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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

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

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Never Enough God!

posted by mpratt
Photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Leave God out of this.”

“You pray too much.”

“Let’s not talk about God anymore.”

If any of these or similar remarks sound familiar to you, you’re not alone. I’ve heard these and many other comments throughout my life, and especially when speaking with people who are in pain, living with illness, or are caring for those who are, whether medical professionals or not. For some, it’s all well and good to speak about God – to a point. Too much “God talk” can, for them, start to feel threatening or bewildering. And they want to put an end to it.

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Others are not open to God at all, preferring to think about some other “higher power,” whether themselves or science or the latest fad in self-care.

And others are afraid to bring up the subject of God and life, health, and wholeness, because they don’t want to “offend” others.

For me? There’s never enough talk of God! Or prayer! Or striving to lead a faithful life!

For me, I cannot “leave God out” of much of anything – He’s everywhere, and ever-moving.

But does that mean that bringing God in crowds out all other discussion? Absolutely not. We live on this earth, we are human, and we have human concerns, likes, dislikes, and dreams. We are children of God – and He works through us. It’s all blessedly connected!

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And does that mean that we take on the cloak of a vehement preacher, shaking our fist and Bible? Not at all – if we are true to the Gospel, and if we are truly faith-filled, we should be so full of joy and light that it shines from our words, faces, lives!

So, I pray, talk about God, and bring Him into my life because He is wonderful, I am human, and doing so fills me with immense thanksgiving and joy!

Peace,

Maureen

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Chronic Pain: That Awful Knot

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Lavoview/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Lavoview/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ever had a knot in your stomach? Or one in your shoulder? Ever had that feeling that you were the knot, all balled up and tight and immovable?

Ever felt like, “If only I could get rid of this knot – life would be perfect!”

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Whether a physical, emotional, or spiritual knot, feeling the tension of fear, anger, pain, or frustration can be horrible. And if it goes on for days or years, the tightness can build on itself, creating a ball of something hard that becomes an obstacle to much of what we want to do.

I’ve had knots in my shoulders that prevented my neck from moving fully. Knots of fear that were nearly paralyzing. Knots of worry that prevented sleep.

But there are ways of slowing unknotting the knots and rearranging them into more manageable things that do not impede us so much as instruct us.

For my physical knots, I’ve always worked with my doctor to determine what’s best – and this is what I tell anyone, too. Physical therapy, directed exercise, and other forms of intervention can be helpful, but we have to work with our doctors to know what will work for us.

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For fear, well, I learned in horseback riding classes long ago – learning from the fear (what is it, what does it come from, why am I fearful?) and then re-approaching it can be very helpful. When we know we’ve overcome a fear once, it gives us tremendous self-confidence that we can use and improve on next time.

For worry, as with all challenges in life, I especially turn to God in prayer. He has bigger shoulders that I do – and no pesky knots on them! – and can carry burdens that anyone else might find too heavy.  He also never sleeps, but is always watching and protecting us – so we can sleep. That is a powerful and comforting image!

Of course, we all have our individual ways of dealing with our knots. But it helps, I think, to know that many others each day are dealing with similar challenges. And, it helps to know that knots can be unknotted – and God is with us all the way!

Peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

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 »

Chronic Pain: That Awful Knot
Ever had a knot in your stomach? Or one in your shoulder? Ever had that feeling that you were the knot, all balled up and ...

posted 8:30:39am Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Harmony in Health
As a musician, I appreciate really good harmony. When several pitches combine to create a full, complex sound, melody is transformed into something even more beautiful, and I just have to sit back, listen, and enjoy. Our lives with chronic ...

posted 8:15:39pm Jul. 16, 2015 | read full post »

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