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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Connecting with God on Vacation

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We leave behind a lot when we go on vacation! Jobs, daily tasks, household chores. Alas, sometimes, too, we might leave behind an active sense of nurturing our faith, opting to skip church or gloss over our daily prayer routine.

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True, it can be difficult to take our regular faith practices with us on vacation. Often, our schedule is not our own (if we’re on a tour, for example, or if we are dependent on others for transportation and other activities). Our days are not the same, too; if we want to see all the sights, we might have every waking moment taken up with touring – and be too bleary-eyed by the end of the day to think of much else except sleep!

So, how can we connect with God while we’re on vacation?

Some simple tips:

Copy a Bible verse or two, or a favorite prayer, and tuck it into your wallet or purse. Even the knowledge it is there will help you remember the Creator – and give you access to a reading more readily.

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Plot church stops along your itinerary. Perhaps you cannot make it to a full service on Sunday, but even a brief stop by a church, inside or out, can help you refresh your spirit.

Learn about the faith traditions of the place where you are going. Many historic sites have deep spiritual roots. Learning about these as you take in the other details about who, what, and why will fill-out your understanding of history and feed your faith.

Be open to God revealing new things to you. All along the way, as we travel, there are many opportunities for God to reveal new insights, wisdom, experiences, and relationships. Keep your heart and eyes and ears open as you journey and don’t hesitate to pursue a road that might lead to spirit-filled delight!

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Spend time in nature. One of the best places to be with the Creator is to spend time in quiet enjoyment of natural surroundings. Even if it is an urban garden, a flower and plant-filled location can be a place of rejuvenation and spiritual refreshment.

Enjoy your time of rest. Delight in your re-connection with yourself and loved ones. And keep yourself open to God – for He never takes a vacation, but is always present!

Joy,

Maureen

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Chronic Illness: Recognizing Progress, However Small

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I remember the day when, months after I was diagnosed with lupus, I could pick up a drinking glass without feeling pain in my fingers. It wasn’t a huge, “Oh, I’m cured!” moment. After all, I still had lots and lots of other internal problems and complete baldness to deal with. But it was progress, small but also monumental.

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As I’ve continued living with lupus and other sometimes debilitating/sometimes more tolerable conditions, I’ve become even more mindful of the small steps ahead, the “little” progress that can lift my spirits and signal hope. But sometimes, too, especially in the midst of a flare up, I can forget to recognize the mini-progress as I look at how much farther I have to go. Faith helps me be more attentive.

When Jesus said, “I am with you always,” He meant every moment, waking or sleeping, moving or sitting. In small moments of progress and huge moments of pain. To be intent on recognizing the nuanced times when we move forward is a reflection of our love for the Lord and our desire to recognize Him, too, even in those “I can lift a drinking glass” moments.

So, if you make small steps of progress, if you inch along snail-like, still know that Jesus is supporting you throughout – and revealing Himself as mightily as if He were coming down from a cloud in heaven!

 

Peace!

Maureen

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TLC Tuesday: Celebrate!

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Aduldej/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Aduldej/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When was the last time you celebrated living? Oh, not another birthday or anniversary. Not even milestones such as so many months after ending treatment or physical therapy.

No, when was the last time you celebrated your God-given, blessedly wonderful life?

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The celebration need not be elaborate, and it can even be private. No one need know what is behind that lilt in your voice or smile on your lips. And, of course, the celebration should be something health-filled and healthful. This is not an invitation to go overboard, but rather a way to lift up praise for this day, this time, this now – and all the bounty contained in it.

Today, embrace your life, this precious you that God has individually and lovingly fashioned. You, with all of your quirks and talents, chronic illness, pain and all.

Celebrate this life, this you. And, God will smile, too!

Joy,

Maureen

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Chronic Pain: The Oasis in Our Hearts

posted by mpratt
Image Courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the most difficult things about living with chronic pain can be finding relief. Oh, yes, we work with our doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals to do this. But in the day-to-day, when that sharp jab makes us gasp, or the twinges take on seeming lives of their own, we can feel quite helpless, drained.

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In such moments, I like to take advantage of the oasis within – the cool, calm, lushly forested place where my heartbeat takes on the rhythm of nature, unhurried but thriving. It takes conscious effort to get to this wonderful place of relaxation; envisioning the forest helps, as does making use of technology to evoke birdsong, a babbling creek, or wind whispering through treetops.  But it is possible to use these tools, or just our own power of concentration, to look beyond the discomfort we endure and through to somewhere that we can truly call a God-given oasis.

The Lord will give us all we need, including a special place within to seek comfort and find renewed energy and strength. We have only to make the effort to go there to benefit from this, as with all, blessings.

Peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

Connecting with God on Vacation
We leave behind a lot when we go on vacation! Jobs, daily tasks, household chores. Alas, sometimes, too, we might ...

posted 7:06:26pm Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Recognizing Progress, However Small
I remember the day when, months after I was diagnosed with lupus, I could pick up a drinking glass without feeling pain in ...

posted 8:56:43am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: Celebrate!
When was the last time you celebrated living? Oh, not another birthday or anniversary. Not even milestones such as so many ...

posted 8:49:46am Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: The Oasis in Our Hearts
One of the most difficult things about living with chronic pain can be finding relief. Oh, yes, we work with our doctors, ...

posted 8:16:38am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Never Enough God!
"Leave God out of this." "You pray too much." "Let's not talk about God anymore." If any of these or similar ...

posted 8:41:10am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

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