Thursday, January 27, 2022

Breathe - Part Three - Word of the Year

 


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord! ~Psalm 150:6


I never choose a word for the year.  It chooses me.  So, it should come as no surprise to me or anyone else visiting regularly here, considering the shaky start this New Year has wrought, that my word for 2022 is "Breathe."

Simple.  Basic.  Involuntary.  Necessary.

Source of life itself.

Focusing on my breathing, instead of the distractions all around me, naturally slows me down.  No longer do I feel compelled to rush through daily activities.


Patience becomes a constant companion, one who, too often in the past, flitted about and teased me with her virtual allure.  I'm looking her in the eyes.  She is attainable, real, available.  And I realize that I'm the one who has always kept her at an arm's length away.



I'm no longer going through the motions of the day, but relishing and savoring each moment.  I'm reading my daily Bible verses and reflections with purpose, intent on absorbing God's Word, journaling my thoughts and impressions.

My handwriting, once a sprawling crawl, has morphed into neatly printed letters, drawn out with care.  I'm reading books with a fresh, untainted eye; it's no longer about how many I read in a year, it's about the why and what and who and how.  





Sketching pencils are ordered from Amazon.


I haven't drawn anything meaningful since young adulthood, yet in this new season of slowness and steady rhythm, I long to try my hand at a skill God grants me years ago; one I allow to fall by the wayside in the wake of busyness and obligations.



As my strength returns, the thought of breaking out my guitar once more, filling my lungs with the joyful breath of song, flutters in my mind like a flock of birds who discover a full and overflowing feeder on an inclement winter day.


So many possibilities . . . So many changes for the better . . .

Such an about-face, one that leaves me leaning into the Lord like never before.

Yes, I will breathe.

I will praise the Lord with every breath.

And I will live to rejoice in Him.

Amen!

61 comments:

  1. I'm so thankful to hear how the Lord is using this very difficult and scary time in your life, to bring about something new and beautiful in you and through you! Have fun sketching, and playing the guitar, and journaling! May this be a blessed sweet time in your life!

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    1. Marilyn, I am so thankful, too, as you can well imagine after going through such an ordeal this month. God is making all things new, and I can't wait to simply breathe in the joys of each day and do His will for my life in this unfolding year.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. What a wonderful and thoughtful post today. Thank you so much, Martha. We all need to follow your good example and slow down a little. Think about God more. Pray more. And be thankful for all He has done for us.

    An inspiring post and we are grateful.

    God bless you and your family always.

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    1. I'm so touched that this post spoke to your heart, Victor. That is always what I hope and pray when I write. Let us all resolve to place our focus more on God and less on the things in life that will all pass away.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. A crisis brings change - and a good one.

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    1. Amen, that it does, Glynn. Thank goodness this change is for the better.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Oh how wonderful! "Breathe", a definite word from God for this year! Yes, breathe in His grace, His Spirit, His peace, His love, His power! I can sense that you are already doing just that...and it does my heart good to hear these encouraging thoughts you are already thinking! I believe God has some beautiful things to show you in this new year! I'm so glad that we can come along with you on this journey of fresh air and new life! Breathing in and breathing out...I am so happy for you!!!!

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    1. Oh, Pam, I'm so delighted to have you and my other readers along with me for this journey of enlightenment and discovery that I'm sure God has in store. Breathing will be my focus each and every day as God leads me on the paths He has chosen for me. Thanks so much for sharing in these happy times with me!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Praying your continued and full recovery Ms. Martha Jane. Patience is something I too struggle with, so I understand how difficult it can be to purposely slow our pace down, but oh, how it is so worth it. You're going to see so much you were missing before. I sure do. God's blessings sweet soul; and I can't wait to see some of your latest artwork here soon.

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    1. I do hope my eventual art work will be worth sharing, J. D., although I doubt it - lol! And you are so right about patience - we all claim that we want more of it, but sometimes the price we have to pay to sit quietly with her isn't one we choose to make. I'm glad I've finally embraced what I always saw as the impossible for me. You will find her, too, no doubt!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Dearest Martha Jane,
    Yes, breathing is our primary thing for staying alive!
    Hoping that they wean you off those 50 mg Prednisone rather soon as it is hard on our kidneys.
    Enjoy your times ahead.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Unfortunately, Mariette, because of weird type of pneumonia I had, I have to stay on the steroids for a few more weeks. Fortunately, the dosage is being cut back, so I expect things to improve all around. Just know that I'm drinking plenty of water and staying as hydrated as I can.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha Jane, your post is brighten my day. And ... when you take the time to listen to God, he guides you into your calling and assures you of his provision.

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    1. God does exactly that, Aritha! May we all take meaningful time out of our day to listen for His still, small voice.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Oh, it's like you're redeeming the time, Martha, in beautiful, calming choices and pasttimes.

    May you find renewed strength with each passing week.

    And isn't blogging some of the best medicine ever?!
    xo

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    1. Blogging can certainly be an amazing medicine, Linda, that's for sure! Time to regroup, reflect, assess, and move forward with our thoughts and words leading the way. I'm praying for that renewed strength, too.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. What a fantastic attitude you have, Martha. You have uplifted my spirits this day. We all can use your good thinking and lean into our Mighty God more. Thank you!!!

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    1. Oh, Nells, it warms my heart to know that my words lifted your spirits today! It is always my hope and prayer that my blog reaches someone who needs to hear the words I write.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. "Relishing and savoring each moment." Gosh, I love that word - savoring.

    "He hast prepareth a table before me" just leapt into my mind as I was reading. Not sure exactly how this applies -- but I feel blessed by this feast to my senses. I, too, want to dwell in the possibilities!

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    1. I think the imagery of the table feast is the perfect one, Myra! It so describes the plenty the Lord provides for us at every turn.
      And the word "savor?" One of my favorites, too! May we all dwell in His possibliliies!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. I just read through all three parts. You've sure been through quite an ordeal and you have a great attitude after all of that. I'm so glad you are home now and recovering. Take good care of yourself Martha.

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    1. I will continue to heal the best I can, Martha! Yes, it has been an ordeal, and I'm honored that you took the time to read through this entire adventure. Here, the month of January is almost behind us, yet I feel that, for me, it's just beginning. Here's to a better 2022 in the months to come!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Boa tarde Martha. Depois do vento e da tempestade, vem a bonança. Deus tem muitas bênçãos e vitórias para a sua vida. O novo de Deus vira com cura e restauração. Bom final de semana.

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    1. Amen, Luiz! God is always in the calm after the storm, and I am basking in His presence right now. No better place to be!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Boa minha querida amiga Martha. Passando para lhe desejar um bom início de semana com muita paz e saúde.

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  13. Yes! A fitting word for you in this new year as you begin to heal and gain your strength back! Breathe in His grace and feel His love for you. Your post is such a great testimony for all of us. Thank you, Martha! Keeping you in my prayers, dear friend! xo

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    1. Yes, Terri, the word is most fitting, and one I will cling to as the year progresses, and my health returns, slowly but surely. May we all breathe in God's grace and feel His unique and marvelous love for each and every one of us, His children. Who are we, I sometimes wonder, that the God of the whole universe loves us with such a passion? Beyond my understanding!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. I've got a feeling we're all going to benefit by journeying along with your year of Breathe, Martha! I love that you're going to start sketching again after a long absence. That's the way I go with piano playing. I'll go a very long time without it, then find great delight in it again. The Spirit breathes through us in these kind of endeavors!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing about your occasional piano playing, Lisa. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has "abandoned" talents in the wake of other, seemingly more demanding, distractions. May we all make that effort to explore some of our lesser-practiced gifts as the year unfolds. Who knows what joys lie waiting within?
      So glad to have you on this journey with me, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  15. Martha, your word for the year is a good one--breathing is so essential to life--deep breathing--breathing in and breathing out, praising the Lord.

    Thank you for sharing all the positive changes in your life after your health ordeal. I'm enjoying learning more about your creative side.

    Keep on growing and pushing in for all the Lord has for you!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Oh, Kim, you KNOW I'm going to keep on growing in the Lord as long as He gives me the breath of life! What other way is there to live but in His abundant grace? I, too, am looking forward to all the positive changes God has placed on my heart, excited for the adventures ahead, and willing more than ever to submit to His plan for my life.
      Love and blessings!

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  16. I join the many prayer partners who rejoice with you, Martha, and will think of you whenever I hear the word "Breathe". There's a praise song we sing at church with a line that says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." How fitting it sounds in my head when I read your words and feel the praise and gratitude you weave into them. Bod bless you for bringing us into this experience with you, and for the encouraging way you opened your heart and mind to new and resurrected ways to express all that He has taught you through it. We look for more of Him through you in the days ahead.

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    1. I do recall that song well, Ron, from the days when we led the praise service in our church. Absolutely, one of my favorites! How can we not praise the Lord if we have the breath to do so?
      I'm gratified that you will be on this journey with me; having like-minded, encouraging friends along the way adds to the pleasure and delight of new discoveries and challenges. May God open all our minds and hearts to His wonders in the days ahead.
      Love and blessings!

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  17. Martha, what a beautiful expression of words flowing from your heart. You are joyfully leaning into our Father's love and care, and what He's teaching you in this present moment. Continued prayers for you to breathe His promises and take in the moments around you like never before.

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    1. Thank you, Karen, for your continued prayers that those moments will continue to unfold with meaning and purpose as the Lord leads me forward. May we all be open and eager for all the amazing things God longs to show us and reveal to us about who He is and what He desires for us.
      Love and blessings!

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  18. Martha, I am so thankful for all God has done for you and is still doing in and through you, dear friend. He knew that so many of us need you here shining your bright light of encouragement and hope. Sending love and hugs your way today!

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    1. Oh, I'm so thankful, too, Cheryl, believe me! If God can continue to work through me to touch the hearts of others, that's exactly what I want to be doing. His second chance has paved the way, and I'm going to breathe with gratefulness and praise.
      Love and blessings!

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  19. Let everything that hath breath praise Jehovah!

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    1. Amen, David! May we all praise the Lord.
      Love and blessings!

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  20. So inspiring and meaningful, this post. Martha, you are living proof that Christ does indeed work all things together for the good of those who love him. https://soundcloud.com/debra-elramey/who-can-seperate-us

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    1. Jesus does, indeed, work all things together for good, Debra, of that, I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt. So glad the post spoke to your heart, my friend. I will certainly check your link out.
      Love and blessings!

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  21. "Breathe" is simple and essential. When I do it and think of it in silence or under the sunshine, I understand lives do not stand alone.

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    1. You understand well, Crane. Each breath we take is not only our own, but shared with all living creatures. May we celebrate that!
      Love and blessings!

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  22. So glad you're feeling better, Martha. And praising God for how He's working in you and through you! :-)

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    1. I'm so, so grateful to be feeling better, too, Frank. Healing is slow, but progress is progress, and I'll take it all!
      Love and blessings!

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  23. Glad you are finding your way back to the simple things Martha. I think that might have one of the things the psalmist had in mind when he said, "Be still and know..."

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    1. I believe you are right about that one, Bill. When we grow still and quiet is when we can most allow ourselves to be filled with God's Spirit.
      Love and blessings!

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  24. I love all your words today and every time I visit I feel God makes sure we know those who like us just want to search His words and be quiet and peaceful. You are very important to me, thank you for being there and please get better each day. God Bless You.

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    1. Oh, Anne, I can't thank you enough for your kind and generous words here. It comforts my heart to know that my blog speaks to you in such a meaningful way.
      Love and blessings!

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  25. Such an uplifting post - a great testimony for all of us.

    Thank you, Martha!

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  26. In spite of the limitations you're experiencing now, I hear great peace, joy, and hope in your words, Martha. How glorious you're able to savor the moments of this season in your life!

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    1. Yes, it is glorious, Nancy, and I'm rejoicing in all the grace God has shown me through this experience. Let us breathe in His grace and breathe out His praise!
      Love and blessings!

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  27. Oh, Martha, thank you for sharing this journey with all of us. What a beautiful testimony to inspire us to keep our eyes on the One who loves us most and best. I praise Him, with you, that you are feeling stronger each day. Enjoy pulling out your music and art projects as well as reading. I love your heart! Blessings, my friend!!

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    1. Deb, I'm so glad you stopped by to read this post so that you can catch up on where I am on this journey of healing. It's a long road, but if I remember to breathe with intention and gratefulness, I know all will be better in the end. I'll let you all know how the music and art turn out as things go along.
      Love and blessings!

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  28. You've proven once again, Martha, that you can beautifully and effectively blend inspiration and convicting admonitions. I am challenged, convicted, and motivated by the comment that you had been keeping patience at bay. I plead guilty. I have often gazed at the potential that patience holds and "wished" I had more of it. Then I've gone back to my race against everything. Thank you for another uplifting glimpse into God's work in your life. May He never cease to use all of us to teach any of us who have ears to hear.

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