Own. It.

My family. We wore our dang swimsuits. We had a blast. Let me tell you why.

First off, let it be known why we want to wear our swimsuits and why we want to empower everyone else to do the same. We are NOT trying to show off our hot bodies. We are NOT seeking compliments for how flawless we look. If we’re being honest, it doesn’t have much to do with how we look in them in all.

I have a niece that is 20 months old. (She would’ve been in this picture, but she was taking a very long nap at this time. She’s living the dream.) She’s starting to babble all the time, and says little words and phrases. She’s getting to the point where she understands what we’re saying. Not things like, “the mitochondria is the powerhouse,” or “we’re leaving in 5 minutes.” Just the simple. “I love you,” “do you want chocolate?” And “stop hitting your brothers.”

Before we know it, she’s going to be old enough to swim without her floaties. Then old enough to wear a bikini. When that time comes, and I’m sure I’m speaking for my whole family here, I do NOT want her to stare in her mirror, wondering why she doesn’t look better in a swimsuit. Wishing she wouldn’t have had that bowl of ice cream yesterday. Getting angry for skipping her morning runs. Hoping plans will get cancelled so she doesn’t have to show everyone what we she looks like underneath the oversized shirt. But knowing there will be so many questions if she chooses to not get in the water.

I know how this feels. So many people know how this feels! I want to stop feeling this way so I can be an example for my niece. So I can be an example for all girls and boys that aren’t loving up on themselves enough. So they’ll always have confidence in themselves. So they’ll know that being beautiful doesn’t really have anything to do with your body.

One of my nephews is just 3 years old, and he’s pretty afraid of the water. We always put his floaties on and always reassure him that we’re not going to let go of him. It normally doesn’t work, and he doesn’t stay in the pool for too long. Well this day was different. After a few minutes of tears and being mad, he had fun. So much fun. He stopped clinging to us for dear life. He was letting us throw him, he would kick on his own in the water, and he even jumped off the ladder a few times (thanks to his bug brother for being an example). We were all filled up with happiness and love while we were watching this kid get over his fear. Can you imagine what we would’ve missed out on if we would’ve chosen to listen and believe the lies that we’re not good enough to just wear a swimsuit?! If a 3-year-old can get over his fear of water in 5 minutes, I think we can get over our insecurities too. We might need to start taking notes from the smallest kids we’re surrounded by.

So my family wore our swimsuits. And we owned it. Because we know that it’s okay if our thighs are friends and why should we try and split them up? Because we know that it’s okay if our 6-pack abs are shy so they don’t come out. Because we know that it doesn’t matter if we have greasy hair because we’re just going to get it wet anyways! And it’s okay if you’re the complete opposite of these things!

We owned it because we know that we’re spreading confidence and love. All kinds of it. Self love. Body love. Food love. Summer love. Jesus love. People love.

Jesus loves us when we eat one of mom’s homemade enchiladas right before a pool party. When we’re worried people will ask if we’re pregnant, but really, that’s a food baby. When we have ice cream dribbling down to our toes.

You were created to be bold, daring, lovely, and beautiful. I think we all know by now that beautiful means more than how your face looks.

We’re just spreading the message. The message of love. Of confidence. Of contentment. Of joy. Of family. Of Jesus.

Dig for it. Dig for that confidence and love. Not even just for yourself, but for everyone. Once you’ve dug it up, it’s yours. You get to keep it. You have to own it.

“You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this, I have no doubt.”

~ Psalm 129:13-14

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