It has been months since I have had a chance to write on this blog. Who knew that trying to keep up with something simple like a weekly splurge of whatever nonsense is rattling around in my brain would be like trying to stop a runaway train?
Why do I find it so hard to get daily life to stop long enough for me to take a moment and do something I absolutely crave, which is writing? Oh wait, I know why. I have kids, a husband and a million other nitpicky things to do every day. The time for sudden inspiration usually travels much like my words of advice to my 6-year-old daughter: in one ear and out the other.
Then yesterday I was in church with my family and inspiration finally struck! It was during one of my favorite songs, “Breathe,” by Michael W. Smith. As I listened to the lyrics I suddenly realized how important this one simple word is to each of us. We live in such a crazy, fast-paced life nowadays that many of us take very little time to just simply “breathe.” We are wired and running to the next destination, the next phone call or the next text message. News channels run tickers constantly updating us on important (and unimportant) information going on across the globe. Breathing is something that comes as a necessity to live, but do we really live to breathe?
To give you an example, the other day my husband threw out the notion of having a third child. I first laughed off the comment, thinking it was just a joke we had been sharing together. If you have met our son, you would understand our laughter. He is an amazing child, but as they say, “is all boy!” He runs on full-speed from the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until his head hits the bed at night. He is fearless, energetic and very vocal…and he is just two. So it has actually been a running joke about throwing a baby in the mix of things, until I saw the look in my husband’s eyes. Oh boy, something told me it wasn’t just a quick laugh. A nervous giggle escaped my mouth as my mind suddenly started to churn. Should we have a third kid? So if I got pregnant now, then maybe the baby would have a warmer birthday? Oh my gosh, can I even handle a third child right now!?!
The panic set in, not severe, but enough to make me feel like a total jerk for wanting to say “no” to my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I adore our kids, and love being a mom. It’s like the perfect off-Broadway satyr, full of mischief, laughter, love and anger. But right now, where we are in our lives, having two kids makes for busy, busy times. And then you throw an infant in the mix, and all the things that go with it (late nights, early mornings, diapers, shots…the list goes on and on), how chaotic would it get? And could I handle that? Especially when I feel like I have finally reached a place in my life where I can simply “breathe.”
When both kids are in their respective schools, I have the ability to run errands, work out, go to the grocery or sit in the library and type on my computer without having a kid to chase or look after. For you moms out there, it is like an Herbal Essence hair commercial. You want to scream “Yes!” to the rooftops because for a few short hours you can focus on making time for yourself or just simply get a long, hot shower. I can “breathe.”
If you have never listened to the song “Breathe,” then you should get online and look it up. At least look up the lyrics, for they speak to all of us in some way. The words speak about need, about being desperate for love, about having daily nourishment and about being lost without this necessary “breath.” Smith is talking about Jesus and His love for us, about the need to read God’s Word everyday for sustenance. But Smith’s song reaches further than that for me. It bridges the connection about what I not only need from my faith, but what I also need from life in general. Like a trainer telling you to breath during a grueling set of push-ups, this song was making me really think about what it means to step back and take in all that is going on around me. To reconnect to what I often loose in the middle of making lunches or changing diapers.
Don’t we all need to take more time to heal ourselves from the punches life has thrown us? Instead of trying to jump right into the next activity or run to the next destination, wouldn’t it be therapeutic to meet a friend for coffee and find out how he or she has been? Why shouldn’t we get a sitter and have dinner with our significant other on a weekly or monthly basis as a way to keep the breath flowing in our marriages? The answer here is simple and straightforward. We need and should do these things. To stop and smell the roses, take in a ballgame and forget for just a moment the constricting vices we have tangled ourselves up with everyday. We all simply need to “breathe.”
Will it be easy? No. Will I fail at my own advice? Probably more often than I care to admit. But what we should probably focus on here is the fact we are conscious of the idea. Perfection is impossible for human beings, but constantly striving to reach it makes us all come together under the same umbrella. It is the thought that counts, right? No one said Rome was built in a day. So today, tomorrow or whenever you find the time, take a moment to really “breathe” like I did this past Sunday. I bet you will find yourself feeling a little more rejuvenated in mind, body and soul.
Speaking of letting something breathe, I can’t think of a more perfect subject, and of course it is wine. Depending on whom you ask, having a bottle of wine for any occasion can be a presentation. Selecting the label, noting the year or vineyard and choosing the proper glass. Once opened, there is even the smelling of the cork (if the bottle has one), analyzing whether it “held” or not while the wine was being cellared. Yet, the most important part of the entire presentation is letting a bottle, especially a full-bodied cabernet or Bordeaux, breathe for a period of time before you start to drink it. Much like the “breath” we should often take in our own lives, a wine blooms and expands to its full capacity after it has encountered a good dose of oxygen. One can catch the true aroma, or nose, of the wine after it has been left open for minutes or sometimes hours. The flavors of a wine can soften and relax after sitting uncorked on the counter or in a decanter. Either way, wine needs that moment to show the world what it has to offer. Do you see the correlation here? Now take a deep breath and…ahhhh.
Until next time, cheers!