Friday, September 21, 2012

When you stand beside the ocean....

  Our beach trip this year was definitely bittersweet.  It was a last minute decision, since my Mom and Kayla were going on a trip and planning to go to Florida, plans which were interrupted by the hurricane.  They decided two days before they left to go to Myrtle Beach instead, and the day before they left, the kids and I decided to go with them.  Hubby planned to drive down the third day we were there and stay overnight so we could get a mini-vacation, but the children would get to spend a few days at the beach.
   We checked in and could not find a baggage cart, so we ended up carrying everything we could get our hands on up to the room, along with my children who had been in the car for six hours and were very unhappy.  Somehow in the madness of all of it, we all forgot to lock our car doors.  We got up to the room, dropped the stuff off, and came immediately back to the car.  Between the time that it took us to get to the room and back to the car, someone got into our car, and stole my camera bag.  My camera, my lenses..  my flashes, my cards.  My entire bag.  Gone.
    The first twenty minutes we were there were filled with filling police reports.  We stood in the parking deck, my mother and I, as my sister was in the room with my children.  I smelled the ocean, and felt the breeze..  I looked at her and asked if she could do this for me, and she said yes.  I went up to the room to see my kiddos standing in front of the sliding glass balcony door, gazing out into the ocean.  I could have sat in the room and cried.  I could have wasted our entire vacation complaining..  but in that moment, I realized that God brought us here, to the ocean, and I wasn't about to waste another minute being sad.  I changed them, and took my babies to the ocean..  then something AMAZING happened....


    The sun started to set..  and God painted us a BEAUTIFUL picture.  He painted the sky with vivid pinks and blues that stretched the entirety of the ocean.  The water reflected it perfectly, then even the sand began to pick up the pink shimmer.  It was absolutely the MOST breathtaking thing I have ever seen in my entire life!  I know that it happens a million times..  but I knew in that moment, that picture was painted for me..  because it was exactly what I needed..  exactly what God needed to give me, to show me just how beautiful, how amazing and miraculous he was!  He brought me there for a reason, and yes..  something very special was taken away from me..  but this reminded me just how wonderful all the other things he has blessed me with are!  How could I ever be sad, how could I ever be discontent, with a big God like the one I serve, painting a picture, putting me on a beach, and showing me the vastness of his creation....


   My little girl danced as the foamy waves grabbed at her little toes.  She tiptoed through the sand and sang, she jumped and giggled so loudly.  Then she stood and looked out at the ocean.  My little Kodak easyshare, the one that cost me $10 on ebay lol..  captured this moment, and I'll always remember it as one of the most precious moments in my life.  
   There's this song, that never made me cry until I had kids.  Now it makes me cry just to think about it..  its the song "I hope you dance...." 
"I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean..."

   In the vastness of Gods creation..  in the wonder and amazement by the works that can only be fashioned by the hands of an amazing creator..  I hope they will feel small, that they will taken in the vastness of his creation, and realize, that he put us here, in this moment, and that he loves you THAT much.  
   So when I think about that vacation, will I think about the people who stole my camera?  Not at all..  I'll think about this..  the first moments on the beach...  seeing how much my children have grown since last time they were here, and how much they've changed..  the way Hudson LOVED the sand and the way Callie was amazed by the water...





   The way Hudson begged for a little turtle in the surf shop, that we really probably should not have bought.. but we have them anyway..  the way he said "I want a turtle.." and the way when we got back to the hotel, he declared that he didn't like turtles.  lol..  my little man..
   The rainy day where we got Godfather's pizza and it was amazing..  then to Kirks ice cream, where Hudson refused to eat his little sugar cone and I realized that he wanted one like Callies' even if it was 2.00 more..  and that my son was now big enough to know that he had been shorted..  but don't worry, he got his sprinkle cone..  for 2.50....

   I'll remember the look on Callie's face the night her Daddy got there..  when she saw him walk toward the kiddie pool and just climbed on him when he came to hug her. How him being there made it sooooo much more fun!  The way Hudson giggled when he piled sand on his Daddy and how it wasn't until he got there that he wanted to go in the ocean...


   Ice cream on the beach, the snow monkey place where we could get ice cream..  how much Hudson really enjoys Krispie Kreme, which is by the way a family tradition.


The aquarium, and how much Hudson really liked those mermaids :)
  
   These are the memories I take from the beach, and they are memories I would not trade for anything, not even for a camera.  :)  So for now, I take it that I'm going to be putting my photography business on the backburner for awhile..  which is okay, because I've felt God calling me to do that for awhile.  I suppose it was his way of preparing me for what was about to happen.  I've learned a lot, and will do a lot different in the future when I get back into photography.  But for now, I'm happy with these kids, with my memories, with my family and with my life, just the way it is, just the way God made it.
   And I'm thankful for the memories, for the chance to breathe the ocean air again before it got cold.  For the time spent with my kids, my mom, my sister, my husband..  with friends and family.  For all of that, I'm thankful, and I can't wait to take them back.  :)