Better Than The Movies!

I believe I shall see the good things of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

My to-do list had become an annoying burden. I wondered aloud how I’d gotten myself into all of the work it represented. Before answering, I decided I needed to rest The weather precluded a walk and I couldn’t concentrate enough to read so I grabbed the TV remote. When nothing piqued my interest, I settled for an old movie which I already knew would end happily. Because I didn’t recall many plot details, I decided to watch it again. In the end, I’d be relaxed and ready to tackle that list…

When the movie ended, I wondered why life in the real world doesn’t always unfold as pleasantly. Television’s “happily-ever-afters” allow heroes to save those in trouble in the nick of time. Lonely widowers meet loving widows, organ donors are unexpectedly found, wayward children reunite with their families and absentee fathers become stellar dads. I asked aloud, “Why can’t real world troubles be remedied as easily?”

While looking upward for a response, I considered all that God has already done. God provides for our needs with the gift of Creation, particularly our human family. Though television’s happily-ever-afters seem to come about a bit too easily, they do have a place in reality, even if that place is to inspire us to assume our own roles as heroes as best we can. After all, we’ll find all of the inspiration we need in God’s love for us. If we truly get into character, we’ll do as God does. We’ll make happily-ever-afters a reality for those we’ve been given to love as only we can.

Dear God, inspire us to make happily-ever-afters a way of life for everyone.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Serve Up Some Joy

Show me, O Lord, your way…
From Psalm 27:11

From the time I realized what a nun was, I wanted to enter the convent as two of my dad’s sisters had. They and my mom’s aunt who was also a nun had given me good reason to admire their work.

As it happened, though I spent a lot of time with nuns over the years, I never did become one of them. Oddly, it was during a summer away with the sisters that they encouraged me to accept a date with a young man who volunteered at the parish where we were helping out. Though this puzzled me at the time, their counsel proved most helpful. I happily invited these sisters to his and my wedding the following year!

You know, I was drawn to the nuns because of the good they accomplished. Nothing appealed to me more than the service they rendered to others. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that God’s call to service has less to do with ones marital or employment status than with the status of ones heart. Those wonderful women had inspired me with their generosity and their persistence. They never seemed to tire of solving the problems at hand and doing good. Indeed, they inspired both my husband and me to find amazing and unexpected ways to do the same as best we can wherever we are.

It seems to me that God offers the same opportunity to each of us every moment of every day.

Loving God, help us to serve one another generously.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Prioritize and Write! Right?

Hear, O Lord,the sound of my call;
hear, O Lord, and answer me.

Psalm 27:7

July proved to be a crazy month which ended with our family vacation. This adventure included our sons’ daughters-in-law and our four grandchildren. We had a wonderful time and, needless to say, my husband and I returned home exhausted, happily exhausted. Between loads of laundry, I peeked at our August calendar to confirm that this promises to be a far less frenetic month. After confirming that most dates are free of commitments, I noticed a word I’d written in large block letters at the top of this new calendar page: BOOK! With that, the free-time I’d anticipated for the month ahead seemed to have morphed into a writing frenzy.

I’ve alluded to my frustration over not completing my book multiple times. When I printed BOOK! next to AUGUST on my calendar, I made a mental note to make this the month I return to that manuscript. This time, however, I’ve also made a mental NOT to engage in a writing frenzy. In the past, I’ve spent every available minute at my keyboard. I kept phone calls brief and leisure reading became nonexistent. I exercised less and gave up solving an occasional Sudoku and daily crossword puzzles. Television became a non-entity as well. Though spending time with family and friends brings my greatest joy, I actually felt “bothered” by invitations to socialize.

My skewed priorities added nothing to the quality of my manuscript and the quality of my life. On this August 1, I’m happy to share that I will adhere to my new writing schedule which allows time for the other priorities in my life, especially the people I love.

Patient God, remind me often to make love my main priority.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Happily Ever After…

I believe I shall see the good things of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

A few weeks ago, I set aside my to-do list and allowed myself the luxury of an hour of television. I began by looking for a history or travel channel offering. When nothing piqued my interest, I settled for an old movie which I already knew would end happily. I didn’t recall the plot details, so I decided the time invested was worth it. In the end, I’d be relaxed and ready to tackle that list.

When the movie ended, I wondered why life in the “real world” doesn’t always unfold as pleasantly. Television’s “happily-ever-afters” allow heroes to save someone or themselves in the nick of time. Lonely widowers meet loving widows, organ donors are unexpectedly found, wayward children embrace family values and absentee fathers become stellar dads. So it is that I ask myself, “Why can’t the woes that plague the real world be so easily remedied?”

As I look upward for a response, I consider all that God has already done. God provides for our needs in the gift of Creation, especially through the masterpiece which is humanity. Though television’s happily-ever-afters come about a bit too easily, they do have a place in reality, even if that place is to inspire us to assume our own roles as heroes as best we can. We’ll find all of the inspiration we need in God’s love for us. If we truly get into character, we’ll do as God does by making happily-ever-afters a reality for all of those we’ve been given to love.

Dear God, inspire us to make happily-ever-afters a way of life for everyone.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Prioritize With Care

Hear, O Lord,the sound of my call;
hear, O Lord, and answer me.

Psalm 27:7

When my husband was freed of his post-surgical boot, he was free to drive once again. He also reclaimed the many tasks he manages in and around our home. As a result, I found myself with more free time and decided to return to a serious writing schedule. For several weeks, I spent every available minute at my keyboard. I kept phone calls brief. Leisure reading became nonexistent. I spent less time exercising and cut my walking time. I gave up solving occasional Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Television became a non-entity as well. Spending time with family and friends brings me great joy. After some days of intense writing, I realized that I actually felt “bothered” by invitations to socialize with anyone.

After reflecting upon my skewed priorities, I prayed aloud, “Dear God, what have I been thinking?” I took off that evening and retreated to our screened porch with my husband. When he sensed that I was relaxed enough to listen, he commented on my predicament. “You enjoy writing, but you don’t seem to be having much fun now. Why don’t you take your time and make writing fun again? I don’t want to tell you what to do, but…” I didn’t let the poor man finish because I knew he was absolutely right.

I’m happy to share that I’ve adjusted my writing schedule to allow plenty of time for the other priorities in my life, especially the people I love.

Loving God, thank you for hearing the desperation in my voice and for sending such a speedy response through my husband.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved