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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Read Me!

Photo Credit:  pippalou from
Last weekend, we had the opportunity to squeeze in a quick trip to one of our favorite places – Port O’Connor, Texas.  A POC getaway usually involves some hopeful fishing.  Since my fishing license was up for renewal, I got a new one and was sure to ask this time if they gave full refunds in the event that this license didn’t bring me lucky nets. (heh!)

On this particular fishing excursion, my youngest daughter spent much of the time digging in the sand while my dad and I dropped our lines.  I think the place we chose was a bit too busy with other boats passing by, so the fish were hiding.  (This is what we consoled ourselves with anyhow…)  Then, moments before we gave up, I noticed my dad’s flip-flop floating in the water nearby.  In the blink of an eye, it was out of reach, several yards from the shore bobbing up and down with the pulse of the ocean.

“Dad, quick, grab your shoe before it floats away!” I hollered.  My dad reacted by calmly casting out his top-water lure close to the runaway flip-flop…again and again.  “Dad, I think that flip-flop’s a goner!” I yelled.  Each time he threw out his line, he got closer.  “Don’t worry.  I’ll get it.  Have faith!” he shouted back.

After numerous attempts, he finally hooked the flip-flop and slowly reeled it in.  Despite the fact that the only thing we caught on that trip was indeed a gray flip-flop, I marveled at how much patience, persistence, and faith he had in the process.  He WAS going to get that fugitive flip-flop…without a doubt in his mind.

A few verses from the Bible come to mind when I think of the waves tossing about at sea.  In James 1:5-8, it says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him.  But, when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind; and every decision you then make will be uncertain, as you first turn this way, and then that.  If you don’t ask with faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you solid answers.”

Hmmm.  As we embark on a new school year, there are waves of uncertainty, aren’t there?  Will our college student be okay during his or her first year away from home?  Will our Kindergarten kiddo make it through the first day?  Will I?  Will we pray with the faith of knowing that God hears us and will answer?  Will we be able to balance our endless commitments and activities with carefree timelessness?
Since it’s the back-to-school season ‘round here, it seems I’ve been focusing on time a bit more lately…particularly, how it slips away so quickly.  Is my baby really starting Kindergarten?  Sniff, sniff.

I want to share a couple of e-mails that were thought-provoking for me.  I think they’ve been around a time or two, but they’re worth reading again.  This one is from my cousin’s wife, Donna:

Imagine that you’ve won the following prize in a contest - each morning your bank will deposit $86,400 into a private account for your use.  However, the prize has rules:

  1. Everything that you don’t spend during each day will be taken away from you.
  2. You can’t transfer money into another account.
  3. You can only spend it.
  4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank will open your account with another $86,400 for that day.
  5. The bank can close the account and end the game without warning.  At any time it can say, “Game Over!”
 What would you do?  Would you buy anything and everything you wanted?  Would you spend it on yourself, all the people you love and care for, and even people you don't know?  Would you try to spend every penny because you knew it would be replenished in the morning?

Actually, this game is real and the prize is time.  Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us.  What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.  Each morning, the account is refilled, but the bank can close our account at any time…without warning...

What will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

I needed the reminder.  I thought I’d also share the following e-mail from Mikey’s Funnies because it was too cute not to:

Mr. Smith climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God.  Looking up, he asks the Lord, "God, what does a million years mean to you?"  The Lord replies, "A minute."  Mr. Smith asks, "And what does a million dollars mean to you?"  The Lord replies, "A penny."  Mr. Smith asks, "Can I have a penny?"  The Lord replies, "In a minute."

I hear that God has a good sense of humor and on many of my summer days with the kiddos at home, I certainly believed it.  I’m equally sure that God loves us and wants us to know and feel that love every single day. 

I try to be aware of God’s blessings throughout my most ordinary of days, but for some reason, I become acutely aware of them when I’m at the beach.  It might be the miles and miles of ocean, the calming sounds of the salty air, or the fact that I’m usually spending time with my family there.  It’s most probably a mix of all three, but I love being there.

With sun-kissed, sandy toes, I like to look for bottles that have washed ashore.  Since I was a child, I thought it would be neat to find a “Read Me” message in a bottle.  I haven’t found one yet, but if God sent us a message in a bottle with thoughts for this new school year, what do you think it might say?  I’m thinking it would go something like this:

“Be quick to forgive.  Love deeply.  Laugh often.  Be kind.  Be patient.  Pray.  Cherish life.  Help others.  Trust in Me.  Don’t worry.  Nothing is impossible through Me.  Listen to each other.  Remember that you are My child and I will always love you.” 

I’ll remember that fishing trip when my dad caught a foot-long-flip-flop.  But, what I’ll cherish most of all is the memory of seeing the faith of a fisherman.  He fished…knowing he would catch…regardless of the catch.  And, in the words of William Arthur Ward, “Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.”  Love it!

P.S.  If you need a poem to kick-off your school year, here is one I wrote in August of 2012 called, “Time to Fly.”

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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