psalm 104 thanksgiving

In the car on the way to this place, I had the kids pick out a number between 1 and 150.  Eli called out, "104"!  Thin pages flying with their distinct crinkling sound, I found Psalm 104 and over the wind blasting in the windows, read aloud His glory words.  

There couldn't have been more perfect words to prepare our hearts for a handful of hours spent at this beach again.  Truly a sanctuary.  As holy as any arched, granite cathedral.  

For me, a trip to a place like this is never only about soaking in some rays, relaxing with a good book, watching the kids splash and climb and laugh.  No, when I wander these sandy trails, the only sound in my ears rustling leaves, seagulls, distant children, I'm overwhelmed with an unspeakable swelling inside me.  So much that I can't find words to type out here.  Have you felt what I'm talking about?  It's when you look up at a clear night sky with it's million stars gazing back at you and your heart swells and all you can do is breathe and gasp and say, "Wow, God. YOU are amazing!"
Romans 1:20 is so true!  I can't fathom how a person could behold such beauty and not instinctively know that it was created by a mighty and powerful and awesome God.
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." 
Romans 1:20

Below I type out my praise and thanksgiving...intermixing Psalm 104 and my list of thanks...recounting His wonderful ways!

"O my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are! 
beautifully, gloriously robed,
Dressed up in sunshine,
and all heaven stretched out for your tent.

You built your palace on the ocean deeps,
made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.
You commandeered winds as messengers,
appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.

#323. cloudless blue skies after a dark, storm-looming morning
#324. freedom and resources to pick up and go
#325. to one of the most beautiful beaches
#326. with the cold, clean freshwater lake
#327. for Your reminding me that I don't need to travel by airplane to be immersed in such beauty

You set earth on a firm foundation
so that nothing can shake it, ever.
You blanketed earth with ocean,
covered the mountains with deep waters;
Then you roared and the water ran away—
your thunder crash put it to flight.

Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out
in the places you assigned them.
You set boundaries between earth and sea;
never again will earth be flooded.

You started the springs and rivers,
sent them flowing among the hills.
All the wild animals now drink their fill,
wild donkeys quench their thirst.

#328. uprooted trees...the Artist's stunning sculpture
#329. everyone off exploring...finding their own glory bits
#330. towels and snacks waiting to welcome us back

Along the riverbanks the birds build nests,
ravens make their voices heard.
You water the mountains from your heavenly cisterns;
earth is supplied with plenty of water.
You make grass grow for the livestock,
hay for the animals that plow the ground.

Oh yes, God brings grain from the land,
wine to make people happy,
Their faces glowing with health,
a people well-fed and hearty.

#331. a simple swing made of rope and a stick
#332. high-flying Daddy
#333. higher-flying kids....boy joy!
#334. a close-knit, boisterous, joyful, large gathering of people different than us, Muslim, on the beach
#335. having the chance to answer curious kid's questions
#336. knowing that every person is created in His image
#337. firstborn's sharing his boogie board with scarved woman

God's trees are well-watered—
the Lebanon cedars he planted.
Birds build their nests in those trees;
look—the stork at home in the treetop.
Mountain goats climb about the cliffs;
badgers burrow among the rocks.

The moon keeps track of the seasons,
the sun is in charge of each day.
When it's dark and night takes over,
all the forest creatures come out.

#338. pine needle carpet
#339. that always brings memories of grandparent's North Carolina home amidst a stand of pines
#340.  crunch, crunch underfoot...pine fragrance released
#341. that feeling when you're under a pine looking up

The young lions roar for their prey,
clamoring to God for their supper.
When the sun comes up, they vanish,
lazily stretched out in their dens.

Meanwhile, men and women go out to work,
busy at their jobs until evening.

What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.

#342. golden blooms thriving in the sand
#343. hairy creatures wriggling, falling and rolling on their way somewhere important
#344. those eggs!  just look at those eggs! seriously, Lord?!  what stunning works of art!
#345. second-born, caring, animal-lover and self-appointed egg-protector
#346. funny, wonderful killdeers (again)

Oh, look—the deep, wide sea,
brimming with fish past counting,
sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters,
and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.

All the creatures look expectantly to you
to give them their meals on time.

You come, and they gather around;
you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back,
they'd die in a minute—
Take back your Spirit and they die,
revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life—
the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.

#347. Daddy who holds her hand
#348. YOU hold and lead and walk

The glory of God—let it last forever! 

Let God enjoy his creation!

He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake,
points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt.

Oh, let me sing to God all my life long,
sing hymns to my God as long as I live!

Oh, let my song please him;

I'm so pleased to be singing to God. 

But clear the ground of sinners—
no more godless men and women!

O my soul, bless God!"

Psalm 104 (The Message)

Won't you join in on the counting (in your heart, with your mouth, in your journal, in Ann's space)?  You'll see that all is gift!  On the beach, in the car, at home and work....we're constantly surrounded by His never-ending love.

holy experience

May we enjoy together this day He has given,
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you and your words are a GIFT to me! thank you!