I’m at the beach. I won’t tell you which one because I don’t want you to find it. I don’t want you to find me. I am alone. Totally alone. I have been here for quite a while and haven’t seen a soul or even a chair in the sand holding a place for someones’ return. No one is here. I don’t see a person at a distance, I don’t see a boat on the horizon. Nothing man-made to note. A railing or two and a concrete retaining wall, but other than that, God gets the credit for making all of this. The white long legged birds on the shoreline, the gorgeous creatures soaring above, the gentle waves lapping in, all His.
There is no reminder of the hustle and bustle that this morning brings to the world. No advertisements bombarding me to better my life, no political campaign signs that assure me the candidate will provide me with a safer future, no to-do lists, no agenda, just creation at its’ finest. Quiet. Still. Rhythmic.
Where did all these beautiful seashells come from? Who had time to ship in a new supply for me this morning? I picked all the pretty ones up yesterday and yet today, there are more. This shore never seems to run out. Just as His mercies are new every morning so are his shells, so are His promises, so are His provisions. Just when you think you’ve exhausted all the blessings He can give you, you wake to a new day full of the promise of more.
This morning over tea, I asked my father in law the question from my Question of the Day journal. “What is the most honest thing you’ve said this morning?” His answer amused me and yet made me think. He said, “Good Morning.” Indeed it is an honest answer. It is morning and it is good. Thanks to the One who gives it to me each day.
As I sit here….alone…with my thoughts and the waves, I pray that you too, can find a quiet moment in nature, praising Him and all He has created. He made it for you.
Just published in the Holt International Fall 2016 magazine:
Kaylee is our unexpected blessing. After fostering over 50 children through our local county Children & Youth Services, we found ourselves once again providing a forever family for a little one. Having three biological children and adopting once before, we knew what to expect as parents, but we weren’t terribly prepared to be “older parents.” My friends were becoming empty nesters and I found myself in need of some new friends, and other parents who were in the throes of elementary school activities. I was so excited to find a Secret Keeper Crazy Hair performance in my area to help me find these new friends. Kaylee and I attended this event together. The perfect mother/daughter evening out. It was there that we were introduced to Holt International.
(Kaylee getting Kayli Robinson’s autograph.)
Kayli Robinson, who performed with the band 1 Girl Nation, began to tell the story of her adoption and shared about sponsorship opportunities through Holt. My Kaylee was all eyes and ears and said, “We have to do this Mom. We have to help these kids while they wait for their forever families.” I decided that since we attended the event as a mother/daughter team, we should also sponsor as a mother/daughter team and asked her if she would be willing to contribute half of the monthly sponsorship. She was and we hand-picked a child younger than her with the goal of adoption. Geon Wu entered our lives and his picture hung proudly on our fridge.
I was a little skeptical as Kaylee had to make some spending decisions based on her contribution. Her allowance would only go so far, yet each month when asked for her portion, she freely gave. Not only is sponsoring a lesson in giving to others but also a great lesson on responsibility as she gives monthly. In the Bible, James 1:27 says we are to care for orphans and widows and yet we rarely recognize opportunities to do that. In addition to our monthly sponsorships, we have also been able to serve these orphans by promoting sponsorship through Winter Jam and Every Child Is Beautiful tours. Kaylee shines as she recruits others to help her cause –including her brother and her dad.
Although Kaylee is saddened by the stories of these needy children, she is encouraged to learn about how Holt is helping children whose families need additional support and those who need to be placed for adoption. It is difficult to relate to these children’s poverty and physical needs but she can identify with the ones in need of a family. She celebrates when she learns of them being placed with a family that can take care of them and give them a “healthy life.” (Her words.)
As Geon Wu made his way to his forever family, we were assigned another child, and another…and another. It is so rewarding to see the stories progress. As our story as a forever family plays out for Kaylee, she gets to play a part in others’ stories and their journey to their forever families. What a gift. It is an honor to serve God while serving others in this way!
A few weeks ago, I attended 3 meetings for church. Now, it is rare that I would have 3 meetings in one week, but it did make me think. I, and many others, spent 4.5 hours in meetings discussing the best ways to do the Lord’s work. I had to drive to and from the meetings, so that’s another 20 minutes gone. (Good thing I live close!) I had to prepare for the meeting, grab a pen, a notebook, a bottle of water, put on my shoes, brush my teeth, another 30 minutes? That’s at least 320 minutes devoted to attending meetings in a single week. So, it made me wonder if that time was well spent. It was definitely necessary. I have a commitment to committees and there is church business that needs to be addressed. There was good discussion and we did accomplish some things, so it wasn’t a waste of time by any means, but was it time well spent? Could that time have been better spent visiting a sick person in the hospital? Could I have read to my child? Could I have phoned an elderly relative? Could I have volunteered at a soup kitchen? I’m sure there is a lot I could’ve done. I wonder, what changes would our church see if everyone who had attended those meetings had spent that much time reading their Bible that week? What if we had spent 5 + hours in prayer? We will never know because I did indeed spend that time in meetings, but I do hope in the future to be more aware. Sometimes the meeting needs me…and sometimes the meeting needs me to be praying. I’m certain that God can accomplish much more than I can anyway!
Pray without ceasing. –1 Thes. 5:17 KJV
You hear that your friend or relative had surgery or an injury or is just plain sick. You want to do something, but you just aren’t sure what to do. I know I love having meals delivered and my family especially loves when someone brings a meal when I am out of commission. So, you can take a meal for the family to enjoy and it doesn’t have to be anything too special. Remember, it’s the thought that counts! This week while my sister in law was recovering from elbow surgery, I made a dish that I thought even her queasy stomach might enjoy. You might enjoy it too….just something quick & easy. Take it to a friend or make it for yourself. I think it’s a great idea for fall. (And, if it’s a dish that the kids won’t enjoy….order pizza!)
Creamed Eggs on Toast
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 3 -4 slices bread, to toast
- Melt butter over medium-high heat.
- Whisk in flour.
- When bubbly, whisk in milk a little at a time.
- Add salt.
- Continue to whisk til thick and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and add chopped eggs.
- Toast and butter slices of bread.
- Lay slices on individual plates and spoon on Creamed Eggs.