Swimsuits, Body Image, and Being Present not Perfect

To my women, all of you—fierce and fine!

Let me start by noting that there is only so much gradual self tanner can do to mask cellulite, and  watching a YouTube tutorial on applying contouring makeup does not guarantee, one, will in fact, achieve the perfectly placed cheekbones and sultry slimmer face.  (So I have been told...)

Target may have introduced swimsuits in January, but I do a fine job of rerouting my buggy and ignoring the coming change of seasons.  I cannot, however, ignore the signs in May as the coming sticky Southern summers are rapidly approaching.  I have long been a supporter of returning to the bathing costume, and you know, Kaftans are back in fashion, right? So let's embrace that.  

But this Southern girl does not glisten, in fact..I do sweat.  So with the rising temperatures, it's time to face yet again my friends, the dreaded return of SWIMSUIT SEASON.  But, good news, my friends, there is another way to approach this! I have returned again to Shauna Niequist to bring a good word to the women.  Shauna tenderly touches on body image, summer, and our insecurities.  Gosh, doesn’t it sometimes feel ridiculous that we get so entrenched in our own view of ourselves?! It feels especially silly considering our world has so much more to give our concern and attention to, yet I know I am not alone in admitting that our view of our bodies can be all consuming and enslaving.  It is there in front of the mirror everyday, and it is for certain flooding our newsfeeds with promises of freedom if we follow Steps 1, 2, 3.  

But the sweetness of summer and life is not waiting for a day or number on the scale that grants us permission to JUMP IN.  We have that freedom today.

You, sweet friends, are His #divinedesign;

“the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.”{Ephesians 2:10}

You were created by a Master Artist and Poet who loves you, my dear.  Let’s not waste any more time reliving the regrets of yesterday’s carb overload or fear of tomorrow’s pool party and suntan.  

We can flow and flourish in this present moment given all the circumstances of our past and future. We can accept His grace upon us today. Will you? 

Posting a few Shauna excerpts below that continually challenge me to shift my perspective and encourage me to embrace this SUMMER SWIMSUIT season fully!  

Happy sweet summertime, beautiful ladies!! ALL OF YOU!

“So here we are again, my favorite time of year, summer at the lake, and the idea of someone — anyone! — seeing me in my swimsuit makes me feel a little anxious. I want to find any and every excuse to stay covered, stay inside, stay invisible.
But if I do that, I’ll miss the best parts of summer….So this is what I’m going to do:
I’m going to swim. I’m going to paddleboard. I’m going to make sand castles and make-believe and make memories with my kids. I’m going to cannonball into the icy lake water.
I’m going to live in the body God made me, not because it’s perfect but because it’s mine. 
And I’m going to be thankful for health and for the ability to run and move and dance and swim.
Embrace the joys of summer by dancing, swimming, sailing, wriggling your toes in the sand, or even just feeling the sun on your face!
I’m not going to give in to the cultural pressure that says women’s bodies are only beautiful when they’re very, very small. 
I’m going to take up every inch of space that I need, even though our world is obsessed with the idea that women should only take up just the tiniest bits of space. 
I’m going to practice believing that I am more than my body, that I am more than my hips, that I am more than my stretch-marked stomach. 
I’m going to allow my shoulders to feel the sun, and even (gasp!) my thighs!
I’m not going to bow to the voice inside my head that says I should be ashamed of myself for being so fat, so wrong, so unruly and wild. 
I’m not going to develop a relationship with my cover-up that borders on obsessive.  
This summer, I’m not going to hide. 
This is my promise to you, and also my invitation.
Repeat after me: swimsuit ready or not, here I come.” –Shauna Niequist