How To Survive Bathing Suit Season

So here’s the deal. I’ve memorized all the Scriptures that tell us we are beautifully and wonderfully made. (God’s Truth is legit, yes!) I’ve agonized with God over body insecurities. I’ve done the whole 30-days-to-a-beach-body routine and failed. This year something. must. change.

Something.

The best conclusion I’ve come up with on how to survive the bathing suit season is this:

Change the atmosphere. Create a culture that celebrates God’s creation. Draw confidence from His beauty rather than our preconceived, unattainable notions of what beauty is or should be. Steer the attention away from insecurities and point it back to Jesus.

Let’s not miss it. Let’s not leave memories on the table because we were too bound up by our body junk to enjoy, really delight in the dog days of summer. Create a culture that celebrates God’s creation. Change the atmosphere.

Bathing suit season

You see, we have the opportunity to bring to the pool, beach, lake, river, park…the representation of God Himself. The Spirit in us is bigger than the bumps of cellulite or the extra 10 pounds in which winter left in it’s wake. Summer is here and His beauty abounds. We were created to enjoy and delight NOT cower and hide away.

The waves call our name.

The sun sparkles.

The lightning bugs chirp.

The juicy watermelon overflows.

All to HIS glory.

So why should we slap our Lord in the face by trashing His creation with ugly thoughts and words about our body–HIS CREATION?

I propose that we bless others by creating a culture of celebration as we gather ’round the pool or layout at the beach. Don’t you know the gal right next to you has her own issues? Don’t you know that Jesus speaks through YOU straight to her heart when we cultivate an atmosphere of lifting up? For when we redirect the conversation, insert Truth in our pool side convos, encourage and affirm, HE IS GLORIFIED.

The practicalities of surviving the bathing suit season:

Cover yourself in prayer. Simply put. Ask God to push out your grumblings of body fat or imperfections with revelations of His grandeur. His grandeur fills the atmosphere. Pray, pray and pray some more, friends.

When we dwell on Him more than ourselves we see ourselves in a new light–His glorious light. Let God speak to those places in your heart that struggle and agonize. He takes great care in showing how He loves and adores us. The evidence is all around when we lived entangled in His presence, beauty, love rather than self focus.

So let’s not just survive the bathing suit season.

Let’s live a summer season of delight.

Leave a comment…let’s chat and lift each other up.

What To Do During An Identity Crisis

I never thought that in my mid-thirties I would have an identity crisis. You know, those times where the “who am I?” question leads you down roads of irrational thoughts of identity and awkwardness? Ok, maybe it’s just me here. Or maybe I’m not alone.

I always tell my sweet 20-something friends that this 20′s decade is weird, transitional, that they would get things figured out and not to fear the thirties. Which is true. But, I’m noticing a trend that it’s really not an age thing in regards to the identity crisis. It’s somewhat seasonal––where life has you––and the crisis of sorts can come anytime we are knocked off our norm and our routine and forced to evaluate what we are all about.

As I puttered around my house on Saturday, hoping that someone would come and love this house as we have for 10 years now, the thoughts of transition and starting over threatened to throw me in this thing I call “figuring out what I’m all about.” Honestly, what started it was the thought of how I would go about making new friends.

Would they get me?

They don’t even know me?

They don’t know what I’m about. Am I even sure what I’m about?

I’m tempted to write off these questions as silly and self centered. They are a bit. That’s ok, I’m going to roll with it. In fact, I did roll with it. I talked to God about it and we decided that I must stop fretting.

When we live entangled in the presence of God, that essence of who we are naturally bubbles to the surface. Entangled. That’s a new word in which I’m associating with abiding––as in John 15 abiding. No, not trying to override the word so prevalent in Scripture. I’m reverent to the word, abide. The word entangled takes the image to a rich level where I see myself, my thoughts, my heart, even my family, caught up in seeking after Jesus. We are so entangled that every thought, every word spoken, every activity serves as worship and in obedience to God Himself. We entangle ourselves in Jesus that if we were to ever unravel our self…that very self would lose all meaning, hope, purpose, passion. Life entangled…might be a new book in the works…

Yes, who we are bubbles up as the fruit (which harvests from abiding in Christ) makes our personal quirks taste sweet, our God-given gifts more juicy, our qualities and characteristics more colorful. No identity crisis sustains when we allow God Himself to override the question of “who am I?” with:

I AM the Great I AM. (Exodus 3:14)

Let’s  negate the questions we ponder about self and entangle our identity in the One who is worthy of our focus–not self focus.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

In this entangled relationship with Jesus, are we wiling to allow some sifting and shifting? His Spirit highlights the unfruitfulness––those areas in need of repentance. This makes me squeamish. Might I daily remember that God looks past those ugly parts of my heart (where repentance is mandatory!)as He draws out goodness instead.

Identity Crisis

For when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us and thus draws OUT every good and beautiful quality so that we point back to HIS ultimate goodness and beauty and majesty and power and mercy and…and… and… That is the true identity crisis: when we resist this drawing out. We resist who God formed us to be.

So really, it is not about “finding ourselves” (in whatever decade of life we find ourselves in). It’s about finding the open arms of Jesus and resting in who He IS. The Great I Am. The act of finding won’t take long for He is ever present regardless of our acknowledgement.

Oh let our heart cry out that we need everything of who He is to live comfortable in our own skin.

No identity crises necessary.

Leave a comment…let’s chat!

How To Do The Tough Stuff

The sun was out, birds tweeted, the blue sky sparkled. Saturday mornings are for getting stuff done. But, on this one particular Saturday, our house was on the brink of chaos. I wish I could say it was controlled chaos or even fun chaos. Nope. Plain chaos described our dwelling and even the condition of my heart that day.

Rewind two weeks prior to the point where my husband accepted a new job across country. We hit the ground running toward preparations for listing our house on the market. Let me tell you, I’ve learned more about “the market” than I ever wanted to know. I’ve learned about inspections, appraisals, listing agreements and how much our house needed a deep clean to be fit to sell.

I thought I would share with you what I personally learned during this tough, overwhelming season. Please know that I am sensitive to the fact that you might be dealing with more serious situations than cleaning closets and deciphering paint chips. Maybe my minimal drama example might give you a bit of a boost during your more trying season.

Here are 2 steps to conquer overwhelm and take back your peace.

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***I’m excited to share this article on iBelieve.com. CLICK HERE read more!

**What do you think about my two steps? Have you ever felt like this? I would love to chat more. Leave a comment!