Life is hitting us all hard these days. Everyone I know is going through some majorly stressful and difficult challenges. Call it escapism, call it avoidance, but I have found something that helps me like nothing else.
I look up. I focus on Christ, the author and perfector of my faith.
I look out. I see the trees, the sky, the animals, the things that He has made.
I breathe deeply, if I can. Sometimes the stress is too much, and I get a pitifully shallow breath, but I refocus on God’s things, and try again. Breathe, and breathe again.
Find the things you love. Clouds, birds, your pet, your best friend, your parents, a delicious cup of tea, a piece of homemade carrot cake. Relish it. Sit in the moment of enjoying it for as long as it takes.
Here is a photograph of a jet-lagged, pain-weary me arriving in Ireland a few years ago. It had been a hard journey, and my ankle was hurting. But my husband stopped the car by the ocean on the side of the road. I got out, and the unmistakable smell of Ireland overtook me. The clean strong wind cleansed all the gunk out. I could breathe. The look you see in those tired eyes is pure joy and relief. Look for your Ireland today, wherever it may be, whatever form it takes. God never leaves you, never forsakes you, ever.
Looking up, looking out, breathing deep.