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Just Breathe

“Just breathe, Kimberly. Relax and breathe.”

These are the soothing words that my mother has been whispering to me for my entire life. And now my sweet, wise fiancé whispers them to me as well. They are both the kind of people who feel excited “on the inside.” They smile slightly when they’re happy while I jump up and down, clapping and laughing loudly. They also take things in stride and don’t get too upset when things don’t go the way they planned. They aren’t so sure they were the ones who were right to begin with.

So why, raised by such a calm and reasonable mother, do I find it so hard just to relax and breathe? And why has it always been this way? Why do I hold on to everything with such a tight grip, feeling that the world will go spinning out of control if I can’t keep it in check?

I want things RIGHT.

I want everything to go smoothly and to flow, and I want everyone happy. But in my vain attempts to keep it all in check, I become unhappy – full of angst and fighting to keep myself from a full-blown anxiety attack. Thank God I haven’t had one of those in a very long time…

God has been drilling these lessons into my head for the last several years, over and over again.

I am not in control.

I cannot make anything go my way.

The sheer force of my will isn’t enough.

I do not always have the answers. In fact, I am often very wrong.

I can relax and let God handle the things that concern me.

So today, Labor Day, I am ceasing from my labors. I’m taking the advice of a friend who came over to help me unravel the mess in my head and put together a priority list. She told me I’m not allowed to worry about the lingering items on my to do list concerning the wedding, honeymoon, and new life together in a new house in a new part of the country. She said I am only allowed to concern myself with what is on the list for today – and I now have a well-organized list to tell me just what that is.

I’m going to go sit with a friend and drink some coffee. We’re going to laugh and talk and not worry about the fact that my wedding invitation envelopes lay un-addressed in a pile on my desk (and no one else can do them for me because they must be RIGHT).

I’m going to stop concerning myself with who will replace me at my job and trust that God has heard my prayers for just the right person at just the right time. (Oh, how hard it will be to believe that anyone else can love and nurture and bless those children and my dear friends, their parents, as well as I can…)

As the list of concerns and things I must do grows and the time in which to do them shrinks, I am doing all I can to lay my concerns before the Lord and trust that He will work everything out. I am doing my best to remember how incredibly joyful this time in my life is and to relish the pleasure of being a bride. I am trying to delegate things to my friends and family, letting perfectionism slip away and sanity return.

God, help me to remember to breathe.

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