Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

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

Happiness in a Box?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve had more doctor appointments than usual, lately, because of the episode with my eye. So, I’ve tried to “lighten” things up by finding bits of humor. I recommend this for any heart that is heavy with the burdens of chronic illness. No doubt about it, laughter or even a simple smile at something humorous can truly lift the spirits and make it easier to cope with what chronic illness and pain throw at us.

So, on one particular day, I was passing by a restaurant called “Nirvana.” And in front of the restaurant was a sign that said, “Happy Hour 4:30-6:30 PM Daily.”  This struck me as very funny – and poignant, too.

There was a whole restaurant going by a name reflecting ultimate happiness or realization – and its “Happy Hour” was limited to 2 hours!

Don’t we do this, too?

We dedicate our lives to Christ, to praising and loving our Lord wholeheartedly. But sometimes, we limit our uplifting moments to a finite period of time: private prayer minutes, specific church services, windows of time when we are having a “good” day. Our Christmas Joy might only be consciously upon our lips and in our hearts from December 1 through the 25. Our Easter wonder might be similarly limited.

Happiness runs deeply in the souls of believers. And, yes, it is true that there are times when we are sorrow-filled, frustrated, and weary. But that happiness, and along with it the love the Lord has for us, cannot be confined to specific spaces and times. It’s waiting to bubble up and over any tears we shed or cries we utter – if we let it.

Happiness in a box? Not unless it’s wrapped up with a pretty ribbon and destined to be spilled open and spread around – like a good, humorous moment shared or a song sung for all.

Amazing what you can discover on the way to the doctor’s office!

Blessings for the day,
Maureen

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