Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

That spark of something

posted by mpratt

NOID No 3 from nadeau seedsLiving with chronic illness often entails suffering tremendous losses. These blows to a fragile spirit can quickly lead to a dull, deep down feeling of hopelessness. You might ask, “Will my life ever mean anything, again?” or, “What’s the point of all of this suffering?”

Although we might never know the individual reasons why we suffer,  as we continue on our journey with illness and pain, we will face many decisions that can add up to a better understanding of at least part of the journey, part of the purpose. Among those decisions is the very personal answer to the question, “What makes you feel that spark of something good, the thing that motivates you to continue in a positive way?”

A spark doesn’t have to be a full-on, ten-alarm fire. It can be the gentle nudging you feel when you wake up in the morning and think of the one thing that you will enjoy greeting. God, perhaps. Or, your dog. Your spouse. Your child. Your daily email from a friend. Even, the view from your window of the birds moving about through the day. The constancy of these and other gentle, daily things help protect our “spark,” and keep it glowing.

Enthusiasm for something you enjoy doing can be the spark that helps you get through the tough days and enhances the good days. Reading. Walking. Playing a musical instrument (even if you play it badly!). Reaching out to someone you know is hurting, maybe even hurting worse than you. No stress, no hurry, no one grading your performance. Just things that enable you to feel part of the active world around you.

Also, when we set out to realize a dream, we connect with that spark of “something.” This journey, with its ups and downs, can be difficult, but as it unfolds, the spark can grow, fueling you farther than perhaps you thought possible.

Where is your spark? That spark of something that helps light your way to feeling more positive? It’s within you – and through centered, attentive prayer, will reveal itself with a glow that warms and inspires.

Blessings for the day.

Maureen

Signs of God’s Love

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author Pic“Would you like some apple juice?”

The nurse’s assistant was new to my doctor’s office, and I had only just met her. But as she helped the phlebotomist draw more than 11 tubes of blood from my arm, she could see that I was becoming a bit woozy. I gratefully accepted her offer, and felt better both from the sweet juice and her extra care at a tough time. Later, after I’d left the doc’s office, I realized that the appointment and the nurse’s assistant had revealed yet another sign of God’s love for me – and I was grateful for that, too!

How often do we think we need to see a proverbial burning bush to really experience God’s power and love? How often do we go through our days quickly, perhaps noticing good things, but not connecting them with Our Lord’s presence in our lives?

As this new year gets underway, I hope to take more time to breathe in the ways God shows His love, especially the “little” ways that I’d otherwise overlook. And, as I connect them with His care for me, I also want to connect them more with a heart full of appreciation – for Him and His Creation.

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

Advent of a New Year

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The period between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is short, but we do spend a lot of time thinking and wondering about it. For many, there is relief at seeing the “old” year go, and for some, anxiety about the unknown often takes the form of questions: What will the new year hold? How will we meet the health challenges to come? Will we have enough strength, resources, and faith to meet all that is to come?

Only God and time will answer most of our questions about the new year. But there are some things we can be sure of:

o  No matter what is to come, God is with us each moment, each step

o  Our prayer life and Scripture study are important parts of our everyday life, and we do well to schedule them in just as we do work, family, exercise and sleep

o  Worry can erode emotional and spiritual health. Affirming our faith and belief in God’s love can deepen them.

o  Laughter, light, love, and living as true to our values as we can are all vital tools in our “life” kit. Sharpen them, take them out, and use them frequently, especially when the hard times come. What a difference they make!

May you and your loved ones have a blessed 2014, enjoying the strength you have built and discovering wonderful surprises all along the way,

Maureen

 

Please remember, you cannot fail Christmas!

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIt’s a couple of days after the holiday, a couple of days after we sang Noel and celebrated the birth of Our Lord. And, perhaps, as the leftovers are settled and the wrapping is dispatched, you might begin to feel critical of yourself. Perhaps you didn’t feel physically as well as you wanted to. Maybe you had a medical emergency, and ended up “celebrating” in the OR, uprooting your family and their holiday in the process. Or, maybe, in the emotion of the moment at dinner or on the way home from church, you snapped at someone or wept for “no apparent reason.”

Maybe right now, you’re thinking  that the holiday was ruined, and you had something to do with it…or you caused it to be so.

Now, before you let those ideas take up residence in your heart, before you sink too low from the thought of a Christmas that didn’t go quite as you’d hoped or planned, please know…

You cannot fail Christmas!

There is no teacher grading you on how well you cooked a turkey, nor is there a time-keeper maintaining an hourly account of how much time you were able to spend at the family gathering and how much time you had to spend tending to your chronic health problems. No, Our Lord looks into our hearts and sees our pain. He knows our struggles, and He understands our fears and frustrations. And through it all, no matter what, He loves us.

God didn’t send us Christmas as some kind of herculean test, designed to make us exhausted and disappointed for days afterward. And, he didn’t mean for us to lament our failing to travel, buy expensive presents, or participate fully in all the holiday festivities.

God sent us Christmas so we could celebrate the birth of His only Son, Jesus Christ. So we could rejoice at His love, and bask in His comfort and peace.

With love like this, with a gift like this, we have to know, deep down, that we can never fail Christmas – because God, and Christmas, never fails us!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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