Since on the seventh day God had finished
with the work he had been doing, God rested.

Genesis 2:2

I cringed as I considered all that I had to do. We’d returned from our vacation with two suitcases filled with dirty laundry. The refrigerator was empty and a hundred emails required attention. The relaxation I’d felt during our trip had vanished with the blink of an eye. After filling the washing machine with the first of several loads, I decided to see how our outdoor plants had fared while we were away.

As I rounded the corner of our porch, a slight flutter caught my eye. I stopped in my tracks to avoid disturbing a beautiful dove who rested on the edge of our birdbath. Though it was far too cold for her to be here, she rested peacefully. Such visitors usually fly off when I come near. Still, she remained content to stare in my direction. A ray of sunshine caused her feathers to take on a heavenly aura. As I wondered what she was up to, it occurred to me that she might wonder the same thing about me. When our gazes met, I realized that I hadn’t prayed much that day. The hectic trip home had distracted me from my usual sense of gratitude. Did this lovely dove intend to remind me to slow down and to do just that? I turned my eyes heavenward before she could reply.

Dear God, I will make a habit of setting aside my to-do list long enough and often enough to thank you!.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved


Rest… It’s okay!

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42

It has taken me a lifetime to appreciate our very human need to slow down and to relax a bit. I truly enjoy the natural beauty around me. Still, I sometimes use more energy listing the reasons that I cannot head outdoors than I would have spent by actually walking. In the end, I accomplish far less than I might have if I had been energized by that trek in the first place.

As I contemplate autumn’s arrival, I realize that opportunities to walk outdoors will soon be limited to those days when I can tolerate the temperature. Though I truly enjoy winter’s beauty, I’ll enjoy it firsthand for only a few minutes at a time. I looked away from my keyboard for a moment to respond to the tree outside of my window which seemed to be waving to me. As I watched, it occurred to me that I must listen to the one who once told Martha that she worried far too much. Then, I must watch carefully as Mary sits peacefully at Jesus’ feet, drawing in his every word and all of the affection that comes with them.

Today, I must ask Mary to move over a bit so I can take my place at the Lord’s feet as well. It is there that I will learn to stop worrying about the cold which may or may not come my way and enjoy the warmth of the moment at hand. I’m going to sign off now and go for a walk. I want to wave to that tree outside my window in person.

Generous God, as I set aside my own worries, help me to assist others in doing the same. Open each of our hearts to your infinite love and peace.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Make It A Good Friday

Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

Luke 21:28

Though I still savor the turkey, Thanksgiving Day is fading into a distant memory. I know. It was only yesterday. Still, shoppers headed out before the leftovers were put away last night. Others left their beds in the wee hours this morning to take advantage of sales. Many who are working today will go directly to the mall afterward with the hope that their wish list items are still available. Overnight, the Christmas Shopping Season made its stealth entrance quite effectively.

If you haven’t given much thought to shopping yet, don’t worry. Though today’s sales will make a dent in store inventories, those empty shelves will be filled again soon enough. The lagging economy beckons, and retailers everywhere will seek your contribution to the cause through 11:59 on Christmas Eve. In the mean time, I invite you to join me in letting go of the holiday frenzy.

I’ve decided to approach my shopping needs in small increments. My husband and I will decorate in small increments as well. We enjoy the Christmas Season best of all and we hope to attend to every minute of it. In the process, we will avoid the weariness which comes with trying to do too much in too little time. I invite you to join me in finding ways to remove just a bit of the hustle and bustle of the season from your life. In the end, you will find yourself enjoying Christmas more than ever before,

Caring God, though the Christmas Season is meant to celebrate Jesus’ birth, our desire to please those we love sometimes gets in the way of our good intentions. Give us patience with one another, endurance to do the things we must and the wisdom to let things go that really won’t matter in the end. And, please, be with us through it all.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Time Out!

“You always have the poor with you,
but you do not always have me.”

From John 12:1-11

I have too much to do this week! The grocery list continues to grow. The house needs cleaning and the laundry has piled up. I have an article to write for our church bulletin. Ugh! I have to reschedule that dentist’s appointment. I should have made it for next week.

That’s odd…

A gentle tap at the window has distracted me. Though it is far too cold for her to be here, a lovely white dove stares at me from the large flowerpot outside our patio door. Though such visitors usually fly off when I draw near, she remains, content to stare back at me. A ray of sun causes her feathers to take on a heavenly aura. As I wonder what she’s up to, it occurs to me that she may wonder the same thing about me. Our gazes meet, and I realize that I have not prayed much today. Does this lovely dove know that she has reminded me to slow down and to do just that?

Dear God, you extend your friendship to me and to all of us in the most unexpected and grace-filled ways. I will offer my appreciation by setting aside my to-do list and making the time to spend with you.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved