Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

When you think, “Can’t I have just one good day?”

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIf you are really down, and challenges are heaping themselves upon challenges, then you might find yourself thinking, “Can’t I have just one good day?” Yup, I’ve been there myself -and it’s okay to ask that question, borne of frustration and perhaps a little amazement that “yet another” thing could go wrong in an already “wrong” life.

At those times, I’ve allowed myself a shoulder shrug, a look upward and a quizzical eye. I’ve allowed myself to raise my voice in questioning. And then, I’ve refocused to something that, I usually find, turns the situation around.

That refocusing isn’t “rocket science.” It just means that I look at life as it is, with all of its proverbial warts, and resolve to find something good, even one small thing, that I can expand on in my mind and heart, to take the rough edges off of the present day. I try not to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow’s going to be what it is. But, I can make it a little better if I take the present day and try to squeeze out every ounce of good there is to be had.

To find the “good,” I try not to turn to those momentary temptations that might seem so on the surface, but might bring problems of their own. Overeating chocolate, for example. Lessening my exercise program instead of maintaining it. I pray that God will lead me to the good, fill my heart with it, even if my outer day is troublesome. And, the most wonderful thing about doing this?

God never lets me down.

Even if the day in question is still overall filled with tough issues, if I can find the good, then the day is not lost. Rather, the day is saved, and I feel much stronger for it!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

TLC Tuesday: Feeling De-feet?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ArvindBalaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah, the bliss of putting my feet up!

Throughout the day, our feet take a beating. And if we have joint issues “higher up,” in the knees, for example, or the hips, those precious feet can truly begin to feel abused and neglected.

Throughout the Bible, we read of people walking – walking out of Eden, walking into the Promised Land, Jesus walking on his ministerial way. There was scarcely another way to travel for most people, and I have to believe that the rough, rocky ground (no paved roads, then) was brutal to everyone’s feet. But, there are also passages that tell of the ritual of foot-washing, and these highlight for us the importance of taking precious care of one’s feet.

Today, TLC Tuesday, take a moment to look down and not up. Reflect on the miles and miles that your feet have walked, and do something positive to take are of them and, in so doing, taking care of yourself!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

Food for Thought: Refresh Me, Lord

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicMany of you know Lisa J. Copen as the Founder of RestMinistries, an online resource for people living with chronic pain and illness of the invisible kind (www.restministries.org). Each year, Lisa sponsors an “Invisible Illness Awareness Week,” and I’ve been honored to participate in it several times, with workshops and interviews.

Lisa is also an author of several books on chronic illness and, this month, she will have a new and different book available to people who might feel that, with their health challenges, they are having trouble praying.

“Refresh Me, Lord,” is a collection of prayers written by Lisa and intended to help readers get closer to God through prayer. It touches on many of the themes I covered in my book, “Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness,” and also on some that I have no experience with, but Lisa does, such as motherhood, being a spouse, and enduring surgeries and mobility issues (especially poignant is her prayer about being uncomfortable with the visual image of using a walker).

Lisa’s heart comes through strongly in her prayers, and her faith shows the refinement of someone who has endured – and come through – more than one dark valley, still with faith and still with hope.

“Refresh Me, Lord,” is available through the RestMinistries website and online booksellers.

Joy and peace,

Maureen

A Praying Spirit: Do you forget, sometimes?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was looking forward to the day ahead. The sun was shining, my usual aches and pains were at a minimum. I started my morning routine, all happy and uplifted. And then, wham! I realized I’d forgotten to say my morning prayers!

Oops!

I was so caught up in the “moment” of the beginning of a good day, I’d forgotten to do what I promised myself I would always do, which was to begin the day in prayer.

I dropped everything and circled back to the beginning, and lifted up a huge “I’m sorry, Father,” for having forgotten.

And then, it struck me – wasn’t my appreciation and eagerness for the day a form of prayer? Oh, I don’t mean as an excuse for not praying. But, wasn’t my behavior that morning a kind of “I’m a child of the Father, and I’m so excited about this gift he has given  me that I forgot, for a moment, to say ‘thank you?'” moment? As children will often do, given an exciting, wonderful gift by a parent or grandparent?

In that light, I could imagine God smiling and shaking his head at my antics. Certainly, he wouldn’t punish me for my lapse. And, anyway, he knows exactly what I am going to pray at all times, anyway.

Above all, that morning was a good reminder that a rigid schedule can be helpful, but our intention is even more so. If we drag ourselves mechanically through the exact same prayer at the exact same time, we might lose the point of appreciating God’s gift of life and the blessings of a particularly wonderful, very good day.

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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