Taking a knee

Aug 26

As a coach I learned that when you take a knee, it engages a different part of your brain: one that deals with balance and concentration.  Coaches often have their players take a knee when they want them to listen to the pre-game strategy session.  Some athletes choose to take a knee and pray before they head out to the field.  It’s a moment of quietude, a shifting of the momentum, and a settling of the spirit.

I love the analogy of taking a knee as we head into a new school year.  I want to balance my priorities and to concentrate on what matters.

Last week I sent Maren off for her first day of first grade.  I might be the only mama out there who thought: whew, we made it.  Last year when I sent her off to school, I didn’t know whether I would ever be cancer-free.  After this year, I live in hopeful expectation of fifteen more years of first days of school while my babies are at home with me.  As those numbers tick down in the coming years: fourteen, thirteen, twelve,… I will be praying gratefully: Thank you Lord for letting me be here to mother them on these days.  On these milestone days, these momentus days, I have to work on that little niggling worry that lingers: what if…

“What if…” thoughts are the ones that I immediately cut off.  I choose to ignore the worry, to shove down the fear, to shake off the anxiety.  I acknowledge the fear, the risk, the statistics, and then I take a knee.

I ask God to help me to focus on what matters and to live in the present.  I am living cancer free, but also free of those things cancer carries with it: fear, anxiety, dread, worry, blah, blah, blah.  I am winning the physical battle, and I take a knee to honor the mental battle.  The value in my life does not actually come from the fact that there are no cancer cells in me (though I am really, really happy about that).  The value in my life comes from how I honor God, my family, and my friends as I go about my day.  Happily, that’s also the part that I can control.  My circumstances will come and go and shift like sand, it is my interaction with the circumstances that determines the joy in my life.

Today, I’m taking a knee to pause and be grateful.

I rise to stand on my faith.  Lord, give me strength.


  1. Sue Nitz /

    Beautiful Jen!!

  2. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Beautifully said…and lived. Thank you sweet girl!

  3. “Taking a knee” now has a brand new meaning for me. I love your consistent, unwavering gratitude. So inspiring!!

  4. Alicia White /


  5. Beautifully written!!! You speak the truth so eloquently, and “Yes”, it is good to know you have these fears, you are human there, but your solution is more than I can ever give you. Your Faith is is Your Rock! Well Done!

    • Such a powerful post. Your last paragraph rings so true I read it three times. Thank you for being the reminder of how to be focused on the good and the pure and the love and not brought down by our worldly fears. Thank you for inspiring me to live better and for the now every time I read your posts.

      Also, Cheers to the magic of first grade!!!

  6. Jen, you are so inspiring! My sister-in-law referred me to your blog after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. I relate to SO many things you say. In fact, sometimes I think we could be the same person based on the way we think! I also decided to blog about my experiences in hopes of communicating what living through cancer is like as as a young mom (I like to think I’m young!) of 4 kids. Today I finished #3/12 Herceptin/Taxol (already completed 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin). I take a knee and like you, will focus on what matters while I kick the cancer and wait in hope and prayer to be able to one day classify myself as NED like you! Thank you for this post and ALL your posts! YOU are amazing!!!

  7. Newbe friend /

    Oh Jen love your post, helps me to know that I am not alone in my fears. Yes our faith is the rock upon which we stand. Take a knee… And give thanks. Enjoy your day!