A Happy Place


Growing up in South Florida I spent most of my free time on the beach and in the ocean. I lived eight minutes from the ocean so a lot of my birthday parties were at the beach, as well as family cookouts. This is also where I hung out with my friends after school and on the weekends to surf and skim board.

A special memory with my dad and I is on Saturday mornings we would go out early on his motorcycle, stop at Dunkin’ Donuts, and take some donuts to the beach and sit in the sand and watch the sun come up over the ocean. My dad and I would also go on bike rides from our house to the beach and stop to feed the tropical fish some bread along the intercostal waterway.

When I went to Bible College I moved to the West Coast of Florida and spent a lot of my days studying and skateboarding on the beach (there were long paved walkways next to the beach). On the West Coast of Florida I got to enjoy watching the sun set in the evenings! That was a new experience for me. Wow! words cannot describe the brilliant colors not even Crayola can capture! It never gets old!

You see the beach has always been my “happy place” it brings up emotions of joy and a sense of awe for God’s amazing creation. There is something so grand when you look out over the ocean and see the never ending crystal blue water that seems to go on forever. It looks as if at the farthest point the sky touches the water. I have spent countless hours sitting and walking down the beach just talking with my Savior, my friend.

Now up here, in the Northern region of the United States we are clearly very very far from the ocean. I have found some new “happy places” here in the beautiful land of North Dakota. Here are some of my new places just to name a few: sitting by a campfire on a non-windy day, sitting on the shore of Lake Sakakawea, kayaking down the river, watching the sunset, and driving/hiking through the badlands. I have also set up a hammock in my room that I really enjoy relaxing in (during the winter months when you can die if you go outside!).

In my “happy places” I can hear God’s voice so clearly! This is a place where I can go to recharge and to get refreshed. I go there with no agenda, no work, no plan. This place allows me to be still in His presence and bask in the majestic beauty of my Savior. I become overwhelmed with gratitude to my King of Kings for all He has created that I get to enjoy with Him! In this place I am at peace inside my mind, body, soul, and spirit.

During this time He shares of His love for me, He gives me a hope for the future and new ideas. He renews my soul! “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake,” Psalm 23:2-3.

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Do you have a “happy place?” A place where you can leave all your worries and cares behind? A place where you can meet your Creator and just be still in His arms? Take some time and let Him lavish His love on you! Stop doing and just BE with Him today!

“May you know His love, even though it can’t be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you,” Ephesians 3:19.

Praying for you to be filled with His overwhelming love today!


Pastor Michele Playle