KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | December 2017

Take Care of You!

By Bonita Joyner Shields

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14, NKJV).

I have a pop quiz for you. OK, I can hear you groan. I know most people don’t like pop quizzes—including me. But this one only has one question. Are you ready?

When I first heard this question, my answer was water. Good answer! Just not the correct one. We can live without water for about three days. 

If you said food, that’s a good answer, too! But we can live without food for several weeks.

What is the correct answer? Air. We can live without air only for several minutes—and even that can result in serious consequences to our well-being.

The human body is amazing! It contains at least 37 trillion cells.1 Without adequate air, the cells cannot complete their functions. And we exhale air from our bodies (carbon dioxide), plants use it to feed themselves and, in turn, provide us with fresh supplies of pure, natural, life-giving oxygen! This process is called photosynthesis.2

Deep breathing is very important for us. How do you know you’re breathing deeply? 

Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath. If your stomach moves, that means that you are breathing deeply. Imagine your belly like a breadbasket. When you breathe, you’re filling up your basket. However, if your stomach is not moving, that means you are breathing from your chest (shallow breathing), which does not allow air to get into your body and nourish your cells.

There’s another way that air helps our bodies. it aids in proper digestion of food. That means that when you eat all that yummy food for Christmas—veggie loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, pecan pie (I’m getting hungry thinking about it!)—your deep breathing will help your body to benefit from the food!

Of course, other aspects of health that are also important. We’ll talk more about those another time. But I want you to know now that taking care of our bodies is part of what it means to be good stewards. Our body is a gift to us from God, just like our time and our possessions. How we treat our bodies affects how we think, how we act, how we study. When we breathe deeply, it helps us to have a more positive attitude. When we eat whole, fresh foods, they help us have energy to play and work. When we drink pure, clean water, it helps to cleanse our body inside and out. 

So when you think about being a good steward, remember that it involves more than how you manage your time and your possessions. Being a good steward includes every breath you take.


1 A cell is the smallest unit of life that can replicate independently, and cells are often called the “building blocks of life” (