Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Meaningful, mirthful minutia

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIn the elevator of my local grocery store, a mother and her young son were already waiting for the doors to close. As I stepped in, the boy, not more than three or four years old, stepped back, toward the full shopping cart the mother was holding onto. I thought he might hit his head on the cart’s handlebars, but he fit neatly just below them. Both the mother and I smiled, and I said, “He fits perfectly now, but I bet he’ll soon be taller than the handlebars, won’t he?”

She laughed and smiled, “Oh, he’s growing up so fast.”

We rode down to the ground floor, and the mother and son and I got off. I lost track of them while I shopped, but when I returned to the elevator bank, she and he were waiting once again for the elevator, the cart still full of groceries. We exchanged smiles again as the doors opened and we got onto the elevator. We rode up one floor and the doors opened again. I moved my arm to hold the door so that the mother could move her cart out, but her son’s cheery voice stopped me.

“Let’s do it again! Again!”

The mother smiled, a little weary this time, and sighed. “All right. One more ride. But only one more.”

I laughed.  Despite the full shopping cart and frayed patience, the mother was going to allow her son, fascinated with riding in an elevator, one more ride.

How often do we take a simple thing like an elevator ride for granted?

Moreover, how can we find delight, joy, and pleasure in even the most minute things in our lives?

That little boy’s delight, his glee, and his mother’s kindness – More of that in all of our lives, please!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Clearing the air

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A recent rain brought crisp, clean air to Southern California. What a blessing! Before the deluge, it seemed as if there was a pall of dust over and around. Now, it’s a joy to breathe deeply and enjoy the outdoor air once more.

During this time of Lent, I’m reminded of what a blessing it is to clear the air with God, too. Throughout the rest of the year, we lift up problems, pain, anger, and other ‘baggage’ to Our Lord in prayer. Our relationship with the Lord can become mighty one-sided and stilted because of the way we communicate, emphasizing our problems and down-playing our praise.

But now, as we prepare for the ultimate celebration that is Easter, we take time to reflect upon our actions and thoughts of the year-gone-by. We pray for renewal. We pray for cleansing. We pray that the ‘air’ between us and God will be cleared once more, so that we may more fully enjoy our relationship with Our Creator and acquire more insight, wisdom, and courage to walk closely with Him in the days and months ahead.

How deeply we can breathe in God’s Spirit and love when we’ve cleared the air in prayer!

Blessings for the day – and Lent,

Maureen

It doesn’t matter when you bloom!

posted by mpratt

Christmas Cactus 3 6 2014Feeling like life is passing you by because you’re limited by illness and pain? Do you believe you’re too old to try something new, achieve a dream, or simply shine brightly as a beloved child of God because your health is bringing you down? I offer this little plant as inspiration: It’s a Christmas cactus in March, perched on a small bottom shelf out of any direct sunlight – and it’s full of buds!

Yes, my Christmas cactus is preparing to bloom – in Spring!

No matter if its timing is off, and apparently it doesn’t care if it’s not getting all the right sun and placement in order to bloom. In a couple of weeks, it will be full of beautiful, red blossoms anyway. And isn’t that encouraging for each of us?

No matter our age, what we suffer from, or how low we feel. No matter if we don’t have all the right conditions to feel like we can bloom. All of this cannot stand up to what God wants for us and how he wants us to shine anyway, bloom anyway – and show the world how wonderful He is all the time.

I wouldn’t think of moving my Christmas cactus or changing how I care for it. It’s doing just fine, even more than fine.

So, it doesn’t matter when you bloom, so long as you let God work and bring those blossoms out!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Happiness from the Outside, In

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author Pic“Happiness is a by-product. You cannot pursue it by itself.”  Samuel Levenson, American humorist (1911-80)

My page-a-day Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar often has pithy quotes that stir my thinking. The one above, on Thursday’s page, struck me as tremendously appropriate for those of us living with chronic illnesses. How often have you said, “I just want to be happy,” while feeling the weight of pain, meds, and restrictions imposed by health challenges?  How often have you winced at someone saying, “Just have a positive attitude – that’ll make you feel better,” knowing that the energy it takes to muster up that ‘positive attitude’ isn’t in your proverbial emotional reservoir?

The quote above offers a clue to a more realistic look at happiness in our lives. Happiness, to the author, is not something isolated or attainable “as is.” Rather, it’s something we achieve by doing something else, by going after something else. That ‘something,’ if positive and productive, yields a sense of self-worth, accomplishment, satisfaction, and, yes, happiness.

But what to achieve? What to pursue? How can we possibly do something so monumental that it stirs happiness up from the ‘swamp’ of sadness, frustration, pain and other negative feelings swirling in our souls?

I don’t think it has to be anything huge or newsworthy. Nor does it have to be long-term. Those positive actions and pursuits can be as simple as doing one, small thing a day toward better health or seeking to do one, anonymous act of kindness. We can remember to celebrate the good things that happen in our world, however truncated, and we can look upon our prayer time as an oasis of calm and peace with God that then brings a warm glow – yes, happiness – to our fragile spirits.

Happiness from the inside, out? That’s a tough proposition. But happiness from the outside, in – that’s infinitely doable!
Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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