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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

TLC Tuesday: Feeling De-feet?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah, the bliss of putting my feet up!

Throughout the day, our feet take a beating. And if we have joint issues “higher up,” in the knees, for example, or the hips, those precious feet can truly begin to feel abused and neglected.

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Throughout the Bible, we read of people walking – walking out of Eden, walking into the Promised Land, Jesus walking on his ministerial way. There was scarcely another way to travel for most people, and I have to believe that the rough, rocky ground (no paved roads, then) was brutal to everyone’s feet. But, there are also passages that tell of the ritual of foot-washing, and these highlight for us the importance of taking precious care of one’s feet.

Today, TLC Tuesday, take a moment to look down and not up. Reflect on the miles and miles that your feet have walked, and do something positive to take are of them and, in so doing, taking care of yourself!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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Food for Thought: Refresh Me, Lord

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicMany of you know Lisa J. Copen as the Founder of RestMinistries, an online resource for people living with chronic pain and illness of the invisible kind (www.restministries.org). Each year, Lisa sponsors an “Invisible Illness Awareness Week,” and I’ve been honored to participate in it several times, with workshops and interviews.

Lisa is also an author of several books on chronic illness and, this month, she will have a new and different book available to people who might feel that, with their health challenges, they are having trouble praying.

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“Refresh Me, Lord,” is a collection of prayers written by Lisa and intended to help readers get closer to God through prayer. It touches on many of the themes I covered in my book, “Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness,” and also on some that I have no experience with, but Lisa does, such as motherhood, being a spouse, and enduring surgeries and mobility issues (especially poignant is her prayer about being uncomfortable with the visual image of using a walker).

Lisa’s heart comes through strongly in her prayers, and her faith shows the refinement of someone who has endured – and come through – more than one dark valley, still with faith and still with hope.

“Refresh Me, Lord,” is available through the RestMinistries website and online booksellers.

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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A Praying Spirit: Do you forget, sometimes?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was looking forward to the day ahead. The sun was shining, my usual aches and pains were at a minimum. I started my morning routine, all happy and uplifted. And then, wham! I realized I’d forgotten to say my morning prayers!

Oops!

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I was so caught up in the “moment” of the beginning of a good day, I’d forgotten to do what I promised myself I would always do, which was to begin the day in prayer.

I dropped everything and circled back to the beginning, and lifted up a huge “I’m sorry, Father,” for having forgotten.

And then, it struck me – wasn’t my appreciation and eagerness for the day a form of prayer? Oh, I don’t mean as an excuse for not praying. But, wasn’t my behavior that morning a kind of “I’m a child of the Father, and I’m so excited about this gift he has given  me that I forgot, for a moment, to say ‘thank you?'” moment? As children will often do, given an exciting, wonderful gift by a parent or grandparent?

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In that light, I could imagine God smiling and shaking his head at my antics. Certainly, he wouldn’t punish me for my lapse. And, anyway, he knows exactly what I am going to pray at all times, anyway.

Above all, that morning was a good reminder that a rigid schedule can be helpful, but our intention is even more so. If we drag ourselves mechanically through the exact same prayer at the exact same time, we might lose the point of appreciating God’s gift of life and the blessings of a particularly wonderful, very good day.

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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Chronic Illness and Pain: The Gift of Planning Ahead

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicNext year’s birthday cards – done!

This year’s holiday gifts – done!

Yummy chicken soup prepared and in the freezer ahead of cold and flu season – done!

I’ve often written about how hard it is to make firm commitments to things in the future. Chronic illness and pain have a way of interfering with even the most mundane of plans, and I even have to caution my doctors that, if I’m suddenly sick or in a flare, I probably won’t be able to keep my appointments with them, let alone do anything else.

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But there’s another kind of planning ahead that we can avail ourselves of – and save ourselves a great deal of stress. That planning is looking – and acting – ahead of events we know will come in the weeks, months, and year to yet unfold.

With a little forethought, we can have a file with birthday, anniversary, and even bereavement cards ready and addressed so that all we have to do is sign them with a personal note and mail them when the time comes.

A corner of a closet is a perfect place to stash gifts, purchased or made throughout the year. On good days, you can wrap them and label them, so that all you have to do is present the presents when Christmas, Hannukah, or another holiday arrives.

I make great use of my slow cooker, especially when the weather begins to get a little cool. I store meals in reheatable/freezalbe containers so that on those very “bad” days, I have healthful meals and very easy preparation.

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All of these things and others relieve us of stress and make it easier for us to participate in others’ happiness (those presents and cards) and live realatively “normally,” even when we don’t feel like doing much of anything at all (those frozen and ready meals).

You can probably think of many more things you can do ahead of time – feel free to share them! And breathe a little easier as you accomplish some thing ahead so you don’t feel like illness and pain cause you to be always behind!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

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posted 1:06:39am Apr. 13, 2015 | read full post »

A Praying Spirit: Praying Praise
Happy Easter - again and again! I'm just digging out of a really bad bug - one of those things that flattens you out ...

posted 6:06:34pm Apr. 11, 2015 | read full post »

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posted 1:13:32am Apr. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Good Friday: Walking the Walk
I don't think any of us enjoys the physical pain and other hurt that chronic illness brings. In fact, at times, we ...

posted 1:00:13am Apr. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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