Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Image Courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Two doctors I know have fallen very ill at the begining of this New Year. They’re hard workers and do not hesitate to help their patients, no matter how ill those patients might be. We sometimes forget that our doctors (and other medical professionals on our team) are people, too, and in their work they come in contact to many more sickies than we do – with sometimes dangerous consequences. So, here is a prayer for these wonderful caregivers – with much thanks and hope for a speedy recovery!

Oh, Lord, you have put  many wonderful, caring people in my life.

I thank you for them, Lord, and I ask that they be protected from sickness and pain

as they reach out to help even the sickest and lowliest among us.

Give all medical professionals strength, Lord, and help them get enough

sleep, exercise, and nutrition to be able to maintain their own health

as they work.

And if they do fall ill, Lord, please give them the very same, excellent care that they provide to us,

help them heal swiftly.

and as they get back to work, help them use their experience as a patient

to reflect grace and compassion upon those whom they serve.

In Jesus name, I pray,

Amen.

Image courtesy of piyato/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of piyato/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve said it more than a few times, and I expect you have, too, when your chronic illnesss, new diagnosis, or ongoing pain sets you on edge.

“Can’t you just give me a new body?”

All news reports of cloning and other scientific activity aside, sometimes with the advent of a new year, we actually dive into a brand new exercise, grooming, diet, or rehab program in order to meet the oft-repeated maxim “It’s a new year, so make it a new you.”

But do we really have to be “all new” in order to be improved? Do we really need to jettison our “old” selves in order to be happy, productive, prayerful and praiseful?

Oh, say it isn’t so!

And really, it isn’t.

In fact, as much as we’d like to redo what’s ailing us, we are who we are – which is pretty awesome. Why awesome? Because we are, each of us, unique and loved by God. Our names, bodies, souls – everything is unique and precious.  And God has a splendid purpose for each of us, just as we are and with the situations given to us by Him.

Yes, we can take certain things into our own hands and be responsible for some aspects of our health. And, yes, we can make improvements in how we take care of our lives, spirits, and the surroundings in which we move and live.

But fundamentally, by embracing the individual gems that we are, we can be much more positive about the future. And as we take good care, we can move ahead even more strongly – just as God made us.

This year, embrace who you are, be caring and kind and responsible toward yourself.

And shine in the life and person that God so lovingly has given!

Joys,

Maureen

Second close-up of pictureWhew! What a wild beginning to the New Year! I don’t know about you, but the first week of this New Year has started off as if it were an entire month!

For one thing, there’s always the “close up the old year, begin the new” activity, a timely combination of turning over calendars, appointment books or files, and accounting and other “admin of life” things. Then, too, there’s the outside world that has a way of bubbling up in unexpected ways: A doctor who, himself, is very ill and has to cancel crucial appointments, for example. Or the wild and wacky weather of the past few weeks (I was there, experiencing winter storms with eerily long crackles of thunder and torrential rain).

Or, perhaps, the “wildness” is something else entirely: A health condition that seems to be difficult or impossible to understand and that paints itself into the year with unsettling hues.

I moved into 2016 with lots of uncertainty, pending medical tests and appointments, and a steely determination. No matter how “wild” 2016 becomes, I am determined to take a break whenever needed. If you live with a chronic health condition or pain that doesn’t seem to send, sometimes you have a tendancy to “push through.” But this can be dangerous, bringing on complications along with the potential for frustration, or worse.

So, if you’re condering if it’s okay to take a break already, in this first full week of 2016. Or, if you’re thinking, “I shouldn’t be tired/confused/anxiety-filled yet, should I?”,  believen me, a break might be just what you need. Relax. Rest. Meditate on the many blessings God has given you, which can become crowded out with our worries. And pray for calm, the “peace in the storm,” as I like to call it. And like the soaking many of us have experienced in the past few weeks weather-wise, His peace sill surely rain down!

Joys – and a very Happy New Year!
Maureen

Most of us love receiving gifts. What seems to be a challenge is giving thanks for those gifts. I remember my mother and other relatives emphasizing the importance of thank you notes, handwritten expressions of appreciation for even the smallest of gifts I received at Christmas and other times throughout the year. I remember my great-aunt used to return my thank you notes with “edits” – corrections of my grammar and spelling. For which I also had to be thankful!

But today, our communication methods are so quick and we often feel stressed to get back to them that the art of handwritten thank you notes is waning. Waning, perhaps, but no less important. Because respect for others is at the core of being thankful for the things they give us. And respect is something each of us would, of course, like to have. By putting pen to paper in however brief a fashion, we are telling someone that we not only appreciate their gift (yes, even if we know it’s something we’ll regift next year!), we are deeply thankful for the person behind it, the relationship that we have with him or her, and that we respect them.

I keep a small box of notecards by my desk, a handy way to reach out and be thankful when the need arises. My “thank you” notes still probably contain grammatical and spelling errors – some things will never change! But I hope the love and respect behind them comes through – after Christmas and at all other times of the year!

Peace,

Maureen