Sunday, April 19, 2009

He Speaks Amid the Noise Around Me

Listening for His voice in the waters.

It's been quite a week for us. Spring Break -- Washington DC on Mon/Tues/Wed. What a trip! I was able to stand with Barbie just inches from the documents that declare our country independent and free. And hundreds of years old. I loved the National Portrait Gallery best, I think. Rose loved the Museum of Natural History and all the rocks there -- Hunk O Man fell in love with Abraham Lincoln all over again at the American History Museum, and even saw a play at the Ford Theater. Bug found a shop in Chinatown that was the equivalent of a WalMart, Babydoll kept us on track with her iPod Touch apps, locating the nearest McDonalds and such, and JB imitated everyone and had us all laughing.

JB rides the metro

The gang in the subway. JB wants to know whatchoo lookin at?

Portrait of Juliette Gordon Low, our favourite one

They even had typos in the 18th century

Me and Barbie -- the clones -- thinking we may be lost --

Lotsa escalators and comfy shoes

We came home on Thursday, and then we all went different directions on Friday and Saturday:

Rose went to Myrtle Beach to spend time with her boyfriend's family. She had her own suite in a house right on the ocean! They love her so much. If she and Boyfriend ever break up, we may have to move.

Bug and Hunk O Man went to UNC Asheville to check things out. Bug thinks she wants to attend there next year. They also found Mast General Store, the greatest of all general stores.

Barbie, JB, Babydoll, and their good friend BKnee and I headed for the beach. My friend Nan was generous enough to lend us her beach cabin for the night.

Walking the dog

Babydoll in the cold water

Wet dog having the time of his life

Beach bunnies

The weather was gorgeous -- could have been warmer, but hey, we'll definitely take all that sunshine! At first the girls went to the beach without me for about 2 hours -- I had some alone time; then I went over, then they left to go get some lunch and I was left alone on the beach. They all got sunburned -- Babydoll looks like she has some tropical disease, because Barbie sprayed on the sunblock but never rubbed it in!

I just sat in the sand and looked at the waves and tried to concentrate on the sound. I have tinnitus, a high-pitched ringing in my ears, that sounds like something electronic. All the time. I noticed while at the beach that I couldn't hear it over the sound of the waves.

This was just a gift from God. So I was reminded about the ocean, and why I love it so much, and why it just heals me inside sometimes. I needed that healing on Friday and Saturday. Life has been so full of girls yelling at each other, arguing, at one another's throats. There are days I wish they'd just throw one another down on the floor and have it out. It would be less stressful on everyone. Boys? Easy. Girls? Definitely not.

As I sat there on the beach, I thought once again about how the ocean is so like God. It's huge. It never stops; those waves lapping at the sand there where I was have been lapping there since long before I was here, and will be there long after. Its tide faithfully comes in and out.

Sometimes it is scary, because the waves are big. It can do a lot of damage in a storm.

The sound of it is so soothing. It really is a roar, but not a scary one. It's like white noise, very comforting.

It supports a myriad variety of life. We actually couldn't exist without our oceans. It gives life and sustains life.

It is healing. I will never forget my brother Scott and his stubbed toes at the beach in Florida when we were children. He cried and cried when the salt water touched them -- but they healed in no time. What do we give people in the hospital when they need fluids? Saline solution. Sea salt will cure meat and act as a preservative, also.

It is deep. We may never know its depths. It holds mysteries -- weird, alien-looking life -- that amaze us and creep us out.

Sometimes it's warm, and sometimes cold. Sometimes it invites you to play -- other times, it invites you to walk and listen and meditate.

I love the ocean. I have spent long hours there talking to God when in deep despair. And God has met me there and just been with me.

So today I bless Nan and her generosity, and I bless God for healing my bruised heart. Someday I'll live by the sea, maybe, and I'll go outside in the morning and sing and praise Him for His goodness -- and all the ways it is reflected in His oceans.