Breath of Life


Now that the Winter/Spring session of Equip Her has come to a close, I wanted to take the next few weeks to look back on what God has been teaching us through His Word. Women from each of our classes have agreed to share with us their take-aways from the past year. Today, our guest blogger comes from our MUMs class. Becca VanCleave is a new mom who joined MUMs for the first time this year. Here’s what she had to share.

Over the last few months, I’ve realized that my focus has been on things I want in life – how I want a great career for my husband, or the travel experiences I want to have, or how I want to become a minimalist or have the perfectly decorated home. I was focusing on these things because I thought they would give me the life I wanted to have. I was convicted in The Quest by how draining that pursuit is. Through this semester at MUMs, God is showing me that living life to the fullest may look different than I am inclined to think.

In answer to The Quest’s question, “What are you seeking?” I was embarrassed and surprised to find my honest answer being the list above. The “Christian” answer would have been to say “Jesus.” My genuine answer was a list of small, petty, obnoxious things that don’t really mean anything. After pondering that question and my honest answer, I realized I want to want Jesus to be the answer, but it often is not that way for me.

In the study,  a section prompted the reader to ask God what he wants from you and for you. I felt him whisper to me, “I want to breathe life into your life.” In a season that has felt very dry and monotonous to me at times, this was refreshing to hear.

What would it look like if I allowed God to breathe life into my life? This past year has been one of paradoxes. I grew, birthed, and was giving life to a brand-new human every day. But at the same time, especially those first few months postpartum, everything was under some sort of fog, and I wasn’t sure if it was sleep deprivation or depression or my husband’s job change or this monumental life event of adding a baby to our family.  There was a new life in our family, but it was a season of often feeling lifeless for me.

A few days after writing the first portion of this post, I was driving in my car running errands. Suddenly, this realization ran through my mind:

Ava’s name means breath of life.

For some reason, that hadn’t crossed my mind when I felt God speak to me that He wants to breathe life into my life. What He spoke to me is the meaning of Ava’s name. A second later, the song “Breathe” started playing on the radio.

It was one of those rare moments where it felt like God was speaking clearly and directly to me. He wants to use Ava to bring life to me. My checklist of home décor items, list of experiences I want, and identities I want to assume is not going to bring me life. In fact, the opposite is true. My perspective shifted to one of gratitude and awe. God really wants to use this baby of mine to bring me life.

My days now look a little bit more like asking the Holy Spirit to be with us while we play with toys on the floor, present while I watch her fling apples and sweet potatoes off her high chair, present with us as we go for a walk around the neighborhood. Instead of thinking about what I want to buy or things I need to do, I’m a little more inclined to be on the lookout for what the Holy Spirit is doing around me, and what he is trying to teach me through my daughter.

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