Why My Laptop Was Left Behind

Our view from the Portofino IV deck in Garden City, SC

by Cathy Baker

If you know me, you know my vacation actually begins when pen hits paper a few weeks prior to our departure. Yes, the list could be saved on a Google doc but there’s something about starting with fresh paper and bright ink each year that makes me…well, downright happy. 

This year, however, I felt the tinge of a holy adjustment coming my way every time I glanced at the words “lap top” on my list.

Moonlight skimming the ocean.

I knew with three grandbabies on the trip there would be no desire to peruse the internet, check email or write blog posts during the day but I admit I thought it might be the perfect way to close the evening before heading to bed. 

And then I came across Emily Freeman’s post Why Rest Takes Courage. Her final paragraph clung to my soul, refusing its release:

The details of soul rest may look different for each of us, but
probably includes some combination of silence, solitude, nature, your
people, and the willingness to come into the presence of Christ and
simply be ourselves.

The Holy Spirit was as clear as the moon on our first night at the beach—I was to leave the lap top behind. And I did, resulting in a few discoveries along the way: 

  • I was ambushed by the uneasiness that crept in as our departure day drew near. What did I think I’d really miss in 7 days? 
  • A new-found freedom emerged as I carried out my beach days with little to no thought of the lap top. I felt no obligation to check Facebook or email. I tried to rest in the fact that if someone didn’t receive an immediate response from me, all would be well in the end.
  • I lost nothing by leaving my lap top behind but I did gain a liberty I didn’t know existed, time I can never recapture and a renewed appreciation for God’s promptings. 

I’m not suggesting everyone should leave their lap top behind, but I don’t ever see it reappearing on my family beach trip list again. Ever. 

So, how about you? Is there one thing in particular you most appreciate about God’s promptings in your life? 

Taking time off is not a punishment or a dare or a rule.
It is a gift.  
-Emily P. Freeman

When Scripture Meets Sand

Last week’s family beach trip created many “favorite” moments and life-long memories. Piper’s first swim with grammy and pappa, late night set-back card games, boisterous boardgames, a-mazing seafood and seeing this sweet face first thing in the morning. 

My favorite time with God occurred one early morning when I ventured out alone to the shore, plunked down into my low-to-the-ground beach chair, and soaked in the sights and sounds of my surroundings.

Jeremiah 31:35 ESV took center stage as I fixed my sight on the ocean, trying to drink in its vastness, while praying for friends and family facing sea-sized trials, “what-ifs?” and heartache. May they know—and rest in—the knowledge that the same God who fashioned the waves to roar is the very same One moving on behalf of His children.

Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light
by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord of hosts is his name.
Jeremiah 31:35 ESV

Psalm 139: 17,18 sifted through my spirit as I scooped up a handful of sand, full of wonder and gratitude to the One who chose gritty grains to describe how often He thinks of us. How are we to wrap our minds around such love and attention?

precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of
them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”
Psalm 139: 17,18 

As our time drew to a close, I clicked my iPod to Satisfied, a song my son co-wrote and sang on his first CD, Dialogue. With hands raised to the heavens and salty tears flowing, I couldn’t help but sing my favorite lyrics: “Lord, take my heart, my wants, and my desires. Lord, take all of me. Jesus alone satisfies.”  It’s a moment I wanted to freeze in time.

When scripture and sand meet, blessings flow but thankfully sand isn’t a requirement to experience God in the daily doings of life. 

What have you seen just today that reveals God’s power, love, or grace?

Praise. I can’t imagine a better way to begin the week.

Worship: No Words Necessary

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

(picture taken during my morning stroll on the beach)

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