Your Heart Matters!



February hosts both Valentine’s Day and Heart-Health Month, so here is a little test for you to take:

  1. What is the hardest working muscle in your body? The heart. It pumps out 2 ounces of blood at every heartbeat or at least 2,500 gallons daily. It can beat over 3 billion times in a person’s life.
  2. What modern conveniences cause the most problems to the heart? In one study of nearly 30,000 people in 52 countries, those who owned both a car and TV had a 27% higher risk of heart attack than those who owned neither.
  3. How big is your heart? The average heart weighs 7-15 ounces and is a little larger than your fist.
  4. When did your heart start beating? It began beating about 22 days after you were conceived.
  5. True or False: Hearts can literally break. True. The shock and stress of bereavement is hard on your heart. The risk of having a heart attack appears to decline as grief subsides.

Dr. Caroline Leaf has spent her life researching the brain. She has found a link between the brain and the heart. In her book Who Switched Off My Brain, one of the steps to detoxing the brain is to tune into your heart.

Dr. Leaf says: “It’s not just poets who consider the heart as the source of love. Research shows that the heart considers and “thinks” about information it receives from the brain. This implies the heart has opinions of its own. It acts as a still, small voice that checks out our thoughts for accuracy, integrity and wisdom.”

She goes on to say, “Your heart is not just a pump. It’s your body’s strongest biological oscillator, which means it has the ability to pull every other system of the body into its own rhythm. When the heart is at peace and is filled with love, the entire body under the direction of the brain feels peace and love as well. The converse is also true. When your thought life is filled with toxic emotions, your heart is heavy and burdens your body and mind. In effect, your heart amplifies what is going on in the brain.”

Science is learning a lot about what makes the heart tick and how to keep it healthy. However, it is only catching up with what the Bible has always stated. There are over 300 Bible verses about the heart. Here is some biblical advice from the Proverbs, which were written between 950-700 B.C.:

Proverbs 4: 23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Proverbs 15: 13: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs: 15: 30: “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”

Proverbs: 17: 22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

The Psalms mention the heart many times. Here are two verses that explain what happens to our hearts when we trust God, instead of being worried or angry.

  1. Psalm 37: 4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
  2. Psalm 112: 8: “His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”

In more modern times, Jesus said “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.” That’s John 14: 1, by the way.

The choice is ours. If we choose to count our blessings every day, gratitude to God will flood our hearts, for even though we face trouble, we are still incredibly blessed. Another way to encourage our hearts is to sing. (Yes, sing aloud.) Pick a favorite hymn or praise song and belt it out. This encourage our brains, as well as our hearts.

The result will be, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 7.


May you have a happy heart today

and every day!


Writing Update: If you purchased or received a copy of Secrets of the Dark Closet in November or December, I would love to hear from you. 

This winter I am back to working on the sequel to By the Banks of Cottonwood Creek. The new book will again feature Kelly Jorgenson, but Amber Rose McLean is the main character. I’m having fun with chapter titles such as A Small Box of Chocolates, Snow Angel, and Little Flower of Lent.