Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Shade from the Sun

I love the sun. I love being warm.

Hot, actually.  I love being hot.

People always say that cold is better because you can layer up and get warm but I don’t find that to be true. There are days when I’m so cold, the only thing that warms me up is a hot bath.

And then you have to get out.

I love the sun. I love being warm.

It’s like a blanket from God. It’s like you’re being wrapped in His arms. At the start of spring I will take any moment I have to lie in the sun.

We recently took a weekend trip to Miami.

I don’t need Mexico. I don’t need passports.

I just need the sand.

The water.

And the sun.

Europeans love Miami. Walking down the beach and through town you hear French and German and Italian. Much of the workforce consist of Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans and African-Americans.

So at the risk of sounding racist or elitist, I see no need to leave the country for a beach. Miami offers all the sun and culture that one could hope for.

When I go on a beach vacation, no planning is needed.

I walk from my hotel room to the beach.

And back to my hotel room.

I’m sure Miami has more to offer, but I’m not interested.

I’m also not interested in umbrellas. Why would one spend $400 on a plane ticket to find the sun only to spend $25 to hide it.

And yet they were everywhere.

No thank you. More sun please.

I read and I slept and soaked.

And I burned.

I burned the living fire out of my skin.

Hot. Fire-y. Didn’t wear a bra for 4 days burn.

Yes. I wore sunblock.

Yes. I reapplied.

I tossed and turned that night as I could feel the sheets tearing into my skin. I tore off layer by layer because everything hurt.

My husband looks at me. Didn’t you start with clothes? As if he’s thinking he should’ve remembered if I’d started the night sans jammies.

I paid $15 for a tiny bottle of advil. Another $20 for solarcaire spray. If you’re counting that’s $10 more dollars than the umbrella would’ve cost.

I spent another $20 on a long sleeve t-shirt so that I could go back out into the sun.

Mike and I went for coffee. I spotted a pregnant woman and her husband. She was a petite, beautiful woman who, looking young and rested, was obviously expecting her first child.

Women expecting their 2nd child look different.

I spoke. Pleasant. We’re Americans in a foreign country after all. 🙂

And then I lost it. Like my husband had to usher me out like I was a crazy person, lost it. I told her to enjoy it, to savor it, that it goes by so stupid-fast and I sounded like the old lady who squeezes cheeks and makes little kids run to the other room.

Mike reluctantly left his crying, burning-like-the-sun wife for a day of training.

I went to the room, put on the plush robe provided by the hotel that I desperately want to steal and flipped through channels.

I decided on a movie about two children dying from cancer. Because nothing says vacation like watching a ridiculously sad movie.

I cry. I spray solarcaire. I pop more advil.

And then I went to the spa. Unfortunately the only thing I’d let them touch were my toes. Toenails don’t  get burned.

Mike returned. A newly certified USA Powerlifting coach and he sees the tissue surrounding the remote.

“Oh no,” He says. “Did you run into more pregnant women?” 🙂

We walked the streets of Miami beach that night. We listened to the accents and the stories. We saw the homeless, the street-sleeping, least-of-these.

We are all.

The least of these.

We’ve been back now for over a week. My tummy is a flaky mess, a reminder of a day well spent. It’s storming and I’m scrolling through Facebook. Seeing pictures of rainbows and lightning, and searching for information on a Fremont child fighting for his.

And praying. For the unknown.

Psalm 91:4.

He will shelter you with his wings. You will find safety under his wings. His faithfulness is like  a shield or a protective wall.

I’ve prayed that many times. That the Lord would shelter me under His wings but I’m getting it in a whole new way today.

God’s shelter is like a giant umbrella protecting us from our own ignorance of chasing too much sun.

God’s wings offer safety from the burn and when the hurting of this life is too much, we can run there.

My prayer is the hurting families this morning will do just that. Run to Him.

And stay.

And for access, we don’t have to pay the $25 umbrella fee.

Jesus paid in full.





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