Wednesday

Shells!

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 One my favorite activities when I hit a beach is to look for shells. In fact, I am looking down so much as I walk along, I continuously have to remind myself to look at the water so I don't get knocked over too much!

Shelling has been a favorite hobby since I was a child. I used to have a box under my bed - the kind that a flat of sodas come in - filled with shells that I found on the beaches of California. I also had a children's book that helped me identify some of them. I could literally spend hours looking at my shells.

Not much has changed in my adult years, but I didn't realize that until Mike and I started going to North Carolina on vacation every year. Talk about shelling! The beaches are loaded with all kinds of shells, small and very large. I could literally bring home a truck load, but the National Seashore would frown upon that since visitors are only allowed to take a gallon's worth. Plane travel also stops my pursuit but that's okay. I'm totally content with what I've gathered.

Now I want to share some with you. Remember yesterday I told you that I had bought a die cut machine? Well, here is another result of my play. I got the chipboard (it's more of a medium weight) from in between the toilet paper packets at Sam's. We put it right in our cart and no one said anything. They probably want people to take that stuff!

I got the idea for a shell box after seeing all of the beach wedding ideas on Etsy. This 3 x 2 - 1/8 x 7/8-inch box is covered with a patterned mint paper that has some grey mixed in. I wrapped a piece of lace around it glued on some mint embroidery floss and sifted through the shells I wanted to put on. These are two small scallop shells (I think) and an olive. They are gleaned from the beaches of North Carolina. As you can see, they hold quite a bit of candy so they would make nice wedding favors:


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Wow. Someone took a bite out of that York Peppermint Patty right under my nose. I'll have to see if one of my boys did that. These Peppermint Patties are the small ones not the regular size. Three or four mini-sized Hershey bars will fit into the box as well.

This box is also large enough to hold jewelry (a bracelet gift would be very nice) or other small gifts, even little shells to another shell lover. So, instead of using it as a favor, you could use it as a fun gift box that will not get thrown into a landfill right away.

Here is a closeup of the side:

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As I was walking along the beach, I realized that my favorite shells were the small shells. Yes, I love the big ones, but seeing the fine detail in the little ones left me in awe as I reflected on a Creator that would give so much attention to such little shells. At one time a little animal lived in those shells and God knew about them. Like Jesus talked about in Matthew 6: 25 - 34, God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers. I'm sure that he must know every empty shell on the beach as well. How much more detail does he put into our lives? It blows my mind to think about it.

The life of an animal inside a shell is relatively short and its purpose is limited. Yet, God adds the little details that perfect its beauty. Our life on earth is relatively short as well, but we humans have a great advantage over animals. We are able to make our own choices and we have a great effect on our surroundings. We are greatly loved by our Creator and it is our task to take care of his creation. I wonder how much detail in our lives is missed when we limit ourselves?