By 2pm we were on the beach.
We don't believe in wasting time.
Not when there's an ocean involved.
Avonlea, Grant, and Dave had their snorkel gear on and were off. Rowan was catching surf on the boogie board and Rose was rolling in the waves, a horizontal, aquatic Tasmanian devil.
I was on the sand prostrate.
It's like this, I grew up in Alaska. Swimming was just not a popular sport up there. YMCA open swim always ended in an ear infection for me. I like to wade, to my knees. Deeper than that, something strange happens to my lungs, and I can't seem to get enough air to make rational decisions.
All that to say, I was on the sand prostrate.
The sky was wide-awake blue and the clouds were moving over it quickly. I couldn't remember the last time I watched the clouds. Then, like something out of a novel, the clouds made a picture right above me and held. It was a footprint. A perfect gigantic footprint complete with tread. A shapely heel, a wide curvature to a narrow toe line, a perfect footprint.
I've heard about the fingerprints of God, so why not footprints?
After a bit it dissipated. I didn't see anything else of interest.
I remembered that footprint in the days to come as we celebrated Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Jesus walked this earth. He left His footprints everywhere, even on the water. Even though His footprints were made thousands of years ago, I'm still trying to follow them.
Part of that following, is discipleship.
Dave and I spent every morning of this vacation reading the Word, talking about it, and praying with our children. We were intentional in our conversations with our kids and with others.
She has always been a water baby. She is the first one in the ocean and the last one out. She snorkels like a pro and identifies all kinds of fish and eels. She likes to swim with big turtles. There were times when she'd come in from snorkeling and we'd all be standing there, dressed and packed, waiting to go. One of those times, I said, "Don't you realize when you're out there, that we are all waiting to leave?" She looked at me in surprise and replied, "I was exploring the ocean!"
Point taken. So we let her explore God's creation. And we let her tell us all about it. Her excitement was joyous and her laugh loud. We followed by delighting in the good gifts of God.
We celebrated this little woman as well. Rose turned 8 and Bridgette (doll) turned 7. Rose delighted in frolicking in her tankini this trip. She stated seriously that she was going to stop wearing two piece swimsuits when she turned nine because they were so immodest and she didn't want anyone looking at her "stuff". I'm not sure what "stuff" she'll have at nine, but I'm glad she's thinking that direction.
We followed by feasting.
Every meal was shared and enjoyed.
Every meal was an opportunity to thank God for His provision for us.
We followed by laughing.
Our condo overlooked a luau. Almost every night we were able to watch amazing hula dancers and fire throwers. One night during a hula, Grant got the binoculars out. He watched the hula dancers so long that I started to get a little nervous.
Finally he said, "I see pork. And rice. Lots of salads. Oh it looks so good!"
Apparently he was watching the food bar and not the dancer's "stuff". Thank you Lord.
We followed by loving each other, even when we didn't feel like it. Even when we were tired and grumpy and bickering. Even when expectations went unmet and the time change caused my children to wake up at 4:30am ready to start the day. Even when we had sand in uncomfortable places.
One night I brought them all into bed with us and cuddled them.
I told them, "When I was a little girl in Alaska..."
A teenager interrupted with, "I think we've heard this one."
I graciously ignored him and continued. "When I was a little girl in Alaska, I dreamed about someday having a loving husband, and a white house..."
"Yep, we've definitely heard this."
I kept my calm and sought revenge, "...a white house and two beautiful girls and two funny, strong boys. But God doesn't always give us what we ask for and I got you four instead...."
Like everything in life, this vacation was an opportunity to grow. As we read God's Word, we looked at how He walked. As we celebrated Easter, we saw the sorrow and joy in His path, the heights and depths He traveled.
I hope that when our kids look back on this trip they'll remember that the journey of God is full of joy, beauty, and fellowship. I pray that the confidence they gain by following on the sand will nurture in them the faith to follow when He calls them out upon the water.