Five Minute Friday: Breathe

It was January 2015. I sat at my desk, creating my usual list of ambitious goals and plans for the new year. I was also wondering what word to choose as my guide for the year, a word that would serve as my theme and focus for my days. I glanced up and noticed the word on a plaque my daughter had given me: Breathe. Was this to be my word? I looked up the various meanings of the word, prayed and pondered. Breathe soon seemed like the perfect choice.

A few months later I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and Jim was found to have an aortic aneurysm. The year was filled with treatments and surgeries. I needed to avoid people as my immunity was weakened, and spent my days simply resting and walking in the park. My word was a perfect one, not for the reasons I had anticipated, but for all the reasons I needed.

I recently learned that “inspiration” comes from in-spire, to breathe in. Each breath we take is a sacred gift from God, serving as a source of life, of rest, of refreshment, and even of loving guidance. Today is a reminder for me to once again breathe deeply and be thankful… for God’s incredible love throughout this incredible life.    

(Each week, writers are given a one-word prompt and five minutes to write. If you would like to join this online community or read other posts, follow the link to Five Minute Friday below the photo!)

18 Comments on “Five Minute Friday: Breathe

  1. Good essay, and wow!, that must have been quite a year. I’m thankful to God that you came through it, that we could meet.

    ‘Breathe’ was an intereting choice for a prompt, because breathing’s really had for me now. Bending over to tie bootlaces is a trial (I don’t do loafers).

    So I’m making allowances, kind of. I’m back in training to try out for a Div 2 rugby team. I figure that pain is just weakness being forced from the body.

    And I will prevail.

    Breathing’s now a torment,
    so hard to get air in,
    but it’s led me to foment
    a path to help me win
    back that which has been taken,
    torn away and lost,
    and the devil will be shaken
    when he sees at any cost
    that I’ll rise bleeding from the mud
    and still will live the dream,
    for, in truth, it is that blood
    doth make the grass grow green.
    Mad or right, I don’t know which,
    but it’s next year on the rugby pitch.


    • Oh my friend, of course you are training for rugby! 💪🥰 Your amazing strength and spirit (and creativity) continue to inspire me. Sending love and prayers, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. such a good testimony! And I love this…
    “My word was a perfect one, not for the reasons I had anticipated, but for all the reasons I needed.”
    Every year it seems the word He gives me to focus on is more fitting than I originally anticipated as well.
    Praying you are well!


  3. I have found that when I look for a God-word each year (ok, mine are usually phrases), that I am always surprised at how meaningful they become. I suppose that is an example of the seeking and finding that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7. To be honest, I am a bit convicted as I write this because my 2020 phrase was “Give careful thought to your ways” (from Haggai 1:2) and boy has 2020 been a year of disrupting the way I’ve traditionally done things. Haha. I suppose God is allowing me lot of opportunity to think on my ways. =)

    Amie, FMF #13


  4. What a testimony. I will try harder to breathe in the sacred breathe every day. Thanks for sharing Karen. God bless Loretta x fmf#4


  5. Breathe as a word of the year for 2015 was so key for you. It is key for me too as I struggle at times with anxiety and depression. I am able to breath easier with the breath of the Holy Spirit, my husband, my kids, and my friends who come alongside me. On good days and bad days…we all breathe!

    I love the inspire meaning too…we do breathe in so many gifts from God. Thank you for the reminder to be very grateful.
    Jennifer, FMF #23


    • Thank you, Jennifer, the word continues to bless, always. Today is one of those days when I need to breathe OFTEN! Thank you for sharing part of your journey with me. I will stop by your site soon.


  6. As a cancer survivor myself, I need to more often reflect on how God has not only healed but how He provided and showed Himself mighty through those years. (And continues to do so!) I’m glad you included that…it was a good reminder for me today.


  7. I think God revealed SO much in our cancer journeys, don’t you? God loves us through every part of our lives. Thank you Jennifer, and God bless you.


  8. Breathe is an amazing word and such a strong action! Your story resonates with Hope and Strength from despair! One of Sandi’s “quick fixes” was when she had low Blood Pressure they told her to take 3 deep breaths, inhaling deeply through her nose and “push” it out her mouth! That was all it took to bring it up! I started doing that also, just to remind her, but found new energy in doing this! God Blessed you and all of us with your healing❣️💕❤️
    Prayers ongoing for Andrew❣️🙏🙏


    • And I have been blessed that we became friends! Such a meaningful word, in so many ways. I love your idea that breathing provides energy, too! Your experiences add so much. Thank you!


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