Honor

Noun

1. High respect or esteem

2. A privilege

Verb

1. Regard with great respect

2. Fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement)


The concept of “honoring my body” first came to me as I was nursing a running injury that had threw a monkey wrench in my training for my latest half marathon. It started in mile 3 of a planned 10 mile run when I began to feel some discomfort in my right knee. By mile 3.5 it was full blown pain, effecting my stride. Thoughts swirled in my head as I calculated what I call “runner’s math”. If I turned around and ran back to the car I would have run 7 miles. My plan was for 10 and the difference between those 2 distances was only “really” a mile and a half. My runner followers, you are picking up what I’m putting down?? So I pushed myself through those 10 miles and then couldn’t walk the next morning. My training plan was officially in the trash and I was going to show up at the start line for the Mini undertrained and injured. All because I chose not to honor my body that one Saturday morning on the Monon.

Fast forward a week and I’m taking my children to their six month dental cleaning. Everyone is complaining about the fluoride treatment, how they hate it, how they want me to ask them not to apply that “yuckiness” to their pearly whites. Rather than extolling the benefits of proper oral health, I simply asked if that decision honored their bodies. Blank stares. Huh? So I began to explain how we were only given this one body to use in our time here on Earth. The Lord created a perfect place for our tender souls to inhabit and we had a great responsibility, an obligation, to do all we could to care for it.  Including a fluoride treatment every 6 months.

The boys went back to discussing disgusting bodily functions but Ava’s interested was caught. “Is that why you make us eat healthy snacks?” Yes. “Is that why you make us go to bed early?” Yes. I talked with her about my injury. She had seen me foam roll, stretch, and cry one morning after a painful 2 mile jog. I shared how my decision not to honor my body on that one training run impacts so much more than those miles. And how decisions we make today will impact our future. How we must honor our bodies today so that it can be healthy and strong and ready for the adventures that lie before us as we grow.

Honor. As the mother of two little girls, I think of all the ways that I chose not to honor my body when I was younger. I recognize all the pressure our society, media, other women place on one another to conform their bodies to what “we” consider beautiful. I wonder how to instill in my daughters the idea that their bodies are a sacred privilege. One that should be honored. Honored with good food, exercise, stillness and rest. Honored with prayer, gratitude and grace.

I decided to craft this bracelet as a reminder to choose to honor my body. Whether that means nutrition, exercise, rest, sleep, prayer, meditation, tears, laughter.

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The last letter I hammered into the metal was the “H” and as I pulled the stamp away I saw that I had accidentally held the “H” the wrong way. My first thought was to toss the thing and start again. But then I paused and realized that sideways “H” served an even bigger reminder. To honor my mistakes. Honor the bad choices. Honor the times that I didn’t choose to think of my body as a sacred privilege. We can learn much from those mistakes. I believe I can learn more about myself when I trip and fall than I can when I stand tall. So I now I wear my sideways “H” honor bracelet between my Fitbit and Mudlove “prayer” bracelet as a reminder to honor my body with health, prayer, and forgiveness. I wish you all the same.

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