Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Often, a sense of panic might rise up in us because we feel we cannot control the crisis or problem that’s plaguing us. Sometimes, this is an illness that’s raging despite everything our doctors are using in their arsenal of meds and treatments. Sometimes, it’s a sudden jolt, like the loss of a job or natural disaster that strikes suddenly and leaves a horrible aftermath.

However a crisis occurs, it helps get back a sense of even quasi-balance if we try to find one thing that we can take charge of, one thing that we can do.

As unpredictable as lupus is, I try each day to do at least one thing to enhance my feeling of calm. This might be as simple as taking a few moments, even in the doctor’s examination room (while waiting to see the doc) to breathe and pray. In other crises that I’ve faced, I’ve tried to do similar things to give myself even a smidgeon of a piece of control. And I truly have felt the benefits of doing this, time and again.

My new book, Don’t Panic!: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough, contains lots of tips on ways we can take some control from the uncontrollable. I hope it helps – and I look forward to your thoughts, too!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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Image courtesy of MrWildLife at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of MrWildLife at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was intrigued by a listing in my 2016 Farmer’s Almanac that indicated chipmunks would emerge from hibernation on March 26. Yes, it gave a specific date! And although there aren’t any chipmunks around where I live (at least, not that I’ve ever seen), I have friends and family in places where they abound. So, I put a few people on “Chipmunk Watch.”

As March 26 approached, I was very eager to hear the first, “I saw one!” Oh, the anticipation!

But the 26th came and went without a one emerging from wherever it might have spent the winter. And, still, I haven’t heard of a single sighting. Perhaps you have?

This experience correllates with living with chronic illness and pain, too. We look at the calendar and think, “Okay, winter’s coming and my arthritis is going to be horrible.” or, “Spring is blooming, so hot weather is around the corner, and I know I’m going to feel miserable.”

If we know our health conditions well enought, there’s probably some degree of truth in these predictions. But, we also know that there will always be something out of our hands and times when we cannot predict. So, instead of tensing up, next time we feel like prognosticating, we might just ease back. Take whatever precautions we might to prevent any adverse effects of seasonal change and just enjoy the awesome unfolding of nature’s many cycles.

I’ve given up on Chipmunk Watch. They’ll be out and about sooner or later. And when they appear, I’ll be ready to enjoy hearing about their antics!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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Image Courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Easter’s celebration was glorious here in Southern California! I hope you also had a wonderful time, and are still fully in “Hallelujah!” mode wherever you live. But I also know how difficult that can be; after the initial joy wears off, and we feel the extra fatigue from the holiday, the uplifting sense of renewal we enjoyed can begin to slip away.

In years’ past, I’ve experienced this myself, and this year, I am resolved to not give in to the “other side” of Hallelujah! Here are some things I’m going to try to do, and that may help you keep Easter in your heart for a long time:

Revisit the Easter Gospels.  As our church year moves ahead, often our personal Bible readings do, too.  This year, dedicate at least one day per week to rereading the Easter Gospels. Remember what the joy is all about.

Color Brightly. The recent craze of adult coloring books reminds me of other ways we can color our world so that we remember the brilliant white, gold, and lively pinks, blues and greens of this season – and of Easter. Decide to add a dash of these colors to your daily outfits or surroundings. Let them cheer you all over again!

Share Gratitude. At Easter, we sing “Hallelujah!” But to keep our joy-filled spirits up, we also need to give thanks to Our Father in Heaven for the awesome gift of salvation. Share that gratitude each day brightly, actively.

Be Alert to Wonder. One of the amazing things about Easter for me is the sense of wonder it always brings me. Whether I’m hearing of Our Lord’s love for us, his suffering in order that we might live, or the Resurrection itself, the Season is full of things beyond our understanding, but also so beautifully blessing. Stay open, eyes and ears, to the wonder God brings.

Rejoice!

Maureen

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Image Courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the day the Lord has made – Let us rejoice and be glad!

Sometimes, it can be difficult to think of rejoicing when you’re in a lot of pain or a disease is flaring and symptoms are harsh. But when I think of all that Jesus went through for me, I can easily get through the health challenges on a day like this! And I can truly and honestly sing “Hallelujah!” for all He has done for me.

I pray that your Easter is graced with warmth of love and sunshine of spirit. May you carry this joy with you well beyond Easter and, in all times and places, may that joy bring you renewed energy to share all of the wonderful blessings Our Lord brings,

Happy Easter!

Maureen

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