A couple of Saturdays ago I had the most fun day that I’ve had since being in Penang.
It wasn’t anything extravagant. I didn’t spend a lot of money or do anything extreme.
What was supposed to be a hike to Monkey Beach, an afternoon spent at the beach with new friends and a boat ride back turned into a boat ride to and from the beach.
It’s rained twice that I know of since I’ve been here – for about 15 minutes in the middle of the night, but on Saturday afternoon the dark clouds rolled in…
It made our day out much more interesting.
Taking the boat to the beach was one of the roughest boat rides I’ve ever been on. The driver was driving a bit fast for the windy, bumpy conditions if you ask me. I sat in the front of the boat wanting to take in the wind and the water as much as I could.
I thought I might actually get a headache from the front of the boat going up and then crashing back down onto the sea, but I had a blast and was excited to be out on the water even when it started to sprinkle and the raindrops stung my skin as we arrived at Monkey Beach.
A small group of us began throwing the frisbee and then attempted to play a game of Ultimate.
Soon after we were too tired to keep playing the skies opened up and the rain began to
This is when the split happened.
About two-thirds of the group took cover under a nearby shelter and the other third headed into the ocean.
I was torn.
I wasn’t wearing my bathing suite and there didn’t look to be a convenient place to change, plus I’m not 100% comfortable with myself with so little on. It would be easier and safer and less trouble to just stay under the shelter.
I deliberated for a minute or two and decided that I had to go out in the rain and get into the ocean. I knew that I’d regret staying under the shelter and watching from a distance.
So I found a place nearby that I thought I could change in. There was a nearby outdoor squatty potty that was far from clean and smelled like…well you get the picture. Thankfully there were nails to hang my bag on. I got in and out as quickly as possible and made my way back to the beach and rain and then into the ocean.
The wind was blowing, the rain was falling on and off, and the waves were steadily rolling in.
As I looked back at the beach I could see the tropical mountains in the distance with the low lying clouds covering the tops. A few birds were soaring overhead. Friends were laughing and joking as we played in the water.
It was just good.
We ended our beach trip by taking the boat back to our starting point, but we couldn’t go quite all the way back because it was low tide.
They tied our small boat to a larger fishing boat and we began our journey to the pier.
We jumped from one boat to another and then to another trying not to slip or step on anything dangerous or fall between one boat while jumping to the next.
I loved getting to see these fishing boats up close!
We finally made it to the last boat and then saw that we would have to climb up a ladder of sorts made out of tires tied together to get up onto the pier.
We went to dinner, soaked and smelly, but filled with joy. We drank coconuts and ate fresh spring rolls and fried noodles and continued to just enjoy the day and one another.
That evening I got home and took a nice long, hot shower. It cooled down so much that I was able to put on my comfy pajama pants,one of my favorite things to wear.
I ate a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella (don’t judge me), made some honey lemon tea and then snuggled into my bed to finish reading Packing Light while the rain beat down on the roof.
I can’t even describe the peace and satisfaction and deep rest that soaked into my soul.
And to think that part of me didn’t want to go on Saturday. It was so hot and humid and just uncomfortable, but I went anyways and had a lovely day of adventure and of deepening friendships.
We didn’t go hiking like we planned, and I only saw one monkey at Monkey Beach.
It didn’t matter though.
As I’ve been reflecting today on the events that took place and why it was such a great day to me the Father revealed to me a few things.
He knows me.
He knows that I’ve loved riding in a boat ever since I can remember. I have my dad to thank for that. We’ve spent many days out on the river and the lake fishing and boating. 🙂
He knows that I love beholding His creation.
I love to hear the rain and the waves. I love to feel the wind blowing through my hair, the sand between my toes and the raindrops on my skin. I love to see the ocean and mountains and trees and colors in the sky.
He also knows how much I need to laugh and let my guard down and just be able to be myself with people.
He knew that a hot shower, tea and pj pants with a good book and the sound of the rain on my roof would be the perfect ending to my day like this.
I was able to breathe deeply and rest in His perfect peace.
Lately I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with life. I feel like I’m constantly learning new things about the culture and God and myself. I feel stuck between where I am and where I want to be. I feel like I’m failing because I’m constantly comparing myself with those around me, and honestly I’m just weary of starting over, again.
But on Saturday the Father did what only He could do: He refreshed my soul.
He brought His richness into what started off as an ordinary day.
I’m finding that we never know what surprises the Father has in store for His children. He’s inviting us into a grand adventure if we chose to take His hand and come along.
There will times you will want to give up, days you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll wonder why you ever started this journey.
Then the Lord will pull you close. He’ll remind you that He loves you and that He knows you.
A time of refreshing is coming.