Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

This is the day

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Imagine if you gave a good friend a present, all wrapped up and shining in the light. What if that friend, instead of opening the package, set it aside. He or she tells you, “Oh, thanks. But I’ll get to it later. I’m really not all that excited about a present right now. I have other things to do.”

How would you feel? Upset? Disappointed? More than a little irritated that you’d gone to all that trouble, and your friend couldn’t care less?

Now, think about this day. Yes, this very day, this moment. It is a day that the Lord, with all his love and care, has made and has given to us. Thoughtfully. Happily. Self-lessly. This day is all wrapped up with wonder, with the mysteries of his Creation and the sights and sounds of natural beauty.

Yes, this is the day the Lord has made, and he gives it to you and me.

What are we going to do with it?

Are we so focused on pain, illness, and clouds that seem to never go away? Are we going to set aside this day to think about tomorrow or regret yesterday? Are we going to eye today fearfully, not sure if we even want to see what it holds?

Or, are we going to raise a heavenward “Thank you, Father!” and eagerly tear open the package and see what gifts await us this time?

This day.

Today.

Today, I’m going to be that friend who accepts the gift, opens the package, and gives great thanks, no matter how small the blessings may be this day.

How about you?

Blessings for this day,

Maureen

Vietnam War: A Memory for Today

posted by mpratt

QSL card from South VietnamTucked in a box amid other QSL cards that I found after my father’s death last year is a single, fading reminder of a powerful way to pray today.

If you’re not familiar with what they are, a QSL card is a record sent from one radio ham operator to another that confirms the contact that the two made while operating their radios. The cards are usually postcard-sized and sometimes contain only the pertient information of the contact – the date, radio frequency, call letters of teh ham sending the card, and what antenna was used, for example. Othertimes, a ham  might scribble a note, or use a card with a region-evoking map or picture.

The card that sits on my desk right now, the one in the picture on this blog, confirms contact that my father made with a radio ham in Saigon, South Vietnam, on October 28, 1972. Simply signed “Bob,” the card includes an outline of South Vietnam and the location of Saigon. Nothing especially remarkable there, but I keep going back to the date.

In 1978, my father was avidly pursuing his hobby of operating a ham radio from the safety and comfort of the basement of our home. With war all around, and the future unsure, I wonder what “Bob’s” life was like, then, when he made contact with my father over his radio. Was “Bob’s” ham radio activity a mere hobby, or his determined way of maintaining contact with a world outside, more peaceful, perhaps, more sure?

Less than 3 years after the date on the card, Saigon finally fell. I wonder, did Bob make it out beforehand? Or, did he broadcast to the last, still reaching out?

Today, there are people in other war-torn places, trying to reach out to the world beyond, the world where life is not so punctuated by violence. As I look at this card, I’m reminded that each day, I need to include these anonymous, but precious, people in my prayers, and ask the Lord to keep them safe and hopeful, no matter what. I might not have the equipment or ham radio license my father did, but prayer is mighty powerful – and God hears each of our voices loud and clear!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Chronic Illness: How do you describe it, exactly?

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicTime often flies by when you’re living, and when you have a chronic illness, time passes sometimes in odd ways. Slowly, in some measure, because living with pain is especially, well, painful, and the more pain you feel, the slower time seems to move (just think of waiting for a med to kick in, for example).

Time also passes quickly, especially when it comes to your external life. I am constantly amazed at how I can go weeks without talking to a particular friend, but it seems like much less time has passed.

When illness isolates us, loneliness can be hard to cope with. But when we emerge from our flare, or are finally able to reach out, again, it can be difficult to deal with, too. Because many people, whom we call friends, have not been with us for that particular siege, and with the passage of time and the seriousness of the episode/flare/illness events, we do change and grow, however subtly.

How, then, do you describe to those you haven’t seen or spoken with in ages, how you really are? How life is for you? What your relationships with them is, now that more time has passed and things haven’t exactly been easy in the interim?

As much as we love our friends and dear family members, illness affords us only so much quality time to devote to individuals while we’re struggling to stay afloat health-wise. I learned long ago that it’s okay not to have as many “close” friends as I once did, because I simply don’t have that much time and energy, as much as I’d want to. So, I bring my closest friends along with  me on my illness journey (and I’m along with them), and for others with whom I’m friendly, and when I “come up for air,” I try to explain briefly, and then move on with the present.

In short, we don’t have to explain to everyone everything that goes on with our illnesses – we’d run out of energy mighty fast if we did! But we should stay close to those with whom we are close, and treasure those dear friendships that sustain us and with whom we can also be a good friend.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Chronic Illness: Managing the Munchies

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of voraorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of voraorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I really, really, really like chocolate. Chocolate and almonds. Or, just chocolate.

And yet, I know how bad it can be if I over-indulge. Extra weight on lupus-arthritic joints can add pain on top of pain. So, I try to manage…well…try is the operative word, here.

The same reasons we like to munch on goodies in health can be the same reasons we munch when we’re fighting chronic illness and pain. The sheer pleasure of it, of course, but also for other reasons. For example, perhaps you’ve sailed through a milestone in treatment. Does “celebrate” equal “munch away!”?

Or, you’re in the midst of a terrible flare, and nothing seems to be going right. Does “I’m so hurting…” equal “munch to medicate the sadness?”

Just as we manage other aspects of our lives, managing the munchies is really important. Almost as if we have to be our own “coach,” we can dole out goodies in a healthful way – and run all dietary items by our doctors first – and still placate the little nibbler in all of us.

We can substitute food items for other fun things – a day out, a good book, a trinket, or time with friends.

We can turn our thinking to “only the best for the best,” that is, as beloved children of God, who wants only the best for us, we can commit to good actions and healthful food items as a way of living out our Christian walk.

After speaking with our medical team and verifying what’s okay and what’s not with them, we can find we need not completely deprive ourselves of what we crave. Only, we might have to manage better  - and thus reap the benefits not and moving forward!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Previous Posts

This is the day
Imagine if you gave a good friend a present, all wrapped up and shining in the light. What if that friend, instead of opening the package, set it aside. He or she tells you,

posted 5:37:36pm Jul. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Vietnam War: A Memory for Today
Tucked in a box amid other QSL cards that I found after my father's death last year is a single, fading reminder of a powerful way to pray today. If you're not familiar with what they are, a QSL card is a record sent from one radio ham operator to another that confirms the contact that the two ma

posted 2:11:02am Jul. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: How do you describe it, exactly?
Time often flies by when you're living, and when you have a chronic illness, time passes sometimes in odd ways. Slowly, in some measure, because living with pain is especially, well, painful, and the more pain you feel, the slower time seems to move (just think of waiting for a med to kick in, for e

posted 8:25:10pm Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Managing the Munchies
I really, really, really like chocolate. Chocolate and almonds. Or, just chocolate. And yet, I know how bad it can be if I over-indulge. Extra weight on lupus-arthritic joints

posted 8:10:25pm Jul. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Managing the Usual with the Unusual
I'm typing this with a sore arm and a couple of month's journey - again - to determine "once and for all" the reason why I don't hold onto iron. For years, I've dealt with iron levels that get lower and lower until, finally, I have to have an infusion. And, for years, the reason for this, or, rather

posted 7:44:26pm Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »


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