The Long and the Short of It

When it’s June and I’m out walking in the muggy Florida twilight in my hot black yoga pants, I wish I could wear shorts. 

But I can't. My sister won’t let me.

If it sounds as if she has some sort of power over me or way too much control {especially for a sister who is younger than I am}, you should know that she is the boss of me.

She tells me what to do with my hair. She tells me to wear lighter lipstick. She tells me my sunglasses are too small. She tells me to wear higher heels. 

And she’s almost always right. 

So I don't mind abiding by her rules since she just wants me to be the best possible version of myself.

But when she saw me out walking one night she said, “You know, those shorts aren’t a good look for you.” 

I wasn’t exactly sure if it was just the particular pair I was wearing that she didn’t like or all shorts in general, so I bought other styles of shorts. 

Longer ones that went to my knees. Flared ones. Straight ones. 

But she didn’t like any of those either and finally said, “Everyone in the neighborhood knows you are my sister so when you’re out walking, I don't think you should wear shorts at all.”

Got it.

I make sure my neighborhood walking wear is long yoga pants, no matter the weather.

{Just so you know, I am not in this photo.}

But I did buy what I thought were some trendy shirts to go with my yoga pants and debuted one of them on my evening walk when I spotted my brother-in-law talking at the curb to two men. 

I had just finished what I refer to as a jog-trot {not exactly running}, with a clip in my hair and I was especially sweaty and disheveled. 

I tried to give him the eyeball-stare-signal that it was perfectly fine if he pretended not to know me. 

I breezed by him as he stared at me puzzled and hailed me with a hearty greeting. 

{I guess that mental telepathy thing only works with my sister.}

He introduced me and I chatted for a few minutes and was on my way. 

I sent a text to my sister that I met my brother-in-law’s friends and she wrote back, “OhMyGoodness, were you wearing shorts?”

I told her of course not, but I was wearing my new shirt with the word Wanderlust emblazoned across the front that I’d found in the junior section. 

{And I’d already decided not to wear it again, since it really was intended for juniors.} 

But I wouldn’t dare break the rule about shorts.

I’m actually a rule follower by nature so it doesn’t bother me to add another one to my list, but I think there are some rules that I’ve long believed to be hard and fast, that might be worth breaking. 

{Maybe you’ve believed them too?}

Waiting is just wasted time. 

Vulnerability shows weakness. 

Surrendering is giving up. 

Nothing ever turns out as you hope, so why hope?

What’s over is dead and can't be brought back to life.

But when I bend these rules and see how far they stretch, they start to look golden.

My perspective on waiting has been transformed. In the past, I haven't waited well. I've acted as if it were an inconvenience, an unwanted interruption, impeding my progress to wherever I was headed. 

But far from being a wasteland, waiting has become a haven, a rich retreat I'm invited to experience, filled with lavish revelations and savory discoveries. 

When we wait, with our eyes hopeful and our hearts expectant, wanting God's yes and realizing that it might be no, it takes tenacity and tender strength to open our vulnerable selves to him, not weakness.

This offering of our desires in surrender to God is not abandoning but offering. It’s not giving ourselves up, but giving ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, not our stubborn wishes. And although it might look as if it's the end of ourselves -- our dreams, desires and wants -- these endings are just the entryway to begin again. 

It's God, not us, who can make all things new and bring what’s dead to life again.

Long story short, when these rules of mine are broken, my life looks different. And what I see changes too.

My sister told me my brother-in-law's friends that I met that night in the neighborhood are former NFL players

This stopped me short with a new idea for my neighborhood walking wardrobe.

I wonder if my sister would approve of me wearing my Pittsburgh Steelers shirt when I'm out and about in the neighborhood? 

I think I'll ask her about my sparkly bedazzled gold Steeler cap too. She might like it better than my hair clip.

I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join me there to read more posts from my blogger friends!


  1. Go ahead, Valerie. Wear the shorts. The bedazzled cap. A cute little tee.

    And no need for the fancy hairclip. You're lookin' fine, girl ...

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks for the vote of confidence! I appreciate the freedom . . . and the kind words! :)

  2. I'm with Linda, Valerie. Wear those shorts or Wanderlust shirt or whatever you feel comfortable in. :) I love what you write about the rules we believe in but need to be broken. This line especially drew me in - "When we wait, with our eyes hopeful and our hearts expectant, wanting God's yes and realizing that it might be no, it takes tenacity and tender strength to open our vulnerable selves to him, not weakness." So very true. Blessings and hugs to you!

    1. Hi Trudy,
      I think I just wish I had more wanderlust -- it looks so cute on a shirt with a map, doesn't it??! :)

  3. I agree with Linda: go ahead & wear the shorts! Of course, for myself, a nice pair of capris are my lifesavers! :) I am so thankful that God shows us where we've set up our own versions of the rule-game. HIS Ways are so much better! But why then does it take me so long sometimes to remember this very thing you expressed so well: "It's God, not us, who can make all things new and bring what’s dead to life again." Thank you for reminding me of these Truths today!! --Blessings & Hugs to you!

    1. Bettie,
      Capris are my choice for summer too -- I'm with you! It's curious how we come to decide which rules rule our lives and which ones we think we can break, isn't it? I'm so glad that God's ways are much better than our own!

  4. I'm still laughing at this :) My best friend tells me every time we shop together that she doesn't like me in black-- but I gravitate towards it! (I'm actually wearing a black shirt today... shhhh, don't tell her! LOL) But sometimes we do benefit from another's outside view... the see things in us and about us that maybe we're just not noticing in ourselves. ♥ And I'm so glad you're bending/breaking some of your long held rules with help from a little heavenly perspective. I feel them all-- especially the waiting well part... Walking through it with you today girl! (though not in shorts either... just capri leggings..haha) Much ♥♥♥ to you!! And i might break that rule too and wear the t-shirt again-- it's super cute! Or maybe it might be a good summer look for your mannequin?? ♥

    1. Heather,
      Great idea! The shirt is perfect for my little dress-form-mannequin -- I think she would love wearing it! :) Oh I'm so glad I have you joining me in the capri-wear too! I laughed at your friend telling you that you wear too much black since that is also what my sister always tells me -- she wants me to buy colorful shirts but I think I'm just classical monochromatic (how's that for a made-up label??) :) xo

  5. Hi Valerie, thanks for visiting my blog today. Sorry I wasn't able to get here earlier. I enjoyed your post- I really like the Wanderlust T-shirt so I think you should wear it again (and wear shorts too if you want to!) I agree that it's easy to get rules fixed in our minds about certain things and sometimes it's good to stop and look at these again.

    1. Hi Carly,
      So nice to meet you today! I have so many rules in my head, it seems sometimes, that it's good for me to re-evaluate them and decide if they're worth keeping or not! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ha! My sister tells me what to do and I do it too. But she is the older one, so there's that. Not everyone gets the sister dynamics!
    I still don't like to wait, but I am trying to be patient....

    1. Sarah,
      Well at least your sister dynamics make more sense! I'm bossy too (and she says I bossed her as a child) but somehow she knows me better than I do myself! Waiting well is a hard practice but somehow we always have plenty of opportunity to change the way we do it, don't we, since almost all of us are waiting for something!

  7. Hi Valerie- Im struggling with the shorts this year too- just don't feel like I look good in them- but capris get hot and feel more dressy than I need to be lots of days! I had a good friend tell me I didn't look good in white- and always think about it when I put a white shirt on-There is a rule I wish I could break- and that is red heads don't wear pink- I like pink - light pink - so soft and pretty but clashes with my hair! Just not good for me- so stuck with the fall colors - I do love brown now though- anyway this was such a good thought-" But far from being a wasteland, waiting has become a haven, a rich retreat I'm invited to experience, filled with lavish revelations and savory discoveries" I want that!! I will think on that - thank you for changing my perspective on waiting tonight - Anyway, I am still hoping to find a pair of shorts I love and feel good in- I hope you can find some too!.

    1. Susie,
      Don't some of the rules we listen to get embedded in our lives?! I definitely think there are nuances of every color we all can wear, no matter what we look best in so I hope you find a lovely shade of pink and white to wear!! I've truly come to believe that about waiting though. How else would we discover the rich facets of God's character if we weren't seeking him and waiting for something? I feel as if once we pass the impatience point and some of the other mile markers on our wait, we enter into a place that's more peaceful and deeply meaningful. Praying for you! xoxo

  8. So I think your readers want you to put on the shorts! :) Count me in that camp too, if wearing shorts would make YOU feel good. Your sister will adjust. ha. You're right that we do need to stop and evaluate the "rules" we're living by from time to time and toss out the ones that no longer are appropriate.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I think my readers are just being kind about the shorts! :) Maybe it's good that I keep them in the past! So glad you stopped by!

  9. Your sister sounds like mine! She is more, on trend then I am :).

    And yes, waiting...I'm in my own season of waiting. I HATE it!! I was telling God this morning, "You know I'm really trying hard to trust You, but it would make it SO much easier if You didn't take so long to answer prayers!" I'm sure He was amused... He'll probably make me wait longer for my impatience ;)

    1. Alecia,
      I love what you told God about waiting! But I'm finding there are some rare gems to be found in the wait and maybe it's okay if I stay here awhile! :) And glad you can relate on the sister saga! :)

  10. Valerie... wear those shorts. I love comfort too so when I'm just going out to shop I do not dress up to the nines.. I simply put on my leggings, cute top, and keep it moving. As long as I'm presentable at all times, I am fine. And I am so loving that Wanderlust shirt.

    Kia / KTS

  11. I do love that 'Wanderlust' t-shirt! I think God always picks the perfect wardrobe for us, if we wait on Him to show us and not care what others think, even sisters. :)


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