Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Hope for Chronically Ill Teens

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicAs a teenager, it seemed as if I was always getting sick. “Regular” things, like colds and flu, and “Really Wierd Illnesses” that, in hindsight, were probably manifestations and flares of the lupus I would later learn that I have. It wasn’t easy being sick so often. I missed out on school classes and other activities, and felt internal stress heaped on the normal development we go through when transitioning from child to young adult.

Advertisement

But there was a benefit to being sick, too. Yes, those “bad stretches” have their positive sides – if we look for them. And now, as I am older and have the luxury of looking back, I can say that the lessons I learned, consciously or unconsciously, have helped me, I hope, be a better and unique individual. Here are some of the benefits; if you are a teen and have a chronic illness, I offer them as food for thought and, I pray, hope:

o  If you suffer from a chronic illness, you are in a unique and wonderful position to learn just how amazing, delicate, and complex our bodies are. You learn how to better care for yourself, and throughout your life, you can apply that knowledge to yourself and others.

o  You can develop into a very unique person. Yes, it hurts to have to study at home and not participate in a lot of the “usual” things teens do. But your chronic illness is allowing you time and space to develop your very individual self – hopes, dreams, and plans, too. By all means, work hard to build good, positive and nurturing friendships and enjoy this time of your life. But also embrace the precious, singular person you are and are becoming!

Advertisement

o  Talk to God as a friend and build your spirituality. When I was so very sick as a child, my mother told me, “Even if you are alone, God is with you. You can always talk to God.” That advice has sustained me and inspired me so very much, and it’s also been a great comfort. Yes, sometimes my talks with God are not easy ones. Sometimes, he gets quite an earful! But always, I am grateful for His presence and work in my life – and for the ability to talk with him no matter when.

o  Develop your dreams and develop a plan.  Today more than ever, people with chronic illness are able to be active and productive in a variety of areas. Even if you are considered “totally disabled,” you have something to give, and should keep dreaming – and planning – how you can take your many attributes and gifts and use them for the good of all.

Advertisement

o  You are strong!  Throughout your life, you will encounter people who say, “I can’t make it.”  “I can’t do this.” “This situation is just too hard for me to handle.” The tough things you are going through now are showing you that you have a tremendous amount of inner strength and resilience. This enables you to be an inspiration for others who have not quite developed their inner strength like you have. And it enables you to guide them through their tough patches in the days and years ahead.

Above all, know that your life matters. You matter. And although life is not exactly easy, it is full of wonderful blessings – beginning with your unique and God-given spirit!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

Advertisement

TLC Tuesday: Learning to Laugh – At Ourselves!

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicThere’s no way around it – if we want to be happier, we have to laugh more. And the best way to start is with ourselves!

Over the past few years, I’ve watched the body of research around the health benefits of laughter grow. Besides releasing positive hormones that create more of a sense of well-being, laughter can have positive effects on just about any aspect of our lives. Think about it – doesn’t the world seem better when you laugh?

Advertisement

Of course, laughter shouldn’t be cruel or made at the expense of someone else’s feelings. Laughter that is base and tinged with nastiness doesn’t lift anyone up or promote kindness and joy.

But laughter that uplifts, that allows us to see the quirky side of life and that helps us not take ourselves so seriously that we forget how beautiful and wonder-ful this world and life are – that’s the kind of laughter I try to get more of each day. And, yes, at at least one point during the day, there is something about myself that I just have to laugh at.

Make fun of? No. Just shake my head, chuckle and smile, embrace with warmth and a light laugh. That’s the kind of uplifting moment I mean.

Finding the hint of funny about our lives helps us balance those times that are harder and heart-wrenching. It also brings out the oh-so-human side of us and helps us better appreciate God’s greatness.

Today, take a moment to laugh. Let the sound ripple around you as beautiful music. Because it is – and you are – blessedly human!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

Advertisement

Food for Thought: Who’s Your Hero?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We’re thick in the “hero” season, with holidays and other celebrations focused on individuals or concepts (such as Valentine’s Day and love) that remind us of the heroes in our lives. Martin Luther King, J.r., Day in January and Black History Month this month; Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday and George Washington’s Birthday in February, Purim in March, and Easter in April – throughout these days, we’re surrounded by stories of bravery, old and new.  And this leads me to ask:

Advertisement

Who is my hero? Who is your hero? And, why?

I suppose we don’t have to have just one hero (and I’m using the term to mean either a man or a woman). My mother, my friends, my doctors, those I learn from – these are all heroes in my mind and heart.  Jesus Christ, Mary, the Apostles – these and other religious heroes figure prominently, too. And then, as I look at the world around me, there are public figures who are heroes, especially those who stand up to injustice or continue working for good despite tremendous odds.

Lately, I have found myself learning and reading more about the many heroes throughout history. I just can’t get enough of their stories and the inspiration they provide through their examples. I wash away the cynicism and down-beat influences of bad news and bad deeds others carry out by filling my mind with these stories of goodness, bravery, and love. I feel more energized doing this, more hopeful. And, certainly educated and edified by the things these people do and have done.

Some people will say that, today, there are no heroes. I say there are many, all around us, and it’s our privilege to get to know them in everyway we can. Through the light that they shine, our world is brighter and we are inspired to, yes, strive for heroism, too!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

Advertisement

A Praying Spirit: Holding Fast to Prayer Time

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I really admire people who can get up each morning and immediately embark on deep prayer. Or, those who, no matter what, reserve a specific time later in the day for prayer – no matter where they are or what they are doing. Such discipline is admirable, especially in today’s world. But I also know that many people are unable to practice this kind of everyday praying. Illness, family, work, the irregularities of life in an ever-changing world – these and other outer elements work to chip away at resolve to build a wall around a specific time and place for prayer.

Advertisement

In my life, I try to pray each morning. But, with my chronic illnesses, especially lupus, some mornings are more productive than overs. Some days, lupus brain fog settles in. Other days, I might have to get up and out to be at a doctor’s appointment (and, oh, on those fasting bloodwork days, it’s even more of a challenge!).

If we want to maintain, develop, and deepen our relationship with God, praying regularly is a must. But even more important is the quality of our prayer, the focus we place upon those precious minutes with God, and the dedication we make and keep to being willing to open up to God even if we’re hurting and the day is conspiring against us praying on a particular time-schedule.

By “quality,” I don’t mean the length of our prayers or time. I mean being fully present, there/here and now, to God.

In an unpredictable life with chronic illness, you and I might not be able to set specific hours each day to sit and pray. We might have to improvise, get creative with our prayer lives. But, one thing is certain. No matter when we open up to God, He is ready to open Himself to us!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Pope Francis has announced today, September 1, as the "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation," and by doing so ...

posted 1:10:39am Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Stranger Intrusion - the Good and the Bad
During these very hot days of August, I decided to try something different to keep myself sun-protected, but a bit cooler than when I wear wigs under my broad-brimmed hats. I purchased a long and sheer scarf, folded it into a triangle, tied the ...

posted 8:38:11pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: Sisters, Please Read This!
f you have just been diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, or if you have been living with one for a long time, I just want to take time out to just say something, sister-to-sister:  Please do not be angry with yourself if you find that you ...

posted 8:32:25pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Do You Wonder? And, Why It Matters
The clouds in the sky. A flash of lightning. A baby's giggle. A "common" cold. When you see or hear these things, do you disect them scientifically? Or, do you wonder? What are the things in your life that you try to analyze? What are ...

posted 7:23:11pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: Feeling the Heat?
Searing. Exhausting. Oppressive. These and other words are often used to describe the high heat of the summertime. ...

posted 7:06:47pm Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.