Water Therapy

beach at Wrightsville Beach Atlantic

Atlantic Ocean – Wrightsville Beach

Ocean waves thunder & roll
Crashing unrepentant against the shore
Greenish-blue water with froth on top
Wind blasts sand on my skin
Children chase seagulls
Birds hover overhead
Carried along with the breeze
People play … enjoying life
Others rest after a hectic week
Some immersed in their favorite read
Carefree feeling
Place to unwind
Absorb sun’s rays
To just be!

I stoop low
Spying a smooth peculiar shell
Purple hued edges
Catch my eye
I gather grains of polished sand
As they trickle past my fingertips

Praying
May the wind smooth and polish
My rough and jagged edges
May I be beautiful and useful
In Your sight
For Your glory!

Posted in Joy, Life is fragile (body), Life is Good (mind), Life is Precious (soul), Peace, Reading, The Great Loop Adventure, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! We celebrate his birthday this month. Think about the poem below; I absolutely love it:

Today
You are
You,
that is truer than true.
There is
No One
alive who is youer than
You!

by Dr. Seuss

*****

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He sees all

God sees a lonely, breaking heart
So, He sends rays of sunshine to warm a soul
An unexpected smile from a stranger
Manatee swims beneath the boat 

God sees a lonely, breaking heart
So, He delivers frolicking dolphins
Comfort words from a friend
Bursts of flowers from a cactus

God sees my lonely, breaking heart
So, He orchestrates morning chatter from birds
Awareness … my husband truly cares
A pelican confidently swoops

I am not alone
This too shall pass
Reminders to enjoy
this present moment

*****

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I’m Back !!!

Greetings & Salutations!

Been so long busy preparing and traveling on our year-long Great Loop journey that I am sorry I’ve neglected this blog. In the interim, I hope you’ll find, read, comment on our blog link at www.TravelsOfSanctuary.com. Our blog will give you a clue as to what my husband Steve and I have been doing for the last six months.

Steve & Teresa on the deck of Sanctuary

Steve & Teresa on the deck of Sanctuary

This is day #179 of a potential 365-day trip. Doing the math, I calculate that 182 days will be one-half way through. I can honestly say I am not the same person when Steve and I began on September 3, 2016 back at Lakeshore Yacht Harbour, Muskegon, Michigan.

I’ve been honest with everyone—we are living aboard my dream boat on Steve’s dream trip. We’ve weathered ups and downs. In case you wonder if every day feels like living in Paradise; the answer is no. Many are wonderful and we see beautiful sights such as sunsets, manatees, and Key deer.  I can move my body geographically to a warm location, but with the body also comes my mind and soul. All my previous deficiencies and hang ups come along with me. My fears, doubts, worry (I know that I am not supposed to worry), probably even multiplied—they did not automatically magically disappear (wouldn’t that have been sweet?)

Circumstances of life and known people stayed behind for a time. New circumstances, geography, people took their place while on this year long journey. I’m thankful for stay-over visitors we have from time to time.  My main source of communication, interaction needs to be found in my husband of 40 years. Other Looper boaters and my surroundings change constantly and sometimes daily. Lately, the mantra I repeat is:

I cannot do this, Lord! I cannot do this without You!

Depending on the day, I may be referring to:

  • Being stranded on the boat for a few days and nights without leaving while rocking and rolling in a storm trying to remain brave and not get seasick
  • Washing another dirty dish by hand
  • High temperatures and humidity feeling ready to pass out
  • Not seeing my children/grandchildren/friends for months at time
  • Lack of exercise aboard due to not much square footage and no car to take me away. We rely predominately on our own two feet or bicycles

I constantly remind myself that He is my all in all. The great I AM. Learning to lean into Him as I combat impatience, loneliness, frustration, anger, and physical limitations. God gives me the choice and will to praise His name and be thankful for my many blessings of which there are many if I look around me. God is still in control.

How do you handle loneliness? Frustration and anger? Have you been in a situation where you are at the end of your resources and had to call out to God in desperation? Maybe you are there right now. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment or question. We can both grow together spiritually.

Blessings to you & your family, Teresa

I leave you with a few choice words from Colossians 3:15, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

*****

Posted in Family, friends, God, Grandchildren, Joy, Life is fragile (body), Life is Good (mind), Life is Precious (soul), Love, Peace, Praise, Sailing/Boating, The Great Loop Adventure | Leave a comment

Ready for Adventure?

Today is day #28 of the Great Loop adventure. And, yes it truly has been an adventure. We’ve seen landscapes, waterways, and sunrises not seen before. Met new Looper people we would never have crossed passed with in our regular, daily life.  Learned to go without embracing the basics of life.                                              img_20160927_140010943_hdr-1

Let’s stop right here and look up the definition for the word adventure. Here’s what I found for the word adventure:

  • Escapade
  • Quest
  • Journey
  • Exploration
  • Undertaking
  • Exciting activity

Okay, I am kind of weird. I admit that, but keep tracking with me. I then went on to look up the word exciting. Here’s where the road may diverge for you as it did for me. Here’s a few definitions for the word exciting:

  • Thrilling
  • Exhilarating
  • Stirring
  • Stimulating
  • Electrifying
  • Inciting

That’s enough. I have felt all of those emotions and I haven’t even been on this trip for a month yet. What does that say about the trip? What does that say about me? I am not sure, but I’ll let you fill in the blanks. I’m just putting it out there for anyone else anticipating or planning such an adventure. It doesn’t even have to be the exact type of adventure we are involved with. When I think about the word electrifying, it does not bring up a positive connotation. Certainly not dull or boring, I’ll give you that much. More like scared to the point of wishing I were anywhere else but standing in my own shoes. Admittedly, I have felt that. Like when we said good-bye (don’t like that word, so I say: see you later) to my daughter and my friends. Those see you later words are so hard to say even though I know it’s only for a year, or in some cases, months until I see their smiling faces and hear their precious voices in person.

I go through this exercise to share with you my emotions hoping you, too, can relate. Even a simple day’s emotions can range from peace to utter chaos within a short period of time. From tears of sorrow and disappointment to tears of joy. Sometimes without any warning.

Then God gives me a verse to ponder. To hold onto and call my own: Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence . This is a poignant reminder that He is approachable. He’s not a wizard that sits with a magic wand in never-never land occasionally swooping down to check on his created ones. The book of Hebrews describes this throne with the word grace (unmerited favor, mercy, or kindness). I like the thought of my Creator being available and that He is described with mercy and kindness. The verse goes on further to add that I can approach boldly and in confidence. I need not worry or fret; He’s got my whole life under control and in His competent hands—the Great High Priest.

What do I take away from this?

  1. Approaching God and His throne is not reserved for nobility
  2. No holding back; no reservations
  3. He’s there for me anytime day or night
  4. God may not take me out of the storm/trial, but He’ll ride through with me

God already knows all, so why do I hesitate to share my innermost feelings with Him?
Is there a deep fear you’ve been holding to? One you hesitate to share with anyone?

Reminds me of a tune I sang as a young girl called, Tell it to Jesus alone (words by Edmund S. Lorenz)

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus
He is a friend that’s well known
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone

Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone

Posted in Activities, Bible, Events, God, Grace, Joy, Life is Precious (soul), Mercy, Sailing/Boating, The Great Loop Adventure | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help in time of trouble

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging … He says, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:1-3, 10)

If I truly believe that God is my refuge and strength, that He is always ready to help in times of trouble, then why don’t I ask? I’m very good about complaining to others about my troubles, but reluctant to go to Him. Where is the logic is this scenario? That’s probably the problem. I don’t think, but just do. I fail to be still and know that I am God.

Wrangling on the political front during a presidential voting year, mass shootings nationally and internationally, rumblings at home within family and friend relationships all lead to unrest. It’s tough to be still when turmoil rages all around us.

Psalm 46 speaks of unrest … earthquakes, mountains crumble into the sea, oceans roar and foam, mountains tremble as the waters surge! I can see where people would fear for their lives and tremble inside and out. Yet, in the middle of all this turbulence, Scripture reminds me to be still. Know that God is in control; He knows what is happening in a very small corner of my life. This speaks comfort, rest for those of us who tend to worry or fret about circumstances.

  • What specifically is troubling you today?
  • In what way can you be still and know that I am God in the midst of your troubling situation?

*****

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How satisfied are you?

“The first hour of waking is the rudder that guides the whole day,” Henry W. Beecher.     Swiftsure - Clipper Cup (Copy)

How do you roll in the morning? My morning usually rolls rather slowly. It takes me a bit to get my bearings and move toward a worthwhile goal. Have you heard the saying, I’d like mornings better if they came earlier in the day? That’s me!

I know this for sure: when I look upward first thing in the morning (even before my feet hit the floor), my day goes so much better. Sometimes it’s only a quick SOS prayer—Lord, help me throughout this day. Prevent my mouth from saying unkind words. Help me see others through Your eyes. Casting my eyes on Scripture or reading through a devotional helps me center my thoughts and mind in pleasant, righteous places. Just may mean the difference between a great day and a horrible-bad one.

  • What can you do to center your mind on good and right thoughts?
  • Record how your day went thinking about the time you spent on bullet point #1.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Posted in Bible, Family, God, Joy, Life is Good (mind), Love, Peace, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pot of Gold

Recently I had the opportunity to sit at a book signing table with another talented writer, Kerry McAvoy and a dear friend, Vicki. Just like in past signings, I am amazed at the similarity of people who cross our paths (or stop at our table). We received words of affirmation, shared stories, and even received hugs from total strangers. Connectedness.   Womens Expo Book SigningRelational. Each of us has a story to tell; some put the words down on paper, others tell their story with just the words from their mouth. Either way, the story deserves to be told. Told to the current generation and then the next generation will become a part of the original whole.

In conferences I’ve heard that if you intend to go into the writing business to make tons of money, you’d better chose a different vocation because that probably won’t happen. But then again, maybe those people weren’t counting new friendships, words of thanks and praise. Today my gifts equaled much more than money can buy. Like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Thank you all for the vital part you play in shaping my world which causes me to thank my Creator. The one who gifted me with insight, courage, and the talent and motivation to write my story.

*****

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Shine Like Stars

“Do not be afraid to be different from other people. The path I have called you to travel is exquisitely right for you. The more closely you follow My leading, the more fully I can develop your gifts. To follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your desire to please other people. However, your closeness to Me will bless others by enabling you to shine brightly in this dark world,” Jesus Calling.

 So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe—Philippians 2:15.

Are you afraid to be different than other people? I would have to admit that sometimes I am; other times, I don’t have that problem at all. I do wish that I’d fall into the last category more often. When I read the quotes in this post, I understand them to say that being different just for the sake of being different is not entirely what God intended either.

I suspect that He would have us be different in that we no longer follow the selfish goals and desires of this world including addictions to career, food and drink, fashions, etc., Purposeful forsaking those worldly pursuits in order to follow after purity and His will for our life. This might mean less time with eyes and mind focused on electronic devices and more quality time being renewed and not conforming to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will,

I like the idea of shining brightly in this dark world and shining like a star in the universe. Someone to point others to the True North and bright and morning star. Hope. Renewal. Truth, honesty, justice, lovely praise and virtue.

Shall we strive together to be and model those good behavior patterns, relinquishing the need to people-please, so our gifts can be more fully developed? I’m in, are you?

*****

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Where is your gaze fixed?

Instead of trying to “fix” yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed in My righteousness, radiant in My perfect Love. (Jesus Calling)

The song, He is Mighty to Save by Hillsong United continued to come to my friend’s mind as we navigated through and beyond yesterday’s challenges together.

Horizon Display

Savior, He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save

Forever, author of Salvation

He rose and conquered the grave.

Jesus conquered the grave.

Yesterday was an amazing day all the way around. An event which my husband and I + family and friends had been preparing for, praying over, sweating about and eventually turned over to Him finally came to completion. We are overwhelmed, thankful, and still amazed at the outcome! To top it all off, God displayed His handiwork across the horizon in the evening skies.

When was the last time you doubted, second-guessed God and His timing? I should know better since He’s proved over and over again that He is faithful and just. His timing is perfect even though I sometimes long for a speedier response. When will I learn that His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord? “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Lord, I want to fix my eyes on You; not on me. The fact that You see me clothed in Your righteousness, radiant in Your perfect Love is tough for me to even comprehend. Yet, You said it and I believe it! I praise You and thank you this day and how You showed Your faithfulness.

*****

Posted in Faith, Family, friends, God, Joy, Life is Precious (soul), Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments