It's summer - the time of year when everything slows down... in theory. My life really hasn't. It occurred to me this morning, reading this article by Anne Lamott, that "manic" is no longer just Monday's adjective - my schedule is packed (entirely too much so), and finding time to slow down in ways that are truly, deeply restful has been so difficult. But Anne's right - we only get one life, and I don't want to look back on it and only see how hard I worked. I want to look back on moments of beauty and wonder, great conversations, and time spent doing things I loved. So instead of tackling the 10-12 hours of work ahead of me today, I am blogging. Because I love it, because writing is something that makes me happy, and because if I spend an hour here at my keyboard now, I won't be spending the rest of the day wishing I could be writing instead of doing all the other things that need to get done - and my attitude about all of it will just be so much better.
A handful of friends shared this video on Facebook yesterday. Jessica Rey presents the history of the swimsuit, and paints the advent of the bikini as a scandalous and objectifying item of clothing.
I really appreciated what she had to say on so many levels. It's heartbreaking when women dress in ways that aren't comfortable for them because society and fashion say they should, and wrestle with shame unnecessarily as a result. But towards the end of the video, she gets a little accusatory towards parents who buy "immodest" swimwear for their kids, and I'm not going to lie - that really bugged me. Ladies, the only thing that makes a bikini immodest (no matter what age you are when you're wearing it) is the attitude and the mindset behind why you're wearing it. If you're wearing it to be provocative, then yes, it's likely immodest. But if you're wearing it because you're comfortable in your own body, and you feel fantastic in it, more power to you! I wouldn't personally wear one, because it wouldn't be comfortable for me, but I think we need to be careful about how we think about modesty. Jessica says, "Modesty isn't about covering up our bodies because they're bad; modesty isn't about hiding ourselves. It's about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful, in His image and likeness." Yes. And if a one-piece swimsuit helps you express that, that's awesome. (I really love mine. And the one I bought this year in all honesty is the first swimsuit I've owned in years in which I feel completely comfortable.) But if you're comfortable in a bikini, then go for it. Because modesty isn't about covering up. It's about an honest and vulnerable expression of who you are. And that's what we should be teaching our kids.
I had the privilege of hearing Jonalyn Fincher talk about modesty at the Bold Boundaries conference in April, and I was thrilled when she posted her response to Jessica's talk. She did a little research into the Princeton study Jessica cited, and presents some really helpful perspective:
You can read more about Jonalyn's perspective on modesty on her blog, Ruby Slippers.
Yesterday, I found myself studying up a storm at the library in preparation for a message I'm preaching next Sunday on what "loving one another" really means - in the very same carroll in which I spent an afternoon six years ago coming to terms with my inner Donna Reed. I've come a long way over the past six years. ;)
I also had a really fun moment while I was studying when I looked out the window and got completely distracted by a squirrel. #SQUIRREL! I actually started laughing. Which probably seemed really odd to the other people studying in that section of the library...
And to continue with the non-sequiturs: I picked up Spindle's End for the I-don't-know-how-manyth time again last night, and am really looking forward to spending a couple of hours just lazing about and reading tonight, once all my work is done. And next up on my reading list: The Ordinary Princess. (If you've never read it, you are missing out. Just sayin'...)
I've loved fairy tales for as long as I can remember. The first one I remember reading when I was very small is Beauty and the Beast - we had a pop-up book version of it with a green cover, and it had these laces so you could tie the covers together and the whole story was told in three pictures with so much detail. It is still my favorite fairy tale, but Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are close seconds. There's so much to be learned from good stories, and the ones that have endured are so rich. I'm working on a post about Cinderella's glass slippers - and am loving what I'm learning along the way. Stay tuned! And have a great weekend. :)
(For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!)