Just Breathe

So, I’ve had a pretty emotional few days and wondered what in the world I was going to write about today because I’m still in an emotional roller coaster. I decided to just write what was on my mind:

Sometimes life sucks.

Something unexpected happens and pulls the rug out from under your feet. Or something not so pleasant happens that you know is going to happen and it still sucks.

So what are we to do?!?!

My advice is to just breathe.

Breathe in the breath of God.

In Genesis 2:7 it says,

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Without God’s breath this man would not have come alive. AND, it is the same today. Every single being comes to life with the breath of God.

Have you ever heard a baby take its first breath and cry? Guess what?!?! God did that! He breathed His breath into that little, precious miracle.

In addition, every single breath we take we are filling ourselves with the breath of God. Imagine that resurrection power entering our nostrils, traveling to the lungs, entering the blood stream, and what that power is capable of. 🤔

Johnny Diaz sings a song called, Just Breathe, that is such a good reminder for me.

Last week I posted a video on my Facebook page about anxiety. And in that video I discuss one way of breathing to help calm anxiety. And sometimes we could use to focus on the breath to just make it through the day- whether we have anxiety or not.

From a health perspective, breathing can calm the central nervous system allowing us to process the emotions instead of storing them inside our bodies as toxins. (I love talking about emotions and our bodies by the way! Perhaps a blog post topic for the future.) The less toxic we are the better our bodies function and the better we think and feel.

Yes, breathing can help with all that. Wowie! So, today, in the midst of the emotional struggle I’m going to focus on breathing. Breathing in the breath of God.

What life events or struggles have you had that pulled the rug out from under you? Comment below so we can support, encourage, and pray for one another.

That Elusive Peace

In yoga we often say, “Having peace doesn’t mean there’s no chaos in your life.  Having peace means you’re in the midst of the chaos and you have calm in your heart.”

 

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

 

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

 

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  (NIV)

 

Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.

I’ve heard those verses before (maybe even a thousand times).  So, how do they help me find peace?!?!

I heard a sermon by Pastor Mark this past weekend that was all about disillusionment.  He used the movie, Ready Player One, to illustrate his point.  The characters in this movie join in a video game to escape their current reality of life.

Is that you?  Are you currently trying to escaping your current reality?  Like, scrolling social media for hours on end, watching endless Fixer Upper or Family Feud, playing video games, whatever…..

Some people think if they become Christians and believe in God then EVERYTHING in life will be perfect and peace will abound endlessly.

That is disillusionment.

God doesn’t promise smooth sailing.  In fact, he might even bring you into the “wilderness” just so you will seek him to get out.

To have peace, we must first understand why we are here on this earth, understand our purpose.  And we all have exactly the same purpose:

To Serve God.

No matter what we’re doing in our day to day lives:  changing baby’s butts, doing dishes, driving, cooking, learning, working….

We are to serve God in all we do.  When we seek God with all our hearts God will come to us.  He promises to.  And, I know that is easier said than done.  Believe me.  It’s a daily struggle for me too.

But, I have experienced God’s peace.  And for an extended period of time.  I can’t explain it.  There was no reason I should’ve had it (my life was crazy unpredictable).  Yet, it was there.

And then… it was snatched away in an instant.

See, my husband was admitted to the hospital a few months ago, had two surgeries, and nearly lost his leg.  The same week, I was put on crutches for a torn tendon in my foot.  And I lost my peace.

The devil knew I was strong with God.  So, he attacked something I couldn’t control.  A rampant infection in the person I love the most and my mobility.  And he stole my peace.  Rather, I allowed him to take it.

I think we tend to see control as peace.  When we know what is going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and how it’s going to happen, then ahhhh…. we’re okay.  At peace even.

But, God isn’t about what we can control.  No. No. No.

Sigh.

He’s about us serving and worshiping him.   And I know and have experienced that if we keep our focus on him, peace will come.  So, as I work to reclaim my peace – in a place of complete uncertainty in my business, life, direction – I am seeking Him.  The one who’s hand created the boundless stars and hung the moon at just the right spot.  He’s got my focus….

Now, if I can only keep it there.

 

(By the way, my husband is fully recovered and still has his leg!  Praise God!)

2018-04-30 16.53.16

This is us the day we came home from the hospital.  Celebrations all around!!!

I am willing.

Imagine this:

You’re a young girl, engaged to the man of your dreams, life is amazing, and then…. you get pregnant.  And it’s not his.

Stop for just a moment and imagine what you would be feeling, what you would be saying, what you would be hearing….

This probably wouldn’t be the highlight moment of your life.

Your soon to be husband would probably leave you, your family might disown you, and your friends – well – no longer friends.  Life is all of a sudden not so amazing.

2017-12-19 16.02.58

But for Mary all was well.  But not because of her.  Because God.

God sent an angel to Joseph to let him know to go through with the wedding, and Mary hadn’t been cheating on him.   Mary’s family was excited and she gained more friends and support than she could’ve ever imagined.

We’ve probably heard the story of the virgin birth a bazillion times.  Yet, something new popped out for me this year.

So, in Luke chapter one, an angel comes to visit Mary to tell her she’s going to have a baby.  And not just any baby, but the son of God.  And it’s not going to be Joseph’s.  Here’s the part that jumped out at me:  She says, “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.”  (Luke 1: 38 NLV)

“Let it happen to me as you have said.”

Did you catch that?  She didn’t freak out, fuss, argue, complain, or throw a fit.  She said, “I am willing.”  How many times has life thrown us a curve ball and we’ve just said, “I am willing.”  I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that.  HA!

Yet, I’m also pretty sure that when that curve ball is from God, if we choose to go with the flow and allow God to do his thing, then all will be well (not meaning perfect, but well).

Mary had her baby.  Not at home with a midwife, but in a barn far from home with Joseph (who was probably freaking out, right?!?!).  And the baby was perfect – literally.  All was well.

I’m willing to learn a lesson from Mary this year.  When God tugs at my heart, or calls me to a higher purpose, perhaps next time I’ll go willingly, knowing the one who hung the stars is working on my behalf.

I encourage you to open the Christmas story again for yourself this year.  Perhaps something new might pop out at you too!

Merry Christmas!

With peace and love,

Carrie

If you need encouragement this Christmas season, reach out!  To me, to someone you love, a friend.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.