Well I have been home from my annual beach holiday for over a week now and I can’t stop wishing I was still there! It doesn’t help that every time we pulled up into our driveway last week, my 2-year-old boy would yell out – “Not this house Mama…our beach house!” I feel your pain lil’ guy!
Now don’t get me wrong I love my home. I really do. It is cozy & comfortable. I specifically love:
- the big (by California standards) back yard
- the 15 foot wide sliding glass door that lets in so much light
- the location of the dining area that allows us to add extra tables and seat 16-18 people together for a meal
- our remodeled (thanks to State Farm “being there” for us) kitchen
- our extended family/school/office room (that has a very special place in my heart as it was expanded through the efforts of many friends & family giving of their time, talent & treasure, every time I walk in that room I feel loved & cherished)
I love the location of our home right in the middle of town close to everything and I love Stockton (yes, that is right I do love this city….if you missed that post you can read it here) Not too mention, we have a lifetime of precious memories, hundreds of treasured friends and a school ministry here that bring us all great joy. I really do love my home and where I live!
And yet….I long to be at the beach!
The beach is amazing, miraculous & wonderous!
The beach sunsets are divine!
The beach house is spectacular!
I love everything about being at the beach – the rhythm and roar of the ocean waves, the smell of the salt air, the soft sand between my toes, the vast expanse of blue skies during the day & brilliant stars at night, Capitola Village, the Boardwalk, Bloomsbury Tea House, the many fine resteraunts especially The Crows Nest & Bittersweet Bistro and the salt water taffy. I love it all! But even more than the actual location. I love who I am and what I do when I am at the beach for what I affectionately call my…”Beach Holiday” (for the past 8 years I have been able to have an extensive amount of time at a beach house rental on the California coast….and lest anyone think that we are wealthy or own a beach house let me share that this “holiday” rental has been 100% financed through my home based scrapbooking venture)
For a month I am away from it all….the daily grind of appointments, car pools, athletic events, school activities, classes, work, phone calls, messages, junk mail and more. I even take time away from making dinner (although I do cook for pleasure at the beach) and doing chores. I rarely get in the car and some days I stay in my jammies all day long. There is no schedule, no agenda and no pressure. It is my personal “heaven on earth”.
- I take long walks on the seashore most every day
- I whisper my love to my children & soak in their physical presence
- I play games – Hearts, Mexican Train Dominos and Nerts (and I win! Had to say that girls)
- I pray and worship the Lord
- I enjoy relaxing with a cup of tea while reading for pleasure
- I drink in the nightly sunsets and marvel at God’s glory
- I hang out on the beach…digging holes, making sand castles, laying in the sun, playing ball with my kids
- I watch good movies, read interesting articles on the computer, check out magazines and I scrapbook
- I dance and sing loudly and act silly with my kids!
- I savor my coffee and enjoy fabulous foods. I eat lots of ice cream!
- I take bubble baths, get foot massages and put on facial treatments
- I write love letters to my darling husband and count the days down until he arrives for our romantic weekends together
- I stay up as late as I want, sleep in & take naps
- I celebrate! Valentines Day, Birthdays & the anniversary of our engagement
- I nurture relationships with family & friends
- I reflect, think, dream & write
- I stop doing and just “be”. I breathe. I relax. I enjoy.
Even as I write this blog entry and look over the hundreds of photos, that barely capture the essence of this beach holiday, I begin to wish I was back there. I feel such a longing in my heart to return to my personal paradise.
This weekend as I was running into friends that I have not seen in a month they each asked me how the beach had been and several wondered if I was glad to be back home. I thought about that question and answered honestly that while I love being home….life here cannot compare to the beach holiday . As I spoke those words that still small voice of the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear…”That, Beth, is how you should feel about heaven”.
Wow! What a revelation to me. I have always said that when it is my time to go, I am ready to meet the Lord and spend eternity in heaven, but I have never really longed for it. (ok maybe on some particularly hard days of sickness, troubles or excessive financial stress I have longed for it but not regularly) I have been quite content with my life here on earth. It is a good life and I do love it. If I am completely honest I thought of heaven as simply a “bonus” after living & loving here on earth. I believed that it would be awesome and wonderful but I didn’t long for it, hope for it and look forward to it the way I do with the Beach Holiday. Until now…
If God can make a creation like the one we live in that is “fallen” and scarred by sin…how much more will heaven be amazing, miraculous, beautiful,wonderous, spectacular & divine.
- The beach I love so dearly will have nothing on the new heaven & new earth that God has prepared for us (“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not even entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9)
- The multi million dollar beach home that is so much more spacious & luxurious than anything I may ever live in is nothing compared to the mansions that God has awaiting us. (“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John14:2 )
- The glorious, fulfilling, joyful and fun season I have at the beach each year will not light a candle to what I can look forward to forever in eternity. (“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 64:11)
- The rest, peace and freedom from stress I experience is just a small minute fraction of the true everlasting rest and peace I get to look forward to with the Lord. (“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27)
- And if you read the description of heaven in the Bible besides the promise of no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying and no more pain, it describes precious stones, pearls, cities of pure transparent gold, pure water clear as crystal, a tree of life that bears a different fruit each month and a banquet table to feast upon….and that is just the beginning.
Now that is exciting to me. That is something to look forward to and long for!
Longing for my beach holiday each year does not mean that I do not enjoy my life here with all its relationships, good times and memorable moments because I do live life to its fullest the 11 months that I am not at the beach. However, throughout the year I do think about it, look ahead for it, get excited about it, tell others about it and get ready for it which all bring me happiness as well. Longing for heaven should be the same.
And the greatest thing about heaven is not only will it be my “forever” Beach Holiday it will also be my home!
If you are unsure that you have this amazing, beautiful, miraculous, wonderous, spectacuular and divine eternal life to look forward to I would love to share with you my hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.