Kinda’ Funny How that Works…

When I was young and heard people mention “the desert” and Phoenix, I always thought it just was one giant flat sand box that extended for miles with saguaro cactus randomly dotting the landscape.

Imagine the delight when, many years ago, we came and found that it is surrounded by zillions of beautiful mountains!! There are literally mountains everywhere!   In fact it’s 360 degree views of mountains around our beautiful city. And for this mountain-loving girl, it’s a dream come true.

Of course we once lived with a spectacular view of the Rockies, so no, the mountains surrounding Phoenix aren’t the Rockies, but they are so majestic and beautiful and this chica is truly grateful!!


There are mountains sprinkled throughout the city too!   It’s crazy-amazing!  Neighborhoods have mountains throughout them!!  In fact on several occasions I have wanted to take a picture out our front door to show you, my friends, because we actually have a mountain view right out the front windows of our home.

As the crow flies, the mountain out our front door is maybe 1,000 feet away and I am so grateful for it.  Dw, on occasion, will take a cup of coffee and sit on the rocker out front.  When I come to join him, he will say, “Nope, it hasn’t moved.”  Every time I notice it, I breathe a sigh of thanks to our great God for putting a little mountain right out my front door!!

Of course, in life there are so many “flip sides” to things, aren’t there?

I mean, you might love dogs but you will possibly have to deal with shedding.

City dwellers have so many wonderful conveniences and yet sometimes they have to deal with smoggy air.

People who live near the ocean (how fun would that be?) might have to deal with hurricanes and tropical storms.

And people who live near the mountains might have to deal with mountain lions.


Call me forgetful, but the other morning I stepped out on our back veranda and thought, “Whew!!  A cat must have really sprayed in a big way!!”  The place reeked.  My mind thought, “Weird.  We’ve lived here for almost 2 years and I’ve never smelled a cat spray here before.  He must have sprayed in a really, really, really big way!”

I forgot about it as I went about my chores.

And then we were out front the other night when our neighbor stopped by.  He wanted to give us a little ‘heads up’ that he and his wife had seen a mountain lion three times in the last couple weeks.  Pointing, about 300 feet away, he told us he saw him cross “right there at that fence”.   He said he’s been spraying the neighborhood marking his territory.mountain-lion-1370392

Another big gulp.

And then I remembered the “cat spray” smell.   My mind was racing.

For those who’ve been hanging around Our Place for awhile, maybe you remember my encounter with a mountain lion?  It’s here. 

So to be quite honest, I am not a huge fan of mountain lions.  Actually having stood within 40 of so feet of one, once upon a time, I am still not a fan.  Actually I may be alone in this (haha), but I find them a little bit creepy.  Okay, maybe “a lot bit creepy.”  Maybe like, “wet my pants and run screaming like a girly-girl creepy.” 

And so that little puddy-tat has been on my mind since our neighbor stopped by.  I mean, this home of ours has been a sweet comfort to my soul.  The neighbors are delightful.  The work-out center is amazing.  The streets feel peaceful.  Our home is perfect!!  And my mountain view is breathtaking and refreshing….until I heard about that dumb mountain lion!!

And suddenly my peaceful, breathtaking, restful home became a place where without any warning, I could let fear take a permanent residence.

It is so easy for me to let fear invade!! Fear is what I have wrestled with off and on my whole life.  And, rather legitimately, a mountain lion is something I’ve faced before.  And truthfully, never really had any aspiration to face again.

So now knowing there is one roaming the neighborhood and marking his territory has given me a choice:

Live in fear  – or –  Walk in trust.

Cause they can’t walk hand-in-hand, can they?

So what am I gonna’ do?  I’m choosing the latter.

Walking in trust.

How about you?  Fear ever plague you?  Or am I the only one?  I am convinced that each of us have our own struggles. Fear happens to be mine.  One of my favorite verses that, during some seasons, I’ve said hundreds of time a day is Isaiah 26:3.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  Isaiah 26:3


Can you imagine how terribly sad it would be if I let fear rule my heart and I stopped walking in my neighborhood early in the morning?  I can’t.  And I won’t.  He will keep me in perfect peace because my heart and mind has purposely, decidedly, intentionally decided to trust Him.  

How about you?  Live in Fear – or – Walk in Trust?

Come on!! Let’s walk together – courageously facing our fears and trusting our enormous, bigger-than-any-mountain-lion God!!


PS.  Today is the last day to register for the Passion for Orphans retreat and I have the joy of being one of the Main Session Speakers.  I’d love to hug your neck!!  Details are here.


8 thoughts on “Kinda’ Funny How that Works…

  1. Ugh. I struggle too. We don’t live in the best of areas. The crime rates seem to go up often and our local park had started seeing more and more violence after dark. Thankfully my kids don’t go anywhere after dark, but still it’s kinda scary. Then we moved to a neighboring city where the word gun is in the nickname and I had a hard time letting my kids go outside at all. Needless to say, I have to trust that if I truly believe that God moved us to this neighborhood, that His hand was on it all, and that He didn’t want us to hide out in home, then I had to let them go out and play and let Him take care of those details. That isn’t to say I’m not cautious, I just have to pray and reach for His peace a lot more than ever.

    And it’s all been good! I’ve been stretching and stretching a bit more for God and our kids are safe and sound each time. That I can think of there really hasn’t been much to be afraid of as the little city has been working hard to clean up that nasty reputation.

    BUT mountain lions are another kinda scary that I would really have to reach to find that peace. Thankfully, God gives it so abundantly when are willing to ask for it.

    1. You made me chuckle. Not the first part of your comment, I would be right there with you!! But that you would have to reach to find that peace with a mountain lion? Isn’t it funny? I think God gives us each grace for where we are. Liberty actually decided to name the neighborhood mountain lion. She’s calling it Frank (not sure why Frank, but whatever). Anyway, when it was windy last night and the yard things were banging into the house we all looked at each other and Liberty said, “Umm, did Frank come for a visit?” It does make us all giggle. Anyway, another verse that has brought great peace since the fire? The angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear Him and He rescues them!” I am going to paint it above my front door. HE camps around us – and that right there is a beautiful picture of His protective covering when we obey Him!!

  2. I just blogged about fear on Thursday as I was struggling with it big time. Fear is an emotion that can really mess with your head and cause us to forget the Truth…but “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind!”

  3. I so related to this. We live in a rural part of San Diego county. Mountain lions are here too. Yet, an even greater fear flooded in this week. Fear of another kind of predator- perverts- flooded in. Megan’s law revealed that a man lives one mile from our beautiful, serene, country home. His charge is “kidnapping with intent to sexually assault.” I immediately wanted to move from our miracle home. I called my husband and informed him “We are moving.” Yet, our home is clearly where God has us for now. We are not moving. Our home was serious miracle provided by God as a place for our family to grow through adoption. Yet, the power of miracles fell to the ground as fear slammed in. Images of precious children who have been kidnapped shrieked loudly with passion into my heart and sleep averted me for days. Ive visited the police and called countless other resources to learn how we can get the predator to move and nothing significant has come up. Yet, peace is returning. God is our protector. He is our Shepherd. He directs our steps as we pray for and learn how to raise awareness in our community for parents and others to protect children. Praying daily for the children who walk home vulnerable. Praying for children around our broken world. And as we fight this battle on our knees, we look up from under the waves at our Savior’s face “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Oh me. I am continually searching for the sex offenders near us and sometimes showing the kids their picture of the ones who live in close proximity. I get it. I am thankful that God is vigilant on our behalf…and gives us the strength to remain wise and vigilant as well!!

  4. A very timely message for me right before the Jewish holidays and talk of the need for protection – thank you, friend.
    But I’m afraid you’re going to think me very uncouth… I scrolled down to that photo of the cactus I burst out laughing. Because my immediate and unfiltered reaction was that you were giving that mountain lion the giant finger.
    (And then I thought, no, Linny’s not like that. My bad. But still….. 🙂 )

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