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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are We There Yet?

“Are…we…there…yet?” my youngest daughter moaned, ten minutes after we pulled out of the drive.  “We’ll be there…when we get there,” I responded.  I quickly forgave her utter lack of patience because I was still giggling from hearing her holler from her bed, “Helloooo – this is Peggy.  Can I help you?”  (Those Discover Card commercials really have an impact.)  And, I chuckled even more when I told my older daughter, “You make my heart sing,” and she replied, “Does it sing la la la la La Bamba?”  So funny, those kids – I can’t stay frustrated too long.

Anyway, the weather was gorgeous this past weekend and we decided to head to the beach.  We had never been to the Texas Sand Fest in Port Aransas, so we were excited about joining 100,000 other sand lovers at the largest Master Sand Sculpting Competition in the United States!  (Note to self – buy a beach parking permit BEFORE we’re ON the beach and prepare the kids that a guy wearing a hard hat, seashell bra and rainbow tutu might be telling them hello while we’re there.)

My husband and I were amazed by the breath-taking sculptures and marveled at the detailed handiwork.  It was certainly hard to believe that the works of art were made by hand and only with sand.  The kids were anxious to dig in and build their own sand castles.  After we coaxed them to walk through the Masters area, we headed to Lesson Mountain, where the kiddos learned some tricks of the trade and had the chance to get their hands (and feet and nose and hair and ears) all sandy.

There were some “retired” Master Sculptors in that designated area who were eager to pass the sandy torch to the young ones.  We learned that we should cut the bottoms out of our sand pails to use as molds.  They also taught us that the sand needs to stay wet - really wet – as we fill the molds with sand and water.  “NEVER let the sand get dry” was the advice that stuck in my head.  We are now equipped with some knowledge to make a sand castle that will actually stay standing this summer.  Thank you, sand-savvy sirs!

On a similar note, there is something of great magnitude that “molds” each of us.  Our thoughts.  Matthew Kelly feels that “the actions of our life are determined by the last most dominant thought.”  He writes:

Thought determines action.  Before too long, you will be living out what has already happened in your mind.  The actions of your life are determined by your last most dominant thought.  Human thought is creative.  What we think becomes.  What you allow to occupy your mind forms the reality of your life.  Good or bad, everything happens in your mind before it happens in time and space.  If you can direct what happens in your mind, you can direct what happens in your life.
What are you thinking?  What do you think about all day long?  What do you think about in the car on the way to and from work each day?  What do you think about while you are waiting in line at the supermarket?
You cannot grow an oak with an apple seed.  So it is with thoughts.  Certain thoughts give birth to certain actions.

I think my friend, Melissa, is doing a beautiful job at allowing God to “mold” her.  He has called her to go on a mission trip – one that would truly exemplify her reckless faith.  She is extremely excited about the opportunity.  However, during her pre-trip research, she has uncovered some, um, interesting facts about her destination that have caused her to remember the kind Poison Control lady’s advice of, “Step. Away. From. The. Computer. Put. The. Mouse. Down.”  

She shared a comical, but scary-ish e-mail with facts taken from Wikitravel.  She writes:

“Bits are quite promising, while other info. will cause slight anxiety such as:
For travel, you can catch a crowded chicken bus (reused U.S. school bus), but more than 100 bus drivers have been murdered as a result of gang conflict. Despite the violence, many still consider the chicken buses and local city bus safer than taking the taxis or tuk-tuks (small three wheelers with cloth side doors). Tuk-tuks have been blamed for taking tourists to an obscure area for robbery, so knowing a local tuk-tuk driver might be safer than procuring one on the street.

Going barefoot or with sandals is the norm, however hiking with them or going barefoot might lead to ‘cutanous larva migrans,’ where hookworm larvae penetrate and cause itchy red curves and lines. Penetrating ‘botfly’ larvae…is a rare souvenir gift that would entertain your family at home. So wear shoes and socks, if you desire to walk off of the pavement.

However, if you are lucky, you will not have any illnesses...”

Melissa jokes, “Am I feeling LUCKY today?  Can't wait for the trip of a lifetime!”

Oh…Melissa, Melissa, MELISSA!  My thoughts and prayers are with you, girl.  God will provide.  Just assure me that you are going to befriend a nice little tuk-tuk driver and for goodness sake, PU-LEEZ promise me you’ll wear socks and shoes at ALL times!  And, tell the chickens on the bus “hi” from me.  (Is it crowded with chickens or people?  I dunno.  Anyway.)

Melissa will be traveling much farther than we did this past weekend.  But, when our backseat echoed, “Are we thay-rrrrrrr yet?” about twenty gazillion times - I thought of my friend’s upcoming mission trip and pondered the real answer to that question.  Many say that life is not a destination, but a journey.  Are we THERE yet?  Hmmmm….no, not really, but we’re being gently sculpted as we go.

The sculptor’s advice of “Never let the sand get dry” could also be “Never let the faith get dry.”  Same concept – neither one will work well while being sculpted.  Sand is sand.  But, the shape it takes depends on whose hands it’s in. 

As I watched my children create their own sand art, a song kept playing in my head.  David Kauffman’s song, “Make Me What You Will,” ( is an inspirational song about allowing God to shape and mold us.  Don’t get me wrong - my kiddos produced some spectacular sand sculptures, BUT allowing the hands of the “Master Sculptor” to mold us will result in something more magnificent than we ever thought possible.


  1. God's will, not beautifully stated, Heather, and how you weave it altogether is how God is using you to help re-shape, re-mold, re-sculpt and help us to remember to strive to-be-the-best-version of whom God created us to be. And hats off to the missionaries following God's nudge to step out of their comfort zone.....reckless faith......thinking, doing, living, believing.

  2. And, thank you...for the beautiful comment that is a few Sips of Sunshine in itself! ;-)