Once again, I come here and say, this writing habit is a hard one. I had several weeks of early morning writing under my belt and then we went on vacation. I could have written over vacation. I did write a few times. But for the most part I did not. My dog does not sleep in on vacation so in order for her not to wake everyone up with the sun, I dropped my writing habit and went for a sunrise walk on the beach, followed by prayer time, and then I’d run back to the house. It was a beautiful time that I had at that hour of the morning. So much so that I wanted to continue it once we got home, but in South Carolina it was 60 degrees at 6:30 and at home it is about 40 degrees so, thanks, but no thanks. Oh, and did I mention the gray skies here? Again, thanks but no thanks! Throw into that mix making sure everyone is up and ready for school and all the morning routine stuff that the school year entails that makes me realize that this is not my season for that. There is hope right around the corner though, as the school year is quickly drawing to a close, the weather will get warmer (or skip right to hot), and I can get up in the morning to run and pray. I’m looking forward to this very much. I’m not sure if the pup is though. She humors me enough and thankfully lets me set the pace, but I do feel like I am dragging her most of the time. In case you are wondering if I am torturing my dog, she is majestic when she runs, but it’s probably best for my health and wellbeing that she is not majestic when she runs with me.

Back to those sunrises on the beach. If I could capture them and bottle them up I would. Every vacation I go on, I return with the thought, how can I live my every day life in a similar mindset? On this vacation in particular I realized that I can’t. At home, in the every day life there are too many to-dos and too many responsibilities and too many schedules to manage. BUT that is ok. Because if I lived every day like I was on vacation then vacation wouldn’t be quite as special, would it? No. I want to work hard and I want to take my boys to their activities and I want to take care of my family and I actually want to get up early to write and I want to live this crazy, busy, wacky life, and then when I’m good and worn out, I want to vacation.

There is something to be said for the vacation mentality though, of letting things roll off of you more easily, going with the flow, and being less stressed. This though doesn’t really have much to do with vacation. It’s more of a Christ mindset. Because I experience these things when I am walking in relationship to the lord, when I keep my eyes fixed on Him, and when I trust Him to work all of the things out. There were actually many reasons for me to be stressed on this vacation, things that I won’t soon forget, things that were out of my control. I could have had a panicked, yelled and screamed or cried. I could have ruined our time by being stressed out and miserable. But when I realized that it was all out of my control, I got up with the sun, sat on the beach, and had long conversations with the Lord. He was there with me, listening to every word, every worry, every concern. He helped me to take my mind off of myself and pray for others. He showed me the beauty in the broken. He told me to trust him and to surrender. He told me this every day and every day I needed to hear it.

While I walked to my prayer spot each morning, I began looking for seashells. The beach was covered in broken ones, so when I found the whole and perfect ones, which were rare, I was very excited. One morning when I sat to pray, a thought entered my mind, so I took out my phone and began typing (no pen and paper in my running clothes). This is what I came up with that morning.

Walking the beach in this tourist town

looking for perfection

None to be found

But I didn’t realize so I looked anyway

To your glory and my dismay

I kept passing pieces of broken shells

Finally I picked one up

And I knew you had a story to tell

Of all the broken pieces that make up my life

You make beauty out of ashes and strife

You take the broken pieces

And you make my life whole

When I’m after the world

You’re after my soul

You say let go

You say to trust

You call me to give my life no matter the cost

You say do not worry

You say you’ll take care of it all

Even each grain of sand isn’t too small

For you.