Summer Anxiety: Embrace the Bathing Suit

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Laying Down My Anxiety

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? — Matthew 6:25

There is one tiny thing I don’t like about summer: I’m not wild about swimsuits.

It’s been years since I’ve had a summer where I wasn’t pregnant or nursing or post-baby-puffy. Even before that, I was never a swimwear model candidate. On my best days, I can look decent in jeans, but swimsuits don’t do me any favors, and as luck would have it, I spend a good portion of the summer up at the lake, wearing a swimsuit from morning till night. I love being at the lake, of course, but at the beginning of every summer, I have to do a little internal business, organizing my thoughts and feelings and phobias, getting myself ready to let everyone I know see me in a piece of clothing that could fit into a sandwich bag.

But as my friend Sara always reminds me, no one’s actually thinking about me as often as I think they are. Probably my friends are not actually counting the days till summer to see if I’ve finally turned into a supermodel. Probably they’re thinking about their own lives or current events or any number of things that have nothing to do with how I look.

God has given us this season to enjoy.

What fear or anxiety is keeping you from full life? What would it look like to lay it down?

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Summer at the Lake

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. — Psalm 139:14

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. I’ll miss the beach. I’ll miss the breathtaking plunges off the back of the boat into really, really cold water. I’ll miss paddle boarding and boogie boarding. I’ll miss watching Mac float around, kicking his legs with a huge smile on his little face, and I’ll miss racing Henry in the lake from there to there a thousand times in a row.

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. [tweet this]

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!

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Summer Salad Recipe

I’ve been making this twice a week this summer, partially because I can buy every bit of it at the farmer’s market, save the feta, salt, and pepper. For years I’ve grilled or boiled the corn but these days I love salads with raw corn, sweet and crunchy.

  • 6 ears of corn, cut from ears, raw
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 4 peppers, red, yellow, or orange, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 ounces feta, crumbled
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and adjust the herbs and salt and pepper to taste. This gets even better after a couple hours, so I sometimes do the chopping while everyone’s eating breakfast, and then by dinner it’s perfect — full of flavor and crunch, sharp from the feta, sweet from the corn, clean from the cucumber, bright from the herbs. This tastes just exactly like summer to me.

Excerpted with permission from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Are you feeling the summer anxiety of bathing suits, shorts, tank tops, and appearance worries creep up as the temperature increases? Or are you ready to embrace the truth of the Lord’s great love for us, no matter what shape we are in, and truly enjoy this God-given gift of summer? Don’t miss out on the joy, family time, fun with friends this summer! And, ladies, let’s encourage our sisters, mamas, and girlfriends to lay down summer anxiety, too, and embrace the coming season and all the delights that come with it. Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, FaithGateway Women

Shauna Niequist

Shauna Niequist grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. As an author and blogger, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life - friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. Shauna is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek. Aaron and Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.

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