Sometimes I find the joy of His presence *most clearly, when I spend an afternoon at the beach with my family. The infinite sky and rhythmic dancing of waves on the sand settle me.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user chadh
We drove to Carmel Beach with hopes as bright as the day shined. We relished the unusually sunny (though windy) day. Our girl pulsed with joy about showing Jubi's favorite place to our puppy Bailey.
It has been about a year since Jubi's last visit to Carmel. He must have looked like he was ready to depart because people stopped to ask how old he was. One man even surprised me by saying he thought Jubi had 3-6 more months.
Jubi couldn't run, but he still enjoyed occasionally saying "hi" to another dog, or to a friendly face.
We cried our good-bye to Jubi on July 11, 2012.
Like Jubi, Bailey runs to greet all the dogs running off leash on the beach. There is the doggie sniff and greet, and then they play chase or wrestle.
Like Jubi, he quickly learns not all dogs want to play with him, and a few dogs do not even want to say "hi."
It feels a little strange to be here without Jubi after 13 years, but my heart can't help singing with delight at our girl's laughter and joy at Bailey's happy romp. Memories of death while also creating memories of a new life.
Saying "good-bye" and grieving so one can say "hello" to new life and new possibilities.
Saying "good-bye" to sins and old ways of thinking, and saying "yes" to Christ's new life inside of me. Each day can be like a mini-Lent and Easter.
It is a once birth, but also a daily birth as I learn daily to die to my old selfish ways of thinking and acting. And it is His love that warms my cold heart and moves me to change.
Sometimes God's love feels like a warm cozy blanket wrapped tight on a cold winter's day.
Sometimes God's love feels harsh, and distant when He loves me enough to discipline, and/or test me so I can grow to greater maturity (James 1:2-4).
And sometimes, when I ponder His love, it surprises me. Yes. Because God's love is so undeserved, and so unconditional.
What kind of a Father welcomes back a son, who wished him dead, and squandered his inheritance? God. (Luke 15:11-32).
The God of the Bible came in human flesh to die for humans, who wanted nothing to do with Him.
God "is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we will prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is 'nothing better' now to be had."-C.S. Lewis,The Problem of Pain.
Dear Father God,
It is staggering when I think of how much you loved me, and continue to love me. Let me be so enraptured and captured by your love that I would willingly follow You, wherever You lead.
You have loved me to the uttermost, so I can trust You with my life.
Forgive me for my lack of trust at times. Please give me the grace to live fully the new life You have given me.
In Jesus' name.
What touches you when you ponder His love for you? What have you died to so that you can experience His life anew in you?
Thank you for your presence here.
* Post on "J"oy in the Alphabet of Thanks Series. Earlier posts can be found along my right side bar under the category "Alphabet of Thanks."
Thank you for your patience and grace as I have not kept up with a regular posting schedule for the series as I had hoped.
Also linking today with sweet and gifted friend Laura,
Encouraging friend Jennifer
and the amazing Jen
and thoughtful Michelle
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