The Dreaded Bikini and How the Woman in it Inspired Me…

Girls_at_the_beachWho inspires you? Have you ever really thought about that question? Who has influenced you enough to leave a mark so deep you’ve actually made a change in life for the better?

Those who have inspired me are a long list of amazing people with many different personality types. Yet, between them, there is a common thread connecting each one. They are all brave.

You might be tired of hearing me reiterate what brave means to me, but I’m going to say it again anyway because God is chiseling it into my soul and we can all gather life from it.

Bold

Ready and

Available

Vying for

Everything God wants to do in our hearts and through our lives.

The people who have inspired me are hearts willing to follow God anywhere because they know He has called them. And that is exactly what I want to be. I want to be brave. I want to be willing. I want to be who He wants and not some random image of what I wish.

And speaking of images…

I’m spending the week at the beach in Mexico. I’ve had a lot of time to think about brave from many perspectives. From the women serving at the resort working long hours hoping for a better life to the women on the beach just like me who feel shame in their bathing suits, we are all exuding some type of bravery. (Whether we like it or not…)

I’ve seen women twice my size in bikini’s while I cover up as much as I can for fear my jiggle will be the source of someone else’s giggle. You see, I’m brave when it comes to speaking Jesus and encouraging women to pursue their dreams. However, when it comes to my physical image I’m downright tired and discouraged.

Last week I wrote a post entitled, What I Won’t say in Front of My Daughter. I’m so careful to protect her. I’m worried about her because I’ve had to fight how I feel about myself so fiercely that I live with some internal scars. The truth is I’m tired of society applauding supermodels. I would much rather applaud the women in the bikini who jiggles. Why? Because she’s choosing to live fearless. Whether she is confident or not, she is taking a step to be okay where she is.  And this week, it is those women who are inspiring me.

I always feel the need to add a disclaimer and say, I will still work to be healthy and make right choices. I’m not saying it is okay to throw healthy living out the window. It’s not. What I’m trying to convey is it’s time to allow God to work on our hearts so that we recognize our worth is not wrapped up in what we look like.  Every season of life is just that – a season. When we reach the next season, if it isn’t our weight it will most certainly be something else which pushes us into being brave.

We need to work on allowing God to change the inside. When we do, the outside will look a whole lot better.

Maybe you don’t struggle with body image. Your concerns could be different. Regardless, I need you to know that your life is a gift and you are an inspiration to people everywhere. You might not be aware of it, but you are. Your influence reaches further than you think.

Be careful about who inspires you and why. Are you inspired by a healthy positive image?

Be BOLD

Be READY

Be AVAILABLE

VIE for EVERYTHING God wants to do in your heart and through your life.

The above definition of brave begins with the recognition of your purpose in the Almighty.

You have a beautiful identity in Him, and you are worth so much more than you can begin to imagine.

Be brave, beautiful friends!

Today, I’m linking up with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart. Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150

Holley has a gift for encouraging the soul. She has a brand new book entitled You’re Going to Be Okay, I’m giving away a copy. All you have to do is comment on this post sharing how you are working to be brave in life. If you subscribe and comment your name will be entered twice. If you are already a subscriber you can  comment then tweet, pin, or share on Facebook to be entered twice. Or just comment. Truthfully, I care about nothing more than blessing you! The winner will be drawn at random.

Love,

Jennifer

PS: I’m on vacation, so I won’t be able to answer comments for a few days. However, I can read them and will be praying for you.

Comments

  1. I just love this! Oh, how I hope to continue to attend to the inside…so it shows on the outside! So well done, Jennifer! ~J

  2. Have fun on vacation! Love this post!

  3. Melissa Gaskill says:

    I love your devotions. They are so encouraging and uplifting. I hope to see you sometime in the near future. I hope you all are having a blast in Mexico. You picked a great week to be gone. It is so cold here. Blessings to you and your family.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Melissa Gaskill

  4. I am working to fully surrendering to God. You have to understand that in my life the word surrender has negative connotations. “Never surrender, never give up!” My marine father made it very clear that surrendering meant quitting and that was unacceptable. Now at 62 God is teaching me that surrendering to Him means TRUST. Can you see my struggle? Can you see that we have this God and I? To me being brave means learning to trust. And don’t worry…God’s working with me on this.

  5. I am trying to be brave by not worrying. I am trying to trust God through the storms of life.

  6. Joan W. says:

    Trying to speak up for the underdogs!

  7. Trying to be brave by writing a book inspite of my doubts and fears

  8. I am trying to be brave by taking one step at a time!

  9. Being brave by choosing my responses and not letting the weather, circumstances or fear control how I react. (Ps, the song Brave by Sara Bareilles is my jam! Check it out!)

  10. Your post is a great reminder to practice being brave! I think I need to be brave in saying no at times! Also, being brave and buying clothes that fit me, not baggy ones. Thanks for your words!

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