There's something about the beach that makes me think about deep things.
Maybe it's because when I'm face-to-face with the depth and vastness that is the ocean, I feel so tiny.
Or maybe it's because when I watch the sun give glittery bits of itself to the water and the waves crash all blue-green and foamy onto the shore, I am struck by the thought that this is artwork.
To me, all this power and beauty just sings of an even more powerful and beautiful Creator.
We went to the beach yesterday with Evie. She's a little older than the first time we took her, and this trip was much more successful. For starters, she actually enjoyed herself this time. And second, it turns out she LOVES waves. She would giggle and squeal every time we collided with one, which, I'll admit, surprised me because they were rolling in pretty rough. I guess Evie has a craving for adventure. I think I have a future dare devil on my hands.
If you've ever gone to the beach with a baby, you'll know that finding the peace and tranquility to sit and ponder deep thoughts on spirituality isn't exactly easy.
But this evening got me thinking of another evening at the beach, almost two years ago, when a lot was much different. Mike and I hadn't even been married a year yet and, of course, no sign of a baby either. So that time I was able to sit peacefully and ponder, and I think I learned something about God that is so good for me to remember, no matter which season of life I'm in.
Here's what I learned back in June 2013 (taken from an old blog post on an even older blog I don't use anymore):
A couple of days ago, Mike and I went to the beach for our date night. We didn’t prepare a whole lot or bring much with us, just a blanket and our bathing suits. We actually didn’t even swim. But it was one of the best dates we’ve had since we’ve been married.
We got there about an hour before sunset, spread out our blanket and plopped ourselves down to enjoy the show the sun puts on when it sets. The sky was cloudy, so at first, we didn’t think we would see anything that spectacular. We sat and talked and joked and watched a couple people taking photos of the water and sand and each other.
Truth is, this was a refreshing break from the anxiety I had been experiencing, which came from feeling kind of directionless. A lot has changed for me in the past year, a lot of it for the better, but I’m not quite sure where exactly my story goes from here. I hate to admit it, but it weighs me down sometimes. My husband is insightful enough to notice when I get this way and caring enough to help me move the plot along anyway. He picked the perfect way.
As we were just enjoying each other’s company, the sun decided to do something wonderful. This something the sun was doing caused me to think about how it is God who decided there should be beauty. I think I can assume he also knew this beauty would make our souls a little lighter. And somehow that got me thinking that God is a light-hearted soul. My brain isn’t used to thinking of God this way, of his shoulders shaking up and down as he laughs.
I mentioned this to Mike and he agreed with me that God is smiling and laughing as he writes our stories, too, because they are beautiful like the sky at sunset. Though sometimes they don’t seem to be so. Sometimes we don’t think we are living anything that spectacular.
I thought of this as the sun escaped its cloudy confines, a burnt orange ember, and just smeared the sky with this smoldering kind of pink. I imagined God might have been painting and, all care-free like, took his thumb and just smudged a whole lot of this smoldery pink everywhere, his eyes sparkling as he did so. The people taking photographs weren’t there anymore, and Mike and I shared a moment of sadness for them that they were missing what would have probably been their best photo.
We made our way to the water to get a better view, our souls a little lighter. We stood with our arms around each other and were thankful to be admiring the handiwork.
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17
I love how God can make beauty out of even the most unsuspecting things. I love how he can pull an exhilarating pink out of a dull gray sky.
I love how the Creator of sunsets and oceans is also the Author who personally writes a story for each one of us.
But what I'm pretty sure I love the most is the thought of God singing while he works.