Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Thoughts about:
the air taken into or expelled from the lungs

The Book of Genesis tells us:
- then the LORD God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, ant the man became a living creature. ~ Genesis 2:7

Idioms or cliches about breath:
out of breath
time to catch one's breath
under one's breath
breath of fresh air
catch one's breath
Don't hold your breath!
gasp for breath
I don't have time to catch my breath.
waste one's breath
with bated breath
take your breath away

How many times have we all used these idioms?

I was taught how to breathe during childbirth.

I was taught how to breathe when I learned to do Pilates.

I had the great blessing to watch each of my five children take the first breath of life.

I held my father's hand during his last days and would literally tell him,
"breathe in"
"breathe out"
in an attempt to help ease his breathing as he struggled through the effects of congestive heart failure.

When I have an asthma attack,
I use my flow meter as an aid to understand how my breathing is doing.
At high altitudes, as I gasp for breath, I use my finger oximeter to check my O2 saturation levels.

My therapist cautioned me about 
holding my breath.
She said that she thinks that when I get worried and anxious and stressed,
I am doing great harm to my body when I don't breathe deeply and practice stress releasing breathing.
She said that she thinks I go around "holding my breath" too often.
She means I am not relaxed and taking life as it comes.
I am uptight.
I'm not breathing deeply.
I am stressed.
She is right.

My GI doctor told me that when the body is not breathing easily in deep sleep at night,
it is out of balance.
When adrenaline is pumped up, one's body goes into 
fight or flight response.
When one sleeps deeply and well, one's body is able to 
rest and digest.
These two bodily responses to life need to be in balance.

Breath gives life.

I've been thinking about breathing a lot lately.

Interestingly, this past week, I had my breath collected.
I know, that sounds crazy,
but really I did.
I spent three hours at National Jewish Heath
where a nurse had me blow into a balloon type object so my breath could be 
collected and analyzed.
This test is called the hydrogen breath test. (click to read about the test.)
It is used to diagnose several gastrointestinal conditions.
I should have the results on Friday.

And then, today, for the first time since the first of 2013,
I let out a huge sigh of relief.

It has been a rough year for my family.
There have been a few bumps in the road.

Two of my children have been searching for jobs.
Both have always worked since they were sixteen years old.
Both have been highly successful.
This year there were reversals in employment for both.
Job searches are trying, difficult, discouraging, and disheartening.

I have prayed daily for the Lord's provision for these two and for their families.
The Lord has provided every single day with what was needed for their needs.
Then, two weeks ago, one was offered a job opportunity where the salary was the same as the last wonderful job.  Opportunities for growth and advancement are also there.

Today,  the other one also got a wonderful job offer with the same salary and benefits as the last great job.  Opportunities for growth and advancement are also there.

I am breathing again!
I am doing the happy dance.
I am so relieved.
I am so thankful.
Praise the Lord!
Many prayers have been answered.


LC said...

Wonderful news, and definitely cause for a deep breath of relief and that happy dance.

Kudos on your gift of presenting novel connections and engaging learning opportunities in your posts.

Your link for the breath test was enlightening, too. The information reminded me of something my mother experienced. i hope that link helps someone else whose doctors are dismissive of an elder's continuing discomfort.

Terri Tiffany said...

I am so happy to hear they got good jobs!!! Yay!! It is so hard still with this economy. Glad you can breathe a deep breath and relax.

DJan said...

Such wonderful, welcome news, on all fronts, Sally. Thank heavens that the economy is finally beginning to show signs of recovery, enough for loved ones to start working again. So glad you are breathing in and breathing out! :-)

Jackie said...

Oh, Sally. I'm happy right along with you...!! What wonderful news regarding the job opportunities for your children. They will always be our children....grown or not, and we will always hold our breath and breathe sighs of relief for them and with matter how old they are or we are. That's just the way it is, isn't it, my friend!
Love to you...and praises to Our Father, Who is in Heaven.

Jeanie said...

Such good news for your family. I can imagine your giant sigh of relief.
Interesting thoughts on breathing, a function we too often take for granted.

Linda Reeder said...

I have first hand experience with adult children being out of work, and what a relief it is when they regain full employment!
Breathing is a lot easier when your kids are happy and doing well.

Arkansas Patti said...

What a relief this must be for you and that they are able to maintain their economic level is the best part. Too often people have to take a step down to get back to work. Wonderful news!!!
Loved your insightful essay on breath. Think I will now be more aware of how often I hold my breath and because of that awareness, may just let the pent up air go and breathe normally. Thanks.

Olga said...

That is good news for your family. I do hope the economy is starting to turn around again.

Breathe. Yes. That is a needed reminder.

Rose said...

So happy for you and both your children! My oldest son was laid off from work a couple of years ago and has struggled ever since. He decided to go back to school and finally finish his degree, so I'm hoping things will be looking up for him soon. I know that feeling of holding one's breath too much!

Isabelle said...

I'm so glad for you. We never stop worrying about our children... as you know more than most.

Jeanie said...

Maybe that is why you have been holding your breath. I am so happy for both of them and for you. It is indeed a relief.

Sending good thoughts that the big balloon will yield good results for you.

Happy Labor Day -- I'll check in next week!

troutbirder said...

Yes, it's life itself. My worst memories from childhood as those of lying in bed at night and listening to my mom struggle to breathe. She suffered from severe asthma.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, what wonderful news about two of your children. I'm so happy for them and you. And I bet you are breathing easier and that your heart is filled with gratitude.

I was born with asthma and spent the first three weeks in the hospital. (This was in 1936.) Then, according to my mother, I almost died from asthma four times in my first five years. Each time, I was rushed to the hospital in Mom and Dad's old chevy and saved.

So I know about fighting for breath and gulping air and feeling that a breath isn't coming and that one is suffocating. The color Blue is what saved me. Just letting myself be within that color enabled me to breathe. I hope you, too, have a way to calm yourself and breathe the wonder of breath. Peace.

Kathleen McCoy said...

What wonderful news after so much worry! I'm so glad for you!

Barb said...

Hello Sally, I am agreeing with all you've written about breath. My cardiologist also warns me about holding my breath - blood pressure will rise instantly. When you physically strain, there is a tendency to hold the breath - also when you are fearful or worried, a psychological strain. I'm glad that you are able to let out your breath and breathe more deeply again now that family worries are resolved. I know that there is a never-ending supply of worries, but for now - I'm breathing easy with you! Hope the test results were good.

Friko said...

Praise the Lord, by all means, but don’t forget that the two of them must have done a great deal right all by themselves to get their chance.

I am glad for you; now don’t get too excited about it all or you’ll start fibrillating! And you know what happens then. :-)

Deb Shucka said...

What a poet you are! I'm breathing more deeply having read your beautiful words. So happy about your kids, and the happy lilt of your voice.

Perpetua said...

No wonder you gave a great sigh of relief after so much stress and worry, Sally. A real answer to prayer. Best wishes to your children in their new posts. It's so hard for younger people nowadays with decreasing job security happening in all types of trade and profession.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Happy to hear thatsome of the downs are turning up.
Also I must say the back to school stuff draws me to it each August and I have to remember to leave it on the shelves! I have plenty of materials to keep me going for years. It will likely outlast me lol

Kay said...

Oh yae!!! That's wonderful news, Sally. It's always a worry when the kids are in difficulties or struggling. I'm so happy for you and the kids. My Jonathan will be looking for a job next year if he graduates this winter.

We're learning breathing right now in tai-chi and it's a slow process.

fairy wings said...

nice post....

Joanne said...

Oh how awesome that both your children have new jobs and both around the same time! God is awesome isn't He?! Very cool post....I think I am one of those people that hold their breath too! I hope your test comes back normal. Lets us know.
Blessings, Joanne

Bossy Betty said...

So good to hear that positive things are happening for you and your kiddos. Breathing here! Breathing!!!!

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Sally, that is such wonderful news about the job offers and I am really relieved for your children and you...
breathing is my only salvation, over and over and over. Your post is so important, as it is a vital reminder to us all, that when we feel stress, we have the one and only most immediate relief in our power.
Now off to lunch, where I take full
advantage of my time to BREATHE!
I'll do a happy dance for you, too!

Mage said...

How wonderful about the jobs. Perhaps breathing is also praying....of course it is.

Vagabonde said...

I am so pleased for you and your family. It certainly is a relief to know that they have found some good jobs – I can understand that you breathe a lot easier now.