Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seashore Surprise by Kim Jackson

Birthday on the beach. Just seeing those words in print makes me smile. I was raised in Illinois near the Wabash River, but I feel connected to the ocean. Something deep within me rises up to rejoice when I experience the waves and the roar. 

So of course I replied “Yes!” when my friend Cathi invited me to spend my birthday on the beach. The morning of May 2nd we spread our blankets on the white sand at New Smyrna. There were only two people as far as the eye could see: Cathi and me. An hour passed before another human being appeared.

I watched him come over the dunes with his seven children following behind like proverbial little ducklings. When I smiled he said, “Yes, they’re all mine. And my wife is back at the house with the baby.” The children ran in to the ocean with joyful glee. Cathi and I watched scene after scene that confirmed this family was something special. 

When we started packing our belongings I said, “I’ll be right back. I’ve got to tell that Dad how fun it was to watch his family.”

“Excuse me, but I just have to tell you that your family is a delight to watch.”

“Well, you caught them on a good day,” he said with a wink, “but my wife and I try to raise them to love God and love others.”

He explained that he and his wife had become Christians at a nearby church. He mentioned they’ve been involved in many mission trips.

“Really! God has just launched me on a new adventure. I’m going to Romania July 9th.”

“I love Romania! We’ve been lots of places in the world, but Romania is our favorite.”

Seriously? Only three adults anywhere in sight, and two of them are connected to Romania?

He was amazed to hear how God opened the door for me to work with the elderly in need. Because he’s been to Romania, it was easy for him to visualize the dozens of formerly homeless elderly who are now living in makeshift nursing homes in Dumbrava. 

When he gave me his email address so we can stay in touch, my heart overflowed with gratitude to receive such a confirmation, such a “God Kiss.” And who knows what may come of that seashore surprise?

What are the odds of that happening? There are over six billion people in the world yet God purposefully placed Josh and his family on my birthday beach. Some would say, “That was serendipitous.” But I know better: it was Spiritipidous! 

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources God will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16 NLT).

Kim Jackson is a writer and speaker living in Concord, North Carolina. You can read about her latest God-Venture at Elder Orphan Care.
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  1. Kim,
    This seashore story was such a blessing. It was definitely a "divine appointment." I pray that you will be able to stay in touch with this family and who knows...maybe one day you will go to Romania together. Many blessings as you follow God's calling to Romania to work with the elderly.

  2. How wonderful! I had many smiles thinking of the fun you ladies were having at the beach but this is fantastic! ~Andrea B

  3. God is THE Giver and when we give, we are like God. This story started with Cathi giving to you a day at the beach to celebrate your birthday. You gave to Josh when complementing him on his family's interaction. Josh gave back to you with his email address and you have given to all who read this an example of God working His plan through giving people. In contrast, if the giving had stopped at any point, or not even started with Cathi, no God-story to share. But with you around, there is usually a good story, if not a God-story! Thanks for sharing! ~Debra

  4. Your post was delightful and well-written. Thanks so much for sharing your experience in such a "Spiritipidous" way!

  5. that is a very sweet story.I really appreciates Gods love everywhere.

  6. The ebb and flow of your writing just washes over me like the presence of the Holy Spirit.

  7. What a lovely story...and proof again that there is a grand design, known to our Maker, as he knew and loved every hair on our head even before we were born... and He is in charge! Phyl

  8. What a lovely and sweet is full of grand surprises, you just need to keep your eyes and ears open...and believe!

  9. how wonderful that you got a glimpse of my family while I was back at the house with the baby.

    When I was 18 I was on a train to Romania, when I crossed the boarder I know I was somewhere specail. We passed a village with about 10 homes, I watched an old woman sweep the street in front of her home, I saw little children playing in the gardens, I still remember the sky and all the colors of Romania- it only took a moment to fall in love.

    My daughter is named after a good friend I made on the journey... "Estera"... someday we will return, perhaps with a row of children like ducklings behind us.

    More from us:


  10. Kim--
    Interestingly, the phrase far as the I could see.. is a phrase God put in my heart years ago in response to something I was praying for... your blog was a "God kiss" for me-- I love how He does that!!

  11. Thank you to everyone who read my "Seashore Surprise" story and especially those who took time to comment either here or on facebook or via email. What a "YAY GOD!"

  12. Kim, thank you for sharing your Birthday experiences. I couldn't help but think how God orders our steps. It will be interesting to see how God uses this relationship in your life in the future. Abundant Blessings.

  13. Love the story Kim. Precious God moments...right?

  14. Thanks for sharing this "Seashore Surprise" story, Kim. What a blessing you encountered. It just reminds me that HE is always by our side...we just have to open our hearts and eyes and listen.
    The way of a good person is like the Light of Dawn. It grows brighter and brighter until it is Full daylight. Proverbs 4:18 Love ya, Joanie

  15. Kim, so delighted to hear you are well and of your new adventures. Thanks so much for the marvelous story. Yes, it was a Kiss from our daddy to you!
    Keep in touch!

  16. Kim,
    Thank you for sharing your birthday seashore story! It is truly amazing how God works. He always puts us in the right place at the right time. Speaks at just the right moment.If only I was as wise as you, to be still and listen. You are truly an inspiration!
    Love Ya!


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