W is for Write

Good and upright is God
who shows us the way.
God guides the humble to justice
and teaches the humble the way.

From Psalm 25:8-9

W is for Write. Though I’d like to think that I do most of my writing at my keyboard, the truth is that I write perhaps more prolifically with my attitudes, words and actions. Though I’d like to leave something significant to posterity in written form, the truths I share through the life I live will be far more long-lasting. A wise priest once shared that perhaps the point of all of our lives is to write a gospel by the way we live. Though I first heard this challenge years ago, I’m impelled to embrace it these days. Just as no bookstore owner can predict who will pick up and browse through the best sellers, travel books and bibles in stock, I can’t predict who will read my attitudes, my next word or the things I do. Whether I opt to or not, I’m writing my gospel with every breath I take. I can’t choose who will “read” what I produce at any given moment, but I can choose what I put out there to be read.

I find this all a bit frightening as I’ve uttered and written some things which I’ve hoped will be forgotten and I’ve done some things that I wish I could undo. Unfortunately, I can’t edit these things out of my life. Sadly, I find my only consolation in the knowledge that my fellow humans share a bit of regret with me at one time or another.

As we continue with this process of writing our lives’ gospels, let’s try to omit those regret-inducing errors. Let’s encourage one another when our results are positive and let’s edit one another mercifully when we haven’t done our best.

Loving God, inspire us! Help us to reveal your loving ways in everything we say and do and write.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Advertisements

W… Write with Every Breath

Good and upright is the Lord…
He teaches the humble his way.

From Psalm 25:8-9

W is for Write. I thought I did most of my writing at my keyboard until recently. I was reminded that I also “write” with my attitudes, spoken words and actions. Since the day I penned my first published reflection, I’d hoped to leave something significant to posterity in written form. In the years since, I’ve come to realize that the truths I share away from my keyboard will be far more long-lasting.

I think we’re all meant to leave something in the present moment and for posterity by the way we live. Though none of us can predict who will read our attitudes, our next spoken word or the things we do, someone somewhere is reading all of these things. Whether we opt to or not, we’re “writing” for others with every breath we take.

I admit that I’ve said some things which I hope will be forgotten and I’ve done some things that I wish I could undo. As much as I’d like to, I can’t edit these things out of my life. At the same time, I’ve been surprised by fellow souls who thank me for all that I did for them. These efforts were minimal in my mind, yet they made a world of difference to others.

You and I are given unique opportunities to “write” for others with every breath we take. For me, it’s time to take this precious opportunity to heart and to live accordingly.

Loving God, inspire us to reveal your wonder in everything we say and do.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Swaddle Them With Love

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me;
teach me your paths.

Psalm 25:4

While spending the day with our grandson, I noticed the Advent Calendar. Though he is still a little young to make sense of it, next year, he will likely join his cousins in counting the days until Christmas. Our granddaughters’ calendar features a bare stable and twenty-five numbered pockets. Each pocket contains a stuffed figure which will complete the Nativity scene by Christmas. Every year, the girls take turns placing a little stuffed animal or person in or near the stable. Last year, while admiring the partially complete scene, our youngest granddaughter slipped Baby Jesus from the pocket marked December 25. “Look at poor Baby Jesus,” Claire told me. “He didn’t have any baby clothes so his mommy put a towel on him.” I explained that though Mary and Joseph had a hard time finding a place for Jesus to be born, they did bring some very special clothes for him. “This is what babies wore back then. They’re called swaddling cloths.”

As Claire tried to make sense of Jesus’ unfamiliar garb, I marveled as Claire expressed her concern regarding Jesus apparent poverty. After offering a prayer that Claire will always feel concern for those in need, I promised myself to respond to my own concern by doing something for someone today.

Loving God, help me to see your people’s need with your eyes and to respond to them with your heart.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Picture Perfect Love

All the paths of the Lord are
kindness and constancy…

From Psalm 25:10

Whenever our granddaughters visit, they spend a good deal of time thumbing through the photo albums we keep on our coffee table. These albums feature each one from the time of her birth. Now, they include our grandson as well. Of course, the rest of us are also preserved for posterity in this smattering of birthday, Christmas and other special occasion photos. The kids enjoy looking at all of us. Still, they seem especially amazed by the way they have changed over the years. So are we! As that metamorphosis continues, so will our love for each one…

The other day, I decided to peruse my husband’s and my photo history. After enjoying our grandchild-filled albums, I pulled out our wedding album. As I poured over those decades-old pictures, tears threatened several times. On almost every page, I found a loved one who has passed on from this life. Each one of these special people left a significant mark on me. The love they showered upon my husband and me so long ago is tangible even today in most of what we do and say.

Though I know my loved ones present and passed on are not perfect, they have all added to the richness in my life. It seems to me that the most important gift we give to one another is our love. We give this gift best during time well spent together.

Thank you, God, for the people you have given me to love in this life and for those who have so generously loved me in return.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God’s Gentle Path

Teach me your paths, my God,
guide me in your truth.

Psalm 25:4

By now, you know that my favorite solo activity is walking outdoors. The weather matters little to me as I find these treks enjoyable regardless of the temperature. A breeze of any velocity enhances these excursions exponentially.

I do admit that my walks have been irregular these days. I’ve had trouble juggling my schedule and making time to write as often as I’d like to. A few days ago, I couldn’t deal with my restlessness and frustration any longer. I announced to my husband that I was going for a walk and that was that. Not two minutes out of the house, a gentle breeze enveloped me. Two blocks later, the breeze’s strength increased and nudged me along the way. This was quite a feat as I was already walking briskly. Halfway into this adventure, my head cleared and our good and gracious God took residence there for the duration. Suddenly, my writing schedule -or lack thereof- seemed less of a problem and more of a blessing. Somehow, I knew I would find the time to do what needs to be done.

It seems to me that we sometimes learn God’s path best when we walk in search of it.

Merciful God, thank you for having pity on me as I fretted. The moment I opened the door, you came.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God’s Path

Teach me your paths, my God,
guide me in your truth.

Psalm 25:4

By now, you know that my favorite “solo” activity is walking outdoors. The weather matters little to me as I find these treks enjoyable regardless of the temperature. As I have noted before, a breeze of any velocity enhances these excursions exponentially.

I do admit that my walks have been irregular these days. I have had trouble juggling my schedule and making time to write as often as I would like to. A few days ago, I couldn’t deal with my restlessness and frustration any longer. I announced to my husband that I was going for a walk and that was that. Not two minutes out of the house, a gentle breeze enveloped me. Two blocks later, the breeze’s strength increased and nudged me along the way. This was quite a feat as I was already walking briskly. Halfway into this adventure, my head cleared and our good and gracious God took residence there for the duration. Suddenly, my writing schedule -or lack thereof- seemed less of a problem and more of a blessing. Somehow, I knew I would find the time to do what needs to be done.

It seems to me that we sometimes learn God’s paths best when walk in search of them.

Merciful God, thank you for having pity on me when I lost sight of your presence. The moment I opened my heart, there you were!

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved