I'm not saying that I don't adore my time with my children... I do. In fact... I had to fight to keep my mind from thinking about them and missing them constantly.
It was the first time I had an ENTIRE day without at least one little one by my side in over year. Strange isn't it? To live so closely and constantly near these little ones... to breathe the same air in the same space at the same time every moment for over a year. I had days that Jacob would take them places for a few hours here and there so I could have a little time to myself or to clean house without little hands getting into everything, but that just isn't the same. Still wonderful, but not the same.
I made a commitment during my day. I wasn't going to allow myself to feel guilty for my day. I set my mind on the Word, grabbed a few beautiful ladies, and went surfing!
Surfing to me isn't JUST a fun activity or hobby. It's one of those rare things that I love to do that's both peaceful, draws me into a place of adoration and worship of my God, and refreshes my heart in a way that not many things can. I love being surrounded by creation and humbled by the beauty of it. It makes me feel so small. With every wave that crashes down on me and pulls me into the wash, pushing me any way that it wishes, it shows me how weak I am. Mentally, physically, spiritually. I come face to face with how much I need the Holy Spirit. How much I don't understand. I don't just know the need I have for Him, I feel it in the freezing cold water every time I reach my bare hands in to paddle. There's something about feeling the power behind the peaceful rolling and crashing of a wave that wakes you up from whatever is holding your heart captive. I often don't have the words to explain what I'm feeling. I don't know what to pray, how to ask, what to say. When I catch a wave, it's like a release switch. With each ride I find I'm laughing lighter, acting sillier, not worrying about anything, and mostly not thinking at all.
The place we surfed at was breathtaking. We climbed down a trail leading to the channel in Newport. It ended at a large field blocked by some small dunes between us and the ocean on one side and a rocky shore between us and the channel on the other. We stumbled along the rocks until we found ourselves nearly under the Newport bridge. We must have looked crazy too the people crossing the bridge... I would've thought we were crazy if I had seen us. We all managed to make it into the water without any causalities to either our boards or ourselves and road out into the surf. It was a small, clean swell. A perfect wave for a long board. The waves came around the clock in well spaced sets that broke softly to the right. They weren't too hard to catch, but you had to kind of drop in to the left and then turn to the right to ride them... then it would take you in a half circle wrapping you along the shore until you met with the bridge. We could watch the boats coming in and out of the harbor, but they were far enough away that we weren't interrupted by their wakes. It was beautiful. I caught a handful of waves, which was more than I expected to. I'm not very good at knowing what to do after you actually catch one! They were moving slow and smooth enough, though, so I practiced turning this way and that. I didn't ride them long, but long enough! There wasn't any current and it didn't take much paddling to float a long way across the water. It was wonderful! Simple.
I really hope I can go out again soon. It's always such an experience. I came home feeling so refreshed. I left a lot of things behind in that water. I'm at a loss for how to explain what exactly, but I just know that I paddled in with far too much wrapped around my heart and came out with all of that untangled and tossed away. I'm so thankful to know the places to go and the ways to position myself to allow my mind to rest and God to move through and refuel me. Where do you go? Where is that place that you are refueled by God the most? What refreshes you? How can you find the time for it. For being there... For listening in the quiet... For allowing God to move through you and change your heart and your mind? These are the questions I start asking myself when I feel my heart starting to feel heavy. I'm not saying that the ocean is the only place that I can go or that surfing is the only way I meet with the Lord. This is just one of those places that I can't help but see Him, worship Him, and receive Him and I am thankful for it.
Thank you Jacob Michael, my love, for watching and playing with our sweet babies so that I could be refreshed and have a wonderful time surfing with my friends :)
This is a bit of what we read before we started our day in "My Utmost for His Highest". I think is was quite fitting!
Mark 4:10 "When He was alone... the twelve asked Him about the parable."
"When He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then HE begins to teach us."
"As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul."
"Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him."