Grace arrives for the moment, direction comes for the day, a path of peace unfolds in the present.
Last summer, my husband and I took a trip to Maine. We traversed the coast with cameras in hand, capturing beauty and contemplating quality of life. During those magical days, we determined to take more trips like this to refresh our souls and realign our minds.
While on our trip, my husband, and I had many delightful conversations with residents who lived along the coast of Maine. Some were natives to the state while others decided to settle there after passing through and falling in love with Maine’s exquisite beauty.
They talked about their tight-knit communities—neighbors pulling together during tough times; riding out rough winters by helping one another with frozen pipes or unruly snowdrifts. Neighbors who nestled together around crackling fires with hot cocoa in warmed hands. People who relished in quaint port cities, restful sunsets, and conversations with visitors.
Residents who didn’t seem in a rush; in fact, they’d wave for you to pull in front of them on the road. Who does that?
My husband and I indulged our passion for photography as we competed for the perfect shot! We had time to talk and settle our angst while gazing at sunsets and envisioning our next trip to Maine. Most importantly, this trip gave me a chance to practice living in the present, which is so difficult for me to do.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to live in the past or project into the future. Thoughts like these often bombard my brain:
- I was so convinced that business venture was from God but it failed.
- I wish I’d made better choices about…
- I wonder what I should do when I retire?
Then I recalled that I was living in the present when opportunities unexpectedly presented:
- A chance encounter resulted in much-needed encouragement.
- An idea for a new painting ignited my creativity.
- I found myself praying for someone, and then found out they were praying for grace.
So, even though I want full assurances for the future, it seems the Lord still provides manna for the day just as he did for the Children of Israel in Exodus 16. When they tried to hoard the manna for the next day, it rotted. I relate with the Israelites because I, too, struggle with fear that I won’t have enough:
- Enough money
- Enough artistic talent
- Enough purpose in life
- Enough time with my family
- Enough opportunities to sell artwork and books
Each lighthouse I photographed reminded me of this important truth: The Lord might not tell us what’s going to happen next, but He guides us to safe harbors.
My trip to Maine helped me to discover that my path of peace only exits in the present.
In the months that followed this trip to Maine, I’d contemplated new paintings I’d make with the photographs. Recently, I created the background for five and started on the eyes. I’m eager to see where these paintings take me because they have a way of evolving from what I initially had in mind.
I’ll continue to post their progress in coming weeks and months so join me I seek to find my path of peace with these paintings.