Tag Archives: Beach

Nehemiah and NoHomeworkWeekend

Last week was full of 8-hour day study sessions and long drives to Hilo for labs. I felt SO sorry for myself because it almost felt like I had a job. Seriously, sit at a desk all day? Come ON. So on Thursday evening, I made a decision. I will be social. So I texted someone notoriously social who invited me to salsa dancing lessons at a little bar in town. That’s like the trifecta of awkward. 1. Bar with strangers. 2. Dancing actual dance steps. 3. Dancing actual dance steps with strangers. Never mind. I don’t want to be social.

But the next day I mustered the socialness that I did not use at the trifecta of awkward and went to a movie with friends. And that was the beginning of NoHomeworkWeekend. Saturday morning I attempted to read Pharmacology at the beach, got a call for a sushi lunch, closed the books and never looked back. It was a good weekend. Brother-in-law’s siblings and their other halves are in town. I’m not sure if double in-laws are technically family but I will take these guys. They make me feel 10x cooler just being around them. It’s like cool factor drafting. Combined with a couple other awesome people over the last 48 hours, textbooks were just unappealing.

But, it is Monday morning and I heard a sermon yesterday on Nehemiah. He built a pretty big wall in 52 days with a determination that said “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down”. We all have great works and it is our job in 2012 to figure out what the work is and do it with determination. I examined my thoughts over Starbucks after church and realized I have the first part figured out. My great work is becoming the best Family Nurse Practitioner that I can be.

It’s going to take longer than 52 days but with enough NoHomeworkWeekends to recharge, I’m game.

What’s your Great Work for 2012?

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The sun rises

I have spent a week in a past life. It’s been a good vacation but I think a true vacation means a city you’ve never lived in where you walk about in anonymity. This week I was staying in my grandmother’s condo on one of the world’s most famous beaches – Daytona. It is a beautiful wide stretch of beach with reefless waters teeming with an array of ocean wonders.

It is also teeming with childhood memories. It is the back drop of my parents’ love story. It is where I learned to swim. It is where I played “Odd or Even” counting pelicans. And this week it is where I missed my mom so much I could hardly stand it. Proudly, I only cried once (I might tell you the scenario later. You’ll cry too.)

Don’t get me wrong, it was a great trip. I had a variety of extended family including six cousins aged 18 and under, my best friend, and my Dad all there at different points through the vacation. We all pulled off a pretty smashing 80th birthday party for Mom’s mom. I can’t quite do that party justice.

Have I told you I love decorating?

I can’t adequately describe the mix of elderly guests not quite sure of where they were, the minister who asked me if I was a drinker, my mom’s high school best friend and her husband regaling my dad with tales of mutual friends and the Lives They Lead, the 95 year-old who was quite deaf and quite the sharpest mind at the party. She could take the NCLEX for me.

Dad and I took long walks down the beach and talked about Mom and life and marriage and love and family and heaven. Lindsey and I read books with chairs positioned perfectly in the shallows every morning. The cousins and I watched pelicans dive bomb and manta jump (they jump!) and dolphins play and even found a bed of sand dollars under our feet. Grandmom and I talked family history. And shopped. And shopped. So I had good times. But first my dad left, and then Lindsey, and finally I was left without ties to my present. I was with family who loved me but I felt alone. I was hearing stories of my grandparents’ past and my parents’ past and these are valuable stories. But I have decided that the past is not as valuable as the future. You can argue me on that, I’ll gladly listen. But I’m right. The past is good to know like a book. You read it, it adds to who you are. You might read it again. But maybe not. The future gives purpose and hope like a living thing.

The times I felt true peace this week is when I got up to watch the sunrise. In case you didn’t know, the sun rises over the ocean over here. Pretty trippy. Like a reverse sunset. I sat and I watched the light sneak up and I thought about newness and purpose and eternity. I thought about the future and I thought about how God is really good to give us sunrises.

I thought about those things again as I flew out of Daytona at 6 a.m. and saw the sunrise from above the clouds. There are times that I lean against the window of the airplane, bravely viewing the countryside and contemplating life. And then we hit a bump and that stops. But it lasted long enough to miss mom in a good and hopeful way. I am on my way home to the new. I can’t wait to set foot on Hawaiian soil again. Well done, God. Well done, Mom and Dad. You have made that place my home and my heart and my future. Look for your sunrises and look to your futures. God is so good to give us both.

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If you don’t think God has swagger, you’re the crazy one.

I met some folks for tennis at Ala Moana beachpark today but arrived early so went on a run. I noticed a lot of people. Ala Moana is one of those places where a LOT happens. Basically, it is the Central Park of Honolulu. There are exercise classes, AA meetings, picnics, runners, bikers, frisbee-players, dog-walkers, head-stand doers, stand-up paddlers, and your standard beach-goers.

A less crowded Ala Moana Beach Park (photo from PlanetWare Travel Guide)

Typically I am trying to run somewhere between 3 and 5 miles (she mentions impressively) so I am heaving and plodding along (still impressive?) and not noticing many people who aren’t directly blocking my path. Today I knew I was only running a mile so I didn’t faint on the tennis courts later so I ventured some looks around. God was not messing around when he made the human race. There are some incredibly athletic people (Fast Sprinting Couple with Real Runner Clothes who lapped me), some seriously good looking people (band of Brazilians holding surfboards where there is no surf, but looking good while doing it), and some all-around gems (Cute Old Speed Walking Couple). God is not boring.

Before this run, my day had already been full of un-boring people. The highlight was an opportunity to discuss life with someone who possessed some very keen insight on the character of God. We talked about all sorts of dilemmas, controversies, and the answers to some of life’s great quandries. So, of course, we talked religion. Well, I mostly listened religion. It was great and when he determined that I had some Protestant ways, he leveled with me. “Now, look. If you don’t think God parties, you’ve got another thing coming. People who don’t think God can dance and have some straight up swagger are the crazy ones.”


I thought this was an excellent time to share my all time favorite Bible verse – Zephaniah 3:17…God dances and spins in delight over you! He rejoices over you and shouts in exultation!” In short, God’s got swagger because he loves us. He liked this. We agreed. Don’t make God boring! He isn’t.

So if you have had a boring day today, look around you. God made some great people and he made them with some straight up swagger.

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