Don’t Fret…

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…
Hebrews 10:24

I’m certain my litany of complaints gave my friend a headache. I began with the observation that I think I’m getting old. I find myself full of impatience regarding the state of our world and of the many institutions which provide structure to our daily lives. I feel a great sense of urgency which demands that the powers that be do something to improve life on this planet. At the same time, I feel impelled to take action myself as well. But, where do I begin? While my friend shook his head, I wondered…

Has all of my fretting given the Lord God reason to laugh? God knows better than I that we humans have struggled with our use of free will since time began. God also knows better than I that in our brighter moments, when we allow the goodness within us to light our way, we’re capable of transforming the worst situations into amazing opportunities.

Perhaps God hasn’t been laughing at me after all. Rather, perhaps God has smiled in my direction and imparted a bit of Divine Wisdom in the process. It occurs to me that, though I may not be able to alleviate all of this world’s woes, I can certainly do something in my little corner of this world.

Dear God, as long as we care, we’re capable of great good. Help me and all of us to use our energy and resources to make that goodness a reality.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

It’s Time…

A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

Ecclesiastes 3:6

The calendar on my desk must stay.
The yellowed notes from graduate school must go.
Greeting cards from our sons, their wives and our granddaughters must stay.
The unneeded clothing pile I created last month must finally go.

You get the idea, but not all of it. I need to go through the same sort of “checklist” when it comes to the things I do. Some activities, like spending time with my family, are non-negotiable. I engage in time with them whenever and wherever they present themselves and as often as possible. Other activities, like cooking and doing the laundry, must stay as well ad infinitum. Still others, however, need to be sorted and categorized and ranked. I need to determine what I will continue to do and what I will pass on.

Do you remember that book I mentioned a few posts ago? It still sits partially in a computer file, partially in my head and mostly in my heart. In the end, it’s up to me to determine what my life’s work will be. Of one thing I’m certain: That book is part of my life’s work.

What’s your life’s work? A peek deep within will give you a hint, a very helpful hint…

Patient God, once again I turn to you for guidance. Light my way so I can see the signs and respond generously.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

N… Names, Our Loving Labels

At daybreak, he called his disciples and selected twelve of them to be his apostles: Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter…
Luke 6:13

N is for Name. My full given name is Mary Ellen. Though I’ve gone by Mary since I began high school, my family continues to use this designation for me. The single exception over the years was offered by Auntie Bertha. Bertha is actually my mother’s cousin, but her standing in the family compelled us to lovingly assign her the title of “auntie”. Bertha was an extremely loving and fun-loving woman. In an effort to express her love for me, Auntie Bertha consistently called me “Margaret Mary”. When I asked the reason for this misnomer, Auntie Bertha told me, “Margaret Mary is my favorite name and it’s perfect for you!” The implication regarding my standing in her heart was not lost on me.

I believe that God fully understands the value of our names as well. God renamed Abram when God sent him off. This Abraham would father the Jewish people. Jesus gave Simon a new name. Simon Peter became the rock upon whom Jesus built his church. Later, when Saul vengefully persecuted Jesus’ followers, Jesus stepped in and renamed him. Paul became one of Christianity’s greatest teachers.

God uses your name and mine with the same expectation God felt regarding our biblical counterparts. In every opportunity which comes our way, God calls our names with great love and with great hope in our responses.

Speak, Dearest God, for we listen as you call our names.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Good Opportunities

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…
Hebrews 10:24

I recently shared with a friend that I think I am getting old. I find myself full of impatience regarding the state of our world and of the many institutions which provide structure to our daily lives. I feel a great sense of urgency which demands that the powers that be do something to improve life on this planet. At the same time, I feel impelled to take action myself as well. But, where do I begin?

As I write, I wonder if all of my fretting has given the Lord God reason to laugh. God knows better than I that we humans have struggled with the results of our use of free will since time began. God also knows better than I that in our brighter moments, when we allow the goodness within us to light our way, we are capable of transforming the worst situations into amazing opportunities.

Perhaps God has not been laughing at me after all. Rather, God has smiled in my direction and imparted a bit of Divine Wisdom in the process. It occurs to me that, though I may not be able to alleviate all of this world’s woes, I can certainly do something in my little corner of this world.

Patient God, thank you for transforming my worry into hope. As long as we care, we are capable of great good. Help me and all of us to use our energy and resources to make that goodness a reality.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Time To Act

A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

Ecclesiastes 3:6

The calendar on my desk must stay.
The yellowed notes from graduate school must go.
Greeting cards from our sons, their wives and our granddaughters must stay.
The unneeded clothing pile I created last month must finally go.

You get the idea, but not all of it. I need to go through the same sort of “checklist” when it comes to the things I do. Some activities, like spending time with my family, are non-negotiable. I engage in time with them whenever and wherever they present themselves. Other activities, like cooking and doing the laundry, must stay as well ad infinitum. Still others, however, need to be sorted and categorized and ranked. I need to determine what I will continue to do and what I will pass on.

In the end, it is up to me to determine what my life’s work will be.

Patient God, once again I turn to you for guidance. Fill me up with your Spirit and light my way. Help me to see the signs and to respond generously.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved