Friday, June 8, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: The Nitty-Gritty

My grandsons Jude and Isaac playing in the sand

LIFE LESSON: The Nitty-Gritty
by Cindy Stiverson, (yours truly)

Love the beach. Hate the sand.

An oxymoron? I suppose so, with emphasis on 'moron'. After all, the beach is sand and sand is the beach!

The beach. A beautiful host to the immense ocean. It provides a homecoming for the tide. It harbors hidden treasures, empty shells, a seekers paradise. It provides a foreground for an unending horizon and glorious sunsets.

But, the sand...does it have to be so sandy? Lord, did you have to make it so gritty, so messy, so sticky. In the midst of this beautiful scene, the sand is such a distraction. It's easy to talk myself out of going to the beach because I don't want to mess with the sand. And yet, I LOVE the beach! How crazy is that?

What I don't like?
I don't like how the sand sticks to my suntan lotion. I don't like to feel dirty, gritty, sweaty. I don't like getting sand in my mouth, on my clothes, on my towel. I don't like dragging it into my room and having to clean it up. I don't like messes, I guess. I want to enjoy life without all the grit. I'm thinking that if an oyster could talk, she would say the same thing. Sand is the irritant that nestles into her shell and produces pearls, which I'm guessing is the leading cause of oyster death: pearl production!

Without the sand, there would be no pearl. Without the sand, there would be no beach. Without the nitty-gritty irritations, our lives would be void of natural beauty, void of deep and profound thoughts. We would be adrift on a sea of selfishness. We could not empathize with those who are suffering. Without getting our hands and our hearts dirty, how would we, could we, ever appreciate being clean?

After our family week on the beach, I'm thinking God gave me grandsons to force my surrender to the sand, to develop an appreciation for the nitty-gritty of life. I have to say that when Jude asked Grammy to dig, I wasn't digging the thought of it. But my heart took over. How could I resist this little love of mine?

God must be asking the same question. When the sands of life get under our skin, and the nitty-gritty irritations of our imperfect circumstances get us is it...why is it...that we often resist the Love of our Life?  When the sands of time shift in our hourglass, we forget that He holds the hourglass in His hands. He is sovereign, all-mighty, all-powerful. Yet, He stoops down and cleans up our messy hands, hearts, lives. He brushes off the sand.

AH!...the sand.
Soft, white, picturesque. It creates an arena from which to witness the beauty of nature. As the curtain rises and falls with every wave, bystanders in the sand witness the performance of the ocean's glorious rhythmic dance. Interesting people of every age, shape and size, robed (disrobed) beyond description become actors in this play. The final scene is reserved for the end of day, when the sun melts into the sea like a giant puddle in flaming shades of red, orange, and yellow. Suddenly, our Creator is center stage and all become witnesses of His handiwork. In breath-taking wonder we worship our eternal God and all is perfect from our position on the the sand.

"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
 who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth?
~Psalm 113:3-6

Come, let's worship the Lord today: for the sand, the sea, for YOU and ME!

Thank You, Father God, for You have made all things. Every day of our lives is written in your book. Help us to fully embrace each new day as a gift from the Giver, our Maker! We worship You, Almighty God, Maker of heaven, and earth. We are humbled at the thought that you have made each and every one of us, uniquely and wonderfully and individually. We love you, Lord.


Cindy Stiverson
I am your hostess and founder of Woven. God gave me a vision for Woven Women in 1998. It's a blessing to be involved in the lives of so many women. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.

I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at Newark Church of the Nazarene in Ohio.

So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter Nicole and son-in-law Matthew. Love my grandsons beyond measure.

Loving God with all my heart, soul, strength; and loving and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life.

Read other recent posts by Cindy Stiverson:


  1. Oh my sweet friend Cindy. Always such a pleasure to read your words, and how you share your stories. You truly are a vessel which God fills with love, inspiration and hope for you to quench the thirst of so many women who need a fresh nourishing drink to sustain them each morning. Thanking God for modern technology so you can be blogging while enjoying time with your family on vacation. So grateful to live in this era when we can share blogs and touch so many people through the screen of our computers. Thank You Jesus! Love and blessings, SallyAnne Trissel

    1. Thank you my precious friend!
      Yes, it's amazing, isn't it? The world is at our fingertips! Hard to even comprehend.
      Oh, the lives God can touch through our hands, our words! May we be ever obedient and so very aware of the power of our words.
      Much love,

  2. Rachel BlevinsFriday, 08 June, 2012

    As a beach/ocean lover, I agree! This is a beautiful piece and it made me think of this scripture:

    God, how I prize your thoughts!
    How many of them there are!
    If I count them, there are more than grains of sand;
    if I finish the count, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17,18

    So, when you encounter the grit/'s a reminder that He's thinking of you, Sandy--I mean Cindy:-)

    1. Thank you Rachel! I do love this passage of scripture. So appropo!

      Sandy? you are silly! You certainly have a way with words. It's so fun being a word-crafter, isn't it?
      Hugging you in my heart today,
      Cindy (I mean Sandy...I mean Cindy..


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