Friday, November 27, 2009


Reflections by the Sea
© Betsy Ore Glass
November 25, 2009

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. -Psalm 100:5 NIV

The photograph today is of the cottage my family owned when I was a youngster. It was a new little beach box that was painted yellow with white shutters with a large deck that overlooked the ocean in Kitty Hawk. Our “Yellow House by the Sea” was the setting for many family get- togethers. We enjoyed coming from Virginia especially during the off season in October and November and again in the spring. We rented it out in the summer but always saved a week’s vacation for ourselves. We all felt a sense of freedom and joy when we were at the beach. That feeling remains with me today. Televisions and telephones were not luxuries we enjoyed. Instead, we found entertainment in exploring, playing, and shelling during the day and bundling up in the evenings on the webbed lounge chairs on the deck with hot chocolate to hear the ocean waves or to seek shooting stars from the sky above. We would get to stay up late at night to join our grandfather as he turned on his short-wave radio, where we heard of places far away. Our church friends and extended family came often to enjoy my mother’s fried fish at the special picnic table that my father had built. Puzzles, talks and playing cards occupied us as we spent time with each other. We sold that little yellow house but took our memories with us. Many years later, an October nor’easter claimed the house and took it out to sea. The walls and windows were lost but our memories were left intact. No one could take those from us. Those memories of youth and family time have carried us all through good times and bad.

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas approaching, this tine of year it is the season where families make every effort to get together. Some families see each other often. But there are many families that don’t get to see each other because of distance. My husband and I spent Thanksgiving without family this year due to distance so we know first-hand how cherished those times are when we can all come together at one table. As the anticipation of Christmas approaches, find a moment to pray. Ask that God’s presence be felt when families do come together and any offenses are pushed away by love, laughter and joy. Ask that new memories will be made if having to spend special occasions away from loved ones. Above all, showing love in all we do is the best way to honor this season and to honor God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rising Up in Gratitude

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
November 18, 2009

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. –Psalm 121 1-2 NIV

The remnants of Tropical Storm Ida weren’t supposed to leave such an impression on the Outer Banks. And the storm wouldn’t have if it had not merged with a low pressure system off of the coast. But it did. And it became a historic nor’easter event instead. Some people would have preferred a hurricane rather than a nor’easter. The thinking is that the short duration of a hurricane is no match for the long, drawn out three day pounding of a nor’easter. Looking at the aftermath of such a strong storm left many with great loses of property and whole communities that were inconvenienced because of washed out roads. The cleanup begins and loses totaled. Even though the storm clouds and heavy rains are long gone, fear of storms and all the “what ifs” linger on with many people. It is a natural response, but God is supernatural and that means we can lift all of our fears and concerns up to Him.

The Outer Banks community is already embarking on a clean up, a rebuilding, a replenishment of sorts in the attempt to look beyond the storm and into the future with a vision. The people of the Outer Banks are resilient and strong and just like so many times before, everything will be back in order again.

In church on Sunday we sang the words to the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus”. The refrain goes like this: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” We can take a lesson from the strength of a community to rise up over our losses, our grief, our troubles and with our eyes upon Jesus, we can live for the future and not the past.

Thanksgiving is in a few days, and we all have something to be grateful for despite the losses that have come our way. We are all God’s children and He makes us adaptable, capable and fills out hearts with love and gratitude. However the day is spent, we must remember to give Thanks to our Heavenly Father, knowing that all blessings flow from Him!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New Season

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
November 11, 2009

And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years ,-Genesis 1:14 NIV

The fresh green of newly sprouted rye grass, the yellow, red and orange leaves on the trees, the smell of swirling smoke from neighboring fireplaces and the cool, crisp air is what November means to me. The swishing sound of someone raking leaves and pine straw is music to my ears. A bright orange pumpkin and pot of yellow potted mums by the front door says “welcome”. Okra pods and dried hydrangeas are ready to set aside for spraying with gold paint for handmade Christmas wreaths and centerpieces. McIntosh apples are plentiful now for that warm chunky applesauce at supper. I believe it is true what they say, that the heart of the hone is the kitchen. That’s the gathering place. Good food warms hearts and souls. Laughter and conversation spills forth when everyone converges upon the kitchen at the end of the day. Reading the mail, petting the dogs, setting the table, starting supper and sharing the day happens in our kitchen. With the coming of cooler weather and shorter days, I find myself looking for comfort. A warm supper, a soft afghan to curl up with afterwards and my pup beside me, it’s the perfect evening. I believe November is a nurturing time of year. In a few weeks it will be Thanksgiving. The time we devote to counting our blessings and sharing food and hospitality with family and friends.

When we had to change our clocks recently, I easily remembered how to do it….spring forward and fall back. And I get it right every time!! (Now if I could just get help changing the clock in the car!!) When seasons change, it is also a good time to take stock of things, including our spiritual life. To sit before God and see if we are still on the right track. Are we doing what He would have us do? Are we growing, increasing our faith with each day? Are we doing more for Him and others? Are we loving more and forgiving always? Is our spirit open to Him or are we going down our own path? We can find peace and comfort in God’s Presence. In His Arms. Whatever may be in our hearts that we carry and are concerned about, we can turn it over to Him. He allows us to “fall back” on Him when we turn over our concerns. To release everything to Him frees us and gives us the chance to seize the many opportunities He brings for us to be able to “spring forward”, even if it is so simple as to step into a new season with peace.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
November 05, 2009

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. –Psalm 17:3 NIV

The definition of dusk is the time of day immediately following sunset. That time is also called twilight. When I am at the beach, the ability to see such a large expanse of sky enables me to see the most glorious sunsets as if it were a panoramic view. But the time I like best is dusk. Those few moments when the sun has vanished from the horizon, yet the clouds still reflect the fading light is beautiful. Sometimes the sky is ablaze with fiery reds and oranges. Other times, pinks and shades of purple dominate the sky. One can’t help but think about the largeness of the universe and that we are just a speck of life in the scope of things. Looking at the sky at dusk is the final salute to the day as I hope with all my heart that the day was used as God would have me use it.

To see the sky at dusk means that I must look up and not down. My eyes have to rise up to the clouds, to look over the landscape. That is what it means to live above our circumstances. What we should try to do with each day is to not focus on the problems, our shortcomings or anyone else’s or the lack that surrounds us, but instead try to see the good and God in everything. Sickness may come, or recovery from illness may seem too slow. The children need so much attention and the mundane tasks of everyday life are leaving us with an empty cup. God would have us look up above over these things. Look beyond. Look up to Him. When adversity knocks on the door, how we handle it tells it all. Our actions, attitudes and the words that tumble out of our mouths when we are knee-deep in problems or pain can be a blessing to us and those around us or not. It is our choice. I believe that as we sleep each night, God renews us and purifies our heart. When we wake up we have a new, fresh start. It is up to us to try to end each day the way we started, which is receiving God’s Love and Peace, and no matter what the day brings, doing our best to stay in His Love and Peace, so that we can give it to others.