I Shall Be A Champion of Freedom and Justice

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By Stephanie Sauer | @stephaniesauer1

M_Stephanie

“I shall be a Champion of Freedom and Justice.”

“I shall build a more peaceful world.”

I’m a 39-year-old mother of three. Seven months ago, I started Taekwondo training with my seven-year-old son, Jacob. Talk about getting out of my comfort zone! Even after seven months of training, I still have to resist the urge to apologize when I practice sparring with someone. Spending two hours a week learning how to fight is like an out of body experience for this quiet, peaceful introvert. However, thinking that’s all there was to it would be missing the point.

The two quotes at the top are from the Taekwondo Student’s Oath, which we say at the start of every class. To me, they resemble the themes of sermons I have heard at Church.

The tenets of Taekwondo are: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. They remind me of 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self control.”

I am accustomed to those themes being combined with volunteering in Kids Church or through demonstrating Christian values in the workplace. For the first time in my life, they are combined with side piercing kicks and backhand strikes. I have to admit: I absolutely love it.

I love that my son sees his Mom as a sparring partner, willing to step out of her comfort zone and trying something new.

I love learning that my body is powerful. That God made me a little tougher than I originally thought, able to throw a punch and take one.

I love that, as a mother of three boys, I don’t have to be sidelined playing chauffeur–we can enjoy new experiences and challenges together, even if it means looking and feeling foolish some days.

I love that my husband, a church elder, cheers me on when I test for my next belt level.

I love that I’m not the only mom in the class training with her son, alongside fathers training with their daughters.

I love that my son, who is all about truth, justice and fighting bad guys, sees women as equal partners in that mission. We both have aspirations to be Jesus-loving ninjas when we grow up.

Learning Taekwondo isn’t the most life-changing experience I’ve ever had or the greatest calling God has placed on my life. At this moment though, it does speak to Idelette’s Dangerous Woman Declaration.

Breaking down boundaries and refusing to be afraid isn’t something you do just once in your life. It might show up in one big defining moment, but it probably won’t end there. It’s a new map through which you view the world and filter every decision and every choice.

In my life, being a Dangerous Woman empowered by God has consistently meant stepping out of my comfort zone. In my twenties, God led me to take a new job which moved me across the country. In my thirties, it meant my family wasn’t complete with two sons; there was a little boy who still needed to be adopted and brought home.

Right now, stepping out of my comfort zone means strapping on my own personal fight gear and embracing a closer relationship with Jacob. It means being a role model to my sons that Christian women do not just quietly love and serve, but are also smart, strong, brave, capable and equal. It means showing them we can be champions of freedom and justice, building a more peaceful world together. Mother and son. Side by side.

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Image credit: Koreanet

About Stephanie:

Stepahnie Sauer bio photo #2

I am a Dangerous Woman inspired by God. I am also a wonderfully happy wife, mother and successful business woman, who believes women can “have it all.” I am happy by choice, because balancing life’s demands is not always easy. My favorite quotes are, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” (Eleanor Roosevelt) and “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” (Helen Keller). I love playing outside with my family in the beautiful Lower Mainland of BC, traveling, snowboarding, running, and watching movies.

 

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  • Lisha Epperson

    Jesus loving ninja. I love that. Warrior on mama.

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Thanks Lisha! I appreciate the encouragement!

  • Bev Murrill

    Ooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I love this!!! I love love love when we know how much we have on the inside… just needs bringing out, doesn’t it!!! Good on you, Girl!!!

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Thanks Bev! The instructor recently said that he likes seeing us women train because we celebrate every win and encourage each other. Just like here on SheLoves. Thanks for cheering me on!

  • Nicole A. Joshua

    How inspiring! Thank you Stephanie. Your post is a breath of fresh air 🙂

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Thanks Nicole! I appreciate your kind words!

  • The student’s oath and the tenets of taekwondo sound like a foundation to build a life on. I love that you are experiencing this beside your son.

    • Stephanie Sauer

      That’s been amazing for me also – sharing this with Jacob. He is accustomed to his mom teaching him things. To start from square one and learn together, be students together, is really amazing. Thanks Michele for your comments!

  • M bay

    Amazing Stephanie for getting out of your comfort zone- embrace your relationship with Jacob and your new Jesus loving ninja aspirations. You are definitely one strong women I look up to!

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Thank you Mina! I so appreciate your kind words and your friendship. I have a lot of respect for you also and am so glad we’ve gotten to know each other!

  • Lauren Ward

    This is so inspirational!! Being champions of freedom and justice–amen.

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Thanks Lauren! That means a lot to me that you find it inspirational. Idelette’s Dangerous Woman Declaration inspired me to write.

  • Jamie

    What an awesome example to your son and all the kids in the class that women are fighters too (in the best sense of word!)

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Thanks Jamie for your encouragement! Its so true that often that word has only negative connotations, but its been an enlightening experience for me to train. The kids (boys and girls) enjoy seeing the moms there and respect that we can hold our own.

  • DJ Brown

    Fun to forward your story to my daughter who also enjoyed learning TKD with her son. Thank you, and more power to you as one of God’s ninja’s!

    • Stephanie Sauer

      I love that your daughter has had a similar experience! I think there is a growing trend of moms saying “I’d like to try that too.” Thank you for your encouragement!

  • pastordt

    LOVE this story so much! Thank you for sharing it here. Dangerous women do fun things, too!

    • Stephanie Sauer

      We certainly do! Thank you so much for your kind words.

  • Thanks for this! Brought up memories from seventh grade when my sister and I took Shao Lin Martial Arts classes with our dad. While neither of us pursued it in depth, it is a love of my father’s that was so nice to share with him! And I like surprising people I meet by telling them I have my brown belt. 🙂

    • Stephanie Sauer

      Congratulations on getting your brown belt! It must be fun to throw that fact out there every now and then! 🙂 Wonderful that you had a chance to experience that with your father. Thank you for sharing!