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.


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.

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


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.

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.

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.)


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

Family & Friends

Grasshopper or Giant?

Nice Shades, huh?   (Don’t worry. I didn’t buy them.)

I’ve Been Traveling

Many of you know I was in Nashville a couple of weeks ago for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference. The venue was the Omni Hotel, which is down town. It provided very nice accommodations, I might add.

Top Notch Offerings

It was my first national conference. Best selling author, Ted Dekker, was the keynote speaker. In addition, other authors, editors, and agents who have also made their mark in Christian publishing taught classes. What a wonderful opportunity to grow as a writer.

The event provided me with my first chance to talk with two agents and an editor from Tyndale House about my novel. (You might remember my Woo Hoo Facebook post that the editor invited me to submit a book proposal.)

Pretty heady stuff.  Until I began to put that proposal together and think about my limited outreach and the odds of their deciding to publish it.

But write it, I did. And I emailed it to her last Friday.

And now I’m waiting.

The Truth

To be honest, I felt quite insignificant in my own eyes all week, but I pressed on with life. I attended a one-day conference, edited the book, and worked in my flower beds.

I tried to stay busy because I didn’t want to make the mistake that ten of the twelve spies who scouted out the Promise Land made. They allowed fear to color their thinking (Numbers 13).

You may remember, they described themselves as grasshoppers in their own eyes when they saw the giants in the land.

So I girded my loins with scriptures about courage, faith, and the truth that with God all things are possible. I confided in friends and asked for prayer.

Remembering Who’s In Charge

I also reminded myself that from the beginning this has been God’s project.  So I will trust Him with the outcome. And no matter what happens, I’ll remember that it isn’t every day someone is invited to submit a proposal to a publishing house. If Tyndale decides to pass, I’ll look for another. In the meantime, I’ll keep on writing here and working on other projects.

You Asked, so Here Goes

Some of you have asked me how you can help me in my quest to find a publisher. So here goes.

If you’re a praying person, say a prayer for me to have favor, to not grow weary, and that I’ll continue to trust in God’s plan.

Many of you have told me you follow me on Facebook. I love that, but it would also help if you sign up here today to follow this blog by email.

Social media numbers are important. So if you enjoy something, making a comment is nice.

If you especially like a post, sharing it with friends is wonderful.

All of those things will give me a boost.

But most of all, I want to thank you for reading what I write. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

I consider you to be very special friends.

Now It’s Your Turn. Tell Me

Have you ever felt like a grasshopper in the face of a God-given opportunity? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,

for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9