Monday, July 7, 2014

Sun, Surf, and Sea


Olivia and Michael were enrolled for a week of surf camp early last month. The little boys and I enjoyed our week on the beach as well, and I think it is fair to say that everyone got a pretty good workout. The older two, of course, got the best of it, but Jacob and Andrew were nearly constantly on the move as well. I ran the beach on most days (discovering just how pleasant that can be), but I'd have to say the biggest workout was in administrating the whole week. Early each day we'd set out with surf boards, boogie boards, chairs, towels, lunches, changes of clothing, buckets...  Unloading kids, parking at a distance, carrying gear like a mule, reloading the car to return home by dinner time, unloading, hosing down boards and suits, laundering the towels, cooking dinner, cleaning the house of sand, packing lunches, getting a head start on dinner for the next day, reloading, and starting over again. 

But it was worth it.


Olivia getting coached out on the waves.





Andrew has become expert at surfing his boogie board.



Jon joined us on the beach for dinner one night and we watched a class of new sailors learning to maneuver their boats.




Michael warming up for another day of surfing.


Olivia heading out with her board. 


Learning new "tricks"-- riding backwards.



Olivia doing switch foot jumps during the competition, taking the win.



The little boys taking in the scenery from the jetty and enjoying the thrill of splashing waves.








Out on the big waves. We had a really good coach this year.




Treats on the last day. Exhausted kids. All happy.




The beach has been our second home this summer. If too many days go by in between visits to the shore, we all have the urge to get out there fast. But it's funny. I'm still such a newbie here. The beach is not where I grew up, and it is still a little foreign to me. The forests, lakes and meadows were my home and familiar places. I tobogganed, skated and skied in the winters. I know nearly nothing of surfing and waves and tides.

And I'm still relatively new to the area here. In many ways it feels like home, because it just feels right and good, but I don't know my surroundings the way I'd like to. I want to know the beaches, the secret spots the locals want to keep to themselves. I want to know what beaches are good for the kids to surf, which ones are pretty little hide-aways, which ones are fun and safe for younger kids visiting, which ones have tide pools, etc.

So like today, I explore. Olivia has gone to Jr. High camp for the week, and I've got one of Michael's friends for a few days. It was a beautiful day and there was no good reason not to take the boys to the beach -- for them and for me. I took them to a spot I've been wondering about, one that I heard was good for surfers in the making and boogie boarding boys. We parked in the sand and the water was a gorgeous aqua-blue. As we neared the water, the sand turned to large pebbles and smooth stones. The waves were big and strong, too strong to even stand in shallow water. The boys tried their boards, but to no avail. I was knocked off my feet trying to cool off a bit, the stones ripping at my feet and hands. The boys were a little disappointed, but they quickly found things to do. Oh, but it as beautiful! It would make the perfect spot for an evening picnic on the smooth stones followed by an evening walk. I've filed that away for an opportune time...

I am thankful. Sure, it may seem easy given my pictures and descriptions, but there are some tough things in my life. Like everyone, there are things that have been persistently difficult and troubling. And there are questions and confusions. I go to God with my petitions, pleading for mercy. I go to Him with my confusion, asking that He would give me a quiet heart that trusts in Him, hopes in Him. I ask for increased faith, knowing how weak I am and how utterly dependent I am on His indwelling strength.

I know God uses my surroundings and my situations for His glory. He shows me beauty because He creates beauty. He leads me through trials because He is changing me into His likeness, making me beautiful in His eyes.

So yes, I am thankful.


~Katherine




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