This is the view outside my window right now, dear ones:
We left New Orleans yesterday morning (not a moment too soon—this old lady needs some rest!) and arrived at Pensacola Beach in the early afternoon. We were able to stop and visit some sweet friends along the way.
Our former Pastor, George Bendall, lives in Gulf Port, Mississippi. George was instrumental in Jeff’s conversion. Jeff’s baptism was the last one he performed before leaving our church in the wake of a sea of conflict and ugliness. He will always have a special place in our hearts.
Here Jeff is with George in his new church office:
We love you, guy!
The red flag was up when we arrived, warning of dangerous surf.
Jellies were sprinkled over the beach, but that didn’t stop us from taking a little stroll and finding some treasure.
But it’s living treasure that’s on my mind today.
We came here on our honeymoon, almost sixteen years ago. That was a magical time. I remember I found about ten tiny sand dollars on that trip; all pristine and whole. The ocean here is usually very calm, but the winds created a rough surf today. There were no whole sand dollars to be found, but we saw many pieces strewn about.
We’re looking forward to relaxing, and taking in the beauty of the white sands. Special memories abound everywhere we look, and I believe I am falling deeper in love…I never knew it possible.
Last night, we walked down to the ocean, faces turned into the wind. Clouds settled on the horizon, but stars danced overhead.
I buried my face in Jeff’s shoulder, whispering prayers of thanks.
“Are you happy?” He asked, not breaking his gaze.
Am I happy?
Could there ever be a greater understatement?
We stand in this place that marks one of our beginnings, and I marvel at the years gone by. I marvel at this love that grows richer and deeper with each passing year.
In those early days, I distinctly remember waking up each morning and thinking, “this isn’t real.”
I kept waiting for something bad to happen.
For Jeff to leave, or be unfaithful.
This kind of happiness doesn’t happen to girls like me.
God is so good, sweet friends.
And I am grateful.
We’ve had some difficult times, but God knew. He knew what a good thing He would make in this marriage.
And it is beautiful.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.
Here are a few scenes from my birthday trip so far.
Jeff and I at the Crescent City Brewhouse:
A view of Jackson Square:
Inside St. Louis’ Cathedral.