Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic illness: Sweating it out

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During long days at high school band practice, baking under the blazing August sun and sweating buckets, I learned the importance of hydration – replacing the fluid our bodies lose under such circumstances.  Water, sports’ drinks, whatever our doctors tell us to do – hydration is vital.

But what about times when we “sweat” in other ways, especially when we’re worried about the turn our illness is taking, or the health news we’ve just received? What about the times when we’re waiting for lab results or a new medical consultation?  When we “sweat” worries and fears and dread out and into our lives, with what do we replace those terrors and tremors?

Jesus is not only the Bread of Life, but the Living Water that flows forth from absolute goodness and into our souls like a refreshing, rejuvenating stream. He is our “hydration” when we are completely oppressed with fear and overwhelmed with the heat of fierce pain. Jesus is our rock and our comfort.

We hydrate our bodies under the blazing sun. We revive our spirits with the amazing Son!

TLC Tuesday: Gently, Gently

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicA harsh word, a sudden move, an angry outburst – we’ve all made them and felt them from others. Not uplifting or comforting, these brusk and sometimes brutal actions.

For today’s TLC Tuesday, the word and action is “gently.” Gently steer yourself today, praying for patience and love to fill your life. Gently approach others, and gently move away from negativity that can hurt and cause you pain. Pray for God’s gentle hand to be upon you, and his grace to envelop you. Gently. Gently.

We all need a little more TLC. Why not Tuesday?

Chronic Pain: Are you a camel?

posted by mpratt

pic for website 2012Some days, I just hurt. I hurt so badly that it’s difficult to tell where the pain is coming from, let alone what to do to make it better. Some days, there’s no easy way around or through it. We work with our doctors, we do what we can, but, inevitably, we realize there is just no easy way.

This reminds me of Luke 18:25. In response to the rich official’s question about what he must do to “inherit eternal life,” Jesus told him he had to sell all he had and distribute it to the poor. The man was despondent, which prompted Jesus to say, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Now, many people with chronic illness are not rich at all, so it is not even a question for them to give up their great wealth to the poor. But, perhaps, Jesus is making a broader point: Entering the kingdom of God is not something to consider lightly, and the way to get there is not necessarily easy.

In fact, it is not easy at all.

There can be many things we are reluctant to give up in order to live as Our Lord would have us live. We don’t want to give up feeling well, because feeling sick is, well, a pain. We don’t want to give up complete mobility, independence, or other “treasures.”

We don’t want to suffer. We don’t want to feel pain.

But, as we saw with God’s only Son, suffering is part of the human experience. Our Lord did it, and He did it completely. What a challenge – and what a demonstration of pure love!

There is a camel in all of us, ready to do what God wills us to do. And with His love, support, and overwhelming strength, we can get through the “not so easy parts” and, yes, enter His kingdom, rejoicing!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Chronic Illness: Your Trash, Their Treasure

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicAdapting to life with a health problem often brings new ways to live and new things to buy. I lost my hair because of lupus – I had to buy wigs. My wardrobe changed drastically because, whenever I go outside during the day, I have to wear long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats (no more shorts and T-shirts).

But as I accumulated the things that I needed because of my illness, I also accumulated piles of things I no longer needed. Hair clips and ties. Clothing. Old appliances that were too difficult for my arthritic hands to operate. Dishes that were too heavy to carry safely.

Instead of throwing these out, I made a careful assessment. Who could benefit from them? Where could I take them/to whom could I donate them?

Trying out one of the online auction sites was another option, of course. But there are so many people who cannot even afford to shop there, that I opted for making donations. And, when I did, the uplifting feeling was wonderful!

Not only did I feel relieved that I’d cleared some space and “moved on” from possessions that no longer made sense for me to have, but I also felt good that I could help other people, too.

No doubt about it, we who live with serious illness can make a difference in the world around us in many ways. Just look around you – your trash could very well become someone else’s treasure!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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