Lessons Gleaned from the Sea

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They stoop low at the ocean’s edge inspecting a Florida horse conch. The sun has just begun to peak out from beneath the clouds and warm the day.

I snap their picture and think, this is what learning looks like from here.

Bent low, searching, seeking the knowledge and adventure that await in a moment of exploration. God’s sea creatures each tell a story, and the seemingly peaceful shore mocks the real truth that life in the sea is fierce and tumultuous even as the soothing, rhythmic sounds of the ocean lull me into a peaceful state.

There is always this tension just beneath the surface of life.

There is no escaping the forces of good and evil when we live on this side of eternity.

There is a constant need to bend low and search out the still, small voice of God that can also boom like approaching thunder.

Near the supposed age of Christ during his final year in earthly ministry, I feel what most people feel as they steadily grow older: wisdom comes with age and it is harder not to be blinded by the cares of this world nor the skepticism reality brings with each passing year. I am learning that I can no more hold on to the present than it becomes the past. I must enjoy each moment for what it is, for it only comes once and then a memory.

Is it any wonder that God asks us to approach Him with the faith of a child? The child that is oblivious to the cares and demands of life. The child that sees not distractions, but opportunities to explore and learn. The child that sees now even as she anticipates the future. The older they grow the faster they desire to grow up and shed the contentment of their age at present.

Life, like the tide, is in a constant state of give and take, come and go. With the passing of each year, birthday after birthday with our children and friends, we join with the throngs who utter, “Where did the time go?”.  But hidden with the jewels of the sea, there are lessons to be learned, discoveries to be made that utter even of the passing of time. Anne Morrow Lindbergh captures a few of these lessons in her book, Gift from the Sea:

One learns to accept the fact that no permanent return is possible to an old form of relationship; and, more deeply still, that there is no holding of a relationship to a single form. This is not tragedy but part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth. All living relationships are in process of change, of expansion, and must perpetually be building themselves new forms.

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

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The jewels of the sea grow larger with age–their age brings constant rebuilding of their present forms. So do we, don’t you agree? We shouldn’t look the same at fifty as we did at five, nor should we come to the same hobbies void of new knowledge and understanding.

I have always loved the shore. The splash of waves and the picking up of shells. However, now I enjoy it with specificity. That is, I see it more like God sees it. Crying forth its message of creation, fall, redemption, life, death, catastrophe, and rebuilding. I can name the shells I once only admired. Isn’t that grand, that learning from here continues, but looks different than nearly three decades ago?

I can only imagine the discoveries I will make and the view-point I will take in one, two, or perhaps three decades time. Then, maybe I will stoop with my grandchildren and ponder, So this is what learning looks like from here.

beach 2015


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For Everything There Is A Season

For everything there is a season


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I feel a changing of the seasons. A time for me to keep silent as surely as there is a time for me to speak. I sense that a season away from blogging is in order. A time of refreshing. God is allowing me a season off to spend quality time with my children unhindered by a Tuesday/Friday writing schedule. Time which will allow an occasional skipping of naps to go on an expedition (thank you Christopher Robin); this break will mean the post I needed to write won’t be late. Writing two times a week doesn’t seem like much when I type it, but compiled on a list of other to do’s both maternal, matrimonial, ministerial, and homeschooling (too bad that can’t start with an “m” ) it is much.

Even Jesus need time away.

With that said, I am taking off the entire month of August and will determine if my break will continue in September and October at the end of the month. I believe that it will be a three month break which will pinpoint me coming back in November and December to celebrate our Savior’s birth with you. God will let me know once I have been obedient to take the break I feel is necessary. Being a naturally driven person, it is hard for me to follow through with a break. I have almost talked myself out of it several times over the last week after I made the decision.

I pray that my ministry here is effective in the hearts and lives of those of you who read these posts; that these words I type would be an encouragement to keep fighting the good fight and to arm yourself with the belt of Truth and the breastplate of righteousness and to seek the eternal in the everyday. Thank you for your prayers for me  and my family as well. I will be re-posting past posts over at iBelieve.com during that time so feel free to join me there every Tuesday if you can’t stand the time away. (I almost completely say that tongue-in-cheek!)

May our days apart be a time to plant, to laugh, to dance, to build up, and a time to gather stones–may God’s intended time be beneficial to you while we are apart.

See you in the fall,


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What a Difference a Year Makes

It is incredible what a difference a year makes isn’t it?

Last year at this time we were a foster-family to one incredibly endearing little boy. I frequently pounded Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream and sugar, and don’t forget the turbo shot, and we were a one-car family.

Fast-forward almost exactly one year and we are not currently fostering; I discovered in January that I am allergic to sugar, dairy, gluten, eggs, oatmeal; there goes the usual Dunkin; and, as of yesterday, my husband is the proud owner of an old-man, second-hand, Buick (complete with blue leather interior!). What a difference indeed!

Exactly one year ago I wrote a post at iBelieve entitled, Man Does Not Live On Coffee Alone. I hope you will read it below. Much has changed in the year since its original publication.

I continue to enjoy coffee twice daily–I drink it black now, or with a spoon-full of coconut oil added (don’t gag!). One thing always remains the same; the Word that sustained me then is the Word that continues to sustain me now. No matter what changes this year has brought for you, consider the words an older and wiser friend told me years ago:

He wouldn’t have brought you this far to leave you now.

God writes a story with, and of, our lives. He is outside of time so that the choices we make are not controlled by Him, but rather He sees us past, present, and future and knows the ways that we should and the ways we will take. He sustains us better than any substance ever could.

Please join me, perhaps again,or for the first time, as I recount how man does not live on coffee alone.


The morning started out like most.  The alarm signaled the start to another day and, of course, I hit the snooze.  As the second reminder sounded, I obliged and turned the alarm off. Feet to the floor, my hand turned the worn knob, and an exhilarating smell greeted me like a welcome guest.

Ah, coffee.

This particular day brought the flavor-rich coffee to the desired boldness with the absolute perfect portion of added hazelnut creamer. Finishing off the last sip with a reading of multiple Psalms from my daily Bible reading plan – the one that I seem to always be behind on – I managed to complete my morning breakfast and Bible ritual before the kids awoke. Success!

I poured another cup, threw on my gym clothes, brushed my teeth and headed out the door to my local women’s gym. With three children and one car, my husband and I have set days to work out. I look forward to my turn each time.

Join me over at iBelieve today to finish reading this post. Click here.


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Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Today is

Kids are often told, you can have that tomorrow, we will go there tomorrow, we will read that or watch that or eat that tomorrow. My son will excitedly run to us in the morning and ask, “Is it tomorrow?!” He believes that tomorrow holds the fulfillment of yesterday’s promise.

We as adults are very adept at promising ourselves, as well as those we love, wishes fulfilled tomorrow. Are we not?

We grow to doubt that tomorrow will deliver.

My personal favorite is that I will do the laundry tomorrow. Another one, I will make that call tomorrow.  Yet another tomorrow I often promise myself is a break from blogging. This thought is quickly dismissed as I consider my devoted readers. (Thank you!) 

Whether we like it or not tomorrow comes. Promises and good intentions are either prioritized and met, or they continue to be pushed off for another day.

When my son excitedly asks me if it is tomorrow I smile and tell him, “Yes it is tomorrow.” Then I try my best to explain that today is yesterday’s tomorrow. How’s that for confusing?

It is imperative that we understand that there is ultimately One who promises an indefinite tomorrow because of a greater good. That of saved lives for all of eternity:

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9, NLT)

Jesus’ tomorrow tarries so that we will turn. His promise for your next step seems to delay and the uncertainty seems daunting, yet…

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT)

Tomorrow will come. Eternity will commence. The next step will manifest itself.

I hope that all the tomorrow’s of this week will draw you closer to the person that God has created you to become.



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Thankful in Rememberance

For ten years our family was unable to enjoy our backyard. Unfortunately our neighbors repeatedly ignored our association rules to “pick up the poop” after their dogs. Equally unfortunate was the fact that the favored potty was our own backyard. Although we have enjoyed new, responsible, and godly neighbors for the last year it seems even longer that we have enjoyed the blessing of running worry free through the grass as we play with the children.

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The years of biting our tongue, or conversely, saying too much in anger over the mess in the front yard (that would fall on my mouth), as well as the occasions we picked poop up ourselves, have all been replaced with a clean playground for the kids.

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Time is a tool that God uses to perfect the outworking of His Spirit in us. Had our neighbors cleaned up their act upon our first request, I am sure my current level of gratitude would be significantly diminished. The persistence of pestilence made the joy of relief all the sweeter.

One day the hardships, the temptations that seem more than bearable, and the suffering that is around us will all be overcome. There will be a time in the future we can reflect in thankfulness for the gift of the present. Faithful obedience in pain, and painstaking patience amidst trials will be rewarded either in this life or the next for those who trust in Christ Jesus.

Yesterday as I followed the children through the backyard a refreshing sense of thankfulness overcame me. God made our yard beautiful in His time so that we could enjoy the days with our children. Today, I am truly tankful in remembrance of this sweet smelling gift.

What does remembrance cause you to be thankful for today? What has God delivered you from or through that you can praise Him for with a grateful heart?

I pray this weekend is filled with thankful remembrance of all that He has done in your life. However, the greatest gift that we can say thank you for is the gift that matters most: The sinless blood of Christ was shed for the sinful acts of men. Those who believe on Christ for their salvation, confess and repent of their sinful acts and prideful heart, and profess Him as their Lord will one day join Him at Home.




P. S. One additional mention of thanksgiving is of a heart transformation toward the task of laundry. You can read about that here.

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Fair Enough

 Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Today was a time for fun and family. I pray, Lord, we would show wisdom in discerning time for everything under the sun.~Amen.

The first family trip to the fair wins out as a Friday Favorite every time…linking with Rachel:

friday favorite things | finding joy

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