Afternoon, readers. Today we have the pleasure of inviting national bestselling author Lisa Wingate to the blog stage. Lisa is known for her beautiful, lyrical phrases and deep, resonant themes that will imprint themselves on your heart. Please give a warm blog welcome to Lisa Wingate.
I hope this week finds you fully recovered from whatever the weekend held, rested, refreshed, and ready to go. But . . . what if it doesn’t? What about all those Mondays that arrive feeling too heavy, too problem-filled? What about all those weeks when the work ahead just seems like too much to deal with, when life seems upside down and God seems far away?
Where do you go when your cup runs dry? How and where do you draw near to God?
I wish I had the magic cure-all for that bleak, lonely, far-from-God feeling. But since it’s never that easy, when I’m looking for God, I usually spoil myself with a few gifts. Not the kind you’d buy at the store, but the kind that are already there. Gratitude has an amazing power to comfort the soul. The reality is that gifts by their very nature must always have a gift giver.
The other day as I looked out over our pastures and contemplated fields once again broiling in the heat of another Texas summer—too brown, too dry, no hay to bale again this spring—a little gift arrived at my feet. I looked down, and there in the flower bed, partially buried, lay a bit of green. Not a growing thing, but a piece of glass from an old Coca-Cola bottle, smoothed and frosted by time, tossed in the ocean. Long ago, before Hurricane Ike destroyed the family beach houses in Galveston, we’d brought home a bucketful of ocean treasures gathered up by our boys during a visit to the shore. After selecting a few to keep, we’d tossed the rest in the flower bed. I hadn’t thought of that in years.
And now, suddenly . . . sea glass, lying on the parched ground, miles, and miles, and miles from the ocean.
Why is this such a special gift for me right now? Why does it feel like a miraculous brush with God?
For two reasons, actually. Empty nest, of course. The bit of sea glass, gathered long ago by tiny hands, promises my mother’s heart that no matter where the currents take those boys now, the tides will always bring them home again.
And there’s another reason that bit of frosted glass comes as a blessing. You see, sea glass has a special meaning for me now. Exactly a week from the day I found the sea glass surprise, the prequel novella to The Prayer Box was scheduled to release. Sea glass, known in ancient times as “mermaids’ tears,” plays an important part in The Prayer Box. It’s a symbol of struggle, and survival, and change. In the story, Sandy and Sharon of Sandy’s Seashell Shop make mermaids’-tears jewelry from sea glass, and they sell those creations in their shop on Hatteras Island. Because the prequel novella is about Sandy’s Seashell Shop, the novella is titled—you’ll never guess what—The Sea Glass Sisters.
As I chip the bit of glass from the soil, rub my thumb over it, and feel the salt-smoothed edges, I marvel at God’s wonderful drops of grace. I’m reminded that gifts are a matter of choice. A matter of remembering to look, of choosing to see. When we see the gifts, the natural extension is to see the very One we’ve been looking for. The One we thought was so far away.
Suddenly, He’s not absent, but infinitely present in a million little details. Overwhelmingly involved. Unceasingly vigilant.
The Giver of all good gifts, including the gifts from the sea.
Thank you, Lisa, for that beautiful insight into the true presence of God within our day-to-day.
Stop by your favorite online retailer to purchase The Sea Glass Sisters and begin your journey with the strong and resilient women of Hatteras Island. To celebrate the release of her ebook exclusive novella, Lisa is offering those who have preordered or purchased The Sea Glass Sisters today a chance at a very special giveaway!
Once these women enter your life, you’ll find yourself yearning to stay awhile at their East Coast hideaway. Luckily enough, you can! Return to Hatteras island in Lisa’s upcoming novel, The Prayer Box. Available for preorder NOW!
“At times both sweet and sad, soul-warming and heartbreaking. . . . Relatable characters and vivid portrayals of events both current and historical create an enchanting, memorable pilgrimage into the fullness of faith and love.”
Publishers Weekly on The Prayer Box