Thursday, July 22, 2010

Random Beach Musings

1.  The veil between heaven and earth may be thinner than I thought.
            I have no other explanation for the perfect rainbow that greeted us at the beach.  An arc of colors extending from the clouds to the ocean that shimmered in the light.  For 30 years, every July, Grannie had been at the Coral Sands Inn & Seaside Cottages.  This year, her presence just took another form and God allowed her to radiate in all her sweet glory in those moments when her family gazed at her beauty.

2.  I desire to seek out playtime with my children.
            Shocking, yes.  I thought so, too.  In all honesty, I do not look forward to playing Barbies or My Little Ponies.  I'm not saying that I don't enjoy spending time with my kids, but I'm just not much of a playing type of person.  I do it, but in the back of my mind, I am usually thinking about work, housecleaning, or what is next on my agenda.  At the beach where someone was doing all the vacuuming, bed-making, and where I regulated my work email to Siberia, I was...free.  And when I saw my children dancing in the waves or building sandcastles, I asked them if I could play, too.  There is a certain sweet smile that plays across my kid's lips when they see that I am seeking to enter their world.  Somehow, probably by the grace of God, I would like this to happen in the midst of our daily lives at home, so that they know, truly, how much I value and love them.

3.  I need to work based on God's timing instead of my own deadlines.
            Knowing that I am very Type A, have a very strong work ethic, and that I function way better in a house that is clean and tidy, I prayed and asked God just how #2 would happen.  I asked Him if there is something in my life that I need to sacrifice.  Am I doing too much?  Should I give up my blog writing?  Writing is the only "work" that I do that doesn't make money right now (except of course, motherhood and housecleaning, but I can't really get out of those, can I?).  So, I offered it up to God to see if He would call me to lay it down.  After a few days, He had made it clear that it was something He was using, both to refine me and reach others.  So if nothing is leaving my life, all that is left is reorganizing it.  But here is the kick -- I have to let God reorganize it and not take the reigns over every hour of my day.  I usually feel anxiety if I have work hanging over my head, but that should not be the primary motivator of how my day goes.  I simply cannot, and am not called to, put work first.  If God wants it to get done, He will make it happen.  But I need to do what He has put in front of me and then deal with the rest later.  I think this translates into focusing on quality time with my kids (and by quality, I mean thinking about what I am doing with them and not x,y, and z).  This all sounds good in theory, and honestly, it's been a pretty good week, but it takes a long time to build a habit...Here's hopin'!

4.  Extended family is important.
            This week at the beach was our annual family reunion.  The past few years, my grandmother was the one that planned it.  Little did I know that she was grooming me to take over.  Although her presence was sorely missed, I could see her in each of my family members.  There were moments of wistful nostalgia and tears of sadness, but really, we were all...joyful.  We were together, celebrating her life and making new memories.  Knowing I have a whole family behind me makes me feel so rich.  That feeling alone propels me to keep the tradition going.

 5.  Sometimes, I have to just ride the waves or read a good book.
            I am not built to be constantly moving or thinking all the time, contrary to my belief.  I have to have a break because if I don't, I will break -- down.  I have to give up my own current and allow God to bring me to shore.  I have to learn to ebb and flow and sometimes, yes sometimes, in the middle of chaos and tumult, I have to pick up a good book, crawl into bed, and be.  The world will still go on.


I'm linking up with Home Sanctuary http://www.homesanctuary.com/ and Andrea's Caffeinated Randomness http://www.undergraceovercoffee.com/

14 comments :

  1. Glad for your time of rest...you do need it and that you felt close to your Granny during that time! I am the same way about playing with my kids...I know it is right, but I don't really love it and I'm always thinking about what I should be doing. This summer I have had more time just to play with my two year old, and he now wakes up each morning and declares, "I'm awake...play me!" I know these moments are precious so I have taken the time to play cars till my eyes are ready to bug out...but I know it is a moment in time I will never get back and totally worth it!

    Have a great weekend!

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  2. I'm like you with the struggle to "play" with my kids. I enjoy spending time with them, but "play"ing is not my strong suit. I'm trying to be more intentional about getting down on the floor with them or taking them to the park.

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  3. Loved all your comments, but perhaps what stuck out most to me was seeing your grandma in all your family members. My grandma was also the one who planned all the family get togethers, and now, seven years aftr her passing, we still get caught off guard by things that remind us of her how my aunt looks more and more like her or something. We laugh, we cry, and I think, wow, what a legacy. Thank you for sharing about your beach ramblings!

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  4. Your Granny must have been quite a lady! The memories you shared about her made me tear up.....she certainly left a family legacy for you all to treasure. The rainbow was a perfect gift...how cool was that!

    You always hear people tell you to enjoy the playtime with your kids and I used to kind of roll my eyes at that, but it really is true. Funny thing is that they really end up remembering so little of their childhoods and sometimes not even the big stuff. But the tea parties and sandcastles....it really is priceless (even when you're bored!).

    Your photos are great!

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  5. Jen, I loved the photos in this post. It's neat to actually get to SEE my new friend!

    I'm SO with you on the playing thing... I hope to get some great "play time" with my kids once we leave for vacation. It really does seem to be the only time I can "play freely" without the weight of "to-do's" baring down on me!

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  6. Oh, honey...You speaketh to my souleth today...I struggle with the second one ALL OF THE TIME. I want to play with them but it is so hard to stop and focus on playing. I find myself thinking of the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded and the playroom that needs to be picked up and the laundry...Yes, I know that ten years from now I will wish I hadn't put those tasks above playing with my sweet ones but then when will it all get done? And yes, it does need to get done. I hear you, girl. Oh how I hear you.

    I love the part about sometimes you need to "ride a wave or read a good book." I'm learning that as well - the soul needs rest and time to recharge and I often take this off the schedule if time runs out. This is such a mistake and I know it - I'm trying to get better.

    So glad you decided to keep writing - you have a natural and wonderful gift, Jen. You are writing for Him and it's so evident to me.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  7. It sounds like you've had a good time of reflection. Thanks for sharing with us, as I know that these days it is something a lot of moms struggle with...really playing with our children. They do remember those times the most.

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  8. Your 5th reflection is what is needed for your 3rd reflection. Sometimes you have to go with the flow and be ok with not accomplishing something (even with your thoughts). I totally relate, and feel like when I am doing what I think God wants--rest regularly, engage with my kids and hubby--then I have to trust that the rest will get done. or not. but it's in God's hands. God has taught me to relax in a messy home and to lay work aside for a while. It's not easy. I'm on that journey with you...

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  9. thanks for coming to visit me, I'm glad I came over to your site. Your tone seems so serene which I often lack. Reading your words was a nice reminder that although most of my writing takes on a conversational tone that maybe I should slow down a bit and use less of these '!!!!!!!'
    (if you look at any of my posts, I'm a huge over-user of the ! and the ... it's an addiction really)

    Really enjoyed your words and could tell that you were writing honestly.

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  10. OH, I can so identify with your #3! Although I'm at a different "stage" in life than you, I still struggle with it. This was a great post and I so enjoyed stopping by. Blessings abundant to you as you settle in after being away.

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  11. I love beach vacations because they offer me an opportunity to reflect on life, too.

    I like everything you said...especially the part about not wanting to "play" with your children. Oh, boy. Do I ever get that!!! I pray for myself to be more intentional in this area as well.

    Blessings,
    Sandy

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  12. It looks like your holiday at the beech was just what you and nyour family needed. Loved the photo with the gazebo...would certainly give you pause and allow God's majestic influence to settle down on you like a blanket...don't ya think?

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  13. Jen, I really enjoyed this post. What a gorgeous picture of the rainbow. It is wonderful the traditions your grandma began. I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with my kids on the beach. Our beach house has made us all closer. I even get to spend time on the beach with my teenagers! I totally understand not wanting to play when you are home ( there is always so much work to be done) I was the same. Ahhh but the beach. It is so much different isn't it?

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  14. What a beautiful rainbow. It sounds like you have your priorities in order.

    As for Six Flags, you can go when your kids are older, and you can all ride the coasters together. That's exactly what we did!

    Thanks for stopping by my groovy blog. :)

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