Kendra: “My massage therapist says I’m doing so well after having a baby, we can have as many babies as we want.”
Anika: “You should have three sets of twins.”
Ben: “Oh boy, Mommy and I better get to work on that.”
Anika (mischievously): “Good luck!!”
Kaylia (innocently): “We are NOT helping you with that.”
And so I find myself in an interesting place in my life. I’ve spent the last 12 years either longing for a baby, praying for one, anticipating the arrival of one, or caring for one. What most families do in a handful of years took a lot longer for us, but our family is finally complete.
I knew it was complete the day I started dreaming about the future – I’ve been stuck in “baby mode” for a long, long time. Because I wanted another baby so badly, my thoughts kept going back to that, rather than looking ahead to what the future might hold.
It is amazing to be set free!
And now I have no idea what comes next. I was longing for the impossible, and now it’s happened! How do you come up with new dreams after that?!
I went to see both my physio and massage therapists in the last couple of weeks, and both were amazed with how I’ve recovered from pregnancy and labor. They’ve both worked with me for a number of years, and know what issues I’ve dealt with in the past. Considering where I’ve come from, along with the fact that I had a difficult delivery with Everett, I’m doing really well.
When my labor started, Everett was face up, but part way through, he turned to the side, which is the hardest way to deliver a baby. In many cases, it just doesn’t work at all, leading to broken pelvic bones or C-sections. My physiotherapist said she’s only worked with one other woman who’s delivered a baby that way, and the woman suffered a lot of damage to her body.
This boggles my mind, because I wasn’t even supposed to be strong enough to have another baby! In addition to all that, I slipped a week before going into labor, and re-injured a bunch of muscles needed for getting this sweet baby out.
And yet everything went amazingly well! How is this even possible??!!
God is so amazing! Able to do more than we ask or imagine. I have absolutely no idea what adventure might be next for our family.
I daydream about getting strong enough for family bike rides, and playing soccer in the backyard, and we should really get a basketball hoop set up on our driveway…. I dream about hiking and camping and.. I don’t know, anything active that might pop into my head to do, with nothing holding me back! I’m not there yet, but anything seems possible!
Well, it did. Until I went for some kind of new Japanese massage last month. I like trying new things, and this type of massage was highly recommended, so I gave it a go. At the end of it, I asked the massage therapist what his assessment was of the issues in my body.
His answer: “There’s just not enough of you. You and I are both trying to live life, but there’s three times as much of me. You just don’t have the strength for doing what comes easily to someone like me. But that’s okay – you’ll just never be a bodybuilder.”
In a way, it was nice to hear that he didn’t think there was anything terribly wrong with me. And I’ve never wanted to be a bodybuilder. But I left feeling kind of deflated. I had thought anything was possible, but suddenly, I was seeing myself as small and weak and limited again.
I let those words sit in my head for a few weeks, but yesterday I decided to ask my regular massage therapist about it. I like his response much better!
His answer: “It depends on your mindset. It depends on how you exercise, how you eat, how you think, and what you want for your future. The things you want for your life are all within your grasp.” (He knows I don’t want to be a bodybuilder!)
And I started dreaming again. You see, I went to see Cirque du Soleil a few years ago, and there was one performer who was TINY!! She must have been well under 5 feet tall, but she was STRONG! She moved with such great fluidity, strength, grace, stability and confidence, she made me believe tiny bodies are capable of great things.
I don’t want to be a circus performer or anything, but I want to do the best with what I’ve got.
A friend of ours was recently lamenting over how his body started falling apart at 40. After listening to him for awhile, I informed him that my best years are still ahead of me. He laughed and laughed, but he didn’t know I was completely serious.
I spent my 20’s dealing with weakness and sickness. I’ve spent a good chunk of my 30’s figuring out how to work hard and trust God for healing, and I plan to spend many more years reaping the benefits of what I’ve learned and the great progress I’ve made.
Realistically, I know this body isn’t meant to last forever.
Culturally, I’ve already missed “the best years of my life”.
I’m going to pretend I’m living in the culture my massage therapist told me about.
Somewhere in South America, there was a people group living in villages spaced widely apart in the mountains. They needed to get from village to village to trade things, and so they had many runners who would go back and forth between villages. The young men were amazing runners. The middle aged men were even better runners. But the old men? They could run far better than anyone else.
In their culture, they believed people got better with age.
I believe God made our bodies to work well, and sometimes things go wrong that we can’t control, but a lot of the time, we do our part to mess things up – through stress, food, lack of exercise, whatever. I’m ready to work hard, do my part, and stop messing up what God’s given me.
I want to be ready for whatever He sends my way. I want the strength to fully enjoy the life He’s blessing me with. That may not include miraculous health for as long as I live, but I’m going to do my part.