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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Food for Thought: What You Hear in Silence

posted by mpratt

We can learn much, when we cultivate silence. It might seem counter-intuitive; our learning usually takes the form of words or pictures or sounds, tangible things that have size, depth, tone, and space.

But beyond all of those things that we can feel is something more profound – it is what you hear in silence. And you can only hear it if you nurture the silence from which it springs.

Very different from prayer, which is a communication with God, and very different from many forms of meditation, which might focus on an idea or image, smell or sound, resting in silence is hard, but helpful. It is telling, but tacit.

It might take a bit to get used to shooing away all the other clutter in your mind’s ears and eyes to get to that silence. But it is worth it.

What you hear in the silence will bring you closer to God.

Blessings,

Maureen

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A Praying Spirit: Thank You, God!

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dexchao/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What if all of your prayers today were of thanksgiving and appreciation? What if, instead of a laundry list of petitions or a few moments spent in distracted longing for relief, wealth, power, or just simple human understanding, you focused instead on all of the gifts you have been given and all of the bounty placed in the world by God?

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We don’t live in a very thank-filled world. Oh, yes, we have plenty of outlets to express our thanks to people for gifts or thoughtfulness. Those cards can prompt a smile or, even, a tear, when given from the heart. But often, that’s where our gratitude rests. That’s where our appreciation ends – and we move on to the next thank-giving moment.

Today, however, I challenge us all to put aside everything else except gratitude in God. Gratitude for His power and might. Gratitude for our lives and world. Gratitude for the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

Gratitude for our ability to pray, worship, and live in faith.

I have a feeling that if we sweep away our stilted gratitude with abundant thanks and appreciation, we will feel different. Uplifted. Cleansed. And clear-eyed enough to see even more things about which we can lift up a loud, hearty, “Thank you, God!”

Let’s go!

Maureen

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Chronic Illness and Pain: Letting Your Guard Down

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicI’ve had to increase the dosage of the immunosuppressive drug I’m taking for my lupus and anti-retinal antibodies. This makes me even more susceptible to infections – at a time when the flu season is just kicking into high gear!

About now, too, I’m getting very weary of fending off potential infection. Tired of telling people, “If you have a cold or feel you’re getting one, please let me know so that I don’t come over/get close,” or waiting for the next elevator, one without the rhumy child in his or her mother’s arms, or pulling out the hand wipes continuously during an outing.

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Yes, it is tempting to think, “Oh, just this once…”

Yet, the consequences of “Just this once…” gone wrong could be rather catastrophic.

I have great faith that God will take care of me, no matter what. But I also know that I have to do my part. As tempting as it is to let my guard down, I truly want to do what I can to avoid complications, especially at a time when they could be more seriously complicated than at others.

So, every now and then, I have to steel myself and remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. I weigh the potential consequences, and then, re-fortified, forge ahead with guard up.

If you’re struggling with the same thing, please know I keep you in my prayers. Temptations come in all shapes and sizes, and the urge to let our guard down can be enormous! Hang tough, my friend!  We’re in this, and we’ll get through this together and strong!

Blessings,

Maureen

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TLC Tuesday: Award Yourself!

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here in Southern California, the awards season is winding down. For the past few months, a crescendo of award ceremonies, large and small, has built up to last  Sunday night’s festivities, and I think that, at least for now, all will be calmer for not having “And the winner is…” around every corner!

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But, wait! There’s one more person who needs to be recognized!

You!  Yes, you!

If you work hard, live with chronic pain or illness, try your best to help others, strive to live a good life, and take and meet your responsibilities seriously – you deserve an award!

True, no one’s going to pop onto your front porch with fanfare and a statuette.  But, all too often, we don’t appreciate the stellar achievements made through daily living.

And, if we don’t appreciate them, we’ll soon feel weighed down and doubtful of our own, good, God-given worth!

So, today, appreciate the goodness inside of you and the remarkable things you do each day – for yourself and others in the world around you.

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If you’re a parent, reflect on your hard and oh-so-important work and let gratitude overtake fatigue.

If you live with a chronic health condition, stop, rest, and appreciate the nurturing things you do to take care of your precious life, no matter how challenging your health is.

If you simply strive to do well at your job and live peaceably with others – today is your day, too.

The world can probably do without another big-budget movie or over-the-top gala.

But your world is dependent on you and your goodness and hard work.

Yes, today is your day!

Peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

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posted 5:20:22pm Feb. 06, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Prayer that Travels
I am about to leave for a long and no doubt fatiguing test. I didn't expect to have to fit this into my week, but, well, as you know, with chronic illness "thing happen." I'll take all the necessary paperwork and cards, a cap for my head when I ...

posted 5:13:21pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

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We had a mighty wind storm over the weekend. The palm trees outside my window were bent all the way to 10 o'clock, and at ...

posted 5:12:03pm Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Is the Grass Greener on Another Side?
During the Christmas holiday, I happened to meet a fellow traveler who was returning from a brief trip. He explained that he had a young family and hd been thinking for quite some time about moving out of state, to another place where he felt he ...

posted 10:07:53pm Jan. 22, 2016 | read full post »

The Importance of an Illness Mentor
When we work, a mentor can be a valuable ally as well as someone who steers us when we might be heading in the wrong direction. A spiritual mentor (or spiritual director) can be a wealth of wisdom and guidance, especially when life gets murky. ...

posted 9:55:37pm Jan. 20, 2016 | read full post »

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