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The Topless Woman and Her Lesson to Me……

I knew that title would grab your attention.

Before we get to that, let’s back this up.  I want to take you back to spring of this year, along with me on our family vacation.  Each year my husband’s brother and his wife and kids and our family make a point of going somewhere together.  This year we were in beautiful, breath-taking Cancun.  All 10 of us.  6 kids, and 4 adults.

Here we all are

Here we all are

This is a really special time because the other Ackermann’s no longer live close to us.  We raised our babies together and then they became missionaries, helping street boys get on their feet in Ecuador.  Then they moved to Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.  Havn’t been there you say?  Well, picture a flat prairie that is frozen for 7-8 months of the year with the nicest people ever.  That’s where they live now, so you can understand why Cancun is so appealing for these frozen relatives.

So, one day we decided to walk down to a gorgeous little snorkeling bay at the end of the beach.

We had to walk down past about 10 hotels to get there.  The two dads led the expedition, followed by the 6 kids, and my sister-in-law and I walked at the end.  Now, to fully grasp this sight you have to understand one thing.  You see my feet hurt super-awfully-bad because I had been barefoot for days without my orthotic sandals.  So I physically could not take another step on that gorgeous sand without some supportive shoes.

So there I was in all my glory.  In a bikini, with a wide-brimmed mom-hat, big sunglasses, and bright pink Nike running shoes and white running socks.

Oh yeah.  Sexy, I know.  I looked and felt like a European (no offense European’s, I just sometimes see outfits like this on you).  My sister-in-law was the only one who would walk with me, love her.  She’s not afraid to walk with the running shoe beach goddess that I was.  Don’t worry, I fearlessly owned it. I walked in full confidence and my feet felt amazing, plus I didn’t know a soul there so, FREEDOM.  Sadly, my sister-in-law didn’t get a photo of my great outfit.   Just going to have to picture this with Nike running shoes, then we can proceed.

Just imagine some hot pink running shoes and white socks then we can proceed.


So my sister-in-law finally arrive at this amazing reef to join the rest of the family.  I see the kids feet coming up out of the water as they try to find underwater treasures and creatures.  Happily playing.  The dads are out there too (By the way, these men are fish.  Really, they can swim like no other humans I have seen.  Thankfully our kids all have this “great in the water” gene that they got from the Ackermann men. My sister-in-law and I, “ahem” aren’t the best in the water).  All were bobbing and swimming around with their goggles on.



We get in the water and I look around to take it all in.  Amazing.  Then my eyes roll over a group of three people standing waist-high in the water about 30 feet from me.

WHOA!  Stop, SCREEEEECH, ALERT, ALERT, ….(my jaw I’m sure dropped at least to a small gaping mouth shape while my dark sunglasses thankfully hid my staring eyes)…….I see this woman, not far from my family, talking with 2 older, hairy, quite aged, men….and she has the most perfect body I’ve ever seen.  And I’m not one to easily hand out a medal to the topless crowd.  But this woman, she deserved a gold medal.  Seriously.  Both my sister-in-law weren’t sure if we wanted to clap for her or throw something at her, she was that perfect, standing there in all her glory talking casually to these two men.  I tip toe over through the waves to my husband.  I mean, he had to have seen her.  I just had to talk about it and ask him how the family took that as they got there earlier.

My sister in law happened to capture these moments-see my husband and I discussing bikini girl

My sister-in-law happened to capture these moments-see my husband and I discussing bikini girl


So I ask him, “Oh my gosh, did you see those?”, he smiled and laughs saying, “Um yeah, can’t really miss that…..younger kids didn’t even notice, so we’re trying to keep them over by the rocks so they don’t see her.”  Then he told me to quit staring at her.  Then we discussed our ideas on who the men would be.

Then my husband tells me that before I got there (in my bikini and Nike running shoes), she waded over to him as they were standing in the water, and in a sweet little French accent said “Excuse me, can I borrow your goggles so I can see under the water too?”….you can picture it can’t you, boobs facing my man, French accent, walking over to him in the water.  So I ask him what he said.

He says, “Well, she was coming over to me, and I knew I was about to be face to face with her boobs in seconds, so I just said in my mind, heck no woman, and I ducked underwater and swam about 50 feet away to the rocks.”

I laughed, “You did?”  He did flee, oh yes he did.  I laugh thinking of him all of a sudden taking an intake of air and ducking under the water and away.  And she walked back to her two men and they eventually went up onto the beach and away from our family swim.

I’ve thought about this situation many times since.  I’ve thought of the wisdom of my man to run the other direction from trouble.  Sin is that which kills our souls.  We are told to flee it.  And this was the perfect example.

I’ve thought about while this isn’t something I would have needed to flee from, there are other things in my life that only lead down a road that is trouble for me in the smallest and most deadly of ways.  

Maybe it’s a Facebook person or Home Decorating page that you once signed up for, but every time they post they make you discontent with what you have.  On outward appearance it can be excused as fine, but for you, you know it kills your gratitude little by little.  Run from it.  Take it off your feed.

I’m in a new season right now of taking inventory of my life and looking at the little things I do each day that slowing and quietly are leading me to trouble (trouble meaning discontentment, busyness, pleasing others instead of doing what I know God wants). I need to flee those things and take action against them.  Starting a gratitude journal, simplifying my schedule so the main things in my life have room on my calendar before meaningless junk fills it up, knowing myself and who I am in my relationship to God so the people pleasing doesn’t have pull on me.

Often times for us ladies, it’s the small things we need to flee from.  What is it for you so you can live a life of gratitude, fulfillment knowing you are where God wants you to be with Him in your life and actions, and so you can be genuinely joyful?

Oh, and my sister-in-law did get a photo of us on the way back from snorkeling.  You will notice I’m carrying my Nike’s (smile).  Lesson learned, flee trouble.  Thanks French lady for the reminder.

Lesson learned..flee trouble


About Val Ackermann

Children's ministry director, Author of The God Puzzle, Wife and mom of boys. Love to paint and cook and be outside.

2 comments on “The Topless Woman and Her Lesson to Me……

  1. Wise words from a wise woman. The interesting thing is that I needed to flee from her just like your (and my) man did. My issue was discontentment with my significantly less than perky……. We’ll stop there!
    Oh and side note: Here I thought I was doing you a favour not taking a picture of your in your sweet “outfit”. Less learned – take the picture anyway!!

  2. I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything….and I’m sure her personality was horrible. No man could live with her long term. You did do me a favor of not taking a pic in my running shoes FOR SURE. xoxo

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