Friday, December 28, 2012

Breathe {Bigger Picture Moments}

Just breathe...

How many times a day do I say it to myself, to an upset child, a stressed out friend or spouse? I learned the power of breathe when I first started yoga (which I really need to get back to...). The power to slow down time, calm turbulent emotions and reset a moment, a day, a life.

Life right now is in a chaotic season. With the feisty five year old and the tumultuous twos no day is spared drama. Then there is life, and pregnancy, and school work and the learning to balance multiple needs and schedules. In case you haven’t noticed it’s made me almost completely shut down. I need a reset, we need a reset and the holiday break is proving to {mostly} be just that.

Lot’s of time has been spent ignoring the lists of should do, needs to do and could dos and just breathing in these moments, this life as five before we become six. One of those moments involved reading a magazine and an essay by Kate Braestrup on saying grace.

I have said before I am not a good pray-er. I can recite the prayers and I stop periodically throughout the day and have those “oh God, heal, watch over” momentary prayers, but I don’t feel I have a good prayer life or routine. I also don’t want it to be just anther thing on a list of things I need to do, change, figure into my daily routine...I kind of want (and hope) for it to be more natural then that...if that makes sense to anyone but me.

In Braestrup’s essay she talks about saying grace before a meal and how even as a minister it was not something she enjoyed or was good at. Since my children go to a Lutheran school we have a standard prayer (the common table prayer) that we say before each meal. It’s part of their routine and they know it...but as a non-Lutheran and not good pray-er I found it sometimes to just be route memorization and I can find my mind wandering off as it’s spoken. Braestrup goes on to say that what you say may not be as important as the act of just stopping to be silent and breathe.


She goes on to tell this story, and I wish I could find it online so I could link to it (it’s Real Simple November page 174 - go to the library, find it and read it). It’s in regards to the Jewish prohibition against speaking or writing the name of God and was told to her by Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr:

Many think it’s actually impossible to speak or write the true name of God, because the the name of God is the sound of breathing. Breathing in...breathing out.
Braestrup adds:
The essence of grace is so uncomplicated: just your breath, moving into your body and flowing out again. It’s the first thing every human being does upon being born, and the last. There is no correct way to breathe...”


Breathe His name in and out and let that thought and peace wash over you. It’s a beautiful thought. For me it was beautifully freeing. Taking the time to remember to just be still, to breathe, is like a prayer of thanks to him.

For this life. This chaos. All these blessings.

So as this year wraps up and we move into what is sure to be a crazy chaotic adjustment to life as six, I will focus on the word;


Knowing it is more than a biological function that sustains life. It is life, and love, hope and peace, and the very name of the One that gives it.

Simply breathe, that’s my Simple Moment, Bigger Picture this week. What’s yours?

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SkyMommy said...

I found myself taking deep breaths in and out while reading this post. I really needed to read this. Thank you.

Unknown said...

lovely thoughts - I too found myself paying attention to my breath and having a little moment with God as I did :) I'm working to savor - breathing is an important part of that - thanks!

The Sisters' Hood said...

You bring peace in this post and a wonderful reminder ...
and no.4 ... how did i miss no. 4? Congrats for the soon to be xxx