A long time has passed since my last post, ten months. I simply didn’t feel like writing. My husband had to go on ahead of me to begin classes in Florida, and I had to remain behind to sell the house. The house didn’t sell until almost June, and those of you who have sold a house before know that a lot has to happen between the “we want to buy your house” moment and the closing day. And even though I was so very anxious to get the house sold, I had several tearful episodes while saying good-bye to our families and friends. The drive out of our neighborhood (home since 1988) on moving day was one of the saddest events of my life. Tears for home don’t come as often now, as we have been Floridians since July 2014 and are slowly leaving the Midwest life behind.
As with our last move from Joplin to a completely unfamiliar place (Newark, Notts, England 2000-2001), God has provided us with people with whom to have lasting and beautiful friendships. He led us to an amazing church where we have met some of the nicest folks we have ever known. A call for volunteers has given me a purpose and I’m blessed to serve with many other wonderful volunteers who have become our friends. How can anybody survive this world without church family?
It didn’t take long after arriving here to be reminded of one reason I love coastal life. Our first trip to the beach yielded a small collection of seashells to which I’ve been adding each time we head east. Now, though, we don’t just pick up every pretty shell we see. – we’re on a quest to find certain specimens which seem to purposely allude us. Doug would love to find a huge fighting conch just laying on the sand waiting for someone to pick it up. I want to find a completely perfect sand dollar with no missing edges. Shelling has become my latest hobby, one that I know will stay with me the rest of my life.
Another creative venture has developed from shelling which came about from the need for a unique Christmas gift this past Season. Several of my friends and relatives have some interesting ornaments that I crafted from some of my beach trip treasures. This is fast becoming a new branch of my repurposing craze. I probably have enough shells from collecting in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, England, and Florida to cover the frames of at least twenty-five mirrors!
I read recently about how the creatures who live inside the shells actually form them by secreting material from their bodies. As they grow and the need for larger houses continues, the shell increases until it consists of three protective layers. It is so amazing to me that each mollusk creates a shell unique to its species which is colorful, beautiful, and unlike anything else on earth. Only God could make something like that.
It was just yesterday at this time that Doug and I were sitting on one of Captiva, Florida’s beaches, waiting for the sunset (something we don’t see very well on the Atlantic side). We had our cameras ready, and as the sun began to slowly drop behind the horizon we photographed its descent. It was the perfect ending to a peaceful day. A day that God gave to us, because He loves us. Since moving down here we have had our ups and downs. We knew there would be. But we also knew that we wouldn’t be going through them alone. “When God said, ‘Let’s go to the other side’ he meant that He would be taking us there, and that He is in control (word of God from our pastor this morning). Yes, there are going to be storms. But God wants us to trust Him to get us to the other side, and to remember that He is in control of everything from here to there.
Trust God’s promises, both in the storms and in the calm.
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39