If you know me very well, you’re already aware that I often find spiritual lessons in the things I see in nature. Such was the case with Gigi, the blind sea turtle that lives at Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Here are just a few things that come to mind when I think of Gigi.
Back To Gigi
I still smile when I think about how Gigi adapted to her new surroundings at NBSTCC. Maybe that’s because she:
Expects the best from her human rescuers
Responds to their taps on the side of the pool and to the sounds of voices
Embraces life by fully chomping down on the whole mackerel she favors for dinner
Has fun by pulling on the feeder pole to tease her personal butler
Continues to inspire people to respond to a bigger cause
As I ponder Gigi’s situation, I’m reminded that we can be blessed whatever our circumstances. If we’ll just watch for God, we’ll see that He has a way of showing up when we need Him most. And He wants us to embrace His provision in the same way Gigi accepted her new benefactors and surroundings.
Even more, when things don’t change, He invites us to
Adapt to our surroundings
Chomp down so to speak on the sustenance he provides.
Remember it’s okay to be playful
Laugh and have fun
Even bask in His blessings.
Wait–especially to bask in His blessings.
I’d love to hear how He’s met your needs.
Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry
to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?
As you can tell, I’m still pumped about our visit to NBSTCC last month.
I’m Always Up for Shopping
And you probably know, there was no way I was leaving without visiting their gift shop, the Seamore Store. It’s manned by–you guessed it–volunteers. We met two delightful ladies, Cinnamon Holderman and Christy Meyer.
But I did try on t-shirts and admired toys, books, photographs & paintings, along with lots of other items crafted by locals. I can’t believe I didn’t buy a T-Shirt. (Well, I would have if they’d had my size in the one I wanted. Next time.)
I did bring home a few items.
NBSTCC didn’t happen overnight. In 2011, this group cast a vision for creating a center to educate the many visitors to the island on the plight of sea turtles and provide a place where rescued turtles could be rehabilitated. You can even sign up to volunteer while you’re there. They told us a couple from my hometown of Searcy, Arkansas, was volunteering soon. How cool is that?
When I volunteer at NBSTCC, I want to work in the Seamore Store, maybe with Cinnamon and Christy. I want to wear one of those blue volunteer t-shirts, too. (Yeah, I want two shirts.)
In closing, if you vacation in Florida, I encourage you to also Navarre Beach Marine Park just next to it. You’ll see the buildings just beyond Gigi’s home.
NBMP actually predates NBSTCC and is a larger success story that began in 2009. It works for and promotes all forms of local sea conservation through programs and onsite educational offerings. Their latest project involves a grant for a mobile unit to go out to schools and community events.
They cast a large vision when they launched this volunteer organization.
At NBMP, you can snorkel or scuba dive along one of the manmade coral reefs or take out a glass-bottom kayak and watch the sea life from the surface. You might even encounter one of those magnificent sea turtles. (The reefs in the Santa Rosa Sound might be better for snorkeling.)
NBMP’s story is truly worthy of its own series. I plan doing that–right after I kayak out to one of those reefs in the sound. Next trip.
Life is so much richer when we venture out beyond ourselves. I’m amazed when I look at groups and foundations right here in Arkansas that began by someone seeing a need and embracing the vision to meet it.
What’s your passion?
Where’s your next adventure?
I really want to know.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
Today I’m looking out on stormy skies and dirty-green surf at Navarre Beach. Even the famous sugar sand has taken on a drab cast. White-ruffled breakers and foam provide the only relief to a dreary scene.
A strong wind has buffeted the Florida Panhandle most of the week. Forget tidy hair-dos and full skirts (not that I wear either). The beach flags have told the story: Go-green on Monday, caution-yellow Tuesday, then danger-red blowing fiercely since Wednesday. Yesterday in the bright sunshine, the world was beautiful. Kite surfers, raced across the waves, performing heart-stopping feats. Ah, to be young and strong like that. I can almost see our skateboarding son, Gary, flying across the rough water on one of those contraptions.
But today, we’re socked in with fog. Intermittently, heavy rain blows onto the balcony, making even it off limits. Our company has departed and Terry is napping. There’s a hush with only the muted sounds of refrigerator, air conditioner and distant surf.
I don’t mind the silence or the solitude. It gives me time to reflect on the fun we had with our first guests and how blessed we feel to finally have a space we can share on this beach we love.
It’s the perfect time and place to just be, to listen for the still, small voice of God.
I’m enjoying my day.
What’s going on your world?
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!Ps. 46:10