Hubby and I have been at the beach all week. Vacation paradise, right?
Actually, we are both working from the beach…he is doing some work in a friend’s condo and I’m doing what I always do, just with a much lovelier view. That is, as long as I keep my gaze to the East, toward the ocean.
You see, this condo is in total disarray. All of the furniture is pulled to the center of the rooms, covered in bed sheets and plastic. Every cupboard and closet is emptied. Their contents are piled high on every surface. Finding the coffee pot was a scavenger hunt.
I happiest when my surroundings are in order; I’m easily rattled by confusion. This situation, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.
All of the televisions are disconnected; the internet signal is so weak that we can’t stream Netflix on our iPads. (Thankfully it’s been more than adequate during the day so I can work!)
There is no cell service.
We are both tired. We’ve had a couple of really full weeks and hubby is as put off by messes as I am.
So we spend most of our “down” time outside. As we should, it’s the beach after all!
On our first night here we walked along the beach. It was beautiful and relaxing. We’ve spent lots of time in the hot tub, as it’s my only option for soaking (there is not a bathtub in this condo…another interruption to my normal.)
I continue to work, testing new applications, with Jimmy Buffet singing in the background. It’s almost like vacation, but it’s not.
Honestly, by Tuesday evening, I was a grump. After a wonderful shrimp dinner, we returned to the mess and navigated the path to the bed. There was no TV to watch and I didn’t feel well. I flipped on my side and fell asleep fast.
After some rest, some coffee and some time with Jesus, I knew that I was at risk for missing the blessings of this week. So I began listing them:
- I can work in close proximity to the man I love
- We are eating every meal together; breakfast and lunch are on the balcony overlooking the ocean
- The view…did I mention the view? I usually see only cubicle walls
- Eating the best local burger
- There is nothing I can or should do about this mess
That last bullet was a “Come to Jesus” moment for me. It was as if he said “Why is this bothering you? It’s not yours; don’t own anything that you have no control over.”
In that instant I knew this week was about more than the view and a messy condo. In fact, just a few days ago, I answered these questions in my quiet time:
- Are you a control freak? My answer: Yes, I like to make sure things are orderly and neat. Somehow I think that if I can just control everything it will be ok. No wonder my chest hurts!
- When is it hardest for you to trust God? My answer: When the present seems to be a train wreck.
This is the verse that He gave me that morning, as I confessed that I’m not always willing to wait for him to make things right, that I want to take charge and bring order and sense to everything around me.
Let your unfailing love surround me, LORD, for my hope is in you alone.
Psalm 33:22 ESV
As I write, I am also getting inspiration from the spiritual giants, The Beatles. Paul McCartney croons “Let it be”. And Jesus whispers, “Yes, that is for you. Just let it be.”
As I survey this mess, knowing that I own none of it, there is absolute freedom. I lift my gaze above the stuff and I see the ocean. I hear the constant roar as the waves return again and again to the shore. He’s got all of this; I can trust him with my life, messy as it gets.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!
Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Psalm 30:4-5 NIV
By his grace, in the midst of so many messes, taking refuge in him alone,
P.S. – By some miracle of modern technology, a restart of the WIFI router has improved the signal strength and we got to watch Parenthood last night on the world’s smallest screen. Thank you, Jesus!
If you read last week’s post on my kitten adventure, here is the beginning of her new story…delivered safe and sound to her new momma:
If you missed her story, you can read it here. Thanks friends, and may all your days be “beachy”!