Childbirth: Learning to Breathe

That week of waiting in the wings for jury duty really messed me up. I felt like all of the balls were in the air and they were all at risk of dropping. Never mind that my husband rolled up his sleeves and picked up the slack. Never mind that our neighbors and preschool also jumped in where they were needed. Never mind that my God…the creator of all things who works everything for the good of those who love Him…had everything under his hand. I, in all of my control-freak-ed-ness, still felt out of control even though all of the bases were covered. The week after jury duty consisted of a dizzying pace of running: A men’s retreat, birthday party, a cookout, call this person, order that, measure this, do I stain that? run here and look there. A 5K? Oh my, I didn’t even have time to train for that. It’s a family event and a great cause so WAKE UP EVERYONE! Let’s hit the pavement! Whew.

Then the email…my husband has stepped on my coat tails. “We need a date,” he writes. Yes, he is right. I sent him an email in response and it read…

I found out when I birthed our first child that when “hit” in the gut, I don’t breathe…I hold my breath. While I did much better with our second child, it seems that I still have that problem. I breathe just fine day in and day out, but then when hit with a major change or deviation like jury duty…I hold my breath. Then, I find that when things slow and I do finally exhale and inhale- it’s a bit frantic. My breathing is starting to slow and I just want to let you know that you are wonderful and I love you so much. Thank you for being supportive and patient.

It’s true. When in labor with our first child, they had to give me oxygen because I could only focus on the pain and resorted to holding my breath. With the second, I was SO focused on my breathing that I closed my eyes and blocked everything else out. They kept asking me my date of birth and name because they thought I was checking out on them; and I just wanted them to stop asking me questions so I could focus on my breathing.  That was a personal email that I normally wouldn’t share…but, I suspect that there are people out there who know just how that feels. Running behind, an unexpected event or hardship that doesn’t quite fit into the plans that you had for the moment…for the hour…for the day or for the week. Then the pace quickens as we try to compensate and life becomes a blur. Or becoming so focused on the task at hand that everything else becomes a blur as life wizzes by.

This isn’t my first post on control and God keeps reminding me that I am still a work in progress in this area. Pray for me. I am tired and this month holds a lot activity, change, and travel. While most of these things are FUN, I still need to remember to breathe and enjoy each moment as it is given to me. I need to refrain from holding my breath while looking to the next moment or trip or scheduled appointment…thereby missing the moments as life whizzes by.

I pray for peace as I rely on God to order my steps…in spite of my plans…and keep me steadfast- because I trust in Him. (Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 119:133; Proverbs 16:9)

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