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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

One Year in Toronto: It's a . . . BLOG!

At 35 weeks, the doctor had performed the last of my ultrasounds on a Friday morning in the middle of January. “You’re ready to go anytime!" The twins were born the following morning, both fully cooked at five pounds. Andrew slid through the birth canal before the doctor was fully scrubbed up. “Stop laughing!” he ordered me severely. But after Andrew had made his crash landing, the minutes ticked by, and the assembled teams of doctors and nurses for Baby A and Baby B stood silently, listening worriedly to the monitored heart rate of Baby B. We held our collective breath when the pace slowed like a tired mule, thump . . . thump, exhaled relief when it galloped again, thump-thump-thump-thump. An hour of listening, an hour of tense, quiet conversations between my obstetrician and the anesthesiologist, and finally Colin was born by C-section, the umbilical cord looped around his waist and over his shoulder, his little fingers clutching it with Colin-like intensity. * * * * *

Seven months ago, a blog was born with the fanfare of  Mark Zuckerberg’s recent wedding. I sent birth announcements to four people, one of whom was my husband.

I’ve been writing since I was little girl. My first hopes were of publishing books modeled after the Wakefield twins in the Sweet Valley High Series. I wrote in college, wrote in graduate school, used to teach writing (badly, I might add), and for eight years, have been writing for a devotional publication called Today in the Word.

The writing’s been cooked, but it would require strong Hands to wrestle it from fear.

I have had every hesitation why I would never, NEVER, write in so public and intimate space as this blog where I would have to hang my gauzy curtains of self-disclosure. You would stop by unannounced, and I’d be wearing the shorts that, according to my daughter, make my butt look big.

At least let me get some lip gloss on.

Bravery isn’t born in a womb, and heroes aren’t covered in vernix. You want to be brave, well, step out into this big world and call your hello. Stand on your wobbly legs, and declare how you love someone. Or have been loved. Open your eyes wide, and absorb the colors and light and feel of the cold air. Let someone hold you, and suckle on grace.

Toronto, Ontario. A blog is born.

Why do I write?

I write to stay awake and notice when he’s wearing his sister’s pink soccer cleats. Writing helps me laugh. I write to remind myself, to keep better records, and plug these holes of memory. I write to retrieve the waters of goodness and to make myself permeable. I write to cry and cry because I’m writing, and when I’m through with that, I’ll tell myself how stupid this is and go fold laundry instead, planning my application for a job at the library where I’ll shelve the books that have already been written. I write to dig my heels stubbornly into grace and preach the sermons I most need to hear. I write to drop my pants, and when the doctor makes his awkward examination, I’ll stare at the ceiling. We’ll talk hockey. I write to undo and unravel and thread together some semblance of compassion and belief.

I write for me, I write for Jesus. And by grace, I can also write for you.