A Wave of Relief

The beach house was a perfect getaway. But I needed God’s grace to escape my worries.

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A Wave of Relief

What a day for the beach! The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was just perfect. Too bad my youngest son was having a meltdown. My two-year-old kept climbing out of his stroller. My ten-year-old daughter was trying to clean up the mess in the kitchen. My other two boys couldn’t find their towels. By the time things got settled, the day was nearly over. My husband, Ken got back from work and saw how frazzled I was. “Why don’t you go for a walk?” he said. “You could use some time to yourself.”

I sure could. My life was so hectic, with Ken working and me homeschooling our five young children, age ten and under. The bills piled up, I put on weight, and all the stress put a strain on our marriage. When Ken’s cousin invited our family to spend a week at his house in Rehoboth Beach, I thought it was the respite I desperately needed. Instead, this vacation was turning out to be just as stressful as home. My husband went to work, I got up, made breakfast, cleaned up, made lunch, cleaned up, did activities with the kids, came back to the house, did nap time, got dinner ready, cleaned up, and collapsed in bed.

It felt good to have some time for quiet reflection, if just for a moment. I went to the boardwalk, then turned north. I took my hair out of its ponytail and let it fly free in the sea breeze. If only I could shake loose my worries. But no, they echoed in my head. Bills. Weight. Marriage.

I stepped onto the sand. It was low tide and I stood far back from the water so I wouldn’t get wet. I watched the seagulls bob up and down on the calm water and opened my heart to God. Why am I feeling all this stress? Why can’t I get out of this rut?

In the dry, hard-packed sand, I wrote three words with my finger. Bills. Weight. Marriage.

Just as I finished the last “e,” there was a roar. A rogue wave crashed onto shore and rolled up to me so fast I had to scramble back. In a flash, the words I’d written were gone, washed away.

And so were my worries. The vacation finally began to feel like one. Seven years later, our family has grown and my faith is stronger than ever.


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