There is so much going on these days. From end of the year parties, to fun photography jobs (I’ve had quite a few lately) to wrapping up another great year of Hangtime, our calendar has been pretty full to say the least. It’s all good things, but there have been quite a few times of feeling like my head is barely above the water as I’m treading through everything that needs to get done.
So whenever Jeremy asks if I want to go out in the boat, most times, no matter what, I say “Yes.” Because boat time means relaxing time and relaxing time is crucial when life gets crazy. So yesterday, after the kids got home from school, we packed up some snacks and headed out to the water. Unfortunately, the waves were a bit rough as a storm was slowly rolling in. Fortunately, we did catch a good hour or so of relaxing just down the Bay at Newport Beach. Jeremy settled into our new Costco Tommy Bahama beach chair (it lays all the way back and even has it’s own pillow) and Christian took the net to catch all sorts of sea creatures. Ellee and I did a little yoga, practicing our downward dogs in the sand and our dancer’s pose on the dock. And it was pretty peaceful and pretty awesome.
Towards the end of our time, Jeremy and Ellee took the boat out to explore, so I settled into the new beach chair to relax. The past few nights I’ve gone to bed close to 2am, which I wouldn’t really recommend. But I needed to get things done for this and that, and before I knew it, it was much later than I thought. So you can imagine the relief that I felt, sinking down into that comfy new chair. I slowly opened my eyes and gazed up at the most beautiful cloudy sky. And right above my head, I saw this:
And instantly I thought to myself, “That looks like a hand.” Because it did. I filled in the picture below a bit so that you could see what I saw. And I have to say, I took great comfort in that cloud hand. Because it reminded me of God’s hand.
My goodness, it seems like life has been hard for some of our loved ones lately. Michael continues to work through some extra issues at Rehab. I’ll head up to visit tomorrow (yay). Jeremy got the chance to see him today and said that while he was doing good, Sally shared the different issues that he’s had to work through this past week. Many of them have been resolved (hooray) but there are certainly times where a wave of sadness comes when I think of our friend and his struggle.
I’ve stayed updated with our friend John Albano thanks to his wife, Sandy and her updates on his Caring Bridge page. Reading her words brings lots of encouragement and truth to their situation, but it’s also hard knowing the struggle they are going through. Then, yesterday, I also got a text from a friend asking for prayers for their cousin, another Michael, but this one only 14 years old and fighting for his life after an accident where he was hit on his skateboard. The doctors are throwing out their percentages and it’s looking like this poor boy is very much in need of a miracle. In addition to everything else, Monday night we went to a funeral service for our neighbor Chuck, who passed away last week. Jeremy shared a beautiful message, but it was very hard knowing that our wonderful neighbor was no longer with us, leaving behind his family who would now be struggling to find a new normal after their loss.
And sometimes, when you put all these things out there, it really all is just too much. But thankfully, oh thankfully, we serve a great God. And our God has a very powerful hand. One of the many verses I found tonight was in Isaiah 41:10, and it’s been a favorite of mine for awhile now. It tells us that God is the one who will strengthen us. He is the one who will help us. And when we can’t hold ourselves up, He is the one who will do that as well, and all with his righteous right hand.
When life seems like too much, these are great truths to fall back on. Tonight, I sit in gratitude that this is the God I love and serve. He knows our struggles and He promises to be with us in the midst of them. I’m going to go to bed after I finish writing this (at a very “early” 11:30pm). And I will lift up our friends who are struggling, knowing full well that God promises to strengthen them, to help them and to uphold them.