Monday, February 11, 2013

Separate Vacations...Totally Together!

Mark looked tenderly at me last night and asks me, 

"Will you be ok? If the weather is rainy the rest of the week? It's not going to be the sunny and warm we'd planned on...should we change our plans?"

His concern is very real, but this is really ok - I'll survive a week of rain and clouds and wind on the beach. I won't come back bronzed...but hey, I had a nice rosy wind burn on my face yesterday... and I dread wearing all that there's an upside too!

Besides, what happened this morning makes it totally worth it....

As I was starting to wake, sensing the light creeping in from around the edges of the rooms only window, I grabbed my phone from my nightstand and peeked at the clock. 7:10. I think, "Ooh, I should take my thyroid med...then maybe we could eat breakfast together. He's sleeping so soundly...can I even sit up and get it out without waking him? Hmm. I don't want to wake him if he's this tired. All the driving catching up with him. I'll just lay here a bit and read my scripture for the day. Check my email. Catch up on my social media outlets., he must be TOTALLY exhausted...not a deep breath, not a budge. Hmm. Wait a moment. (slowly roll over...) HE'S NOT EVEN HERE! Stinker. He snuck out on me...again!"

See, while I plan my vacations around the sunshine and sand and a good book, Mark lives to wake up early (always, even at home, he's the morning person in the marriage!) and walk the beach. He's a beach comber. He loves it. Don't get me wrong, I love it too, and have plenty of shells and oddities that have washed up on the shores of beaches to prove it. But for him, it's therapy. The constant sound of the sea, spray of the waves blowing up on your face, the walking on fresh washed sand, the treasure seeking (his goal here, a whole sand dollar) and the morning (or anytime, really) sunshine rising in the sky. He lives for this. Takes God there with him. Sits at His feet at the base of the pier pilings, as the rhythm of the waves beating on shore, broken by each piling, provides the percussion for some unknown worship song being sung in his heart. 

So...he's just come back to the room. I read my words to him. God's spoken to him too, and Mark shared his morning lesson...not the words written on paper (or electronically), but the lesson he learned while trying to find perfect shells on the shore. Realizing that being the first one out there, you have so much to choose from....too much really. So he sifted through the PERFECT shells, and then changed to only bring the UNIQUE ones, and then God spoke to his heart about how fortunate we are that HE is not so picky. He chooses us, chipped, broken, partially maimed. He loves us no matter how much of our inside is exposed. Whether we are ugly on the underside. Whether our color is a little off. When there's nothing lovely about us at all. Amen.

Well, I'd better shut this device down, and get on to our vacation together time. :) 

More later... and don't forget...(in)courage sign ups for the new community groups start TUESDAY!! WHOOP! WHOOP!! 

Fun stuff over there...check it out and learn what groups will fit you best this go round!! I'm staying in {relatively}empty nesting, but starting a new one with my daughter... on Missionary Care!! Find out where it is tomorrow, and join us over there if you are a woman who has been on the mission field, is currently on field, or if you are helping in Missionary Care now!! (see you then!)

UPDATE:  Here is Mark's take on his morning - from his FB post:
" Woke up while still dark. Went down and watched the sunrise while sitting on the beach. Hadn't done that in a long time. Also excited that I was the first one on the beach to pick through the many shells that had washed up through the night. At first I was picking up any whole shells, then I realized my pockets weren't big enough to carry them all. So I decieded to only pick up the all white ones. Then switched to the unique ones...shapped a little different...coloring a little odd. Then switched to the ones that were mis-shaped or odd in appearance. In the end, I had run the gammit of beauty...I was able to find beauty in just about any shell I saw. Realized that this is how God views us, that each of us is matter what our history, how clean we appear, we all have our imperfections, yet we are all loved because we are the result of His handi-work. That this is the type of love we are shown and that we are also called to reflect that love to those around us. Have you showed love today to someone that may be an imperfect shell in your eyes...but is amazingly perfect in His?

Ephesians 2:8-10 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. " 

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