Newborn Hope

We are God’s people,
the flock God tends…

From Psalm 100:3

I drove to my doctor’s appointment reluctantly. I’m reasonably healthy and I didn’t want to chance hearing that this isn’t any longer the case. I worried about my blood pressure which is usually quite good. Current events in the world-at-large and nearby have given me reason to fret and to wring my hands and I can’t seem to do anything to alleviate the messes around me. It was with this mindset that I arrived for that appointment.

When I entered the doctor’s office, I was shocked to see the waiting room filled with pregnant women. I’m well past that possibility and it hadn’t occurred to me that I might be in the company of so many mommies-in-waiting. Though I came in with a heavy heart, the women before me appeared to be worry-free as they conversed about their pregnancies and shared helpful tips with one another. I admit to smiling as I listened.

The joyful chatter which filled the room also filled me up. Rather than burying myself in the book I’d brought along, I prayed for these mothers-to-be, their mates and their babies. I requested uneventful deliveries which would result in happy and healthy newborns. I asked that the parents involved would welcome their children with love, calm, patience, wisdom and generosity. I ended my prayer with words of thanksgiving for blessings received. I wouldn’t have known what to request for these parents-to-be if I hadn’t been blessed with the same.

As the nurse escorted me to the examination room, it occurred to me that, beside the messes which have caused me so much worry as of late, there are also innumerable reasons for hope in this world and it was about time for me to focus on that hope.

Loving God, this world is filled with hope. Please open my eyes to every bit of it!

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Here’s To You!

Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness…

Psalm 100:1

Today is my sister’s birthday.

Rita was fifteen-going-on-sixteen when our dad passed away. As the eldest of the six of us, she understood too well what was happening and felt the pain of this loss deeply. During his year-long illness, Rita became our mother’s right-hand person. Though she still needed nurturing herself, my sister tended to the rest of us and shared her part-time wages when money was tight. As I consider my own teens which unfolded years later, I suspect my sister missed out on many typical teen activities because of our family circumstances.

Decades later,when our brother battled with his declining health, Rita spent time with him. When our mom fought her final illness, Rita assisted with her care. When our younger sister received a terminal diagnosis, Rita drove her to doctors’ appointments and treatment to keep her company. In the midst of all of this, Rita remained a supportive parent, sibling and friend to the rest of us.

The good news is that Rita also rises to the occasion when fun is involved. As the keeper of family traditions, she sees to the propagation of our annual family picnic. Over the past few years, she has also become the family historian. She completed our dad’s family history and then did the same for our mom’s side of the family.

So, sister of mine, I thank you for everything. I also wish you many more years to come, for your sake and for ours!

Dear God, thank you for my sister Rita and for all of the people who rise to the occasion in good times and bad.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved