Psalm 40: 1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

I just got back Sunday night from my dream trip to Europe! I’m still a little jet lagged, but smiling my way through the sweet memories made! My last stop was Italy along the Adriatic Sea. My girlfriends and I took a bike ride around the lagoon island of Lido and of course had to make a stop at the beach. As we parked our bicycles and walked closer to the water, I started seeing sea shells in the sand. I stopped as my friends pressed forward. You see, my Mother collects rocks. She loves having a “piece of the land” if you will from various places. So, I just knew she would love to have some sea shells as well! (say that 3 x’s fast) As I looked down searching for shells, I was only seeing fragmented and broken ones. I knelt and sifted through the sand trying to find at least one that was whole but alas to no avail. I stood up with my few broken pieces that I thought were pretty enough, knowing my Mom would appreciate and find beauty in them regardless.

I looked up and begin my journey toward the water to join my friends. As I approached the shore, my eyes were amazed at all the beautiful “whole” shells scattered across the beach! The colors and patterns were breathtaking! I picked, dug out and searched with excitement the biggest handful of shells I could hold! I felt like a child again! As I proudly walked away with my treasure of shells, and tiptoed back over the broken pieces, I realized that had I not looked up, I would have missed out on an array of beauty. Oh, yes the shells I was picking at first were pretty, and I was willing to settle. But, when I lifted my eyes and started moving, I was able to see the ultimate splendor waiting for me.

Continued on part 2