Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sabbaths at the beach = possible bad idea

I went to one of my favorite places today - my home beach of St. Simons Island, GA. I love this town, the people, the giant live oak trees, the weather, and the undeniable feel of community. But I rested in the embrace of the waves and the sand today. And by 'rested,' I do mean rest. I'm still recuperating from finals, graduating from Ga Tech, and moving, so I am only now embracing the land of the living. I have been taking a serious sabbatical, and could not be enjoying it more.
It was quiet at the beach because it was a weekday and the kids aren't out of school yet. I quieted my heart and begin to experience the endless awe I always do when I stare out at the majesty of His grandness. I walked the beach for a while not knowing whether to stare out at the waves, or look like a goof with my face plastered to the sand beneath my feet. All I could keep thinking about was "How precious are your thoughts to me, O God...if I should count them, they would outnumber the sand." He keeps me humble here at this place, and I love Him so dearly for that. I poured my heart out to the Lord, who He is to me, who I want Him to be to me, who I need Him to be to me, my worries, and how much I love Him. After listening to the seagulls sing, the waves crash against the rocks, and the fish splashing up from the water, I was not going to allow them praise my Maker more than me! For goodness sakes! So I joined them! A little later, I went for the sun-bathing.
Now I need you to know that being raised on the beach all my life, we just grew up without the use of sunblock (I know - go and deem me a horrible irresponsible person now...I'll understand!). We didn't really burn, and only got darker because of the Cherokee Indian blood that us kids have from my Mom's heritage. So I put on some tanning oil, turned on my Jesus tunes, and went for it. Yep....some near hour later I woke up.
I have a lovely 'bow' mark on my back that adds quite a nice look to the red color I have on it. I decide to just 'flip' to the other side. ZZzzzz.....yep. Another near hour later, I woke up. I would like to blame Jesus for giving me such peace and rest in Him that it caused me to fall asleep out there. However, I am of complete wrong-doing. I will face the consequences of my sleepy hours in the sun without sunscreen. And when I got home, I had a older sister in Christ, Amanda at babybangs, post a blog that confirmed my need of deliverance from tanning oil.

So I confess to all of you ladies now: I, Shelly Elizabeth Bland, hereby declare my need for sunscreen. I choose to love my skin and give it the desired layer of covering it so deserves. I release my tanning oil and acknowledge that it will not make me happy :) I choose life! (Or at least for my skin cells, right?!). I choose less wrinkles because I get enough of them from Jesus laughing. I choose a frightful look of paleness and will do my best to honor this much-needed commitment. For those who can continue to learn from my story, see the pictures below. I went to dinner with two good girlfriends of mine at a Mexican restaurant tonight (Random information about myself: I think I could eat chips/salsa each and every day). Note that I am shades darker than them both. This is what 'not to do!'
Turning in my 'Hawaiian tropic' wanna be name-tag :)

Alexa, Jessica, and me on our 2nd round of chips and salsa

Jessica and I at 'Bubba Garcias' (gotta love that name)


CrownLaidDown said...

That's great! I love Sabbath's at the beach, too...by your picture, I do dee-clare you already look like the model for Hawaiian Tropic! I have switched to Austrailian Gold. Have you heard of that? We are doing to Destin this summer (yes, driving from Colorado with 4 kids...talk about needing a Sabbath at the end of that trip!).

I think that I will enjoy the shade of a beach umbrella and use some 60 spf (with Austrailian Gold on top to smell the wonders of it!)

Thanks for stopping by, Shelly...enjoy a wonderful time of rest!

Abby said...

stop being tan or we might not be friends in boone

just kidding :) you are beautiful :D

Lindsee said...

Girl, I feel ya on that! I too love the beach and the sun. And, I'm not gonna lie, I love to be tan. It's so hard for girls like us that don't burn much, because we feel like it isn't as bad, but we are so wrong! ;)

Love it. You make me laugh! But, you're beautiful!!!

(I'll be sure to pack my sun screen for my Florida trip with the youth! That'll be the WORST time to burn bad!)

Kelly S. Rogersville, Tennessee said...

I am so jealous of your lazy day at the beach. Now my days at the beach are anything but restful.....but I love and cherish them all the same. I like to get up at sunrise and walk and pray, just spending time praising God. There is just something about the ocean that makes me feel small....puts in perspective how inconceivably huge our God is!!

ps my brother is a dermatologist...
get that sunscreen on!!!

Sharon said...

I enjoy the beach--but I love the mountains. I feel His majesty so deeply when I look up at these huge masses rising from the earth. And then when I get to the top and look out over His creation--i will never seem to be able to breathe deep enough to take it all in.

jenny said...

ahhh St. Simons...

Lyndy said...

Gosh you are just beautiful. As a fair skinned redhead who has never tanned in her life but did have melanoma at 29...proving you don’t have to be a sun lover to get it...I say you go girl!!!

Pale is in, plus when you get almost 40 like me, your skin will thank you. Just think like I do and remember you are a Pale Porcelain Princess. ;-)

From one GA sister to another blessings to you.


kittyhox said...

Oh my gosh, that's so funny that right after your beach naps you read the Baby Bangs post about bringing pale back!

God is pretty funny.

It's such a shame that tans make us look so lovely and healthy when we're young, but have undesired consequences later. I've never been able to tan, so I don't know what I would do if I lived in a sunny climate! I have the palest legs in the entire state of Washington, I think.

Thanks for sharing your cute story. You are so sweet that I'm not even jealous of your gorgeousness. :)

Breathing His Joy said...

Chips and salsa are a necessity.... especially in TX! When we lived in Austin, the hubby and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurants SO many times in a week!!! Sorry I have been MIA... life got a little hectic, but I am in the process of catching up on emails... be looking for yours! :)

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

My husband and I took some church kids on a choir tour to St. Simon's Island---we LOVED it! And I'm jealous of your Cherokee skin...Amanda & I really are bringing pale back here in Texas. Probably because we have no other choice!

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Anonymous said...

Cute Blog. Great post. I love Bubba Garcias -- and the island.