Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Lazarus and us

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicWhat a powerful story of love and God’s power is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead! And what a blessing that, in Scripture, we have more than just a paragraph of the account. In John, for example, (Chapter 11), we read of Martha and Mary, to whom we’ve already been introduced, and the beginning of the Lazarus story – his illness. Then, we are taken through the story – his death, Our Lord’s cryptic response and then his journey to Bethany. And then, after an exchange with Martha, the miracle of Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead.

We who live daily with pain, and especially for those facing imminent death, might look upon the story of Lazarus as an example for what Jesus might do for us physically. Cure us. Take away our pain. Even snatch us from the brink of eternal sleep. And, if we are not cured, or our pain is not assuaged, we might ask, “Why, Lord? Why?”

But is that the point of the story? The point of what God’s love means to us?

As a Christian, I believe in the Resurrection. And I believe that God is all-powerful and can cure or do anything at all at any moment.

But I also know that He has put me on a human journey, and only He knows the outcome. It is for me to accept His will and walk, each day, as closely with Him as possible.

Quick fixes, sudden cures, even rising from the dead – these are certainly within God’s power. But as we continue on, and as His will unfolds, the majesty of God’s presence in our lives is truly in all we do and are – the gift of life so precious that we walk in wonder, even if we do not fully understand the “why.”

 

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

A tip for rising above procrastination

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicPutting off something important? Waiting for the perfect moment before you take action on a step toward a goal?

We all do it, of course. But what separates failures from successes? The ability to throw aside the tendency to procrastinate and, thus, keep on track.

I have to admit, I do at times, procrastinate. But I find I’m doing it less, and here’s a tip that I have used, to great success, to nip that procrastination bug in the bud:

Observe closely exactly when you procrastinate. At what hour, during what task, do you put off doing something that otherwise would send you forward to accomplish a goal or help see a dream become reality.

Do you find that you set down to do said task, only to look at the clock and think, “I only have fifteen minutes, so I’d better not start now?”

Does your energy level dip in the afternoon and, thus, it might not be the right time to do your activity (but you plan it then, anyway, and end up putting it off because you don’t feel like it?)

If you can pinpoint when you procrastinate, and you get out of your own way by moving your activity before or after that time next time, you will soon find you can rise above procrastination – and forge ahead!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Oh, that most difficult of questions: How are you?

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIt’s become a part of our greeting ritual, but it’s also one of the most difficult questions we face.

“How are you?”

Usually, there’s a perfunctory, “Fine. How are you?”

And the answer to that one?

“Fine, thanks.”

And the conversation moves on.

But if you have a chronic illness, you probably have found yourself thinking inside, “No, I’m lying, really. I’m not fine.” or, “I’d like to really say how I feel, but he/she probably doesn’t want to hear the truth.”

So, what do you say?

For me, I try to break it down a bit. Often, I respond, “Spirit-wise, I’m great. But healthwise…” or, I might say, “You know, above all, I’m blessed.”

With very close friends and family, I’ll probably go into more detail, especially if I’m in the midst of or fresh from a flare or other health crisis.  But with strangers, well, I admit I do fall into the “Fine, thanks, and you,” protocol more often than not.

Some languages do have “set” rituals of greeting. I remember when I studied Irish Gaellic, I marveled at the back and forth exchange that took place before a conversation started. It went something like:

“Good day. God be with you.”

“Good day. God and Mary be with you.”

“God and Mary and Joseph be with you.”

etc…

Now, as someone who carries the “baggage” of a chronic health condition, I realize that we lupies and others have our own ritual, individualized, of course, depending upon with whom we’re speaking.

It’s truly like speaking a whole other language, I suppose. One that takes a lifetime to get just right!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

 

Your favorite football fan doesn’t get it? Now’s your chance!

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of idea go/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of idea go/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am not a football fan, but I know many people who are. And, in appreciation for their vast knowledge of all things football, I offer here a way for those of us who have chronic illness and pain to, perhaps, help them understand a bit better what we go through during their favorite season and, indeed all year. Here goes:

Life with chronic illness or chronic pain is much like being all of the players on a football team. Our days are spent formulating plans, and often changing them multiple times when the other “team,” our physical situation, tackles us, intercepts our passes at doing favorite activities, or otherwise thwarts what we set out to do. Sometimes, it is not possible to score a completely satisfying day, and we have to settle for kicking a field goal instead. Often, we might get partway to a goal, but get blindsided by a particularly ugly health surprise.

At all times, our faith plays a huge role in our ability to cope. This goes way beyond throwing up an occasional Hail Mary pass – it truly goes to the essence of who we are and how we maintain our strength. So, when we can share this faith with you, especially in prayer, life is even richer and more hope-filled.

The action on the field can get really rough. We can hear you calling out plays and suggestions from the stands, but it’s important that we huddle with our doctors, much like our coaches, and move from there. Yes, at times, we have to go on the disabled list and  sit out any extra action for a prescribed period of time. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to be separated from life; we really appreciate it when you show your concern and support, especially at the most difficult times.

Our medications, splints, chairs, and other necessities are our uniforms, intended to protect and strengthen us “in the game.” Like the pros, these come at a certain price, but we need them and so sometimes forego other luxuries so we can afford them.  Of course, we do our best to personalize them – decals, insignias and logos are just part of our way of saying, “we’re down, but not out.” So, if my headscarf, covering my bald head, or my floral-festooned cane look a bit out-of-the-ordinary, I don’t mind – and I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

Life with chronic illness and pain can be very grim. That’s why we enjoy a good half-time show. We like to laugh and have fun, and we are so grateful you help us do this, especially in the midst of times when the outcome for us might be uncertain and the stakes are high.

Finally, we really, really like it when people cheer us on.  Down there on the field, facing off against the opponent, is tough. We have the bruises and scrapes to prove it. But, when we hear the roar of the crowd and feel their love and support, something just wells up within us and we push on even harder. Yes, although we might be down at times, with your encouragement, we’re never out!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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