The Smell of Sunscreen and Body Shame

Hello, Memorial Day Weekend.  Time to pull out those shorts from last summer and see if they still fit.  I jumped in the pool at the gym with my kids yesterday and was plunged back into all my insecurity about my body (which I totally already got over).

Making this list helps me.  My body is for…

  • Snuggles
  • Communicating to me what my soul has to say (if I will listen)
  • Showing up for others to physically remind them that God cares
  • Giving a physical expression to the emotional intimacy my husband and I share
  • Modeling healthy habits and self-perception, to my kids especially
  • A way to build and track my own character around discipline and endurance when I try to diet or exercise
  • A way to give myself rest and notice when I am not getting enough rest
  • I’ll probably think of more by the time I finish this cup of coffee…

Or as Teresa of Avila would say,

Christ has no body but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes
with which He looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet
with which He walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which He blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands.
Yours are the feet.
Yours are the eyes.
You are His body.

Christ has no body on earth but yours.

To which I would add,

Christ has no skinny jean muffin top on earth except for mine (and maybe yours).  Instead of hating my body I want to take care of this sacred expression of love.  I want to eat well and be outside.  I want to take time to rest.  I want to care less about what other people think of me in a swim suit than I care about how they are feeling that day.

If I hate my body or punish my body I will never be able to love everyBODY around me or experience God’s love for me this summer.  Forget that.  I want sand in my toes, chlorine in my hair, love in my heart, and laughter spilling out everywhere.

Let’s do this body of Christ thing together, this summer. Are you in?

After all…

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1John 4:12

It’s not just the inner beauty that counts.  It’s the way we can live like we’re loved and be free to think about and love others that counts this summer.  I want to remember how much fun I had this summer, how many memories I made with my kids and our friends, not how awkward I felt.

What are you going to use your body for this weekend?

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