Heading to the Beach? Don’t Forget to Pack This {Or Gift It!}

Pauses small framedAre you or someone you know heading to the beach this Memorial Day weekend? Or do you have a day, weekend, or week circled on your summer calendar for days by the shore?

There’s no better time to pack my NEW release “Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach”. It’s a one-week devotional that includes your arrival and departure days. The book provides an opportunity for you (or your family) to pause each day to draw closer to the Lord through a brief devotion, Scripture reading, prayer, and sensory activity.

And if you know someone heading to the beach, consider giving them the book as a gift. {Did I mention it’s only 99 cents?} To do so, simply go to the Amazon page and you’ll see a “Give as a Gift” button in the right sidebar. You need only enter the recipient’s email address and it will show up on their device as a gift from you!

In addition to packing my little book (more vacations coming soon!) here are several more items you may want to add (or check off) to your own beach packing list:


Don’t Leave These Behind On Your Next Beach Trip:


While it’s hard to compete with the lullaby rhythm of the waves crashing nearby, there are times I love to plug in my earbuds to my phone and zone out. My music list is all over the place. See for yourself:

  • Frank Sinatra – his songs remind me of my grandparents and the wonderful memories we made on the same very beach we now vacation.
  • Fleet Foxes – this indie band woos me with their masterful vocal harmonies.
  • Brandon Gilliam/River Crossings Worship Team – I’m especially proud that Brandon wrote some of the songs on this CD. Amazing!
  • David Crowder – just because.
  • Dusty Springfield {I warned you it was random}. One song: “What Are You Doing With The Rest Of Your Life”. I wasn’t even old enough to know this song when it was recorded but it hits a reset button of sorts when I listen to it one week a year.
Quality zip-top bags:

When you read through my book, you’ll see an opportunity to use these on the beach, but they’re also good to secure items like phones, books, food — anything you don’t want to get wet. They’re also good for holding seashells and other memorable items you find on the beach.

Baking soda, vinegar, and Benadryl:

Years ago, our oldest son, Brandon, was stung by a jellyfish. Those cries are not what any mother wants to hear. Oh, the pain! We ran across the street to a marina and happened across an old fisherman who advised us to use vinegar (rinse) and baking soda (paste). Online sources can give you the exact details. As the old adage says, “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it”.

Protective cover wear:

I remember the days of squirting baby oil all over my arms and legs in hopes of gaining the perfect tan. Oh my, those were the days. But today, I slather on the Helioplex suntan lotion and often wear a cover-up as both my husband and I have experienced skin cancer scares. This is the one I’m purchasing today. It’s a UPF surf shirt that guards against harmful rays. It will come in handy at the beach as well as our pool. Bye, bye tan.


It is cheap but not always easy to find. Nothing ruins a hard-earned vacation like stress. Cars will break down, the weather won’t cooperate, and the waiter will spill ketchup on your favorite gray and white pin-stripe shirt (was that too detailed?). Unfortunately, mishaps don’t take a vacation but packing this virtue in your heart before you leave home helps everyone to have a memorable vacation⎯for all the right reasons.


I know, we don’t take God with us on vacation, we go with Him. I actually write about this on Lori Roeleveld’s award-winning blog this week. Come, join us there.


I’m praying now that you and your family will enjoy a time of rest and relaxation away this summer. Soak up the rest God provides and bask in His goodness.

Pauses for the Vacationing Soul

Click to Order (or Gift to A Beach-Bound Buddy!)


Spiritually Preparing for BRMCWC

✔ Ipod loaded with music from Brandon, Zach (from college days), Aaron Keyes, and David Crowder. What better way to begin and end a day?
✔ Lots ‘o one dollar bills for the Cloud 9 Coffee Cafe. Latan, are you ready?
✔ My “Edie” notebook, stocked with business cards, writing samples, and a flashback-style plastic pouch filled with pens, paper clips, and sticky notes.  

✔ Much, much more.

If you know me, you know I’m all about the checklist. The process makes me giddy:

  • Empty thoughts onto page. In detail.
  • Grab debit card. Go shopping.
  • Ask hubster to bring luggage down from the attic. Okay, beg.
  • Check off each item — quickly. Score!

Searching for the most comfortable shoes or snazziest notebook is gratifying, but if I’m not careful, I can allow the temporal prep to override the eternal one.
Becoming spiritually prepared for next week’s Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference also involves a process—one of searching the soul, with God leading the way. For me, it looks something like this: 

God, would you search my heart? Turns out, I have a tendency to see only what I want to see about myself. 

God, would you see if there is any offensive way in me? 

  • Pride – even a speck of it can leave enough space for the enemy’s big toe.
  • Envy – “Envy is dissatisfaction with who God has made me to be. It is also suspicion that God is withholding what I deserve and giving it to someone else.” -Mindy Caliguire. God, am I envying someone else? If so, please forgive me and show me how to put on dancing shoes (preferably, without heels) on behalf of another person’s success.
  • Greed – “Greed
    grows out of the suspicion that God will not take care of our needs as
    well as we can do it ourselves.” -Mindy Caliguire. I say I trust You to lead and guide the way on this journey, but when I try to make things happen in my own strength, there’s a whiff of greed in the air, i.e., the stench of flesh. Father, may You find me dying to self, allowing the Holy Spirit to move fully and freely in my life, bringing forth the sweet scent of Your glory.

God, open my eyes to the new and unique ways You are calling me to live out the Gospel as I choose to see this amazing conference as a blessing from You. Not one person will be in attendance by “coincidence”. 

Next week is about You, not me. 
Next week is about transformation, not information. 
Next week is about becoming the men and women You’ve called us to be, not trying to become someone through the process of “doing”.  

“Lay your deadly doing down
Down at Jesus’ feet
And stand in Him, in Him alone,
Wondrously complete.” 

-James Proctor, It is Finished

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