“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.”
We vacationed at one of my favorite spots this year. Destin has white sands, clear water, a salty breeze…pretty much my idea of heaven on earth.
I am more free, more relaxed, more ME at the beach. I also love bustling cities and the mountains, but it’s the beach that soothes my soul and reminds me God is on his throne.
When we hit the beach, I have zero responsibilities. I leave technology more or less behind. My focus is solely on God, His beautiful creation, my husband, and on myself.
When I’m at home, my focus is on my students, lesson plans, grading, errands, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. It’s on what’s for dinner, we’re almost out of toilet tissue, and the car is making a funny noise. You know what I mean, because you share some of the same struggles. Life can be so daily.
This year I decided to bring the beach home with me. Read on.
- At the beach, I spent all day with my husband. We swam. We sunned. We walked. We played. We talked. We snoozed. We laughed. At home, I’m making sure we have at least one fun date a week where we -if only for a few hours- escape the daily grind and just enjoy each other. I know this is a very familiar bit of advice, but this summer drove it home for me.
- At the beach, I didn’t worry about my hair, makeup, cellulite, extra pounds, etc. At the beach, everyone had a relaxed “come as you are” mentality. At home, I’m easing up on myself. Stessing about every wrinkle, lump, and bump is out the door. Life is too short!
- At the beach, I was surrounded by God’s beauty and I consciously enjoyed His creation. At home, I’m still surrounded by His beauty. No oceans. No mountains. We barely have trees here! At home, that beauty is in the form of my family, friends, and church. Beauty is the neighborhood kids running and screaming, my potted geraniums, the cool breezes our mornings and evenings bring. Beauty is my best friend’s laugh and my mom’s smile. Beauty is everywhere. I’m reminding myself to continue to enjoy His many gifts. Being cognizant of the beauty around me is just another form of gratitude.
- At the beach, I ate amazing food when I was hungry. At home, I’m reducing the amount of processed foods and junk. More cooking, chopping, prepping and less takeout. I’m also really trying to only eat when I’m hungry vs. when I’m stressed, tired, bored….
- At the beach, I spent a lot of time “being still”. For me, this meant being alone in my head–thinking, praying, journaling, writing, listening. This meant staring out at the ocean, long silent stretches, and losing myself in the sounds of the sea. I was away from the noise and distractions of life (traffic, TV, errands, to-do lists, deadlines, social media, laundry…). At home, I’m spending more time daily with nothing on. No tv, no iPod, no radio, no playing games or reading emails. So far, this has been the easiest to duplicate at home. It’s my summer break, after all. Summer Julie just gets it! The real challenge begins in early August when I’m back at work. School Julie tends to stress. Sigh. God’s girls are works in progress.
Thanks for reading! As always, I wish you MUCH joy!
And if you are visiting Destin, Florida, yay for you!!! Hubby and I recommend the following:
- We’ve stayed at the Henderson Park Inn every time we’ve visited Destin. A one word description: perfection. It’s small and intimate. It’s romantic. The rooms are quite comfortable. The views are nothing short of spectacular. The breakfasts- AmAzInG. The boxed lunches, beachy toiletries, and many other amenities are so appreciated. Go! You won’t regret it.
- We like to pop in to McGuire’s Irish Pub for a bite. Fun place! Be very careful going to the restrooms. I’m forever grateful to a waitress who cautioned me on my first visit.
- We enjoy dining at Louisiana Lagniappe. Delicious and a great view of sailboats!
- Try parasailing with Just Chute Me! Fun, fun! We sure enjoyed it!
- Make sure to grab a VERY tasty lunch or dinner at Dewey’s on the harbor. Oh. My. Gosh. Super yummy! Get the hushpuppies!! Then check out the harbor’s sights and smells. Bonus: there is a fireworks show every Thursday evening in the summer months.
- And if you get rained out or just enjoy shopping, be sure to check out Destin’s outlet mall. We explored a bit of it on our very first trip when the sun simply wasn’t cooperating.
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