Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

A Praying Spirit: What works?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The longer I’ve written this blog, the more I’ve come to understand that I’m not the only one for whom prayer is crucial to coping with illness, pain, and other crises. For many of you, too, prayer is like spiritual food, essential and unceasingly necessary.

So, each Saturday, I’m going to devote my blog to prayer. Not “prayers,” but the act of praying in all its many facets. I do this in hopes that our prayer lives may become even more full, abundant, and light-giving – an activity and a vocation that is a blessing to all.

Today: What works?

Let’s be honest, many times we pray in hopes of receiving an answer from God. And, we hope that that answer will be the one we want. So, we might be tempted to try “prayer that works,” whether it is a different ritual, different wording, or different posture (internal or external).

But, so often, what we want out of prayer is not what God wants for us. That’s as hard for me to type as it might be for you to hear. But, it’s true. We are human, with a finite ability to discern and desire. Only God knows what is ultimately “The Good” for each of us.

So, if you’re searching for “prayer that works,” I gently suggest that you not search so much for a way of praying, but rather for an attitude toward prayer. That is, take time to pray, most definitely, but also take time to listen. Listen willingly. Listen humbly.

Listen for God’s voice and the ability to accept His answers.

For, ultimately, prayer that works is when we hear God’s reply – and we love Him even more.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

New Podcast Chat with Sean Herriott

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicSean Herriott is the former host of Relevant Radio (Catholic Radio)’s morning program, “Morning Air.” Over the past several years, I was a regular guest on Sean’s program, talking about health and faith an all sorts of topics. He now has his own podcast, “Faith As a Second Language,” and I am a guest on his latest podcast. We covered a lot of subjects, but especially pain, loss and faith as a support – with a good mixture of humor, too! If you’d like to listen in, here’s the link:

http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HtK5Kh2Q

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

Chronic Illness: Too Many Moving Parts? Here’s Help!

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author Pic¬† This doc wants bloodwork and so does that doc, but the appointments aren’t on the same day, so you end up with 2 sticks instead of one. Then, the first doc needs more blood and another test, and a third doc insists you need another test, but at a different facility from the first one, so you end up criscrossing the city…on a hot, blazingly sunny day…at lunch time…and you’re running out of gas, to boot. The following day, one doc orders two tests, but your insurance won’t cover both if they’re done on the same day, so you have to schedule in another visit to accommodate the billing system.

Sometimes, we might have one doc appointment a month. Other times, we have multiple appointments and by the end of the month, our arms are sore, our patience is depleted, and we want to sleep until, well, the next appointment all-too-soon!

Irk!

The more chronic conditions one has, the more complicated it can be to get the care, tests, and information we need to managing the whole picture effectively. (Notice, I didn’t say, “Efficiently?”, for in many cases, efficiency is nonexistent!)

Is there anything we can do to streamline such situations? Sometimes…

One tremendous blessing for me is to have held onto the same, key members of my medical team. Communication is so much easier if I see the same doctor visit after visit, and that they know and respect each other makes communication easier between them, too. I’ve often met with one doc and gotten his orders for bloodwork, then gone to another doc who will draw the blood and added the first doc’s orders to the second, so that there’s only one needle stick.

Understanding the tests and what is or is not covered (and how) by insurance – ahead of time! – makes “day of” problems less likely to occur, and it also means that you, the patient, will be more knowlegable about what is being ordered and why.

Good organization also helps, both on the patient’s part and on the doc’s part. So, when you go to the doc appointment, you have a list of questions, meds, and symptoms, at the ready – and you share this with all of your doctors so they, too, know what’s going on and what your concerns are.

Yes, often there can seem to be too many moving parts to managing our care. But with some patience and advanced planning, we can help things move more smoothly!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

TLC Tuesday: Look for Light

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“One more doctor visit” bringing you down?

Last week, I had two doc visits in one day, both of which were delayed and difficult. But, at the second one, a “God thing” happened –

An older woman, using a walker, sat down beside me in the waiting room. She was carefully and nicely dressed, but clearly worn and tired. After a few moments, she asked me,

“Have you been waiting long?”

“About forty-five minutes.”

She grimaced. “When was your appointment?

I sighed. “Forty-five minutes ago. The doctor is running late.”

The woman grimaced again, rearranged herself in the chair, and started to talk about how “This isn’t right.” “No doctor should make you wait that long.” “I can’t believe this…”

I was not thrilled with waiting, either, but complaining was not bound to speed things up. How to turn this situation around?

I prayed up. And looked down.

First, at my blue and white slip-on shoes. And then at my neighbors…very same, blue and white slip-on shoes!

I caught her eye. I smiled. I pointed down at her feet. She looked down, her grimace turning to a puzzled look. I pointed at my feet. She looked.

And she recognized the shoes and broke into a big grin.

“At least we both have excellent taste,” I said, smiling.

“Why, yes. Yes we do.”

And we began to talk about how comfortable the shoes are and other things – lighter and of light.

When the nurse called me into the inner office, my neighbor, still smiling, said, “God bless you.”

Today, TLC Tuesday, look for even the slimmest glimmer of light in a dark place. Fan that flame into true Light, until even the darkness cannot compete!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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