Monday, August 12, 2013

Sun Kissed

...Or sun drenched and crisped. It's a good thing we have lots of sunscreen and aloe. Bad for the skin but good for the body, mind, and spirit. Good for making memories.

We spent the whole of last week at the beach, with only a few quick hours at home each morning. Michael was enrolled in a surf camp, and the rest of us also enjoyed surfing, boogie boarding, castle building, crab catching, and all manner of summertime beach fun. Mornings were a rush of activity, me trying to complete a day's worth of work, pack food, prep dinner, rush to orthodontist appointments or music lessons, errands, load the truck... you get the point. My kids are a big help now, but it's a wonder we didn't lose a surf or boogie board on the freeway with our hack job tie-down.

Then we'd get to the beach and exhale. What fun! Both Michael and Olivia improved significantly out there surfing the waves, their enthusiasm for the sport only increasing each day. It was great to see them build confidence, to push themselves physically, to persist when it was difficult, and to be encouraged by improvement. The little boys were real pals all week, too, and attracted a crowd each day with their collections of sea creatures. One day, as they collected crabs and star fish from the jetty rocks, they discovered a recently dead sand shark stuck between the rocks. This led to instant fame on the beach.

My kids are social people, especially the boys. It was interesting to watch them, to see their ease at making new friends. Michael in particular gets right in the mix without inhibition, often with kids several years older than himself. Olivia is the only one who has to push herself a little, but she does so with determination and without my prodding. I am proud of them. All of my life I've been the shy one, the girl that hardly knows how to start a conversation. I've worked hard at overcoming this deficiency for most of my life, but as of yet it is not something I do with any degree of ease. As I watched my kids interact this week, I looked down the beach a little way at the other moms that were there during surf camp. They were the super cool California girls, of course all of them blond and ultra stylish. Yep, my kids definitely have more confidence than I do in this area! I am glad for that.

(Waiting for that perfect wave...)

(Really, Michael? I'm paying for you to do this?!)

(When he spotted me perched on the jetty with my camera...)

Insecurities. Recently I've become aware that the issues I thought I had overcome long ago still persist and plague me. I've not matured, I've only learned to cope. Isn't it true that our most persistent insecurities are really a desire for love and admiration from the people that are most important to us? Maybe we think we'd be OK if only that certain someone, or certain group, or whomever, would accept us and really like us just the way we are. I wonder to what degree my life and my relationships are hindered because of insecurities. And I realize how foolish it all is, knowing that Christ's love and acceptance should change my perspective entirely. My confidence is in Him, and I live for Him and because of Him. This is what matters. His love for me changes everything.

And so I am dismayed by the way I allow my shallow feelings to dictate my outlook and my actions. They entangle and hold me back from living fully and loving without restraint.

The Christian life is to be so much more full! Words like peace and joy come to mind, fullness and triumph. Belonging, saved, redeemed. Conquerors, victors! LIFE abundant!

And I want it bad!

I read the following recently and it struck a chord with me:

“We ought to rise higher in experience. How much of the fullness of Divine grace we know almost nothing of! How much belongs to us in Christ that we have never claimed as personally our own!

To say that it is the privilege of every Christian to enjoy to the utmost the blessings that flow to him from his union to Christ is not to say enough. It is his duty as well. We not only may be, but ought to be, ‘Strengthened with all might by His spirit in the inner man,’ ‘abounding in hope,’ ‘kept in perfect peace.’ But do we really seek this? Do we actually attain it? Is it uncharitable to say that most Christians are only barely alive?

Their spiritual pulse is feeble; their spiritual progress is slow; their spiritual victories are few; their spiritual joys are poor. There is no vigor in their faith. If they see at all it is only dimly. The full sunshine they never know. The clouds hang always low and trail heavily across their sky. This poor and meager experience is certainly better than no experience of grace at all; just as a sick man is better than a dead man. But when Christ comes to do His saving work upon us, He does not restore us from death to sickliness; He restores from death to the fullness of happy life.

Why do we not enjoy the assured position He gives us? Why do we walk so often with drooping face and downcast eye when Christ has risen a Conqueror, to make us sharers in His triumph over sin and death and hell? Looking upon our gloom-covered faces, listening to our cheerless, half-faithless tones, who would ever dream that we were the heirs of a glorious liberty obtained for us by the Christ who dies, and rose again, and lives for evermore?”

G. H. Knight

His Victorious Indwelling, 421

Nick Harrison, Editor

We have more of the same lined up this week, but to a lesser extent. I can't help but to take advantage of the last days of summertime freedom, even though my emphasis is beginning to turn toward preparing for the new school year in a more focused manner. Some kids we know head back to the classroom today... yikes.

Happy Monday.



  1. hi! I'm so curious what beach this is where little creatures can be found?? I grew up in so cal at many beaches and never saw such things! just sand crabs..

    1. Really, any beach that has rocks or tide pools will have a variety of creatures! My kids just go searching way down deep between the rocks. They even open up mussels and lay the bits out as bait for the crabs, which works quite well. The dead shark, however, was a first. Better dead than alive, even though this variety is harmless.

  2. First time to read your heart... What a joy! I got your blog from Tanya. :) Loved the pictures but most of all your thoughts which are provoking, encouraging, and so very vulnerable. Shyness and insecurity are not always coupled with quiet beautiful meek spirits, like your own, so I can relate to your dismay at how I shrink back from that victorious, joyful Christ-centered life. To love un-hindered regardless of how people respond or pursue you back. Ah... now that would be freedom.

    1. Thank you for your comment Alaina, and welcome to my little spot!


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