Lately, I have had some stress taking over my life (not moving-related), and I find it completely unacceptable. It’s impacting my ability to listen to God’s voice and to figure out His plan. If I could hole myself up in my house and just never emerge, I would find myself so much quieter and able to focus on not just myself, but my relationship with God.
However, as a priest wisely pointed out once, I can’t just hide away from the world. As a wife, a mother, and a friend, I can’t just become a hermit like some of the fantastic saints out there. So, I must seek out the beauty that calls to my soul.
There have been a couple times recently I have caught my breath in the middle of my stress:
The top image was taken on Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter). It was on a drive to church, and the beauty of the sun was stunning. What couldn’t be captured by the couple pictures I took on that day, were what my husband calls, “Jesus Rays.” Those are the rays that shine down, through the clouds, on a cloudy day. Growing up, we were always taught they were a place where our grandparents who were deceased looked down upon us. When I see “Jesus Rays,” I think of my grandparents, and I say a little prayer. I found it absolutely fitting that the “Jesus Rays” were evident on a day which is devoted to being, “all about God’s mercy.”
Then, a couple days later, I was stopped in traffic on a bridge. I glanced out of the corner of my eye to the other side of the car. The bridge, coupled with the rocks, river, and trees, made me catch my breath. I thought about how, even in the midst of traffic jams, stalled traffic, and loads of people, God still shows us His beauty.
In Hawaii, double rainbows were pretty common. They were a normal reminder of God’s love for us, and His promise to us to not pull another, “Noah and his ark,” scenario. I hadn’t seen a double rainbow since the week I left Hawaii, over a year and a half ago. Imagine my delight when one appeared in the skies a couple weeks ago. The vibrancy of the colors, in person, were stunning. The entire experience served to remind me that God wants me to be happy, even in the midst of stress.
Finally, in the last picture, I feel as though you can sense God’s presence. M, E, and I were all outside, enjoying some beautiful sun and warmth. E was on my lap, and M was running around the backyard. I snapped this picture, and I immediately saw the beauty of God’s world peeking out from behind the trees.
Stress can take its toll on life, but finding beauty in the day-to-day around you can take its (positive) toll on a soul.
What are some ways you have found beauty lately?