I love wearing bikinis. They remind me of summer. Sunny days, sandy beaches, friends gathering, fun songs and carefree laughter. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Sports Illustrated model, I’m simply a middle-age-mom-of-four that refuses to grow old without putting up a little bit of a fight.
The thing about bikinis is I don’t wear them all the time. I dress for me and no one else. So if I’m not in the mood to wear a 2 piece, I won’t. The situation has got to be right. Girls weekend on the boat? Yup. My hubby and I on a tropical shore in the carribean? You bet! Family barbeque with our church? Nope. The situation has got to feel like showing some midriff is a fit.
This past season I have felt challenged to open up my life. To share and publically process the deeper churrings of the heart. I have gone through much loss these past few years. Deep relational betrayal that broke my heart in half. I have shared much of this process on my social media platforms. It has been a painful journey and there is still more healing I am walking out.
At first when I was sharing, it felt brave and bold. Kinda like I was walking around in a bikini, not feeling concerned that others may notice my cellulite. I felt confident and knew others needed to watch someone go before them so they too could be brave. Even if they showed up in a skirted one-piece, I was gonna show my imperfect vulnerability and encourage them too!
But with all things, the seasons change. Now the cooler air has made me feel a bit different about the bikini. I’m getting a little chilly and uncomfortable and need to put on a cozy sweatshirt and my favorite pair of jeans. I’m feeling a nudge to come inside, curl up with a book and sit by the warm fire.
It’s time to pull back and listen more. Time to speak with a whisper and no longer worry about trying to shout over the enthusiastic sounds of a beach in the summertime. There are seasons to use a megaphone and times to simply communicate with few words and a knowing smile.
My voice is tired and I need to spend some time listening and writing. I need to dig and find the next level of truth and revelation for my life. When a well runs dry, many times if you dig a bit deeper the water will begin to flow once again.
I’m taking a break from social media because I’m tired of people that don't know me, knowing that I spent last week in the ER with my son and when I awkwardly bump into them at Costco they know the details- because I posted them. I’m tired of people reading my “highlight reel” and concluding they know me or that my life has no real struggle. I’m tired of friends feeling “caught up” on my life and and not reaching out as often or wanting to hear updates. I’m tired of being seen but not KNOWN.
I need to pull in, and sink down, and re-center. Wrap that big cozy blanket around these tired shoulders and get replanted in truth. I need to once again feel God’s EMBRACE, I need to more deeply discover who I am and where I fit. Oh the seasons of life! Once we think we have our wardrobe for one season dialed in, what happens? The weather changes and we need new clothes.
With my fast from social media, I want to focus on celebrating those that are near and dear to me just a bit more. To be more intentional and to be truly present and less distracted.
I have never done a social media fast before. This is new. But I have had seasons of pulling back and rethinking life and the rhythms I am moving to. Does my pace match the rich, joy-filled and intoxicating beat of a life well-lived? The kind of beat that once it gets in your soul, every muscle fiber moves to it.
Did you know we all have a life song? A life rhythm? Some of our life songs are faster with more drums. Some are slow and have a full orchestra. I think mine has a lot of beatboxing and bass-lines. Just say'in.
LIke in my spin class when the instructor says, “Pedal to the beat, and if you can’t match the beat you have too much on.” That’s the way our life should be. You have a beat that your life is set to. If you aren’t able to match that beat, something has got to change and adjust. We were meant for rhythm.
According to a study done by Dr. Norman Foster from the University of Iowa who is the director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Care he says, “Personalized music programs can activate the brain, especially for patients who are losing contact with their environment. Music is like an anchor, grounding the patient back in reality.”
They just need to be reminded of their song and they are re-centered.
I just need to be reminded of mine. I need to quiet myself and get the soul beat back in my bones. The kind of beat that when you close your eyes you can still feel it reverberate throughout your entire core. I need to take the advice of my cycle teacher, if you can’t pedal to the beat, you have too much on.”
So we all need to lean into our season. Listen to our rhythm and be in our moment.
Oh and by the way, just because I’m not wearing a bikini in this season doesn’t mean I’m not keeping it handy for that beach scene next year. Now, where did I put that megaphone?
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiates 3:1
Healthcare.utah.edu; “Music Activates Regions of the Brain Spared by Alzheimer’s Disease.” April 27, 2018 by Stacy W. Kish