Beach, Devotionals, Florida, God's Creatures, Life Lessons, Navarre Beach, Sea Turtles

LIFE LESSONs FROM A SEA TURTLE

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.

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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

Thoughts

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
  • Enjoy ourselves
  • 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?

Job 38:41

animal rescue, Beach, Devotionals, Endangered Species, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Nature, Navarre Beach, Sea Turtles, Volunteering

5 Ways Gigi Inspires Me

This is the final installment of my three-part series about sea turtles. In MEET GIGI, I told you about a blind loggerhead sea turtle we met at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. TEN FACTS ABOUT LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES provided more information about sea turtles and their plight.

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Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s motto: Giving Sea Turtles More Tomorrows

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.

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Don’t you love Christy’s red turtle girls rock shirt. I want one.

 

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I suppose the largest souvenir we could have carted home from NBSTCC was this turtle chair. We decided to pass on it.

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.

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That red sea turtle circle in the middle goes on the end of your flashlight to soften the light’s impact on the sea turtles that might be hatching on the beach.

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.

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We saw a model of how they go about restoring coral reefs.

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.)

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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 

as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14

Beach, Listening, Quiet

Rainy Days

 
 

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