What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Did I Leave God at the Beach?

I appreciate the positive response to my last post. I didn't sleep much that night worrying that I had posted too much or maybe it was too personal to post. I guess I still worry what people think too much. I was just afraid some would find it uncomfortable or strange. I also worried that maybe it was just the grief talking and that five years from now I wouldn't feel the same, but you know, I think I will. Why in 5 years would I think it silly that I need to hear Griffin's name? I'll always want to hear his name. Even when my sadness and grief has all but gone (never fully gone of course), that won't make me not want to hear his name or remember him. So personally, I don't think it's just the grief talking, but it's truly something that will help me. Thankfully, I got some great feedback and wonderful supportive comments and they helped tremendously. Thanks to all of you who sent encouragement and especially to those of you who mentioned Griffin.

So we're back from vacation. Yes, we were on vacation. I made it pretty obvious on Facebook, but didn't want to make it too obvious on here. I mean, is there such a thing as posting too much on here? Probably so. Anyone can read this so I guess there could be some wacko out there that would read we were on vacation and seek out our house. Not that he would make away with anything of real value. Plus, my neighbor is a cop and he's mean. (Hope he's not reading.) So stay away robbers!! Actually, we're back, so ha ha...missed your chance. But we did just get back from a week in Hilton Head, SC. We LOVE it there! This is our 4th or 5th year in a row to go. I've lost count. It's just the perfect vacation spot. We have our favorite beach spot, our favorite parking spot, our favorite restaurants, activities and traditions. It's a wonderful week every year and this year was my favorite I think. I just felt more relaxed this year than I've ever felt. We had so much family bonding time, just the four of us, and it was what we needed.

One of the reasons this year was the best for me personally which is the same reason I love going to the ocean/beach each year is that it seems so easy to find God there. I know He's everywhere, with me 24/7, but it's so easy to see Him there in that beautiful setting. This year, with my stronger and new relationship with Him, it was just awesome. I really think God loves the ocean, the beach, you know...the tropical locations. I don't know about you, but it just seems it's so much easier to see him there when I look out at what He's created. The ocean, the horizon, the clouds, the sun - it's all just so beautiful and I can't help but think of Him when I look. I spent a lot of time with God this week. He talked. I talked. I woke up one morning at 6AM to go to the beach and watch the sunrise. I was so excited to get to spend an uninterrupted hour or so with him. It was PERFECT! There were clouds so the sun was a little hard to see itself, but I actually think the clouds made it even more beautiful. I really felt God with me sitting alone there on the beach. I spoke outloud to Him. I read His word allowing Him to talk back to me. I felt His Spirit guiding me and reassuring me in my spiritual walk. He spoke to me in other ways too. Wanna see? ......I took the picture below mainly for myself, but I thought I'd share it.

After I took it, I noticed something very special about the picture. Do you see it? Let me help out.

I know it's not perfect, but it's there...and I don't believe it to just be coincidence. I didn't doctor the picture at all. God was there. He showed me His love in an awesome way. He reminded me right then and there that He's in charge. He has a plan for me and I'm just along for the ride. It's so much of a bigger picture than I could ever comprehend. I love when He shows me and reminds me of this. It makes me want to shout, "His will be done!"

But here's one little thing I thought about as I was driving home today.....9 hours....uggh. It actually wasn't too bad. But I was thinking....can I get that same closeness with God that I had at the beach? Can I come home to Nashville, see my "boring" old backyard and see Him as clearly? Is the smog over Nashville going to form into a heart shape? Or did I leave God at the beach? I guess it's kindof like when you go on a spiritual retreat or camp or participate in a worship service where you get that spiritual high, but then wonder if you can keep it going. I felt the same way driving home. I was wondering if I'd see God as strong as I did that day (and frankly all week) on the beach. Well, we got home, unpacked, ate supper, and I walked outside to begin mowing what had become a jungle of a yard while we were gone. I then remembered something. Before we left for our trip, we had accidently found something in one of our trees. It was a small natural container with three small blue containers in it. So I was mowing the front yard today and it hit me. I wondered if what we had seen before we left had changed. I got off the mower and quitely and carefully checked it out. This is what I saw. I took a picture for you.

The three blue containers....a.k.a. eggs had changed. They had hatched (actually, it looks like one has yet to). There's God again! He did come home with us. He did remind me once again how powerful He is. He did show me His love once again through something so small as brand new baby birds. I showed the boys and they were amazed. It was an awesome moment as our vacation came to an end (or maybe a beginning). No, I don't need clouds or birds to see how awesome God is. I shouldn't expect things like that. But you know what....He shows me anyways. That's how big His love is for me and of course for us all. So God went on vacation with us and then He even rode along for the long trip home with us as well. He's here. He's amazing. And He's my Father. Praise God!

I love Griffin and I love God.

Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)



  1. You will see God when you least expect to Albert. I don't run but ride my bike, as daily as possible, and so many times I see Him as I ride (clouds, flowers, animals, families in their yards, it just keeps going). It doesn't always dawn on me right then but does soon.

    Many trips to Nville, I've listened/sung along with one of the CH youth singings cds and there He is on those trips. Actually, I need another one, that one's worn out.

    Above all, Albert, tonight I so appreciate the fact that every time you used God's name in a pronoun form you capitalized it. I've been so bothered recently seeing 'he' not 'He' etc. Was reading a church published paper tonight and 'He' wasn't happening. Not sure what is going on but please don't stop doing that and teaching our kids too.

    I love you Albert, I love Griffin, I love the family that started your foundation toward Him and I love God.

  2. Maybe that heart was just Griffin saying he was on family vacation with you all too.:)

  3. Albert I read often, I always enjoy reading and think as we share with each other where we see God and his effect on our life we are speaking up for him. I want to meet Griffin someday. God can do great things like let his love grow in us. Thanks for reminding me that the more I look for God the more I see him at the ocean and in a tree in my backyard. I see him in the love Christians show for one another. I am going to read my bible tonight. I have noticed I see God much more when I spend time in his word. He is such a comfort and a joy to have in my life. God is good.

    I don't much like to run, But I did run a marathon once and it helped me to know that some things are difficult but are worth doing.

    I am running my race to meet all those I love someday for eternity. If you are still reading I hope you will hear, believe, repent, and be baptized and run your race.

    Meet me there.

  4. Glad you had a fabulous vacation and I'm sure Griffin was there on vacation with you :)!