauren Daigle.

Lauren Daigle has such a rich, recognizable quality to her voice. During the latest season of American Idol, she served as a celebrity mentor to the six finalists. What I didn't know was that Lauren had auditioned for the show ten years earlier and been turned down. Despite the no, she's emerged as an amazingly talented singer. 

One of my favorite songs Lauren recorded is "You Say."


5. I learned the story behind the song "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me.

The song debuted back in 1999, and I loved it from the start. But only recently, I watched the movie of the same name on Amazon Prime Video. The song was written and composed by lead sing Bart Millard. What I learned is that he grew up with an abusive father. His mom dropped him off at a Christian summer camp, but when he returned home, his mother had left the family.  He played football in high school, but a significant injury ended the possibility of any future football career. He had to enroll in an elective, and the only one not filled was the Glee Club. The teacher heard Bart singing with his headphones on and was thrilled to discover he could sing. 

The story continues as he joins a band and takes to the road to get out of his house and away from his alcoholic father. Despite touring, writing songs, singing to crowds, the band never made it. His manager recommends he deal with his demons and so he returns home. He discovers his dad is dying but no longer drinking. It's a story of forgiveness and healing between father and son. Bart proceeds to write "I Can Only Imagine" after his father's death. 

6. We never know how long we will live.

My father turned 90 years old on February 28. He had his first heart attack when he was sixty years old. I remember getting the dreaded phone call as the doctors didn't know if he'd make it through the night. I was a cardiac nurse but living across the country from him, so I hopped on a flight to Florida. Since then he's had bypass surgery, 13 angioplasties, numerous stents, a pacemaker, and defibrillator. Despite my mom's death at the age of 75, my dad has continued to survive and live independently.


God is good, and only He knows the day He will take my dad home. In the meantime, I enjoy our twice daily phone calls and visits when I can fly to Florida.

So, how about you? What have you learned this past season? May I suggest that you take some time each season and write down a few things you've learned? 

Blessings and love,

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Debbie Petras
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6 comments:

  1. Dear Debbie. I learned to know you when you were a nurse and suddenly faced some of the greatest changes in your life. It sure has been an inspiring journey yoy've had. Always willing to learn and still busy being born. What a gift you are to your followers, students in the art of living. May God bless you now and always.

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    1. Oh Felisol! We had such a close community of bloggers when we started. I am slowly returning to blogging but as you can see, not as often. I treasure my blogging friends, including you.

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  2. Change isn't always easy for any of us, but yes, it can definitely be good! I'm still trying to do the Kon Mari cleaning too. Love it, but hard emotional work. :)

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    1. Oh Lisa, thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. I think the KonMari method is a process. But it is good to let go of some of our stuff.

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  3. So, so good to see this post Debbie! I miss you! I do have stuff for sure but I am constantly getting rid of it too. Often I find folks that can use what I no longer need or use. Enjoyed your post and again, good to hear from you.

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    1. I smile when I see your face! Thanks for stopping by. As you can see, I've not been consistent in my blog writing but I hope to change that. The summers are easier for me as a teacher. I love the time off to rest up for the next school year.

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