Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The View from the Rockers, Above the Waves

I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity employer. See, there are two types of trips I love - the all out on-the-go non-stop kind of trip....and the trip where you just relax and go slow. True R&R. We have to balance our trips to hold everyone's interest, so we do mix it up. If I had to pick only one, I couldn't. I think that is why I like to cruise so much - it's the perfect hybrid: relaxing at sea, and adventure in the ports. 

When it comes to picking just the R&R vacation destination, I'll go first pick every time with the beach. Not much else has a chance unless I win the lottery and come into my own. ;-) I can never get in enough beach. Two summers ago we were blessed to plan for a week in South Carolina, right smack dab on the beach. The house we rented had an amazing location - and a full back porch that faced the shoreline. The picture below of the rocking chairs in single file, full of people I love, is one of my favorite beach moments ever.

It was like Beach 2.0 - the beachy experience I love, combined with a beautiful porch to veg on. See, I have a thing for porches, too. I have a thing for a lot of things, granted, but beaches + porches = some real bliss. When we were searching, when I found this house with the porch and rockers, it was pretty much a done deal that we would rent that one. 

And it turned out to be really a sweet, sweet time there on that beachy porch. It was the perfect perch for sunrise coffee and devotion, mid-morning conversations, post-dinner revelry, and late night deep thinking. When not on the beach, or inside for meals, we sat and took in the scenery - shrimp boats trawling, dolphins following in their wake, early morning exercisers, families strolling at dusk, the lights of Savannah across the harbor, coming on and twinkling as the day begrudgingly surrendered fully to the night. The chairs were almost always full. One could see the sense of urgency to get on out there and claim one of those rockers. See, there were 9 of us, and only 7 chairs. A true case of the early bird getting the worm. 

Speaking of birds and worms, one of the stories that played out on that porch while we were there was the battle with a momma bird for her time to feed her babies. Just above the door to the porch sat an external stereo speaker. And between that speaker and the house exterior, a momma bird had built her nest. We could hear those babies crying out in the morning for their daily feeding, and we could sense the frenetic energy of the mom as she waited for a safe moment to dive in and deposit the food delivery. It was, as both families were about to put a boy into his high school senior year, a poignant message to us about tending our nests, nurturing them, and becoming ready on all fronts for them to fly. 

We ignored that momma bird's badgering, as much as we ignored the message she chirped to our hearts. We sat rocking, resolutely, firm in our belief we were entitled to this window of family fun. We have had varying trips with different pieces and parts of the Kelly family over the years. This trip, though, was tender and such a gift, as it was the first time we all ever just went somewhere to be together and to take in the serenity of the ocean. On the porch, up above the waves.

They are an amazing family. So many layers to each of their personalities. We have been blessed to know them for 17 years. We have been blessed to have them praying with us, laughing with us, reading with us, crying with us, playing games with us, growing with us,  for all these 17 years. We have never been blessed, yet, to live in the same city. But, our bond reaches across the miles. And every so often, it happens to afford us coveted time together on the same piece of real estate.

I know we talked about much that week, but we listened, too. We sat and took in creation and listened. As I think about our Kelly grove, and our time together beside the ocean, I can't help but contemplate Hillsong United's song, Ocean
You call me out upon the waters,
The great unknown, where feet may fail.
And there I find You in the mystery,
In oceans deep, my faith will stand.

And I will call upon Your name,
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace,
For I am Yours, and You are mine.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters.
Your sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me,
You've never failed, and You won't start now.

So I will call upon Your name,
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace,
For I am Yours, and You are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters,
Wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.
This week together on Harbor Island was a week that stands out so in my heart. A snapshot in time. A snippet of togetherness for our hearts. A serendipitous pause from life to gather, cherish, nurture, explore, rest. No matter where life's tides take us, our families are knit together and we thank God for the Kelly family, for time together in creation, for the calling to stand with them on this side and ponder and remember and tell. Above the waves.

Life may have its borders, its challenges, its upheavals, its questions. So thankful for together time and for the community we have that helps us remember our faith is without borders. No matter life's tides. 

Family Fun ~ Harbor Island, South Carolina ~ August, 2012

Paper: October Afternoon
Font: American Crafts Kinzie

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful layout, Penny. These papers are so fun with your beach photos. I've got a thing for porches too (written from my porch).