My daughter and I headed down to the beach with quart-sized baggies in hand. We love to look for shark’s teeth and winter is the very best time to hunt. Gone is the sea of Coppertone-covered masses, soaking up rays and playing in the sand. This is the time when the beach can just be and we only have to share it with retired snowbirds from Canada walking their well-groomed dogs. Wrapped up in windbreakers and hoodies, it is good to wear flip-flops again and feel the grit of sand between our toes. I have been collecting shark’s teeth since I was a child and was first introduced to it by my grandfather on Venice Beach, Florida. Of my three children, only my oldest shares my love for the hunt and this time of year, we search until our cheeks are pink and the winter chill becomes too much for our sock-spoiled feet. As always, we began together, but soon separated to cover more ground. After an hour, I began to backtrack behind where she began her search. Knowing she scoured the area well, I didn’t really expect to find anything new. Then the wind blew. I stood and watched, mesmerized by something so simple and powerful. The wind that was making my hair a mess was also changing the entire surface of the beach. I looked down and saw the familiar black shine and shape we had been looking for all along. Over and over, I stood, then knelt, depositing another tooth into my clear plastic treasure chest. And I smiled.
We recently made a BIG move, states away after 18 years of marriage in the same sweet town. What seemed like a grand adventure for everyone was soon a real struggle for me. I left a well-established village of my own creation, of like-minded women who became sisters and supporters, co-conspirators in craziness and fellow volunteer-loving, coffee-addicted bargain shopping queens. And while the hubs easily adjusted to his new job and the kids quickly immersed themselves in school, friends and activities, I felt dumped. I felt dumped into a new town where everyone already had their friends and into a big empty house that still didn’t feel mine. Not one to play the victim, I sought out a Bible study at our church, just knowing I would find like-minded ladies there.
As a late registrant, I was placed into the group that had room. And while they were lovely ladies, I was much younger and in a very different stage of life than the rest. No one else was in the carpool-sitting, activity-juggling, dinner-planning, daily laundry battle stage. It was a good study, though and to be honest, what else was I going to do? I have enjoyed being a part of a group Bible study for years but in the craziness of life, I will admit to being less than committed to the weekly homework. Part of me knew I needed to be a better student of God’s word. There were always so many other more attractive distractions- coffee dates to be had, craft projects to attempt, sales to scour, school committees to join, etc., etc. etc. Sound familiar?
In the absence of basically all of these, I began to pray that God would help me to love His Word. You will never believe this, but He did! Passages I had read many times before seemed to jump off the page. I began to actually study and research well past the day’s assignment in the study. I sought out supplemental readings and even began a book on praying for my husband. Instead of treating Bible study like reading Cliff’s notes for the test, my heart and mind yearned to know and grow more! And instead of feeling dumped into this cute little town, I began to feel planted and to reach out in my own way, in my tiny new circles and began to feel more ME again.
Isn’t that just like God? It took His winds of change to reveal and teach something new to me. Like those tiny black shark’s teeth, there is treasure just under the surface. Sometimes we just need to wiggle our piggies in the sand a little and wait for the breeze to do its thing..