Breathing Deeply in the Midst of Abundant Living

Breathing-Deeply-Julie-Schnatterly-HSLDA-Blog

This most recent season of my life has been a crazy one: loaded with poignant moments, relational chaos, satisfying accomplishments, a busy time of year at work, and large proportions of home and family! These are all pretty ways to say…life has been busy! Life has been so busy, I’ve had moments where I had to remind myself to breathe.  I’m not talking about those little juts of air taken throat deep and puffed back out as you scurry from one activity to another. What I needed was the kind of oxygen intake that fully inflates your lungs, opens your ribs, pushes back your neck and shoulders and comes out long and slow, like a sigh of contentment.

In these busy times, it is tempting to try to fly through the minutes of a day like superwoman leaping tall buildings in a single bound. As women, we have an instinctive compulsion to care-take and meet the needs of those around us. Some of us are recovering people pleasers who would rather lose sleep, eat our meals on our feet, and completely wear ourselves out than to ever let someone else down or say tell someone “no”. We take on too much and try to do it anyway.  We feel a sense of accomplishment for being so productive, but we are robbing ourselves of so much joy.

In case you didn’t notice, I’ve taken a break over the last couple of months from this blog. It was necessary to stay sane in a tumultuous time.  It was difficult to do because I felt like I was reneging on a commitment I had made.  Though received understandingly, I haven’t let go of that nagging feeling of being disappointed in myself. But I’m learning to accept that I am a human being with limits and to not be so hard on myself for being honest about those limits.  Sometimes, others respond to these limits with support and encouragement.  Other times, people act angry, frustrated, and confused at your unwillingness to say “yes” to covering a class at church, bringing a meal to a family in need, or whatever good thing someone asks of you. There is so much good we can do, but we can’t do it all, all the time.

Understanding your abilities and limits and establishing them within yourself will help you create the kind of life you will actually enjoy living. I’m still a work in progress on this. Choosing what’s best instead of piling on a mountain of good things to do in a load you cannot actually carry will bring a sense of peace and order to your life. Breathe deeply, my friends, and take life at a more manageable pace, even in the midst of abundant living.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

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