....Sandy toes-es and sunburned noses....
Active days in the wind and sand and sun passed quickly.
Captivated by the water, the kids would sometimes go too deep or drift too far. We would reign them in and look after each other.
It was satisfying to watch energetic kids challenge unyielding waves and sometimes getting in and braving them together. It is exhilarating. When the waves pummel you to the sandy bottom and you fight to come to the surface, you humbly realize how mortal you really are....and how vulnerable.
In the early mornings, I carved time alone to pray and reflect on God's blessings and how fleeting are the days of summer and the days of 'mommy'. I indulge in the alone-ness. The new sun spills on the water and sand like the slow dribble of syrup.
Running focused me even when my lungs were burning.
I would deliberately run along the edge of the moving water and watch as it chased me..... daring to touch my feet. It cleared my mind and then
I would stop,
and be still.
"Be still, and know that I am God.."
The pier was the prize.
Concerns at home seemed so far away except for the ones I keep tucked in my heart that go with me wherever I go.
I send them out, and up.
I wondered in amazement how God could bless such a mess.
On the last morning, I softly woke Abigail (so as not to wake her sisters) and shared my quiet paradise with her. I think she got it.
We walked zig zag patterns in the sand
sifting through the assortment of shells
and examined, decided and chose the ones to keep... all for different reasons.
I don't often have her all to myself.
The splendid-ness of being thankful, really thankful, for good friends, family, and precious health. And thankful for the opportunity to share it together. (Thank you, Sarah.)
"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..."
At night, we pause to listen and appreciate the symphony of the ocean, the laughter of kids playing on a dark beach and really study the design of the heavens. My camera just can't capture it. But I try.
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren
to dwell together in unity!"
We are all trying to wrap our heads around raising teenagers
and babies growing up.
We struggle. We appreciate. We say goodbye to summer together without even realizing it.
It is gratifying to talk about current events with women while our children play together. I find value in it and don't get much time for that being a mom. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.
We make memories with hand prints in plaster decorated with God's abundant jewelry box of shells
and go skating in an old fashioned skating rink with wood floors and open windows.
We discover turtle nests.
And mermaid tails....
We eat with our fingers.
We watch dolphins playing near the shore. They were having a marvelous time frolicking in the waves. Even they were delighting in the moment..... Sea World can't compare.
I found this poem in a small used book I bought for a nickel in a quaint post office underneath the skating rink.
"Exhaust the little moment.
Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold
It will not come again in this
I delight in summer memories of silly bands,
drizzle drop castles,
sunburns, sticky chins and the 'carefree-ness' of summer.
Just stopping and being aware is everything.
Saying goodbye is hard.
Gabrielle draws an 'a' in the sand with a broken shell.
The first letter of the alphabet,
The first letter of our pre-school adventure together (my 3rd)
and our new school year....
a new beginning.
It made me think that we are always starting again.....
on new adventures.
Monday we will plunge into school and say hello to pre- algebra and American History and try to find a balance, stride, and a rhythm... All while trying to avoid the craziness of it all.
But just for an instant, it is nice to be still. In the dizzying time warp of life that goes by way too fast. If you don't pause, you will miss it.
I don't want to miss a thing.
So, "Farewell summer". We are going to miss you, but we will forge on. Time hasn't stopped...
just dwindled and dawdled a bit.
228 miles between us and home.
We were weary on the long drive,
But not disheartened.
We all missed Daddy and Romeo.
We were missed too. :)
It is good to be home.
"Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness."