Friday, March 2, 2012


Today, I am excited to offer you my first guest post! Lily has been a pioneer of transparency to me, so I know you'll appreciate the powerful message that the Lord has for you through her. Lily also happens to be my sister. {smile}

They thought it was rather silly when the doctor recommended a sleep study for her. Downright weird. “Ridiculous, new-fangled nonsense,” they privately scorned. But when the neurologist told them she had severe sleep apnea, they were stunned.

The watershed for diagnosing sleep apnea is if you stop breathing 5 times or more in an hour - then you have it. My mom? She stopped breathing 30 times in the span of an hour. Yes, severe sleep apnea.

Amongst other problems, sleep apnea can cause heart problems. My mom’s had those for years. Could this be the reason? They questioned . . .

I remember my mom recounting her apnea test to me. At one point, they woke her and brought her oxygen. I can’t describe the rush I heard in her voice as she told me how good it felt, but it was obvious this taste of getting what she needed was powerful.

All this time, she has done without the oxygen. All those nights she’s done without . . . breathing. And to her, it was normal – her normal.

And the thought ran through my mind, isn’t that like any of us? We tend to define normal by what we’ve always known, by what is familiar to us. Somehow, even in the midst of living with difficult circumstances, we can be duped into thinking our familiar experience defines normal simply because it’s all we’ve ever known.

And then . . . in steps God. His truth sheds light on our experience and shows it for what it really is. Our eyes are opened and our breath is taken away by the vast difference between our normal and what God says is good. Our false definition shatters into pieces and in the shattering, a new hope is found -
the hope of the Lord revealed in His truth.

We all need that beautiful, objective Caregiver to step in & set us straight. To tell us that we’ve stopped breathing, acting more like a dead man than one who pants vibrantly with life.

We can do that, you know. Stop breathing.
We don’t always know we’ve done it as it can happen when we’re sleeping.

God wants us to breathe deeply of His love and of His grace. But sometimes, we spiritually fall asleep into despondency and numbness.

I do. I stop breathing at times.

I am so thankful for the Lord Who comes, wakes me up, and offers me oxygen – offers me Himself.

“Inhale. Breathe deeply,” He says,
“take in all that you can of Me.
Let your lungs fill completely; let it go all through your veins.
I am here to resuscitate you.”

And as I inhale, I can feel the newness of His life infusing my soul.

Oh Father, we all are prone to stop breathing at times. Without even knowing it, we often fall asleep and become as if lifeless, without breath. And somehow, it can start to feel like normal to us.

Come, wake us. Resuscitate us according to Your Spirit. Breathe on us that we might have breath and we might inhale and exhale the life that You give. Fill our spiritual lungs completely.

And where we have adopted a sense of false normalcy, give us Your objectivity to discern merely familiar from good. Redefine normal for us in light of Who You are, for since the fall You are the only truly normal we can know. We are all askew.

Help us to know Your truth as our objective measure. Our experiences are so in our faces that we tend to receive Your truth through their lenses. Give us eyes to see beyond them.

And teach us to breathe, inhaling all that You are and exhaling all that honors You and Your Name. To Your Name be glory.


About Lily . . . My name is Lily, and I'm on an imperfect journey of knowing and loving a perfectly wonderful the the midst of whatever I'm going through. My heart has found its resting place under the rescuing cross of Jesus, though I foolishly wander from its haven. But all the while He beckons and calls and remains my Redeeming Rescuer, redeeming my ordinary things for extraordinary purposes. Redeeming all of me. And in the end it is all glory for Him and grace for me.


  1. Hi Tanya and Lily,
    This is such a powerful post! I've thought before that sometimes what we think is normal is really just what we're used to, but far from normal. But I've never before thought of God in His love, mercy, and truth being like oxygen that fills us and gives us life. How comforting to think of it like that. Great post, thank you!

    Tanya, thanks for visiting my blog today and leaving a comment so I could find you here.

    In Christ,

    1. Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your kind words. As someone who has lived much of my life depending upon myself as my own source of oxygen, finding God to be as my oxygen has been wonderfully transforming.


I am growing in my sense of understanding that Jesus is not just my model for living, and not just the power for my life, but that He is the very life itself that I need.

      As a pitcher pours out what's inside, so I need Him to fill me completely that He might overflow and run out and over every side. This is a picture of what the Christian life is I believe...that of overflow. And because I'm a broken pot, I need the filling continuously, every moment of every day.

      I agree with you that it's a great source of comfort as we can exchange the try-hard life for the life of dependent faith that breathes in and out our Oxygen moment by moment!


Breathing with you, my friend!



  2. I came here from Faith Barista...Beautiful correlation! Thanks for a great post.

    1. Hi Pam,

      Good to have you here! Thanks for your encouragement.

      Breathing with you,

  3. This was beautiful. Having experienced "abnormal normal" for most of my life I could totally relate. How wonderful to know my Lord is there wanting me to BREATHE. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Kellie,

      Oh my, can I relate to living in "abnormal normal!" It's a wild ride when He starts to open our eyes, isn't it?

      Praise God you can see the abnormality of it all now. That is a work of Him in your life, showing Himself to be the Truth for you. And for me, it is an ongoing process of allowing Him to continually redefine normal for I need it all the time.

      I echo your sentiment of the wonder of it all that the Lord is there beckoning us to breathe, providing the Oxygen, wooing us awake out of our sleep. Oh, how He loves us!

      Breathing with you,


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