How Children Teach us to Glorify God in the Act of Abandonment

By Dawn Graczyk, Sunshine Mom

We reached Myrtle Beach after what seemed an endless drive. Marissa was sore from surgery and feeling grumpy.  I was on edge, without really knowing why, and feeling sad and exhausted after our week of parks and leaving friends behind. 

Anneliese was fighting to contain her excitement but soon failed.  “Please can we go to the beach!?” she asked, bouncing as she did so.

I let out a moan of immense fatigue, and to be honest, annoyance. “Look.  I need to get all of the things in.  I need to get your sister settled. It is nearly 10 o’clock and we haven’t eaten. The beach is simply not realistic.”  I stomped away to get the rest of the bags.

After I got back to the room I looked out and saw Anneliese looking over the balcony to the ocean with anticipation and wonder.  She had not argued with me to see the beach, but she so longed to at least put her toes in.  It was vacation, and here I was raining on her parade.  

The Ocean’s Soothing Power 

The bags were in. Marissa was already turning on the television. “Hey Anneliese, get your shoes and let’s go.”

I ordered food as we took the elevator down.  When we stepped off the boardwalk, my feet melted into the cold sand and I felt the stress of the day carried away on the waves, as Anneliese ran toward them. We walked. We just walked and let the waves soothe us. 

She is glorifying God in the act of abandonment and enjoyment of His creation. How I wish I could be so free. 

We couldn’t stay here all night, however much we’d like to.  We did need to go to bed.  Anneliese didn’t argue but said, “OK.  I’m running into the ocean before we go up.  Like, really running into the ocean.”

She put all her energy and effort into running forward into the water. I watched and listened as her laughter was swallowed by the roar of the waves and she became just a dot in the vast, endless, landscape of the Atlantic. 

It could swallow her up, but it doesn’t. It only comes as far as God lets it. How perfect. How wonderful. 

She is radiating joy. Pure joy. She is glorifying God in the act of abandonment and enjoyment of His creation. How I wish I could be so free. 

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