For those of you who were guessing that my post would be an announcement of another pregnancy – you are very wrong.
Frank would lose his ever-loving mind if we had another child barely a year younger than the twins.
Nope. This is not a clever blog announcement about a pregnancy.
I started this blog the same month that Frank and I became engaged to be married. I was 22 years old.
I had been out of college for less than one year. I had been working for less than six months.
I am not even really sure why I started the blog, other than that I had a weird fascination with the idea of having a diary. And I’m not even sure why I had that weird fascination. I’m a terrible correspondent. Ask anyone who has tried to correspond with me. I found letters from my darling college roommate, Kelly, and nearly wept at the beautiful notes she would write me.
I doubt that she could make the same claim about the letters I wrote her. Because I didn’t write. I was a horrible pen pal.
If you look at my blog from 2003, you will find that it was nothing more than a documentation of shopping excursions, what I ate and how I felt about it, and who could forget my rankings of area shopping malls?? (answer: just about anyone and everyone could and should forget it)
I don’t go back to those early postings very often. Sometimes I do re-read various posts from our wedding planning. But truthfully, my most pressing concern (if I’m being honest) was finding a tube top so that I would tan evenly. Heaven help me if I had strap marks while wearing my strapless wedding gown!
I look back on those early years and I wonder at how Frank and I managed to make a life together. I mean, considering how seriously the odds were stacked against us (under the age of 25, for starters) and then reading my blathering thoughts at the time, it’s a wonder that we managed to move across state lines, find full time employment and not critically hurt ourselves in the process.
But here we are.
I look back on those early years – my immaturity and my self-absorbed interests – and I am struck not by how much I’ve changed, but how much more aware I am that I haven’t changed as much as I should have.
Yeah, this post is not about patting myself on the back.
“Way to go, self, you managed to generally stay clear of the Emergency Room for most of your adult life. Bravo.”
I think a lot of life is about peaks and valleys. Peaks offer a moment of clarity where I get to see where I am going and where I have been – and realize that the road in both directions is long, winding and generally uncertain.
And valleys remind me of my own humanity.
I think that I am on a momentary peak.
The K-Fam, for all intents and purposes, is doing very, very well. Frank is employed. I am employed. The girls are healthy and growing and developing and have clean diapers on (at the moment). We have food and shelter and enough extra cash to afford a brand new Starbucks addiction (as long as I keep brewing at home…).
Our coffee cup runs over.
But in this rare moment of clarity, I see my life as it is. I’m not sad about it or angry or hurt or feeling guilty. I am just aware that I was young and like pretty much all young people I know, I was blissfully unaware. And now I am approaching middle-aged. Or, if I am honest, I am probably middle-aged already (I’m 30 – does that count?).
The point is that I see myself driving home from church, work, wherever – I see the sun shining and the wind rustling the leaves on the lush green trees and even though I have many responsibilities, I feel unburdened. I feel light.
And I am becoming aware that being unburdened is a rare, precious gift; I feel that while I am in the sunshine, enjoying the beauty of this world, there are people whose burdens are great.
Reading the news is a buzz kill. You are bumping along in life all concerned about what is for dinner or wondering whether or not you remembered to pay the water bill, when all of a sudden a news anchor calmly, matter-of-factly explains that 32 girls in Ghana were rescued from a baby factory where their brand new babies were sold into slavery or as human sacrifices.
The juxtoposition of my life and theirs is hard to grasp. How can my brain comprehend such disparity of the human existence?
God has been working on my heart, opening my eyes.
Am I going to end human trafficking in this world? No.
But how can I do nothing? How can I enjoy a warm summer day spent going for a walk or teaching my baby girls how to build sand castles, while other men, women and children are in such total darkness?
Many children find themselves sold into slavery because their families cannot afford to eat. They are sold so that the rest of the family can survive.
And yet so easily, I can go to McDonald’s and enjoy a fruit and yogurt parfait, oatmeal or a warm cup of coffee.
While I am contemplating ways I can get involved (more to follow over the next few weeks), I cannot help but realize how mindlessly I eat. I think very little about what and how much I put in my mouth. After fertility treatments and a twin pregnancy, this is definitely starting to show.
I have a lot of weight to lose. Fifty pounds to be exact.
Yeah, that’s right. Fifty.
What’s sad is that I’ve lost pretty much all of the baby weight. The weight I have left to lose crept on slowly at first. I slowly gave in to the weight gain. “It’s just a pound. Or two. Or five.”
Working out my body is just as important as working out my mental muscles. The discipline I use for walking and running (and not eating dessert after every meal) helps me be more disciplined in other areas of my life, like time management or finances.
Getting involved in helping to stop human trafficking isn’t going to happen over night. I won’t find a solution by writing a check for $5. Big problems like this require persistent and unrelenting action.
In 2001 I started Weight Watchers. I lost 60 lbs over the next 8 or 9 months.
I did not lose all 60 lbs in the first week.
Every week I lost a little bit and it all added up.
It’s that kind of discipline – making one more person aware, getting one more person to care – that adds up.
A little bit of kindling added slowly builds a big fire.
My goal is to become more disciplined and aware of what I eat, which will simultaneously help me work out the mental muscles needed in order to be dedicated to a cause as important as ending human trafficking.
It’s a weird way to connect two things, but it makes sense to me.
If you ask my mom, she’ll tell you I’ve always been annoyingly persistent. When I want something, I usually find a way to get it.
For every pound that I lose, we (Frank and I) will donate $10 to end human trafficking. It’s a weightlossathon.
If you want to join me in this effort – either by losing weight yourself or donating money for every pound that I lose, please do! Let me know in the comment section if you are “in” and what you are doing.
And if you aren’t interested in joining in, if you could keep me in your thoughts and your prayers as I go down this road – both weight loss and figuring out how to help raise awareness of human trafficking issues – I would be so grateful.