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Collaborations Reflections

The Breath in our Lungs, the Great I AM, YHWH

Hello, my precious friends! I have something special for you today. I can’t wait for you to read it!

There is a popular song which refers to the Lord as the owner of the breath in our lungs, but I hadn’t made a correlation between YHWH, the Great I AM, and the sound of my breath… until now. The following article has made an impression on me and blessed my heart. And it has a funny story attached.

The version I read had no author noted. So I did some digging and found it attributed to a lady named Sandra. I contacted her to see if I could repost her article, and she responded that she is not the author, and she couldn’t tell me who is because her searches all lead back to her, the way mine had.

What a crazy thing, huh? So for now, this is just an anonymous blessing.

It is what I call, Scripture adjacent. By that I mean it is a reflection beyond what the Bible states, so it should be understood in that context. But I hope it will spark your contemplation and imagination about how involved God is with humankind, the crown of His creation, and how much we, in turn, depend on Him!

And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am[a]the Lord. 
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[b] I was not known to them.
a. Exodus 6:2 Hebrew YHWH
b. Exodus 6:3 Hebrew YHWH, traditionally Jehovah

Exodus 6:2, 3

There was a moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what his name is. God was gracious enough to answer, and the name he gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.

Over time we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and an “e” in there to get YaHWeH, presumably because we have a preference for vowels.

But scholars and Rabi’s have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, or aspirated consonants. When pronounced without intervening vowels, it actually sounds like breathing.

YH (inhale): WH (exhale).

So a baby’s first cry, his first breath, speaks the name of God.

A deep sigh calls His name – or a groan or gasp that is too heavy for mere words.

Even an atheist would speak His name, unaware that their very breath is giving constant acknowledgment to God.

Likewise, a person leaves this earth with their last breath, when God’s name is no longer filing their lungs.

So when I can’t utter anything else, is my cry calling out His name?

Being alive means I speak His name constantly.

So, is it heard the loudest when I’m the quietest?

In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs.

In joy, our lungs feel almost like they will burst.

In fear we hold our breath and have to be told to breathe slowly to help us calm down.

When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage.

When I think about it, breathing is giving him praise. Even in the hardest moments!

This is so beautiful and fills me with emotion every time I grasp the thought. God chose to give himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive.

All of us, always, everywhere.

Waking, sleeping, breathing, with the name of God on our lips.

– Unknown Author


Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
by Amy Grant

I have one more interesting note related to this topic. In Hawaiian, the word for breath is “Hā”. It sounds like an exhale.

It is a traditional Hawaiian practice for loved ones to greet by pressing their noses together and breathing the same air. Sharing breath signifies the sharing of life. We would not be alive without the Hā, which God breathed into the first man.

 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Genesis 6:7

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
And great are You, Lord

… It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

Great Are You Lord
by All Sons and Daughters
Categories
Celebrations Collaborations

Love from My Daughter’s Heart – A Rich Gift to Me and You

Deep inhale. Sniff. I’m pulling myself together. Seriously, I am!

I have the sweetest thing to share with you today! My oldest daughter, Meagan, wrote a guest post for my birthday. And this is the day I get to publish it. I’m so excited! It hits me right in the feels and I’m so thankful. What a blessing!

Mother and daughter in a heart-shaped photo
Meagan and Me

5 Things About Me that are My Mother’s Fault

a Guest Post

What goes around comes around, Mom.

My name is Meagan. I am Mama Lava’s eldest child. In honor of her birthday, I am writing a guest post to show my love.

A while ago, my mom posted 5 things that she blamed her mother for. Here’s the link to that post. Today, I’d like to return the favor.

Mom, you should know it’s all your fault that I am so…

Kind

I asked my siblings what I am most, and they said “kind”. Surely it was all the lessons about being a peacemaker and helping others that made me this way. Undoubtedly the way you treated others modeled kindness in a way that it stuck with me.

Nurturing

Watching you be a mother to five children and teaching me to help them has surely impacted the way I treat others. The way I speak to little ones and build them up and encourage them was certainly learned. Now I’m a mother and a teacher- that’s certainly your fault.

Baking Obsessed

You were a whiz with the kitchen aid, always cooking and baking for us and neighbors and friends. My love of baking definitely stemmed from the days in your kitchen- eating all the cookie dough pieces that fell onto the counter.

Deferent

You got this from your mama, and I got this from you both. You prefer to defer and so do I. Please everyone, don’t ask Nana, my mom, or I what we want for lunch. We want whatever you want. We are happy when you are.

Artistic

Like you Mom, I love arts and crafts. Nothing simultaneously calms us down and stresses us out like a new project. Whether its interior design, macramé, or some other medium… We love to create. I remember your treasure chest full of crafts and projects for us to do together with fondness.

A lighthouse, with ships in the background
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.”
– Dwight L. Moody

In her original blog post, linked above, my mom quoted Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” We were just talking about this verse on the phone the other day.

I like to joke that the word “way” is a broad term. Perhaps the “way” is north, and my siblings and I are all headed there but we are taking different routes. Some of us are on windier paths, some of us are finding short cuts, some of us have had tumultuous journeys. We aren’t headed the wrong way- per se- just taking different paths than may have been envisioned for us.

I’m sure every parent can relate to feeling stress over a child making different choices- but different doesn’t always mean wrong. Luckily, I have good foundations- thanks in large part to my mother- to help me along the way.

Happy Birthday Mama Lava- Sending hugs and love to you today!

Categories
Recommendations

Helpful Little Hack of the Hour: Split Rings

When I think about practical hacks I want my kids to remember, split rings immediately come to mind. I wrote about them when I began blogging. I hadn’t connected with most of you yet, so I thought it might be one to share again.

If you ever lose charms from your jewelry, or are concerned about your loved ones who might, this helpful hack of the hour about split rings is for you! Click here –>> Change the Ring. This might just make you a hero!

Wondering why am I publishing these helpful little hacks of the hour? Read the Introduction and Intent post here.

Categories
Emotions Recommendations

Helpful Little Hack of the Hour: Your Face

Today’s helpful little hack of the hour is your face. Or more specifically, how you can use it as a secret passageway to gratitude. Folks, I’m telling you, this one has been an absolute Godsend in my life!

My face saved me yesterday.

The day was fabulous. All was going well. Until one little thing got under my skin and suddenly, I felt the pity party coming on.

Have you been there? One negative circumstance – relatively small compared to all that is going right – suddenly sours your mood. As false as it is, your emotions convince you that everything is going wrong.

The one bummer looms larger than all your blessings.
And the downward spiral begins.

When I first heard today’s helpful little hack of the hour, I was on the H1 Freeway, on the island of Oahu, headed west in the afternoon. If you have ever lived there, you know that means I was stuck in traffic. I was God’s captive audience.

Pastor Mike Kai was on the radio. He spoke about getting so pulled down by a problem, that it was hard to look up at Jesus. Relatable, right?

When he described the negative cycle, I was tracking with him. His solution, he said, was to begin with something literally right in front of his brain – his face.

“Jesus, thank you for my eyes, that I can see the beauty you’ve created. Thank you for my nose to smell the flowers and delicious food. Thank you for my mouth, that I can taste flavors and speak to the people I love…”

And it starts coming easier. “Thank you, Jesus, for this… and that… and that too.” Joy returns as gratitude takes over.

A bright pink and yellow sunset over a meadow
I’m thankful for my eyes, which enabled me to see this sunset. Gratitude puts grumbling in its place.

When my pity party was ramping up yesterday, I didn’t feel grateful. But I started with my face. I worked my way out from there. I thanked God for this helpful hack, which – once again – set my heart right.

It works every time. I triple-dog dare you to try it! Next time something goes awry, thank Jesus for the miracles you experience every day, right on your face. And then expand out.

Before you know it, your emotions will reset, and you will have a proper perspective on what is wrong and what is right.

The bummer will be cut to size by the enormity of your blessings.

I hope you find this helpful little hack of the hour is a game-changer for you too. The enemy throws pity parties and sends attractive invitations. Don’t attend. When gratitude is fleeting, start with your face.

Wondering why am I publishing these helpful little hacks of the hour? Read the Introduction and Intent post here.

Categories
Recommendations

Helpful Little Hack of the Hour: Luggage Notes

My husband used to travel. A lot! With a house full of children, it was difficult enough to connect when he was home. When he was gone half the month, I needed a helpful hack to encourage him with my words.

Luggage Notes

I started hiding little notes in his luggage. My goal was to put them where he would slowly discover them over the days he was away. In his shoe, in a shirt pocket, in his Bible, in his toiletry case…

I tried not to let him see me slipping them in his bags, so he would be surprised. I waited until he had packed and set his suitcases by the door. My window of opportunity was brief, and it was a challenge not to get caught. It became a game that I enjoyed.

3 notecard envelopes
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
Smaller notecards are easier to hide!

Luggage notes can be brief and silly or long and sentimental. Anything that conveys love is a welcome read for someone missing home. And they are not only great for business trips. They can be hidden in bags packed for camp, going away to college, etc.

Does this helpful little hack of the hour have your wheels turning? Into whose suitcase might you sneak a few luggage notes? Or, if travel isn’t something that occurs in your household, is there a lunchbox, briefcase, purse, or jacket pocket that could hide a heartfelt note for an opportune surprise?

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:2, 3

Wondering why am I publishing these helpful little hacks of the hour? Read the Introduction and Intent post here.

Categories
Recommendations

Helpful Little Hack of the Hour: Jar of Pieces

Hello, my clumsy friends. Don’t scroll away – I’m talking to you, and I’m right there with ya! Drops happen.

So do soccer balls, earthquakes, and wrestling matches. I’m sure you know that feeling of loss when something special breaks. Today’s helpful little hack of the hour comes in as you’re picking up the pieces.

Jar of Pieces

You can start a jar of pieces in any clear container. I think mine was a spaghetti sauce jar before I repurposed it. What makes it special are the contents inside – a piece or two of many treasured items which have broken over the years.

I can look at the pieces in my jar and get lost in memories when I want to. If I’m feeling nostalgic, I can dump them out and run my fingers (carefully) over them, remembering what they once were.

Someday, I might make a mosaic with the pieces. But for now, they stay contained and visible in my jar. A pre-emptive idea would be to photograph the items before they break. See Helpful Little Hack of the Hour: Photo Books.

Broken glass and pottery made into a mosaic
Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
I’ve seen broken pieces repurposed into mosaics on tabletops, picture frames, lampstands, etc.

A jar of pieces is a way to preserve your connection to the memories and people your fragile items represent. It can ease the sting of loss. Next time a drop happens, you might remember this little hack of the hour and start a jar of pieces.

Did you know God keeps a jar too? He puts our tears in it. If you doubt how precious you are to God, let this settle over your heart.

“You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.”

Psalm 56:8, 9

Blessings, my precious friends.

Wondering why am I publishing these helpful little hacks of the hour? Read the Introduction and Intent post here.