21 June 2014

You Are More Than Your Swimsuit

woman sitting in pool

Today is “officially” the first day of summer. It’s also the first day we’re supposed to hit 111. Summer means pool parties and swimsuits and for some of us, that makes us very anxious. We spend a lot of time trying to cover up, conceal, hide, and suck in the very bodies we’re living in. Every summer, it seems I write a post about swimsuits. Usually, it’s about modesty but today it’s about freedom.

This year, I’m approaching 44 years in this body of mine. Some years ago, I remember my sweet sister in law telling me that after 40, it’ll be harder to keep in shape. Everything just seems to want to gravitate or expand. I hear ya, Jen. I hear ya!

For me, I find that my physical health has a lot to do with my spiritual strength. There have been a few times in my life where I’ve been sick for a prolonged period of time. It’s during those times, when my body was weak, spiritual warfare seems to wage heaviest.

I’m definitely at the point where if I don’t exercise regularly, it might be a chore to move around, let alone live life to the fullest. Our summer schedule has given me some free time in the mornings and I’ve been adding exercises to strengthen my core. It’s a dance though, a sort of tug-o-war. We want to be strong and good stewards of the temple God gave us, but at the same time, we need to be careful that self preservation doesn’t become an idol. In a world full of selfies and self promotion, how do we balance it all and still manage to maintain freedom, confidence, and contentment? 

Well, I’m pretty sure Jesus came to give us freedom from all that. He came so that we might live life abundant. So it’s a choice, really. To believe that we are MORE than how we look on the outside.

Jesus doesn’t care what you look like in your swimsuit. But your children will miss you if you don’t get into the pool. 

“You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dented body… Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work. One of the greatest testimonies Christian women can have in our world today is the testimony of giving your body to another.”

~Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

Long after our bodies wrinkle, sag, and weaken, our children will remember a mom who let them float around on our necks or swim through our legs. Our children will remember a mom who didn’t sit out on the sidelines, who wasn’t consumed about what she looked like in her swimsuit or how her hair might get wet in the pool.

They’ll remember a mom who was fun, spontaneous, and delighted to be with her children.

Let’s not hide this summer. Let’s age gracefully together and live.

Let’s spend it all… this life, this gift we’ve been given.

Let’s spend every last drop.

Because we are more than our swimsuits.

Hailey said...

What great thoughts friend! Love this. I remember having to make the choice what type of mother I wanted to be when it came to pool activities. And I've never looked back!! Thankfully I found swim attire that makes me feel comfy around others yet allows me to have fun with my children....even Plus sized! And..... I'm slowly finding ways to incorporate caring for myself (exercise, stretching, etc) and not use caring for my family as an excuse. Lord help me!!

Catherine said...

I love that you ALWAYS get in the pool! It's a must around here with our heat but this can easily be applied to any activity with our kids, right? The Lord is faithful to help, friend. He came and died so that we might live and somehow, I think we're just beginning to scratch the surface of that freedom. :)

So thankful to be on this journey with YOU!

Celia said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. My husband has always been very supportive of me but i had always disliked swimming or being in the open with a bathing suit that I did not feel comfortable in. It is a really difficult task to find something that fits well and that still covers all the nasty areas, thanks.

Ceilia @ Chynna Dolls

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