Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

 

 

There are all Kinds….

Revelation 1:5b: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests” — (witnesses)—“to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.”

Thanks so much for stopping by Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I just love Wednesdays…and His Word that never, ever fails to steer us in the right direction.

Did you know that you qualify as a witness? Yep, that’s right, a witness to what He has done for you…not what you have done!

I was reading in the Book of Revelation the other day, and this subject of being a witness came up, and He gave me such a great analogy using my job to help me relate and understand in a way I could share with you: court-reporting.  I just love how He does that, speaks to us, about us, for us so He can speak through us.

Anyway, let me share this analogy with you.

There are many types of witnesses, and as a court reporter, I have reported them all. J For example, there are hostile witnesses, those who are angry at being called to testify about what they’ve seen or experienced. There are third-party witnesses, those who say he said/she said; in other words, gossipers, or unrelated parties. And there are those I call unprepared witnesses, those whose answers are 90% “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall,” and these are usually witnesses for their own case! J Then there are expert witnesses, those called because of their expertise in the subject that the attorneys are there to talk about. And lastly, the most common kind of witness I’ve reported as a court reporter is a percipient witness, or an eyewitness. This is a witness who testifies about what he/she actually has seen, perceived with their own senses.

As I was reading John’s first letter to the churches and to all of us, this thought hit me like a ton of bricks – well, maybe a bit more gently than that – but if we all qualify as witness for Christ, what kind of witness are we?

Are we the hostile witness, angry at or with God because of a tragedy and our need to understand everything?

Do we tend to slip down that slippery slope of gossip in the name of “prayer,” acting as a witness to someone’s misfortune or bad choice, or talking about our own mountains, making them bigger and bigger, instead of looking to the mountain mover? Are we so focused on others that we are a third-party to our own walk with Christ?

Are you the type of witness who forgets all He has done for you, allowing your troubles to outweigh His triumphs in your life? Forgetting to have an attitude of gratitude?

Or are you an expert witness, one who professes their faith and lives it and is paid by His protection, provision and promises and guided by His principles?

Oh, I want to leave a legacy that says: she lived what she knew; she was so in love with Jesus that many considered her an expert in her faith!

Witnessing…

Evinda

Megan’s Mantra

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Is it mandatory to experience an “AH HA” moment when you commit your life to Christ? I sure hope not, because I didn’t!

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United. Warm up that cup of coffee you’ve been carrying around all morning and join me in my salvation story.

***********

Jesus knew how much I already needed Him, so He snatched me up early…

My Mom thought the neighbors were undereducated. In other words, STUPID!

She reluctantly let me play with Bobbie and Tom because they were the only kids in our neighborhood close to my age. I thoroughly enjoyed their company but Mom always wished I had someone more my “equal” to play with.

One Sunday morning, Bobbie and Tom’s parents asked my Mom if I could go to church with them. To my surprise, she allowed me to go. I will never forget pulling into the parking lot of a pink brick church. At the impressionable age of 6 years old, I had never seen a pink building let alone a pink brick church!

There were no Sunday School classes, everyone just filed into the church and filled the pews. I can still distinctly remember where we sat – fifth pew from the front on the left side facing the altar.

No one could ever accuse my neighbors of being a traditional prim and proper type of family. They worked hard, played hard, and then some. My playmates, Bobbie and Tom, were always into some kind of mischief, which was what I liked most about them. Today was different though. Today they all sat in a neat row, backs straight, hands folded in their laps, and feet firmly planted on the floor, waiting expectantly for the sermon to begin.

The most colorful character I had ever encountered, up to this point in my short life, confidently approached the pulpit. His presence was so huge that the pink brick church could hardly contain it. His booming voice filled the city block surrounding him and he wore the coolest cowboy hat I had ever seen. His name was Preacher Cowboy George!

I know he delivered a great sermon because the congregation was on fire. The only, and most important, part I remember is when Preacher Cowboy George asked, “Have you committed your life to Christ? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, then come on up and we will do it together here, today!”

My first reaction was to jump to my feet and head straight to the altar, but not before looking to my neighbors to do the same. There they sat, calmly watching and smiling at those who were making their way to the front of the church. UH-OH! I didn’t know anything about asking Jesus into my heart, yet clearly my “undereducated” neighbors not only already knew – they already had! I was ashamed.  I lagged behind on the way out of church. I had been too afraid to stand up in front of the congregation, to accept Christ, all by myself.

That lone “UH-OH” moment led to a nightly prayer for Jesus to come into my heart for the next 16 years! That lone “UH -OH” moment has led to some very special “AH-HA” moments throughout my lifetime.

I’ve not felt concerned with the kind of moment I experienced when I committed my life to Christ. Instead, my biggest concern has been whether or not I am allowing Christ to work visibly through me, so that others might recognize His presence and be blessed by their own type of “AH HA” moments as they commit their lives to Him.

So, as you work your way through this week, remember, oftentimes God’s “UH-OH moments” actually turn out to be “AH-HA’s”!

In closing, I’d like to share one of my husband’s favorite Monday morning texts to me,
“Enjoy this day that God has given you.”

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan,

 

Wednesday’s Word Summer of Psalms

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

My Defense: My Defender!

In addition to putting ourselves into the Psalms, I had another idea; we can go through a few verses and maybe add somebody’s name who we are either burdened for or in conflict with. This, too, can provide so many a-ha moments and deepen our understanding of God’s principles and promises to us and for us. The Word does not have to remain an overwhelming mystery to us, Coffee Hour Friend! Let’s get started in Psalm 26, a Psalm about how commitment to God can give us strength to stand up to opposition and examination!

Have you ever felt like you were getting the third degree, like your every move was being watched and/or questioned? Or how about being falsely accused of doing something you didn’t do? It’s not a good feeling, and it’s the extreme opposite of how our Loving Father wants us to feel as He guides us through opposition and/or examination.  David is a great example of one who has his heart “cleansed” consistently, showing up to meet with Abba for his cleansing. Listen to his plea, which is almost in the form of a defense in the first five verses:

1Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord. I shall not slip. 2Examine me, O, Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my hear ,3for Your loving kindness is before my eyes and I have walked in Your truth.4I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,  nor will I go in with hypocrites.5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers and will not sit with the wicked.

Okay, let’s try and bring this home to our hearts. Do you have at least one person’s name that your heart is just aching over, or a person with whom you are in conflict with? Okay, let’s do this!

1Father, when will you vindicate me in the eyes of those who persecute me? Despite their attacks, give me strength to walk in and with integrity, to trust you, Lord that I do not slip by fighting this spiritual battle that has eternal value with my worldly flesh.

Now, if you really want to add more life, put an actual name in there! Let’s go on to the second verse.

2Lord,  help me to examine myself, staying in my own lane, my own car, not swerving into others’ causing wrecks in the wake, so that when you examine me, my mind and my heart will both be found clean, according to you. Your love helps me to walk in truth, O, Lord. I cannot deny that even when I veer to the left or right, your love not only pulls me back, but washes me clean. I’m so very thankful for your steadfast love!

Let’s push pause for a second. See, I don’t know about you, but I often need this reminder, that He is the examiner of the heart and soul, not ME, so by staying in my own car, driving in my own lane – not in others’ business, not pointing fingers – I can come before Him and allow Him to examine me and correct me because I long to have a pure heart, to be found as a good and faithful servant, especially in relationships.

So when we sit for just a few minutes in His principles and promises, the need to defend ourselves takes a turn back to the One who defends us and there is suddenly no need to defend ourselves, but to seek His truth, that we may be found defended!

Go ahead and continue with your rewrite and remember, sharing your heart is not a grammatical exercise of perfection…it just requires transparency.

Soaking up the Psalms…

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, July 24th, 2017

It’s Not What I Thought!

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Have you ever thought something was a certain way, or thought something meant something else only to learn you were not so correct? Well, I’m about to share one of those a-has with you!

Just the other day in my own coffee hour with our Father, I was sitting in the Beautitudes – Matthew 5:1-13. I just love doing that, sitting in scripture and digging for diamonds.  So these 8 profound principles can also be called spiritual conditions and they each have an eternal reward! What’s cool is if you’ll notice, the first one’s reward is “the kingdom of heaven,” and the very last one, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake is also rewarded with the kingdom of heaven. I find that so cool.

For the sake of time, let’s talk about just the first one; after all, there’s enough in that one to chew on for a while and strengthen your Strand of Faith with more knots. J

I hate to admit but I’ve never really sat in them before, really studying them, and after doing so, I realize why: Right away, I learned of a misunderstanding I have always had when it comes to the very first one, verse 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit…STOP!

When I say “Poor in spirit” to you, what do you think it means?

I thought it meant those less fortunate in all aspects…but I was so incorrect. It means humble and charitable!

Humility leads us to generosity!

Now I don’t know about you, but I used to cringe at the mere thought of humility, but I’ve come to welcome it for humility is necessary in the journey of faith. As I dug, I realized I had allowed my ignorance to really rip me off. This new understanding helps me to desire this beautitude!

And did you know that charitable is not just referring to $$$$? Nope, charitable also refers to the generosity of our time, talents and tasks!

So who do you know that could use some of your charitableness today? Practicing this will keep us “poor in spirit,” for we can never out-give when we are relying on the Giver of all good things to sustain us and take us to our reward of the kingdom of heaven.

Love,

Evinda

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Welcome to Faith Filled Friday! Grab your coffee and your strand of faith for some heart-to-heart truths from Jennifer Wyatt!

Repeat after me….Nothing is impossible.

I have always loved the story of Joseph, starts in Genesis 37.  God revealed his purpose to him at a young age.  Unfortunately, those around him didn’t understand what his dreams meant and took matters into their own hands.

Every time I read the story I am in awe on how God uses our “bad situations” to lead us right to where He wants us to be.  I don’t know about you, but if my brother put me in a hole and sold me off as a slave I’d be pretty PO’d.  Maybe he was and that detail isn’t included but Joseph went on to live life with integrity and purpose. He believed he had heard from God… his purpose was to preserve the nations of Israel.  He may not have known that was the end goal but I think he felt it in his heart.

Whether he was in a hole in the ground or being falsely accused, he was living in God’s perfect will. His assignments came with his journey.  It’s the same for all of us.  The journey can be full of uprooting (physical or emotional).  This stirs things up and gets us moving.  Water that has been sitting too long is no good; it’s stagnant. This happens when no water is being drawn out.  None of us have been called to produce stagnant, murky water.

Another truth that has settled in my heart is this: When God wants to change your life He will give us a picture of what could be.  All we have to do is start walking towards it.  Provisions will come and our assignment comes in the journey. Something else that happens in the journey is the equipping! In other words, He doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called! We just need to be willing, full of faith in Him and have the heart of a servant.

Don’t take my word on it…read Hebrews 11.  It’s been called the Hall of Faith.

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” Hebrews 11:1-2

Look at the life of Joseph and you will see that nothing is impossible.  Joseph trusted Him to see him through; you can too!  Trust in Him that your life has meaning and purpose.  Trust in Him that nothing in your life is impossible to overcome.
Filled with Faith,

Jennifer

Wednesday’s Word Summer of Psalms

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Hiding Behind the Mask of your Faith

Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word @ Trench Classes United. It’s a great day for a Psalm! Grab your coffee, (icedJ ) a pen, journal, your strand of faith and let’s get right into the word at Psalm 19.

So within the first six verses we can see that this is a Psalm of praise for God’s creation and His Word. I don’t know about you, but I often miss the small things about creation that are really quite significant when I press the pause button in my life and just gaze upon, for example, a new flower in bloom, or the splendor of the hills, the mountains, the clouds, a beautiful sunrise, the promise of a new day, and/or a beautiful sunset, a beautiful finish to another day of life, and what about the new life I described in Monday’s Mantra, the brand new humming birds born in our Ficus tree? There are so many pieces of creation that beckon us to stop, pay attention and let it soak into our being for then we can be refreshed with hope because we’ve acknowledged our Creator.

I could sit in this mode for a long time; however, I want us to begin today with verse 7. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure; making wise the simple. 8The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Now let’s try a rewrite and again, remember, make it yours, honest, from your heart:

“Abba, your principles and promises are perfect, and they are continuing to convert my soul. Your words are true, giving me depth in my soul.8Your requirements are right and they make my heart glad. The commandment to love You with all my heart, soul and mind keeps the eyes of my heart open to the things of You.”

There is such perspective and power in the scriptures, friend. I could literally keep us here for hours, but I’m going to jump down a few verses because I found a diamond shining brilliantly in the depths of studying.  Let’s jump to verse 12.

12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults; 13keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” STOP!

There’s a word there that has always caused me to wonder what does that mean, secret faults and presumptuous sins? Sounds like a good book title, huh? J This verse actually validates my understanding of what we do in the church; heck, what I did for years: we hide our secret faults behind the mask of faith which lead us to presumptuous sins for the term presumptuous terms can also be translated to say “neglecting something I should have done”!

Another diamond I found is in the word “cleanse.” In this context, it is referring to an internal cleansing. I just love the truths that are waiting to be discovered so that they can come to life within us and be lived out.

Let’s wrap up this rewriting session with the final verse, which we can make the cry of our hearts daily: 14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O, Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

I don’t know about you, but I say there’s no need to do anything with that but write it, speak it and deposit it in the core of your soul!

Living in the Psalms,

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Hungry for New Life

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was outside watering and cleaning up the patio and he found a humming bird nest with two eggs in a place I would never dream of finding a nest: in my Ficus tree. We were both so excited, and for several days, we kept going out to make sure it was still there and both eggs were still there.  But about a week later, we came out, and the eggs were gone! In their place were two brand new baby humming birds, new life, fragile, new life!

In the days that followed, I continued to check on them several times a day, and whenever I’d see mommy flying around towards her babies, I’d gaze at them from afar. It has been so…gosh, it’s hard to describe the beauty I see each time I visit them, and all the analogies that run through my soul as I stare upon their innocence, the total reliance and dependence upon mommy to show up and feed them, protect them, cover them.

Last week, I walked out there for the umpteenth time and what I saw rendered me speechless – yeah, that’s right, I said speechless! J There they both were, mouths wide open, eyes still closed, waiting for mommy’s beak to be inside theirs to give them their food. They were openly, uninhibitedly and passionately open-mouthed, no shame in their game, ready to eat…and they wanted to be fed now, as this picture shows.

Seeing them so ready and waiting to eat was symbolic to me; I just knew there was a spiritual message in what the Author of Life has allowed me to experience in the birth of these little baby humming birds. Actually there were two significant principles: as the baby birds are dependent upon their mommy to do everything for them, so we need to be dependent on Christ, the One who can do ALL things for us, to us and through us. Too often we are dependent upon others, and fall out of our nest, so to speak, because we have put our hope in the wrong things and/or persons.

The other principle has to do with food: How often do we come to His banquet table saying “feed me, Father, for I am really hungry”? Did you know there’s an open invitation to meet Him at His banqueting table any time? Coffee Hour Friend, He invites us to feast upon His principles and promise, to slowly take in, process, and digest at each and every sitting? There’s a beautiful word picture in Solomon 2:4 that says: He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” 2nd Samuel 9:13 is a reminder of the invitation for all of us to feast at His table anytime. This invitation is not for the “perfect, have-it-all together” person, but for us who admit that we are broken and lame without Him who feeds us, sustains us daily, for those of us dependent upon Him for our daily feedings for it is His food that brings us new life!

Feeding at His table

Evinda

Foster’s Faith Filled Friday

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Welcome to my 2nd Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday @ Coffee Hour and Trench Classes United. Come in for some conversation…I’m talking to myself but He answers me!

 

How Do I Remain Open To Love And Also guard my heart?

 

So let me give you a brief rundown on my love life (or lack thereof). I’m not known for having the greatest “picker” in the past, I’ve had my fair shares of “what the heck was I thinking” but also had my moment where I found out what love is. Let’s start with my son’s father: him and I, well we loved each other but I never felt like either of us experienced being “in love,” and that’s okay! We work well together as friends and co-parents; we have an understanding of each other’s boundaries.

After Hunter’s dad, I dated a couple guys and within a couple months, well, they ended. I was always wondering why me? Why can’t I find the right guy, that is until I met my last boyfriend. The all around good guy who loved me and my son more than himself; and I thought wow I finally found love.

We dated for almost two years before we split and I was devastated nonetheless, I was lost to say the least. It took 6 months before I realized I had no real concept of my self-worth. I was always wanting — let’s call him “Josh” — to validate me and it was a task no one should ever have to face. Why? Because he would never be able to do that and it wasn’t his job! So after about 6 months I finally came to peace with the fact that it was over and would never work out. That was a sad day, right?

Wrong! In the midst of that dark breakup I realized I needed to find myself, love myself, in order for any man to satisfy my emotional needs, I needed to be genuinely happy with who I am as a woman. Not that fake, I’ll post a cute Facebook status to convince everyone I’m happy with myself, but be so content with where the Lord has brought me out of and the woman I’m evolving into each day.

So now I’m “considering” becoming emotionally available right…but how do I become open to love and also protect myself and my heart?

Here’s the thing about dating in an emotionally healthy way: It’s important to make sure that your emotional relationship is growing proportionally to your level of commitment.

Just a few things, in my opinion to avoid at the early stages of dating….

 

  1. Praying together- I know I know, Breanna, you are crazy! Hear me out. When you pray, you become emotionally vulnerable, you pour your heart and soul out in front of the Lord. Now I’m not saying not to pray for your relationship or not to seek the Lord’s counsel, just wait to seek it together. There is an emotional intimacy that is shared in moments like this and that can bring you deeper then you were meant to go and potentially leave you broken hearted and spiritually broken.
  2. Don’t talk about the future before commitment is confirmed. Dreaming together is fun and it’s sweet but it’s also can be damaging. Planning so far in advance too early on in a relationship puts an added expectation on either party that doesn’t need to be there so early on! Live in the moment, no need to rush!! Remember, where your conversations go, your heart will follow.  

 

Proverbs 4:23:  Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life

 

What does that even mean? Guard my heart?

 

What I’m trying to say is better said by Paul wherein he lays out in Philippians 4:6-7 : “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Prayer is the pathway guarding our hearts and minds with Gods peace. Trusting God, in other words, the key to guarding your heart is to talk to God about the relationship before you talk to the other person about the relationship.

I read an article once about those type of suggestions and thought no way will they affect a me or my relationship long term…and trust me, they do! For now, I’ll be talking to God about making myself emotionally available and wait for Him to pick him!

Remember guard your heart!

Breanna

Wednesday’s Word-Summer of Psalms

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

                                                                                                  Tell your Mind

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word @ Trench Classes United. I just love our Wednesdays together, especially in our Summer of Psalms! Grab your coffee, your journal, a pen, and don’t forget your Bible and your strand of faith! We are going to tie some knots in our faith today!

Instead of going to Psalm 12, for July 12, let’s jump up 100 Psalms and go to Psalm 112!  If you have your Bible, turn with me to Psalm 112, a Psalm that deals with guarding our minds…and our faith. So I’m using the New King James version, but you use whatever you understand and whatever version speaks to you!

I love the first verse; right out of the gate, “Praise the Lord!” There is much to be thankful for, right!?! Oh, to practice an attitude of gratitude, even in the midst of trouble, there’s always something to be thankful for. This principle never fails, ever! Let’s continue:
“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.” Let’s break that down and rewrite it.

“Blessed” is another word for happy! I find that so incredibly comforting that God does desire that we be happy…but as the Psalm reveals, worldly happiness and Godly happiness are two completely different things.  Each of us have a God-sized hole in our hearts, and no amount of money, sex, drugs, worldly love can fill it; only the love of Christ fits!

And then there’s that word “fear” in there, and Coffee Hour friend, please believe me when I say Abba Daddy does not want you to fear, as in be afraid, of Him; no, rather, He desires that you would fear being even a day without Him. Fear of being without Him will lead us to a fearless life!

With that in mind, let’s do the rewrite:

Happy is _____ (put your name in there) for she fears being without God, she is learning to delight greatly in commandments, His purpose and will for her life.

2”His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3Wealth and riches will be in his house and his righteousness endures forever.”

Rewrite: Her children will be strong in life – oh, I don’t know about you, but I need to hear that and hit repeat, repeat, repeat because what other legacy matters, right? Okay, continuing on: Her generation will be blessed (happy); physical, emotional and spiritual well being make her rich, and because of her heart for God, He will count her as righteous for always.

4Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion and righteousness. 5A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Rewrite: Even in the darkest of times, He will be her light for He is her God of grace and full of compassion and will sustain her in all her needs. Because He is a giver of good things, she can be wisely generous for generosity can cure the fear of losing money!

6Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; 8his heart is steadfast, trusting in the lord. 8His heart is established. He will not be afraid.

There’s a lot of meat in these three verses so I’ll try really hard to sum it up by quoting another verse in the Psalms, 56:11 “In God I have put my trust” – for all things – “I will not be afraid” – for anything – “What can man do to me?”

Rewrite: Faith keeps her from being shaken in the throes of life, leaving a legacy to remember always, from generation to generation. Even those who are evil towards her will not scare her because her heart is entwined (steadfast and established) with the Father, the Judge in Whom she trusts.

Coffee hour friend, I pray that your heart is more encouraged than when we began, that you would fear less and faithe (rymes with bathe) more, and stay plugged into your Source!

Finish your rewrite and remember, don’t try to be so grammatically perfect; have some fun with it and put yourself in these verses; after all, He already did!
Loving the Psalms,

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, July 10th, 2017

 

                                                                          Your Brain Only Knows What You Tell It!

Monday, Monday…another new week, a new beginning; a new adventure! Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra @ Trench Classes United. Oh, I can’t wait to share this true story with you about fear. Come on in.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took our seven-year-old grandson to the water park in our city. We definitely wanted to get wet and cool off but we just didn’t want to drive all that way to the beach. We gave him a description of the water slides, assuring him it would be fun, appeasing his curiosity. I had never been on them, but hey, they have always looked fun! He was so excited. Oh, the joy of a child! I wish I could bottle it and pour it on myself when he goes home.

When we got there, there was a bit of a hike to the ticket window but we made it! The guy in the booth asked if we were swimming and sliding, or just swimming. “Just swimming for me,” little Bryden said. I was dumbfounded. “You don’t want to go on the slides, buddy?” No, I’m good.” We paid for our swim tickets and the young guy gave us a couple of slide chips and said have him try it and if he likes it, then we’ll upgrade your ticket. What a nice guy, I thought.

We walked toward the beach area and set up our stuff while he jumped into the water, and within seconds he made a couple of new friends. Oh, the innocence of a child that thrusts them into others’ spaces. He can be so joyfully bossy and rambunctious at times and some people just don’t get him!J

George pulled out the water guns and within minutes people on the shore were laughing with us as we aimed at each other and within minutes, we went from dry and hot to wet and cool. After little B got bored with that, we decided to try the water slides –or should I say George decided that I should try them with B.  We raced to the first set of stairs and came to a stop. He looked at me with his brown eyes full of a familiar emotion, fear. “Nana, I don’t want to go on it; it’s too high.” I told him Nana was a bit scared too, but I was going to face my fear and have some fun with him.

I managed to keep him engaged in conversation all the way up to when it was time for me to go – they didn’t allow two to go at once. I assured him that Nana wouldn’t let him do something that would hurt him and told him I’d be waiting at the bottom to catch him. Off I went!

I discovered that the more I sat upright, the slower I went. I was like my own sled, in charge of the speed, and as the end of the slide drew near, I leaned back a bit to pick up the speed and…splash! The little girl in me laughed out loud! And then I waited and waited and waited. I knew in my gut he had decided not to slide down.

I got out and got halfway up the path and there he was, looking defeated with big crocodile tears in his eyes. “What happened, B?” “It’s too high,” he exclaimed. I stood with him for moments that stretched to the height of the long and twisty slide and then I pointed to it, assuring him that it wasn’t any higher than the height of the garage door that he hangs on to as it’s going up! J Yes, he really does that! “The top of it is higher,” he pointed. “Yeah, but not by much, buddy,” I countered back.

We stood there in silence until I turned to go back toward our chairs. “No,” he screamed. “Okay, let’s go try it,” and I headed back up and he followed.

So up again we went and this time he actually started to sit down and then freaked out and stood up and declared he was too scared. The walk back to our chairs was one I’ll never forget. His fear was so real, so overwhelming, it had him all worked up, so worked up that when he said these words, I couldn’t help but smile – inside, of course because I’d never want him to think I was smiling at him. He said: “I wanna do it; it’s just I’m soooooo scared,” he whined, tears beginning to stream down his little sweet face.

“It’s okay, Buddy. If you don’t want to do it, that’s okay. You don’t have to.” I kept reassuring him all the way back to our beach chairs, but it just wasn’t sitting right with him. We got back to George and within 30 seconds, he had papa convinced he’d try it again if only he had the tokens because I had already used one. So he and papa went and talked to the guy at the ticket window and they came back with two more tokens. He convinced me he was going to do it this time. We raced toward the slides.

This time, when we got to the hill that began the ascent toward the slide, and he started to give into his fears again, I stopped him and I bent down and looked him right in his beautiful brown eyes and said: “B, your brain only knows what you tell it. If you continue to repeat that you’re scared, guess what? By the time you get up there, you’ll have scared yourself out of the slide. So beginning with the first step on the stairs I want you to repeat: I’m gonna do this; I can do this; I’m gonna do this; I can do this.”

When I felt his voice disappearing, I reminded him to talk a little louder so he could hear himself. As we climbed up the final steps to the platform of the slide, he tried to give in again but this time I cut him off, reminding him of his new message. We were up next and I really thought he was going to go first, but he begged me to go first. As I sat down, I turned around and said, “Pinky promise you’ll come right behind Nana.” “I promise.” And down I went…needing to tell myself a new message, like he will do it; he’s gonna do it! J

I landed with a happy splash and within seconds I turned to begin to get out and who came splashing down…that’s right, my little B!

Coffee Hour friends, fears are frustrating, and when we give in to them they can be incredibly overwhelming. Maybe it’s time to remember that we can take the power out of fear by Facing Everything And Rising…instead of Fleeing Everything And Running!

Fearlessly,

Evinda