Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And we're back.

Back to life after one week of forced nothing.

My phone, my usual third arm to daily routine, e-mail checking and schedule-keeping was coated in white sand under a towel and a tube of sunscreen. My shoulders received more sun-kissed freckles than my nose and mascara was somewhere forgotten at the bottom of a suitcase in the closet.

I tuned it all out. While those waves pushed gently against our feet, I wasn't thinking about the move. Or the hurt. Or my broken heart. Or any of the things that aren't lovely.

I watched the sea live and breathe; the tide push and pull. And I curled my toes deeper into that sinking sand. Then I tried to find the lessons. Because, I told myself, I know they're here.

I keep telling myself that what lies ahead of me is not something to dread or fear. It's not a punishment or a burden to bear. It's simply another wave, that will crest, break and pass on behind me.

I tell myself that I'm just a shell. Emptied. Filled. Emptied. Filled. Carried. Settled. Buried. Emptied. And maybe someday someone will pass by and say, "Wow. That's beautiful."

I feel this thing in me that is compelled. Beyond my will. Beyond my own choice. I tell myself it's just the tide. 
That God is the sun and the moon; 
the light of the day and the compelling in the dark. 
That regardless of anything else, 
I will always be where I am supposed to be.

The clouds looked like elephants and horseshoe crabs. My soothing balm was buried within Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's admonitions. I didn't feel guilty for not following a disciplined reading plan or morning devotional.

God met me in the sand under my nails, the burning hot sun and the nightly bowl of stars.

And I keep telling myself that.

{linking up today with these girls over here...}


  1. I am encouraged by your story today. It really is how we choose to look at it. whether we choose to believe a lie or believe the truth..
    I am glad you got that week..you needed it. It looks heavenly..we are getting a blizzard today:)

    I appreciate your prayers...I am a shell with you

  2. I love the beach! God really does meet us right where we are as long as we are looking. Glad I followed you over from Finding Heaven.

  3. I'm so glad you are back. I missed you. I'm so glad, though, that you had that time at the beach (my favorite) and I especially love your words about the shell and how people will pass and see the beauty. Your words are hopeful and, yet, my heart still aches for you, friend.

  4. I have missed you Andrea! So glad you are back and had a lovely restful time (those photos are gorgeous!)

    This is absolutely beautiful. I love the imagery of the ocean....and the shell...and the filling and emptying. My heart so needed to hear these things today. There is hope....beauty is coming. I believe that.

    (I saw your tweet about The Civil Wars in your sidebar and laughed because I am listening to their album right now as I type this comment...and I tweeted about their album perfection this morning!)

  5. I love the voice in which you tell your story of life. Really, it stands out, and even when you write about the tough stuff, there is a sweet and lulling tone to it.

  6. Beautiful words, from a beautiful heart ♥

  7. Tiffini — us shells, we can stick together.
    Rachy — i have this swiss-family-robinson dream to live in a giant treehouse on a beach, forever and ever, amen. i'm so glad you visited!
    Jen — thanks for encouraging me to continue :) and the fact that you're aching with me really feels a bit like someone is holding up my weary arms.
    Critty — The Civil Wars are the best! Thanks so much for your encouragement and for stopping by today. It means so much!
    Amy — I guess it's my own way of processing pain.. I'm always searching for beauty.
    Jenn — thank you thank you.

  8. God did indeed meet you in the sand. What a glorious gift to be given rest in His creation.

  9. I could hear the ocean in your voice and my mind was taken to the memory of sand under my feet. It's the one place I can empty my mind and it's also where God fills my heart. So thankful you had time to rest.

  10. The poetry of the shell... took the very breath from my lungs.

    This is beautiful. I think I need some beach time to learn again how to see.

  11. michelle - agreed. creation shouts with God's voice.
    pamela - i'm so glad that maybe even for a moment, you found your feet back on that sand.
    ashleigh - i hope you can get there soon :)

  12. Wow. That's beautiful. It really is.

    And I will always be where I am supposed to be.

    I need to hold those words in my heart for a while.

    Thank you.

  13. Kim — thanks for stopping by and for such a kind comment. Hoping those words take root in you like they've done in me.