The past week was one I had been looking forward to all summer, and just like that, it’s gone. I had the privilege of coming with my in-laws to Hatteras Island for the week and I’ve had the time of my life. Lots of free time, aka writing time, so this post will be a little bit of a scrapbook, containing bits and snatches of my week.
If you’ve not been to the Outer Banks, I recommend visiting Hatteras Island, ahead of some other places there. One reason I found that makes it attractive to me, is this. Since the village of Hatteras is the last village at the end of a long highway running down through Outer Banks, most people would rather not drive all the way there. It’s easier to stop at Nags Head, Killdevil Hills, or Rodanthe.
But if you go ahead and make the drive to Hatteras, you will find that beach house rental there is a bit cheaper, the beaches aren’t quite so crowded and you won’t have to fight your way through crowds of tourists. There are some tourists, obviously who, like us, find Hatteras worth the trip, just not as many.
For us, it was a 6-7 hour drive, but thanks to lots of Cheerios, books and kid songs, Anna Grace did amazingly well. Only one meltdown on the whole drive. And… as a bonus (or something,) Mommy, Uncle Calen and his girlfriend now have “The Wheels on the Bus” memorized really well. 🙄
Sunday night, July 16:
I wake to bright flashes of lightening and soft rain falling on my window. I wait for thunder, and when it comes, it’s an eerie sound, neither completely unlike, or exactly like the way thunder sounds back home. I watch the storm in fascination, feeling the gentle sway of the stilt house as the wind picks up.
Then I notice my baby. Sitting bolt upright in her little bed, she is also captivated, but she with terror. Paralyzed, she trembles silently, too scared to make a sound. Realizing Mommy is by her side, she gives one terrified whimper, launches into my arms, and clinging to me, buries her face in my shoulder.
I tuck her in bed with me and it’s like a miracle happens. She relaxes completely, and even though the storm is still on, she (within seconds) falls back into a peaceful sleep. Mommy’s arms represent safety, comfort, and with Mommy to protect her, she can sleep through anything.
The thought came to me that maybe this is one reason children form their view of God on how they view their parents. We are to them, just what God is to us! Shelter, comfort, provision, love, security. God designed them to trust us, the same way we are to trust Him.
But do I trust in Him like she trusts in me, in such simple child-like faith? Do I become calm in the midst of life’s storms, when I remember that He is still there, holding me? He knows how to care for me, better than I can ever care for my child, but do I realize and embrace this truth?
Does not the Bible say we are to be as little children? Thanks to my daughter, I have been reminded of my Lord’s care for me. I am inspired anew, to trust Him and let Him hold me when life gets stormy. To know that He is in control, and that I don’t need to fear anything as long as I have Him.
Monday, July 17:
Aunt Kelly cooked authentic Mexican food for dinner tonight and it was wonderful. She is a fantastic cook, and loves to share her cooking knowledge with others, so being around her is like taking a crash course in culinary school. The menu for tonight included chips and fresh salsa, deep fried chicken taquitos, chili rellenos, tamales, refried beans and salad. It was my first time eating tamales, but chile rellenos are a favorite of mine, and hers were en pointe. I know it’s only Monday, but I’m almost sure this will be my favorite meal of the week.
Other favorite meals included this one, grilled chicken with a super spicy BBQ sauce, oven fried zucchini and fresh corn.
Saturday, July 22:
I woke early this morning to go kayaking alone on the sound. I went kayaking yesterday and loved it, but the people I went with didn’t love it so much. Apparently tandem kayaking is not for the faint of heart. I hear it requires concentrated teamwork. After hitting several docks, several islands – and me… (yes, I was dumped into the sound on my head- but only once,) the brave sailors turned their vessel around and made their way back to the landing area.
They have had their fill of kayaking for the rest of their lives, but me, I have discovered a new addiction. I talked to some locals who assured me its perfectly safe for a woman to go alone, so I said “why not?”
Before I got out the door to get started, I got the news that my best friend in Wisconsin had her baby early this morning. Such happy news. A few minutes later I got the news that my uncle had passed away. I paddled out into the sound thinking of the words of Job: “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” His way truly is best, even though we don’t understand.
Solo kayaking was relaxing, and the morning sunshine on the sound was completely enchanting. The wind was blowing a bit more than yesterday, and my arm muscles definitely noticed the difference, but it wasn’t too bad. It was definitely worth the extra effort.
We are heading home tomorrow and Hubby says I am not allowed to take his daughter and leave him again for ten years, so I guess I won’t be kayaking on the sound again for a while. Maybe I can borrow my brother’s someday, and find a lake or river somewhere. Or just maybe I can convince him to accompany me there before ten years. 🙂He’s not very fond of the beach so that’s doubtful.
One of the most special memories for me this week, was the evening we went to the beach at sunset and stayed there, watching darkness fall over the water. It was so peaceful out there, and God felt so near.
I stand, tranfixed beside your depths of blue.
I know your Maker, for He made me too.
I look above, I praise Him and adore.
I gaze above and watch the seagulls soar.
A presence here, I find I can’t ignore.
I breathe my thanks to Whom my praise is due.
Your waters are a mesmerizing view,
The waves roll in, all dressed in deepest blue,
And crash against the shore.
The beauty here has thrilled me to my core.
It’s small I feel, but more than e’er before:
I’m confident, the One I trust is true.
Sunday, July 23,
We are an hour from home, our vacation is officially over. It’s truly been a wonderful week, but I’m happy to see the beautiful hills of Virginia. Hubby is picking me and the baby up in Waynesboro, and we are so excited to see him. Anna Grace is bouncing in her seat, saying Papa! Papa!
I don’t know which I enjoyed the most; the good conversation and relaxation, the food, or the ocean. It was all so good, but this I do know. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is awfully happy to be home again!