I said: Breathe.

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you…”  Isaiah 42 (emphasis mine)


I breathe slow and snagged.


Because I am caught up.

and netted- fast

and stuck- constrained.

Snared somehow.


By duty and schedule and guilt and should-be’s and too many yes’s and not enough no’s and not waking with His name on my lips and this to do and that to accomplish and good deeds and this flesh and that mop and this dust and fun and summer and planning this and finding the keys and technology and calendar and my sin and the pull of the world and the …… blah. blah. blah.

I realized this two days ago

in the car

that I wasn’t breathing.

Not filling.

Not satiating.

Not complete.

Not brimming to overflowing.

… You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows… +Psalm 23

More shallow and wanting.

I looked at myself in the rearview and glimpsed my little reminder that days are passing. That silver strand at my temple. Tempted to pull it out.

::::::::::::::Shallow, too. In a different sense.

Some weeks, they slip by unseen and I forget to breathe them in.

… So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom… +Psalm 90

It is easy to forget to breathe.

I said to myself with “Give God the Glory Glory” pouring out of the speakers and out of my backseat buckled-in smiles:::: “Give God the glory, glory….”

I said: breathe.

Like I had to remind myself. Who reminds themselves to breathe????

I did. And I even tried to take a deep breath and my too-tight, white-knuckled chest wouldn’t give me up.

I couldn’t fill myself deep and full and saturated and content.

I couldn’t do it.

So my breath came shorter and held out longer.

                            :::::::::::::::::::::::Without air.

It occurs to me amidst the hymns swirling and little ones counting buttercups along the road and my grocery list flying off the seat in the rolled down windows::::

:::::: This is a gift.

This whole 35 seconds of depthless breathing and that gray hair and this moment right now when I have to depend on Someone else for one of the most natural, rote, practiced, life-giving, filling up and out-flowing actions we do all 86,400 seconds of our day.

And that I cannot do it on my own. Praise God.

No, I cannot even breathe on.my.own.

Lord, Creator of my very breath: Can You help me breathe?

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Because I cannot count on myself for even that.

(thank You.)

And that realization:::

That I cannot trust myself, but instead I can trust the mighty and sovereign God of the universe for the tiniest invisible thing is a beautiful blessing.

and I can count on Him right now.

That He commands even my evanescent breath to pour forth from these lungs that He created::: even at this very moment…

that is a grace-saturated gift from Him, to me.

O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You! +Psalm 84

I can trust Him.

I can trust. Him.

If in the very small and sightless, then also in the very big.

Not only because His Word tells me so, but because He shows me so.

He goes before me.

He helps me breathe.

When I forget how, He shows me again. and again. and again.

::::::::::::::::::::::::: give God the glory, glory…..

He breathed life into me.

How can I ever forget that?

…then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature… +Genesis 2:7


I said to him:::: it’s like I’m being plucked.

Does that make sense, I asked.

Like the Lord is plucking things from my life, I said. And I don’t know how I feel about it.

                                          +the wings… wave proudly… but are they… the plumage of love? +Job 39

Like I have these feathers plucked-bare:::

Until it’s just me.

bare and::::

::::: and feeling kind of… more…. aware.


I can’t say I like it, I said.

::::::::::::::::Smug:: yet, with thanks driven deep in the secret heart-place.

I know what this is. He spoke it in my innermost after I chewed too-chattery on the issue for a few days. I didn’t like it at first.

And I said to Him::: if this is what You are doing, I don’t know if I can bear this well. If I can feel open and vulnerable like this and find joy in this. I want You to know that.


These feathers of mine:::::

This one. Oh, this one. I liked this one. That one. Oh, please, that one just seems right… right? And then there goes that one, too.

Until it’s just me…..

:::::::::::::::::::::::::: smiling, weak… at a strong Him.

Feathers I preened-pretty and covered down-comfort and strutted peacock-iridescent. Shining.

:::::::::: shining? really?


Pulled slow and fast and flesh-pulling-resistant::::

:::::::::::::: oh, the flesh.

My heart break-beating::: fretful-fainting::::: oh-please-no.oh-please-no.oh-please-no.

He didn’t say it wouldn’t hurt.

He didn’t say it wouldn’t sting.

He didn’t say it wouldn’t burn.

+Beloved, do not be surprised when a fiery trial it comes upon you to test you… +1 Peter 4

::::::::::::::::::: Oh, Father, I feel it in my weary bones. Take it.

Take it.

::::::::::::::::;Stand-up bold in Him.

Because if He is the Taker, then I bow-down thankful.

Take it.

Take it. Because I pray my heart beats for You.

Take it. Because Your heart beats for me.

(the joy in even that alone!)

Take it. Because I am nothing and You are everything.

And my heart beats yes-please.yes-please.yes-please.

:::::::::::::: and I have this one wisp of a life. Take it.

                                         +Surely all mankind stands as a breath before you… +Psalm 39

And, I walk bare right now. I am walking struck-open and sometimes wondering in my wandering, because I feel unsure and confident ::::::: simultaneously.

Confident in Him.

            +In the fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence and His children will have a refuge. +Proverbs 14

::::::::::::::::::: A promise He made.

And so He plucks,

so to dress me one day in purest white,

feathered and nestled under His wings:::: right- now and forever-close.

                                     +He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. +Psalm 91

Because when I am bare and broken and plucked:::: He hides me in Himself.

Every feather plucked bears me closer to Him.

Every plume picked reveals His grace on me.

:::::::::::::::::: thank You, thank You, Lord.

He plucked me from the pit before time began.

And now, He plucks these feathers.IMG_1492

The ones that do not bring me closer to Him::::

for the divine purpose of bringing me closer to Him.

Lord, the One who gives and gives and gives, not that You need my permission, but pluck away…

So I can fly……………….

This is the Lord’s doing… Let us rejoice and be glad in it… Psalm 118