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One of my personal little pleasures is running out of Bath & Body Works® hand soaps and lotions. The reason I enjoy it so much is that I then allow myself a trip to the store to “restock.” I grab my coupons and off I go! Weeeee!
When I stocked up last week, the store had a fresh batch of hand soaps and I grabbed one of each. Just listen to this line-up: Aloha Orchid, Mango Paradise, Coconut Cove, Berry Sangria, Island Breeze, and Ocean Sunset. Ahhhhhh! Soaps with names like that are irresistible because I feel like I’m on a mini-vacation each time I use them. And, as often as Moms wash their hands…what a treat, huh?! It’s like I’m on island time all day long! (ha ha)
Now, as far as the lotions go, I’m pretty predictable. I usually grab the same three scents – Japanese Cherry Blossom, Twilight Woods, and Moonlight Path. Same three. Every time. But, as my cousin, Donna, reminded me, “People really like to hold on to their comfort zone and life doesn’t really begin until you leave it.” Hmmmmm. Truth.
So, instead of the regulars, I ventured off into the Aromatherapy lotions. New territory. Unchartered waters. Livin’ on the edge, I was! The lotion that caught my mommy attention was “Stress Relief.” It was a Eucalyptus Tea body cream that claimed to help calm feelings of stress and uncertainty. What?! Did you know that a simple lotion could do that?! I should have grabbed their entire display! No more feelings of uncertainty? Who WOULDN’T want to slather on a layer?!
Then, as I read a little further, the last line on the lotion was, “Breathe deeply for best results.” Aha. The key. Maybe it isn’t so much the lotion, as the slow breathing that should go with it. I adore the lotion. But, the thing that has brought me the most calm has been the deep breathing that has accompanied it. Don’t freak out if you see me sniffin’ my arm (NOT my underarm, silly, just my arm). I’m doing stress therapy. No worries.
The simple gift of breath. Don’t we take that for granted each and every day? Why, you’ve probably taken several good breaths just reading this post so far. But, I can almost bet money that you haven’t thought about it until now.
Someone that treasures breathing is someone who hasn’t been able to. My friend, Milissa Z., suffered with pulmonary arterial hypertension for so long that she eventually needed new lungs. New breath. Someone’s last breath became her new life. I marvel at watching her, doing just wonderfully four months after her bilateral lung transplant. To protect her lungs, she wears a mask in public to lessen the chance of her getting sickie germs from all of us. Good idea.
I can’t see her nose or mouth. BUT! Do you know what I CAN see right above that mask? Her eyes. And, they are the eyes of a brave woman. I have again looked into the eyes of the brave and it gives me much hope, courage, and strength. She once told me, “I figured that I can be in pain at home or in church. I opted for church.” LOVE her!
Someone’s last breath gave life. Does this sound familiar? Jesus is coming to mind.
As I rub a little more lotion onto my arms, hoping that all uncertainty will just fade away, I remember that it’s a WHO, not a WHAT, that can calm my biggest doubts and fears. But, when the road gets rocky, don’t we sometimes wonder if He is even listening? Is He even there? WHY can’t things just go our way? Where IS He?
Then, I got an e-mail that served as a wonderful reminder about why things might happen in our lives. It’s “Mail from Jesus.” Let me share it with you:
“If you never felt pain, then how would you know that I am a Healer?
If you never had to pray, then how would you know that I am a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial, then how could you call yourself an overcomer?
If you never felt sadness, then how would you know that I am a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake, then how would you know that I am a Forgiver?
If you knew all, then how would you know that I will answer your questions?
If you never were in trouble, then how would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken, then how would you know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem, then how would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering, then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire, then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things, then how would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you, then how would you know that I love you?
If you had all power, then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect, then what would you need me for?”
I don’t know about you, but these reminders took my breath away. They are so true. We ask for this. We ask for that. We want our life to be perfectly smooth. All. The. Time.
But, this “Mail from Jesus” reminds me why it’s not. It reminds me to breathe. It reminds me to breathe in my blessings and breathe out my burdens.
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master. He had no degree, but they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. Had no army, but kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, but they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.