breathe: when it’s time to breathe freely again

breathe-fmf-poetry-joy

 

Is it just me, or do you also find that the more outwardly busy you become, the more your thoughts tend to spiral out of control? It’s as if we try to get a handle on our lives by mentally processing and digesting  stuff, so that we can sort and sift what to retain or ditch.

And in doing this we also hope to wrestle with our worries, and maybe even banish them, forgetting how giving our concerns a lot of head space usually achieves the opposite effect, making them multiply instead.

Finding (and maintaining) a calm core to our days in the midst of life’s busyness, storms and demands, calls for awareness, deliberation and decisiveness.  It requires us to still ourselves body and soul and to pause long enough to listen to what our life, and God, is saying to us.

I find that prayer, especially of the centering kind, is a marvellous and needful pause during life’s busyness. It helps me to remember to breathe… and yield my cares to God, leading to a deeper soul peace. Though it can often get sidelined when I’m  feeling overwhelmed by extra demands being made of me, as the five-minute-friday poem below suggests.

Time to breathe

I wonder, is there time to breathe?

Yes says the flourishing flower stretching

her growing beauty out of tiny seed

The race is not to the swift, nor

battle to the strong, but to those who

learn to wait patiently—enduring long

 

Yet I take such small, sharp, shallow breaths

and I sense a tight constriction

within my chest. For it seems that I

have somehow forgotten how to breathe

in synchrony with life’s rhythms

or go gently into each season

 

Instead, I mentally rush headlong

into each day, barely pausing to breathe

or pray, pushing a body so fatigued

and sore to do Just One Thing More

And it’s no wonder I feel all out of

sorts, stressed and harassed, of course

 

Because I’ve forgotten to stop and sit

with stillness, or simply stay in tune

with Holy Spirit—and calmly rest myself

in Him, rather than in my easily

exhaustible, all too human limits

©joylenton2017

breathe-time-to-breathe-poem-excerpt-fmf-pj

 

I think I should have heeded the words I wrote here last week about feeling out of control and needing to breathe!  :/

But I’m glad I listened to inspiration coming, so I could share my thoughts with the fabulous #FMF writing crew gathering over at Kate Motaung’s site to write about this week’s prompt of ‘breathe’. Come join us?

21 thoughts on “breathe: when it’s time to breathe freely again

    • Thanks, Lesley. Phew, what a relief to know I’m not alone – though I had a sneaking suspicion that might be the case! I’m glad you can relate to these things. May you have more “times to sit and be still and breathe” in the days and weeks ahead. Bless you, friend. xo

  1. “Finding (and maintaining) a calm core to our days in the midst of life’s busyness, storms and demands, calls for awareness, deliberation and decisiveness. It requires us to still ourselves body and soul and to pause long enough to listen to what our life, and God, is saying to us.” So very, very true…..Beautifully said.

    • Hello Mitzi, thanks for stopping by! It’s good to see you here, and it’s lovely to hear that these words have spoken to you too. I’m so pleased you can relate to them. Thank you for joining in the conversation. Bless you, my friend. xo

    • Mary, I’m humbled by your gracious, loving response to God’s work in and through me. You have such a generous spirit! I think we could all use a reminder to breathe sometimes. Though we think we already have a handle on it because it’s a natural thing to do, the fact is that few of us are actually breathing as well as we could or need to. It’s all too easy to get locked in a cycle of shallow breathing and fail to notice it for a while. I’m truly thankful if my poetry reaches your heart. That’s the objective where possible, to engage a heart and make a connection soul to soul. Love you too, dear friend. Happy belated birthday to you! I hope to visit your new site soon. Could you save me some cake, please? 🙂 xox

  2. Dear Joy,
    Thank you again Dear Friend for sharing such timely and beautiful words. Your poetry reaches into the truth, and I am touched by this so much:

    “Yes says the flourishing flower stretching
    her growing beauty out of tiny seed
    The race is not to the swift, nor
    battle to the strong, but to those who
    learn to wait patiently—enduring long”

    This time of learning to endure and to wait might seem useless to me, but God is at work bringing that bloom and beauty in His time. And, yes, when I can stop and take those centering breath prayers, I too find His Holy Spirit bringing soul rest. I am so grateful for the encouragement your words and pictures bring to my heart! May you be blessed with His breath and His Rest! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I’m not sure how you usually become inspired to write poetry, but for me it often starts with a line or two that weaves itself into my thoughts and quickly evolves into a poem. This is my favourite part of the poem. The first stanzas usually are, mainly because knowing just where, when and how to stop can be far more challenging – that’s where a five minute time limit helps! And maybe I like those early lines best because I can strongly relate to their message, just as I can to your words here: “God is at work bringing that bloom and beauty in His time” and all they convey about the patient work of being planted for a purpose to come. Thank you so much for the beautiful (and needful) blessing! May it be so for you too, lovely friend. xoxo

  3. “I find that prayer, especially of the centering kind, is a marvellous and needful pause during life’s busyness.” So glad you mentioned the importance of prayer. Knowing it should be at the top of my list, it often can fall to the bottom. I think to myself, “If I can just get this one last thing done…” The peace I desire from checking off the boxes never comes, because I’m not designed for my work to bring peace. Only Jesus, the Prince of Peace, can do that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words, Joy ❤

    • Mandy, your words gave me pause for thought: “because I’m not designed for my work to bring peace. Only Jesus, the Prince of Peace, can do that.” Oh yes! It’s all too easy to think we’ll gain peace as a byproduct of being busy and achieving ticking things off our ‘To Do’ lists. But lasting peace is only found in Him. Thank you so much for this lovely reminder and for being here. May you have a blessed weekend, my friend. ❤

  4. Joy, I think you wrote this for me. “I find that prayer, especially of the centering kind, is a marvellous and needful pause during life’s busyness. It helps me to remember to breathe… and yield my cares to God, leading to a deeper soul peace.” I know this to be true, yet so often I put it off. I really want to stop often during the day and pause if even for a few seconds and just breathe a prayer to keep me focused on my heavenly Father and be sensitive to His leading. Oh, and I love your poem!

    Blessings to you dear sister/poet! Love and hugs! xoxo

    • Gayl, I know how hard it can be to remember to pause and pray like this on a daily basis. So I am thankful if my words have helped to steer you in the right direction. Shall I let you in on a little (not so secret) secret? An awful lot of people, me included, pray in the bathroom. It’s usually quiet, private and restful, so an ideal switch off place to catch our breath, breathe and pray. Another helpful tip is to set some kind of regular reminder on our phone and let this be a trigger to lift our heart heavenwards. Just saying the Name of Jesus whenever we remember to do so is a prayer—especially using the word “Yahweh”, as it sounds like a breath when said slowly—and a reminder of just who is holding us together, pouring out His grace like rain. I’m praying you may have more room in your days to be simply Be and Breathe, maybe while sitting admiring the scenery in your quiet garden spot! Blessings to you too, sweet sister/poet/friend. Love and hugs! xox ❤

    • Michael, I love how you have condensed the essence of my words to “Breathe…pray…be”! 🙂 Thank you for always being such a lovely prayerful friend who knows just how to do those things. ❤

    • Hello Patti, it’s lovely to meet you! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words. I’m truly thankful that God inspired and equipped me to write this post and led you to read it. May you be blessed as you reflect on those things which have particularly spoken to you. 🙂

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