Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Fatigue and Friends

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicMay is Lupus Awareness Month. For those of us with lupus, it might seem beside-the-point; it’s almost impossible to have lupus and not be aware of it each day, not only in May!

I’m not going to go into “what is lupus?” nor am I going to list the statistics of the disease “population,” nor the toll that lupus takes on families, society, and the workplace. There’s plenty of information about that at lupus.org and other websites, as well as info available through our doctors.

But I would like to address one little subject that’s actually a very, very big deal: Fatigue and friends.

One of the symptoms very common to lupus patients is fatigue. It is not the “usual” fatigue that comes from a busy life or a particularly busy day. It is crushing, numbing, and strong. It can really weigh you down, even for the most “mundane” of tasks such as opening your mail. And it can come on suddenly, as if being hit by a tall, pounding wave of fatigue that drags you back out to sea with it.

With such fatigue, it’s no wonder it can be difficult to be a friend of someone who has lupus. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to cancel an outing with friends at the last minute due to sudden fatigue. I also cannot tell you the number of times I’ve cut an outing short because my fatigue was just too profound.

Lupus fatigue does not “just go away,” necessarily, because you take a nap, sleep, or even have a few days at home before venturing out again. Over the past few years, for example, I’ve had a particularly trying time, and I’ve likened my need for rest much like “needing a long runway,” an expansive period of time during which I keep extra activities to a minimum.

With “old” friends, explaining the need for more rest and explaining the fact that lupus can be “very rude” at the most inopportune times, can bring better understanding between the lupie and the friends. With new friends, it might take a bit more explaining, especially that you’d truly/really/absolutely like to do X,Y,Z if only you weren’t so tired. As most of us don’t look sick, it might take new friends more time than the usual to “get” what lupus does and is. But that’s okay. The truly good friends will want to understand, and the result will be positive on all fronts.

Above all, when very fatigued, the lupus patient is well-served to acknowledge his or her state. We don’t do ourselves any favors by pushing and pushing – running ourselves into more problems than not.

Those long days at home, that chunk of time spent resting – these are not “wasted hours,” nor are they completely “down” time. During our “long runways,” we ease up on stress that can aggravate our lupus, and we allow ourselves time to mend, strengthen.

Good friends understand this, too. And when we have them in our lives, no matter our fatigue, we never cease to give thanks! :)

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Why Centering Prayer Is So Important

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re like me, you find that your prayer list gets longer each day. World problems, individual petitions, personal prayers – we skip around this globe quite a lot when we sit down to have our quiet time with God.

But if we’re too scattered with our prayers, we might lose sight of the very important type of prayer that helps us strengthen and face our personal health challenges with grace and wisdom. That kind of prayer I call “centering prayer.”

By “centering,” I mean that we pray all the things on our lists and then envision our prayer focus inward. Very inward. Deep into the heart and soul, the life that is ours, given by God. With this action of going to the core of our relationship with God, we leave the other petitions aside. It’s okay. We have already prayed them. And, even before our prayers, God knows what it is we will/would pray for.

In this centered time, then, we forget the limited words we use to express our prayers, fears, and worries. We leave them aside, too, and instead look purely and simply at the center of our joy, life, and love – God.

Centering prayer enables us to be truly quiet, profoundly still. And in the stillness, it fills us up with new, strong breath, energizing and inspiring. After a time, we will emerge from this deep place of prayer and continue with our lives. But we will be changed, in a good way, from the time spent “just being,” from allowing ourselves to “just sit” with God.

There’s no right or wrong amount of time to spend in centering prayer. It’s up for each of us to decide. The important thing is that we include it in our regular prayer, and allow ourselves to grow in faith and fullness – and joy!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Thank you, Mom!

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicWe give flowers, gifts, meals. We make visits and phone calls. We hug them, help them, maybe even harmonize with them – remembering a lullaby or other song from our childhood.

But, what can we say for all they’ve done for us? What finite words can sum up our infinite gratitude and love?

My mother has been a tremendous support and help for me. A true blessing through illness’ ups and downs and “life in general.” There’s a lot I could say about her, but these words, though brief, are probably the most heart-felt I could ever say:

Thank you, Mom! I love you and I’m so very happy that God gave you to me!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Prayer When You Hit a Dead End

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oh, Lord, I’ve been told that there is nothing that can be done,

that I’ve run out of options,

that I’ve hit a dead end.

But I know that you, Lord, are endless, timeless, all-knowing and all-loving.

I know, too, that in every moment of life there is grace and light.

Please, Lord, bring me your wisdom and patience.

Fill my heart with hope that rests in you and your Salvation.

Make your way, that has no end, clear to me and all those upon whom I rely.

And help me to rest in the truth,

“With God, all things are possible.”

                                                                       Amen.

My prayers are with you!

Maureen

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