Posts Tagged ‘Beach’

One decade ago this week, this blog was launched.

(See below for the very first post!)

I am humbly grateful for having the privilege of being a part of the WordPress community and for the incredibly kind, talented and amazing human beings who together make up this wonderful blogosphere.

Thank you so very much for ten phenomenal years of discovery, growth, friendships and untold joys. A lot can happen in a decade on a beach…tides shift, precious shells wash up and get swept back out to sea, storms destroy and God heals, and the sun always comes out again.

Thank you for sharing this beach with me. xo

It all started with this:


Pull up a beach chair…

July 7, 2011 by Southern Sea Muse

Welcome, my friend…to my blog and to my world. Let’s sit and ponder things together…growing stronger and wiser from having the courage to take the risk of entertaining thoughts both inside and outside of our comfort zones, to find peace in change, strength in weakness, joy in despair.

As we contemplate, our chairs may shift and settle and get stuck in the sand, but we know that the momentary sense of stability in being grounded in what feels firm and solid, will ultimately give way to that disturbing realization of relinquished control as the water rises seemingly without notice. Then we suddenly find  the impetus to pick up our beach chair and move it to a new place to enjoy yet another perspective, building on our previous vantage point. Perhaps a little higher, perhaps a little farther, but either way, we have been moved, forced to change, and to experience a renewed sense of security, even though in the back of our mind we know it will change again with the rhythm of the seashore.

Let this rhythm be our lullaby to cradle us through the sometimes startling, sometimes soothing tides of change.

Come sit a spell, lie back and relax, dig your toes in the warm sand, deeply inhale the sweet sea mist….

….and Listen………..

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Much of our recent trip west was spent enjoying The Great Outdoors …what splendor and awe we found, most often in the most secluded and rugged places.

Boy meets Pacific Ocean

Redwoods at Jedediah Smith State Park

Yup, I drove through one!

Majestic Mt. Shasta

Beach boy meets snow for the first time!

Fortunately there were only two spots where there were rocks in the road with no place to swerve but off the cliff. Woo-sah, I can still drive high elevations after all these years!

Smith River…my favorite place to see a shade of blue you never see except deep in glaciers or geyser pools

Oregon coast

Now we know what a “sneaker wave” is!

Multnomah Falls

Thank You, God, for an incredible trip, for the privilege of being able to share Your inspired creation with my son, for spectacular shows of nature and for happy memories. God, may all people experience the natural revelation of You. May we serve You through caring for this world and its people, preserving these special and awe-some sights for generations to come.

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In the last installment, Subtropical storm Alberto was about to impose on my world. Perhaps the main twisted part had to do with the media coverage elsewhere (for ratings’ sake) than what actually was the case here.

The good news was it provided some great surf for the local surfer fanatics who don’t have the luxury of living in Australia or Hawaii. And that my kid’s skull wasn’t impacted. The bad news came home this morning:

No worries, we were able to save the ankle tether and this was just a backup surf board.

Now we’re just waiting for a “real” storm.

I don’t think I’ve introduced you to Donut the therapy dog yet….Santa brought him at Christmas to our house from a very special place across the country, for our special needs kids:

(when in my lap, he doubles as Toonces the Driving Dog)

He is decked out for Memorial Day.

God bless all who sacrificed their lives for ouR freedom….

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It is always good to know one’s Place in the World…I am so grateful for mine, and for you joining me here at the sea!

Thanks, God, for respite and sea solace, for giving us a piece of Heaven here on earth in our respective places in the world You’ve provided.

Forgive uS for having strayed from our designated places when we have, and thank You for shepherding us back to where we belong. Your mercy and patience with us is great, and greatly to be praised.

Thank You for the different ways You nurture us with comfort and peace…and for the places that we can be still and know that You are God.

Thanks for giving us a place in the world.

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A masterpiece may drop into your life unexpectedly, or it may be right under your nose – unnoticed, unaccepted, ignored or even cast off.

True masterpieces are to be studied, marveled at and most of all, appreciated.


But, we can never really know a masterpiece until we give it our time, patience and unconditional attention.

It requires an understanding that masterpieces don’t necessarily start out as masterpieces.

Like a disturbingly elusive shadow limited to periphery, their process begins with a wisp of will to grasp the ethereal.

Their evolution is often fraught with seeming disorganization, struggle, and sometimes with a goal very different from what was originally intended.

They may not even look like a masterpiece from afar, or even when we’re too close.

It seems that perspective is the salient factor in being able to see something as the masterpiece that it really is.


A masterpiece infuses our very being with





And limitless joy.


It demands that we stretch ourselves further than we ever thought ourselves capable.

And yields untold blessings well beyond what we, in our finite reasoning, could ever fathom.

May you be inspired by the masterpieces you may find in the unlikeliest places in your world, my dear friend.


Hey, God…may we seek beauty in everything and in everyone with whom our paths may cross.

Give us humility to esteem the least as greatest, the last as first and the poorest as rich.

Thank you, Lord, for the multitude of masterpieces with which You bless us daily. May we comprehend that they are as numerous as the grains of sand on the beach…if we only pause to look – as well as to see.

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…in the most unlikely of places, just when you’re feeling buried. When safe shielding turns into suffocating sequestering, a kaleidoscope of hope will ALWAYS come.

There is always a crack where Hope can shine through.


Always, friend.

(For the record, this is the makeshift sunshield over a new shark tank soon to be open to the public…even sharks need protection…and hope!)

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Illumination of sky & sea

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It seems that…

Youth is a burst of fast energy,

punctuated by brief spurts of rest.

As life progresses,

this gradually reverses

Until our age yields to


punctuated with brief spurts of


Perspective is relative.

Just when we think our hearts and souls

can bear

not one more tear…


…the Sun rises again


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Someone else’s creativity by day brought great contemplative joy by sundown…

Thanks, God, for cycles of inspiration that all lead back to You,

and for the dear friends You bring here to share the beach.

May you, my friend, be also inspired!

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I have orders to be still.  I am to be still and know that You are God. I know You are, but what am I? I try my best to be still and know You, but I kind of get distracted. It seems like the only still I can be is…

…still adventure-seeking

…still restless

…still unquenchable

…still risk-taking

…still hopelessly curious

…still coveting

…still daring

…still multi-tasking

…still dreadfully bored and out of my element when forced to be still

Yes, I am still, alright…still all those things, and plenty more mischief if I devoted more time to the notion. They say that personality is pretty much solidified in your late 20’s to about 30ish. If so, I’m in trouble, God, when it comes to that order to learn to be still. Can I be unstill, and still know You as You intended? Or am I basically screwed, doomed to a lifetime of blissfully busy ignorance, followed by eternal wood, hay and stubble? Is there ever a solution?


She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee
Her dress has got a tear
She waltzes on her way to Mass
And whistles on the stair
And underneath her wimple
She has curlers in her hair
I even heard her singing in the abbey

She’s always late for chapel
But her penitence is real
She’s always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Maria’s not an asset to the abbey

I’d like to say a word in her behalf
Maria makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I’m with her I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! She’s a demon! She’s a lamb!

She’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She’s a riddle! She’s a child!
She’s a headache! She’s an angel!
She’s a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

~~Rodgers & Hammerstein, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria,” from The Sound of Music


Must I learn to be still, if I know that You are omnipresent wherever I may flit? I mean, I go running off on a tangent, and *POOF* not only are You already there, but You already knew I was going to go there and when…long before I did. I keep bumping into smack-dab into You no matter how far off-track I get. So, why must I be still?

Perhaps the journey we take of never quite measuring up is precisely measuring up in Your eyes, since you sent Jesus to take care of the details for us. Maybe our expectations of ourselves are greater than Yours in Your wisdom.

Lord, let us flibbertijibbets keep our hearts in the right place, focused on You, even though we may have curlers on under our wimples and be late to everything except our favorite events in life. Let it be that You might smile on our irreverent whistling despite what the Pharisees would say, knowing that our whistling is a spontaneous expression of our joy for all You have given and made us. Let the songbird not be silenced. Thank you for letting me dance on the beach as the wind and the waves move me (why should I wait for tourist season to be over and still hope that no one might be watching?). Thank You for loving us as we are, even if we just cannot seem to discipline ourselves to be still.

I might be stuck like a statue of stone if I stood too still.

Thank You, Lord, for moving me.

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