Saturday, March 26, 2011

Treasure Island!

We are back! Praise God for His safety and mercy as we traveled over 2000 miles by car to Sanibel Island for our 35th wedding anniversary and daughter's spring break! As I type this blog, it is snowing! I won't depress you by showing you the almost 4 inches that have arrived within the past two hours. The huge flakes are making an almost white-out condition.

Over the next few days I hope to share what God provided as my little family and I enjoyed His gifts in nature. Today's is short and simple.

The island is known for its many sea shells. I didn't know what people were talking about until I experienced it in person.

Each morning, little hills of shells were piled along the beaches by nature. Shells I normally would have thought amazing were now lieing in mounds by the hundreds, no thousands!

After a couple of hours combing the beach for "more special shells," my daughter and I prepared to leave. As we retraced our steps along the sandy path, I spied an older couple digging into the sand bank away from the ocean where throngs of people were wading or diving for shells.

Smiling, I said, "Are you digging for buried treasure?"

"Yes," she smiled and showed me her secret stash of goods. Lo and behold, there were much larger conch shells, whole, not broken by the pounding waves upon the beach. Tulip shells as well...all colors of the rainbow. She saw our faces and handed us two of them. "Here. Take these with you. We have plenty."

"You mean all you do is dig into the sand bank and find these? How did you know to do that? Have you lived here long?"

"This is our first year. We read a book, and it works like a charm every time!"

After thanking her profusely for her kindness in sharing her treasure, we left laughing at ourselves. We had spent hours pouring over the beach when all along the best shells were buried in the sand bank right behind us. Just a few scrapes with a shovel and the shells poured onto the beach, whole and beautiful.

Isn't that just like God though? I spent my young life looking for acceptance and approval. I never felt pretty. I thought I was fat and ugly. I compensated by studying and achieving degrees and position. How silly I was! My treasure was with me all along, a relationship with the Creator of the Universe! The creator of all the shells I so sought after loves me fat, slim, young, old... just the way I am. He sees me as His treasure!

In addition, I renewed again a deep appreciation for my family. Getting away from the business of life or even the simple routines of life forces a different perspective. Watching my 9-yr. old scream with excitment when she saw the giant crabs moving out of their shells at night, seeing her swim and race my husband daily in the pool, applauding her new-found confidence as she rode ten miles on her bike to the lighthouse and back...all of these I pray will be permanent memories for her and us as we age. I am learning my treasures are right here with me, right now.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt, but lay up treasures in heaven...for where your heart is your treasure is also." I am reminded of this verse as I carefully place our boxes of shells in glass jars around the house. These will fade, crack, be lost some day, but our experience of seeing God's great work in the ocean, knowing a new heaven and earth are even better, beyond our! What treasure awaits, Dear Reader! God's love never fades. It is new every morning! Great is His faithfulness!

Now, time to get out the snow shovel. It is over a foot of snow now. I must admit, while messy and hard on our spring buds, this snow that covers our yard like Sanibel's white sand, is also a treasure to behold.
For His Glory,

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