Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Easter – again and again!

I’m just digging out of a really bad bug – one of those things that flattens you out and makes you truly appreciate the days when you’re not battling…a really bad bug!

So, today, my heart is full of praise! Praise for Easter, of course, and praise for feeling better, little by little.

How do we pray praise?

Somehow, our “usual” words, tone, and posture doesn’t do it. No, when I think praying praise, I think of hands raised to the heavens, open and grateful. I think of words escaping my mouth that’s formed with a wide smile and, thus, helping the tone be lighter and laughter-filled.

Praying praise, to me, is letting my heart dance and my soul sing. And all – phrases and feelings – are presented to a God who is loving, forgiving, and great.

Pray praise today! Set your light a-fire!

Blessings,
Maureen

Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Easter! He Is Risen! Alleluia!

Today, we meet in church and at home with friends and family, our faith communities, and we celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord! This is truly my favorite holy-day, and not only because it is so filled with joy, from music to decorations to the hints of spring that fill the air and sky.

Today is my favorite because it is all right – no, more than all right, it is good and just to express joy all round, to let out the light and love we have in our hearts and lift a hearty “We believe” to the heavens and earth.

Think about it, sometimes on other days, we might be less courageous to share our joy with others. We might be afraid to look too happy (“Is she nuts?”) or worried we will offend (“What will they think if I greet them too warmly”). But today, we have no excuse to hold back. And as we feel how wonderful it is to let our joy out into the world, I hope that for the rest of this year, moreso than in year’s past, we will continue to pour forth all manner of positive emotions and feelings into our troubled world.

Yes, let’s start today and continue on – let’s let our joy out and watch how it moves heaven, earth, and hearts more squarely into light and love!

Maureen

Image courtesy of SiraAnamwong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of SiraAnamwong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I don’t think any of us enjoys the physical pain and other hurt that chronic illness brings. In fact, at times, we might absolutely detest it, wishing we were anyone other than the broken body that plagues us with constant grief.  Yet, to me, wishing it is a superfluous point: We already are other than broken, other than defeated.

As we see on Good Friday, and every day, we are whole. We are saved. Jesus already suffered and died for us, he already endured horrors so that we do not.

Jesus walked to Calvary, each painful step, so that, in the end, there would be no end, but only everlasting light and life for us – salvation that transcends all suffering on this earth.

Today, revisit that walk to Calvary, and with each painful step, understand that what awaits is not more pain, but great joy. Leave worry and doubt along the way, so that at the foot of the Cross, there is only relief and love for the Savior who gave His all for you, for me, and for generations to come.

Walk the walk with Jesus. Find joy.

Maureen

Image courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For those who are healthy, dining out can be pure pleasure. You get to select from a wide array of foods, you don’t have to labor in the kitchen to prepare your meal, and you don’t have to clean up afterwards! Yes, you do have to pay for the privilege of eating in a restaurant, but that really is a “small price” to pay for what is usually a positive experience.

For those of us with chronic illness, especially if we are immune-compromised due to our disease or the medications we take, eating out poses sometimes steep challenges. Often, we have to ask specifically about ingredients and method of preparation before ordering our meal, and even then, we might have to limit ourselves significantly. We look upon silverware, glasses, and other serving utensils and vessels with a critical eye so that we don’t accidentally get something that isn’t clean (and even then, we probably make liberal use of our supply of handwipes!). We might even have to ask for a change of table or server, if we detect that someone nearby (or the person who is supposed to serve us) is ill.

Yes, we do have challenges!

But, still, eating out, even for the chronically ill, can be a wonderful experience, if we focus on the real reason we do it – sharing a meal with friends.

I am reminded of this on Holy Thursday, especially, and the intimate meal in an upstairs room where Jesus broke bread, shared wine, and gave us Eucharist. For all of the trauma to come, and for all of the undercurrent of betrayal that was in the room, the presence of love, communion, and grace was and still is nourishment for more than just earthly bodies!

As we share meals this week and in the days and years to come, let’s remember that there is food other than what is on our plate. Food for the soul, in a meal shared, despite our physical restrictions, is a blessing well worth our love!

Peace,

Maureen