Waking Up to the Sunshine

I don’t think there will be a lot of posts this week, so this one will hit multiple sites.  BUT it was written with these two in mind first:
On In Around button
My thanks to both Lauras for their kind invitation each week.


When I was working,
I made sure that I spent at least a few hours each week
in my 2nd ‘office,’
the one found when I parked my car at our
neighborhood beach.
This space,
this grace-filled place,
became a deep source of joy
and re-fueling,
a place where I could be quiet, alone, reflective.
I’m not sure I would have survived 
the last few years without it.

Since my retirement,
I’ve not been there too often.
I’ve tried to get there at least once a week,
but life intervenes on a regular basis
and I’ve missed it.
I’ve missed it a lot.
So today,
I had some errands to run – 
you know what that’s like:
a run to the bank,
a stop at the wholesale grocer,
some gear to borrow from a friend.
So before I got in my car,
I loaded in a small book bag,
 and decided
that a little 2nd office time was 
definitely on the agenda.
The last time I was at this beach,
it was a cool and foggy morning.
Today was brilliant and warm.
I sat with the windows down and began
to journal a bit,
roughing out ideas for what I might work on 
for this blog in the next few weeks.
And something wonderful began to happen in me.
Something got unstuck,
released, 
remembered.
I’m not even sure what idea triggered my exploration,
but all of a sudden, I needed my Bible.
Here is something you should know about me.
I love scripture.
I love reading it,
I love teaching it,
I love writing about it,
I love preaching from it,
I love using it in worship,
whether public or private.
This has been true for as long as I can remember.
But something strange has also been true for me 
since the beginning of this year of transition:
I have had little interest in opening my Bible.
Oh, I started on one of those 
read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year programs.
I even downloaded Ann Voskamp’s
 Colossians memory work program.
But somehow, my usual energy 
and excitement for God’s word has just…
evaporated.
I have been exhausted, that is true.
More tired than I even knew.
So as I’ve been adjusting to the changes in 
my schedule,
my identity,
my life,
I’ve given myself permission to release
a whole lot of stuff.
And somewhere in that process of 
rest,
recovery, 
re-setting priorities, 
re-membering myself –
I began to believe that this really important
and self-defining passion was somehow waning.
Perhaps yet another sign of increasing age 
and decreasing ‘usefulness?’
But here’s what happened on this 
blue sky,
sunshiny day 
as I sat in my Honda-shaped office:
suddenly, I began to hunt for things in my Bible.
I took notes on what I discovered.
And somewhere in there, 
I found it:
that rising sense of deeply held awe,
that frisson of recognition,
that thrill of the hunting and the finding.
And I remembered who I am.
No, I’m nowhere near as young, fit and athletic as some of these healthy young beach-goers.
 And no, I won’t be riding any waves anytime soon.
But I just might meet an old friend for lunch,
wear a goofy hat,
and laugh loudly enough for passersby to smile.
 And I might brave the water with a boogie board –
maybe even a kayak??  Not sure about that!
 I might not be willing to ride a Vespa,
as this later middle-age woman did today;
 but here’s the truth:
there are miles in me yet.
Vintage is ‘in’ these days, I’m told.
And I can still gasp with delight when one of these
strange and wonderful creatures 
flies anywhere near where I am.
 I’m still capable of a smooth landing.
 My wings have not been clipped,
the water is still full of good fish to swallow,
and there are interesting companions to 
go fishing with me.

All in all, it was a lovely,
serendipitous,
and deeply satisfying three hours.
Slowly, slowly,
things are coming into focus.
God is reminding me,
ever so gently and lovingly,
that my life isn’t over yet – it’s just changing.

And then I came home to discover this:
a beautiful wedding invitation,
from my oldest child,
who is re-marrying after nearly three years of widowhood.
And I rejoiced again at the goodness of God,
the gift of family,
the promise of the future
found today 
in the here and now.
Image is deliberately blurred, but I think you can see how lovely these are.  


It is my privilege to also try and link with Suzannah, Ann and Jen at their consistently excellent blogs,
where so many hard-working, thoughtful and gifted people add their contributions:
so much shouting, so much   laughter


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Comments

  1. This brought tears. What is it about seasons? And how He is always there, waiting? I love the victory behind these words, but also the movement I feel here. There is a movement towards loving yourself more–where you are right now. That sure is beautiful.

  2. this post made me hungry–for beauty, for the Word. i love your photos (the beach!), and your honest words stir in my heart.

    our identity and purpose change so much in time. praise God that he is the eternal Rock. blessings to you and your daughter!

  3. This post just kept reminding me of “there is a season for everything.”

    Your writing is beautiful, your time with God profound, and your quest for beauty and hope is stunning.

  4. Dear One…oh my…..tears, tears…what a kindred sister you are…ever since getting married 5 years ago (after 25 single years) i lost my way…..from being ‘wholeheartedly devoted to Christ” to (in my thinking) having to now be that to my husband…i too lost my enormous for reading, teaching and meditating in the Word…hit and miss, here and there…..and now, a few weeks ago, i began the journey back….struggled with the “who am i now” question…your comment about the season just changing is so good…thank you thank you thank you for sharing your heart…..i am very familiar with that beach front….being semi-retired this year it has been a struggle to find my place again …but, the way back has begun…or rather the way forward….blessings to you…His richest….Linda

  5. rejoicing with you in the discovery of the “you” God created, a “you” once again surrendered to Him

  6. I love how you were refreshed by your time at your second office. Though I’d like to live by the ocean, a view of a lake or a park, most anywhere outdoors can do a lot to refresh my spirit.

    I can also relate to the love of the Scriptures and also dry seasons there, too.

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration to finding your way back during a season of transition.

  7. Oooo, this is so good! And I’m just a wee bit excited to say that a little of the same thing has been happening to me. And, I, too, liked to have a “2nd office” overlooking the town lake. Water is such an attraction, and I’d prefer your beach to my lake, but I make do with what I’ve got! It’s funny, our paths are like parallels of different life stages. Echoes, maybe? May this busy week be blessed!

  8. Reading this was like tahing a deep breath. Thank you.

  9. Oh, please go to that beach with your bible and hat. Write more. Share. This moves me so deeply even though I’m at a different stage of life and far, far from a beach.

  10. Oh friends, thank you so much for these kind words of affirmation! It is indeed interesting to see how the seasons of life change, and yet echo earlier (and I suppose, later) ones as they do. I thank each one of you for taking the time to read and to comment – really, truly – I do!!

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