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“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  II Corinthians 4:6

I love to go shell hunting with my grandchildren.  The tiny little Coquina butterfly shells that come in so many beautiful colors are among our favorites to collect and admire.  But finding sand dollars are the best of all because they tell the story of Christ.  They are imprinted with a flower-like design on the top of the dollar that resembles the Easter Lily and on the back of the shell is a Poinsettia- the Christmas flower.

The five holes represent the five wounds borne by Christ when He hung on the cross.  The five pointed star in the center represents the star of Bethlehem that guided the Wise Men.

When the sand dollar shell is broken open five tiny white doves are found- the Doves of Peace which represent the hope of eternal life that Christ, God’s beloved and only Son gives to each of us who believe.

Fun Stuff For Kids and Grandparents

One week around Thanksgiving I found so many sand dollars on the beach that I decided to turn them into Christmas ornaments by mixing two parts Elmer’s glue and one part water together and carefully brushing about three coats on each side of the sand dollar, letting it dry between each coat.  Then I tied a pretty red Christmas ribbon on each and included the story of Christ that the sand dollar represents.  A friend of mine later told me that her daughter after seeing the sand dollar ornament on her tree decided to give sand dollars away to all the guests at her wedding.  Isn’t it amazing what God can do if we will just listen to him and find out his plan for our life and follow it.

Our beach neighbor loves to make a shell garden each year for his grand kids.  Our grandchildren like to see and admire the many wonderful varieties of shells that Bob finds on the beach and displays in his garden.

More Fun Stuff For Kids or Adults

I decided to make a shell covered treasure box with some of the shells I have collected on the beach.  I bought peel and stick, glitter foam that comes in 10 assorted colors and only costs about $5.00 at Walmart.  I cut out pieces from one of the sheets to cover a tiny treasure box that I bought from a beach gift shop for only $2.99.

Next I glued an assortment of small shells to the lid with Elmer’s glue.  The glue took quite a while to dry but it did stick the small shells to the top of the box.  A hot glue gun might have been faster, but I wanted to see if I could use this craft later with the grand kids.

The box was already lined with a black velvet material, but if it hadn’t been I would have cut more glitter foam in a contrasting color to line it with.  It is always fun to find a useful way to use our collections.  Enjoy!

Beach Friends

This morning I met up with two of my sweet beach friends as I was out walking.  Louise was in a terrible auto accident months ago and now is overjoyed to be able to be back walking the beach again.  Her friend Dino came to the hospital and stayed with her night and day the first couple of days after the accident.  That kind of friendship is very special.  It reminds me of the verse in Proverbs 17:17:  “A friend loves at all times…”

Jesus asks us to leave all and follow Him.  But what those who refuse never find out is that by leaving those things we think will give happiness, we discover the delights that God offers and which bring lasting joy.  As we walk out of the darkness and gloom into the light of His presence, he places a new song in our heart.  That song is a song of joy that only the love of Christ can give.

No matter how tired and exhausted we feel when facing great difficulties, by coming to the LORD and crying out to Him, we discover that our strength is renewed like the eagle who is lifted by the wind currents.  And there in His Presence , as we place our trust in Him the joy of the LORD becomes our strength.

When my mother died, after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 3 years followed by a stroke that took away her ability to walk and talk, my spirit was weary and downcast and I felt very sad.  But as always my wonderful Savior gave me words of comfort in my devotions and bible reading.   The following morning I read:

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

I began to visualize my mother happily walking the beach with her beloved Savior singing hymns of praise the way she always did.  She looked just like Helen Hayes with her lovely white hair and she was always out on the beach before dawn so she could watch the sunrise.  She had a soft, sweet voice and people called her the singing beach lady. I am confident that if God can create such beauty in our world here on earth with gardens of flowers and birds, sunsets and beaches, mountains and forests;  then heaven must be all that and even more glorious.

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.”  Psalm 89:15

Each evening after dinner we all go out to the beach to watch the sunset.  Often the beach is very wide and it is possible to walk along the sandbar and discover many sand dollars and other treasures.  Children develop a real sense of appreciation for beauty at the beach.  Shepherd, our two year old grandson, will sit spellbound beside us in the sand watching the big red ball of the sun go down and dip into the ocean.  God in His wisdom has planned so many beautiful things for us to enjoy!  How important it is for us to keep our spirit alive and see His creation with the eyes of our heart as we teach our children and grandchildren to know Him and develop a close relationship with Him.