Toes and Sand


On Sunday I had a great idea.  It was such a gorgeous day.  Bright blue sky, mild breeze.  California’s “freezing” temperatures behind us.  The beach was calling my name.

I wasn’t the only one with this great idea.

Cruising up Pacific Coast Highway just isn’t as sexy when it’s stop and go.

The hunt for parking was a scene from Hunger Games.  Sans the bow and arrow.

When I finally crawled into a parking space, my next foe appeared:  a broken parking meter.

Finally paid and en route to sand and surf, and my bladder chooses to alert me that I need some reprieve.  Sounds of crashing waves do nothing to help convince a bladder to hold out longer.

I wasn’t the only one who had that idea, either.

Up to this point, my main thought was “Why didn’t I just stay home?  I know better than to venture out on a weekend in SoCal.  I could have gotten so much done instead of wasting all this time.”

And then my toes hit the sand. All senses fired as soles of my feet made contact with the fine, grainy blonde sand of Huntington Beach.  I breathed deeply and remembered how much I love the smell of ocean air.  I looked out over the sunshine-bathed expanse of blue, and my soul expanded with its horizon.  I heard the laughter and playfulness coming from the crowds I had resented for the last hour, and I stopped scorning them for having the same idea as me.

My toes hit the sand.  And I remembered what mattered.

Too many times my focus goes to the inconveniences, the frustrations, and the time-wasters.  I know I’m not alone in that, either.  But days like Sunday remind me that pushing through those distractions is worth what’s on the other side, whether it’s a beach day, or a date night, or a family holiday, or dreams and projects that are scary.

This is part of my new-year-new-me resolve:  I’m gonna get my toes in the sand, even if it’s annoying and inconvenient to get them there.

Sand and Surf





Watching a Master


I can’t remember whether my Dad was my superhero when I was little.  Well, I mean, except the time that I found out he was visiting Santa Claus to give him my Christmas list.  My Dad, friends with Santa Claus.  Delivering my list in person.  Definitely hero status that day.

But what I do know is that he’s mMe & Popsy hero now.  We went through the typical hate-each-other-phase in my teen years (okay, I was more the hater than he, but what teenager isn’t?).  We’ve survived the mutual eye-rolling contests during my years of becoming wise beyond my years (ahem, I do have the degree to show for it).  And we’ve laughed hysterically over the traits that I’ve inherited from him.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I got to spend a whole day with him while he worked.  I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened, just he and I.  All at once, I was taken back in time to the days I’d spent with him as a kid on the job site he was building.  Then, as now, he’d let me pretend to help.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty awesome with a tape measure.

Today I got to see a master at work.  The way my Dad can see a building, envision its potential, and creatively use space is fascinating.  He’s a genius.  And it’s always fun to watch a genius work.

When a genius works, it’s like a machine operating at its precise rythym, every gear complimenting the other.  It’s like a song perfectly on pitch.  It’s like a poem, one whose author is the only one who knows which line is coming next, and then when you hear it, you agree:  Yes, that was precisely right, that was the next line.

Now this may all sound a little, well, overly poetic for a daddy-daughter-work-day filled with construction and inspections and homerepairs at hand – but really, it was beautiful.

It was a beautiful reminder that when a Master works, you stop and take notice.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been with my Dad on a job site, so it’s been a long time since I’ve remembered his Mastery.

In the same vein, I’m prone to forget my heavenly Father’s mastery.  I forget that He’s actually really good at what He does.  I try to help Him, and just like the “help” I provide with a tape measure, I probably get in His way more times than not.  But when I pay attention to His work, it’s genius.  It doesn’t seem so at every moment – in fact, there is a plethora of things I’d redo or undo if I was the Master Designer of this Universe filled with suffering – but when I look, when I pay attention, when I spend the day on one of his job sites, I often discover a result more beautiful than I could have envisioned.

How have you been reminded lately of God’s mastery?