Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Rooting for Team You!

posted by mpratt
Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a sports-centric time of year. College and professional football, the baseball World Series, end-of-season tennis tournaments and, soon, college and pro basketball. We could go hoarse cheering on our favorites!

Of course, as with any socially-prominent trend, I have to wonder if it has common ground with our lives with chronic pain & illness. And, in this case, I wonder, if we spent the same amount of time and energy rooting for good health, strong spirits, and positive action as we do for the teams of our choice, how different life might be!

Instead of blues-ing it through painful days, we might be more inclined to give ourselves pep talks.

Rather than procrastinate about those positive things we might do to improve even a little of our quality of life, we might have more of a sense of urgency (just as we do when time is ticking away and the score is tight).

Encouragement for ourselves and others could be all the spark we and they need to make a healthful change and, thus, support better overall response to the pain and illness that burden.

Putting on colors and styles that reflect strong personal team spirit can show the world that, no matter how strong the struggle, we are not beaten down.

Repeating, “there’s always next time…” when a defeat is particularly difficult can minimize hopelessness and, thus, help us persevere – like the glass-half-full Cubs fan that I am!

Yes, I think that turning the cheering squad loose on our lives can be a tremendously powerful catalyst for good days ahead.

Go! Go! Go!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

What If God Says, “No?”

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicFor the past several weeks, Sundays have been the only days when I can truly rest. The rest of the days of these weeks have been jammed with doctor’s appointments, other responsibilities, and increasingly crushing fatigue. So, I’ve been observing the Sabbath in quiet, moved by the Spirit to pray, read, reflect, and praise more privately. I have felt a little guilty about this, wondering if I wasn’t just being lazy. It wasn’t as if I was having a spiritual crisis, so much as a need to recharge.

So, on two occasions, I decided, “it’s been awhile since I went to Mass. I’m going to go today.”

One of those days took me to a doctor’s appointment in a town next to mine. The local church there was having a noon Mass, so I thought, “Great. I’ll go to my doctor’s appointment and then drive on over to the church.”

Well, drive I did. But there was no parking to be found. None in the jammed church lot, none on the streets, and none in adjacent lots. Nothing. Zippo. Nada.

Apparently, God wanted me to continue on my private observances, in effect, saying, “No. Not yet.”

Or did He?

Last weekend, I decided to try a Saturday evening service at another nearby church. That way, I reasoned, I could spend Sunday quietly.

So, I got all ready and drove forward. Until I got a couple of blocks from the church where I was blocked by imposing sawhorses and a large sign that said: “Street closed.” A fair had taken over the area all around, even directly in front of the church. Not only was there no parking, but there was no passage.

One of these days, I am going to get back to church. For now, I think I get the message. For me, and I’m sure many others, too, especially after a highly stressful time, drinnking up quiet time with God is vital. For how long is not necessarily for us to decide. Sometimes, God says, “No. Not yet. Abide with me. And I will guide you.”

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

Our Time with God

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIf you knew that you were going to spend long days with a beloved friend, how would you want to pass the time? What sorts of things would you plan to do? Lots of outings, going to see the sights and eat lots of good food? Or, would you want to stay at home and just have a good talk punctuated by laughter, tears, a memory or two, and that awesome feeling of closeness that comes with a truly blessed relationship?

Now, what if that time were to be spent with God?

Well, actually, it is.

Whether we’re conscious of it, or not, God is with us every moment of the day and night. We take him with us as we move through our routine, go to work, and, yes, see the sights on our time off.

We’re also with God at home, when we’re relaxing or “just being” with others, family or friends.

Like a true friend, God is with us when we’re sick, standing over us, ready to bring comfort. He’s that support, waiting when we wake up from anesthesia. He’s holding us when we’re waiting for the results of tests.

The more conscious I am of this ultimate good friend who never leaves me, the stronger and more positive I feel. I find that I’m less inclined to be distracted, and more apt to be careful about the ways I spend my time and limited energy. And of course,  the more I turn to him throughout the day, the more encouraged I am that I am not alone or foresaken.

How’s that for a great and true friend?

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Soft, but Strong

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIt was a day like any other – except I was having a terrible flare and could barely move. I had all of my meds, food, water, a book I could barely read because holding it hurt. But, what I didn’t have was enough toilet paper and, with this particular flare, this was a really terrible problem.

Ordinarily, this would not be such a crisis. I’d drag myself out and get enough for the duration of the flare. Yes, I’m usually the last person who, when she needs help, doesn’t ask for it. But with this flare, well, going out was just not going to happen.

I could have called a local delivery service. But somehow, paying a delivery charge of, oh, probably more than three times the cost of the precious tissue seemed ludicrous, especially with all of the other medically necessary expenses the flare had ungraciously brought.

So it was that I called a friend.

If you’re healthy, you might at this poing think, “Duh. Why didn’t she do this in the first place?” But many of my fellow chronic illness sufferers will understand – Some of us doggedly, stubbornly cling to independence unless we’re nearly unconscious. And even then, we like to direct traffic!

I felt completely weak and silly asking a friend to buy and deliver a pack of toilet tissue. I mean, couldn’t I at least have needed something dire?  (Although, believe me, the situation was just about as dire as it could be.)  But the immediate, unconditional response of my friend (“Of course. Anything else you need?”) made me realize that asking for help when we really need it is not soft or weak, but rather a strong testament to God putting resources in our lives, relationships that work, and good people who want to do good things.

So, I had a “soft but strong” day in more ways than one.

And, of course, I always tell people I’ll do the same for them. They have only to ask!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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