This picture on the left is
from one of my first days on this blog. May 13, 2015, nearly two years ago! I miss the exhilaration I felt hitting the open trail! When I started out, I was just walking, but I began to start thinking about training for a race. Now that spring is in the air (I saw a bluebird yesterday!), I may have to resurrect that goal!
The Japanese have a long tradition of "Forest Bathing" (shinrin-yoku).
There has actually been documented research of the benefits of walking in the forest:
All I know, is that I start feeling pent up if I am stuck inside, or walking in the city too long without some time in nature. A trip to the beach, the mountains, the Columbia River Gorge or even the Springwater Trail, does wonders for my body, mind and spirit.
Today, I am focusing on the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) "self-control".
"Self-control" (NIV, NRSV), "temperance" (KJV) is enkrateia, "restraint of one's emotions, impulses, or desires, self-control," "the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetite."
Unlike the virtues above, "self-control" never occurs with reference to the character of God. Nor is it something that one does in the community. It is an individual virtue, referred to by Paul with reference to sexual continence (1 Corinthians 7:9), the self-discipline of an athlete (1 Corinthians 9:25), and the character of an overseer (Titus 1:8). It is with the Spirit-fruit of self-control that we curb some of the excesses of the works of the flesh listed above.
Speaking of which, I could have used that last night. I decided to surprise the adult children with pickles, olives, kimchi, potato chips and chocolate. All family favorites! I ate a small bag of chips and a chocolate bar at 10 p.m., while having a fascinating conversation about the unconditional love of God with my son-in-law.
I love this spontaneous, late night kitchen conversations with family. Especially when it involves God, chips and chocolate!
Speaking of which, today is Valentine's day. That is why I surprised the kids last night. I'm not super invested in holidays. I never have been. I like to celebrate life each day. But it was nice to surprise them.
And today, while declarations of romantic love abound on Facebook, I took myself to a little romantic solo lunch at the Canton Grill after my church job and before students. Had a lovely waiter, who had the cutest nervous laugh after everything he said. He is also single. I know this because I overheard a table of women ask him what he planned on doing for his wife.
At which point, my ears perked up. He said, "No wife. No one to go home to. Just doing the usual tonight." Then he laughed nervously.
I may have to go back. He's about my age. And cute as a button.
Plus the food is good, cheap and on my teaching route.
I had Szechwan Chicken, Pork Fried Rice and hot and sour soup.
Right now, I am at my library office. Craving chips and chocolate.
But also craving a walk on the trail.
I will get back to the trail. And the gym.
But right now, I am going to grab some chocolate before my next student and walk briskly to her house!
Happy Valentine's Day!