Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 298- A Cruising First

Today, I took Laura, Hannah Grace, and Joel on a dolphin cruise for my "first."

Laura and I did this several months back.  I had never taken the kids on a dolphin cruise before. They were pretty excited about doing this "first" with me.  The name of the boat we went on was the Hannah Marie.  Hannah Grace was pretty excited about that. When we got on, the crew told us that the seagulls would eat treats out of your hands.  I asked the guy at the little snack bar what they liked the best and he said, "Cheetos."  We bought a bag of Cheetos and the birds really did like them.  They would literally take them right out of your hands. The kids thought this was big fun.

My arm feeding the birds

Joel said, "This is the life."

Captain us take a picture with him

We were not long into the cruise before we spotted dolphins.  The captain maneuvered the boat around pretty close to them.  At first, there were two, then we saw three more about 40 yards to the right.  We ended up seeing 9-10 in that area.  Some came really close to the boat.  It was very cool.  The kids were very excited; possibly only surpassed by Laura's excitement.  We stayed in that area for a good while with dolphins around us.  There were some people on Waverunners that were able to get really close to them as well.  After a while, the captain said he wanted to take us on a boat ride and we left there.

On the way in, we saw dolphins again in that same area.  Once again, they came really close to the boat.  We had the opportunity to see some really beautiful sights today.  The dolphins were close enough that we could hear them breathe through their blowhole.  They look prettier than they sound.  I also learned today that Joel does a pretty good dolphin impression.  I did not know this about my son.  He said today was awesome. He loved that the dolphins got so close.  Laura said it was so much fun and sweet family time.  She remarked it was a great family memory day.    Hannah Grace said it was awesome and that she wants to be a dolphin one day.  When I asked her why, she said because she could swim up to dolphin cruise boats and say, "Hey y'all" and people would take her picture. It truly was a fun, memory making day.

When we would see dolphins today, you could hear people saying things like, "They're so pretty," or "They are so close," or "They are beautiful."  When you see something beautiful, it's hard not to remark on its beauty. That's part of what praise is.  Praise is noticing something wonderful and then expressing it.

I love what C.S. Lewis wrote about praise, "But the most obvious fact about praise — whether of God or anything — strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honour. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless . . . shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it.
The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses [Romeo praising Juliet and vice versa], readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game — praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars. . . . Except where intolerably adverse circumstances interfere, praise almost seems to be inner health made audible. . . . I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?” The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about."

Psalm 150:6 says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!" Since you are reading this, I assume you have breath.  So, praise the Lord.  Encourage others to praise Him with you. He is so worthy!

Praising God in the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Dolphins
2. Family memory making days
3. God's beauty

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