There is nothing quite like the slowing down of the pace after a good run. Your feet become a little bit heavier as they hit the pavement as they slow down. Your breath first comes back into your lungs as gasps and then over time at a slower pace your breathing returns to normal. The drenched sweat on your brow becomes icy instead of drippy. Your shoulders drop a little as they begin to relax from the release of tension. Your clenched fists begin to unfold. You begin to be able to look around again and not have to focus just on your end point. Then there is a release that the hard part is over and you can just enjoy the rest of your day. That is called catching your breath.
I recently experienced this. Kind of. I mean, I work out, so I feel like I experience that pretty often. What I really mean is that I took a week off to catch my breath. Even though my feet did not pick up the pace faster than a slow walk with sand between my toes, I still felt like I experienced all those things. Everything about my week off was like catching my breath.
From the one on one time catching up on life in the car with my friend that will be getting married soon, to the beach front views of the places I stayed, to the pile of 10 magazines and book (Firefly Lane–super good, clean, fictional read about the story of true friends) I actually got to dive into, to the laughter until I cried from quoting silly movies like Pitch Perfect in British accents like Fat Patricia (watch the movie if you don’t get it), to dance parties to Party in the USA in my new car driving to dinner, to my sweet times in the word studying the book of Esther over coffee, to window shopping with friends, to rooming with people from my old church, Cove, and getting to have pillow talk like you do when you are 12, to eating really really good food.
It was on the way to dinner one night, one of the girls in my car was insistent upon listening to this silly Kelly Clarkson song (yes, I am getting serious and talking about Kelly Clarkson). She turned it on, and yet another dance party and belting out of off pitch lyrics overflowed the car…the title of the song was “Catch My Breath.” I kind of giggled to myself as I listened to the lyrics…and they all fit. All of it, the whole vacation, felt like catching my breath.
As I drove home, alone, alone for the first time in a week really, I was reflecting on my week off. I couldn’t understand what made last week different from other vacations I have been on recently. I have been on beach trips with some of those same girls multiple times before…What was different? It’s not that the other vacations weren’t relaxing…or that I didn’t have fun. I was trying to comprehend when the last time I felt that relaxed and unworried was, and I truly think it was pre February 9, 2009.
I know. I know. That is kind of sad. That was the day my mom got sick. I soon graduated college. My friends were changing. Breaking up with boyfriends. I was moving and changing jobs. About the time I would get settled I would feel unsettled by something. The Nashville flood happened, as if my family needed one more thing to happen. I was unhappy with life situations–even though I put on my usual happy face.
I was begging God, asking God, seeking God with urgency…but not the type of urgency to just simply be in His presence but the type of urgency that I needed Him to just give me breath to survive. And let me tell you…survival mode is not a fun thing…even when you are doing it with God. It is pure stressful.
Not that I don’t need Him now…I need Him more than ever…I think I have just entered a new season. A season of peace. Catching my breath. The type of time where you can seek and find Him…but not on a deadline.
Not to say the pace won’t pick back up. I have an intense May-August 31st ahead with trips to Huntsville, Florence, London England, Memphis (twice), Nashville,…etc. I just think my attitude has changed a bit personally…I am at peace. True to go along with my word for this year,… I am enjoying the peace and catching my breath…