Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Oxygen

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Can you remember the last time the gas in your emotional tank just felt empty? You were dreading something you'd normally look forward to? You were struggling to get out of bed (when you are a morning person)? You weren't depressed, per se, just not like yourself.

You were in need of this week's word: oxygen. Oxygen: something that sustains or fuels.

We normally associate "oxygen" in the scientific realm as a chemical element essential for human life on planet earth, but in fact it can be a wonderfully spiritual word.

By this I mean, when is the last time you breathed something in that sustained or fueled you?

In my work, I often hear people voicing concerns about how they are "running on fumes" or are struggling to "keep their head above water." Sometimes uncontrollable situations keep people down (an illness, a death, or a situation requiring much care of a loved one). Other times It's about self-imposed love of busyness, fear of not having enough and all-consuming worries-- things that could change if life patterns were turned around differently. No matter the reasons why you know when you see weariness painted on someone's face. It just is.

When we find ourselves like this, it's so easy to be so close yet so far from anything restorative.

Let me tell you this: recently, I had what I'll call a "mom vacation." I went away for a couple of days by myself without responsibilities of parenting, work, or house chores. It sat in a pretty place with time to think and be. While I was away, the word oxygen kept coming back to my lips. What I was doing wasn't self-indulgent. It wasn't frivolous. It wasn't even what I normally would call "self care." It was oxygen. It was pure oxygen.

Oxygen gave me fuel to come back the next week and do the things I needed to do.

Did you know that oxygen is the most abundant element in the earth's crust? Did you know that oxygen is the 3rd most abundant element in the entire universe?

Learning this all over again, reminded me of oxygen's abundant proximity. What you need is available. What you need is close. What you need is essential. You just have to connect to it.

You just have to breathe it in-- both literally of course and spiritually too.

Now, I know, you might not feel like you are in an oxygen rich bubble right now. Something going on in your life may just feel too heavy. Resources for help might seem out of reach. But I'm hoping that this email will be a nudge to you to remember all over again what fuels you. Then you might be encouraged you to take one step in that direction of that.

And you know what? That is where God is.