Out of Control

wildfire | Definition & Facts | Britannica
Photo from britannica.com

Unless you have been taking a media and social media cleanse (probably not a bad idea), I'm sure you are aware that much of the the Pacific Northwest is currently burning. 

I live on the southern Oregon coast. Tuesday morning of last week, I awoke to a yellow sky. I switched on my phone and found that several man-made fires had sprung up in the southern valley and the smoke was being blown our way by a strong east wind. In was very concerning to look out the window and smell smoke in the air. But we had planned a fun trip on the jet boat tours for that day and kept our reservations. We had a fantastic day, and the business of it helped keep the worry away.

Wednesday, however, the sky got yellow and didn't get any lighter. It gave one a very eery feeling. As I was making breakfast and praying for my family and friends that live in the valley, I suddenly got this panicked feeling. We only had two rolls of toilet paper left and we were out of eggs. I felt an uncontrollable urge to drive out of town and load up on supplies. So I did.

I'm still kind of surprised at my reaction. When the coronavirus hit, I didn't panic shop at all. I made toilet paper jokes at that time. But this time, with the physical evidence of smoke all around me, I suddenly wanted to find a way to control what was happening. An urge to make sure that my family was provided for. It's strange, but that's how it happened. 

Photo that I took in Brookings, OR, at 11 am on 9/8/2020

The further we drove south, the thicker the smoke was. As I was shopping, I found that a lot of other people were feeling the same way as I was. The stores were packed. And all the gas stations had lines that stretched out to the street. I'm sure that a lot of the people were evacuees from the valley. I tried not to be too greedy with my shopping. I bought enough to stock my pantry and freezer with the food we would need for the next two weeks. We drove back home with eyes burning and headaches. 

I knew my family was safe. I knew my pantry and freezer were stocked. But I was still worrying. I was thinking of all the people in trouble because of the fires. I was thinking of all those that would lose their homes and businesses. I was thinking of those who were having trouble breathing because of the smoke.  I was thinking of all the first responders that were putting their lives on the line. I was thinking of the people who had started these fires and worrying that more would be started.

I was worrying a lot. 

I was looking at my phone for news. A lot.

I was no good to myself or anyone else. In fact, I gave myself mastitis because of all the stressing and was in physical pain all the next day.

Wake up, Lee, you know better!

I've been a Christian for a long time, and Matthew 6 is one of my favorite chapters to read. I know better than to worry!

Matthew 6:34 - Bible Verse for Worry and Anxiety - Bible Verse Images

Worrying never changes anything for the better. Stressing never helps situations that are out of my control, and often ends up hurting me instead. I know this! I've known it for a long time. I still fall into the worry trap sometimes, though.

There are a lot of crazy things going on in the world these days, mamas. I just want to encourage you that a lot of it is beyond your control, and worrying and stressing about it wont fix it. There is only so much you can do. 

Vote your conscience. Pray. Volunteer and donate your time and/or money. Pray some more.

And focus on loving and encouraging those who are in your sphere. That is the part of the world you can change.

Lots of love!


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