Has all the craziness of life sent you looking for peace?
It’s here.  Contentment and peace are waiting for you.

 

Looking for peace in the midst of all the craziness Advent Week 2

 

The sunsets have been stupendous lately not that I’ve actually seen them. What I have seen of that early setting sun is its blinding reflection bouncing off windows of the downtown condos with screaming shades of deep rich orange and the most brilliant pinks I have ever seen.   Swimming in orders to be filled, I only get a glimpse while standing at my worktable in our busy upstairs workshop.

Night after night I missed the sunset… until this day. This day we were caught up with our work and I left early.  Tim was home early too, so I went home to grab my camera and join him for a quick drive to the lake.

The wind was howling in the trees. I could even hear the sounds of Lake Michigan’s waves at my home just a little more than a mile as the crow flies.  As Tim steered the car into the beach parking lot we got our first glimpse of the waves.  I couldn’t stop exclaiming.  The water was tumultuous and the waves were huge white lines of froth.

Once we parked I got out of the car with my camera in hopes of capturing the high surf, but my camera didn’t work.  There was a notification that I had no memory card. Bummer. I knew exactly where it was.  Sitting in the slot of my laptop. Grrr.

We drove home to retrieve it.  The one good thing about that extra trip was that I got a second look at the lake upon reentering the park.  That raised angle made the view even more spectacular than it was from the beach.

 

When life feels like the tumultuous waves on Lake Michigan you go looking for peace

 

We parked the car and once again I worked to push the car door open against the powerful wind.

There was no way I could hold my camera steady, so I placed it on the car and tried to get some photos while trying to keep the sand out of my eyes.

I was a bit disappointed as the light wasn’t as good as it was on my first trip to the beach. The sun was beginning its descent and the clouds seemed to be thickening, so I decided that I wanted to see the waves at the pier and lighthouse.  The parking lot there was crowded.  And the guys with the professional level cameras with the gigantic lenses and sturdy tripods were lining up to take pictures of the sunset with the waves crashing against the lighthouse.

 

Photographing a the Lake Michigan's high waves before sunset - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

With no tripod with me, I needed to find a place to steady my camera.  It wasn’t the perfect vantage point as I had to deal with other are photographers in front of me, but I found a large rock and from that spot, I snapped several photos.  My new camera is fabulous, but there are so many nuances to getting the perfect settings.  I did my best.  Always learning as I go.

Did I mention that it was cold?  I took off my gloves to operate the camera. Leaning hard against the rock to steady myself from the winds that nearly knocked me over, I started clicking.

Between the drive from the beach to the channel, the clouds began to part, just enough for the sun to stream through.  It was a golden moment.

 

Looking for peace?

 

 

Although the serious photographers were waiting for more of the sun to set, I decided that I had gotten a few good shots and frozen fingers were not worth standing there another 15 minutes.

Back home, as soon as my coat was off, I inserted the memory card into my laptop and downloaded the lake images.  As they came to life on my screen, I realized something important.  Only minutes earlier I made a decision to stop and go home.  I decided that whatever I was able to capture was enough.

If you know me…that is so unlike me.  I’m always striving… going the extra mile… freezing my fingers and toes off to get one better shot.  But this day.  I stopped, coming to the conclusion that whatever my camera captured was good.  And more than I would have had if I hadn’t made that short trip or gotten home from the workshop early.

For that brief time, I lived in the moment… not in the future.

I stopped pushing for more.  Instead, I appreciated what I had in my hand, even though I really didn’t know for sure what I had.

It was a choice.  And it was a good choice.

And with that choice came peace.

It might be described as a wellness with my soul.

A sure contentment.

 

Looking for peace in the midst of life's giant waves Lake Michigan

 

There along the channel with high winds and churning waters… I was okay.

Content with whatever was on my camera.

As I think back on those moments I’m reminded that just a year ago my life felt as tumultuous as Lake Michigan’s waters crashed high against the pier and lighthouses.  And yet… there was an undercurrent of peace that I could never explain.  But God.

Just as people did more than 2000 years ago, our world is crying for peace.

In Jesus, God provided a peace that is better than anything we could ever imagine.

A child is born to us!
    A son is given to us!
    And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, “Wonderful[a]Counselor,”
    “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,”
    “Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

He gave us Jesus.

The Prince of Peace.

Just like when Jesus was born, it seems no one wants him, or even his peace.

People struggle in their relationships, governments collide, most everyone wants their own way their own imitation of peace.

It’s through giving up the striving, relinquishing self, and choosing to follow Jesus that real PEACE is found.

We don’t find it in the doing. There is nothing we can do to gain this peace aside from simply receiving the gift of Jesus.

Peace is not something we can create, it’s who Jesus is, and when we fill ourselves up with him, we find ourselves filled with peace.

It doesn’t matter what the situation is… when we choose Jesus to be our Lord, leader, and guide, we will have peace. The peace that passes understanding.

 

Sunset on a windy wave crashing Lake Michigan. Looking for Peace?

 

Maybe you know the story about Horatio Gates Spafford. In 1873, he sent his wife and daughters on a vacation to Europe, planning to follow and join them soon, but while crossing the ocean all his children were lost at sea in a collision between two ships.  Only his wife survived.  He boarded another ship to be with his grieving wife in France and as his ship crossed the waters where his children were lost, he penned these words that became a hymn…

1 When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Refrain (may be sung after final stanza only):
It is well with my soul;
it is well, it is well with my soul.

2 Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul. Refrain

3 My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
my sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more;
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! Refrain

4 O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
even so, it is well with my soul. Refrain

Psalter Hymnal, (Gray)
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
Author: Horatio Gates Spafford (1873)

 

Only Jesus can provide that kind of peace.

Once we choose to make HIM our Lord and follow him, we can say with certainty, “It is well with my soul.”

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent, the day we light the second candle, the candle of Peace.

My prayer is that you might know this ultimate PEACE no matter how tumultuous the waters of your life.

If you missed the HOPE of the First Sunday of Advent click here.

Pin It to remember for Later because it's so good - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Need PEACE? You can have the peace you've been crying out for.... HERE. Advent scripture with inspiration for discovering God's Love and Peace of mind

 

Looking for Peace It's JoyDay!

It’s JoyDay!

On this second Sunday of Advent, I hope you’ve been inspired to choose to have your best Christmas ever.  It’s time to get our joy meters soaring!

Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful.

This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space resets our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord. And ultimately fills our hearts with JOY!

I’ll start…

Thank you, God for…

  1. the PEACE I have… Jesus!
  2. that deep satisfying knowledge that “it is well with my soul.” 
  3. helping us through another crazy busy week at the workshop.
  4. the unexpected good news and having a Christmas tree with ornaments provided.  Pinch me!
  5. Your faithfulness in our lives.  How this Christmas looks so much different than last and your bountiful blessings in 2017. 
  6. a great evening with the neighbor kids at a local Christmas experience.
  7. being my healer. 

Now…it’s YOUR turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below.  You’ll be glad you did.

For more hopeful advent inspiration click here. 

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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Comments

  1. Peace. Thank you for giving the name. Our church does not follow this tradition.
    These photos are spectacular!!! Thank you Lord for her new camera.
    1. Time to rest
    2. Peace and quiet this day
    3. Several fun things this past week
    4. Much is being cleaned out. More to go but it’s a start!!
    5. My oldest sister who is kind and accepting no matter what
    6. Help my brain understand all this good reading Lord
    7. For hummmingbirds still around.

  2. The first photo and the one after the word contentment made me gasp. The Lake Michigan is so powerful!!! What wonderful photos. Thank you.

  3. Joy Day to you!
    Peace, we all need it and yet I find only some of us truly want it. Sounds funny, but I see everyday so many people are doing everything they can to keep it at a distance. They want things they can’t have. More money, bigger house, new cars, different job, different spouse or more power. I could go on but I won’t.
    No Jesus, no peace.
    Know Jesus, know peace.
    Our choice to make.
    I thank you Lord for,
    1. The peace you have given me.
    2. My want for more of it.
    3. Your strength, you have held me up so many times.
    4. The fact that some people that do not know you will meet you because of Christmas.
    5. My son and daughter-in law gave me a very unexpected and welcomed gift.
    6. Hubby is full of surprises, even with his disability.
    7. All the beauty I see around me. Sometimes I’m the only person that can see it.
    Thank you lovely friend for our meeting place. And as always the pictures are fabulous!
    Blessings to you!
    Minnie

  4. Lucy Beautiful says:

    1. All of the beautiful days I spend in McMasterville!

    2. My ability to speak up for myself.

    3 our beautifully decorated apartment!

    4. My blessed children and their precious families!!

    5. Sam and Sarah’s new baby to be born very soon! 9 Loving Grandchildren!’

    6. Dr. Racine who is caring for me.

    7. Guy , my Dear Husband who does almost everything for me. Love his heart!

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