Sailing on the Winds of Change


We had planned a day of sailing on a local lake but when we arrived at the marina there wasn't any wind. The flag that should have been flying high atop the row of parked boats was perfectly still.

And even a landlubber like me knows you can't sail without wind.

This excursion is meant to be a dress rehearsal of sorts to try out my seaworthiness for a few hours since I’ve only been sailing once in my life and that was decades ago.

Since then boats of any shape or size tend to make me queasy so I'm quite cautious when I think about weighing anchor.



But sailing is very important to the captain accompanying me, so I want to give it a try.

Of course, my focus has been on finding stylish attire for this sailing junket so I'm excited to find a red, white and blue striped shirt hanging in my closet, along with a nautical-looking bag I use for the beach. And with a ruffly pair of flat dock shoes replacing my usual high-heeled footwear, I'm ready to set sail.

But at the windless marina, we switch our sea-faring plans from a sailboat to a pontoon boat instead.

We decide to eat the provisions we brought {sandwiches and chips} at the marina’s mini tiki bar before we board the boat and chug out on the water.




Once we fire up the motor, we cruise past docks and houses and fellow boaters as we make our way around the lake.

So far, so good.

I'm enjoying my waterway tour, noticing how lakefront homeowners decorate their outdoor spaces.

There are fire pits and colorful Adirondack chairs, perfect for summer gatherings. There are a couple of abandoned canoes in an unkempt corner of an otherwise beautifully manicured lawn that remind me of a favorite book I read one summer when I was a pre-teen.



I'm lost in thought about camps and canoes when we turn the boat around and see the sky behind us.

It's filled with threatening dark storm clouds that are gaining on us, yet the sky in front of us is blue and beautiful.

How did we not notice it?

We hear loud rumbles in the distance and I worry about lightning strikes, always a hazard in a Florida thunderstorm.



I'm glad the captain is already heading back to shore as the rain starts to blow in under the little awning of the boat.

We have plenty of wind now and it blows the chairs over on the pontoon boat's deck.

This wasn't quite the sunny and idyllic boating debut I'd hoped for. The storm blew up so suddenly.

But maybe the winds of change are like that too, aren't they?



Sometimes sudden, sometimes fierce, those winds of change stir up everything around them.

And I feel as if I'm in the midst of them lately.

They're swirling around me at work, at home and in my heart. Some days it seems as if they sweep through every part of my life.

Although I've impatiently waited for change to come and I know that many of these changes will probably be good in the long run, the short-term experience is proving uncomfortable and unsettling. These changes require sacrifice, surrender and a spirit of unselfishness, that sometimes just seems too hard for me.

But I know that all of this change is a good thing.


Because it's transforming the places in me that badly need it.

I've learned that in waiting for change, God gives us unique insights. He grants remarkable perspectives that can invite us into the changes and renew us, and then they reshape how we look at everything in our lives.

In the midst of change, we have a truth to anchor us. God never changes.

I remember one of the first verses in the Bible I learned as a child: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. {Heb. 13:8}

When the winds blow, our anchor holds secure. That is a truth I trust, and I hope you can too, during your seasons of change.


We pull the boat into shore, the captain secures it, and we make a run for the car during a break in the storm across the now-swampy yard of the marina.

We drive next door to a dockside grill.

By the time we walk out to the deck to find a seat, the servers are wiping down the tables and the sun is shining again.

I'm sitting at a table, looking out on the lake when I realize I didn't get sick at all out on the boat. I wasn't queasy a bit, even in the storm.


As I eat my coconut shrimp, I wonder if I could call my inaugural expedition on the water a success?

There's not a stormy cloud in the sky now and the water skiers have already returned to the lake. It's almost as if the storm never happened.

But I weathered it.

And you can too.

What changes are you navigating? I'm cheering you on!


I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join me there!


Comments

  1. Love this! Thank you for the Wednesday motivation, now when I am about to weather a storm of any kind I will keep in mind that storms don't last forever, and there is sun and coconut shrimp on the other side! Lovely post Valerie!

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    1. Thanks for the inspiration in putting this together! :) And I think you should try out the little dockside grill -- called appropriately, Grills -- for some scrumptious shrimp! xo

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  2. Valerie, good to see you again my friend!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks so much! I love seeing what you're up to on Instagram with your move -- hope things are going well with you! xo

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  3. Dear Valerie,
    I've missed you and your beautiful words! Oh, how I recognize those shifting season changes. I am keeping you in my prayers through these days & asking God to walk with you through the changes that He knows are for the best. I love how you discovered that after the storm was safely a memory, you realized you hadn't been nauseous once. Isn't that just like God? He answers our prayers, in the middle of the storm, but in ways we would not have chosen! Thank you for this encouragement today, for one who is also uncertain where these winds are heading. Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Hi Bettie,
      So good to hear from you and see you here! Yes, I think God showers little surprises on us (like not getting sick on a boat) to encourage us and inspire us to move forward. Maybe I"m a sailor-in-training after all! :) Always praying for you, too! xoxo

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  4. I've missed you Valerie! You've have changes happening in a few areas and that seems like how it goes doesn't it? It's inspiring to me that you all these are changes happening. You've waited and now in this new season of change to navigate. Thankfully you have a loving captain of a Father steering your ship too!

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    1. Hi Lynn,
      Thank you for your sweet words! Yes, our in-person conversation a year or two ago covered these changes we'd hoped and prayed for -- but yet, they're still unsettling aren't they? Whatever season we're in, though, it's always an invitation to experience more of God and I am so grateful God is the captain of the ship of my life! xoxo

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  5. Valerie, I was happy to see your post pop up in my inbox yesterday ... I've missed your beautiful writing. I can so relate to the feelings that all the changes stir up, and you're right ... it's such a comfort to remember that as God rearranges things in our lives to suit His loving purposes, He Himself remains the constant. Hugs, friend!

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    1. Hi Lois,
      You are so kind to read and pop over here to leave an encouraging word! You are confirming that God rearranges things -- and although it's turbulent, it's for our good! xoxo

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  6. Gosh, I knew I missed you, but I didn't realize how much til I was reading your heartfelt words, Valerie. I hope you're ok ... transitions are hard and sometimes, seemingly unending. Please know I'm here for you ...

    xo

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    1. So good to see you here Linda! I love your encouragement and support for us, your fellow bloggers who have now become friends! xoxo

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  7. Oh, what a beautiful post! The pictures are just amazing, as always, and your writing just draws me in as if I am right there, just like every time I visit you here, sweet friend! The winds of change...oh, my, just the thoughts of change can send me into a panic, but you are so right. Change is necessary, and the dross it unearths and brings to the surface of our hearts is very cleansing and needful. I am SO glad you didn't get sick on the boat, and just as God helped you with that part, He is going to see you through all of the changes, my friend. I am so excited to see all of the goodness He unveils in your life! Praying for you and sending big hugs!!

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    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I'm so glad you could come along on my little sailing adventure (that turned into a storm) and joining me as we navigate the winds of change! xoxo

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  8. Thank you for sharing. Always enjoy your writing and excursions, it’s like I am right there with you.

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    1. Hi Sammie,
      So glad you came along for the high-seas adventure -- haha!

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  9. Hi Valerie- I have really missed your posts(completely understand though) and was so glad to see this! I read it right away but didn't get to comment yet- So so good to read this and hear your story and perspective on the things that happen in your life! Oh how I can relate to the feeling of the winds of change, as my life is so full of change right now my head feels like it's spinning. I love this reminder that God never changes - That feels good to me to know and to anchor onto as these uncharted waters feel scary and not so safe! I guess if I know that captain, I know I can trust Him to keep me safe and to get us where we need to be. Trusting is so hard to do for me. Thank you so much for sharing! sending big hugs xoxo

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    1. Hi Susie,
      Oh I know you're going through so many changes these days that it must seem as if you can hardly keep up! And I can only manage one change at a time or I completely lose my moorings! But it seems maybe we're made for more and we just don't know it? I know we'll take these changes one step at a time and ease our way into them! xoxo

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  10. Valerie,
    I haven't been on your site in a long time and I've wondered what you have been up to. These pictures are as always beautiful. I especially like the swamp picture. It would make an incredible impressionistic painting. Gorgeous words and tying in of natural elements with your life. The coconut shrimp sounds so yummy.
    Glad I got to read what is going on with you lately.
    Bless you

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