Happy Lord's Day!!
This morning Kip and I opted to stay home rather than attending a large outdoor joint-church service at a local park where SeaFair Activities are in full swing. Thirteen years ago, prior to my brain injury, we would have eagerly gone to the service, but enormous gatherings are overwhelming now and very difficult for me to process what is taking place. Yet, these are times we have learned to accept....and embrace.
Kip made a yummy breakfast: Eggs Benedict. It's one of his specialties and an absolutely delicious treat. To compliment it, I brewed up two Caramel Specialty coffees. Sitting outside on the patio we became so aware of the quietness surrounding us. The sun was shining, the ocean was calm, and the breeze was light and warm. There were only two small, puffy clouds in the soft blue sky, right above Mt. Grant. Their reflection in the ocean was beautiful. Two Herons flew by, wings spanning 5.5 to 6.6 feet....so close to the water yet never touching it. Boats coasted along their seawater highway, heading to destinations of their choosing. This was a rare serene occasion and we welcomed the opportunity to worship our Lord with expressions of gratitude for His exquisite handiwork.
The service at the park would have been wonderful, energetic and very uplifting spiritually. Individual lives would have been touched by the Spirit of God. Yet, here we sat in our own little seaside outdoor sanctuary, also feeling very uplifted spiritually. After our devotional reading, we kept our eyes open as we prayed to the Creator of the magnificent beauty surrounding us. God's immeasurable peace washed over us, saturating our souls.
Step by step, year by year, we have learned to embrace the changes in our lives. Sometimes it's hard to do, yet God has never let us down when we earnestly strive to accept them. Yes, the park service would have been a really neat time, but neither one of us would have wanted to miss the closeness we felt to Him this morning as we let His Peace thoroughly wash over us. Change can, and often does bring us closer to our Lord.
May His Peace wash over you during this beautiful season.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26: 3-4 NLT)
Three years ago we had the joy of hosting a newlywed couple from Michigan. They spent ten wonderful "honeymooning" days in our cottage. The weather was beautiful and the tides were out quite far, enticing them to wander along the beach. Interestingly, they both walked along the seaweed beds, hands locked behind their backs and heads bent forward looking down. Our curiosity was heightened when they reached down to pick something up. Most folks collect shells or driftwood, yet these two never seemed to really be carrying anything.
Jubilantly the young bride showed us her gems. That was our first introduction to the wonder of sea glass. We have lived by the sea for a very long time and we cherish its beauty and uniqueness, however we had never been aware of these special treasures.
I have collected many pieces since that day, and the young bride and I still exchange pictures of our most recent finds. We also continue to nurture a beautiful friendship as we share our stories of life...even from a distance.
I often refer to friendships as jewels in my treasure chest of life. Like sea glass, deep and lasting friendships are the most rewarding treasures to hold onto. Each friendship is unique because each person is unique. Some are new and fresh, transparent as they have not yet endured life's storms. A different kind of beauty is revealed in others when their frosty exterior is moistened with kindness and trust after they've been tossed around in waves of pain and hardship. Then there are those who have endured the tumultuous seas of life victoriously, their stories and wisdom illuminating our lives with hope and encouragement.
Like sea glass, each friendship is unique, whether freshly discovered or one that has glimmered for many years. Each is a priceless gem and each is a beautiful gift from God.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
~1 Corinthians 13: 4-7~ (NLT)
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