In nature nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. There's a mindbender for ya. Even though there are plenty of dangers and potential for harm when we are out in the elements, there is something so perfect about nature don't ya think? It's almost as if it were made just for us. When I think of nature I imagine the Lord in all of His creative and effortless splendor, preparing and speaking all of this magnificent beauty into existence. I see Him designing it for His masterpiece, made in His image, that He would form and breathe life into. He created nature for us. Ultimately it was made for Him and by Him for sure, but in Revelation 4:11 the Bible says that we were made for His own good pleasure. He wanted us. He wants us still and He loves us, and when we get outside and look around we see so much evidence of that great love. It's in the songs of the birds, the colors of the flowers, the brightness of the rainbows, the fruits and vegetation. It's in the beautiful and refreshing turquoise seas. As the waves crash on the shore they create that soothing, beautiful sound that showcases the mighty power of God and yet simultaneously exudes His gift of peacefulness as well. God loves us, He made us, and He knows what makes us tick, what's best for us and what we need. Nature happens to provide much of what we require physically, mentally and emotionally while providing a peaceful quiet place to commune and connect with God. Nature provides a special place to hear from Him in a way that is free from so many of the distractions of our day. Man, when I put it that way I am left asking myself the question, "why am I not outside more?"
Benefits of getting out in nature -
As we look at God's love and how He created nature for us to dwell in and enjoy, it's no wonder that it has many benefits for our wellbeing both physically, mentally and emotionally. Below I've listed some benefits of getting outside and what being in nature can do for us:
- acts as an antidote for stress
- lowers blood pressure and stress hormone levels
- enhances immune function
- reduces nervous system stimulation
- reduces anxiety
- improves mood
- boosts energy
- the natural sunlight helps mitigate pain
- exposes us to negative ions that neutralize free radicals, purifies our blood, promotes deep sleep
and healthy digestion, and kills and inhibits harmful bacteria and viruses.
I know right?! So friends, I encourage you to find a way to get outside. Whether it be a hike, a walk at the beach or sitting in your backyard and listening to the birds sing their God song, Getting outside is quite literally a breath of fresh air, good for body, mind and soul.
Outdoor Activity Ideas-
Grab the family or go solo and try one or all of these ventures:
- Go explore your outdoor community - walk, ride a bike, or just sit and immerse yourself
- Visit a local Farm
- Do a family or Community Scavenger Hunt
- Plant and grow a garden
- Go to the beach
- Go whale watching
- Go kayaking, Stand Up paddle Boarding, or swimming
My preferred outdoor activity will always include the beach. I enjoy hitting various beach towns and discovering their uniqueness. Every beach town has its own vibe and heartbeat. Last week my daughter and I went to Crystal Cove Beach. Below are some tips and ideas for exploring this charming place for anyone local or even not local. This is a great place to visit whether you live here or are on vacation. I highly recommend spending the day down here. It's a super fun activity to do with the kids, with your significant other, your bff, or if you want to get away from it all and be alone with God.
Crystal Cove Historic District
This charming little hidden gem is a must see in Orange County. You can park off of PCH in the Los Trancos parking lot. Google maps can take you there. You can hike down to the historic district and head to the beach or you can take the tram. I recommend hiking down and taking the tram back up : )
You can grab the tram in the Los Trancos parking Lot. Cost is
$1.50 and kids under 12 are free with a paying adult.
Parking is $5 an hour with a max of $15 for the day.
You can get your ticket validated for 4 hours when you eat at the
Or you can hike down to the beach through this super fun tunnel
that takes you under PCH and down to the Historic District.
Welcome to the cutest little beach village in Orange County. With it's 1930's Beach Resort vibe, this little slice of nostalgia is a sweet little haven that's fun to explore.
At the end of the district where the road finally meets the sand, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Beachcomber Cafe for ocean front dining. Make sure to get your parking pass validated for 4 hours of free parking.
Or you can take a hike up the stairs to the famous Shake Shack and get a treat with the kids for a more budget friendly option.
Once you've explored the District and had your fill at the Beachcomber Cafe and Shake Shack, enjoy exploring the beautiful coastline of Crystal Cove. They are known for their treasure trove of sea glass and colorful rocks along the shore.
Have you ever dreamt of staying in a charming beach cottage built in the 1930's? Yeah me too! Good news...we can! You can go to reservecalifornia.com to reserve a night or two at your dream cottage in Crystal Cove, but beware, it is no easy feat. I have yet to be successful in this endeavor but many of my friends have and it sounds amazing. Below are photos of some of the cottages you can stay in. I am suddenly motivated to try and grab a reservation at one of these beauties again.
So what is your favorite outdoor activity? What's your favorite beach town, outdoor restaurant or place to soak in the sun? Outdoor living is where it's at these days right? Covid pushed us all outside a little more than maybe some of us wanted. I say it's one of the silver linings of 2020. Share in the comments your fav outdoor dwellings.
Cheers to you fellow outdoor adventurers! I pray the Lord blesses you in this coming week with some sweet time in the great outdoors.
Lisa Gresham is married to her husband Marty, and is currently in her 12th year homeschooling their youngest daughter Bailey. She is a grandma, and is currently working with the Youth at her Church. She is a retired High School Teacher and Coach, is an avid Writer and has her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development. You will frequently find her on the beaches of Orange County in Southern California, her favorite dwelling place.