Tag Archives: sand

Sandcastles

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Memories of childhood instantly appear.

The feel of grit inside shoes, between toes.

Saltwater and sunshine and laughter all mix together.

There’s a different kind of sandcastle.

The ones made of dreams.

The ones which can be etched with childhood desires turned adulthood vows.

Maybe I am the only one who has had any of these.

I remember one of the first was to live on a farm.

To have animals and live off the land and spend all my time outdoors.

Yet the castle began to crumble as reality hit me.

Animals are not the same outside the petting zoo.

Outdoors means not just in the sun and warmth but in the cold and snow and rain.

Living off the land means days of work to till the soil, plant the seeds, water, weed, fight the bugs and birds only to realize most food needs to be processed if it will last the winter months.

Another castle I had built was titled “motherhood”.

Babysitting was my best paying job and I loved it.

Kids just were fun.

How much better to have my own!

Then our daughter was born and I realized with sorrow she cries when I hold her. She squirms and kicks when I cuddle her. She doesn’t eat when I try to feed her. Wait! Maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks!

However, with each sandcastle I have built the lessons have been worth the cracks in my dreams.

Farming taught me to appreciate the food on our table and the hours of hard labor it stands for.

Motherhood has given me the ability to learn the unique and wonderful ways each child is created, different yet amazing.

The only times my castles have completely been obliterated was through my own selfish pride.

When I tried to hold on to a dream. To force it to come true. I learned grasping at the sand, trying to pat in place, the perfect tower of “dreams”, my efforts were the exact same as if it were a sand creation I was trying desperately to create.  I had flattened the castle.

When God’s will begins to wash away the castles of selfishness or pride I have always been able to look back and see I was better off without them.

Some dreams are not His perfect will.

Yet the ones which do hold His path for us are the best because although they can crack and crumble,

Although the end structure may look different,

If it was used by Him to bless and stretch and grow it is a castle worth building.

Up

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This is a sand dune.

It went almost straight up.

Like a mountain.

It was steep enough several people had gathered at the top to sandboard down the other side.

I took this picture because I couldn’t-

go
one
step
further.

It hurt.
All of me…

However,
I realized that all my family had gone up…

Maybe I wouldn’t die,
just
pass – out from exhaustion.

I am NOT in athletic shape!

Looking
UP
I whined–

Why?!

I can’t do this…

Where’s the escalator?

Pooh and some baloons!…

Eyes begin to turn in my direction. 
Most of them belonging to my family, who are looking down at me.

But it’s the teenage girls who walk past me like this was a stroll through the park that motivate me to give it another go. (Funny how pride can be used.)

Huffing and puffing like the old greedy grey wolf who couldn’t blow down the brick house, I finally arrived at the top.

What I saw surprised me.

I hadn’t made it to the top,  off to the right it crested and to get up there was even steeper.

Guess who was there.

My family.

I smiled.
Waved.
Sat down and tried to regain my breath (Which took a lot longer than I want to admit.)

The family wearied of the activities before I could muster the energy to try going UP again.

So off we tromped.

Back down, then up some and down others till we reached camp.

And I honestly couldn’t say,  “Wow, that was fun!”

For who likes to see their inability shoved in their face?

Who enjoys knowing that others can but you can’t?

Who likes to admit their faults?

I had to admit to myself that I’m not in shape.

I had to refuse to be embarrassed by past choices that have brought me to this inability.

(Choices like staying home when I could be working out.)

But even when I took this picture, in am effort to gain time to breathe,
I knew I had to go up.

No matter past choices, no matter what physical obstacles, no matter even my unwillingness,

I had to go
UP.

Why?

Because I refused to give up on my family who was rooting for me.

Because I refused to allow my selfishness to dampen my family’s fun.

Because I knew I was supposed to climb.

Life is often the same.

The difficult,  backbreaking, hard things are often the ones we are supposed to do.

It is a difficult thing to understand and something I am continually teaching my kids.

To look at the mountain, knowing that it will be tough, knowing that it is right to go up,
and then to follow through to the end,
is maturity.

“When I was a child,  I understood as a child, I thought as a child; But when I became a man,  I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11

I love the saying:
Do HARD things!

Because character is built by being stretched out of the comfortable.