My life has
been filled up by numerous obligations and responsibilities this
summer. There have been days when my head was swimming with all
the stuff I need to get done. When that happens, I just have to
let it all go and focus on one task at a time. Before I headed out
to Colorado for the second of three Tour of Hope training camps,
I had a day like that. Because I live in a fairly rural area, I
try to be efficient and get my errands run on my trip to or from
work. Well, after I was home, I tried to squeeze in a two-hour ride
before dark. While riding, I realized I forgot to stop by a friends
house to drop off some papers. I started to get really frustrated
and could not imagine how I would get that done before I left for
Colorado the next day. But I let it go, and decided to concentrate
on my ride since there was nothing I could do to change the fact
that I forgot that errand. I finished my ride, and while I was stretching
in front of my house, a mini-van pulled up. The friend that I needed
to get those papers to pulled up in front of my house! What made
this really strange is that she has never been to my house before.
She came because
she wanted to give me a book, called The Cup of our Life, by Joyce
Rupp. She said she was at a conference and was compelled to purchase
two copies of this book when she heard the author speak. She did
not know who the second copy was for until a few days earlier. She
knew that she needed to get a copy of the book to me soon. Then
she saw my husband at the store and learned that I would be leaving,
so she came over that night. (Consequently, I was able to give her
The great thing
about all this is that the book was exactly what I needed. At a
time when my life is getting busier and busier, I needed something
to keep me grounded and connected to what really matters. And what
really matters to me is having a real love relationship with God.
The one thing that the book offers which is really unique to devotional
books Ive used and seen is the use of breath prayer. I use
breath prayer a lot, and this book uses it as a part of a daily
devotional practice. When our lives get crazy busy, and we lose
track of where we fit in the bigger scheme of things, when we allow
little things to get us upset, and we make poor choices in setting
our priorities, a simple breath prayer can help us to center again.
I believe God
knew I needed this help, and he used his instruments to make sure
that I got reconnected with this important tool. When you focus
on your breath, you focus inward and away from earthly distractions.
When you combine this focus with a one-line prayer it can be a power
form of renewal and redirection. On the in breath, you visualize
yourself filling up. On the out breath, you visualize yourself emptying.
I visualize Gods love coming into my heart on the in breath,
and I visualize all the negativity, pain, anxiety, fear, etc. emptying
out on the out breath.
Here are some
of my favorite ones:
Lord have mercy/Christ
have mercy (when I am afraid)
I can do all things/ through Christ who strengthens me (when I feel
Guide me/Guard me (when I need direction)
I am/ a love song (From The Cup of our Life)
Even a few minutes
in breath prayer can bring serenity and peace to an otherwise chaotic
sing to the Lord all my life;
sing praise to my God as long as I live.
meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice
in the Lord. Psalm 104:33-34
I am busy.
all this motion
am I going?
Am I any
closer to being there
been so busy going.
Lord, I breathe
in your love. I let it fill my heart. I take in all I can, and still
thirst for more. I breathe out my smallness. I let go of my fears,
my prejudices, and my anger. I breathe in and find Ive made
more room for your love. Thank you for the gift that sets me free.