Fall greetings to you, dear reader. This is my first opportunity to write after returning from maternity leave.
I’m still finding my way as our family adjusts and I start the rhythm of working again. While there are sure to be ups and downs, I’ve felt truly grateful to come back to work with a team and organization that have supported me during this time.
It isn’t every organization that offers support for parents when children come into their lives. Really, in the United States it is a rarity.
I can’t help but be a bit sentimental during this time. One could blame the hormones, but I think it’s more than that. These times of new life and great transition are uniquely able to remind us of the most precious parts of our lives — even when they are challenging.
The growth of my family reminds me of one of my favorite similes: Writing is like giving birth. A colleague of mine once compared one of their written assignments to giving birth — and I couldn’t fully appreciate the thought until I had given birth myself. Now I find it difficult to think of another comparison so fitting.
After two children and working with words for most of my career, I’m in awe of my Anabaptist World editors and team who day in and out put words to page and share it with the rest of us. It is a labor of love, but not without its pains.
The novelist Flannery O’Connor made the connection between writing and birthing even more colorfully: “Writing is like giving birth to a piano sideways. Anyone who perseveres is either talented or nuts.”
I’d like to believe we fall on the talented side, but I also realize two things can be true at the same time.
I hope you enjoy the variety of pieces in this issue as much as I did. While on leave, I read the magazine like you do, not knowing in advance what to expect. This is one of our issues with feature articles on several topics rather than a theme.
I’ve been chewing on a thought from Tim Huber’s story on Seattle Mennonite Church’s vision for property development on page 8. Describing a discernment process, Pastor Megan Ramer said the congregation used jubilee — the biblical concept of mercy and justice related to ownership of land and property — as their lens. I’ve been wondering what else might be impacted in our work and lives if this was our daily practice.
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