The Sands of Time

P1000192Anyone out there feeling overwhelmed recently?

If my Facebook newsfeed, tweets, blog reader and emails tell me anything it is that a lot of folks have started out 2014 with a bang and not necessarily in a good way.  I don’t have to put on my Nancy Drew detective hat to make that conclusion.

Are we all on overload?  Is it just the world that we live in today that helps promote the frenzy?

And then the worry takes over.

Oh yes. That worry that wakes you up in the middle of the night and replays scenes in your head.  The tape that rewinds automatically with images of “what if this happens” and “how can I change the outcome”.

I doubt that there are very many readers who have not at one time or another had that sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach that gnaws and eats away —placing fear and worry in place instead.

I am the first one to raise my hand high to say “I don’t have it all figured out”.    I certainly don’t.   I have had my share of those moments and hate to admit at times have succumbed to the despair that accompanies those feelings of helplessness in situations that appear to be just too much to handle.

That is the human side of me.  The part that feels deeply and wants to fix things.  The part that wants to control the outcome of situations that are on the seemingly wrong track.  Take away the pain that a friend is enduring and replace it with comfort and peace.  To be human is, hopefully, to care enough to help change difficult situations.

I think one of the reasons that I am drawn to the beach so much is because to me it offers a feeling of calm. The waves, lapping on the sand, bring change to the landscape with each gentle swoosh of motion and remind me of serenity and peace. Each motion of the water brings change.  Somehow the change is good.   New shells appear for me to inspect.  New ripples in the sand create interesting patterns to photograph and muse over.

Low tide is my favorite as there is so much more to explore.  One of my favorite memories of living on the beach in Australia was the time Chris and I ventured out at a time of extremely low tide. We saw creatures we had not seen before.  We were amazed at the beauty of the things that we were able to observe in their own environment.

The beach reminds me that the worries of today are like the sand on the beach.  They, too, will be washed away and removed with time and the next wave.  They will become a distant memory.  There may be reminders of those worries along the way—like the shell I have saved because it was so perfectly beautiful or because of its character —but they can be put into perspective over time.  I take comfort in that.  I hope you do, too.

A few Bible verses that help me in times of worry and concern are the following ones.  Please share if you like.  You never know who may need to read this today.

  1. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV

  2. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge:  his faithfulness with be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4 NIV

  3. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3 NIV

  4. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  Hebrews 6:19 NIV

  5. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

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  1. I think you nailed it. We are on overload.. we never stop (technology was supposed to help us but I think that it has actually hurt us). And I agree with you about the beach. that is the only place where I can truly just sit and do nothing and not feel guilty about it.

  2. I love this post! I am a beach girl as well. I have been trying to LET GO as well…it’s a process but it’s working! ♥

  3. Great post, which I’ve already printed and taped to my office desk. Thank you, my friend.

    Place this in your devotionals book file. That file me be about full and ready for submission to a publisher.

  4. Goodness this has been a rough start to a year, but I’m trying to stay positive and not PANIC. Maybe I’ll disconnect and lie to myself every day that all is well. Just kidding.

  5. Thanks for writing this, Beth Ann. Yes, I often feel we’re a people on overload. Technology is with us constantly, everybody is shouting into a vast open space, and most feel tinier than ever before. How sad! I imagine — at least for some of us — the answer is simple: Unplug. Back away. Regain our inner peace. Find our “happy place.” Another thing we have in common — the beach! I, too, find calm as the waves rush ashore.

  6. I think you have a very helpful blog today. The Bible verses do help us remember we are not alone. We have someone who is with us at all times, good or bad.

  7. I know too well the feeling of being overwhelmed, anxious and unsettled. My year has started out very well and I hope to keep it that way, but one never knows what comes our way. I love your analogy of the beach. The little book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, “Gifts from the Sea” made a huge impact on me when I really needed it. It is one to reread from time to time. The Bible verses are perfect.

  8. Thanks for a great, thoughtful post, Beth Ann.

  9. Nice post, Beth Ann. One good thing about having gone through the past year of loss and yearning is that my sense of panic has dulled along with everything else. I might have burnt out my panic nuerons in December of 2012 and last January. Maybe they’ll recover with time. Perhaps it would be better if they didn’t.

    • Christine that comment made me smile because even though I realize how difficult a year it was for you–you still are able to maintain a bit of a sense of humor about things. I hope that 2014 is a little easier.

  10. “Cast your cares on (the Lord) for He cares for you”….1 Peter 3:5 Thanks for the great post!!!!!

  11. John 14:27
    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
    The world seeks its peace, often in all the wrong places. Tries to fill up those empty spaces, with all the wrong stuff. And ends up with no rest.
    Although I don’t recommend it, after being so sick these last couple of weeks: your body will also take you to task if you don’t slow down. And it’s not really the fun kind of rest either.
    We really do need to set our hearts and minds on better things.

  12. Beth Ann you are so right! I am feeling overwhelmed, especially since Sunday. I am behind on blogging and of course in my real life. It will all look better when the sun comes out today.. 😀 I am drawn to the beach too AND we will be heading there soon!

    • I think once the sun comes out we will ALL feel better! There is something about the days that dreary and gloomy that just make it hard to get going!

  13. Lovely post and yes I’ve felt overwhelmed ever since the year started. Last year was a “good year” everyone was health and there were no major drama. I did not want to let go of 2013. But time stops for no one and here we are in the middle of dreary January. Yuck. I long for hibernation. But instead I will muddle through one day at a time, sometimes one moment at time and I know that the more I do the better I will feel. . One of my three words is courage! After a couple more weeks I’ll be back into the swing of things–but for now I will let myself move slowly–awaken slowly—after all isn’t that what winter is all about. I love the beach but during the winter I long for the mountains—I like how they contain you and they feel so safe–rock solid one might say :-D. Onward…

    • Wonderful, Katybeth. My husband is with you on the mountains. If we could have a mountain home and a beach home we would both be happy. And here we are in Iowa…..

  14. Lovely, Beth Ann. 🙂

  15. I have to say I did start 2014 with a bang (& not a good one) as well. Getting my COPD diagnosis so close to Christmas, I have been dealing with it ever since. One of the thoughts going through my head at first was: I’m only 58 years old & I already know what is probably going to kill me. Since there is no cure for COPD, my time here is limited & it’s not going to be an easy road to travel. Have I done everything I wanted to do (no!)?
    Like you I feel calm near the beach. I wish I could spend more time there just now to help calm me & allow me to focus on how I will handle my new reality.

  16. I think many of us needed this. Thank you. Hug.

  17. One of the many reasons I love the beach. Great metaphor, Beth Ann. I think I’m a bit insulated from the frenzy you describe by living outside the US. For that, I’m grateful. Love this post. Thanks for the reflection.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  18. I like Phil. 4:6&7: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  19. Encouraging scriptures, Beth Ann. So many are going through so much right now, may they find Peace amidst the turmoil.

    • Thanks, Patti. Things are moving along with them—they are all home now, Gordon’s vision is getting better and George’s physical and mental state is improving but it is going to be a long haul and a lot of stress. I can not begin to imagine. Thanks for the kind words.

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