i'm 28, and this is the first summer i'll wear shorts with confidence.

it is 91 degrees in west texas today. NINETY-ONE, people. it's february 27.

it is also windy as all get out. a sign, as my mother-in-law reminded me, that spring is coming. "march is in like a lion, out like a lamb, remember? the wind's got to blow to bend the trees. that brings the sap and gets them to bud," she said.

my mother-in-law is so smart. i just wanted to whine about the wind.

so although most everything is still brown and dead for the time being, the warm temperatures have this pregnant lady breaking out the shorts. as i walked in the door a couple hours ago, i stripped off my church clothes and immediately threw on shorts and a tee shirt. (winter remix or no winter remix, i'm gonna have to clean the house and lounge in shorts. that's just all there is to it.)

i wore shorts yesterday too, as a matter of fact. to a birthday party. and i felt cute.

that there, people, is a noteworthy little sentence. i felt cute.

i can't remember the last time i felt cute in shorts. really.

i weigh (give or take) 30 pounds more than i did in high school (and will add to that significantly this summer with baby 3 in utero), and i never wore shorts in high school. i wore skimpy little tops (ahem) and jeans all summer long. JEANS. i specifically remember being ridiculously hot. but no matter, i thought my legs were ugly in shorts.

oh, high school self. you silly, silly girl.

the point i'm trying to make is that it has probably been a good 15+ years since i have felt cute in shorts. and it's not thanks to some great diet and exercise plan that's left me with supermodel legs (impossible). nope, these legs aren't nearly as pretty as they were a decade and a half ago.

it's because of a perspective change.

becoming a mom and a wife and, more specifically and most especially, an avid follower of Jesus over the past five years or so has given me a new perspective.

glossy magazine images of new things and perfect bodies are art, i admit. but they are not real life. they are tiny snapshots of perfectly styled moments which people wielding photoshop are being paid to produce. they are beautiful, no doubt, and i love looking at them. but they are not real.

real beauty is my husband's affectionate glance even when i haven't showered all day. real beauty is bruises and scrapes earned from climbing trees in the summer sun. real beauty is the marred farm table i ate at as a child that i type from now.

real beauty is wearing shorts when it's hot because my focus is not on whether my legs look perfect, but what is most appropriate to wear to be comfortable enough to make memories with my family.

real beauty is not longing for what is not, but realizing the blessings that surround me at every turn, given graciously by the One who knows every inch of my legs intimately because He created them.

i am not against taking care of your body or promoting accepting unhealthy habits (goodness knows i have many) as unchangeable. but i am against being in bondage to negative thoughts about the body i have, the body that was made for me.

so i'll wear shorts all summer. sure i'll feel moody and large when baby 3 is close to making her appearance. but i refuse to repeatedly beat myself up because i don't look like i stepped from the cover of vogue.

i have far too many better things on which to spend time and energy. and it's way too hot.

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Mother of four and married to Landon, a lead pastor in San Angelo, Texas. I have been a journalist and an English teacher, love York peppermint patties and am addicted to Instagram. Someday, I hope to finally get organized.