Back in my early twenties I was dating a guy, and early in the relationship he took me to the beach. The beach was beautiful, the sand looked like sugar, and along the edge of it were several bluffs and areas with plants that had been enclosed with ropes and posts. There were signs posted, indicating that a Beach Restoration project was in place. Additionally there were signs with warnings that there was a $500.00 fine for anyone who uprooted the sea oats (the vegetation used to create a protective barrier and help restore the receding beach).
Well the guy I was with was hoping to impress me, so he jumped into the corded off area and plucked a sea oat and gave it to me as if it were a rose. I of course swooned over his bravado, and didn’t really think about his cavalier attitude toward the restoration project, or how he would have felt if he had been caught and fined. In fact once he handed it to me, it never occurred to me that I was the one most at risk for being fined since I was holding the evidence of our rebellion.
Nevertheless much time has passed, and the guy and that symbolic sea oat are long gone. The vegetation and bluffs at that beach, however remain and are beautifully built up and continue to stand guard over the beachfront. I began to research “Restoration” and here are a few simple facts
Merriam Webster defines “Restoration” as:
The action of returning something to a former owner, place or condition by the action of repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishing or re-establishing it.
Dictionary.com defines “Restoration” as:
Renewal, Revival, or to Reinstate.
Wikipedia listed Beach Restoration as synonymous with Beach Re-nourishment. It is a process using outside sources to replace and replenish lost sand and beach erosion that occurs from storm damage, and human activity both in the nearby ocean and on the beachfront.
The California Division of Boating and Waterways conducted the California Beach Restoration Study in 2002, and determined that failure to restore the beaches can result in diminished recreational opportunities, lost tourism revenue and increased damage from coastal storms. Basically failure to restore and re-nourish results in a loss of healthy fun, a negative financial impact and the potential for ongoing and increased damage and diminishment is imminent.
There are different options, according to the California Study, to restore impacted beaches. These options include constructing offshore reefs as a protective barrier, building seawalls or restoring sand dunes. In the case of the nourishment restoration process, sand is used as a coastal defense and is placed against a beach bluff as a protective barrier. The benefit of this more natural approach is that there are less negative affects from artificial barriers and hard structures. The replenishment and nourishment process is ongoing and repetitive because it is not permanent, but it is a more natural and synergistic means of helping create a larger sand reservoir by pushing the shoreline further toward the sea.
In order to gain the most effective nourishment or restoration project outcome, the sand used to fill must be compatible to the native beach sand. Understanding the core elements consisting of the beach is essential to success in using the right nourishment, replenishment, restoration components and process. The success of all of this effort depends on accurately providing the compatible material.
Beaches aren’t the only thing that feel the impact from the storms of life and the potential plethora of negative human impact. Our heart, mind, body and soul can be pummeled by the hardships that life can dish out. We too can try to build protective barriers to stave off further loss and damage to ourselves. Once initially wounded, many of us tend to use hard structures (emotional walls) and at times unhealthy coping skills to protect ourselves from being hurt, shamed, ridiculed or feeling like a failure. The thing about building hard walls is that they can’t be penetrated in either direction, even good things cannot pass through from ourselves to others, or vice versa. It is difficult to receive or give nourishment, replenishment or restoration through an impermeable barrier, even if it does serve some purpose in keeping out negative debris. The longer term effect creates a stagnant impact in our lives.
When an individual’s heart and soul are worn down and lean, they may become withdrawn or less vibrant and it often results in a loss of fun activity and interaction with others. The financial impact can result as one attempts to fill their empty soul by means that may deplete their resources and heart even more. In a discouraged state, an individual may miss out on opportunities that would enhance or benefit them more financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Essentially in sadness and discouragement we often become even more vulnerable to future life storms and calamity.
So how does one seek restoration, re-nourishment and replenishment when so much damage has left us feeling completely washed out and worn out? Of course some things are obvious, ensuring that we get sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise for both our mind and body are positive coping skills. Reaching out to trusted, tried and true friends or family for encouragement and companionship is yet another healthy replenishment skill. It is also good to step out of our own limitations and learn a new skill, craft or sport. For some, professional counsel, coaching, pastoral or even possibly medical help may be required. The truth is though, even if we do all of these things, they won’t ensure that we will have re-nourished and restored our heart and soul sufficiently.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV) says “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6 (NIV) says “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes (restores, re-nourishes) my soul. He guides me along the right paths…. My cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Those other attempts at restoration are good and important and may help for a while, but your core (heart and soul), was created by our Heavenly Father. True Restoration and Re-nourishment for our wounded and hungry heart and soul can only be properly replenished by Him. Just as Beach Re-nourishment needs native sand for stability in replenishment, the core grain of our native soul needs our Creator to complete the process in us. In Jesus, we can continue to seek replenishment from Him our true source, and He invites us to do so daily in prayer and in His Word. Don’t miss this important Truth, He (Jesus) is all that you need, so take that step reach out to Him, He is right there with arms wide open.