Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

TLC Tuesday: Laugh!

posted by mpratt

Oh, yes, I know about the scientific studies and the group research touting its benefits. I know all about the mechanics and the music of it.

But sometimes, it is difficult to find the gift and the boost of laughter.

Suggestion for today:  Perhaps you are having a bad day, or know someone who is going through a very, very rough time. Perhaps full-out laughter is not something you can do, or encourage your loved one to do. Even so, try to find one thing, however small, to make you smile. Outside your window, inside the comics pages of the newspaper, through a pet or through a person – find a reason to smile. Cherish that moment of even muffled delight. And know that God’s world is not all bad, His day need not be all down, and humor, even a hint of it, can bring light – His light – to your world.

We all need a little TLC. Why not Tuesday?Maureen Pratt Author Pic

Chronic illness: Forming our destinies

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicOne of my favorite subjects was and still is history. I think we can learn a lot about our todays and our futures by learning from the past. For example – think about how hard life was in the 18th and 19th centuries, how undeveloped medical science was and how short “average” lifespans were. Yet, think, too, about how much so many people accomplished!

Amazing! What was their secret? What can we learn from them and apply to us today?

One of the figures I admire greatly in American history is Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison. And, she has a quote that resonates to us today, especially those of us living with chronic illness. She said, “There is one secret, and that is the power we all have in forming our own destinies.” (www.firstladies.org)

Notice she didn’t say, “making our own destinies.” Rather, she used the word “forming,” which has a whole other sort of meaning, especially for people of faith.

Forming our destinies includes praying over our purpose, approaching life with positive thoughts and much goodness. Forming our destinies is the color we give to our days and nights with illness – bright and hopeful or dark and dismal.

We form our destinies by doing all we can to make our lives as health-full as we can.

We form our destinies, our lives, with faith and understanding that, as we form our attitudes, God makes our way.

Another important word in Dolley’s quote is “power.” So often, when we live with illness and pain, we feel powerless. And, in truth, many times there’s nothing we can do to change our health situation.

But we do have the power to form our attitudes, to cling to God and stay with Him in prayer. Yes, that power we have – and are able to use.

Thanks, Dolley!

 

Chronic Pain: For the Birds!

posted by mpratt
Image Courtesy of Mr GC/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Mr GC/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seagulls regularly land on my skylights and attempt to crack open shells. Invariably, they make a ruckus! But they also tend to lose their footing rather quicky and slide down, making a screeching noise reminiscent of fingers on chalkboard.

Does this deter them? Oh, no. They try to climb right back up again. And again. And again. Some days, it’s quite an earful!

Of course, we have to shake our heads and think of how silly the birds are, coming back time after time to do the same thing with the same failed consequences. But, then, I’m reminded of how we do the same thing with chronic pain.

There’s the friend who broke a foot and had to wear a boot, but didn’t want to forfeit fancy shoes…and the foot took much longer to heal.

There’s me who sometimes thinks, “Oh, one more load of laundry won’t do me in,” but it does.

And so on…

Yes, we are much like the birds! Again and again.

But, as we are reminded in Scripture, God the Father cares for each sparrow, regardless of their fickle flight. And, what’s more, God protects them.

And in the same way, He cares for us and protects us, no matter how many times we try – and fumble – to climb the mountain!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Chronic illness: Sweating it out

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During long days at high school band practice, baking under the blazing August sun and sweating buckets, I learned the importance of hydration – replacing the fluid our bodies lose under such circumstances.  Water, sports’ drinks, whatever our doctors tell us to do – hydration is vital.

But what about times when we “sweat” in other ways, especially when we’re worried about the turn our illness is taking, or the health news we’ve just received? What about the times when we’re waiting for lab results or a new medical consultation?  When we “sweat” worries and fears and dread out and into our lives, with what do we replace those terrors and tremors?

Jesus is not only the Bread of Life, but the Living Water that flows forth from absolute goodness and into our souls like a refreshing, rejuvenating stream. He is our “hydration” when we are completely oppressed with fear and overwhelmed with the heat of fierce pain. Jesus is our rock and our comfort.

We hydrate our bodies under the blazing sun. We revive our spirits with the amazing Son!

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