“First, we dig a moat, then, we need big walls to keep out invaders.  We have to have a strong army and traps and lots of weapons!” Noah S- 8

I’ve spent countless sun-filled hours watching my boys sculpt sandcastles.  I’ve been in awe of their creative use of beach rocks, buckets and stones. I’ve watched them re-routed entire water-ways by digging trenches to protect their castles from in coming tides and I’ve watched the tears fall when it was time to go home and they had to be left- unguarded.

I’ve returned to the same beaches early in the morning a day later, only to find the beach scrubbed clean by wind and surf.  Regardless of the intricacy or grand engineering of the protective plans, the sandcastles always succumb to the tide.

Children aren’t the only sandcastle builders.  I can see my own actions reflected in their planning and building.  I’ve tried to dig protective moats and build high walls around their lives, too. I’ve been pretty creative in my use of private schools, homeschooling, controlling TV viewing, interviewing perspective friends, centering activities around people we know and place we know.. In truth?  My protective plans have been about as effective as sandcastle builders have.  Maybe less so.  Some of them have only proven to do their own type of damage.

Life happens.  Wind blows, sand shifts and the tide comes in. What seemed safely protected yesterday, is a wind scrubbed beach, today.

Maybe that’s the way it should be.  Maybe  beaches aren’t meant to be turned into protected castles.  Maybe, part of their beauty is the wildness, the changes that happen each day.  Maybe learning to enjoy the changes and challenges as they come, is part of a bigger plan.

Today, I’m heading to the beach of my life without a bucket or a protective plan.  I don’t want to look back and find a day spent building and protecting a temporary sandcastle. I’d rather find a day spent exploring and enjoying every incredible aspect of a beach. It’s risky, I know.  Rocks and wind and sand and waves can be dangerous.  Bad things happen, the truth is- they happen whether we try to protect ourselves or not.  Then again…so do wonderful things.

I trust the one who created the beach for me to play in, and who has a plan for the sandcastle of my life.. I’m  going out to enjoy what I find there… will you join me?

“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”- Jeremiah 33:2-3

**the sandcastle pictured is not the work of my guys.. but of the beautiful and much loved Holland Family:)***

Vintage post-