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Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
stephanie@stephaniehaynes.net
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Breathing Room

September 26, 2016

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Let me ask you something. How well are you taking care of yourself? On your daily list of to-do’s where do you fall as a priority? Maybe you have ignored yourself because you have felt it imperative to take care of your kids. Maybe it’s a spouse who is ill, or an aging parent. Maybe it’s the demands of your job or the responsibility to remove debt from your lives that is slowly stealing the very oxygen you need to continue to stand in the face of the battles.

 

I clearly remember the first time I got on a plane with my children. They were 4 1/2 and 6 months and we were moving from CA to SC. I was anxious and worried; my kids hadn’t flown before, I’d had limited experience flying, and we were recently entered into a post 9/11 culture. As I listened to the flight attendant explain that if an oxygen mask deployed from the overhead compartment we would need to put it on ourselves first before assisting those around us I became horrified. How could I not make sure my kids were taken care of in case of an emergency? What she said next however changed all that: If you’re not breathing how can you help anyone else to breathe?

 

It took years for those words to actually sink in. I had spent countless years trying to take care of everyone and everything else around me, never making time to put my own oxygen mask on. I was so de-oxygenated I didn’t even know I was out of breath. I had mistakenly always figured there would be time for me to breathe once everyone else was settled. Once I began to accept the truth of those words, that I mattered and needed to take care to put my oxygen mask on in order to truly take care of those around me, everything changed. I do not think that flight attendant will ever know how God used her words to impact my life.

 

We need our breathing room, our oxygen mask if you will, if we are ever to live well this life we have been given. I KNOW you battle guilt fueled by fear that somehow things will fall apart on you if you choose to take care of yourself first, but thankfully God knows right where you are and has something to say to us today: Matthew 6:33-34 tells us:

33 But seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Do not worry about tomorrow…

 

Mt friend, it’s time to put on our oxygen masks so we can get some breathing room!

1. Seek FIRST God’s kingdom. First. Before we pan ourselves into oblivion we must choose to check in to see what His plans are for us. When we stop striving to appease our fears, and instead choose to open up to His way for us in our lives, we put on our oxygen masks.

  1. How do we do this? Daily choose to invite God to share His perspective of what He wants us to do in a day instead of asking Him to bless our plans.

 

2. Seek FIRST His righteousness. His righteousness is NOT something we manufacture based on our good deeds. It is something we already received from Him in our salvation through Jesus. We tighten the straps of our mask when we don this breastplate, which protects us from the wayward direction fear and worry will take us.

  1. How do we do this? Intentionally chose to rest in His love of us instead of striving for the love, approval and acceptance from those we are trying to serve in our own strength.

 

3. Do not worry about tomorrow. How many of your actions today are based on a fear or worry you have about what will happen? Trust in God is what keeps the air flowing into our nostrils, but if we aren’t making the effort to change our worries in for prayers, the oxygen that needs to flow into our mask never gets activated!

  1. How do we do this? Pray! Prayer is the single activity that activates God’s presence in our lives, infusing us with the life-giving oxygen we need, which clears our mind and give us clarity to Rest in Him and Choose to allow Him to lead us.

 

The chaos you may be feeling today does not have to define you any longer. You can put on your oxygen mask, tighten the straps, and activate the air you need. God has a way to make breathing room in your daily life a reality. Will you trust Him?

 

May I Pray for you? Father God, oh how we need your life-giving breath in our lungs! Thank you for the opportunity, right this moment, to stop striving and instead receive from You what we need. We are weary and over-burdened with worry and fear. Please show us Your kingdom will in our lives. Remind us of the righteousness you bestowed upon us. Guide us in turning our worries into prayers and activating your breathing room in our lives. Amen!

 

Join the Conversation: In what ways have you limited the power of your personal oxygen mask? Do you have it on? Are your straps too loose? Have you not activated your flow of oxygen?

 

Applicable external links: Image from: http://curiouslittlekid.com/healthy-living/moms-need-me-time-too/

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