I’ve tried and failed countless times at keeping up with daily devotionals. Hectic schedules along with the dreaded overwhelm has often made sleep far more appealing than daily reading. The funny thing is, that’s exactly what drew me to the (in)courage community’s ‘A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotionals That Meet You in Your Daily Mess’.
Little known fact about me:
When I feel frazzled, am hurriedly working on something, or rushing to meet a deadline, my breathing becomes shallow. While I’m all for putting 200% into my job and other to-dos, when it all begins to hamper with everyday basics like breathing deeply and intentionally, that becomes a bit problematic, don’t you think?
Imagine then, how much of a gem ‘A Moment to Breathe’ is for me. The devotionals are becoming a daily gift to myself and that much-needed pause before the day begins. A pause that I typically feel guilty about taking.
Allow me to share with you a few stops of my journey through Week 1 (December 4th-10th), and what the devotionals have helped me to re-discover.
Showing Grace – to self & others
Week 1 signaled to me the good in showing grace to myself and others in the little things on a daily basis. Holley Gerth’s story on Day 1, of the blemished fruit often being the most beautiful reminded me to give others a chance and brought a smile to my face as I remembered the second chances (and sometimes, third) I myself have most recently been given.
Denise J. Hughes’ story on Day 4 reminds us that there are stains somewhere on us or in us all that we may be ashamed of and go to great lengths to hide from others; but in an imperfect world with imperfect people, everyone has a stained part of themselves, and that, too, is okay.
I found myself going back to Lisa-Jo Baker’s ‘Praying for Rain’ for several days. This day’s story, in particular, stood out to me because I have a special talent of worrying (oh, you too? Welcome to the club!). I worry, in particular, about things that aren’t yet happening. My mind is also weighed down regularly by what I wish was happening in my life at any particular point in time. The shift in focus toward what is happening just doesn’t seem to come naturally for me.
You know how it’s said that it takes more muscle-work to frown than it does to smile? Can we add that it also takes more out of you to wallow in the lack of something than it does to stay fixed on what is there, what is going right, and what you do have?
‘Praying for Rain’ gave me a mindset-shift right in the middle of me feeling bogged down by the closed doors and missed opportunities characterising my life lately. In the midst of those, there was, and is, so much that is happening, so many great things that have opened up for me. Here’s to fixing my eyes on those instead.
I’m so excited to continue reading AMTB; the discoveries so far have been unexpectedly on-time for me, lending perspective and peace to situations I face similarly to these ladies (t’s such a relief when you realise “So I’m not the only one!”).
Here’s to another week of deliberately taking a moment to breathe. I hope you join me my midway recap of the book!