The salt water hits my lungs and I exhale a deep breath of too many details, too many deadlines, and too many responsibilities.

I walk on the sand and let my feet sink, burying callouses shaped over the past year, softening their thick layers. Slowly, slowly the gritty powder washes them softer and I see the power behind both physical and spiritual exfoliation.

I walk lighter, laugh deeper, and love better when I’m near the beach . . .

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I pause longer, take time, and eschew rush when salt water encapsulates my soul,

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And I stop to marvel at how much they’ve grown-up under my very nose when time no longer dictates our coming and going.

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But why, exactly, do I wait to walk lighter, laugh deeper, live better, and slow down just once a year? Why do my external circumstances dictate the wellness of my soul?

Why is it I can’t find my beach in the dead of a Midwestern winter or during the busyness of the school year when we have to be too many places by too many times?

I may not be able to physically walk the white sands each day nor feel the salty waves around my ankles, but I can search deep and find my beach when I choose to look for it.

In the end, it’s not the waves or the sand or the shells that heal and remind us of what’s true . . .

It’s the One who created them.

And if I choose to not see God, who is my true beach, in the every day, then I miss the point of walking in His freedom altogether.

We carry our beach within but it’s up to us to pull it out and listen to it every day.

With this revelation, I am humbled and instructed.

Salt water can do that.

 “The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.” – Psalm 29:11