they are just so dern shiny. like the fingernails of God.
anyways, in order for you to find the amount of capiz that i did today you have to walk. and i mean a while. i'm pretty sure i walked a mile or so along the beach. it was refreshing. and salvation.
i've never been a beach walker either, but when your looking for shells you can literally go for an hour without realizing it. glad i don't have kids, cuz i'd totally forget about them.
so i began my journey finding some odd crab and jellyfish things, spiral shells, and of course capiz along the beaches. i got about half a mile out of where my friends and i set up beach camp and stopped. i was alone. anyone that was even remotely close to me looked like ants. it was so quiet, save the sound of the waves. God said "sit, my child, and just listen...smell the salty fishy-ness and the fresh, fresh air. this moment is for you, my daughter."
you should try it. its refreshingly new and perfect. really. perfection. especially on a day like this. not hot, not cold, no biting flies, no creepy men, just me my capiz collection and the soft murmur of these waves. they were swaying a tune just for me. just for that moment.
it looked like this.
i couldn't believe how mind-blowingly peaceful the whole twenty minutes i stayed in that place was. the wind through my hair, i layed down unprotected from the beach sand by a towel or blanket. i had nothing unnatural to distract me with. i closed my eyes, under the warm sun. i rested.
"thank you Jesus, thank you for everything. i am in awe of this moment right now."
i was completely alone, but not lonely.
you should have been there.
i began my long journey back and a my daring side took over.
jump in? 'she' asked me.
--it was so cold-- like spring water in the mountains of canada cold. not good for a shell collecting floridian.
come on, WHEN are you EVER going to have this chance again? alone, but not lonely, joyous...be spontaneous and jump in the ice cold water. do it, be spontaneous for once in your life.
fine. you got me.
i HAD to psych my self up. how do i do this? ease my way in, run and jump, walk and dive? out loud i literally said, "ok, if you just put your feet in you wont get the rest of your body in. so you have to just run and dive in."
i chose the run and dive method.
but the not-so-daring-side of me put my feet in anyways.
"aw man! its so cold" again, out loud.
"you have to do it now, just dive in"
"ok, alright (laughs loud and nervous like)"
i went for it. 'she' got me.
it was freezing and i laughed underwater, above water, you name it i was cracking myself up!
"float on your back and just relax" she said.
"yes mam" i answered. (i promise i don't have multiple personality disorder.)
i was so cold. shivering even. but i didn't care. i floated there, alone, but not lonely, and just stared into the clear, blue sky arms outstretched. i was close to heaven and such a part of the ocean. quiet. and content.
i felt the serenity of God at that moment. He granted me an experience that i could enjoy, like His huge God-hand handing me a shiny capiz shell sized time with Him. He taught me to enjoy Him today. to leave all behind and spend relational, not religious, time with Him. He stood in today where a man could have been, right with me, keeping me company, showing me a great amount of grace, and loving on me with the entirety of His heart.
there is no one like Him.
so i let daring natalie have the best of me there, but don't you worry. regular natalie scared myself out of the water within two minutes, because 'everyone knows sharks think black bathing suits look like seals in the water,' and you better believe i was going to protect myself from jaws' lunch escapades.
but i did it. i jumped into the freezing ocean. and it was the best time i've had alone in a while.
i picked up my capiz shells and sunnies, shivered back to my friends with my loot in hand.
"don't worry gulls, i won't scare you away today."
who knows the outcome of these shells. perhaps one day daring me will take over and attempt something like --this--. but for now these little gems will go with the rest of my beach loot and remind me of the twenty minutes of inexpressible joy and contentment in today's wonder around me.
1 Peter 1:8 - Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him not, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.