Remembering to Breathe

Sunday, May 13, 2012


There is a mass of confusion at my house right now.  I have boxes piled high, cupboards emptied and decorations wrapped up like presents. It is a challenge to find anything that I’m looking for as I make my way through the maze of chaos which currently represents our home. I have packed up to move several times before in my life, but on this occasion I’m noticing something new.  Rather than being consumed with stress, I am excited and surprisingly relaxed.  Could it be that I have finally learned how to rely on God for my strength?  The worry and sleeplessness that I have experienced in the past isn’t plaguing me today.  And I must say that the peace I feel is a welcome relief!  I think the calm I feel is because as I have been going through each task that needs to be accomplished, I have been remembering to take time to breathe...and let God be God.

In Paul’s grateful letter to the Philippians, he tells us to rely on Christ for our strength, for through Him, we can accomplish all that God wills. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Upon reflecting on that verse, I feel peace entering my soul.  I know that God is aware of what I need to get done, not simply what I want to get done.  He knows my time parameters, but more than that, He already has a plan and knows how and when everything will and should work out.  That knowledge strengthens me and allows me to complete what He wants me to complete.  And so, I pause and remember to take time to breathe…and let God be God.

In the Gospel of Mark there is a time recorded when Christ’s disciples were exhausted from ministering to the people.  They were so busy that they hadn’t even had time to feed themselves.  But, Jesus reminded them that they all needed to take time to get away and rest.  “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31). When life is coming at you full force, the temptation is to try to keep up a blurred pace and not to stop.  In fact, I know I have the tendency to keep running and working until the job is done.  But, as a result the work suffers, as does my emotional and physical self.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). It is important to come before the Lord with our burdens for He will refresh and strengthen us.  And so, I remember to come before Him and take time to breathe…and let God be God.

And in those quiet moments of refreshment, when I am still and calm, the Lord comforts and strengthens me enabling me to complete what He needs me to complete.  He is big enough for all my burdens.  He is always working.  He is always sovereign.  He is always God.  “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  I know that He is God…and I am remembering to take time to breathe.

Remembering to breathe,





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31 comments

  1. Great post, Joan!  So, are you guys moving?  I've got some big news tomorrow, too.

    I appreciated your words so much, as I feel like the last four months have been one huge whirlwind of activity - and so many feelings to process.  Thank you for your encouragement.

    GOD BLESS!

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  2. Psalm 46:10 is a favorite verse (I have so many). The NASB translates it this way, "cease striving and know that I am God.) I find those words so comforting. 

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  3. I"m thankful this move is not too stressful and will pray that unpacking will be the same. I, too, have moved....on average every 2 years so I know what that is like. I look forward to seeing where you move and why...have not read that post if it is here.

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  4. Oooh!  I'm excited to read what your news could be!!  I'll be sure to check out your post as soon as it's up!  We are just moving up the street, into a place with a bit more space and a yard!  We are so excited to be able to get out into the garden again!

    I'm so glad you were encouraged!  God gives us the strength we need.  We just need to give our burdens and cares to Him!  He is always faithful!  Blessings!

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  5. I don't think I ever want to move again - the last one exhausted me - but it was a homecoming so that made it sweeter. I love the new beginnings, though, in a move, even if it is just across town.

    Your message - oh, how I loved it. I'm a slow learning needing hands-on experience but I am slowing,ever so slowing making inroads here!

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  6. New beginnings are a blessing!  And, the best new beginning we can start is when we give our lives to Christ!  I'm so thankful for the strength He gives! 

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  7. Hi Joan - I have moved many times but not for the last 7 years, phew!  Having said that, it has made me not cling to unimportant things, more practical in storage and when one moves its a great opportunity to get rid of tons of stuff that, well,  just takes up space.  Maybe its the optimist in me but its a great time to 'clean up' and maybe deal with undealt with stuff.  I always told my daughters, no matter where we move, home is where the heart is and Christ is our heart.  Hope your move goes well and that your unpacking is like discovering lots of treasures. 
    God bless my friend
    Tracy

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  8. We moved 7 months ago... we sold our house just a few weeks prior to moving to our newly renovated home.  I prayed that we could stay in our old house until it was time to move (the Lord knew I was exhausted) and He kindly granted me this prayer.  It was a witness to those who I work with especially.  The current house sales market where I live took a nose dive at the same time as our old house went on the market but we trusted the Lord to work things out as we believed it was His will...and He did!  

    It's so important to take time aside and rest a while... Sometimes, even when we do, we may still be exhausted (maybe due to health) but God just gives us that bit of extra strength to see us through right when we need it!

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  9. Hi Joan,

    I have moved so many times and understand what hard work it is!  I see that it is down the street; however, I've done moves like that as well...it is still hard work.  Ironically, my post today is about God calling Abraham to move.  :)

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  10. I am so glad to read these words Joan!  You are putting into practice what you know to be true; God is trustworthy and faithful.  I totally understand the upheaval of moving and having boxes all over the place.  I am STILL in the midst of it but it's starting to look more like a home now.  However, we still have another week of upheaval and then we'll be totally moved.

    I'm excited for your new adventure.  That was my word for 2012!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  11. I agree...moving is a great opportunity to take stock of the things we have and get rid of the things we don't need!  And...the best part is opening up the boxes again.  It is interesting that you said it is like "discovering lots of treasures"!  I always say unpacking from a move is like Christmas morning!  Everything seems new again when  pulled out of a box!  Blessings!

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  12. God does have a way of working things out, doesn't He?  I'm so glad you were able to stay in your old house as long as was needed!  And yes, the strength God gives always helps right when it's needed!  Blessings!

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  13. And sometimes, those "just down the street" moves can be more enervating as the packing is not as thorough!  This time, we are going to be moving the little things ourselves prior to the "big" move on Friday.  It is a lot of work, but it is exciting as I look to the future and what God has planned for us in this new home!

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  14. Hi Debbie!

    I'm glad to hear that your move is almost over and your new home looks more like home now!  You're right...this is an adventure, especially when God is by our side!  Blessings, Debbie!!

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  15. Thank you for your honest words of knowing you need to fall into God's arms when practically sometimes it is just hard!  

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  16. Nice, honest post.

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  17. Hi Joan, I know all too well what it means to pack up and move on. We have done that more times that I have fingers and toes to count! What a lovely post you have here reminding us that no matter how big our challenge of the day might be our God is so much bigger. I am so glad that He has prompted you to breathe.  Thanks for this encouragement today and thanks for the linky too. You can find me over at http://christianeveryday.com Blessings

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  18. Blessings, Brenda!  Yes, sometimes it is just hard!  Praise God that He is always with us...every step of the way!

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  19. Dear Joan,
    May God bless your move and your new home! Phil. 4:13 is one of my life's verses. His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and He will exchange our anxiety for His perfect peace. Thanks as always for the excellent post!
    God bless,
    Laurie

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  20. Moving is a chore but when you have peace about it, then it becomes a joy.  If there are many memories at the last place, then there is a sadness too, but those too will soon be replaced with other good memories as you move on..

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  21. The older I get, the more I realize how energizing it is to be quiet in His presence!

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  22. You have such a peaceful spirit, and I always feel refreshed here, Joan. Praying you're feeling God's peace and provision in all you do this week, friend. 

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  23. Thank you, Laurie!  I already feel blessed -- God is sooo good!

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  24. I agree...when we have God's peace, we can't help but be joyful!  I am praising Him!

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  25. So true!  It is always refreshing to be in His presence!  He gives us the strength we need to face whatever our circumstance!

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  26. Thank you, Jennifer!  Over the years, as I've learned to trust God, the peace inside of my has grown.  I feel secure knowing I am His!  Blessings, Joan

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  27. Thanks for stopping over at my blog today and leaving such a blessing of a comment! Sounds like we are at similar crossroads in our lives.  Praying for you and that you continue in His peace, as you complete this transition.

    In His Lo♥e, Ann

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  28. Time to breathe. I like that. In our Silver Sneakers exercise class the instructor often reminds us to breathe. It's a temptation to hold our breath which is never good. 
    Thank you for sharing and the reminder to take time to breathe.
    Blessings,Charlotte

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  29. Thank you, Ann!  I'm continuing to pray for His peace...and He is always faithful!

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  30. Great advice from an exercise instructor!  If we fail to breathe, we will grow faint...the same is true when we are going through challenging times!  By stopping and spending time with our Lord, we find our strength!

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