Sunday, October 30, 2011

To Fear Or Not To Fear

Recently someone said something to me that has turned my world topsy-turvy.  I have since been chewing on it, trying it on for size and finally deciding that it is complete truth that needs to be added to my daily learning. May I take you on the ride with me in hopes of being encouragement to you as well?

His statement went something like this....
'In our daily habits we find it so easy to label fear as a feeling. We say it all the time, "I feel scared." or "I feel afraid." But the truth that I want to suggest to you is that fear is not a feeling. In actuality, it is a spirit.

2 Timothy 1:7 says: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

This verse refers to having God's love, a calm well disciplined mind balanced and self control as being a spirit. This, I have always believed, comes from the presence of God living in us when we choose to have Him in our daily and eternal lives. The concept of knowing God can change my attitudes and emotions and fill my thoughts with ideas of His goodness; yes those things I understood.

But the idea that fear is a spirit....well this is new to me.
As I said before, I have been thinking about this statement a lot and it is exploding in my mind with shock waves of implication. Not only in this verse, but in others that I found as I was researching for myself, God refers to fear as a spirit. If it is a spirit then it does not belong in my DNA makeup.

Does that mean that I will never ever have fear again?
No. On the contrary, I do have times of fear. What it does mean is that when I recognize that fear is on me, I can choose to say, "Fear is not a spirit that comes from God so it does not have to grip and take control of me. Instead, I choose to have a spirit of calm and well balanced mind and discipline and self control."

To me, that is a very empowering notion to be able to do. It also makes me want to apply it to other unwanted feelings that run through me. Thoughts of doubt, self esteem, self centering, depression, stress, anger.....these things do not belong to God so they do not have to belong to me either. 

As I go about my daily things, I have been super charged with thoughts of.....
I choose joy.
I choose to think with a sound mind.
I choose to be loving and calm.
I choose....

Thank You God for your joy, your love and your spirit that You give with delight to all who ask.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


 October has come in like the wind that carries it. The air has a chill as it pulls through the leaves of color falling to the ground. While we are nailing down the house in preparation of winter's delights, October also brings about celebrations for us. It is the month of our anniversary and this year made 22 years strong.

Hubby and I decided to take off for 4 wonderful days and head up north in exploring new countrysides. We  booked our resort in Birch Bay, Washington located just 7 miles from the USA / Canada border. Neither of us have a current passport, so crossing the border was never an option. But hiking trails and exploring the local culture always makes for a time of refreshing.

From the moment we checked in, we felt so very celebrated. When we said we were there to celebrate, we were given a gift bag with a bottle of sparkling cocktail, chocolate mints and these adorable little toy ducks. 

Speaking of being blessed, it seemed that everywhere we went we made friends.  One couple that lives up there takes great sport in crabbing for Dungeness all through the season. Then with their freezer stocked piled, they delight in giving it all away.  I had tasted real crab only once before and was not impressed. I didn't want to offend them so I took all the fixings with a big smile and thank you and figured if nothing else, we would have a grand adventure of trying something new. Oh my goodness! Dungeness Crab fresh from the bay is so amazing! Hubby and I smacked our lips as we ate 4 crabs with salad, bread and our bottle of celebration cocktail until out tummies were round as beach balls.

As I said before, we hiked a lot during our stay. We pulled out our letterboxing kit and blew the dust off. It was good to explore the area while gaining insights to the area from our clue maps. The thrill of finding our treasure was quick to infect us with that old fever of treasure hunting delight and we began discussing other areas to explore or plant treasure boxes even before we were finished with the task finding at hand.

Here we are in Semiahmoo Marine Park.  Thought it is hard to see in this picture, right behind us and across the bay is the border crossing and Peace Arch Park. It was beautiful to sit here and watch the wildlife. The locals have taken great care in preserving the area for nature and it seems all live together with pride of harmony.

Peace Arch Park is a beautiful area where both counties work together to create an environment of unity in honor of peace. Visitors can picnic and take pictures in this small boundary land while having the thrill of saying they literally crossed the boundary line of countries without the pains of passports and such. Everywhere I looked there were people like us with their cameras clicking away. There were also border crossing guards everywhere just to make sure everyone was indeed safe. We noticed one gentleman sitting alone on a park bench and then another gentleman walked over and sat on the opposite end for a time and then left. It was like an espionage movie. I didn't think much about it but the border patrol sure did. They were on those two quick with all sorts of questions. Needless to say, we didn't stick around to see the outcome.

 My camera was faithful seemed permanently attached to my hands as shots were everywhere to be taken. This is a picture of Mt. Baker as seen from the marina at Semiahmoo Resort. I am told that it rains up there as much as it does down here in Portland. But we were blessed with these blue sunny skies all weekend for our delight. 

Papa God how grateful I am for the beautiful colors You created.

Here are a couple of sunset shots I took in the evenings while hiking. 
I loved the wisp of the clouds in the picture above.
Below, I was laying on the shore taking shots as the sun set. 
Hubby was having fun casting rocks and we happened to time everything just right to get this shot.


We loved our trip and are already discussing when to go back. 

Once we drove back into our city, the schedules we waiting at the door for us. There is work, office, the hub-bub of teen/young adult energy in the house, play practices, wedding plans, job interviews and the last of our babies about to be 18 and driving. Phew! It makes my head threaten to go light headed as I take in and savor each moment with the pride and joy of being a mom to my own as well as all of my heart adopted children.

But that is not all of the updates.
Our son called the morning after we got back. I was unpacking and sorting when he begged the question, "Hey Mom, what are your plans today?" He tried to sound casual but I know him too well. He and his wife had gotten up that morning and decided a drive would be fun and spontaneous. They had put the baby girls in the car and were on the 6 hour drive to surprise us.

Oh my goodness how quickly they grow!  And even though we had not seen them in 5 months, they were both so quick to allow us to love on them and share special moments.

This is my little Miss Izabell. She is now 8 months old. 
Those big blue eyes get me every time.

This is my little Miss Abbigail. She will be 2 years old in a couple of weeks. 
She also has those piercing blue eyes.

 It was a quick over night visit but we were so grateful for the time. They say they will be back over the summer with all 5 of the grand children. That will be a blast. We will have to make plans for great fun.

Thank You God for treasures of all shapes and sizes. 
Thank You for the celebration of time and the provisions of fun places to do it in.