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!
My bed where I get to fall asleep listening to the ocean waves, watch the sun rise over Monterey Bay, sleep in whenever I wish and at times even stay in bed on a rainy day
The beautiful view from my bed
the view from the living room..it is almost like you are on the shore
the porch where I enjoy my morning coffee, many a lunch and watch the sunsets each evening
even cleaning the kitchen is a joy when you can look out at the ocean while you are doing it!
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.
9 responses to “Longing for My Home”
Thank you for this reminder…. I’m glad that we were able to help you remember that “we can only imagine…”
Daryl’s memorial service was a big part of my inspiration to write yesterday. It was so inspiring. Love to you & the kids
This moved me on many levels. What a wonderful picture you paint with words and then of course, the pictures paint THOUSANDS more! 🙂 I especially love your comments with the comfort and assurance of Scripture. Thanks!
One reaction to the word “should”…
…Both times when I read you stating that you/we (as Followers of Jesus) “should” long for heaven, the easy-to-read, draw-me-into-the-story-and-its-meaning tempo that I was enjoying from the blog was interrupted. It wasn’t obvious to me what the interruption was — where it was coming from or why it occurred. Both times I ignored it to read on with pleasure and interest as your descriptions and thoughts resonated so with my soul.
However, when I pondered what “bothered” me about the word “should”, the thought of a parent telling his children, “you ‘should’ be looking forward to this ‘holiday’!” just doesn’t sound to me like our loving God. (or, you for that matter! 🙂
As I consider further these thoughts — what I call “the interruption” — I find I come full circle in that I DO believe we “should” LONG for our forever dwelling with Jesus and our loving Father.
Maybe it’s the way “should” has been used in our culture that gave me pause. Maybe it’s the shame that is so often associated with it like I believe is present in the notion of insisting one “should” be having fun or “should” be looking forward to something, that bothers me.
I suppose, for me, I conclude that if there is an absence in what “should” be present, one has to lovingly ask themselves, or seek caring ways to understand how it is that another is not exhibiting what one “should”.
In many cases, it may be immaturity. Sometimes more “life” has to take place before one can truly appreciate what is.
That has been what has been true in my life. I remember being in high school and confessing to close friends and mentors, and to God, that I really, really struggled with this idea of Paul’s that to “die is gain”. I remember that I truly WANTED to “feel” that way but as a young and vibrant teen I couldn’t imagine something being “better” than what I was experiencing right then.
Yes, it was all about me even as I was striving to learn to live my life for Him! Funny (and actually a bit embarrassing) to me now. Yet, I think my loving God smiles now and was doing so then in the quiet knowing way that I needed a bit more life experience in order for me to ever experience what “should” be and likely “would” be in my life.
Recent years of “experiences” have caused me to reflect numerous times on those summer nights some 30+ years ago when I earnestly wanted to know what it “felt” like to say not only “to LIVE is Christ” but to especially be able to “feel” and believe that to die would be GAIN. The high school memory has come back so often because I now naturally have a LONGING to be in my forever home – a LONGING to be with my Beloved, and a LONGING for so much that I believe is there, yet I only have a glimpse of its grandeur and thus can’t fully articulate what it all is.
Beth, I started writing all this to “gently” 🙂 take issue with the use of your word “should”. As I have worked this through, I find that I too conclude that yes, we SHOULD long for Heaven just as your heart and that of your family’s long for the annual Beach Holiday.
And yet, it is a sweet, precious thing for me to realize that “should” need not be stated. When one tastes the richness of understanding, that which truly is, then that which becomes is that which one “should” have in their life.
I’ve never “blogged” before (if responding to one is actually still “blogging”), and it’s possible that all I’ve done is ramble about. It was helpful for me…so for this I am thankful, and hopefully to those whom the ramblings are just that… they can virtually … click on! 🙂
Thanks again, Beth!
Have I told you lately how very much I love you? Well…I do and I am so thankful to have known that teenager 30 years ago who was living so vibrantly for Christ. You will always be a part of my Christian testimony!
Thanks for your input….I love it! It is funny how one word can be “heard” or understood so differently. The way I heard God say..”you should” was more like a dear friends saying…
“you should write a book!”
or me saying to my girls….
“you should go for that…team, or office, or trip”
or my Mom saying…
“you should take care of yourself”
I heard it & hoped to communicate it as a positive encouraging “should”.
I can also so relate to the fact that the years, maturity and wisdom have definatly played a big part in my longing for home! And should I be here for many more years I am sure the longing will be even greater!
Thanks for adding your thoughts (and for reading my blog!)
And next year….how can I get you to the beach for a visit with me??
Oh Beth! Oh…I’ll put it on my calendar RIGHT now and I’ll be there! I’d love to come for a day or two mid-week and have TONS of gabbing time! 🙂 I may be finding my way up to you sooner than next March. Some business is in the works that may bring me your way for at least a quick coffee or dinner…just to whet our appetites! 🙂
BTW — I’d love to consider renting that little place myself! Do they rent for several days or 1-week, or a month at a time. Can you send me info to find out more? Then maybe YOU can visit me! 🙂
Much love to you too!
Beth, Would you mind sharing with me where your beach house is and if it can be rented other times of the year (by someone such as myself?) I grew up in southern California and now live in Minnesota. Oh, how I miss the ocean! I agree, it’s easier to think straight and relax at the beach. Glad you are able to enjoy that every year.
ahwww.. Man I was there with you as I read it. I actually could hear the waves, smell the air, see the sunset….then wham.. the pain of my fractured fibia set in and I really did long for heaven:) thanks for sharing and so true. love ya
Nina???? Fractured fibia….what in the world??
Those words and pictures are a Storybook waiting to be printed!