Recently I was invited to spend the week at the beach with my friend and her girlfriends. Translated, a "girl's trip!" Whoo-hoo! Leslie was part of the "girlfriends." I couldn't wait to go, especially since I just dropped my daughter off at college. What a great distraction. Did I mention it was an all "girls trip"? I absolutely LOVE the beach for so many different reasons. The biggest reason is I connect with God there. As I was getting ready physically by packing my things, I was also getting prepared mentally. I needed this trip, I think, more than I knew.
This trip was loaded with friends (old and new) fun, food, laughter, dancing, sun, and tons of memories! As the trip was coming to a close, both Leslie and I sighed with each other on the front porch of our beautiful Victorian house lodging, and we said, "now it's back to reality." But what if it wasn't?
Every day Leslie and I got up to watch the sunrise and do our morning devotions. We both read "Streams in the Desert" (a MUST devotion for your collection), and August 26th really stood out. More to come on that later.
What I took away from the weekend was this….I should live my life to the fullest every day, whether I am at the beach or not.
Why can't I be intentional with some of the daily indulgences I experienced with the girls? When I got home, I started to become intentional. My life circumstances didn't change, but my mood and attitude did. Here is what I did to replicate my "girl's trip" to the beach….
Light a candle: My friend, the hostess, gave us girls a "beach scented candle" for our room. I usually light a candle in my kitchen, but I started to light this beach candle in my bathroom while doing my hair and makeup. The little shimmer of the light is soothing, and the scent brings me back to the beach.
Dance Party: Every night, we blasted some really cool music and danced until the morning's wee hours in our little kitchen. We even did the YMCA, Chicken Dance, and Electric Slide! I have NO problem dancing with myself, in my kitchen. Friend, get over yourself, and start dancing! Not only will you burn a couple of calories, but I also promise it will put a smile on your face.
Good Music: There is nothing like music from the '80s! We had various songs blasting away, and I kept adding the pieces to my Spotify playlist. When I play that list now, it brings my memory back to the beach weekend. Play some old tunes that bring back sweet memories! Create a memory playlist.
Good Food: We had some incredible food that weekend. Luckily I didn't gain any weight, must have been all the dancing. Not only did we have an array of delicious snacks, but they were also served with a presentation in mind! We didn't eat on ugly paper plates, but paper plates that were summer-themed. Girls, break out the good stuff! Don't settle for ugly paper plates but go for the good stuff. You deserve it, and the food will taste even better.
Inside jokes: Oh, boy, did we laugh! In just a few days, we had so many inside jokes bouncing around, I laughed until I ……well, ya know. The last day on the beach, we wrote down all the jokes and our friend typed them up for us. They still make me laugh. Laugh with your girlfriends and recognize all the little funnies you have and write them down. Keep it in a special place and read them often.
Sunrise/Sunset: As I mentioned, Leslie and I got up every morning to watch the sunrise. I can't even begin to describe the beauty, even on a morning it rained. We still got up and sat on the covered porch and just listened to the pitter-patter of rain. Make time to stop and take nature in. God paints you a sunrise and sunset every single day. Slow down and truly open your eyes.
On August 26th, at the sunrise on the beach, I read this in Streams in the Desert…
It is not in me. Job 28:14
I remember saying one summer, "What I really need is a trip to the ocean" So I went to the beach, but the ocean seemed to say, "It is not in me!"
The ocean did not do for me what I thought it would.
Read a bit further down….Our inner restlessness can only be pacified by the revelation of His eternal friendship and love for us.
Reading a bit further down still….it talks about God being our "home," and the devotion ended like this, My soul may evermore and only see, My God in everything and everywhere; my home is God.
I longed to get to the beach to receive something from God and my friends that I can genuinely have anywhere, anytime. I can have it at "home" because God is my home. Leslie and I sighed, going back "home" and "back to reality," but home is what I make of it….God and the treasures of my daily life. Friends, sunrises, good food, music, dancing, and a simple candle.
God has blessed us daily with hidden treasures. Isaiah 45:3 says this…."I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel".
Girls, I know we are going through some tough times, but we have an eternal friendship with God. He is near, He loves us, and He cares. Just for today, do one thing listed above and tomorrow, maybe do another. God is our home, He is in everything, and He is everywhere! I promise!
I love you,