If you live anywhere near Philly, you go "down the shore" at least once every summer. You might rent a house for a week and go with your family. But it's close enough to head down for a weekend, or even just for a day! Going "down the shore" is what we refer to when we talk about venturing down to a Jersey shore-Ocean City, Wildwood, etc.
Growing up I loathed going down the shore. It was not a pleasurable thing for me: the sand, the waves, the sunburn.
First of all, the sand. After spending a day at the beach I would find sand in very uncomfortable places, and it never seemed to go away-especially on those "day trips". I probably still have sand in my life from that one time in 1985, but I'll never know for sure.
Secondly, I never really learned how to swim, so the waves absolutely sucked…literally. They sucked me under their toes 😉 and every time I was pretty sure that I was going to die, and that no one would ever know what happened to me. It's not my parents' fault for the whole swimming thing. They paid for me to get swimming lessons at the Y, but the blood-curdling screams that would be evicted from my mouth were no match for the instructor that was holding me, trying to get me used to putting my face under the water….I would get away from her, climb the ladder, and run to my parents. I don't think they ever took me back. So you can imagine my horror when taken out into the ocean with waves crashing around me. I hated it. I hated the experience and I hated the adults that put me through it. To my future children…I will probably do the same to you, not because I hate you, but because I really want you to get over the fear of water earlier than me:).
Finally, the sun and redheads never truly become friends. Redheads burn…easily and A LOT! I recently discovered spf 50 sunblock, and I went through 4 bottles of it this past summer. When redheads go to the beach with anything less than spf 30 or 50, well, they're just asking the sun to give them the hot new lobster look. I always got super burned when I went to the beach growing up, and even when I did have the right sunblock around, I never used it properly. Then I would lay on my stomach, which makes your bathing suit shift a little, and the next thing you know you can't walk straight or sit painfree for a few days. Welcome to my world.
Why share about sand and the sun's effects in uncomfortable places? And about the water that I was sure would become my fatality in life? I think that it's all related to something that God is trying to teach me right now, and I'm hoping that writing about it will assist me in processing it all.
The irony is that now I love the shore! I love to sit on the sand, and squish it between my toes. I love the water, and the sound of the waves crashing. And now that I've become friends with the Coppertone, spf 50 spray…the sun and I have actually become friends! When I was still in Michigan I wrote my friend-for-many-years, Suzanne, to ask her to take me down the shore for a day this summer when I was in Philly. So we went and I was exhilarated as we drove into Ocean City and rolled down the windows to the familiar scent of the salty ocean, and the sounds of seagulls flying around. I got so giddy and excited because I hadn't been down there in 5 years! It was so great to spend the day there. It's not the nicest beach in the world, but I was at the ocean once again…and I had longed for it!
One connection that I have right now is that one of my great, great friends, Hannah just took an incredible leap of faith and moved to work at a place called Harvey Cedars, along the Jersey shoreline. I stole some of these pictures from her Facebook account…because I am so jealous of her view;)
But here's where I'm going on the topic for now…this is where I need to process a little. Join me in my ramblings for a moment. (or not…now would be a good time to click on another blog or websearch, or go watch your favorite episode of The Office, if you'd like)
Here's a peek @ my journal this evening, as I sipped my zebra mocha at Buzz.
…go deeper. Be deeper. Love more deeply. Be lavished on Him. Step onto the shoreline-the line where the land meets water. Where waves crash. Where land can disappear for while, to be seem again when the water decides to concede its demand of sight. I long for my life to be epic…to have meaning…to have presence & purpose. This is bigger than just "being a teacher". It has to do with BEING who God has created me to be. Processing the adventure. Psalms 42.7 "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me."
be honest, I'm really glad that wasn't one of my Sunday School memory verses
when I was little. "God wants waves to sweep over me?"
It's a frightening thought when you can't swim. And yet, it's what
I want right now. What a shift in thought. The thing that caused me
to fear as a child has become the thing that I actually enjoy in this moment in
life. Tonight I went for the first walk I'd been on in two months.
I chose to go walk by the Potomac River,
because I really love the water. Hearing the ripples of water crash ever
so gently along the rocks put me in my happy place. And for this simple
enjoyment, I thanked Jesus. It's all connected…God, water, waves,
rocks, shores, depth, life. And in some way it's stirring my heart…but
again, I'm processing this part of my journey. Not really sure what I'm
sensing. Not really sure what is about to happen. But I do know
that His waves and breakers are sweeping over me…and it is truly deep.
The initial topic was the shoreline, and the water is not deep at the
shoreline. But the waves call us out into the depths of the vast ocean
(and I chuckle as the old song, Beyond the Sea, is playing on my Pandora
station;). So, again, I'm not completely sure how all of my thoughts and
developments are connected, but they are. I will journey along this shoreline for now.