Tag Archives: beach

Windy Wanderings

Yesterday we met a couple on the beach. The wife was arranging her husband and little dog on a log to take a photo. I asked her if she would like me to take a photo of both of them. Later she came over to take a photo of my husband and I.

We got chatting. They live in the area and this was only their second visit to the beach in five months. She told us about a lovely nursery within walking distance that we hadn’t known about.

Today was a windy, overcast day. Instead of going to the beach which we usually do, we decided to take a walk and look for the nursery and a little shop not far from it.

What a lovely day we had. We found the nursery.

Illovo Nursery

Besides the nursery itself, there was a restaurant, a second-hand book shop, a scratch patch, a pet shop, an art gallery and a lake with benches at strategic viewing points.

After nearly three weeks, mostly confined to the caravan park, I was sorely in need of a sit-down tea. We ordered a cappuccino each and apple crumble to share.

After tea, we wandered around. I bought a book at the book shop and a cup of shells. We drooled over huge pots and trays of flowers at very good prices compared to our usual shopping haunts. We admired the colourful plants in all their variety. One looked like it had painted finger nails and we named it the finger-nail-plant.

finger-nail-plant

I felt like I had stumbled into a treasure trove. Afterwards we explored further and found the little shop then decided to see whether we could return along the beach. Armed with directions from a lady who worked at the little shop, we made our way to the Illovo station and across the railway bridge. The station itself was almost in ruins which was very sad to see.

Returning along the beach might not have been such a good idea because we had forgotten about the wind, which was much stronger on the beach than in residential area.

Nevertheless, a lovely day and a satisfying long walk.

I think this is a parable of life. We can stay in the same old routine, stuck in a rut and not even realise the wonderful sights and places that may lie around us. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones (yes, it was a challenge walking into the wind with sand smashing against our legs) and explore beyond our everyday life. Who knows what treasure we might stumble upon.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)

I believe that the abundant life includes being able to appreciate the wonderful nature God has created, as well as the works of man inspired by His Spirit of creativity.

My Prayer

Father, give me the courage to venture beyond the familiar and taste the abundant life You have given me. Amen.

Beach Memories 1

Just before Easter we went to Port Elizabeth, mostly to visit family but also to enjoy being at the seaside. We overlapped with the younger family for three days and made a plan to go spend a sunny morning at the beach.

I love watching my grandchildren enjoy themselves.

Watching them relate to their father spoke to me about our relationship with God. The six-year-old didn’t venture into the waves on her own, but only when holding her father’s hand tightly. It must have been scary for her. Her Dad told her when to jump and helped her bounce over the big waves.

I picture myself as a little girl going into scary waves of life. My Father holds me tight. I must listen to His voice and obey promptly. Sure, He could calm the waves and make them flat but mostly, He doesn’t. He could also keep me out of the sea altogether but then I wouldn’t grow, or learn or have the adventure of the seaside!

This is illustrated in Matthew 14:22 and Mark 6:45

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. (NIV)

Jesus knew a storm was going to blow up later that evening and the disciples were going to struggle to get to shore. He could have prevented it. If He had, we would not have the account of Jesus walking on water and Peter would never have learned that to take his eyes off Jesus is to sink. Jesus was glorified and the disciples faith grew.

My Prayer

Father, when I am afraid of what lies ahead of me, please hold me tight and tell me when to jump and when to hold my breath. Amen.

At the Beach

I love the beach. My favourite holiday is to spend time on the Natal South Coast as close to the sea as possible. Beaches in the Western Cape or Port Elizabeth will also do but they are much further away so not as accessible. We are planning to go down to Scottburgh this winter, God willing, in our motorhome.

Beach near Hibberdene 2020

When I am in a contemplative mood, I sometimes spend my prayer time imagining myself sitting on a bench on a cliff overlooking the sea. As I sit there, I try to imagine feeling the breeze on my face, hearing the sounds of the waves breaking and the seagulls mewing, seeing the changing colours and shapes of the sea. I praise God for His beauty and majesty. Then I picture Jesus coming to sit next to me. The birds are silent in awe and even the breeze holds its breath in wonder. For a while He doesn’t say anything. I ask Him to speak to me and I tell Him where I am and what concerns or excites me at the moment. Then I just sit still and wait for Him to speak.

Almost always I’ve come away with a verse or a revelation and I feel renewed and at peace. In fact, I can’t think why I do it so seldom. Time maybe?

John says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, Creator of the sea and the land, the earth and sky, please quieten me so I can hear what you want to say to me. Amen.

This post is part of JusJoJan

Whose flag are you flying?

We are in Port Elizabeth at the moment, spending time with my mother. On Tuesday our grandchildren and their parents joined us. Like all holiday makers who visit the sea, the children wanted to go to the beach, despite windy and cloudy weather. Preparations for the Iron Man Competition, which takes place in Port Elizabeth tomorrow were underway. Areas of the parking were closed off and temporary structures were springing up. The pier was adorned with flags fluttering in the wind.

Flags

Clusters of foreigners in wet suits were taking photos, running down to the water or emerging and we saw groups of swimmers training far out to sea. Two approached us and asked whether we would keep an eye on their bags for twenty minutes while they did their swim. They told us they were Austrians. One had participated in another event last year and had so enjoyed South Africa that he had jumped at the chance to come again and take part in the Iron Man, bringing his friend over with him. My husband noted that we hadn’t seen the Austrian flag in the array but they assured us it would be there on the day. They asked if we would be watching but the thought of all the crowds and the road closures and traffic congestion discourages us. Much better watch on TV.

Those athletes are competing for their country. Crowds will judge Austria based on their performance. If they show unsportsmanlike behaviour or dishonesty, they will disgrace their country.

Likewise people are watching us. If we “compete” under the Christian flag, our Saviour and His Kingdom will be judged on our actions.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ( Hebrews 12:1)