Perfect Peace

Pen in hand my words glide across the pages of my journal. I’m always writing but my words don’t always make it to my blog.  

I’ve been enjoying the summer, meditating on what’s good and lovely and making space for quiet reflection. It has been worth every moment of pulling away from my computer and my devices that bring me to places of constant information.  Most of which isn’t worthy of my attention. Even the news around the world has the potential to enslave and keep me in a trap of darkness where it can seem there isn’t any hope.  

A friend of mine said that while chatting with another friend this week they spiraled down the dark side of world news.  She told me she finally exclaimed, “No! We can’t do that. We will take action where we can but we need to remain hopeful.  We will amplify our happy and remain strong so we can persevere.”

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself spiraling down that same rabbit hole.  Thankfully I pulled myself out, as I realized my mind wasn’t in a good place, and planted my feet back on solid ground again.   

The daily news and the chaos of social media often fuels our propensity to lash out at anyone who holds a different view or opinion.  We no longer live in community with others, trying to understand with the possibility of even learning from one another.  The discord has pushed us into a ‘me and them’ mentality and we divide ourselves into tribes. There’s more arguing and less communicating.  Wanting to win debates takes precedence over kindness and that can make us look with contempt on anyone who disagrees with us.  All this makes me want to escape to a remote island far, far away.  

But instead I take walks to the beach near my house.  To get there I walk a wooded path and my mind clears, I feel lighter, free and in a better mood.

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Years ago after moving to the shoreline of Michigan, I met a friend who told me that going to the beach is full of negative ions and will lift my mood anytime I needed it.  Since then I’ve done my own research on negative ions … in nature only … not in the air purifiers that claim to do what nature does. I learned that nature (especially near water or after a thunderstorm) is full of the benefits of negative ions. But that’s a whole different topic. You can do your own research but I’m sure you know the calming effects of nature. It’s worth the walk.  

Another activity that’s been saving me from all the noise lately is an online community of women from all over the U.S. and beyond.  We are studying the book titled, “Waymaker” by Ann Voskamp.  

Using the acronym S.A.C.R.E.D., takes us on a deep dive into what gives us stability and direction…a compass, so to speak, that reorients us in our relationship with God.  

S  Stillness to Know God

A  Attentiveness to Hear God

C  Cruciformity to Surrender to God

R  Revelation to See God

E  Examine to Return to God

D  Doxology to Thank God

Stillness.  It has been my quest this summer and I have found peace in my sacred place, whether a quiet corner in my home or out in nature, especially my hikes to the beach.   

The peace I’m experiencing isn’t the absence of conflict or hardship but the presence of something much greater.  It’s Shalom. This Hebrew word, from the Bible, has been translated into the word peace but it’s so much more than that. Shalom is the presence of goodness, thriving, right relationships with God, ourselves, and others.  Shalom is living in harmony with all of God’s creation … it’s what God intended. It’s perfect peace.

You will keep in perfect peace

those whose minds are steadfast,

because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Many years ago, He restored Shalom to me in Jesus.  A bringing back to Himself but I must continue to work that out, because I am fickle. I carry with me the human condition and this summer there is more working it out and I will do that for the rest of my life. The working out is never finished this side of Heaven.

This is where I am, what I’ve been up to. Although Shalom can be experienced anywhere, I’m enveloped in it when I let go of any worldly attempts to find it. Stillness has been my soft spot to land, away from the maddening crowd and into the hands of Shalom, because peace isn’t a place but a person.  

23 thoughts on “Perfect Peace

  1. We say it to each other all the time….God is in control. And that should pull us out of the rabbit hole. But as we wait for Christ’s return, it’s hard to watch the world spiraling into the deep pit of evil and the net that Satan is trying to throw over all of us. Preparing for the sudden Rapture of God’s people is what keeps us moving forward. “To those who will be saved You [God] are the fragrance of Life” (quote: Mary Cates, Hidden in Irish Hills). Thank you, Nancy for a wonderful post. So appropriate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we say that God is in control (and know it deep in our souls) but we still fall down the rabbit holes sometimes. I’m enjoying your last book, “The Wonted Voice if Forgiveness” and look forward to the sequel, Mary. Thank you for reading my post and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m happy you are enjoying the book. The Sequel will be available for immediate delivery next Tuesday, July 19th on Amazon. Your support and feedback is so valuable to me. Thank you, Nancy,


  2. Oh I really like this. I, too, have drawn away from as much negativity as I possibly can….though not always possible….I keep trying. Life is much more peaceful and enjoyable. I love just sitting
    on my patio….just listening and being. Shalom, my dear friend.


    1. Thank you Bonnie. Life really is more peaceful when we can get away from the negativity. Shalom, to you too dear friend!


  3. Beautiful! Nature, negative ions and sacred space to keep us out of the rabbit hole. Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective and peace with us, Nancy!


  4. Beautiful blog post! We so desperately need to find a calm amidst the storm. And we find that peace and calm with Jesus. He walks with us to the beach and wherever we may go in life. Wishing you blessings! Thank you for sharing this post with us!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nancy, you’ve pointed to a rabbit hole so many of us have spiraled into- news & social media-and pointed us to the only one who can set us free and bring us peace the world can never give- Jesus. Enjoy the stillness the beach and lake has to offer!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this mindset Nancy! It is so necessary to stay ‘under the shadow of the Almighty’ to preserve our sense of peace and ultimate well-being. BTW- I never knew about negative ions. I too am so refreshed when I go near water bodies – beaches, lakes or rivers. Wonderful posts…


  7. The Japanese tout a form of ecotheraphy called shinrin-yoku, or “forest-bathing”. Turns out there is scientific evidence to back this. Apparently, whatever substances the ground, trees, and flora emit help lower blood pressure, cortisol levels, and produce a sense of well-being.


    1. A few years ago, my sister shared the benefits of grounding with me. Grounding is walking barefoot outside on the beach, grass, dirt, etc. I did some research and found out that the benefits of grounding is decreased inflammation, less anxiety, improved cortisol levels (stress hormone), more energy, faster wound healing and enhanced sleep. It’s beneficial because of the negative ions that the earth emits. I bet it stems from the Japanese ecotheraphy that you shared. Thank you for your comment, Evelyn. It sparked my memory of what I’ve learned about grounding. I think I’ll go take a walk on the beach … barefoot!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Nancy, I can relate well to the un-wellness that happens in one’s heart when we spend too much time listening to the news.
    Your lovely pictures and prose were a lovely respite. Voskamp’s new book is wonderful. I loved learning more about her life too. She’s so honest.
    Blessings – Wendy Mac 🕊️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how we need respite from the daily news to keep our souls healthy. Anne Voskamp’s vulnerability in her latest book really drew me in. Thank you for your lovely comment. Blessings to you too, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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