Eight weeks and an “Angioplasty” later my oldest sister is making the five day ship trip  back home. She had gone abroad to Cape Town following a heart attack, to consult with a Cardiologist. The physician humorously told Pat he wanted to keep her around for a while, because “you have to prove to me that you had a heart attack, you are doing so well and you look so healthy.”

I know my sister. She thrives on these P’s: Prayer, Positive Thinking, Patience, Perseverance. I can imagine her answering the  physician; “well doctor, no good crying about the situation, so I will pray,  follow your advice, and just hang out here in Cape Town until you give me the ok to head home.” And that she did; consulted with her physician, accepted her hospital admission and caught up with old friends she hadn’t seen, some of them not since she was a small girl.

Does positive thinking help? In his book  Depression, the Way Out Neil Nedley, M.D. gives advice to avoid pessimism; “while the ‘power of positive thinking’ is encouraged as a way to improve health and well being,  this study ( significant stress in middle-aged  and older adults) shows it is more important to avoid negative thinking.” In his book Dr Nedley describes thought-shifting; replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. He also adds “It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings.”

I shared with a group last week that I wake up every morning feeling great and feeling positive. I told them they would probably smile and not believe me, but assured them it was a fact. I am thankful that when I awake, even if I am still a little tired, I am ready to roll and I look forward to my day in confidence and in anticipation of great things. The reason is, as one of my close friends would say “it’s all about Jesus, not at all about me.”  Attitude = Altitude.

I keep close to my heart these thoughts from one of my favorite books Steps To Christ ‘Rejoicing in The Lord‘: ” Many, walking along the path of life, dwell upon their mistakes and failures and disappointments, and their hearts are filled with grief and discouragement. Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed with joy in response to the Spirit of God? When you look back into the chapters of your life experience do you not find some pleasant pages? Are not God’s promises, like the fragrant flowers, growing beside your path on every hand? Will you not let their beauty and sweetness fill your heart with joy?”

I believe my sister Pat will look back on that awful day when her heart took a dangerous pattern, with thankfulness and not gloom. She can rejoice that she was not alone that day and because of this she received immediate medical care. She spent those eight weeks away from home and family in patience, spending time with familiar faces, bonding with the new and keeping her physician appointments. Now she is sailing back home on those mighty Atlantic waves. When she, by God’s grace arrive safely, I can almost hear her saying, just as she has said in the past “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” 1 Samuel 7:12.

What are some of the bright spots in your life? Keep them fresh in your memory! You will benefit greatly!

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