The oxygen mask method is something I didn’t understand until well into having kids. As a child, I thought good parents put the mask 1st on kids – kids are smaller and vulnerable. Plus, any normal parent would willingly give their life for their child – at least I knew mine would.
As a single adult, I understood the logic – give oxygen to yourself 1st so you are able to care for your child. Yes, I got the thinking behind the rule–but only the thinking. I did not have a heart understanding of how incredibly unnatural it is nor how utterly important.
As a mom with kids, I experienced the need – but was habitually inconsistent with the practice. If truth be told, I would not do it far more than I did.
I must admit that it has taken me far to long to focus on the habit of living a life that puts the oxygen mask on myself before the others in my life. I have come to accept that it is a discipline – a habit in me that must be formed.
This summer had me thinking and praying about this. I need my oxygen mask to be tailored to my face and my breathing rhythm – no one else’s. I asked God daily – what should I do? And in the quiet of the mornings, he gave me an answer. One solitary answer over the course of six days.
Early in the morning, before the house stirs, meet with me. Most mornings I do this right in the comfort of my bed – all snuggled between my sheets. My journal and bible and book await me. Sometime I read the word and focus on a scripture, other days I continue reading a book about spirituality. All times I am fed, and such nourishment too. Then I write, which for me are my prayers – I thank God for blessings and provisions and I ask big of him. Something I am learning to do .
For those of you who know me, I have struggled with weight ever since I got married (15 years now). This struggle has impacted my relationship with food and throughout the years I have tried many different things. When the Lord gave me this word “eat” I was struck by the simplicity of it – the simplicity of this one word freed me up tremendously – allowing me to think about eating well, and foods I enjoy.
Moving for me in the past was an answer to try and fix a problem. But God has me thinking differently about moving. Moving as worship, moving as intimacy and moving as release. Moving isn’t solving a problem for me. It is life giving. Now I enjoy so many different ways of moving.
Wow – fully loaded word here. When this word was given to me I focused on my physical rest, which needed help. I was exhausted and wasn’t sleeping well. So this word motivated me to put things in place to actually sleep well. But over time, this word has shown up offering a different and deeper truth …. resting in the arms of the Father. There is so much to life that is simply out of my hands and is overwhelming..giving daily the concerns of my heart and mind to the father. The practice of emptying out, over and over and over and in return, receiving rest.
This one was a surprise. Connect with others well. This word challenged the way I spend my time – and how I sow into people’s lives and how they sow into mine. Intentional sowing encouraged me to try and reconnect with friends I fell out of touch with. I am thankful the Lord gave me this word.
The last word. The last gift my Father gave to me was the permission, encouragement and assignment to create. I think this has been the most challenging aspect of my adult life – nurturing the artist within me. God is creator and I am created in his image..
Pray.Eat.Move.Rest.Connect.Create – that is what I focus on daily. That is what shapes my to do list and schedule and what I say yes to and what I have to say no to. That is what my oxygen mask looks like.
What does your oxygen mask look like? How do you stay healthy-minded and balanced? What tools, resources and habits help you? Please share with us in the comment section below.
Until next time, Stay Encouraged & Be Blessed!