what happens on wide-open shore

We grasp hands and lean back, digging our toes as deep as we can into wet sand.

We are sure to topple over, I think. And I dig my toes in deeper, lock my knees, stabilize my legs. My daughter clings to me with the silliness and joy that gives her her nickname, “Golden Light.” And the waves crash against our legs and the sea water splashes into our open, smiling mouths. We stand side by side, heads back, delighted by our ability to not fall despite the surf’s resolute heaving of itself onto shore.

wide-open shoreThis is the best. I don’t want to miss it.

So I don’t take many photos, just a few. And then I put the camera and the phone away, tucking them into my running shoes near the sand castle we built higher up the beach.

To look and to see, to listen and to hear, I have to fight against every distraction, every obstacle threatening my awareness of love, joy, beauty. I struggle with the tension of wanting to remember moments like this–the moments I am aware of as holy, filled with love and God’s presence and glory.  And it is my heart that needs to remember, needs to see, hear, be.

A phone, an Instagram feed, a Facebook post, a journal description–none of this can adequately capture what it is God is doing in us, this moment. This moment.

Wake up.

wide-open shore

There are so many things trying to get in the way of the truth that Jesus, in our hearts, shines bright and good and new. I stand now, both battling and surrendering–my eyes and heart open, choosing to enter into the purity of moments like this one right now.

Me. My daughter. Standing barefoot with waves crashing. October sun bright and hot on our tangled hair, our bare skin.

I am practicing deeper awareness, for I am hungry to experience Life. I am weary from following rules and chasing approval. (I confess I have been doing that all summer. And before that too. And all my life.) There is something that is born in us–and killed in us–when we recognize that there is something we are probably worshipping more than Jesus. For me, it was other people’s approval. And my own approval, too.

Striving toward anything but Jesus is wasted time.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Striving toward anything but Jesus is wasted time.” quote=”Striving toward anything but Jesus is wasted time.” theme=”style1″]

Anything good we do must have Him at the center. Otherwise our own heart, born in Him, is crushed with the weight of our own attempts at earning and chasing and pleasing. Oh, girl. You are so loved, I tell this truth to myself.

Jesus, keep reminding me. Yes, tell me again. Again. Again.

We run to the beach this morning with no plan, no agenda. I want to open my hands, my time, my heart, my life to more freedom, more joy, more life. I want Life without my own made-up rules that have nothing to do with God and everything to do with me not believing Jesus came and wiped the slate clean. It is our brand-newness that is the realization of His dream.

[clickToTweet tweet=”It is our brand-newness that is the realization of God’s dream.” quote=”It is our brand-newness that is the realization of God’s dream.”]

Jesus, you shine bright and good and new on this wide-open shore.

Yes, we are in the midst of God dreaming, God smiling, God running and laughing and jumping and pursuing and chasing and fighting for our hearts until we finally, finally let Him break us wide-open once more.

We, beautiful and alive and full of glory, daughters standing holding the hands of their Father on wide-open shore.

How do you need God to break you wide-open this day? For what are you hungry? What can you lay down? What new Life is He offering you this moment, right now?

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  • Jennifer, this is beautiful! All I want is to chase Jesus. I’ve prayed for Him to remove anything from me that is not pleasing to Him! Oh, He is doing a work in me and for that, I am so thankful! God bless you for this!

  • I spent the day packing away all my only grandchild’s toys and belongings )boy age 3 1/2).
    We raised him since birth, our son his father is fighting against brain cancer…our DIL estranged my husband and I from both our son and grandson. If you ask, “what did you do wrong?”
    Answer: we loved too much.

    • Dear Carla, oh, sister, I am so sorry. This is so much. Father, please come. Wrap your arms around your daughter now. She is so weary, so overwhelmed, so sad and hurt and confused. And angry too. God, take it all. Thank You for how You are with her and You are with her grandson and her son. You are in this whole situation. And You are needed. Please bring hope here–and healing, complete healing–both physical (for her son) and healing for Carla and her son’s heart. Soften everyone’s heart and bring hope now, Father We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • This is a beautiful awareness you had. Nice of you to share it. The ocean never fails to bring a believer closer to God. Me, I have God’s gorgeous northern woods and His Great Lakes in America!

  • Amen, there is something about seascapes, I love painting them and I feel God in everyone of them.
    They might be stormy, or they might be peaceful. The wind blowing your hair, the sea gull sounds, and the waves pounding the shore. It is the feeling of freedom and sensing the mighty power of our Father and the sense of incredible peace it brings. God bless for this lovely word you’ve shared.

  • Jennifer,
    I love how you and “Golden Light” opened your hearts to enjoy God’s beauty and love at the beach. We didn’t go to the beach bc of the FLG but we did enjoy time together. Such a precious gift 🙂 love to you and yours <3

  • So beautifully put. You have a away with words and I so look forward to reading them. They help so much, both in the good times and the bad. I love that God has blessed you with such a precious gift. You are truly letting God’s light shine through you. I am glad you had such a special time with your daughter.