I had a couple of hours between my teenager's to driver's ed and lunch/nap time (an inflexible part of the daily schedule). We nearly missed this window of opportunity altogether - it took so long to get ready! I could not find one child's bathing suit since it was still in a bag from a previous beach visit. Another child put on someone else's suit and had to change. The teenagers decided that they were bored with the beach and did not want to go at all. (I know. They are totally spoiled by our wonderful location and do not even realize how incredibly blessed they are!)
|the beach by our house|
Finally we got the four pre-schoolers and two bigger girls buckled, then stopped and picked up a neighbor girl on the way. When we got to the beach, we decided to set up camp near a little creek a short walk away, but the little ones did not care for the walk. When we arrived, we discovered that the creek had dried up. As I spread the blanket, the little children started to go into the water - fully clothed and sans sunscreen and life jackets (my requirement when I am the only eyes on them).
While I hurried to corral, change and lotion the little ones, the older girls began bickering over who would get to use the surfboard first. My hair was standing on end like a tense cat.
I said the most spiritual thing that I could think of at the moment:
"It will be a cold day in hell before I do THIS again!"
Soon things began to settle. The tinies splashed at the water's edge and rearrange the sand. The girls settled their quarrel on their own and shared the surfboard. I sat down on the blanket and watched them for a while. They were playing so well that I read a few pages of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I don't believe that the author is a Christian, but the book was amusing and it gave me a chuckle.
The tinies had ventured in up to their tummies and were splashing around with some little speed boats. I waded over to them.
The sun shone through the ripples of the shallow water making a pattern on the bottom of the Lake like a chain-link fence made of pure gold. I faced the wind and took a deep breath, soaking up the calm. I often feel an amazing sense of awe here. Like the polar extremes of God butted up against each other - the power of a mighty body of water, along with beauty and serenity.
|the same beach near our house|
Peace and power.
The trip had turned out better than it started and I thought, "Isn't it just like God...?"
I could not help but muse over the ways in which we resolve never to do something again - only to have the recollection of it's difficulties erased from memory and we discover that the desire to do it again returns.
Like giving birth.
Or like those little old ladies at the gocery store who say that they loved every minute of motherhood. I think that what they really mean is that they have forgotten the bad, and only the good memories remain.
And it IS just like God!
Joseph could forget his hard life.
"Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: "For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." Genesis 41:51Job could forget his tragedy.
"Because you would forget your misery, And remember it as waters that have passed away, And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning. And you would be secure, because there is hope; Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety. Job 11:16-18And Isreal would not always remember their suffering.
"Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore." Isaiah 54:4
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philipians 3:12-14 NKJV (emphasis added)
In light of this?
You'll probably find me flying solo at the beach with a whole pack of kids again. But not this week - I have not yet forgotten...
Everyday Life Motherhood My Journey