Taking a break; a leave of absence. On sabbatical, hiatus.
No matter how it’s worded, the concept of stepping away for a time speaks universally. We all require respite, rehabilitation from the day-to-day events. And when the big, life-changing stuff happens? There’s rarely a better reason to step back for a time, perhaps an entire season, to reevaluate, recharge, reconsider. And that’s just what I did.
Late last year (the day after Christmas, to be exact), I discovered that I was with child: for the third time in not even as many years. My husband & I were joyously and surprisingly, though intentionally, expecting another baby! Without consciously choosing to pause from writing for a time, that’s precisely what happened. Life got busy—even busier than it typically does—and the priorities and needs of my family shifted dynamically. As my belly grew, so did my responsibilities; as my mental acuity decreased, so did my free time. And then, just over a month ago, my third pregnancy ended: with a precious, lovely little lady, my second daughter. Things as we knew them were about to, once more, change dramatically. But, as much as things have transitioned these past eight months, plenty has stayed the same.
Carrying your own child in your own body is a blessing with which literally nothing else compares. It is truly an honor and a privilege: perhaps the greatest a woman can experience. But the time to be pregnant is terminal, and each of us birth mamas gets to a point after the delivery of her baby when she is no longer the same as she was a few months earlier. There are physical changes, no doubt, and plenty, plenty of emotional ones, too. The moment to which I’m referring, however, is when you are finally ready for the union of “who you were” and “who you’ve become”. You get to that point where you welcome that which once was all of you and that which now is all of you to fuse. Naturally, this looks a bit different for everyone. For me, this time around, I was overcome with a rapidly growing desire to kick-start my body after 38-weeks of pregnancy and hours of labor & delivery and also with a deepening need to challenge my mind after the sleepless nights of caring for a newborn plus the monotony of diaper changes (x3 people), loads of laundry (x5 people), daily meal preparation & clean-up, etc., etc.
Enter two of my greatest passions: running and writing. Running and I have come a looooong way in our short relationship. We’ve had a fiery & passionate affair (see that blog here) that has only been kindled more ferociously as I’ve been unable to pursue it in recent weeks. And writing: an old standard of mine… it’s quite remarkable that I ever took to it in the first place (thank you Leslie Ringen), but this pastime has impacted my life greatly more than has any other hobby. So, why am I detailing any of this in the first place, you might ask? Well, it’s because I have some thrilling news that links both of these fronts.
After taking off several medically mandated weeks from exercise following the birth of my child and even more months to maintain and nourish my family, I am officially getting back to what I love: writing and running. How better to jumpstart my resumption than to announce that, through an otherwise happenstance incident, I have committed to run a MARATHON next year. The writing aspect of this is that, as part of my marathon training, I will be completing a series of endurance events which I will be chronicling here. Moreover—and this is the exciting part!—I’m going to be running for a cause, a purpose greater than myself and my paltry running goals. As someone whose life is not my own, someone who identifies that I have been bought with the highest price anyone’s ever paid for anything – Jesus’ life, death & resurrection, I am compelled to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves (again, see my prior posts). And now, in addition to raising awareness, I will begin raising funds, too! With the gun shot that starts each race I will participate in over these next fifteen months, I plan to run for a charity that seeks to eliminate human trafficking. The exact details of this part are still in the works, but as I toil and work my body in preparation for physical struggles like it’s never known, I will be challenging our Western-world notions in ways that will hopefully make us uncomfortable enough to evoke real & lasting change like we’ve never known. So, once more, I ask the question: will you join me? Will you commit to entertain my ramblings as I aim to promote human rights? I hope that you will, and I hope that you will be changed in the process, too.