Tag Archives: heart

365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful For Whole Hearts Foundation

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Today, I am thankful for Whole Hearts Foundation. From their website:

Their mission is

to share God’s love by providing education, support, connections and innovation of families of a child living with pediatric congenital heart disease – without boundaries of faith, culture or economic standing.

Also, from their website, a little bit of background on their founder, and what led him to start Whole Hearts Foundation:

Whole Hearts Foundation was established by Matt Hammitt, lead singer with the Christian rock band Sanctus Real, whose son Bowen was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) in 2010. “Because we’ve had the experience ourselves, we understand the practical, financial, emotional and spiritual needs these families have. Whole Hearts Foundation is dedicated to assisting these families, and these hospitals that provide the life-saving care to our children. We have a huge vision for the foundation and supporting families in their local community.”

Because of Whole Hearts Foundation, I have been able to connect precious little children needing prayer with resources readily available to them through Whole Hearts. What I have found is that people need to know they aren’t alone – even in struggles as painful and heartbreaking as watching a child struggle with congenital heart disease. It’s not an easy road, but it’s one no one needs to walk alone.

Today Whole Hearts is in my thoughts because something pretty amazing happened this evening. In a small group of less than twenty people, there were four people in the room who had very real life experiences with congenital heart disease (CHD), all of which were specifically HLHS. While it broke my heart to think about, it made me so grateful to be armed with the knowledge about CHD – and to see people sharing their own stories of hope and inspiration in the face of heartbreak and triumph as well. “Heart” families never cease to amaze me. Their strength, though it may not always appear as such, is phenomenal. To watch them support one another through the midst of sometimes pure chaos is something not many people can even begin to understand.

This evening, I am grateful for Whole Hearts Foundation, and for all the ways they strengthen “heart” families, and those who support and love them.

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365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful For Changing Mindset

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The topic today is pretty personal, but one I would imagine many people deal, even struggle with. It is with that thought process that I would like to share a pretty neat experience I had today.

Let me back up for a moment. As I have been sharing, our church is doing a series that talks about loving recklessly – learning to love as Jesus loved. It conquers the idea of an us vs. them complex. In said scenario, no one is perfect – with the only exception being Jesus. So, with that said, it is His commandment that we love one another.

I’ll be the first to tell you – this is NOT always an easy feat.

I will now fast forward to today, with a brief background. The objective – show God’s love. To everyone. Yes, everyone – even those not easy to love. Check.

If you are anything like me, there are probably a few different “kinds” of people you probably find yourself with disdain, as opposed to love for. Yes? I will be the first to raise my hand. But, thank God, this mindset of mine is changing. Through God working in my heart, I’m learning to see people and situations differently – through His eyes.

Let’s explore this for a second. Love how Jesus loves. How do we know how Jesus loves? It’s simple. He does. Period. He loves people simply because they are people. He has a crazy unconditional love for us. As human beings, will we always be able to love like this? Not highly likely. Should we try? Absolutely, without a doubt.

Okay, so today.

As I was out and about running errands, the individual behind the cash register was some I would have once been very inclined to say something (in my head) like, “it’s another [insert stereotypical, and likely judgmental classification here]– gosh, they’re everywhere!” I’d probably have some other mental thought process going on, and it wouldn’t have been nice. Like I said, God’s working on my heart in this (and many) area(s).

Today, however, was different. I saw this individual and had compassion. I smiled and was friendly. I had that initial “it’s another [PERSON TO LOVE]” thought. I did not see them as a negative member of society. Instead, I saw them as another person to love. I didn’t do anything super spiritual. I didn’t go above and beyond. I just carried on pleasant conversation, and I allowed walls in my own heart to crumble. I was kind to this person (not that I’d ever have been mean) and I did what I could in a short amount of time to just not judge and to show love.

I hope you’ll join me on this mission of loving people recklessly – even those who are hard to love. It isn’t always going to be easy, but it IS always going to be worth it.

That, my friends, is what I am grateful for today. I’m grateful to see these small, yet huge, changes going on inside me.

Spotlight on Chris Lockwood – Coming Alive: I’m Still Standing

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Did you know that Chris Lockwood has a new EP out? Have you purchased / downloaded his Coming Alive EP? You can find out more at his website.

I can’t think of enough words to adequately describe this music. Full of heart and passion. My goodness – some phenomenal talent. The vocals and music are amazing. I will share my thoughts on the other songs on this EP as well, but this song – man, it’s good! The raw emotions – the perseverance – the fight — so real.

Do you ever feel out of place – like the new kid on the block? Like an outsider peeking in?

This song tackles the idea that life isn’t always easy. It isn’t always going to be smooth sailing, and you won’t always want to plaster on a fake smile. There may be times where you look around, eager to grasp onto anything – anything at all – that will give you strength. You may realize that things that were once of paramount importance are nowhere to be found. The question is – will you give up?

There will undoubtedly be times when you look around, and simply do not like what you see. Even when it seems like your world may come crashing down around you at any moment, never give up. Don’t ever allow life’s circumstances to get to you to the point that you lose your footing. Stand firm. Even if you find yourself staring life in the face, and feel like you’re losing that staring contest, always remember hope — and to stand. Keep on standing.

Never give up. Life’s not always going to be easy, but keep on standing.

Chris – I just want to thank you for creating this EP. Talk about moving and powerful. It really speaks volumes, on so many levels. You, my friend, are an inspiration.