Caring For You…

Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that
I am fearfully, wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14

A friend recently shared that she isn’t going to oversee an annual project this year. Though this effort supported a very worthy cause, she simply cannot expend the energy required this time around. She’s getting over the care-taking and recent loss of a loved one and she needs a break. I congratulated my friend for being caring enough and objective enough to prioritize all that is expected of her these days. That event needs to rank among the least of her concerns just now.

It occurs to me that each of us needs to take stock of our activities and responsibilities from time to time. Sometimes, we wrestle with self-imposed burdens which are sometimes far less important than we consider them to be. So it is that I will follow my friend’s example in the days ahead. It’s obvious that I should place the needs of my loved ones first. The difficulty comes with less pressing tasks which perhaps do more for my self-concept than they actually do for anyone else or for me. In the end, my need to love, to serve, to write and to rest must all be considered honestly and with the best interests of all concerned in mind.

Loving God, you have gifted us with a work-ethic and a love-ethic. Help us to live up to both with generosity and good judgment. Help us also to love and to care for ourselves in the process.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God With Us

Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5

Though it was mid-October, the humidity peeked as I walked. Oddly, I failed to notice until a row of trees covered me with shade for several seconds. As I ambled along beneath them, I felt notably cooler. When I walked on into the sun again, I felt the day’s unexpected heat until I reached another row of trees. I plodded along in and out of the heat for several minutes.

Eventually, I found myself beneath a half-block row of trees. I embraced the coolness I found there with deep gratitude. Though that morning’s temperatures would have been considered a blessing in mid-July, I was grateful for the reprieve just the same. I couldn’t help voicing my thanks with a short prayer: “Thank you, Generous God. This feels so good!” God responded with a most consoling thought. “Just as those trees offer you shelter from the heat,” God seemed to say, “I offer you shelter whenever it is needed.”

For the rest of that walk, I thanked our God for the shelter that has come during countless difficult episodes in my life and the lives of those around me.

Comforting God, you are with us in our joys and in our sorrows. Please reveal your presence to us often just as tangibly as you did that day.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Prioritize Lovingly

Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I gave you thanks that
I am fearfully, wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14

A friend recently shared that she isn’t going to host her annual summer party this year. She’s getting over the care-taking and recent loss of a loved one and she needs a break. I congratulated my friend for being caring enough and objective enough to prioritize all that is expected of her these days. That party ranks among the least of her concerns just now.

It occurs to me that each of us needs to take stock of our responsibilities from time to time. Sometimes, we wrestle with self-imposed burdens which are probably far less important than we consider them to be. So it is that I will follow my friend’s example in the days ahead. It is obvious that I should place the needs of loved ones first. The difficulty comes with less pressing tasks which perhaps do more for my self-concept than they actually do for me or anyone else. In the end, my need to love, to serve, to write and to rest must be considered.

Loving God, you have gifted us with a work-ethic and a love-ethic. Help us to live up to both with generosity and good judgment. Help us also to love ourselves in the process.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved