Give It Time…

As a way to finish off my birthday celebrations this past month, I got away for two days by myself to enjoy the Flower and Garden festival at Walt Disney World. It was the first time I had been away from Elijah for longer than a quick overnight. It felt quiet, uncomfortable, and it honestly took me a while to let myself breathe. I don’t mind traveling by myself, some people find it odd, but I’m safety conscious and I’m not a bar/club goer nor do enjoy late nights so I weed out some of the riskiest behaviors, so I enjoy removing distractions and going.

And it was nice. I flew out, landed, got my workout in, explored Epcot and its Flower and Garden Festival whimsy, and then I laid around in my room for two hours breathing and letting my body melt into a layer of myself that I do not frequently visit in these days. BUT I should. I should work to let myself breathe, relax my shoulders for more than just my time block for yoga every few days.

Regardless of whether you travel to do it or not, quietness has to be routine. And true quietness of body, mind, and soul – the kind of quiet soul where you are just an access point away from reaching into the heavenly – takes time to get too. And in this life we miss it. We might give ourselves a lunch for peace and quiet, or our husbands let us go get a massage or mani-pedi. But it’s different when you give yourself the freedom of space.

God wants that for us. He went away to Gethsemane to pray for quite awhile, he went to be still in a boat away from people and distraction. He went away, maybe not far away, but away to be completely quiet. It’s not an hour time block that needs to be added to the calendar, and it doesn’t mean it’s always easy to come by. I have a 14/15 month old at home and most days it seems like every minute of time is accounted for and includes my quiet time each day, but that’s not fluid and free space for me to breathe and just sit in quietness with myself and Him for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately for us in these days it does typically means having to schedule that time in advance, but do it unapologetically. Especially if you have kids, they say “it takes a village”: utilize them! They won’t mind helping carry the load for 24-48 hours whoever that is. Then, give yourself time to breathe, give it time to melt, give it time to hit the quietness that is truly supernatural. Let Him speak and move and just give you the rest He so longs to give you.

Give it time, and then give that time forward.

Jordan

33%

That’s where we are. 33% of 2021 is complete. This number feels significant. You are far enough for urgency, but not far enough to be “too far gone”! And while we could get into a conversation about “feelings” that’s not what this is about. It’s about the number that compels us to move, there’s still enough time but not too much time.

So let’s do a quick recap of where we, personally, are as a family and somethings we have our site on. It’s easier to look forward if you can take inventory and start at a place of gratitude for what might lie before:

January: We leaped into the world of a half day program twice a week for Elijah. He’s loving it and we are very thankful for place we found for him. We were very blessed to not have any family get super sick with COVID after the post holiday surge.

February: I ran my fourth full marathon (only half of it was good) and a disappointing 5K, but it fueled the fire for bigger dreams and goals and purpose in this journey called running.

March: Elijah turned ONE (and what a celebration we had), Jon started playing more at church, I ran my best postpartum race (10K), I drove to Florida for the day to celebrate and see two friends, I got my first vaccine, and we started gravitating towards some normal life things – A LOT felt like it changed this month

April: We both got fully vaccinated, Jon turned 33! We did a weeklong trip out west (Nevada, Utah, and a glimpse of AZ), got back into a church groove somewhat, Elijah busted up his mouth and then had surgery to fix it, and we simply enjoyed spring time!!

And now its May….

And that’s where we are, sitting in the moments. Not wanting to forget but also not wanting the next 67% to race by. It’s a chance to still do something without feeling like you are too far gone. Travel, change jobs, shift relationships, get healthier, start a new bible study, start a new routine, learn self defense, learn sign language, nothing is too far out of reach when you are 33%. BUT it should create some urgency.

So what do you feel compelled and called to do, to start, to finish?! Where can you still set your gaze and go after it?

For me, the Chicago marathon is less than 5 months away, I’m dialing into training I never have before and its exciting and challenging. LOVE ATLANTA is in June which is another big “project” I get the opportunity to be involved with. We have a few trips on the horizon to see family and one to a place we have never been before. Jon is hiring and training people as he continues to grow in his new role, and his hopes to be able to shift focus back to music and create some demos! And of course, growing in our ability to parent Elijah is always at the forefront. I could go on and on about the ways we want to utilize the rest of 2021, but however it is for me or for you we are in this together.

And I am cheering you on!

Jordan

Las Vegas, Utah and Travel Journalism

Here’s the back story. In June of 2019 I was coming off a hard recovery from a procedure in April, my bloodwork was a mess: I was starting B12 shots, intense chiropractic care and I felt done. I ran the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, the year before I had toed the line right behind the contenders for the 10,000M National championship and had come in 43rd place (for women), but this year: I ran TERRIBLE – 6 minutes slower than the glorious year before. That’s a lot for a 10K. It was all too much, something had to change, and I had felt this urging in my soul.

Over the course of a few weeks I sat resolved to do what had been on my heart for years, run across the world… Sounds crazy, but let me explain. The best way to see God’s creation is on your own two feet – staring it head on, moving slow enough to actually be in awe. When we are moving through our day to day seeing the inside of office buildings and Starbucks it’s hard to get grasped in the awe of His majesty. So I wanted to document it. Everywhere I go I run, most of the time it leads me on the most beautiful of adventures, but occasionally my adventurous spirit gets me in a pickle (you’ll hear more about that below).

So in the middle of July 2019 I put in my two weeks notice to my family’s business I had been at for 7 years (but also my whole life because that’s how family business’s work), and geared up for what was next. Who knew, other than God, a week later I would find out I was pregnant and eight months later the world would shut down.

In the fall of 2019 we did it all, even with the morning sickness staying with me for the long haul. Maine, Boston, SoCal, two different parts of Florida. Running and documenting everywhere we went and loving it, but then 2020 hit. I had to stop running at 31 weeks, which was fine, we went to Florida at the beginning of February unknowing it would be the last time we travelled “normally” for the foreseeable future, and Elijah came into the world the same week we locked it all down in March.

What happened? Why did I feel called to leave a nice cushy job when this was on the horizon? Thankfully, the company I have LONG contracted for always has the door open for me and I continue to grow in skill and leadership there, but it sure looks different then what I envisioned. So what was/is God doing? How do you continue to move towards one thing you feel God has put on your heart, while being pulled in two other directions?

So in 2020, we set to do small, COVID safe trips in the Southeast and Elijah did great. Chattanooga, TN, Highlands, NC, Miramar Beach, FL, Disney, Lake Hartwell (several times), we learned each time but they weren’t terribly stressful. He was still tiny and immobile. Fast-forward to April 2021, we were all mostly vaccinated (everyone had at least 1 shot) and we decided to hop a cross country plane ride for a week long hiking excursion. It was time to get back on the road, but a squirmy very mobile 13 month old meant things had to change not only on our itinerary, but in my heart.

Heading west would mean the adventure of the year, but equally as much stretching. I furiously researched traveling with a toddler and came upon a few main themes: it’s hard, it’s worth it, be patient. And that is what I hung. my hat on. Along the way, though, I found one key piece of practical advice: rent baby equipment. One of the things I was least looking forward to was trying to remember and then lug all of his stuff through the airport. So I found this website called BabyQuip (https://www.babyquip.com) and other than the stroller to move E from place to place I rented his crib, toys, highchair, and hiking backpack. It costs a pretty penny, but for the ease it as 100% worth it. I would recommend it to everyone that is flying to their destination.

Patience. It was the theme that keeps me on a endless roller-coaster, I am not it, but God always finds ways to push me to the brink (in the best ways of course). So we got there, after a tumultuous first plane ride with Elijah, got unpacked, got the rentals situated and with the help of my family E had the BEST time. He was exhausted, and he loved it. Through Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Bryce Canyon, two days of Zion he took everything in, loved exploring and was happy to be on daddy’s back at eye level with everyone else. We used the Osprey pack to carry him in and it’s top of the line and rightfully so. 10/10 would recommend for active parents with littles. It also meant shorter hikes then we would have normally done both for Elijah and for the sake of Jon’s back (hello 98% percentile in weight). We wouldn’t have traded it, but we didn’t come back rested.

As for me, my family gave me moments to take off the mom hat – I got out for 30 minutes of high altitude running every day (we can go into why that’s important in training in another blog post), and as I mentioned earlier the 8 mile trail run that almost ended in disaster. Quick story: My dad, sister, BIL and I wanted to at least get one trail run in while we were there, so I found a trail down the street from our cabin that connected into the trail mom wanted to go see later that day. The Virgin River Rim is a 27 mile trail that is a literal rim of a canyon and we were only hitting a section of it. It’s BEAUTIFUL and on the rim was warm and perfect, however over the 7 miles we had to hop a snow mound or two when we went inward from the rim. At 7.2 we lost the trail, mom had just called to tell us the road to the trail she wanted to do was closed, the snow was 2 feet high and we were starting to get too cold, and our phone batteries were dipping fast. So those .8 miles became 2 miles searching for the nearest big trail and sliding down snow to get their – it was a sight and an emotional toll. Jon and I had one of those moments when we finally made it up to the road where we both ran at each other and embraced. It was cute. The views were worth it, but it’s best to stay off those trails until later in May after all the snow has melted.

All this to say, I think there are two big takeaways : Patience (oh have I mentioned that before) take the stretching as a joyful moment as much as you can, it means God is working and who doesn’t want that? And the other takeaway, we won’t stop traveling with him, but we will always have a getaway for just us two lined up. We are blessed with close family and for all the times I want to get him used to travel and the outdoors, but I want Jon and I to have a few moments where we aren’t coordinating nap time and meal times and how to control the fussy spell. I think holding both is important.

So where are we off to next? Actually all three of us will be in different places in May. I will take off for a solo birthday trip to Disney, Jon heads to Oklahoma for a work conference, and Elijah is getting some special time with Gigi and Papa. Here’s to some individual time and then back together for a trip to the mid-Atlantic in June.

So cheers to new rhythms and new lessons learned, and more writing about it all!

Jordan

Thoughts on ONE

  1. Time is fast and slow 
    In a year of COVID we were together way more than we would have anticipated. Not say we planned on being absent, but date nights with a babysitter would have been more common, kids ministry would have been more prevalent. This was just not the case, and we are better for it!
  2. God will let you know what you’re supposed to know when you’re supposed to know it. 
    There is so much, and honestly too much emphasis and rhetoric around new parents proclaiming they have no idea what they are doing. It really isn’t the case. Yes it’s hard, yes you are learning, but God didn’t just abandon ship for new parents. He give you the insight you need to make the next best choice, yes it’s great to have a support system around and it’s useful, but you will never ever be left in the “I do not know what I am doing” space.
  3. There is never a regret from spending a lot of time together 
    In a world where we take pride in busyness of schedule and how many trips we can take. Yes your marriage comes first, but I am not going to be saying yes to as many things as possible to prove I can be both parent and super woman. That’s not how life truly works. Instead I am working on saying “yes” to the things that really matter and trusting that people understand if I have to say “no”. Likewise, I am setting time to just sit with E EVERY SINGLE DAY where he gets the best and most engaged version of me.
  4. Adventuring with a babe is hard but 💯 worth it 
    I know a few people who just stopped when they had kids. They stopped going places whether local or beyond, but that is not how we are choosing to raise Elijah. While Jon and I fully plan to have some trips just the two of us, we also plan (and already have) invited Elijah into all the adventures we take. Yes it takes planning and a whole lot of patience. You have to learn how to do car rides and days have to look less structured. However, between Disney, beaches, hikes and everything in between we have NEVER regretted inviting him into those memories.
  5. I always said I wouldn’t be the mom that threw some big 1st birthday bash, but we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow so celebrate however you want aka I’m so glad I did! 
    In all honesty it sounded silly, why does a one year old care about a birthday party. Well, they don’t BUT in a year where I mourned and grieved all the firsts I thought would be I decided to invite people into a moment that overcame all of that. Even though we hadn’t seen so many of those that came but a handful of times (when normally we would seem them AT LEAST once a week), it rallied our loved ones – safely outside and masked – to just celebrate the fact that no matter how much we seemingly missed in a year, the enemy doesn’t get to win. God is still victorious sitting on His throne and if it meant a one year olds birthday party to remind us that then it’s well worth the craziness of putting it together.

So cheers to Elijah being one and every precious memory it holds.

It’s a Nice Place Holder

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is coming to a close and I’ve read posts, articles, watched videos, and ultimately done a lot of self reflection from the past 4+ years of this being a part of my story.

A year ago I was sitting outside in downtown Atlanta with some of my best friends watching the Olympic Marathon Trials, 9 months pregnant but not having a care in the world. Pregnancy taught me so much in the realm of fueling my body properly after years of getting back on the tracks and I have been feeling good in general, but after this past week I remember there may never be finality in recovery. So here’s the honest truth: this week was the hardest I have had in a quite some time.

Oh, I am thankful to be a part of the running community, I believe I have purpose here, BUT its also a community that is susceptible to the enemies lies that we just aren’t good enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough to have influence, be fast enough, insert your place holder here. And maybe it’s the combination that at exactly 11 months postpartum I hit pre-baby weight and it felt like an overwhelm of this new journey beginning. Maybe it was an unfortunate culmination of several things including the intensity of social media during the pandemic. Or maybe it was a gift? As odd as it sounds…

Remembering that longevity, staying in the fight, being there for people around you never “finishes” you hopefully only get wiser, more trustworthy, build capacity to keep moving forward – with everyone – together.

So National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2021 was a nice place holder for life, for the journey, and a great reminder that we are all in this indefinitely but for something far more beautiful: freedom and confidence that God designed us mentally and physically with careful consideration and beauty galore and the enemy can NEVER take that away. This isn’t meant to be discouraging, but encouraging in the ability to fight harder, stronger, and towards freedom.

A Risk Not Worth Taking

Gosh, I saw this prompt and thought as a new mom for the entirety of a pandemic (to the week) this has been a theme in my life. We love to travel, I love to run, and we love being together with our people, BUT we have a little guy who has ben relying on me minute by minute and we have high risk family members so where do we draw the line?

It was easier to navigate at the beginning of E’s life because we were too exhausted to think about much, and my hormones were so all over the place I got to have a final say a lot of the times. And when the cases dropped late summer and early fall we felt ok traveling on a small scale to see new places. We set boundaries, no indoor dining except for the very early morning breakfast shift at Disney because not many people are up at 6:30 with a 7 month old on vacation. We said no to anywhere we needed to fly. We only rented places that had advanced cleaning protocols in place. We drew a line in the sand. For me it meant no group runs, and the one race I did that did not implement strict COVID protocols felt too risky.

But now it’s hard. E is turning 1 next month, we want to do a blow out. We are ready to travel again as cases start to drop, I want to do races which come with its own logistical nightmare. Jon has to go in more for work with his new promotion, I need a little bit more care with my running load. And now Elijah is at school some during the week. The amount of variables even for this Enneagram Eight is a lot to navigate. Oh and did I mention we still have those high risk family members that don’t want to miss out completely on E’s first year.

Maybe this isn’t about a risk not worth taking, but more about the reality that every day has 10 variables you can see and 60 you can’t. It doesn’t make planning fun like it used to, but that fact has helped me stay more grounded in the present. So whether it’s a risk you do or a risk you don’t, maybe we can all agree to live more presently and we can take that with us after the pandemic is over. If we don’t, we miss some of what God has for us in the details he cares so much about.