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  • Kate Clinton

An Overflowing Bucket of Shells

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


When we arrived at the beach for Spring Break, we had about an hour before night settled in. We ran to the beach, bucket in hand, to see what seashell treasures we could find. When our toes finally hit that delightfully grainy sand, we were happy to see it was low tide. The beach, being warmed by the Florida sun, was littered with all kinds of shells. Our Virginia winter had been cold. The sun was a welcome warmth on our skin. We hadn't heard the waves crashing since last summer. Everything about the ocean brought delight. The foamy waves. The bossy seagull. The sandpiper searching for dinner.



Our seashell bucket was empty. Our hearts were full of excitement. We started filling our bucket with seashell blessings. Unsure of what we would find further down the beach, we were excited over almost every shell. A broken one was viewed as perfect. A common one was not so common. But as our bucket filled up, we got more selective over what we viewed as beautiful. What would have been a treasure moments prior was cast into the sea, not good enough to get added to the bucket. The shell needed to be perfect before it caught our attention. When we picked it up, we visually inspected it to see if it was worth keeping, because our bucket was almost full.

Then it hit me. The more blessings we have, the less we notice everyday “normal” blessings. As we get used to our blessing bucket being nearly filled to the top, something needs to be more magnificent to catch our attention and appreciation.



You turn on clean tap water tons of times everyday without ever calling it a blessing. When millions walk miles and miles everyday searching for water for their families life line, only to return with dirty water. Why don't we feel blessed by our constant supply of healthy water? Because it is an everyday, unnoticed blessing. It's added to our blessing bucket without much thought. Until the power is knocked out and we are without it. What a welcome sight that water is when the power is restored. We are thankful for it, for a short while.


We are used to our kids health. We don't count them as a blessing until they hit that homerun. Out score everyone on a test. Score the game winning touchdown. Do something magnificent. That's when we see them as a blessing. Because our blessing bucket is full. We feel like we can be more selective on what we term a “blessing.”

We are used to our house. We long for a fancier kitchen. A more impressive facade. Something we could feel blessed owning. But isn't that home keeping you and your family safe, warm and dry?


As my blessing bucket fills up, I want to still be able to notice “normal everyday” blessings. I am guilty of waiting for something glorious before I feel blessed by it. Even if my bucket is full, I want to get as excited as my 6 year old is over the dull, cracked, common seashell. That's when contentment will come. God has given us so much to be thankful for. How much are we missing as we look for the next big thing?



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