Hello and welcome to my birthday month!
Oh, I realize that it is halfway through summer and you might want to be hanging on as tight as you can to the lightness and freedom that has characterized your July days. I agree the days of summer start out like languid pools of promise and by August 1, become like waterfalls that insidiously speed up as they go swirling by. Like you, I want to hang on and jump in the middle of each moment before it rushes past me and pours into the next season.
But, hello – it is my birthday month! and something about August 1 shifts my focus from wanting to hang on to wanting to head out into the next adventure. It is, in a very real sense, the start of a new year for me, when I begin anticipating just what might be in store as I turn the corner into the freshness of fall.
What you don’t suspect is that what lies beneath the anticipation, carefully hiding and ready to jump at any moment is…fear. Such fear that I am already holding my breath because I fear I won’t be able to keep up to the pace that beckons me to come and jump right back into the motion and into the middle of the fray.
So I have determined that my August this year will be full of anticipation, and full of promise. But the promise will be the kind made of my commitment to myself that I will breathe in and out and in and out and continue to breathe in and out. What I normally do is hold my breath because so quickly I become submerged underwater where the demands of life, relationships, work and ministry almost drown me. I stop breathing. I only take gulps of frantic air when I allow myself to surface before I go back down into the deep of expectations.
So this August I anticipate a life after August…Where I Breathe. In and out. Breathe out performance and perfection and expectations and the measuring of all things. Breathe in grace. And take another breath, long and steady and slow until my lungs and my heart are so full that I then release with a slow and steady and lovely exhale. No frantic gulping of oxygen. No fear that I can only function breathless. Instead – one gorgeous, graceful breath at a time. In and out. Rhythm. Steady. Clear.
Come with me as I keep hanging on to the sweet summer moments. Come with me as I anticipate the August rhythm of in and out grace-breathing that that will keep me floating on top of the water’s flow and not drowning in it. And, if you didn’t hear it the first couple of times, welcome to my birthday month!