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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Pain and Illness: Who Is By Your Side?

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicLong days of illness can wear on us, and often make us feel as if we are navigating choppy waters in a leaky boat all by ourselves. How well I know the feeling when I’m especially ill of the hours dragging on, thinking that everyone else is out in the world, busy, being productive, while I’m confined and my most immediate goal is to manage to take all of my meds at the right time and in the right combination!

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But, for me, those times do not last for long. Oh, the flare or the illness might continue, sometimes for weeks or months. But the feeling of being on my own doesn’t last if I keep in mind those who are by my side all the way, in heart and soul, if not physically.

God is present at all times, and if I imagine Him standing beside me, I feel a surge of strength and comfort.

Friends are only a call or an email away, and just that knowledge eases any sense of loneliness.

Doctors, pharmacists, and others, directly or indirectly accompany me through the ups and downs of lupus and infections, and the confidence I have in them is powerfully supportive when the pain is especially bad or other symptoms hurt.

If you think of the support that you have, the people and the Spirit by your side, you can chase away much of the loneliness you may feel, especially at the hardest moments, when it seems like everyone “has a life” but you.

Truly, you are not alone! Invite those by your side to come in closer – and feel their encouragement and love.

Blessings!

Maureen

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A Praying Spirit: Do You Judge When You Pray?

posted by mpratt
Photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s easy to pray for those we love. Friends, family, neighbors, people who help us or encourage us. But, what about praying for those people who have hurt us? Or, who have committed crimes, acts of violence, or other attrocities? It can be  much more difficult to pray compassionately for those whom we feel have no compassion, and it can be nearly impossible to lift up those who have deeply injured us.

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But, we are called to pray for everyone – in the words given by Our Father – “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Moreover, we are called to be non-judgemental toward those tough intercessions.

Think about the ways in which you judge before you pray. Perhaps you sift through your prayer list and only consider those who are close to you, or whom you love a great deal. Or, perhaps you do pray for those who have injured you, but that prayer is tinged with dissatisfaction or dislike.

The more we are mindful to be compassionate toward all, the more of a difference we can make in those darker corners of the world. And the more we will model our Heavenly Father, walking with Christ throughout our daily lives.

Blessings,
Maureen

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Climbing Back, Slowly

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicA few days before Easter, I caught a really bad bug. I’ll spare the details, but suffice to say, it was one of those things that we with chronic illness (especially if we’re taking immunosuppressive drugs) dread. Not only does it make us feel absolutely miserable, but it throws everything else in our carefully-orchestrated lives off. I had to stop the immunosuppressive drugs while ill, and most everything else had to be put on hold, too.

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Now, I’m feeling better, slowly. And resolved to climb back into “regular” life slowly, too – and much more cautiously. This, I think, is one of the most difficult aspects of recovering from an illness, especially if you have other chronic conditions that affect daily life, too. We’re happy we’re feeling better, and others are happy, too. We can’t wait to get back to the activities and people that make us smile, that give us enjoyment. At this time of year, well, we simply cannot wait to get out and about!

But I know too well that the days right after a bug has been squashed are days to be held a little more closely than our happy hearts would like us to.  Energy will be lower, perhaps resistance to other bugs will be lower, too. Climbing back slowly will help build strength for healthier days to come.

So, I’ll resist the urge to speed up too soon. And along the way at this slower pace, I’ll be able to appreciate the life and world that God has given – beautiful, bright, and comforting!

Blessings and joy,

Maureen

 

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A Praying Spirit: Praying Praise

posted by mpratt
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!

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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

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