Every Breath

Every day living can suck the life right out of you sometimes. 

Somewhere in the middle of pouring cereal, sweeping floors and wiping little noses I can forget to be alive... 

My mantra used to be the quote from the Last Samurai , "To know life in every breath". Hmm. That was back before I had kids. Before life was getting up out of bed and being thrown straight into a multi tasking frenzy. You know, back when I actually had a few minutes to sit alone (uninterrupted) and think. 

These past weeks, I've felt that quote being whispered right back into my soul. "To know life...." to KNOW it. Not to just exist it. To KNOW it. To understand it. To experience it. To LIVE it. " every breath." Not just in moments or isolated instances... but in EVERY SINGLE BREATH. What would that be like? Like a free fall from an airplane? Like running through the tall grass, barefoot with the sun on my face? Like riding my horse as a little girl, wind blowing through my hair and powerful hoofbeats carrying me anywhere? Like that moment when I pushed each of my three babies into this world, screaming and strong with power and LIFE... beautiful LIFE beginning--emerging from me? What would it be like if I lived each moment in the spirit of those FULLY ALIVE moments? 

"Without vision the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18)

Without a vision... without a reason for life... without a purpose... I perish. I falter. I lose my way. I lose hope. 

I've been reminded that I need to re-cast vision. I was really good at vision years ago. Before the kids. Before the laundry. Before the cooking and the cleaning and the tantrums and the stretch marks. I was full of motivation. Full of hope. Full of LIFE. 

What parts of me have I simply let die? 

Without vision, [I] perish. 

My husband and I are reading the New Testament together. We are reading it out loud to one another and its words are saturating my soul. When my husband reads especially, I am opening my pores to it and allowing him to wash me with the Word, as he should. I am allowing the God breathed words to breathe life back into my spirit. I am opening my mind and my heart to new VISIONS.

I remember standing in the sanctuary at our church in Vermont. I was broken, empty and lost. We had just gotten back from the mission field, defeated and (failed).  I felt so shallow. I felt laid out on the cold earth needing something from God. I needed Him to speak to me. I needed Him to shape me and tell me that I was still useful. I felt sure I wasn't. Our pastor's wife stood up on the stage and she spoke in clear strong terms. I closed my eyes and I felt goose bumps. I was about to hear. I can still remember her words clear as a bell. I hear her inflection, her tone, and her strength as she spoke them. "There are dreams that you have lost that WILL be returned to you." I crumpled. When we left the mission field, I felt like all my vision and all my dreaming was wrong. I felt like nothing I'd believed about my purpose was real. I felt I'd been dumped by God. I felt useless, worthless and less than. And in that one sentence, I felt God say, "I still have dreams for you." 

Don't ever lose your vision. Chase it. Redeem it. LIVE it.


King Huckleberry said...


Mrs.NatClem said...

so good, Claire.

Melissa said...

Wonderful post, Claire. I think vision can be so hard for a momma, because it's not like we've purposefully given up .. our minds just have so little quiet, it's hard to remember how to recapture and claim vision! Our lives can turn into survival mode if we've not careful. This post was such a great reminder. I honestly feel like some of my old dreams have had to die, but the Lord has placed new and vibrant dreams in my future, and I'm excited about those now! I often remind myself that dreams I had might even come to fruition in my children. Like you, I've always had a heart for missions, but I sometimes get the strongest feeling that my whole purpose in spending time overseas was to prepare me to be my children's biggest cheerleader on the mission field. And there is definitely no such thing as a dead dream if you see if come full circle to your children, you know?! Anyways! Sorry for going on like that .. definitely a renewed passion of mine! Love you!

Emily grapes said...

awww, I can see this even in my life. thinking my dreaming and direction was wrong. But I love your (almost) last night.

I still have dreams for you.

Something I need to remember, myself. :)
Emily at Amazing Grapes

Josh and Ashlee said...

Thanks Claire, I needed that.