31 Days of learning to Breathe: Defining

During the summer of 2015 I believe, our youngest daughter was playing in a summer soccer tournament. She had been fighting what we thought was a cold prior to this, and getting ready to head into her Jr. year of H.S. soccer. She was not getting better, no matter what we did, so after the tournament, I decided a trip to the doctor might be a good idea. Just before we were getting ready to walk out the office door, with no real answers, the doctor said "you know, let me run one more test. We've been seeing some cases of whooping cough." I got a call the next morning, that yes, in fact, she tested positive for whooping cough. WHAT! Where in the world had she contracted it, and OH. MY. GOSH. how many people has she been around before we knew what she had. I even got a phone call from the CDC (center for disease control). Wow! It was a crazy. For 3 months she struggled every time she coughed and sometimes every time she took a breath. At night I would listen to see if she was able to catch her breath if she had a coughing fit. She strained her intercostal muscle from coughing so hard. She couldn't give 100% to her soccer games because it was a struggle to breath. Even after the "whooping" part was gone, she struggled. 

It is amazing sometimes how something that is such a natural part of our lives, something that is "one" with us, something we do without thinking, can be taken so easily for granted. Not just our actual physical breath either, but the fact that we are constantly breathing something in and out without giving a second thought. Or sometimes we do think about it and we choose to breathe it in or out anyways, whether positive or negative. That's what the focus is on this month. Being conscious of our breathing. What are we taking in and out. 

Here are a few definitions (from google dictionary) to get us started, to get us thinking:

   1. the air taken into or expelled from the lungs
   2. the power of breathing life
   3. a sign, hint or suggestion

   1. take air into the lungs and then expel it
   2. be or seem to be alive, be living

Elsewhere I found words like; to infuse (into), to express, to utter with non-vocality, to allow to rest or regain breath. Wow. What power in two small words, what power in two things we take for granted in it's many forms. 

I can't wait to dive in deeper into these simple yet profound words. To encourage you, to be encouraged by you. To maybe bring you a little bit of hope and courage. Or if nothing else, to remind myself, to give myself more hope and courage.  

Even as today unfolded with news of tragedy and many finding themselves unable to catch their breath, many feeling a heaviness over them, many who drew their last breathe unexpectedly, many who are still waiting to hear from loved ones. I can only imagine what they are going through and went through, something none of us ever want to experience, and yet it can happen. Life comes at us unexpectedly sometimes and we find ourselves reeling, struggling to understand, anxious about what is to come. What will we do? How will we handle it?

Let's take a journey to learning to breathe. Maybe it's learning to just be more aware, or maybe you need to slow down. Maybe you need to stop breathing in toxic things. Hopefully in the next month you will take away a few nuggets here and there.  

Take time to think about those definitions, and what they mean to you, literally and figuratively. See you tomorrow.

With Joy Unquenchable,


  1. This series is going to be great! So scary about your daughter's whooping cough. An illness with Whooping in the name really sounds like it should be more fun. Can't wait to keep reading especially since I am not doing the 31 days this year.


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