Global Lit

Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley

“I‘m going to tell you how hard it is to feel like you’re suffocating when your life is so gorgeous, and how badly I turned on myself in the midst of the Hard because I couldn’t do better and be more. I punished myself for being human, for struggling, which is heartbreaking because it prolonged and intensified the struggle even more.”   Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersly

My professor, Em Griffin started each class by reading us a chapter of  Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies.  The man who’d written the book on communication theory captured my heart  with the simple story of a woman who reached the end of herself, her addictions, her version of humanism and found hope in a little African-American church.

Anne’s gritty, tender, unflinching story became my banner as I watched my own world sink and began tearing down years of bad theology and misplaced platitudes.  The power of her naked, glorious story gave me the courage to write my own.

Recently, Leeana and I were invited to write for NIV: Fresh Insight’s for Thriving in Today’s World.  It was Leeana’s honest an gracious voice that captured my attention the same way Anne’s did year’s ago.  Leeana gives us all hope that the neurotic part of our souls can bring dignity and hope for others if we simple pull back the veil and let ourselves be known.   Obviously, I’ve dragged this book everywhere, coffee shops, retreats, swim practice, it’s dogeared and underlined. It’s the type of book you read a chapter at a time in order to embrace your chaos with a a little more compassion.

“I will disapoint people and I will inspire people. So will you. We don’t have to run from our magic and our mundaness.. We turn toward it all, the beautiful mess, and we say. “Yes, I am all of that” and “I see you. I hear you. I love you.” This is one of life’s greatest reliefs.”  Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersly

Leeana and I cut our writing teeth in the same way at the same time from heartache, desperate  to know a God who could heal our deep, unexpected, wounds when she wroteFound Art.  It’s an honor to shine a light on Leeana’s latest work Breathing Room since I feel like we’re long lost writing sisters.

Breathing Room is for travelers struggling with what Leeana calls the Hard and the Come Apart times whether it’s in a far away land or suburban sprawl. Leeana is a fellow wanderer who discovered loss and joy when her family moved to Bahrain with three young children.  I love her perspective that trauma is personal and it doesn’t need to be hard by anyone else’s definition.  Rest is a sacred word to Leeana and I’m so grateful for the guts she has to share her darkest most inspiring moments with the world.

“Scripture says. ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ If we allow ourselves the time and space to mourn, we will be comforted. On the other hand, if we believe we must suck it up and cope and steel ourselves against the loss, the comfort will be much harder to come by.”  Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersly

For updates on Leeana’s next work Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That’s been Hiding. Check out her blog for updates and encouragement.

#neverstopreading

Share this Story
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Sarah Kay
Load More In Global Lit

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Global Lit Must Haves: 2017

Books make excellent traveling companions. I can tell ...

Have we met?


The child of missionary parents, writing became a natural was to process my adventures across the world.

Ndjerareou means 'he who builds the road in Ngambai, Nate's tribal language spoken in Chad, Africa.

Get on the VIP list!

Follow Me @

Did You Pin It?

My Insta-happenings

  • "The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
-Jacques Cousteau
.
.
.
#museeoceanographiquedemonaco #adventurestories  #adventureawaits #loveoflearning #instatravel #travelslowtravelfar #montecarlo #showthentheworld #yellowsubmarine #jacquecousteau #explore #france #thegreatescape #takethefamilyexploring
  • "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
.
.
.
.
#morningmeditation #ndjerareoujourney #eliminatehurry #soulkeeping #soulcare
  • After 25 years, my husband returned to the site of his first solo adventure in France. This wonderful family invited him in as a teenager and a family friend to be immersed in French. 
He got so much more than simply words, just as importantly he felt the bond of friendship and peace of Christ lived out in this precious family. .
The love and warmth is just as strong today and now extends to a bounty of children and grandchildren. 
The peace and laughter in this home spilled onto my children even across the language barrier they experience the gift of hospitality. .
.
#hospitality #tasteandseethatthelordisgood #awalkdownmemorylane #friendsforlife #lakelife #adventurestories #bighearts #grateful #travelslowtravelfar #langudocroussillon #tellyourstory #explore #itsthepeoplewhomakeitspecial #ndjerareoujourney #adventurestories
  • History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses." -Charles Angoff
.
.
.
The Pont Du Gard is a Roman aqueduct built in 1st century AD to carry water 31 miles from a spring in Uzes to the Roman colony at Nimes. 
It's engineering is an obvious marvel, part of the wonder is simply that it's still standing. What fascinates me is how many of the rectangular, honeycomb, yellow, limestone, bricks have made it in to the ancient churches and homes all around us. Locals proudly show you the parts of the Pont that have been recycled by their ancient ancestors. Once you know what to look for you notice how many of the foundations of these local villages are built out of the building blocks of their one time conquerors.  Creative destruction at its best? .
.
#ifthesewallscouldtalk #creativedestruction #recyling #pontdugard #neverstopexploring #ndjerareoujourney #france #colliasfrance #walkinghistory #exploringhistory #travelwithkids #history #instatravel #exploretheworldwithme #travelslowtravelfar #adventureawaits #adventurestories #explore #bigwideworld #standsthetestoftime #exploringwithkids #worldlearning #worldtowning
  • "Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection."
-Lawrence Durrell 
#travelslowtravelfar #traveltogther #exploretheworldtogether #neverstopexploring #nevertooldforwonder #adventureawaits #wherewillwegotoday #whatsnext #introspection #ndjerareoujourney #thegreatescape #palaisdespapes #avignon #avignontheatrefestival #findthestoryinside #havekidswilltravel #hittheroad #eliminatehurry #instatravel #tasteandseethatthelordisgood #whatsoutthere
  • Nate travels light, especially with vacation expectations. People watching on a patio, a slow day at the beach, watching his children giggle and experience the world.  It's about all he asks for-- this year he wondered out loud if we could catch part of the Tour De France. Thanks @katetravels2 for the great setup.  A beach & the tour! A match made in heaven for family travel. 
The kids stamina has really increased, they hiked a couple of kilometers in Marseille and enjoyed watching the bikes but they also loved giving daddy an experience after receiving so many great ones in return. For Christmas years ago, Nate took Sophia (three at the time) through the Musee D'Orsay so I could linger and enjoy the Monet's,  Mattise and Renoir's. 
One of my favorite parts of family travel is when we're able to give the gift of delight to each other. We will all walk a bit longer, look a bit harder, wait in the heat just so this person can have that smile, the story they'll never forget. It's not every day and it can be as simple as waiting up for the bumper cars or hunting for endives in the market. It's a language of love that we're discovering together.

#traveltogether #eliminatehurry #exploretheworldtogether #ndjerareoujourney #thegreatescape #tourdefrance #makemoments #marseille #thebeachisalwaysagoodidea #beach #roam #thefamilythatwanderstogether #instatravel #aroundthenextbend #wondertogether #france
  • So we wander into our villages festival. We've been invited warmly and hear they have a running of the bulls night.  We were not prepared. . . Nothing bonds you to the French people like a bull charging your piece of fence. We had mother's holding onto our kids belt loops pulling them away from the bull,  we even have a coffee date set up with a local family after a night of thrills with the bulls. Here's to new friends and epic adventures!  P.S. I had no idea bulls actually stomped their foot that way! Toro bull! (Watch till the end) 
#bullrun #collias #france #thegreatescape #runningofthebull #ndjerareoujourney #epicadventures #neverstopadventuring #villagefestival #france  #travelslow #unexpectedadventures #justaroundthecorner #wildadventures #instatravel #runningofthebulls #holycow #notprepared #adrenalinebaby
  • Had a wonderful evening of tabling, serving with and worshiping alongside these sweet people. It's always priceless to me when our paths can cross and people you've had in your home open their lives, work and hearts to you for a moment. Thank you ladies,  @epolglase @katetravels2 for the special role you play in this place. What a privilege it is to see you thriving in your calling. 
#ndjerareoujourney #makemoments #marseille #weneversaygoodbye #tillwemeetagain