We start thinking about breathing intentionally as our children are still growing inside of us. We practice breathing techniques to manage pain as we bring precious new life into the world. The rhythm of our breathing during labor and childbirth helps us focus, change perspective, and push through one of the most physically demanding things we will ever do.
That demanding job doesn't stop when the baby arrives, am I right?! They come into this world forcefully and mine have never slowed down. In the middle of it all, sometimes I forget to breathe. No, I'm not talking about my asthma or anything. I'm talking about the kind of breathing that refreshes and reorients us. The deep breaths that bring my mind back to Jesus and His Spirit living inside me.
I can't afford to wait to breathe like this until my life of motherhood gets less crazy, less chaotic. This chaos around me is not going away. I have three boys. Boys are loud and energetic and I wouldn't want them any other way - this is exactly how God made them.
So I'm forced with this choice: to gasp for air, barely surviving the chaos from one day to the next OR to find the space and room to take regular deep breaths so I can embrace the chaos and thrive in motherhood.
I know the choice I want to make, but the laundry overflows and the children fight and the to-do list grows and I forget. I need reminders to breathe. And God is so good to provide them. Just hearing the words "breathe" and "breath" now make me pause. This song is constantly running through my head...
"It's Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only" -All Sons and Daughters, "Great Are You Lord"
The breathing isn't so much about me physically needing it, but spiritually and mentally. When I'm surrounded by noise and busyness, choosing to breathe in more of Him and then praise Him with all that He has given me makes me feel like I'm back to using that practiced breathing that got me through labor. In the deep breaths, I find focus, I gain perspective, I'm able to push through the hard but good work of motherhood.
Deep breaths, mama friends. Focus on Him and let Him refresh. Then jump back in to make memories with your kids, praising Him for all that chaos with which He has blessed you.
How do you find the time and space to take deep breaths and let Jesus fill you back up?
Erin Mohring enjoys life in Nebraska with her husband of 11 years and their three boys, as well as reading, running, and movie nights with her guys. She writes at Home with the Boys and is the co-founder of The MOB Society, a site for moms of boys, by moms of boys.