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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

A Praying Spirit: Returning to a Prayer Answered

posted by mpratt
Photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you find that your prayer time has been overshadowed by concerns, wants, needs, and disappointments, you might need to go back.

Back? Where?

Back to when God answered your prayers, prayer, your prayer.

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Why?

Think back to Christmas. Many times, after all the presents are opened and days have passed, those same “gotta have” gifts lie unused, forgotten, or, shudder, broken. Then, the next Christmas time, we once again tell loved ones what we want, get most or at least some of those things, and the same things happens all over again. So often, we forget the past Christmas and the gifts we received (and the love that came with them) because we’re so intent on thinking of next Christmas.

Remembering God’s promises fulfilled, His love, and His constancy helps us to center ourselves in gratitude, which in turn makes us more faith-filled, trusting, and true to our Christian walk. It also makes us better understand and appreciate just how awesome God is and how regularly He answers our prayers.

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Return to that prayer answered. You’ll probably realize there isn’t just one, but many. Lift up a song of praise and thanks. And know that God will always give you what you need, when you most need it.

Then, from that brokenness of discarded and forgotten gifts, you’ll be able to move ahead, rejoicing and whole!

Peace,

Maureen

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Chronic Pain and Illness: How We Do It All

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I talk with people about what I do, their response is frequently, “How do you fit it all into a day?”

My response, generally, is, “I don’t.”

The concept of “a day” is very different for those of us with chronic pain and illness. Some 24-hour periods are mostly spent looking forward to the next 24-hour period, when we’ll feel better – well enough to do what we should be doing in the present period but simply cannot.

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Other 24-hour periods are spent picking up the pieces of days when we were too sick or pained to accomplish everything fully. Half-done laundry, for example. Or, that phone call with a friend that was interrupted by severe cramps from holding the phone.

Quite awhile ago, I realized that it was virtually impossible to think I could live as I did “before lupus,” in that my energy flagged oh, so quickly, if I attempted to sail through a “regular” day. Chores, doctor appointments, errands, social responsibilities – each require a level of attention and energy that are simply too draining if glommed together into one day.

So, my concept of “doing it all” has become quite different. Meaning…

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I prioritize daily, deciding how I feel, what my level of energy seems to be, and what is most pressing.

I am forgiving, especially of myself. If I cannot do everything I’d hoped to do, I don’t give myself a personal scolding and I do not allow myself to sink into, “How weak are you?”

If “big things” are planned, I scrape and claw and resolve myself to do just one, yes, one, in a day, and I allow for recuperation time. (Is this always possible? Well, “things happen,” such as unexpected deaths, illness, or as at the holiday season, jammed calendars. But, I try, oh, yes, I try.)

Throughout, I try to remember that life is fragile, health is vital, and God’s time is not our time.

Which works out perfectly for those of us with chronic pain and illness, as “typical” time is not ours, either! :)

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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TLC Tuesday: Snowed In But Not Snowed Under

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of prozac1/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of prozac1/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I write this, a light breeze is tickling the fronds of the palm trees outside my window. The sun is shining – a bright spot after some gentle rain last night. It’s warm enough for a walk later today. And, yet,

I know many of you are house-bound and looking out at piles of snow and biting wind. Drifts several feet high cover the sidewalks and roads. Chill. It’s very chill. I remember those days of snowstorms, having lived many years in places where they occur. And I know the stir-crazy feeling after the awe of God’s nature wears thin. Even a large home seems cramped, with too many people underfoot, after a day or so of forced confinement.

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Today, if you are feeling antsy, edgy or frustrated from wild weather, take heart! Many of us long for days when there’s nothing to do but nothing! Use your time playfully. Perhaps doodling, singing, dancing, or even writing. Let your creativity loose! And who knows, the seeds from that creative spark  just might melt away your frustration and replace it with something that will become even more wonderful as the days grow warmer.

Blessings of joy and peace,

Maureen

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Food for Thought: Song of the Sea

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oh, wow, what a wonderful movie is “Song of the Sea!” The story, animation,acting, and music all combine to make a beautiful and moving story lyrically laced with Irish folklore and touchingly told in a familiar familial way.

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I really enjoy animated movies, but I know many adults shy away from them, especially if they don’t have children to take “as an excuse.” But in recent years, the quality of animated movies has soared along with the storytelling, and as with “Song of the Sea,” adults as well as children will find it captivating and moving well beyond the ending credits.

There was a mother with her young son in the theater the day I saw the movie, which is full-length (about an hour twenty minutes). The boy, who I later learned was 3 years old, sat, transfixed, throughout the entire film! Nary a peep!

Afterward, the mother said that it was her son’s first movie, and he’d asked her if they could now watch it at home, too! What a great introduction to film – and what a testament to the movie itself that it could hold a toddler’s attention for more than an hour!

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If you like animated films, this one is a must. If you don’t, if you think that animated films are only for children, please reconsider. Give this one a try. let the music wash over you, and the adventure that unfolds be your adventure, too.

It never hurts to revisit the child within us. In fact, it can be that refreshing breath of air that rekindles a wonder, joy, and newness to all other aspects of our lives!

Blessings of joy and peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

A Praying Spirit: When You Don't Feel Like Praying
Perhaps you're tired. Bone-weary. Angry. Deeply torn. Spiritually dry. Perhaps it's taken a long time to admit it, but now you do. You don't feel like praying. Are you a bad person? Sinning for saying it? Hopelessly lost? Not at all. God still and always will love you, and He knows how d

posted 10:58:26pm Mar. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Just Because
Today's a great day to encourage yourself and others...just because. So often, we wait to express our appreciation, admiration, or pleasure to someone else. It might be a

posted 10:41:02pm Mar. 19, 2015 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: All About Us
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope that, if you celebrate today, you will have a fond and festive time. Any kind of holiday centered on a particular race or ethnicity makes me think of what makes us us. I also think about this when I hear of genetic studies and how scientists are trying to identify

posted 10:48:38pm Mar. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Food for Thought: Participatory Humor
The old saying goes, "Laughter is contagious," and so often, we discover that's true. Someone in a meeting starts to giggle. He or she happens to glance over at a coworker,

posted 10:23:39pm Mar. 16, 2015 | read full post »

A Praying Spirit: Pray It Aloud
Today, we think of it as speaking in our regular tone and volume, but did you know that an archaic meaning for the word "aloud" is "singing with joy?"  For this post, I'd li

posted 10:16:52pm Mar. 14, 2015 | read full post »

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