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 July - August 2004
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COVER STORY: Casey Martin was thrilled to play professional golf, but he never thought he'd be thrown into the spotlight because of his disability. . .
When Your Pain is Not Being Treated
WARNING: Beware of Bible Cures!
God is in the Details
Sun, Sun, Find the Shade
Why Can't I Make People Understand? Book Excerpt
When God Hollers, "No!"
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: What Would Jesus Eat?
Ask the Doc
HopeNotes: hopekeepers
Group & Leader




Four moderators of Rest Ministries' Splashes of Joy program (women with depression and chronic illness or women with fibromyalgia) gathered together for a weekend getaway at the beach! Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Nancy flew from Ohio to my home in Virginia for our ocean weekend. The anticipation had built up for weeks as we looked forward to seeing each other. Kat, Nancy and I had met in Atlantic Beach a year ago. But this year Carlene joined us and we all splashed in the Atlantic Ocean. It is so much more delightful to see each other in person and chat for hours instead of our limited e-mails, phone calls or IM's. We already knew we loved each other, but experiencing the nuances of each other's personalities cemented our friendship further. Nancy and Kat had been together in SOJ from the beginning about four years ago. I joined about a year later and Carlene sometime after that. In the course of things all of us were asked to be moderators. We have 3 others and many other ladies who would qualify as such.

We arrived at the Seahawk Motel in Atlantic Beach Thursday evening: Nancy, Noval (my husband) and I a bit after Carlene and Kat. We had birthday gifts and balloons for Carlene in the trunk and she was surprised when we brought them into the Sanitary Restaurant where we had seafood-you can imagine the jokes about that name! We chatted for awhile after dinner and then went to sleep to the sound of the waves crashing outside our balconies.

Friday morning Nancy awakened first and went down to the beach and sat in a swing, inhaling the sea air and soothing sound of waves. We all took a walk along the shore and sent up our "tidal waves of prayer" (a phrase Nancy coined quite sometime ago) for all the Splashes and their families. It's such a beautiful place to pray--listening to the sound of the waves. Kat wasn't well enough to go with us so we just got a salad and wandered some shops and beachfronts. Then we splurged on ice cream cones! We chatted and napped a bit in the afternoon then we all went out to another seafood restaurant for dinner, with a walk on the beach afterward.

Saturday, Nancy and Carlene went down to the beach early. The rest of us slept in then we had breakfast together. It was really windy and the waves were crashing. More shopping -enough so that Nancy got two huge blisters! Dinner was followed by a gorgeous sunset. Nancy shares, "I had gone out on the balcony and the others were talking and laughing on the bed, when all of a sudden the most beautiful things were happening on the waves. We watched for nearly two hours as the half moon would appear on the top of the waves before they crashed. The shine would wander across the waves just in front of us, looking like a burst of fireworks when the waves broke. It looked like fireflies dancing on the waves-the most beautiful thing God could have done for the Splashes."

Sunday, we ate breakfast together on our balcony and my husband had a short service. He gave a message especially for us, prayed for the Splashes and served us communion. What an awesome time together watching the ocean and worshipping. Sadly, we packed up. But we stopped for one last time at McDonald's where we had a raspberry shake or sundae to celebrate the wonderful time together. Then we were off for long drives home; for us, over four hours, for Carlene about six, and Kat one.

We wished you all could have been there enjoying it all with us. You were certainly there in our hearts.

Love, Sheryl

This article was featured in our July/August 2004 issue.
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