It’s Okay To Rest

Teach us to use our days aright…
From Psalm 90:12

I was babysitting for our grandson and heard the mail carrier. I was out of breath when I opened the front door. When he handed me the mail, I wished the smiling man a good day. “Same to you! Now take a minute to relax, young lady. You’re out of breath!” he said. I laughed as my younger grandson joined me in greeting him. “Thanks for the advice!” I replied. “I’ll do that as soon as this little guy takes his nap.” As he headed down the walk, the mail carrier added, “Just pace yourself. That’s how I get through every day!” I waved my thanks, put the mail on the counter and returned to play with my grandson.

As the little guy and I built another tower of blocks, I considered the mail carrier’s suggestion. “Pace yourself!” I repeated. This advice was precisely what I needed to hear that day. When my little grandson succumbed to his fatigue, I nestled him into his crib. Afterward, I eased myself into the recliner. A crazy-busy week lay ahead and I was determined to pace myself through it all. With that in mind, I made a mental schedule of what I had to do each day. That schedule included daily walks. Then I closed my eyes to enjoy a daydream or two. Did I nap as well? When my grandson awoke, I headed to his room with a prayer on my lips: “Thank you for the mail carrier’s advice and for letting me know that, though we all need to use our time well, we also have the right to rest in between.”

Dear God, your timing is always perfect. Thank you for the messengers who remind us to heed your timepieces rather than our own.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Just Pace Yourself!

For a thousand years in your sight are as a day…
From Psalm 90:4

The day after July 4, the house was quiet. Our sons had taken their dad out for a belated Father’s Day excursion. I’d decided to use the time to write and to walk outdoors before the day’s heat set in. When I headed out, I noticed remnants of fireworks strewn about. Before walking, I swept up the contraband which had no doubt entertained someone nearby. As I worked, a delivery truck sped down the street. The driver’s urgency indicated that he was likely making up for his holiday off. I couldn’t help smiling because he reminded me of Mr. UPS, my favorite employee of that company.

Some years ago, Mr. UPS frequented our front door. Every time he set down a box in my foyer, he asked, “More books?” Mr. UPS knew that I write because he had the dubious privilege of delivering hundreds of books to me. In spite of their weight, he presented each box with a smile. I replied in the affirmative and then added that I was struggling with a year-long devotional. He smiled more broadly as he suggested, “Just pace yourself!” This advice was quite helpful back then just as it was on July 5.

After sweeping the driveway, I walked. I also gave a good deal of thought to Mr. UPS’s suggestion from long ago. “Just pace yourself!” I repeated. As I walked, I considered the beautiful flowers that adorn so many of my neighbors’ homes. “Those flowers didn’t plant themselves!” I mused. “They’re blooming today because someone made the time to plant them and to take care of them.” With that, I quickened my pace, finished that walk and headed home. As I sat at my keyboard, I reminded myself, “Your book isn’t writing itself either!” after completing a few more days’ reflections, I pulled up that neglected file and began again…

Dear God, thank you for the messengers who remind us to use the time we’re given well.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Room In The Inn

“For my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Isaiah 56:7

With just a few days left until Christmas, my husband confirmed the church decorating plan with all concerned. When he was assured all was well, we laughed over our annual futile attempts to provide seating for everyone who will come to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Though such discussions might include comments about the “Christmas Birds” and “Easter Birds” whose only appearances for worship occur on these two holy days, this wasn’t the case. Mike and I take seriously the quote from Isaiah which I cite above. So it is that we will come up with more ingenious ways to squeeze in as many chairs as possible. We will make all of God’s children welcome as best we can. If we do a good enough job, perhaps some of our semi-annual visitors will feel welcome to join us more often!

In the mean time, all concerned work extremely hard to prepare our beautifully adorned church, amazing music and engaging liturgy. Everyone from our youngest parish children to our devoted seniors is involved. Yes, we’re making our church welcoming to everyone. After all, it’s God’s house and it’s Christmas!

Loving God, you open your house to all who come to your door. Help us to echo your welcome in all that we say and do.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

It’s Time!

For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday…
From Psalm 90:4

After my neighbor stopped by to announce his second book’s publishing, I ran to my computer to order a copy. A few days later when the UPS driver dropped off my copy, thoughts surfaced of Mr. UPS, my favorite employee of that company. I didn’t ask his replacement about him as it’s been a while since I’ve seen him. Rather, I took a trip down Memory Lane where I revisited Mr. UPS’s valuable advice from a few years ago…

I was home when Mr. UPS arrived, so he obliged me by setting the box he carried onto the foyer floor. As he did so, he inquired, “More books?” Mr. UPS knew that I write because he had enjoyed the dubious privilege of delivering hundreds of books to our door during the previous several months. In spite of their weight, he presented each box with a smile. I replied in the affirmative and then added that I was struggling with a book of fifty pages which required at least another hundred and fifty pages for completion. He smiled more broadly and advised, “Pace yourself!”

At the time, I gave a good deal of thought to Mr. UPS’s suggestion. “Pace yourself!” I repeated. Determined to heed his words, I made a schedule for the rest of that week. Amazingly, I accomplished everything I’d hoped to do with time to spare. I spent this found time writing. After several weeks, I had completed almost half of the book.

Unfortunately, my discipline has diminished and my frustration has grown. It seems to me that Mr. UPS’s words echo in my memory with good reason. “Pace yourself!” he repeats. And so I will. I’ve got to finish that book!

Dear God, thank you for the messengers who remind us to use the time we are given wisely.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

God’s Timing

For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday…
From Psalm 90:4

I was out of breath when I opened our front door for the UPS Man. When he handed me the box, he asked me if I was expecting any more books. Mr. UPS knows that I write. He also has enjoyed the dubious privilege of delivering hundreds of books to my door, always with a smile by the way. When I replied that I was struggling to get going on a yearlong devotional, he smiled and said, “Pace yourself!”

After closing the door and opening my package, I thought about Mr. UPS’s suggestion. “Pace yourself!” I repeated. Though I wasn’t certain that Mr. UPS knew, I knew that this was precisely what I needed to hear at the time. I also knew Who inspired this seemingly off-the-cuff comment. Determined to heed these words of wisdom, I wrote up a “To Do” list for the rest of the week. Then, I selected the tasks I thought I could finish that afternoon. Amazingly, I did everything I’d hoped to do with an hour to spare. I spent these precious extra moments on my patio enjoying the autumn colors and the cool breeze. As I took note of a beautifully fluffy cloud overhead, I offered a smile to the One who I knew was watching. “Thank you for the advice,” I prayed, “and for letting me know that we all have the responsibility to use our time well and the right to rest in between.”

Dear God, your timing is always perfect. Thank you for the messengers who remind us to heed your timepieces rather than our own.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

All In God’s Time

For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday…
From Psalm 90:4

A recent delivery reminded me of Mr. UPS, my favorite employee of that company. I didn’t ask his replacement what had happened to him as I didn’t want to seem unappreciative of his efforts. Rather, I took a trip down Memory Lane where I revisited a very important conversation from a few years ago…

When Mr. UPS set the box on the foyer floor, he asked, “More books?” Mr. UPS knew that I write because he had enjoyed the dubious privilege of delivering hundreds of books to our door. In spite of their weight, he presented each box with a smile. I replied in the affirmative and then added that I was struggling with a year-long devotional. He smiled more broadly as he said, “Pace yourself!”

At the time, I gave a good deal of thought to Mr. UPS’s suggestion. “Pace yourself!” I repeated again and again. Determined to heed these words of wisdom, I made a schedule of sorts for the rest of the week. Amazingly, I accomplished everything I’d hoped to do with time to spare. I spent this found time seeking inspiration in Creation and writing. After several weeks, I had completed one-third of the book. Over time, I admit that my discipline waned. I added only a few reflections during sporadic sittings. To date, I have completed half of this book.

It seems that Mr. UPS continues to work on my behalf in spite of his absence through the words that echo in my memory. “Pace yourself!” he says. And so I will.

Dear God, thank you for the messengers who remind us to use the time we are given well.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved