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?
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.
was featured in our July/August 2004 issue.
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