Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I have the Royal Albert out and a dish of Anna's Schoolhouse Coffeecake to serve...really. I'm enjoying a small piece right now. Delicious, you'll love it. I made it with cherries I had in the freezer, which worked very well. I let it cool and drizzled just a little glaze on the top.

This week, while chatting over tea and perhaps mumbling a bit as we have coffeecake in our mouth (what etiquette!), I can see the conversation turning towards the subject of fear.

I thought it interesting that a major network showed a two hour program about fear and worry being rampant today. I only watched a bit of it but what I did watch was interesting. It would appear that everyone deals with fear these days. It reminds me that the Word says "man's hearts will be failing them with fear" (or close to that) someday.

It is so easy to let fear, apprehension, that "uneasy" feeling, come upon us. For me, it is almost always when I let my mind wander on "what might happen" or "could have happened". I pray for my son as he drives and I truly believe God watches over him. Just this past week, he was late coming home from teaching a fencing class so I began to get apprehensive again. As it turned out, there was an accident at "the bad curve" on the way home...only he came upon it just after it had happened. He got out to see if everyone was okay and if they needed him to call 911 on his cell phone. Then he arrived and sound. Just a few minutes earlier and he could have been in the midst of cars crashing. God really does hold him in the palm of His hand.

It is interesting how my body reacts to the sounds of sirens as they race down the county roads near me. When someone I know is expected to be here soon, the sounds can cause me to immediately get tense. That same sound provokes a different emotion when no one I know is on the road at that time, especially family and friends (or at least expected to be on the road). Then the emotion is curiosity and I usually send up a prayer for whoever is in trouble.

It's interesting to me that the "big things" that probably should give me cause for concern do not bring fear, at least right now. I can read about Iran, Iraq, the Middle East situation, China, Russia, etc. and will perhaps feel a twinge of apprehension but otherwise, I rarely get afraid. However, let me hear that ships are on the way to the Persian Gulf from America and I do have a bit of apprehension. So, what is the difference?

Well, I guess it has a lot to do with growing up under the constant threat involved with the Cold War, that nukes are pointed our way. There's nothing I can do about it so the "big things" are cause for prayer and not worry. I truly believe we are seeing the puzzle pieces falling into place for a huge threat to our safety but I handle it by doing what preparations I can for my own family (which is not a lot right now but every little bit helps). I'm positive that is what led to my interest in emergency preparedness.

It is entirely for selfish reasons that the ships heading for the Persian Gulf bring more cause for concern. The cost of a gallon of gasoline has already risen a great deal where I live due to the "possibility" of having to get involved in the Middle East. My budget is already overwhelmed by how much groceries and gas have been going up in price. Living within farm country, I know the direct consequences of the rising oil our grocery bill.

It is the small things that often cause me the greatest fear. At least that is the way my personality and thinking work. I am normally calm about world events but put me on an elevator...immediate fear! I know it doesn't make sense, the threat of a terrorist attack in my town (which is very low) is more likely than getting caught in the elevator but tell that to the part of my brain that sends out adrenaline.

Here's what I am wondering this icy Sunday do you react to fear? Is it the big picture or the "little foxes" which cause you to become fearful?

Added Note: This post on the neat blog Life in the 10/40 Window has good scripture verses about fear (what timing!).


Anonymous said...

I feel more anxiety than I do outright FEAR, and it is generally over personal things. However, there are a few big things that cause real fear, such as thinking about the possibility of economic breakdown and dramatic social change due to the oil situation. I get scared that I may find myself in a bad situation where I am dependent on an electricity grid or oil-dependent economy that no longer functions, and that I will also be far away from my family (I live 3,000 miles away from them at present) and unable to get back to them.

The way I react to anxiety about things in my life...a chore I don't want to do, a worry about bills, personal insecurity, usually not very effective: I tend to "freeze." The result is that I get nothing done that would help to even appease the cause of the anxiety. This is something I'm working on.

In response to the big fears, I try to come up with a plan for how I can rearrange my life to reduce my dependency on things I feel are uncertain. So far, I haven't been able to really *do* much with this planning (I'm a poor student, sort of stuck in the city), but knowing that I have some kind of plan helps a great deal. I do think over the next five years or so, I will be able to make practical changes in this direction.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I do know how you feel. Since we lived in Detroit when 911 hit, for a long time we expected an attack against the electricity or water.

That caused a lot more tension than if we'd been in the country!

Anonymous said...

This is perfect timing.
I'm having physical symptoms because of emotional stress. I'm really trying to pray and trust God.
It started with my dad possibly dying from cancer. He's been fighting it for years but he's not doing as well lately as he has been in the past.
Then last week we learned that my 9 year old dd will be needing surgery at a University Hospital several hours away-that made the stress even worse.
I'm going to write out the scriptures that were listed on the blog you posted about. I am needing constant reminders of God's reality and care these days.
This post was so timely. Thanks Brenda.
p.s. Would you think me a pig if I asked for another piece of that yummy coffeecake? :)

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I've had a few pieces of that coffeecake myself. :)

I'll be praying!

Candy said...

Ive had anxiety before too, as one of your previous comment-ers? said :)
Mine started with my grandfather passing away when I was 19 and then my uncle who was like a second Dad to me because our families were so close. He was a pastor just like my Dad and they were the closest of brothers. His death was shortly after my grandfathers and that really messed me up emotionally.
I started to get anxiety attacks!
But one Sunday at Church the pastor asked everyone to come up that needed healing so I went up to the alter and was prayed over by some elders of the Church..and after that, during that year I noticed my anxiety slowly going away! Eventually it went away completely! I havent had any problems since and that was few years ago.
So I guess my answer to how I deal with fear is to pray or especially to get prayed over.

Senkyoshi said...

Thanks for sharing your "tea." It was beautiful. I love tea parties. Fear is something I deal with a lot living where I do. The verses I posted have been especially helpful to me. It is also a comfort to know of God's love for me. He will only allow what is for my good, because He loves me. Sometimes that means trials, but they always work "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!" ~2 Cor. 4:17