I was drawn to the lighthouses we saw on our travels. From the shores of the Great Lakes in Ontario to the coastline of the Maritime Provinces, every lighthouse was photo worthy.
There was something about these structures that captured my imagination. Most were operational but I also wanted to stop and admire ones that were purely for decoration.
The distinct tower shape, topped by a lantern area at the top is easily recognized as something to help ships navigate safely through treacherous waters.
The symbolism in this runs deep. To many, lighthouses are seen as showing us how to navigate through the rough waters of life. They speak of safety and security in the face of adversity and challenge.
Maybe that is why I was drawn to them. Even the well-weathered structures with peeling paint held an attraction.
They reminded me that, no matter my age, I have the ability to make a positive impact. A lighthouse doesn’t rush around, attempting to save people. It stands still and shines a beacon of light to illuminate the darkness. That is its great power.
Jesus is my personal lighthouse. He keeps me safe and secure no matter what storms challenge my life. I never have to walk in darkness when I can look to Him to guide me. His light fills me and equips me to reflect that to those around me. In that way, I can be a beacon that points people to Him.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV)
He sits perched on the floating branch fallen from one of the maple trees that line the river bank. I watch from my own perch, where I’ve come to be in a place where I often come, to slow a mind that has got caught up in its own whirl of thoughts like a river eddy.
But decisions and worries continue to swirl through my mind. Then I gaze at the Jay’s presence, see it’s still wings while it sits upon its perch. And my mind finally stills.
I watch and wait, light sounds of the river’s water and the rustling of tree branches above me, from winds unseen grace my senses.
My eyes follow the Jay as it takes it flight, flies from its perch that has become unsteady in the moving waters. The Jay flies up and up, finally resting in a Manitoba Maple tree’s branch that, I see, points west attached to a trunk that is sturdy and steady.
I rise from my own perch, steadying myself on the uneven turf with the help of reaching a hand against the sturdy tree that resides beside me.
I steady with the knowing that no matter when life seems as unstable as a branch on rushing river waters, I can find even ground again. I just need to take responsibility for my life and fly.
Lynn J Simpson is a writer who is rarely without camera in hand, capturing Breathing Spaces moments to share. She’s published two journals to help people create healthy mind-sets and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. A mom, a grandma, and explorer, Lynn loves to capture life’s journeys through writing and photography. You can find her at InspiringHopeInYou.com
My husband and I went to the mountains for a weekend escape. We arrived at night so weren’t able to take in the view until the next morning.
Our room promised a scenic vista and I was eager to check it out in the daylight. Although the mountains loomed close, they were shrouded in clouds so not as picturesque as I had hoped.
The next morning I saw an entirely different view. The mountains were the same but sun shining on the clearly defined peaks made them magnificent.
I took pictures at the same time each morning and they tell the story of the difference a day can make.
There are times in my life when the picture in front of me isn’t what I had hoped for. The days are gloomy and the future is anything but clear. It would be so easy to give in to despair.
Instead, I need to keep moving forward. My steps might not be as quick and lively as they once were but I can’t let that stop me.
I take comfort in a well-known Bible verse which says God will be with me as I walk through the dark valley. He doesn’t abandon me there. He is beside me every step of the way and will lead me to the bright sunshine once again. It may not be today or even tomorrow. All I need is the faith that a new day can make all the difference.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)
Many years ago my husband started what has now become a family tradition. He made us clubhouse sandwiches on Boxing Day.
This has become so popular that our children have carried it into their own families. No one likes to miss this gathering together for a lunch of clubhouse sandwiches and an afternoon of visiting. The younger ones may not have acquired a taste for the sandwiches yet, but enjoy playing with cousins and snacking on everything else.
As I write this, my house is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of turkey soup simmering on the stove. We will savor this over the next few days while the remainder goes in the freezer to be appreciated at another time.
Why am I telling you this? It’s because I have come to realize that the enjoyment doesn’t end after the main feast is finished. There’s still more to look forward to. I have named but two of the ways we find to help this delicious meal last.
It is the same in life. I have worked towards a goal and once achieved, wondered if anything else could match this accomplishment. It was so rewarding that it seemed unrealistic to expect more.
As I look back over this past year I am humbled to see what God has accomplished in and through me. After one feast of blessings he has nurtured and sustained me as he prepared me for the next. I am confident that there will be more for me to relish. For now, I wait patiently and expectantly as I put my hope in God. I’m excited to see what he has in store for me next!
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14 NLT)
Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. (Psalm 25:4-5 NLT)
Clouds had been gathering and now obscured the sun. The few remaining patches of blue sky were slowly disappearing. Then I saw it. Through one patch of clouds, the sun was beaming down in clearly defined shafts of light. It was these sunbeams, bursting through the clouds that captured my attention.
Without the clouds to block it, the sun’s light is often taken for granted. Looking at the sunbeams, forcing their way through the clouds I was reminded that, although I may not always see it, the sun is still there. It may be temporarily blocked by circumstances in my life. Above the clouds the sun is still shining. If I consciously search for it, I may be rewarded with shafts of light that are like rays of hope shining through the dark sky.
One thing I have learned is that I tend to find whatever it is I focus on. Life is gloomy when I only focus on the clouds that block the light and warmth of the sun. By shifting my focus to the glimmers of light, soon I don’t notice the clouds, only the positive effects of sun reaching out to embrace me. God’s son, Jesus, is always willing to pour out His light upon me. All that I have to do is consciously seek Him. When filled with His light and love I can, in turn, reflect this to others, so they may also feel the warmth of His love.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father. Matthew 5:16 NKJV
We had been driving through the mountains and were nearing a town called Hope. When I looked at the distance before we reached Hope, I wondered why my hope is often a distance away instead being where I am now. As we made our descent we saw a “chain off” area where vehicles can pull over and remove the chains that are needed to get them safely through the steep mountain roads in winter conditions.
The significance of this combination of chains off before I reach Hope was not lost on me. When I am in situations in which I do not feel safe, I have been known to wrap chains around my heart for protection. At these times, hope seems so far away. It doesn’t appear to get any closer as I journey along.
When I lay my concerns at the feet of Jesus, he releases the chains that have held me in bondage. I am free and realize that hope is now within me. I have found the true hope that will never leave me and that is the one found in Jesus.
We were saved with this hope in mind. If we hope for something we already see, it’s not really hope. Who hopes for what can be seen? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:24,25 God’s Word Translation
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 NIV