Breathe, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Focus

Breathe: When We Can’t Breathe Deeply


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—BREATHE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


When I saw tonight’s word, it just opened up a space in my heart. After a busy, busy month, I am having to remember how to breathe. So, here’s tonight’s offering:

I’ve been breathing in short shallow breaths as if my soul has forgotten how to inhale deeply.

After two very busy, totally nonstop months, my lungs are trying to remember what it’s like to just breathe deep.

It’s easy to settle for the shallow when that’s all I can focus on. Hubs’ travels, a little bit of sickness. A few minor health procedures coming up.

Some days I can’t even poke my head above the ocean of the to-do list and look around at the beauty in my world. Too many appointments to get to.

Boys assignments to check up on.

House things to take care of.

God wants us to breathe deep.

I’m trying to be intentional about breathing. This is the only way the deep breaths will come.


I can rush through my day, focused on the urgent . . .

or I can slow down even if just for a few minutes and focus on the necessary.

The urgent…it will always be there.

The housework.

The homework.

The phone calls.


The necessary? This is the better thing. 

My spirit craves those still moments with Jesus.

Sometimes I can’t stop the busyness that finds its way into my days.

But I can control how I respond to it. 

Do all things have to be done today?

Maybe not.

At the beginning of each day, I need to be breathing in God’s living Word. I need to be breathing out praise to Him.

I may not get an hour with Him. I may not even get thirty minutes with Him.

But, I need to BE with Him. Daily. No interruptions.

It’s only as I spend time with Jesus that I am able to do more than suck in the shallow.

It’s only when my heart is still before Him that I can soak in the necessary.

That I can embrace and cling to His presence with me in my days.



It’s when I take time to breathe in His truth, His encouragement, His love that I am able to choose deep breaths during the rest of my day.

What about you? How do you slow down to breathe during the busy days? What reminds you to slow down long enough to breathe deeply?

Click to Tweet: I need to be breathing in God’s living Word.

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Heading Home Five Minute Friday—Breathe

28 thoughts on “Breathe: When We Can’t Breathe Deeply”

  1. Great post, Jeanne, and some solid wisdom here.

    I’m in a bit if a different position tonight – I literally can’t breathe deeply, and have a lot of chest pain to go with it. My heart’s slowing down to a pulse of about 45, and skips every six beats or so. Rather uncomfortable.

    But it is a reminder that, when this passes, I should take the time to breathe deeply, and savour every breath, because I never can know which one will be my last.

    And when that last breath comes, I shall fully know God’s Grace and Love.


    1. Andrew, I knew you would be the exception to this post. I’m praying for you often and daily, my friend. And yes, regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we should savor each and every breath. Thank you for that reality reminder.


    1. Tara, this is one of my favorite verses. I pray it almost every night as I’m trying to fall asleep. There is so much hope in this. When we can be still and truly KNOW that He is GOD? There’s a resting place, a breathing place, yes?


  2. Focus on the necessary and the needful hats wisdom, Jeanne. To pace down and learn to breathe.
    Have a great weekend


  3. When I have to ask, “How’d we get to February so fast?” I know I have not slowed down to spend quality time with my Lord. Sometimes I’ll use drive time as prayer time, just talking to God about different things, but I must delve into quiet time with Him more. This alone guides my time into a God anointed day.


    1. I know, Mom! January flew past our house too. I’ve been using drive time to pray, as well. But there’s something so refreshing about spending focused time with God in His word, isn’t there? I hope you get some good quiet time with Him in this coming week!


    1. We do need to remember more often, Annette! You’re right. We can breathe deeply even in the busy seasons if we keep the Main Thing the main thing. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂


  4. Amen, Jeanne. A lot of what you said I read in Ann Ortlund’s book “Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman,” which was given me by a fellow blogger. It has helped me learn to breathe deeply more often. Thanks for sharing. Praying you can find that daily time to just experience stillness. Blessings!


    1. Oh, Meg, I haven’t read that book in years. We need to learn and make it a discipline to breathe deeply, don’t we? As part of learning more about my one word for the year (Intentional), God has been helping me to make sure I spend time with Him daily. I have been good about this in the past but this school year has really rocked my schedule, somehow. Thanks for those prayers. 🙂 And for stopping by!


  5. Amen, Amen, Amen!!
    “I can rush through my day, focused on the urgent . . .
    or I can slow down even if just for a few minutes and focus on the necessary.”
    My word last year was REST and, boy, did I learn a lot about how I was spending my day: In the urgent and not the necessary. Great post, Jeanne! I need to hear this truth everyday 🙂


    1. Mandy, what a GREAT word to focus on! Rest! I won’t be surprised if God gives me that one one of these years. 🙂 Breathe was actually my one word a few years ago. I learned a lot that year, and I began to see the importance of resting. May we both be intentional about living these truths out daily. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great word, Laura! And yes, so many times, we have to choose to walk out truths and concepts, don’t we? It won’t just happen for us. I’m guessing God’s going to do some beautiful work in your life to enable you to lchoose peace more easily. I’m so glad you shared!


  6. How true that we adjust to breathing shallow. Yet, it results is fatigue. “It’s when I take time to breathe in His truth, His encouragement, His love that I am able to choose deep breaths during the rest of my day.” I have been working on focusing on the necessary rather than the urgent. My anxiety deceives me so I take a pause and evaluate. I feel much more refreshed when I can take full breaths.


    1. Stephanie, the whole thought that we do adjust to breathing shallow is what I had to unlearn the year my one word was Breathe. 🙂 It’s a hard habit to break because of all the change that is required, isn’t it? When you throw anxiety into the mix makes choosing deep breaths harder. I love that you take a pause and evaluate. Such good advice. 🙂


  7. Yes, this is the key isn’t it? “But, I need to BE with Him. Daily.” Being aware of His presence. Breathing Him in. Thanks for sharing! I was breathing deeper just reading this. 🙂


  8. “At the beginning of each day, I need to be breathing in God’s living Word. I need to be breathing out praise to Him.”
    This is so true. I am discovering more and more each day that I need to begin my day with God. For a long time I was ending my day with God. It is not a bad thing, but starting with God gives me so much more of what I need.
    Great post Jeanne.


    1. Kelly, beginning each day with God is crucial. Sometimes, I don’t get that time with Him until after I drop the boys off at school. But, I’ve been more intentional about not getting onto my computer until I’ve been in His word. 🙂 I hope you have a great day!


  9. Breathing is an amazing thing…I spent about 5 years doing it wrong and ended up with horrible health problems–even though I was daily breathing in time with God. I have since learned that I need to breathe Him in, and actually breathe ;).


    1. You’re so right, Anita. Breathing IS an amazing thing! You’re right that we need to make sure we’re breathing properly in a physical sense. It’s surprising how important this is! Yes, actually BREATHING is pretty important. 🙂 Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. 🙂


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