We visited one of Indonesia's beaches. I have tried to maintain continual low expectations here. It means I'm never disappointed! This was no exception.
I loved it. We loved it. The house was amazing. Big bathrooms with a wall of glass looking out to garden. Eight little legs racing in and trying to find the favoured bedroom. A deck with chairs that made me want to sit down, gaze out at the ocean, and not move for three days. Except perhaps to glance over at the pool to ensure everyone's head was above water.
Yet different it was. Let's not talk about the many hours it takes to travel the few kilometres from Jakarta, due to the atrocious roads with potholes every 10 centimetres or so. Once there, the property is surrounded by a rather large fence, causing a clear delineation between us and the sand. Locals were at the fence, calling out, offering massages, inviting the boys to invest in some shells, selling food. No amount of "say no thank you and walk away" worked with our social boys. They do love a chat.
It wasn't the sophistication of the Sunshine Coast, nor the simplicity of SA coastal spots. But it doesn't have to be.
The water was such an amazing temperature, causing me to get in and stay in - unheard of in the freezing South Australian waters!!! Though never have I felt more underdressed! I was fascinated by the Muslim women swimming fully clothed. But their laughter is the same regardless.
Kite flying, mud walking, shell hunting, boys going all 'Bear Grylls' on me...
And friends. We had friends! Though new friends, it is always special to sit with people who make you laugh. With the sun setting. By the beach. Eating a freshly caught seafood banquet. Bliss.
The vastness of the waters is so engaging. I could not help but feel a little connected with Australia, thinking about the drops of water on the sand which surely must have visited Coolum, Adelaide, Caloundra, Port Elliot, Noosa, Rye...and perhaps even rained down on Brisbane. It wasn't the cuppa with my girlfriends I desire so much, but it was something.
And though cliched, you cannot escape pondering the power of God in the waves, his control over them, and as a friend recently prayed, the contrast of the still small voice of the Lord in the lapping water.
The smallness of me is the next most obvious thing. Tiny. Insignificant. Yet created, chosen, guided, loved.
"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea." Isaiah 48: 17-19
11. Access to this fabulous place.
12. Four boys who love to talk to people.
13. Muddy legs.
14. Freedom to swim in bathers.
16. Seeing lit up eyes lifted towards a kite.
17. Oceans, which make me feel a little less lonely.
18. That I am small. That He is big.
20. A shower big enough for six.