Take It Easy…

Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

Luke 21:28

Though I still savor yesterday’s wonderful meal, Thanksgiving Day is fading into memory. My husband and I have headed north to engage in our annual Christmas Tree hunt. Before we set out, I perused the newspaper which bulged with sale ads. My thoughts quickly turned to Black Friday shoppers. Some headed out before the leftovers were put away last night. Others left their beds in the wee hours this morning to take advantage of sales. Many who are working today will go directly to the mall afterward with the hope that their wish list items are still available. Indeed, the Christmas Shopping Season is here.

As for me, I’ve given some thought to shopping. My husband and I have picked up a few things here and there. Though today’s sales will make a dent in store inventories, empty shelves will be filled again soon enough. Retailers everywhere will seek our business through 11:59 on Christmas Eve. In the mean time, I invite you to join me in easing into Christmas 2018 as peacefully as possible.

I’m approaching my shopping needs in small increments. My husband and I will decorate in small increments as well. We enjoy the Christmas Season best of all and we hope to attend to every minute of it. In the process, we also hope to avoid the weariness which comes with trying to do too much in too little time. Will you join me in finding ways to remove just a bit of the hustle and bustle of the season from your life? In the end, we’ll both find ourselves enjoying Christmas more than ever.

Caring God, be with us as we prepare Christmas for our loved ones, for those who need us most and for you.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

There’s Always Time

He entered a house and wanted no one to know
about it, but he could not escape notice.

From Mark 7:24

It’s Black Friday. Crowds in stores and malls everywhere swell exponentially with every passing minute. As I considered the mass of humanity of which I was a part this morning, I whispered a prayer of gratitude for those retailers who agreed not to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Of all of the holidays we celebrate in this country, Thanksgiving Day is the one we all enjoy without regard for our religious affiliations or lack thereof. I thanked God for the generosity of these employers whose workers enjoyed the holiday with their families yesterday.

After uttering a mental “amen” I returned to my list to determine where to go next. A voice near a cashier distracted. This person remarked that he would be wealthy if he had a dollar for every minute he spent waiting. As the man hurried out of the store, I chuckled to myself. I’d found my own wealth in the few seemingly wasted moments which allowed me to get my bearings. While the world rushed about me, I had also found the time to pray.

Perhaps this is the reason Jesus rose early and stole away for quiet time as often as he could. The scriptures also tell us that these moments were usually disrupted by those who desperately needed Jesus. The same is true of you and me. Today, I’m going to try to respond as Jesus would, with patience, genuine concern and love.

Dear God, our world grows busier every day. Still, I’m grateful that others occasionally need me. Help me to respond to them as you would. Then, remind me to pray a bit, too.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved