Better yet

My Sam,

You know how much I love going on early morning beachcombing excursions during our family reunions.  Those are precious times to me, not just because of the quiet of the morning, but because of the thrill of discovery.  As soon as the dawn breaks, I get the hermitcrabfirst peek at the overnight activities of sea life and marine birds.  Do you remember the year that all the baby sand sharks were temporarily trapped in the large tidal pools by the inlet?  And the time we found a skate in a similar situation?  What about all the hermit crabs skittering around in the shallows?  Or the terrapin turtles holding their heads above the surf?  Bliss.

But my favorite things to find have been shells. The most spectacular finds have been truly unique.  And of those, these two remain the most striking for me.


This is the shell of the summer of 2014. It was the first shell I had ever found like it, and to me, it was the most exquisite find imaginable.

The summer of 2014 was a particularly joyful time in life.  That winter, I had shed work life and traded it for homeschooling.  I spent each day cheerfully homemaking, reconnecting with you, my spunky eight-year-old, and reveling in the hope that we could have more children.  It doesn’t get better than this, I thought.

Fastforward four years…

This summer is a particularly reflective time in life.  In winter, I welcomed healing and rest after a long season of physical and emotional demand.  Each of these summer days, I awake swaddled in the knowledge that Beer-lahai-roi* (The God Who Sees Me) provides my every need, and knows my every thought.  I am caught up in the current of the remarkable journey He is leading your dad on.  I am secure in his promises for you – my precious love –  that even now, God is knitting together all things for your good.  There is no better life than this, I think.


This is the shell of the summer of 2018. Though I had found others since, the size, brilliance, and heartiness of this shell struck me as the most beautiful one yet.

During the years between the summers of 2014 and 2018, I certainly found some beautiful shells while searching the shore.  But they all seemed dwarfed, imperfect, or lackluster compared to my first standout find.   Our life in these in-between years (I don’t have to remind you) might have been described as the same – on a good day.

But even as we struggled in those difficult four years to trade our worries for supernatural peace, our failures for joy, and our sorrow for anchored trust, God was working.  He was building.  He was restoring.   He was anticipating.  He was providing.  He was carving out our path and helping us take every step.  He was replacing the most beautiful thing I could imagine before, with something unimaginably better.


Two shells

May this bring you great hope someday,

Your Mommy

When You did awesome works that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains trembled at Your presence.  From ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God but You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  – Isaiah 64:3-4

*Read the story of Hagar and her encounter with “Beer-lahai-roi” in Genesis 16

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cheri Kemp on July 11, 2018 at 12:00 am

    What a lovely expression of God’s gifts!


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