Tag Archives: Ocean

Learning To Draw By The Sea

The ocean is an amazing thing.   Did you know water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface?  Scientists claim they have only explored 5% of the ocean so far.  That leaves a whole lot of mystery about this beautiful habitat that is so vital to the world in so many ways.  I would encourage everyone to visit the ocean at least once if they get the opportunity. Your senses will be overwhelmed and rejuvenated by the experience.

It is amazing to listening to the roar of the waves, get your feet wet or go for a swim, wait and watch for fish or dolphins to breach the surface, to observe birds swooping down to catch a fish, or sighting an occasional fishing boat out to sea.  The ocean is always changing and you could spend hours watching it.

Our family loves to visit the ocean!  We are usually blessed to take a day drive and visit the sea a couple of times a year.  Sometimes we drive several hours just to get out and walk the beach and splash in the waves for two hours and then get back in the vehicle and drive several more hours back home. Depending on which beach we visit, it takes us about 4 hours to get to the closest one.  It is a long ways to drive, but it is free to use the public beaches. If we pack a cooler with food and water, then the only cost involved is the fuel to drive there.  With a large family, getting to do something fun for FREE is a big deal.

On a few occasions, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the night instead of driving there and back all in one day.  Those overnight experiences by the sea have been exceptional.  It is hard to describe the amazing way you feel when you wake up to the ocean, and get up with the sun rise, spend the day in the salty air, then get to observe the sunset, and listen to the waves in the dark of night as the stars twinkle overhead.  It is wonderful!

Learning To Draw By The Sea.

We recently had the opportunity to stay overnight on a visit to the ocean. We spent the morning and evening playing on the beach, but in the heat of the day, we needed something else to do to avoid getting a serious sunburn.   We did not bring electronic games or computers that are part of our normal homeschooling day.  Instead, we played board games like chess, put together fun puzzles, and spent part of our time learning to draw with the art kits we recently made.

It was so nice to have our portable DIY Art Kits.  Be sure to check the story with information on how to make one for your family.

The kits were small enough to go just about anywhere with us, yet they were big enough to hold just about everything we needed.

For some reason that I can’t remember, I didn’t get pictures of the kids drawing.  I guess I must have been so excited about the view, and the opportunity to sit there and draw, that I failed to get up and take pictures of what the others were making too.

For this project, I used the watercolor pencils.  I had hoped to make a project with paints too, but I didn’t have time to accomplish both on this trip.  My older son chose to use charcoal pencils from his kit, and the younger kids used crayons.  I pulled out a small table onto the porch to hold my drawing pad and pencils.

It was a bit windy on this day.  I separated the pencils colors that I wanted to use from the case holding the pencils.  I set them beside my drawing pad, however the wind kept blowing them off and I was constantly having to get up and down to catch a pencil before it rolled off the porch.  I realized the next time I take this art kit on a trip, I will need to bring something better to hold the colors I am using.  Perhaps something as simple as a rubber band or a small tray with sides would have solved my problem.

From the porch where I sat, I could see a long ways in the distance across the ocean and the beach up and down the coast.  To the front of me was ocean as far as I could see, and to the left was a small fishing vessel that soon disappeared while I was drawing.  I tried to capture both in my drawing.  The waves were the most difficult part to draw because they kept moving. Drawing the ocean wasn’t easy because even though it appears the same, in reality each and every moment it keeps changing.

Learning to draw by the sea was fun and it is an experience our family will never forget.

“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10

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Sea Shells By The Shore

On a recent trip to see the ocean, I was amazed at the variety of sea shells by the shore.

The waves constantly washed up an incredible number and variety of shells and deposited them on the sandy beach.

It was like a never ending gift, with each crash of the waves, thousands of new shells landed in the sand.

Every shell was different.

I was in awe that the Lord God has made such variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of shells and the variety of species that use shells as a covering.

The kids were curious to identify what creatures use the different shells. We plan to have some fun matching shells with their occupants.

Some shells get discarded and a new creature takes residence in the empty shell.  We were fortunate to find some creatures had taken up residence already.

Sometimes the shells are spread out on the surface of the sand, and sometimes the shells are piled close together.  The shells left on the shore go on for miles and miles.

I watched several people collecting shells.  Some came with bags and others with buckets every morning and evening and they spent hours combing through the shells left behind by the waves.   I realized they are not only collecting shells, but they also sell these shells.  Some of the shells are also used in crafts and sold in souvenir shops

I thought it would be fun to teach the kids a tongue twister about sea shells that I had learned as a young girl.  A tongue twister is when you say similar sounding words over and over quickly without making a mistake.  However, it is not as easy as it sounds and you will likely mess up or get “tongue twisted”.    The kids think this is hilarious.

“She sells sea shells by the sea shore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I’m sure she sells seashore shells.”

I want to encourage you to spend time with your kids today.  Observe and explore with them the amazing things Father God has created all around you.  There is an amazing variety of gifts right in front of our eyes that often goes ignored.   No matter where you are, you will find something incredible if you just take time.  This is an opportunity to connect with your kids in a special way and point them to their Heavenly Father.   You might find a funny tongue twister to try with your kids too and you will surely get plenty of giggles and laughter on the learning adventure.

Be blessed!

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New Day

We got up early and before it was light we headed out to the edge.   

We marched forward in the darkness, walking from hard dirt to shifting sand until we could not go any farther.

We had to stop.  We were created with specific strengths and limits and we had to stop and recognize our habitat ends at this line.  Who set this boundary?  Who drew this line in the sand?

In the darkness one might miss the clarity of this line.  But if your ears are open, then it is unmistakable that even in the dark there was a change in our path.  The roar of the water is mighty.  It’s song drowns out the sound of the city and the night.  It deafens the sound of motors and all other man-made creations. Someone incredible put this line here and gave it a mighty sound so even in darkness it was unmistakable.

It clearly defines the boundary below our feet.  There are no more roads, no cars, no buildings, no houses, no people, not even trees, no…this line of roaring waters defines a boundary line.

The sky was beginning to shine forth with light separating the day from the night.  Standing in one place looking to the east we saw the new day and to the west we still saw the night.  We were standing at a boundary line between domains of powerful waters and land, but also between times, between day and night.

The reality of this moment is surreal and amazing!  It is encouraging and we waited patiently for the light.

It climbed slowly and steadily.

The waters kept roaring.  Their pace was rhythmic and never changing.

The rhythm seemed as if it were trying to lure me to sleep, back and forth, back and forth.

But all my senses were awake.  I could smell the energy in the air, I could agree with the rhythm with each breath I took.  I could feel the steady pace of life just like my own heart beating.  I could taste the salty air as it passed my tongue and as it filled my lungs it electrified and recharged my body.

There is life in this rhythm.  It churns up oxygen and minerals that bubbles and froths and is teaming with new life.

Even the birds were excited.  They instinctively know the ebb and flow of the water brings abundance into their life and they find nourishment.

It bears witness to the Creator.

The living God.  There is none like him.  He is the provider.  He is the daily bread of heaven.  He is the water of life.   All those who come to him will be saved and will never thirst for eternity.

We met many others on the journey to the water’s edge.  They come to enjoy the inspiring moments of a new day as it dawns.

The light transforms our view.  It bounces all around before the sun even appears over the horizon.

Everything takes on a new vibrancy. Colors seem to pop! Details previously unseen suddenly overwhelm the senses and there is a new awareness.

The birds are very excited.  The growing light points out the location of their next meal.  They dance in the air above the waves in anticipation, expecting provision.  They do not worry.  Then when there is just enough light, they quickly dive into the water and select their free gifts for the day.

I am dancing too.  On the edge.  On the line.  In the moment I become part of the the rhythm and I dance and wait.

My feet are wet.  My toes tingle.  My nose is full of sweet salty air that energizes my breaths and my beating heart.  My eyes are drawn to the dawning light and I wait.

My spirit is encouraged.

I wait. I know it will be here soon.

My Father in Heaven set this plan in motion.

I can rejoice and dance as carefree as a little child.

I feel alive.  I trust my Father’s plan and provision completely.  He drew this line.  He put this boundary here.  I trust him.

The waves rise and fall and rise again, washing the shore.  The rhythm is a song in my heart and mind.  It reminds me there is a plan, it is not random.

He sent his only begotten son to redeem me, heal me, and wash me clean. My robe is washed by the lamb, Jesus, my savior.  God sent his son to redeem all those who would believe and call upon him.

It is a new day, a day the Lord God has made.

Sing about his goodness, I will sing about his provision for my needs.  I will tell the world about his love and his mercy.  I will praise his name forever.

In him only will I place my trust.  His plan is perfect.  His plan is in motion.  I will trust him with my life and my eternal home.

I will rejoice and be glad.

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Sunset At The Beach

Have you ever watched the setting of the sun at the beach?

It is such a beautiful site.

We spent a November evening on a North Carolina beach watching the sun go down.

The Fall air was cool and crisp, but we didn’t let that hinder our joy.

There is something very special and exciting about being at the water’s edge.

The colors in the sky were beautiful!

The smell of the ocean and the sensation of breathing in the salty air is a completely different experience than our day to day experience.  If feels energizing, like it is renewing something inside the body and the mind.

I could watch the ocean and sky for hours and never get tired of the view.

The sand feels amazing and was cool to the touch.  We collected some seashells along the beach.

We saw a flock of pelicans flying above us.

Even though it was chilly, we decided to get our feet wet.

We tried to catch the waves coming into the shore.

The waves and the pull of the under tow current were quite powerful and knocked us off our feet several times.

One fella didn’t want to get wet.  He said it was too cold.

But the rest of the group was eager to get wet from head to toe even though we only agreed to get our “feet” wet.

Even though the water was cold and the current was strong, I enjoyed getting my feet in the water too.  The waves kept a constant rhythm with perfect timing.

It felt so peaceful.

We enjoyed an evening walk on the beach and walked to a fishing peer not far from where we played.

The sun set was stunning behind the peer.

It gave the appearance of a glowing fire off in the distance.

The fishing peer went out so far and then was blocked at the end.  It seemed as if the peer would have gone further, but perhaps had been lost in a storm.

Even though a major hurricane, Hurricane Matthew, had come through days earlier,  the rest of the peer was still in good standing and many folks were using it for fishing and enjoying the evening.

I loved the contrast of the peer and the evening sky and ocean waves.

You could sense the determination of this peer to withstand whatever the elements of nature could beat it with.

The structure seemed to rebel against the constant waves, the salty air, and the gusts of wind.

The setting sun was gorgeous!  It peered through the dark clouds sandwiched between the sky and the water.

This experience reminds us of what it might of been like at the beginning. The bible talks about the beginning.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:1-10

Looking away from the sun, in the opposite direction, the sky and the water seemed to be a reflection of each other, a matching blue that seemed to go on forever.

But looking towards the sunset, the colors were vibrant and seemed layered like a rainbow that had been deconstructed.


Sitting above the waves, felts as if we were sitting on them.   Resting on the benches of the peer was a special experience. 

The peer puts you out on the water, away from the shore.

Though you are sitting still, everything around you is in motion and has a rhythm of it’s own.  Everything is moving with a beat, the water, the sky, the salty air on your face, and the sound it all makes has a nourishing rhythm that feeds the soul.

All your senses are enhanced and focused on the beat, the soothing sound of the moving water and the amazing colors of the sky.


After we watched the sun set, we walked up the beach a little bit further for some food.  Later we came back outside to watch the beach in the darkness.

We sat on the steps of a small gazebo looking out over the water.  It was so peaceful.

A long way out, there was a small twinkle of light from ships on the water. 

We could also see the lights of the fishing peer reflect on the water.

But otherwise, we could no longer depend on our eyes to understand our environment.  We could not see the sky, and we could not see the water, we could only sense they were still there in the darkness.

Instead of using our eyes, we tuned our ears to the sounds of the night.  All we could hear was the familiar sound of the waves hitting the beach in a soothing rhythm.  It was peaceful.

The older kids and I wanted to stay outside all night, but the younger kids and daddy were getting sleepy, so it was time to head inside.  Bedtime seemed to come too quickly, yet we welcomed the end of this day feeling relaxed and renewed.

We definitely want to experience the sun setting on the beach again soon.

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