As I'm typing this, my 11 year old shih tzu, Selah is breathing rapidly. She is sound asleep so more than likely, she is just having a dream. I wake her up and pet her and her breathing slows down.
I stop and her breathing starts to rapidly increase. I realize that she is mimicking me. The last few months, I have been forgetting to breathe...to come up for air. I admit that life has been a challenge for me but I'm still here, somewhere, hiding beneath the busyness and stress.
I love being who God has called me to be...a wife, a mommy, a stepmom, a pastor's wife but there are challenges that have left me wondering how I'm going to survive the storms.
Being a wife has come easily. J is such an easy man to love. He looks at me, knowing that what he sees in me is a treasure. He protects me, loves me, soothes me and gives me strength.
Being a mom has been pure excitement. My girls always know that seeing them and having them close by makes me smile non-stop.
Being a stepmom has had it's challenges. I won't lie. I sometimes wake up and pray that it's all a dream. I love the kids but they don't get me or the way I like things to be. I often feel like I'm speaking a foreign language in my own home. Yet, I accept the challenge before me, doing my best to "count it all joy" and praying that one day soon, they will be out on their own and finally understand just what it means to be responsible and respectful.
Being a pastor's wife has been exhilarating and busy. I hate saying no but I'm learning to step back and really weigh things out. Can I add one more thing on my plate? Will it cause me to stress more or will I handle it with grace? Also, being a pastor's wife means reaching out at times when I'm even too tired to smile. Yet, I do.
The greatest blessing in all of this is that I am learning to breathe. When I walk downstairs, ready to walk out the door to go to work and the kitchen is messy beyond words, I allow myself a moment to breathe. I walk out the door, still breathing.
One of the things I'm good at is holding my breath. In fact, I don't even realize that I'm doing it, I just do. But it takes the lack of air in my lungs to cause me to see that I'm in need of air. I've decided when life hands me tough moments, I am going to breathe. I'm going to find a place to go where I can find my breath again.
It may be here at home or by the crashing waves of the shore hut I'm going to breathe like never before. Are you with me? Are you ready to breathe?