Life begins and ends with a breath. In between, there are literally millions of breaths that we will take. Most of them ordinary, most unconscious and unnoticed and the great majority of them unfortunately somewhat shallow.
But then there are moments in life that take our breath away - The joy of a bridegroom as he watches his bride walking down the isle, each step taken a step closer to their life together; hearing the long awaited cry of your firstborn, and your second and your third; watching a wild cottontail bunny scamper across your garden, his white tail flashing in the sunlight; the first sight of the robin's red breast appearing after a long hard winter, the sound of waves lapping the shore as seagulls fly overhead........
And then there are moments which knock the breath out of us - the call in the middle of the night that our only child has just been killed in a car accident; sitting across from the doctor trying to comprehend the news that we are infertile and cannot ever bear children; or that the child that we finally did conceive was miscarried sometime in the middle of the night; the sudden loss of our husband of 35 years to a heart attack, leaving us in the unexpected, unwanted place of widowhood. Hearing the words that all women dread to hear - "you have breast cancer"; or learning that we will have to live with an incurable chronic illness; or that we are dying from a terminal one; feeling that all too familiar feeling of helplessness as we draw in a series of breaths each time our child has to have another IV put in for another round of chemo as they bravely battle the big C; Or being engulfed with despair as we watch our home and all our worldly possessions going up in flames in the middle of the night, or being swept away by the tide in the aftermath of a hurricane.
The blog posts that follow are about learning to breathe again; whether you have been in the habit of unconsciously taking in a serious of shallow breaths, or you have had the breath knocked out of you.
It is about learning to deeply inhale the extraordinary gifts of God, through his Grace, amid the otherwise ordinary days.
It is a lesson I am learning to practice in my own life, in response to battles that I am personally fighting with moments that take my breath away.
It is a lesson I HAVE to learn - just to survive on some days - and in order to thrive on others.
I am ever so grateful for the whispers of the Holy Spirit comforting me each day with the reminder to "Breathe, Just Breathe."
I pray that these writings will open up to you God's gift of breath, and that by so doing you will begin to experience anew the grace and mercy of God in Christ and the extraordinary gifts He has waiting for you to breathe in on ordinary days as you begin to learn to "Breathe, Just Breathe."
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