We’re a few days into our beach trip, & I nevaa wanna leave! I’ve been coming with my family to Miramar Beach since I was 6 years old. Growing up in Fayetteville, we drove 14 hours across 4 states to get here. I like the 4 1/2 hour drive from Birmingham much better.
I remember the first year we came to the beach. I had just finished kindergarten & my sister was in preschool. We loaded up mom’s jeep with a tiny box TV crammed in between the back seats. It’s a honest miracle my parents survived the eternal road trip with 3 & 6 year-old littles—but they started a family tradition so special, it has carried all the way to today. (Round of applause for the parents of the decade amirite?!) I’ll never forget driving over the Midbay Bridge & smelling saltwater for the first time. We were absolutely giddy to dig our toes into the sand & jump into the waves. I adored everything about the beach—the butterfly-shaped seashells, the palm trees, the rhythm of the waves from our condo’s balcony. It was magical. Everything was more beautiful than my six-year-old mind could fathom. The ocean made me feel tiny & I was in awe of its grandness.
I’m not six anymore, & (unfortunately) the seafood restaurants won’t let me order popcorn shrimp off the kid’s menu…but Miramar’s magic hasn’t faded with time. It’s the kind of magic the Lord paints in an oceanfront sunset. The kind of magic that keeps families close. The kind of magic that isn’t really magic at all, but the joy & love that comes from a faithful & abiding God.
Today I still feel tiny looking out at the horizon from shore. This week I’ve been dwelling on the ocean — learning how to rest through times of high tide (more to come later) & how every part of this place brings me to Jesus.
Ephesians 3:18-19 says “And may your have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, & how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life & power that comes from God.”
The ocean’s width, length, & depth are vast, but the Lord’s love for us goes beyond the depths of the sea! Even though we may not be able to understand fully His love, I believe God gives us undeniable glimpses & nods. A sailboat hanging on the horizon, a brilliantly painted pink and yellow sunset, dolphins jumping just far enough off shore in the morning, footprints in the sand—all of these remind me of Jesus.
What a blessing it has been to grow up coming to a place so special—a place I hope to return for many years to come.
Find Ashley Ink & Paperie’s new beach collection on the Etsy shop — a collection with more to come soon. (There is SO much inspiration here, friends!!) Click the photos above for direct links, or click HERE!