“You’ll Find Me at the Ocean”

I have always loved the ocean. I love that it is full of so much I can see and still so much that I can’t see. At the ocean, the world above the world is pretty amazing but there is so much more happening than I can even know beneath the waves. And, it is just such a refreshing place to be. The sounds, the smells, the sand beneath my feet. I love it all!

God’s promises are often tied to the water — from baptism to the charge to make “fishers of men” to many things inbetween.

And when I am feeling the need to rest and recharge, the ocean is a special place for me. Unfortunately, I don’t get there very often. I haven’t been oceanside in about a year and I am definitely overdue, especially after a year like this crazy year!

I was intrigued when I heard about the book, You’ll Find me at the Ocean by Martha Boggs-Black and couldn’t wait to read it. While it is a beautiful picture book written for children, it was a actually a gift for me to be able to read it! I love to see God at work in nature and in the smallest, often unnoticed situations around me. This book gives simple yet powerful reminders of God’s provisions and Martha recounts the promises of God so beautifully.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. – Psalm 32:8

We are all moving through the stages of grief about something and God’s promises are the only things that are worthy to cling to!

This book is a great resource for the classroom as well as home. This is perfect for a child who is grieving the loss of a loved one but also a wonderful opportunity to explore the emotions surrounding death and God’s promises. God’s promises in light of this story are sweet reminders for each of us!

Here’s a link to the book: You’ll Find me at the Ocean : A Journey of Grief Through the Eyes of a Child

You can learn a little more about Martha, the author, HERE!

The Gift of Time

It’s a new day, a new week, and a new plan for us. We are getting closer to our new normal as our youngest two moved back to their apartment. All of the activities we carefully made for this year are in the circular file and we are back at the drawing table.

For those of you who, like me, are experiencing a schedule that looks something like the wide open west, this is a unique opportunity to look over your schedule. As you look to planning the next month or so, an important clue is to think about what you are longing for — what have you missed during this time of restriction? What are the things that are you are relieved are off the table?

So many of our days are outlined by things we have to do and that is definitely a part of living life here on Earth. But, we do have a lot of choices in our day and today is a great day to invest in a relationship that you value. Reach out! Make a connection. Send a card. Make a phone call.

For those of you who are juggling so much that you are exhausted and you collapse in bed every night, better days are on the way. Hang tight. Reach out for help. And, hopefully, you are experiencing some positive things along the way.

Resting in His Grace,
Liz

You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7

Blessed

I was pondering Psalm 32 today. Below is the New International Version. If you have the time, just look at one section at a time and think it over and let it soak in.

As usual, my mind is all over the place when I read something as vivid as this Psalm. The metaphors and similes are amazing — David, the author, felt the same things I feel today.

But it is important that feelings aren’t the top dog here. Feelings can be important. And they are real but they aren’t always really accurate. I might not feel blessed, but I am. And there may be days that I don’t feel loved, but I am.

I do think an important key is in the third section: Keeping silent slowly destroys us from the inside out. But confession is so good for us and restores our relationship with God.

Confession is always a good thing, but particularly as we contemplate during this season of Lent.

Psalm 32

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you.

 Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!