My earliest memory is feeling like the sand was running out from under my feet and the dizzy feeling like I might topple over. I was fortunate enough to live about thirty minutes from the white silver sands of Florida’s panhandle when I was young.
My mother loved taking me to the beach and all these years later I can hear her laughter as her wide eyed three year old stood toes in the lapping waves wondering where the earth beneath her feet was going.
Gotta love the signs sometimes seen in beach stores: ‘You can take the girl away from the beach, but you’ll never get the sand from between her toes’, ‘You can shake the sand from your shoes, but it never leaves your soul’, ‘Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses’.
Last fall on a trip with my best friend we were walking back to where we were staying, feet covered in sand. It had rained earlier. Several feet ahead of me my friend stomped through a big puddle leaving the sand behind. That was way more fun that rinsing them with the hose or in the tub.
Even though the first day of summer is still a few weeks away, the official start here in good old U.S.A. is this Memorial Day weekend. Which reminds me of some other sayings we should never forget: ‘A soldier doesn’t fight because he hates what’s in front of him, he fights because he loves what he left behind’, ‘To stand beside a soldier and walk through his pain will humble a civilian to no longer complain’, ‘Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom’.
We have much to be grateful for, and yes I do thank our brave men and women for their service and grieve along with those whose loved ones paid the ultimate price for our American freedom. The greatest freedom we have though comes from hands and feet pierced through and arms stretched wide in love on a cross – what He says is what defines our every breath: ‘Father forgive them…’, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise…’, ‘It is finished…‘ (Luke 23:34, 23:43, John 19:30 NIV)
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