Parenting

Mama, Just Breathe

breathe

I keep busy.

That’s probably an understatement. As a homeschooling mom, with three of my daughters six years old and under, I am always doing something. Just the everyday tasks of life keep me busy. When you add anything extra I almost feel like The Leaning Tower of Pisa, or perhaps akin to those folks in the commercials who haven’t had a V8. I feel off balance, off kilter, and completely overwhelmed. I’ve about accepted that’s the phase of life I am in right now.

This day this past week was like any other day. I had completed school with my daughters, and since we had plans outside of the home for the evening there was a bit more flurry of activity than usual. Sometimes, make that most times, when you have small children just getting out the door is a huge ordeal. On this particular afternoon I had given baths, and I was assisting my three small girls to get dressed. Simultaneously I was cleaning the house, or perhaps make that straightening it up to the point that it wasn’t quite so much of an eyesore, and I was also preparing dinner to cook in the crockpot while we were away.

As I washed off the potatoes I had just peeled my toddler came around the corner with a mischievous grin.

“Get your shoes.” I instructed sweetly. “Get your shoes if you want to go.”

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I started cubing potatoes and adding them to the pot. Within a minute or two my toddler returned with a proud smile on her face and a single shoe in her hands.

“Get the other one.” I told her. “You need two shoes.”

And off she went around the corner. I finished preparing dinner, and after turning the crockpot timer to three hours I walked around the corner where my baby girl had last gone. I was confronted immediately with her handiwork. In the hall floor lay not only every shoe she owned, but also a dozen or so others belonging to the rest of the family. She was searching tirelessly among the pile for the mate to her pink sandal. I quickly glimpsed it hiding in plain sight in a corner of the hall, and I sat down in the floor to gather up and match shoes.

I wasn’t flipping out, yelling, or anything like that, although to be honest I’d been known to do all of the above on occasion, especially when in a hurry to head out the door. Despite my lack of frustration, I suppose my four-year-old sensed something in me, just below the surface. It was that tense, harried persona that was the norm for a busy, chaotic life. My four-year-old had come up behind me quietly, and I didn’t even realize she was there until she spoke.

“Just breathe, Mom.” She said in her signature, squeaky voice.

My mind went to breathing exercises and counting backwards from ten to ward off rage, a common technique in anger management.

“Who told you about that?” I asked in amusement.

She answered quickly, “you know. The song. Just breathe.” Then she began to sing the chorus.

Later I pulled up the song on my phone, and as I drove down the road with my children buckled up in the back behind me, tears rolled down my eyes as I listened to words that surely had been written about me.

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor

It’s off to the races everybody out the door

I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life

Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can

Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand

So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life

It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day

When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just

Breathe, just breathe

Come and rest at my feet

And be, just be

Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day

Want to make the most of time but I feel it slip away

I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life

I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see

That I only have time for me, me, me

There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life

I’m hanging on tight to another wild day

When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear you say just

Breathe, just breathe

Come and rest at my feet

And be, just be

Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in fill your lungs

The peace of God that overcomes

Just breathe

So let your weary spirit rest

Lay down what’s good and find what’s best

Just breathe

Just breathe, just breathe

Come and rest at my feet

And be, just be

Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to just breathe

Just breathe

-Jonny Diaz

Life was crazy, chaotic, and beyond busy, but it was also so abundantly blessed. In the moments where I felt overwhelmed I was best reminded to just breathe. My four-year-old daughter delivered a word from the Lord that I really needed right at that moment. Perhaps it’s one you needed to hear today.

Just breathe.

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Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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