Last fall, as life’s stresses kept me in an adrenaline-running mode, I found myself breathing shallow breaths rather than replenishing my lungs and my body with deep breaths. At times, my breathing was shallow enough that I hardly inhaled any air, much less filled my lungs to capacity.
I breathed in shallow breaths spiritually as well. I gave the little I had to the Lord in my daily quiet times. I received what I could from Him. But it was hindered, limited by stress.
As I read and meditated on the Word, my thoughts were distracted by tasks demanding attention. Or the arguments I’d had with one or both boys that morning.
Somehow, instead of trusting the Lord to accomplish all the to-do’s on my list, I shifted to relying on myself. Instead of leaving my times with the Lord refreshed, it became something I marked off my daily list. I was depleted physically and spiritually.
I forgot how to breathe deeply of the air around me, and of God’s surrounding grace.
In October, I began to pray about my One Word to focus on in 2015. I sifted through various words as I waited for direction. In December, the word that kept impressing itself onto my heart was BREATHE.
To really breathe . . . the air around me, the ever-near presence of my Father.
I don’t know all that the Lord has for me to learn and to live out regarding this word. I do know He wants me to slow down, to learn to savor the relationships in my life, the beauty He’s placed around me. And most of all, His presence.
Rather than multi-tasking and trying to accomplish more than is humanly- or at least Jeanne-possible, He wants me to work on breathing in each moment, even if that means crossing fewer items off my to-do list.
I sense I’m going to re-learn how to organize my days and my life so I’m not pushed from one task into the next. Instead, I’ll be preparing ahead of time so I’m open to changes God may make in my daily schedule. I’ll focus on the priorities God’s placed on my heart and allow some of the tyranny of the urgent to slip by the wayside.
I’m certain God has other lessons and new life patterns for me to begin living.
I’m anticipating all He has to teach me this year about this one word.
My focus verse is: Psalm 27:14 (NKJV) ~ “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”
As I wait on the Lord, I will choose to breathe deeply and to trust Him in every moment of this year.
What about you? Are you focusing on one word for this year? If so, what is it? How do you re-start at the beginning of a new year? How do you breathe in the stressful seasons in your life?