“Breathe easy into the questions. The name of God. Yahweh – inhale, exhale – is the sound of your breathing. There is your miraculous answer. As long as you are breathing, He is always your miraculous answer.” – Ann Voskamp
2016 was an exciting, wonderful and really hard year for me. After practicing entering fully into the life that I believe God has prepared for me, saying YES to new challenges and opportunities, something happened, and I started to strive to PROVE my worth instead of believing that I had worth.
So the word BREATHE has been whispered to me, prayed into me, prayed for me. People send me quotes all focused on the word “Breathe.”
So I didn’t choose my word of the year, it chose me. Breathe.
What does breathe mean to me? Well, it was chosen 2 years ago as one of my five “big rocks” in the At The Table course by Barb Borthistle. Breathe, at that time, was taking care of myself:
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. Luke 4:42 NIV
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16 NIV
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. Luke 6:12 NIV
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them and knelt down and prayed.” Luke 22:39-41 NIV
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 ESV
My goal this year, in my year of breathing, is to take that quiet time every day. I’m doing the Hello Mornings Challenge for that quick and easy God Plan Move (read Psalm 143:8, look over the list of things to do today, drink a glass of water). I am not one of those people who wake up happy and ready to conquer the day. My beloved brings me a cup of coffee and eases me into the day. I’m not ready to be all Crystal Paine-y and give up my coffee (ever) yet.
So this is how I will continue to work through my day…
I will do the 3-minute challenge and continue to write out the scripture from my devotional reading (currently I’m reading one of the Love God Greatly plans on YouVersion). That will be my morning focus time. I started Bullet Journalling (BuJo) in November and it’s a perfect way for me to hit the God & Plan part of the day.
I will continue to read and reread inspirational books to stretch my current practices. Currently I am listening to an audio book that I’m not super into as it feels health and wealth gospel-y to me, I am giving it a chance though, because it is stretching me. I’m also working through a book: Journaling as a Spiritual Practice by Helen Cepero. Journaling daily is something that is essential to my mental health and I’ve gotten out of the habit during the Christmas holidays!
I took a Sacred Pathways Survey a couple of times during different times when I felt close to God and when I felt distant – and discovered that Contemplative Prayer is one of the ways I prefer to connect and worship God. So this year I am going to explore prayer through various authors (contemporary and classic) and spend time in solitude so that I can listen (without all the tiny voices, or loud bickering voices – five kids and all). I am hoping to have 2 personal retreats and am currently researching where to go (Bowen Island and maybe A Rocha Brooksdale or Galiano Island) as well as a couple retreats with just my beloved and I (one is scheduled in March!!!).
There are two other parts to Breathe – a physical one and one of NOT DOING. I’ll talk more about those in a later post.
I’m curious to know if you have picked a “word of the year” for 2017? What is it? What does it mean to you and how will you know you have accomplished it?