Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Advent 2012: What Do You Really Want?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 19: What do you really want?

As the days move swiftly to Christmas, we might get caught up in the undeniably enticing world of gift-giving and gift-getting. Whether at a gift swap at church or between two family members or friends, giving and receiving has become integral to this time of year.

Someone has probably asked you already: What do you really want? A new car? Clothes? The latest electronic toy? Peace on earth? Or, something else?

Often, it isn’t something tangible that we desire from one another. It is something that money cannot buy. An apology. A hug. A visit. Extra time. Special care. Understanding. All of these things and others cannot be paid for with cash or wrapped up in a package. Why? Because they come from the heart.

How we express our love for one another is a gift always in the making and giving.

As we prepare to put a bow on the box or tear open the brightly-colored paper of something someone has present-ed us with,  what we really want is often not something we hold, but something we experience. And these things can be given by us, too, and in so doing will return to us, re-gifted, if you will, with light and love.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advent 2012: What’s Stirring Within?

posted by mpratt

 

Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 18:  What’s stirring within?

You’ve been working so hard for almost three weeks. Preparations for Christmas. Perhaps, travel. Visits with family and friends. Work. School. Health. And Advent.

Many of your activities have been external, and you’ve been looking ahead to each event, each occasion and, especially, to Christmas.

But, also, during these days of Advent, you’ve been looking inward. Appraising, praying, seeking wisdom, preparing your spirit and, perhaps renewing faith and courage, hope and energy that have been troublesome or perhaps weakened during the past year.

So, with a few days remaining of this very powerful time, what’s stirring within you? Is your love for prayer and reading Scripture blossoming? Is your skill of listening to God more focused and deep?

Are you beginning to get answers to questions or guidance for the road ahead?

Advent is very definitely not a one-way street. During this time, the more we sit in quiet and contemplation, and the more we seek God and His wisdom, the more stirring we will feel within our souls.

Isn’t that wonderful?

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advent 2012: Afraid of Getting Sick for the Holidays?

posted by mpratt

 

Image courtesy of nuchylee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advent Day 17:  Afraid of Getting Sick for the Holidays?

I’ve heard that the flu season has arrived early this year, and with is comes the “stop-you-in-your-tracks” possibility of being ill during this festive season. If you do not have a chronic health condition, the thought of becoming sick now is possibly not a primary worry. But for those of us with other illnesses, the threat of a severe or even mild bout of flu or a cold is, indeed, cause for caution. An infection, viral or bacterial, can throw fragile health off balance for months, and can pose serious complications, too, especially for people on chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive medications.

And, yet, we do not want to isolate ourselves too much because this is, after all, the time of year when we have the opportunity to see people we haven’t visited with in a long time, or attend parties, concerts, tree-lighting ceremonies, and religious services that are special and inspirational.

Balancing health with the holidays is a very individual thing. Given lupus and my other health considerations, I try to pick my special events carefully and avoid situations where I might be exposed to germs. I also try to get enough rest, eat well, and stay on my medication regimen. Frequent hand-washing and other precautions help, too, as does understanding that an extra illness may happen anytime, not just at this holiday season.

Overall, with prayer and a faith focus, I try not to be afraid of getting sick for the holidays. Advent and Christmas are seasons of personal, spiritual preparation and growth, and these can happen with or without getting sick during the holidays!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advent 2012: A Week Away, a World Away?

posted by mpratt

Advent Day 16: A week away, a world away?

If Christmas Eve is only one week away, why does it seem like a world away?

We’re in the thick of the Advent season, now. Perhaps it is increasingly difficult to take that little, extra time to pray and prepare. Perhaps our quiet time is being pushed farther and farther down the “to do” list. Perhaps the Advent wreath candles have already burnt down, and we don’t have more to replace them with.

Yes, now is a difficult part of the holiday season. And, we might already be fearing that we won’t get everything done by Christmas. Especially if you have a chronic illness, now might be a time when a cold, flu, or other infection starts to nibble away at precarious health. How much that would further derail carefully made plans!

But, you know what? It’s all all right.

Whether or not the cards are mailed before or after December 25, whether or not the extra side dish for the pot luck does or doesn’t get made, whether or not we get a cold or stay healthy – still, Christmas will come.

God’s love does not abandon us because we forget a gift, skip a party, or just don’t have the energy to get out of bed and get on with the day. He is constant. He is present. He is.

So, however far away Christmas Eve may seem, Advent and Christmas are already here. And we can rest in, revel in, that instead of fretting over how much more we have to do in so short a period of time.

How wonderful is that?!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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