There's nothing like a good health scare to cause you to focus on what really matters. We get so caught up in the day to day...all of the distractions that take us away from being really present. I recently thought I was having a heart attack. Pain in my chest, down my left arm, couldn't breathe, etc...after a few ambulance rides, 3 doses of Nitro, a GI cocktail that numbed my upper half, 3 EKGs, a stress test and lab work...turned out to be extreme esophageal spasms; which is not fun and can kind of feel like a heart attack.
But overall great news is that my heart is fine. In fact...more than fine. It is full and so grateful. When you go through something like this, you realize that life is short and at any moment we, or any of our loved ones, could be gone from this life. Every single moment counts. As I've reflected on this I have decided to intentionally have an attitude of gratitude...very timely for the season of Thanksgiving that we have entered, if I must say so myself.
I don't have a heart condition...but the condition of my heart is vital and I have found that an attitude of gratitude helps me to keep myself "positioned" in the face of everything we face in this life. Life is hard. It always has been and always will be. No one has it easy...but it's about what we do in the midst of it that really shapes our character and has the ability to affect those around us for the better. All the heart medicine in the world can't replace what gratitude can do for the "condition" of your heart.
Here is my attitude of gratitude creed:
* I will be thankful, even when I feel like being selfish
* I will be grateful, even when my need far outweighs what I have
* I will be thankful for all of the circumstances that enter my life, as I know they are part of the journey to help me become a better me
* I will be grateful for the little things..that we almost miss each and every day, or that we take for granted as we go about our days: the wind blowing the leaves, the smell of the beach fire pits from down the street at night, the feel of fall - as the crisp air begins to permeate through the day, the sun shining bright - welcoming us to enjoy the outdoors, the rain - watering the earth with "drip drop notes" - the birds chirping, the fact that I can get out of bed today and I have a job, I have a roof over my head, I have a comfortable bed to sleep in every night...
* I am so thankful for love - for God's amazing love - full of grace - and poured out for all. For Missy's love - so pure and raw, bringing healing and restoration to my very being. For the love of my children - always constant, strong and full - filling my tank when I'm running on empty.
* I am thankful for my family. My father - who is finally present to God and to me in a way I've never known. My mother - who as her health fails her, her heart which is SO full of love to give, continues to lavish it upon me and my family.
* I am thankful for my friends. My true friends - who know me, and love me in spite of all that they know. My friends who challenge me, and process life with me, and bring encouragement and hope to me in times when I need it most.
* I am thankful that my basic needs are met and I am able to provide for my family.
* I am thankful for life and I hope to remain present each day - giving back and allowing the amazing wonder and beauty of love to continue to change me, grow me, renew me, restore me, heal me and to fill my cup to runneth over.
So, I do not have a heart condition - but the condition of my heart is something I will focus on each day. I hope you will too.
An attitude of gratitude....it will have an effect on you and all of those around you. I promise!