This Place

This is a special place.

It’s not just the beauty here. Or the sound of the ocean here. Or the sunshine and the salty air here.

It’s not the awayness or that I don’t wear shoes and I feel the sand in my toes here.

It’s not just that I’m resting here and not working here.

It’s all those things but not just those things.

It’s the love here. From the people here. For fifteen years here.

It’s God here and what He does here.

My heart is especially open here in this place. Because of all those things. The beauty and the rest and the people and the time spent. The conversations and fun and laughter.

There are tears here too. And sadness sometimes. And hard stuff.

Because real life has happened and the beautiful sunrises and the waves and finding seashells doesn’t change that.

And the ocean won’t take away real life.

But to be with people that love you and know you and that you feel at home with in this place…..this place you love….. is good.

And it can heal you.

Because these people you love…..they love you back.

And God uses these people and this place to show you His love.

Because when you walk beside the ocean and the waves crash around your feet and you look toward the horizon and can’t see the end of it……….you see the vastness of it all. That God created it.

God feels big and that feels good.

And He loves you with an everlasting love.

In response to the Discover Challenge Finding Your Place.


The ocean is the sound of infinity, of healing, and refuge. I leave next month to go to one of my favorite places. The conversations on the seawall with family and friends, the sun and sandcastles, the breeze, the shell collecting and laughter, the stars and sea turtles. It’s all beautiful and wonderful.

We’ve stayed at the same place on the same beach for fourteen years.

It’s the place I’ve been healed, my marriage restored, and Truth revealed. There – I’ve learned to love more and judge less. There I think deeply, pray passionately, laugh wildly, and cry too.

It’s more than a beach. It’s a safe place from all the noise and responsibilities. There I’m unhurried and patient. There I can read for hours. There, nothing demands my attention. The only plan is to make no plans.

This sanctuary is a special place…….where I meet friends again, stay barefoot most of the day, and let the roar of the ocean cleanse my soul. It’s the otherness of the place that makes me unusually open to God, His creation, His word and His people. God has touched me in significant ways in that place.

I return from this mid-year refuge, refreshed and renewed. More than that…..mended. God takes the broken pieces of my heart and mind, my soul splinters, my ruined strength and puts them back together.

I come back restored.  Rested.  Ready to do normal life again.

And wait until next time.

The sound of the surf, the big washing machine of ocean, sometimes seems to rinse out my brain, or at any rate, it expands me and it slows me down.                                          

 Anne Lamott

Favorite Place


He protects me like a strong, walled city, and he loves me. He is my defender and my Savior, my shield and my protection. Psalm 144:2. NCV

I have an odd mixture of sweet and sour childhood memories. Some of the best are summer Saturdays. The entire family worked in the yard or the house all day, then Daddy grilled steaks in the evening. Mom baked potatoes, put together a beautiful salad and toasted the barbecue bread. We’d eat then enjoy a restful evening.

But there were weekends not filled with happy hard work and eating well. Sometimes Daddy was on a drinking binge. Sometimes there were strangers in the house. And the music and laughter were too loud and the air smoky. I didn’t feel safe. It felt chaotic and scary.

My response to the chaos and fear was to build.

So I was a little girl going to The Little Red School House building walls. Around my heart. To make me feel safe.

In high school I gave my heart to a boy who didn’t know what to do with a young insecure heart. So he broke it.

So I built more walls.

I wanted a place where I could laugh and be myself and run and be strong and courageous. A place I wasn’t sad and scared. A place where I didn’t worry. I wanted a sanctuary. But I didn’t know how to get there.

When I was married I didn’t stop building walls. Every hurt, disappointment, or unmet expectation caused more walls and eventually my heart was surrounded. My children were the only ones that could get to the tender part of my heart. My husband saw glimpses of softness but the walls never stayed down long enough for him to believe that was who I really wanted to be.

There was no sanctuary inside the walls. The trials and betrayals and disappointments came and they still hurt. Years and years of building the walls were useless. I didn’t feel safe. The walls made the space too small. There was no hope there. There was no room to be myself and no room for others.

Thankfully God is inside the walls. He knew.

The pain. The fear. My desire to follow Him wholeheartedly. He held the tender part of my heart and never ever let it go.

He is my sanctuary.


He is tearing down the walls. Because I don’t need walls.

For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’”
Zechariah 2:5