Our family were all in shock when my sister was thrown with a heart attack on Mothers Day of this year. It all seemed so hard to believe! Except for Hypothyroidism diagnosed several years ago, Pat had no other medical problems, carries a healthy body weight, is as sweet as honey and is also everyone’s “Good Samaritan”. We have no known family history of heart disease. As I write she is traveling on the passenger/cargo ship R.M.S. St Helena, the only transportation from home to the outside world, for additional evaluation in Cape Town.

There are six of us siblings, four girls and two boys. Pat is the second eldest. Since her illness I am reading again one of my health books from Bible school called “Proof Positive: How to Reliably Combat Disease and Achieve Optimal Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle”. I highly recommend this excellent source of information authored by Neil Nedley, M.D.

We are a pretty healthy family but this does not mean we are not at risk and it also does not mean there aren’t some things in our lifestyles that calls for change. For example, I am a nurse, I also swim, jog, walk and hike  but then I also eat large portions. 22 years ago I became a vegetarian, but does this mean I should not be mindful of my portions and explain this behavior away by saying ” it’s ok I never gain weight?”

We are learning many lessons from my sister’s experience; I will share the closing thoughts on the chapter from Dr Nedley, “Heart Disease: Conquering the Number one Killer” that I am reading tonight: “If this chapter has convinced you of areas that you need to change in your life, do not delay. Now is the very best time to improve your diet and other lifestyle habits. Do not wait for warning signs or a first heart attack before getting serious about lifestyle changes. By then you might have already developed irreversible disease. Worse yet, heart disease may claim your life before you are ever aware that you had a heart problem”.

“For your own sake and the sake of your loved ones, why not embark on at least some elements of a new lifestyle today? If you stick with some changes, I am convinced you will regard them as among your life’s wisest investments. After all, the investments will pay dividends in providing longer life, disability prevention, and an enhanced quality of life.  Do not procrastinate – start to get more of the full benefits of a heart disease preventive lifestyle today”.

Do you also need to make changes? We can do so by claiming God’s promises, and here is a favorite of mine: Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” NIV. So with this promise in mind, I am going to improve on my already pretty healthy eating habits… and just watch how I can decrease those portions!  But do not forget, it’s not just about diet!

And here is a promise I am claiming for my precious sister: Psalm 27: 13-14 “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and he shall strengthen thy heart (spiritually and physically) wait, I say on the Lord”.