Monday, August 11, 2008

back from vacation...

Well, I'm back from Florida and feeling quite relaxed and tan. My mom and I went to New Smyrna Beach (just south of Daytona) to stay at a condo that belongs to some close family friends of ours. We had about 5 days to do absolutely nothing but lay by the pool, go to the beach, watch the colors of the sky change over the water, climb 203 steps to the top of a lighthouse, read and listen to crickets chirping while sitting on the lanai at night, and do just about anything we wanted to do.

I feel as if there are a billion things I could write about, and a good portion of that could be just about the colors in the sky and the shades of gold that the sun seemed to shine. My camera can't always quite capture what I see with my eyes, but I always try. I have to say that my favorite moments were near the beginning and the end of the trip, and both were along the beautiful shoreline. When we first got there, we took a stroll down the beach on the sand that was softer than a pair of slippers right as the sun was going down in the distance. It was the most beautiful beginning to the trip.

The last full day we were there, I really wanted to get up early to go run along the beach instead of just in the condo neighborhood, so we got up around 7:00 and headed to the beach around 8:00 a.m. I took a long, hot & sweaty run down the shore (yes, HOT and SWEATY at 8:00 a.m....) and then we walked down to the Flagler Avenue Coffee Shop to get frozen teas. We walked back to the beach, sat our chairs in the sand with our toes in the water, and I read from Psalm 29.
This is what I read:

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
As I sat and read, re-read, and journaled about these words, I couldn't help but recognize what a majestic, powerful, creative, and strong, yet kind, gentle, and peace-giving God we serve. The same God that can speak lightning forth can also whisper as gently as a soft breeze. The same God that makes waves crash into the shore, filled with power, sends quiet raindrops just when they're needed in a dry and thirsty land. The same God whose voice can make the earth quake and split the tallest, mightiest trees of cedar can speak and breathe life into a gentle baby.

This God who is so mighty and powerful is yet so gentle and peaceful. And as I sat and watched the waves crash with some great power, I could feel the gentleness of the breeze blowing as if God was whispering peace right to me. And with that, I wanted nothing more than just to breathe in and breathe out with the very breath God breathed into me.

I love when God reveals Himself in the most surprising ways.


Christine said...

Your photos are breathtaking Mandy! I especially love the way you captured the light and shadows. Brilliant. What a lovely, refreshing trip it seems. Does the beach ever disappoint?

Tara said...

Glad you had fun on your trip! Looks like you had great weather!