Confession time: in general, I hate sand. I hate the way it makes everything feel gritty, hate how it sprays up to stick to my legs with flip-flops on, hate how it gets EVERYWHERE (and then doesn’t come out).

When I lived in the Caribbean the sand was super fine and soft, and although it was nearly impossible to completely get it out of your hair, off your body, or leave it outside your house, it made up one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I always assumed I would look at any other sand with slight disdain.  This week though, at a relatively small, and unkempt beach in Puerto Peñasco, I found the most beautiful sand I have ever experienced.

As the kids and I stepped onto the beach and slipped off our sandals, I didn’t think much of the sand. It was, after all, considerably darker and rougher than the brilliant beaches of the Caribbean, or even those of Los Cabos or Cancun. But as we walked closer to the water, and the kids stopped to look for shells, I started to realize that it wasn’t any ordinary sand.  When we came upon what seemed to be a large pile of shells, I started to notice that it was increasingly difficult to separate the shells from the sand.  And when I knelt down to look closer, I realized that it was because it wasn’t really sand at all, but a conglomerate of water worn shells, small pieces of sea   glass, and tiny particles of both.  As I picked up a handful, I realized just how smooth each piece was, creating a softness like I had never felt. Not only did it feel good on my skin, but it looked incredible- like each tiny piece had a story of its own, as well as the story it told as a whole, of the individuals, the families, the cultures it has held upon its surface.

I sat there for a while, completely oblivious to what was around me- my kids squealing with delight over another shell discovered, families splashing in the waves, locals hocking their wares- I just combed my fingers through the sand and pondered its beauty.  I remember watching some ocean documentary with my kids where we learned that as parrot fish ate coral, it was processed into fecal deposits that created the sand on our beaches; not exactly a romantic concept. But THIS sand….. This sand practically spoke audibly to me of how I longed for women to experience The Mosaic.  Each of us individuals, beautiful in our own right, all different shapes, colors and histories, but also powerful and striking as one entity- a body that calls to those who seek a place to rest, a place to just be, and experience God’s creative masterpiece.  As I allowed the sand to fall through my fingers, what was left was thousands of small particles, smooth, shiny, worn by the storms, but hewn into unique and beautiful shapes by the waves gentle lull.  Holding my hand up to my face, I see the soft edges, both from circumstances of life, and from the friction of each piece against hundreds of others, and I recall, as iron sharpens iron.

I could have stared at my hand for hours, contemplating just how much the particles resembled a mosaic against my palm, and how each of them, like each of us, has a story to tell, a part to play in helping shape the others, and the whole. Of course, my children called to me, and I took just enough time to snap a few pictures, and returned the sand to its purpose as a beach: to support bodies, to be constructed into castles, to become dreams and sweet memories in the minds of those who experienced it.  And although I carried too much home in my bag, my shoes, and my swimsuit, I cherish what it represented to me.

Each of you who relate in some way to Mosaic Motherhood are each like a tiny fragment of shell, a particle of sand, who has been worn and tossed by the waves of circumstances in your life.  You might feel invisible in the multitude of society, as if people are walking over, around, and past you without really looking, but there are some who see.  Individually, you are so beautiful, unique, and strong, but together, we are a destination! Together, we smooth out each other’s edges, create beautiful patterns and structures, and withstand incredible pressure.  Together we hold each other up, and our strength as a group can stand against the difficulties of life without breaking.

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