Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

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

Christmas Dawns!

posted by mpratt

CrecheforblogIt doesn’t matter how much there is still left to do, nor how much will go undone.  It doesn’t matter that the Christmas cake is a little over-cooked, nor that the casserole doesn’t taste exactly like grandmother’s did. Ingredients omitted, a gift forgotten, snow, rain, ice, cold – whether or not these things are or are not isn’t the point.

The point is, the miracle is – Christmas dawns! God’s love is poured out for us, upon us, once again. Wherever we live, whoever we are, He has sent His Son to live among us and we rejoice all over again at this tremendous gift that is greater than all others.

I know that, today, there are many among us who are hurting. People afraid, in pain. Perhaps your are one of them. Perhaps you have suffered great losses this year, and are still experiencing the fresh, biting stings of sadness from them. Perhaps, too, you did not get to do as much as you wanted to during the holiday season. You missed people, parties, and health. I did, too.  And no doubt there will be more challenges in the days and year ahead. But, through it all, in spite of it all, I can raise a hearty “Gloria!” For the point is not the parties or all of the external things we might have done. The point is faith and how it glows and grows in the light of God’s love. The point is finding the grace in our lives and letting it encourage and inspire us, as it does today.

Yes, Christmas dawns today and always, in our hearts and in our faith. Christ is born!  God loves us, no matter who, where, or what we are. Yes, He loves us – now and forever!

Amen and, yes!, Alleluia!

A very blessed Christmas to you,

Maureen

Sit Back. Listen

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s crunch time, now. No matter how physically impaired you might be, if you’re looking forward to Christmas, you undoubtedly see a lot of “musts” in your path between now and December 24/25. Errand. Doc appointments. Visits. Travel, perhaps. Present wrapping. Budget figuring. It’s an endless list. But, know what? I’ve found one of the most important things I can do during these hectic days is sit back and listen.

It doesn’t have to be for hours on end, and it doesn’t have to be in utter isolation from everything at home or at work. But even a few moments spent gathered, quiet, and open-eared can help re-settle the spirit and rejuvenate the you that awaits those “tidings of great joy.” Even better, add to those moments a favorite Christmas carol, one that evokes deep comfort and maybe takes you back to a simpler, less hurried time.

So often, in the last days of Advent, we put off the thought of relaxation. “I’ll put my feet up when the holidays are over,” you might think. Or, “When everything’s done, then I’ll rest.”  But this procrastination also puts off personal enjoyment of the season and denies you a precious gift today: Christmas is all around now! God’s love is poured out for us now!

And we can sit back and listen now! And, the wonders we shall hear!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Winter Wonder-land

posted by mpratt
Image courtesty of anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesty of anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Didn’t it begin earlier? Winter, I mean. Snow has already blanketed much of the Northern Hemisphere, and cold temps have thrown many areas into a deep freeze. Yet, calendar-wise, winter has only begun on December 21. Makes me wonder if the dates really matter much, when we see what’s really happening in the world. After all,”winter” connotes much of what has been occurring already- winter weather, winter clothing out of storage, wintry “comfort food” on the table. And, along with this, we’re already experiencing the inconvenience of winter storms, the pang of colder wind, and the overall chilled feeling of shorter days and longer nights.

What is the point of keeping track of winter on a calendar?

Perhaps superficially, there is no real point at all. But looking more deeply, I think there is – and we can glean from this more profound reason a bit of warm wisdom for our souls, too.

Pain and illness are much like winter. They are uncomfortable (to say the least!) and they turn us away from light, warmth, and comfort. Their time-span is like a long, barren season, when we might become increasingly despondent, even depressed as they wear on, seemingly without end.  But then, moving alongside of us throughout our lives, is a kind of “calendar” of faith. As we move through the year, we have Easter, an uplifting holiday to remember God’s love for us and His amazing power. And we have Christmas, a time to focus on God’s love, too, and His gifts to us.  Were it not for these times, these ways in which God manifests His love for us, we might continue on our wintry way. But these events celebrated each year renew our spirits, refresh our souls, and give us the spring, summer and fall that we need to weather those really difficult “other” times – those winters.

Winter allows the earth to rest and the world to slow down a bit. The winters in our souls afford us the opportunity to hibernate, too, and work at renewing our spiritual lives so that we might emerge stronger, more joyful, and grow brighter in His Light for days and years to come!

Blessings for the day,
Maureen

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