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Catch Your Breath

Today’s Reflection

WHENEVER SOMEONE IS seriously agitated, we instinctively say, “Take a deep breath.” Likewise, when we are swept up in a current of emotions, passions, impulses, and drives that distort our capacities to care, our first move is to find solid ground. Acting out at the mercy of the drives and passions of our inner world only wreaks havoc for others and for us. We need to secure some distance – emotionally and, if necessary, physically – that allows our emotions to settle.

Taking a time-out, walking outdoors, going on a retreat, finding a moment to ourselves or with God, or simply catching our breath solidifies our footing until the ground feels solid, safe, or perhaps sacred enough to engage the situation more clearly. This “moment” may need to last for a season.

– Frank Rogers Jr.
Practicing Compassion

From page 28 of Practicing Compassion by Frank Rogers Jr. Copyright © 2015 by Frank Rogers Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When was the last time you found yourself needing a time-out? Did you take it? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13, NRSV

This Week: pray for world leaders. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Thomas Aquinas (January 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller January 29, 2016, 3:43 am

    There have been times when I took a “time-out”, times when I should have, and many times when I didn’t and carried on. Doing the right thing at the right time isn’t always easy.

    Thankful that prep for Anneliese’s hip replacement surgery is underway. Things should be ready well in advance. Thankful for an easy day yesterday.
    My annual train show coming on Saturday and will see my son Monday and Tuesday.

    Prayers for Warren as he tries to do things that will prevent pneumonia. Prayers for Carol in church as she adjusts to a new home. Prayers for all of you here at the UR. Know that God is with you each and every moment.
    Thank You, Lord. In Your name, I pray, Lord. Amen.

  • Jill January 29, 2016, 4:32 am

    I try to be aware of taking a “time-out”, whether I need it or not. Time to reflect, time to offer a prayer, time to slow down my thoughts. If possible, I will look outside to observe nature. If I am unable to do this, I will try to center my mind’s eye on a beautiful setting in nature, and quietly go there. God always meets me there.
    Continued prayers for C and her husband, with the funeral taking place tomorrow. Way too much family drama, very sad. Instead of honoring the life of their father, the children are being most unpleasant with each other about little things. Meanwhile, the grieving wife/mother is witnessing most of this. Father – might C and R sense Your Presence and resist the urge to get in the middle of the other siblings’ issues. C is trying to keep her mouth shut, but not an easy thing for her.
    Grateful to hear the news about Annaliese’s surgery being scheduled. Grateful for a low key weekend ahead. Grateful, too, that today at school should be relatively low key for a Friday.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 29, 2016, 6:01 am

    Grateful for patient cab Drivers as I brought my mum to and fro from the Polyclinic. Gateful that doc said mum is in excellent health.

    Taking time to catch our breath is very important. I remembered I did not dare to apply for leave in case my parents need me to so I left it till the last few days of 2015 and I was very exhausted, kind of burnt out plus without a helper for a while.

    This year I hope to spread out my annual leave and if not enough may have to take no pay leave. Praying for a better job, better pay and better benefits.

    Thank you Father God for helping us to take time to catch our breath. May you help us to use our time wisely even to mark on our diary time for rest. This weekend, may you bless everyone a refreshing time, a time of renewal and a time to be recharged. Thank you for hearing our prayers.

  • Betsy January 29, 2016, 6:40 am

    Taking a time out can often be the difference in understanding and misunderstanding. I have a good friend that reminds me often to “pause and pray” before jumping in to an emotional situation. Help me, Lord, to remember that.
    Praying for you Mary, as you search for a better job. May God open a door for you in another area. My daughter, also a teacher, stepped ou in faith and applied for a different teaching job; new school, closer to her home. Hard for her to do, but a better fit for her. She’s waiting for the final interview. Proud of her for taking the leap!
    Grateful for sunny weather today, inspired discussion at our Bible study yesterday and quiet weekend to relax.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 29, 2016, 7:05 am

      Thanks so much Betsy! Appreciate your comments.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 29, 2016, 7:06 am

        … And prayers!

  • Cecille January 30, 2016, 8:24 pm

    “Pause and pray”. I have been judgmental and making decisions without thinking because my emotions took the better part of me. As a result I hurt other people and moreso myself.

    Pause and pray. Let me do that Lord.

  • Gwen February 1, 2016, 7:38 pm

    To pause is to find ballast. I open my mouth and a wise woman emerges when counseling others…. whether a friend or Uber driver who opens up to me… and yet I find it difficult to find that wise woman in my own actions for myself. I know how good a “time out” feels or meditating and praying on a bible quote throughout the day, but I’m out of practice. I need to do these important steps for myself and think prayer can help with this. Prayer is to the spirit what my yoga practice is to the body. I need to get myself back in spiritual shape.

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