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Catching My Breath

The sun peeked in and out of the clouds warming my skin as I lay near the shore. The wind blowing across the lake lapped the water on the rocks, while the golden leaves rustled the trees overhead. With my eyes closed, I listened. Laying still on the ground, I released.

Released all the struggles that had been weighing on me. Released the resurfacing grief that had descended as the four year anniversary of my husband’s death rolled around. Released the hardships and sorrow of working at a hospital during a pandemic. Released the struggles and disappointments that entering the dating world presents.

It felt like the first time in five months when I could actually let my guard down. My tight shoulders and neck were finally releasing. My jaw was unclenching. I had no agenda. No responsibility. Not a single person was expecting anything from me.

Only the current moment mattered. I was fully present.

This much-needed weekend camping trip with friends felt critical to my well-being. The only thing we hoped to accomplish was rest, relaxation and fun.

For me it had been a long stretch of adulting that included two of my grown kids getting married. The joy of the weddings, where family and friends gathered, was wonderful. And, all the responsibilities that go with these meaningful events left little time to focus on just myself.

Not that I wanted to be focused solely on me. I just needed some time where I had no expectations, whether good or challenging, to take time away from my focus for rejuvenation.

I was running on fumes and needed to catch my breath and recharge my batteries. It felt so selfish at first, as I lazed about near the water’s edge. It was hard putting my own needs before others, and yet that was what was needed.

Even my morning time with God had been forced and rushed in the last half a year. I was short-changing the One whom I knew could get me back on track. It was time to reclaim my time so I could continue to serve others in my home and work life.

Afterall, even Jesus took regular breaks from His whirlwind 3 year ministry. He did so because much was being asked of Him day after day. Mark’s Gospel tells of how Jesus got up before others: “Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where He could be alone in prayer.” (Mark 1:35 CEB)

It wasn’t long before the disciples found Him, and off they were to the next place for ministry. But Jesus knew He needed to be inte