My Spring Has Definitely Sprung
By Kathi Macias –
The arrival of Spring brings with it all sorts of images of fragrant flowers, chirping birds, new green grass, and colorful Easter outfits. As a result, Spring has always been my favorite time of year, especially as I anticipated the arrival of Summer right behind it—picnics, cook-outs, trips to the beach…
Uh oh. Now I remember why Spring used to be my favorite season. Now? Not so much. Of course I still love baby chicks and newborn calves and all those great signs of new life, but trips to the beach? That type of outing at my age makes me wish for the long-ago days when women wore bathing suits that pretty much covered everything—and it also reminds me that my spring has definitely sprung.
Okay, I know enough not to buy a bikini or a two-piece, but even sliding into a modest one-piece is more of a shove these days than a slide. I’ve tried to make peace with where I am in life—and most of the time it works—but then the warm weather arrives and there I am, caught between draping myself in a muumuu and hiding under an umbrella or facing the ugly truth that cellulite is not my friend!
Yeah, I know. I’m a grandma (many times over), so what’s the big deal? Still, I love the beach. I grew up in a beach town and went there every chance I got. It’s part of my history, my makeup, my personality, and somewhere deep inside, that young girl who grew up at the seaside thinks she hasn’t changed. Nothing like a forced bathing suit day to bust that bubble!
Now admittedly, Spring isn’t Summer, so I still have a little time to do something about the approaching beach days. Yeah, right. How many times have I set out to conquer that challenge? Diets? No problem. I do great—very disciplined—for two or three days at least. Exercise? Slightly less. Consequently I end up looking just as much like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in a bathing suit as I did before trying to lose weight, but now I have the added guilt and sense of failure to weigh me down even more.
Is anyone feeling sorry for me yet? Maybe a few. But I imagine a lot more are commiserating with me and saying, “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean! I go through the same thing every spring when I come out of my own winter hibernation.” (The only difference between us and bears is that they spend the winter sleeping, while we just keep inhaling more chocolate!)
I wish I had an easy answer for you, but I haven’t found one yet. Some diets and exercise programs work better than others, but most fall by the wayside sooner or later. And the years just keep sapping our metabolism and enticing us to let go and enjoy whatever food comes our way.
Maybe that’s okay, though I imagine I’ll keep putting up at least some semblance of a fight to keep from going over the I’ll-never-wear-a-bathing-suit-again edge. But the only thing that really puts things into perspective for me is a quote from the late E.V. Hill, who was famous for saying, “This ain’t it!” And aren’t we glad? If our life in this world was “it,” then look around you, folks. What you see is as good as “it” gets—and that’s a depressing thought, cellulite notwithstanding.
But this world is just a blink in eternity, our physical life a vapor ready to vanish on the first puff of wind. How we look in a bathing suit when we die is not even going to be a consideration when we stand before the Judge of the Universe. The only thing that will matter then is whether or not Jesus is our Advocate, our Lawyer, our only Defense against our defenseless behavior. For none of us will make it past that Judge on our own merits; we can only hide under the shadow of the Almighty’s wing, grateful for the mercy that covers us.
And that’s the real issue, isn’t it? It’s not about what’s uncovered when we’re exposed in a bathing suit, but rather what’s covered by the blood of God’s Son—and that means ALL our sins. We can stand before Him unashamed because He covers us in His perfect righteousness.
Thanks for the reminder, E.V. This surely “ain’t it!”
Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com; www.thetitus2women.com) is an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including her upcoming April release, People of the Book, the final installment of the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers.