Thursday, 28 May 2015

Breathing Life by Anusha Atukorala

I opened my eyes. Seven a.m. My beloved was disappearing from my line of vision - off for his morning shower.

I sat up in bed; my eyes full of sleep; my brain still basking in the dream I’d been engrossed in till that moment.

With eyes half closed and stifling a wide yawn, I picked myself off the bed and padded towards our dining room.

“You can get back to bed” Shan called after me as he noticed his wife was on the move. “Don’t worry about my lunch. I can get something.”

Hmmm.. That was thoughtful of him. He has always been a considerate man; one of the many things I love about him. I half turned to go back to bed. But then .....decided I'd be a good wife and do the needful instead. I could always retire to bed for more sleep afterwards. Which is what I did. By the time my beloved was ready to leave, his lunch box had been filled and deposited on our dining table. His sleepy wife was back in bed; ensconced inside our soft comfortable duvet. I didn’t go outdoors to wave my man as I usually do. I was content to kiss him goodbye while wrapped in my duvet. Blame it on my fibromyalgia. It was pretty bad that morning, so needed some delicate handling.

When I finally opened my eyes it was midday. Not quite. Somewhere in the vicinity of 9 a.m. (Shh…don’t tell! The rest of the world might be shocked.) I grinned as I glimpsed my bed-fellow. Little Raf sat looking at me with his cute little giraffy smile. Who’s Raf, you ask. Raf is our much loved pet. Raf came to stay four years ago and has become very much a part of our family. My husband had placed Raf in a life-like position – so when I opened my eyes, it seemed as if he was looking up eagerly at me, ready to play. I had to laugh.

“Good Morning Raf” I said patting his head. Raf responded with a little wag of his tail. Raf possesses melting brown eyes. When we jiggle his legs and make him prance around – he can act incredibly life like. His expressions vary and tug at our hearts. So yes, I could easily fool myself that he was a real life giraffe. We’ve breathed life into him. Not hard to do. Don’t tell me Raf is only a soft toy because I shan’t believe you.

Breathing Life. Does that sound familiar? Fiction writers need to breathe life into their characters don’t they? If the characters in a story work well – there is a good chance the story will make it. True – a good plot’s vital. But I’ve often been hooked by stories whose characters have made friends with me. I’m presently reading one of my favourite authors – Mary Stewart – and her protaganist is easy to believe in. She lives in my mind as I read the story and I can’t put the book down.

Breathing Life. Have you asked God to breathe life into your writing journey? My own journey was on fire for many years. But in the last year my creativity took a slight nosedive and I have been struggling. I continue to enjoy writing. But have had to ask God to breathe life into my writing journey. Every day. Do YOU need to do that too?

Breathing Life. And how about your Christian journey? How’s that going? I've been reading an insightful book during my Quiet Time. “The Lost Art of Practising the Presence of God” by James W. Goll. It challenges me daily to a closer walk with God. It’s breathing life into my relationship with God through wise words and the example of several forerunners of our faith. It reminds me that God leads me deeper on an inward journey with Him so I can be useful to Him in an outward journey to bless His world.

Breathing Life. We writers have the Author of Life on our side. He, the Word – became flesh. His life has been the light of men. His Holy Spirit has breathed life into each of us. Do you need some life breathed into your spirit today? Or into your writing life? Or onto your journey? Or inside your characters?
You only have to ask. He’s the Author of Life. And He’s The Word of God; none other.

Breathing Life. Let’s breathe life into our world today. Through our writing. Through our lives. By working together. Let’s bring his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Anusha Atukorala has always been fascinated by the English language. She is passionate about Jesus, love, life, family, friendship, reading, writing, the beauty of God's creation and lots more. Her first book 'Enjoying the Journey' contains 75 little God-stories and 16 colour photographs of our beautiful world. Do drop in to say G'day at her website - Dancing in the Rain. She'd love to connect with you.


  1. Thanks for a great post Anusha. I hadn't really thought of the connection between God breathing life into us and then we can breathe life into our characters. You're so right about those characters that really come alive. I can forgive a lot in a book if I really care about the characters, and some of them have stayed with me long after I've finished the book (e.g. Anne of Green Gables; Marie-Laure, Werner and Frederick in All the Light We Cannot See; Eliza in The Forgotten Garden; Flavia de Luce in all of that series; Mme Ramotswe in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books). I think as authors we would hope that all of our characters live on in the hearts and minds of readers. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Nola. Isn't it wonderful that God has trusted us with giving life to our fiction characters? So glad you agree with me. Yes, you are right. There is much I can forgive in a book if the characters have life in them. I love it when the main characters become our friends and we are cheering them on come what may. Some of those you mention were my favourites too! Thanks for the encouragement my friend.

  2. Hi Anusha
    Raf looks adorable with those big dreamy eyes :) And as Nola said, great connection between God breathing life into us and us breathing life into our characters. I've often considered that God doesn't what us to represent him through inanimate idols or images - yet has made us in His own image (male and female) that we as living and loving beings might represent him. And part of that is in our creativity. Just as being a parent has helped me understand God's love and patience more, so being an author, helps me understand God's as Creator in a deeper way. Thanks for this reminder.

    1. Thanks Jenny! Yes - his eyes sure melt our hearts. I am amazed we received him when I was going through a difficult few months - and I felt the Holy Spirit whisper into my ears that it was His gift to me. I didn't know why. After a year or so - I knew why! He brought so much fun into our lives through an inanimate soft toy - I was blown away.

      Reminded me the other day - that we can breathe life into many things - when the Holy Spirit leads us. So like you said - part of the way we do is through our creativity. Isn't it awesome that God has chosen to have us co-create with him? I do agree with you that being a parent too opens our eyes to God's Father heart and Creator-heart in fresh ways. Thanks Jenny.

  3. Hi Anusha,
    What a beautiful post. I always knew that God was breathing life into me, however I never really thought about the fact that this breath of God enables me to breathe life into other things. That's right, God gave us free will, and with this free will we can decide how we want to use this breath of life given to us by God as a special gift. At this moment I shall bask in His breath of life which vitalizes me and gives me strength to move on. Thanks for such a wonderful post.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement Josephine-Anne. Loved how you had expressed your thoughts about free will. Yes, it is awesome that we have to only ask and He gives us - life - and all good things. May His breath on yolu today - give you all you need to move on. Bless you for reading and responding and your encouragement.

  4. Everything you say and everything you write is always uplifting, Anusha. Thank you for sharing your inmost thoughts and struggles with us. Even the love you have for your dear mother, now with the Lord. Jesus surely breathes life through your personality....such a loving one.
    A big cyber hug coming your way!

  5. Thanks so much Rita. Bless you for your encouraging words. Thanks for that cyber hug too which I reciprocrate in full. May Jesus continue to breathe life into His world through your writing as He has always done.

  6. Raf is wonderful! I love how you tie breathing life into our daily walk with God and the writing that we do. We DO have THE Author on our side. As I read your post I thought about God and how much He helps me with my writing. He is our breath. Our Everything. Thank you for your beautiful, thought/prayerful provoking post.

  7. Hi Anusha,
    I think I remember you shared Raf on another occasion too :) Great addition to your family. As for breathing life into characters, I consider the most challenging but rewarding part of writing. It's interesting to reflect how God does the same with us, and we're copying through the creativity He's given us. Thanks for a great post.