From Sandy Shores to City Sidewalks ~ Finding Peace in the Moments

From Sandy Shores to City Sidewalks ~ Finding Peace in the Moments

Walking barefoot along the sandy shores of a beautiful ocean is one of my  favorite things in all the world to do.  This year I had an unusual gift of being able to do that for 14 plus days in a row.  Life-giving!

Finding heart shaped shells and rocks along the way, talking things out with Jesus, speaking words of truth from the Psalms or the Lord’s Prayer in sync with the deep-breathing movements of a yoga movement my son taught me, breathing in the salt air, feeling the breeze over my whole body, dipping my toes in the squishy sand as the cool water laps up over my feet, sharing conversations and life with people I dearly love … soul-happy-moments!

This was my life for the last few days  and I won’t lie to you, I could really stay in that place for the rest of my life and possibly never turn back but turn back I did as we loaded up the van and made our way back up the interstate to our in-land  home in Alabama.

Yesterday, I put my sneakers on and headed out the door to walk on a familiar, yet an oh-so noticeably different terrain …city sidewalks dressed in a drab gray or with a stretch of the imagination —sand-colored.  Oil-stained, hot asphalt roads.  Hot.  Humid.  No water to step your feet into to cool off.  Pounding the pavement instead of walking alongside the pounding waves of the ocean.

As my senses tried to adjust to the stark differences of my surroundings under my feet, I thought about a phrase the Holy Spirit spoke to me near the end of our vacation.

Even though I could see the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean in brilliant colors of pink on blue,  my mind began racing down the road to all the things I needed to do to pack up and prepare for the journey home.  So much thinking!  So much to do!  And in typical fashion, my mind is prone to wander down roads that lead to anxious thoughts … the “what if’s” and the irrational fear I have of being responsible for the safety concerns of pretty much the entire universe.  Yes!  That would be me.

However, as the shot fired in the air and the flag went down at the starting line of the mental speedway and my mind revved the engine to anxious thinking, the Holy Spirit shared a simple thought …

“Right here.  Right now.”

What did “right here-right now” look like?

Since I had barely opened my morning eyes, right here looked like lying on a comfortable couch …feeling the coolness of the sheet covering me …a soft pillow under my head …view of the ocean to my right.  I was breathing.  I was alive.  I was comfortable and cozy in my little space.  That was my reality in the moment.  Peace.  Comfort.

As if in the gentle, low-tones of morning whispers, the conversation we were having continued  as He encouraged me to focus on my current state …my reality in the moment.  Stay in that.  Be right here.  Right now.  In this moment.  That’s all we need to think about. 

Racing down the racetrack of the rest of the day would most surely end in a tragic accident of epic proportion if I let my mind wander far enough down that road.  Possibilities not yet seen.  Fears of things not yet experienced and most likely never even possible.  Scenarios created by irrational fears and responsibilities  I was never meant to pick up and carry, as my dear friend reminded me.  Not my job.  God’s alone.

Instead of carrying responsibilities and thoughts of the future along with all the “what if’s”, I found myself carrying this phrase throughout the day and on into the following days …“Right here.  Right now.” 

Tomorrow has enough troubles of its own, right!  There’s no need to go there until we actually are there.  And when we get there, there will be enough grace and mercy for that moment.  Real-time peace.  There’s always enough.  You can’t gather peace ahead of time anyway.  There’s just enough for each moment.  Manna for today.  Daily bread.

You can’t borrow from the future but you can take comfort in remembering yesterday’s peace that was beyond any natural understanding.  You can remember how God got you through it all even in your darkest hours.  You may have scars but you made it!  Peace was there yesterday …it’s here today …it’ll will be here tomorrow because Jesus is right here–right now.  He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow He was there, He is here, and He will be there.

Today already presented itself with  a situation that I knew would have moments of uncertainty …insecurity …possible pain and a sense of loss.  I chose to sit in the state of“right here. right now” and enjoy the beautiful people around me and the love we shared for each other.

I don’t know about tomorrow and I honestly don’t know much about the rest of this day but I do know that Jesus is already there.  He’s  watching and waiting for me and you and He’ll  fill us in when we get there with whatever we need to know.

Trust.  Rest.  Right now.  Right here.  That’s all we have for now.


Words from the Bible from:   Matthew 6:34 (NIV), The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 (NIV), Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)Hebrews 13:8 (NLT), Matthew 28:29-20 (NLT) 

Beach photos taken at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, 2018

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. philh2os

    I like ‘Right here. Right now.’

    On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 at 12:46, a life-giving moment wrote:

    > Joy Waters Martin posted: ” Walking barefoot along the sandy shores of a > beautiful ocean is one of my favorite things in all the world to do. This > year I had an unusual gift of being able to do that for 14 plus days in a > row. Life-giving! Finding heart shaped shells and ro” >

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Can’t wait to see you soon though 😉. I’ll try to stay in the moments until then.

  2. Amy Dansereau

    I love that your sidewalk path in the photo is etched with a cross!

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      I love that you noticed that, Amy! God shows His glory everywhere. I just had to start noticing. Love you my dear friend.

  3. carrye1

    Such a great picture, Mom. I love the contrast between pounding pavement and pounding waves, and knowing God is with us in each. This line: “You can’t gather peace ahead of time anyway.” A great reminder for me. Worry about the future is just that…waiting for tomorrow’s peace today and unwittingly stealing today’s peace at the same time. Such a loss…but you point us to the freedom of God with us now. Thank you!! Love you.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Now help me stick to this truth, Carrye. It’s a daily struggle. Love you so much!

  4. Roger Martin Jr

    Tomorrow: There’s no need to go there until we actually are there. I like that wording.

Go for it! Leave a comment. :-)