Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lessons From The Beach - Friday

Well... my morning walks on the beach this week got waylaid for a few days with an intestinal bug but I was able to go again on the last day of our trip.

I have always enjoyed watching the Sandpipers.  They are fun little birds with oval bodies, short legs and long beaks.   They run just along the edge of the water in and out with the waves.   They remind my of my oldest Jordan when we first started going to the Outer Banks.   He was 2 and he would run right up to the edge of the water and then as soon as a wave came in, he would run back again.   He would do that for hours!   But he never went IN the water!

Anyway, I was watching the Sandpipers, enjoying their little game and then got to really thinking about what they were doing.   They were getting food.  In fact, I watched one get a fairly large beetle, I think, and gobble it down.   The waves were bringing in their food.   They would stand right on the waters edge and as soon as it would start to go back in, they were right behind grabbing any good vittles before it got too far down into the sand.   

Little sand crabs do the same thing, only at night.   If you ever go the beach, go at night with a flashlight.   The sand crabs are all over the place.   During the day, they are burrowed deep into the sand.   My husband caught some one time and we looked up what they eat.   They get their food from the sand and what the waves wash up onto the beach each day.

Both these creations get their provisions from the daily washing in and out of the waves.   God provides all they need.   They just have to be there when it comes to grab it up.   And they trust that everyday those waves will keep coming.

Just as we can be sure that God will always provide!   We just need to trust it, and be there waiting on Him when He does.   Even in the midst of our storms, the waves are bringing in things that will provide for our needs.    He will never leave us or forsake and He is ALL we ever need!

This week has been a time of refreshing for my soul.   And a time of seeing tempest and turmoil in a different light.   I pray that some of what I've shared with you will be a blessing and encouragement to press on and stay close to Christ.   No matter what you face today or will face tomorrow or have faced in your past, Jesus knows; Jesus cares; Jesus understands; Jesus longs for you to cling to Him with every fiber of energy you have, great or small, and TRUST!   Trust He is and always will have your best at heart.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lessons from the Beach - Tuesday

Hi!  Another walk on the beach this morning and another lesson God showed me....

Have you ever really looked at broken pieces of glass?   Jagged, sharp, possibly painful, worthless... all things that come to mind.   Certainly not something of beauty!   

As I walked along this morning, there were a ton of shells pieces and stones that had washed up on shore and I began searching for sea glass.    Last year, my son found a piece while walking along the beach and he and my Mother made it into a beautiful necklace for me for Christmas.

So what happened to make something so worthless and ugly and jagged into something of beauty and treasure?    Agitation!   Time!   Being constantly churned in the waves and the sand of the ocean began to smooth the rough edges.   The grating of the sand brings a softness to the surface of the glass and gives it a lighter hue.   It takes a while but eventually the ocean washes the piece back on the shore and it gets picked up by people and treasured for themselves or sold for much value.

So it is with us.....   before Christ, we are jagged, sharp, sometimes ugly in our actions or behavior, often causing pain to others or ourselves, even considered worthless to some.   But when Christ comes to us and we allow complete control to have him work with us, we become something beautiful, treasured and of great worth!   

While the glass is in the ocean, it has no control what happens to it.   It is tossed too and fro, with no ability to stop what is happening to it.    So must we be with Christ.... surrendering control to Him, allowing Him to work out all the areas that are rough and need softening.   And when the working out is finished, we are found to be precious.    Even rare... it's quite hard to find sea glass.     I found none this morning.   But I will keep looking, this week, as I continue to be polished and softened by God's loving waves!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lessons from the Beach - Sunday

Hi!   It has been quite a while since I added anything to my blog but the time seems right to start posting again!   I am on The Outer Banks this week with my family.... our annual trip, and I am using my time wisely... spending some time with family and time alone with God.    I was walking the beach this morning, praising and praying with our Awesome Creator and He gave me a good lesson from the beach.   I'm anticipating more lessons this week so I thought it would be fun to share them.  I pray it encourages, convicts, edifies... whatever it is that it's supposed to do for YOU!  :)

It is quite stormy here today.   Windy, rained all day yesterday and into the night, dark and dreary this morning and cold.   NOT a typical September day on the beaches of NC!!   As I walked along the shoreline I felt the wind blowing sand in my face and mist in my eyes.   I saw debris littering the beach.   Broken  shells, sticks, seaweed, foam, even 2 large logs, one a small tree with the roots sticking out of the sand.   Also some trash and a large plastic storage container all torn apart.   I'm guessing alot of it was from hurricane Irene that came through a few weeks ago.   Looking out to sea was a constant churning of waves and whitecaps as far as you could see.

At first, as I walked along, I was enjoying the wind and waves.   The waves spoke of the power of God in a tangible way and reminded me, too, that in an instant He can calm the sea with simply a word!!   And the wind allowed me to walk along singing praise songs as loud as I wanted and no one but God heard me!   It was kinda fun to be singing so loud and yet God and I alone enjoyed the moment.   And a few chuckles as I would hit a wrong note or forget the next line and still find joy in knowing God was pleased with my attempts!

Then something changed.   I began to take my eyes and mind off of God and look around me.    I began to view the storm differently.   It was no longer something enjoyable.  It became something harsh and ugly, turning things around me into a mess and even dirty.   It was the thing that was going to spoil our first day on the beach.   No fun playing in dirty sand and having it fly in your face.   No fun jumping in the waves and swimming out to sand bars to throw balls.    No hanging out, soaking the sun and reading a book.    It was mean and nasty and unwelcome!

But again, I started praying and got my eyes back on our Creator.   And I had a different outlook of the storm again.    The storm was clearing unwanted garbage and debris out of the ocean.   The churning and wind was bringing things that didn't belong, in the water, to the shore to be cleared away and removed.   There was a purpose to the turmoil!   It was a cleansing!    And then as I looked out to sea, to the horizon there was a break in the clouds.   I could see blue skies far out and, just at the break, rays of light were shining down.   It was a visible end to the storm!   I could see that, by the afternoon, the sunshine would be here and the storm would calm.

Are you in a storm of life?  I am.  And when my focus is on Jesus, I can see the good of it, even in the midst of it.   I can understand that there is a cleansing that is needed.   Without the turmoil, the churning, the debris would just continue to float around my life.   Bumping into things, causing damage.   Lots of broken pieces taking up space, cluttering things, causing pain.   It is not always "fun" during the storm, and at the end, there is a time of cleaning up and removing what was washed into the shore.  But it's good to remove all that junk and be freed from it.

Unfortunately, when I take my eyes off Jesus, all I see is a mess!    All I care about is that my fun is being spoiled!    And the storm becomes an ugly, nasty thing that I just want to go away!!

But, take heart, if you focus on Jesus again and accept the clean-up and look to the horizon, there is Hope!   Jesus, shining down on you, enjoying a cleansed YOU and ready to use you for His Glory!   

Keep your eyes on Him, and find pleasure in knowing you are worth cleaning up!    Your storm WILL end and you WILL be able to bask in His Light and it WILL BE WORTH IT!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I thought I might share some thoughts I had last night with you.Hope you don't mind! :)

I have to admit... I've never really been one to "reflect on last year" on New Year's Eve or Day. I've always just enjoyed the holiday and moved on to the new year. This year was different....

I spent some time last night thinking over the past year. As with most anyone looking back on a significant period of time, there were ups and downs; things I am proud of and things I wish I had done different; good times and hard; etc...

I was able to make a small list of things I want to improve in 2011. Not resolutions per say... more like learning from the past and making some changes to make them better next time.

I also made a list of things that I am really grateful for and posted it on my mirror so I will be reminded often of how good God has been to my family.

And of course there was the couple of things that I resolved to do... exercise, go to bed earlier, etc... One thing I have learned to do well, through my business, is make goals and then make them happen. So I am feeling much more confident in the things I'd like to improve actually happening this time!

But, something that I got to thinking about that I found a bit interesting and you may too.... The phrase "Happy New Year". This is most often said to others as a passing comment that we mean to be "I hope you have a Happy New Year coming your way!"

Well... instead of saying that to you, I am making a minor adjustment... "MAKE this a Happy New Year!"

We have the ability to have a Happy 2011. We know from past experience that stuff is gonna happen. Some of us are going through good times now and hardships or struggles are just not in our vision. Some of us are facing those struggles now and good times seem something of the distant past or even worse... someone other people have, but not you. But either way, we know there WILL be ups and downs; things we are proud of and things we will wish we did different; good times and hard. How we face ALL these things and in what way we react will ultimately decide if we have a Happy 2011.

So... if you only make one resolution this New Year, let it be this... "I will make 2011 a HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

One more thing... but definitely the most important one... never forget the ONLY source of TRUE, unfailing happiness... Christ! I pray your year is filled with Christ's Happiness!

Blessings to you!