That Place

I’d rather be there, than here.I know I have to be here, but I will still daydream about there. I will close my eyes and be there.

Where the salty water meets the sand. Where the breeze blows and the waves crash. 

A place that seems like the edge of the Earth. Somewhere that mimics Heaven itself. Somewhere I see all of God’s glory in every detail.

Yes, I’d rather be there, but I know I’m needed here. 

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God’s Beach

You have given me each grain of sand. Every shell and each wave are Your treasures. The sunsets You cascade down the stretch of sand, and across the horizon, are Your foreshadowing masterpieces; Giving us a glimpse of Your kingdom. For all Your mercy, all Your faith, to You Lord I will serve. 

Anchors and Sails

Oh, I would be the one to answer, “yes!” to any adventurous endeavor that would be bestowed upon us. You would be the one to sit back and let the decision settle, before committing to anything.

 Each boat in this marina is accompanied with an anchor and sails. A strong hard-headed anchor at that. And a free-spirited sail that is every bit of hard-headed as the anchor, if not more if she were completely honest.

As we make our way down the sun-beaten path to our powerful floating vessel, I cant help but think how much we are like the anchor and sail that inhabit our boat. The sails would let the wind direct them in any which way, but the anchor, the stubborn hard-headed anchor, gives the sails a chance to sit back and enjoy the ride instead of flying through the journey. Sometimes, just sometimes the sails can drag the anchor little, by little, in excitement of a new adventure. 

Although, we always agree on where the boat should end up, we usually don’t agree on how it should get there. But I guess that is all apart of the trip. To see who can instill the stubbornness in the other. 

As we travel and sail, different opinions are discussed on the salty water. There may be a flutter in the sail and my heart and there maybe some apprehension in the anchor and your plan, but there is always a balance. A different, opinionated balance I wouldn’t trade for all the oceans. 

Hurricane Prayer.

She’s finally over. The publicized hurricane-of-the-century, left as fast as she came in. There is damage. There is flooding. There is less beach than before. This isn’t new to any of us. We have gone through much worse and much less worse, but now is the time to go out and see the damage. She may have tried to knock our archipelago off the map, but here we all stand, together. 

Making my way to the now even smaller strip of sand, the shells and numerous marine animals lied where they had been thrown from the ocean. I peak my head over the many sea creatures, hoping for a stir. If so, I work my quickest to get them back to their salty home. As I swiftly move and gently replace the marine life, other native beach-goers are also participating in the valiant effort to return them home. 

A sense of relief overcomes us all as we know they are all back where they belong. I look out towards the next island in our clan. I can see the storm has sunk in her claws.  I raise my hand to my brothers across water, sending my prayers their way. Although, we have a lot of work ahead of us, we are ready. And just before we turn are backs to head home, God lays out a beautiful rainbow, with vibrant hues, sending his promise to every islander. 

Constant.

With each shade in God’s sky, a new day arises. Every morning I walk the water’s edge anticipating what He has planned out for my day. Over the years, I have learned to start my morning this way; praying as the sand pushes from my feet and the ocean water cascades over the footsteps I have left behind. I always try to gaze at the horizon, trying to capture every moment of the show God has portrayed. With each passing minute the clouds move and the colors change and swirl. I have to be careful not to miss one second. 

Although, I could stay on this sand forever, my career calls my name and pulls me from the beach. Throughout the eight hour grind, I reminisce on the sunrise that started my day. After the rat-race of a day I come back to my place. I come back to where I need to be. 

 This is a place where I feel at peace, a place closest to God. He gave me this place, He gave me this constant, to give me peace and keep my faith. 

God at the Beach.

We sit here together, He and I. We bask in the sun and soak up as many rays as we can, before He is called to His heavenly duties. He brought me to this place a long time ago. 

I came here a tourist, but left as a local. He opened my eyes to the beach’s prominent beauty, I had never seen before. He opened my ears to His Word. He opened my soul to Him, with just a single crashing wave. 

I speak with God on a regular back home, but this place is where I hear Him. Where I see Him. Where I know He walks with me hand in hand. Where I know I am one with Him. He gave me this beach, this island, to catch my full attention and mute the daily struggles of life back home. 

So, now we sit with one another in the sand in glorified peace;Simply breathing the tradewinds in and out as the breeze sweeps over the beach. The waves crash as I listen to Him. He hangs the sun high as I speak with Him. Not one moment passes where I can’t feel His Holy presence. 

As He lets the sun slowly fall into the salty waters, He paints for me the most beautiful sky, with just a flick of his finger.  The reds, oranges, and pinks swirl with the blues and purples, causing the most iridescent waves to crash.  He portrays just a little of what I will see when it is my turn to join His kingdom. 

I know each day here with Him is a foreshadow to my heavenly days to come. I can only smile and ask rhetorically how blessed can I be? 

Where I am Now. 

The sun may beat down and the sand may get everywhere, but this beats where I used to be. When I hear, “a bad day at the beach beats a good day at work,” I can’t help but smile in the honesty that line holds. In the past I wanted it all. All the money and everything it could buy. Now, I only want to be rich in experience. 

All the money in the world couldn’t buy the experiences I have had. The people I’ve met, the connections I have made, can’t be bought with money. The seashells I have collected, the waves I have ridden, and the cares I have thrown to the tradewinds just make this all worth while. 

Everyday I wake with the roaring of the ocean. Everyday I get to be where my souls feels at peace. I get to be where I can hear God speak to me. I get to be where he created me to be. 

Their Time

She gently woke to the late August, pre-autumn ocean breeze cascading into the room. The ceiling to floor curtains fluttered from the gentle motion of the crisp air. The sunlight poured through the panes of glass and danced along the sheets of the bed. As her sleepy eyes begin to focus, she noticed a coffee cup and a handmade card paired together on her nightstand.

Stretching, with a  yawn,she retrieved the card and it read: Meet me on the deck, beautiful.

She gracefully made her way from the warm covers, with her fresh coffee in hand, out onto the deck where she was surprised with a table made for breakfast for two. A smile stretched across her face. Before she knew it he had quietly come up behind her, wrapping his free arm tightly around her waist, while the other carried a tray of food. After setting down the heaping mountain of breakfast, he lead her to the table and graciously held out and pushed her chair in.

They smiled and laughed the whole way through the wonderful breakfast, simply enjoying one another. As the plates cleared and the daily, vacation morning rituals commenced, they were finally ready to make their way down to the beach. With an over-sized trio of a cooler, an umbrella, and a blanket, they were set for an entire day at the beach.

He smiled and gawked at her natural beauty and she couldn’t get enough of him as they made their way to the white sand. As the peak of the dune came under their feet, the breeze, from the surging ocean below, blew away the little beads that collected at each forehead. Blissful hours were spent searching for the perfect shells, catching waves and rays,  and simply taking in all God has bestowed on this wondrous place.

Even though the sun hung high in the sky, they made their way back to the sandy cottage to get ready for their anniversary photo shoot. The sun did them both some good, giving a natural glowing appearance. After almost a decade of being together, they figured their high-school-sweetheart romance should finally be documented with professional photos.

Smiles, laughter, and natural photogenic poses came easy to both; They made it seem easy for one another. The sun had began to set, allowing the perfect blend of hues to come together, creating a breathtaking scenery. He spun her and she kissed him with a heel popped to the sky. He slightly dipped her in the salty water and she obliged by kicking the water to the sky. Everything was going as planned and they couldn’t have produced better pictures even if they had tried.

They came together with hands clasped and lips locked, but as they came apart he accidentally slipped the promise ring, he had given her when they were sixteen, from her finger and into the unforgiving sand. She scrambled to the sand carefully sifting through, hoping one of her most prized possessions wasn’t gone forever. She was too busy to notice that he had stopped searching for the ring. He instead knelt patiently on one knee, waiting for her finally realize what he had in mind.

When she finally had the gumption to turn and look to him to see if he had any better luck, she brought her hand to her mouth in shocked amazement of his current stance.  As the question, she had been waiting to hear since they were fourteen, came out of his smiling mouth, she couldn’t help but scream her acceptance. She jumped into his strong arms and he spun her round and around. After he brought her back down to the sand, he placed the intricate ring on her finger. He also put her worrying at ease and put her promise ring, he had hid, onto her right ring finger. Her new prized possession revealed a rose gold band and a peach hued stone that was proudly placed on her appropriate finger; she couldn’t believe that this day had finally come.

Just as the sun began to sink into the salty water, they brought their lips together, reveling in the most perfect moment they could have ever imagined.

 

Palm and Ocean.

I have sat here so many times before. I yearn to sit in the sand under his slouch and prudent stance. This palm, he knows more about me than I even know myself. He has seen more of me than I even knew was there. I can’t help but feel the need to sit in the sand under his swaying protection. I can remember each time I’ve shared with him. He has been my confidant and a place to sit and stare out at my constant. I revel in the moments where I enjoy his company and am able to feel the warm sand cascade over my legs as I carefully spill the grains from my pruned hands.

He and the ocean go hand in hand. Throughout all my emotional states, they are there through thick and thin. In uncommon phases, the ocean, she offers a place for me to exert my bottled energy and the palm, he offers me a place of healing solitude. Even in my wildest storms, she will allow me to tear myself up and he will give me a place to calm down. In most of my phases, she bestows me with the strength that God has given her. And he gives me a grounded God-fearing purpose. 

As I continue to sit with my head resting on his trunk and my eyes fixated on her iridescent, pulsating waves I can only feel as if I am at the closest place to Heaven. I am at the place  where God wants me to be.

Seashell Mornings

  Every crisp morning I race over the dunes to catch the first glimpse of light across the white sand. In the nick-of-time, I make it to the peak just as the light begins to cascade over the beach. I am always welcomed with the tradewinds; lightly twirling my hair in a dancing motion. Standing motionless, mesmerized by God’s subtle beauties plastered across the beach, I can only seem to feel calm and as if all of life’s troubles slip into the salty breeze. 

   My joints begin to break the frozen, simplicity of my enjoyment, to send me on my reasoning for coming down here this early in the first place. Not even two steps into my stroll to the waters edge, I spy my first treasure of the day. A small, ebony shell peeks up from the sand and as I bend down to retrieve this small trinket, my eye catches another one and another one. As I continue to bend, never standing fully erect as I move, more and more shells come into sight. Finally I have made my way to where the waves kiss the shore. The weight in my old, rusty bucket pulls slightly on my arm, causing my mouth to turn up in sweet satisfaction. 

    Every day I search and search for more shells to collect. And my goal for each day is to make it to the pier before my bucket overflows. In a fortunate win-lose situation, my bucket is full before I make it to the bony structure coming out of the ocean. Regardless, I make my way under the pier to examine each and every shell I scooped up for the day.

    The sand under the pier is usually untouched at this time of day, making me feel as if this beach is mine and mine only. I spill my bucket over in childlike excitement, proudly reveling in the amount I have obtained. Each shell is different than the rest. Some may look the same but at further inspection each one has its own quirks. All are tumbled smooth from the pounding waves, but each one shows a different aspect of their endeavors. Although, they may have started out more rough and jagged, their journey to the shore left them smooth and soft. Finally when my inspections come to an end, I thank the Lord for the ability to enjoy the simplistic blessing the ocean and beach have to offer.