Exploring our new city…. Whiskeytown National Park

There is still endless sunshine here in North California, just perfect for exploring the great outdoors. We found a lovely little spot in the Whiskeytown Lake area where there was a little creek running through the green Forrest. It was just perfect for the kids to sit and play on the rocks. Little Emily was having so much fun throwing leaves into the water and loved watching them float down steam. She would scoop her little hands in the water and then put them to her mouth sucking in the cool water delighting in it dribbling down her chin. William was an explorer extraordinaire. He was jumping and climbing here and there, finding different pathways over the flowing water. He and Greg built a little boat and floated it down steam and William followed it down steam as far as he could go.

IMG_8432 IMG_8452 IMG_8514 IMG_8519 IMG_8548Our list of things we want to do and explore here is growing by the week and now even William is adding things to the list. The mountains are beckoning to me though and I can not wait to get back out to Mount Shasta. I did notice that the snow has melted away from the mountain top over this past week as it has been so warm so I am hoping that it begins to cool down again and we see some more snow fall soon.

Exploring our new city… Crystal Creek Falls

This past weekend we headed towards Whiskeytown once again (which is only about a 15 minute drive away) and we spent the morning exploring at Crystal Creek Falls….

IMG_8283We walked a short trail into where the falls are located. The falls appeared right in front of us and we were looking down on them from above. We then climbed down to the bottom of the waterfalls where we could sit on the rocks at the pools edge and enjoy the beauty around us.

IMG_8295IMG_8309Greg and William were very adventurous and they climbed over the rocks to the other side of the pool and then up to the middle of the waterfall while Emily and I sat on the rocks below and watched them. Emily was very envious and wanted to go with them but it was too difficult to climb and hold on to her at the same time.

IMG_8332 IMG_8347 IMG_8348 IMG_8352It was lovely and cool down by the pool. The weather here has turned very warm again during the day so we ate our picnic morning tea in the forest and then we headed home before it got to hot. There are so many things to do here in the great outdoors that our ‘must see’ list is growing longer and longer each week.

He created her lovely, beautiful.

IMG_7996 IMG_7987IMG_7999IMG_8002I am totally in love with this little girl. She just gets cuter and sweeter as she grows. She loves music and dances all the time, every time the music stops she says more more more. She loves it when I chase her and catch her and then tickle her, her laughter is like sweet music and again she says more more more. She is learning so many new things and it is wonderful to watch her. I probably have said this at every stage of her growing up but this is such a delightful age and we are having so much fun together.

As her mother I have so many things I want to show her and impart to her. One thing that has been on my mind lately is about having inner peace with yourself. A heart at peace gives life to the body. In particular about having peace over who she is and who she is called to be.

I want her to know that beauty and happiness are perfected on the inside. That beauty in not defined by how you look, your measurements or the worlds standard of beauty. I want her to know that God created her and he fashioned every detail about her. He created her lovely, beautiful. I want her to be who He called her to be.

I think many people, me included struggle with this.We forget that we are created in His image. He made us and we are lovely. When did we stop listening to the creator and start listening to the lies? Someone once said to me whatever you believe is true to you so be careful what you believe.

I want her to walk with a faith of knowing and believing within herself that she is beautiful. That she is a child of God.That she is a princess, a daughter of the most high King.

When we understand that we are created in the image of God and that he deeply loves us and accepts us we can then accept ourselves. We are called to be free, to serve one another humbly in love and to walk by the spirit. To love others first we have to love ourselves. When we accept ourselves we are accepting our unchangeable physical features. When we can do that then we can focus on more important things in life such as our character. We can then strengthen our love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I want her to know that her beauty is more than  just what is on the outside. I want her to know that loveliness and beauty runs deep. I want her to be strong in character. Her love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control will shine out of her like the dawn, like a crown of splendor.

Again, to teach these things to my daughter I must show her. I must learn to love myself as God does and to only speak good things over myself. To make sure that what I believe lines up with the truth about who God says that I am. I need to walk with a faith of knowing and believing that I am beautiful. I need to perfect my character and let that be my focus instead of what I see in the mirror each day.

Exploring our new city… Shasta City and the McCloud River

Last weekend we left our little city of Redding behind and headed north and into the mountains. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful. As we traveled the interstate it took me back to a few years ago when we were traveling the same road. At the time we were heading back to Vancouver after the best holiday our little family of three had ever had. I remembered that I was feeling sad that our trip was coming to an end and deep in my heart I was hoping that one day we could come back and expereince it again…

… and then fast forward three and a half years to now, here we are traveling interstate five through California once again, this time a family of four instead of three. My heart is overflowing with joy and thanksgiving.

IMG_8202IMG_8205IMG_8191We drove up to Shasta City for lunch and we ate in a really cute old school burger bar, Greg said that it was the best burger he had ever tasted.  Shasta City sits at the bottom of Mount Shasta, we were going to go and explore the mountain but there was snow at the top which would have been exciting but we were not dressed for snow as we only had sandals on our feet! Instead we went and explored the waterfalls on the McCloud River. The waterfalls (there were three in total) were stunning. We were able to climb over the rocks and explore a little more closely at the lower falls. You can hike a trail between the three waterfalls and I would like to go back and do that sometime soon. The only thing that puts me off is the knowledge that it is bear country out there!

IMG_8264 IMG_8243edit IMG_8248As we drove home my legs were tiered and I was feeling very weary after our adventures. It was so nice to arrive back at our little apartment, it really feels like home now.  My heart was still full and overflowing with joy. We lead a very blessed life. Recently I was reminded that my blessings are nothing to do with me and all to do with Him. I am not entitled to them, I did not do good works to earn them, it is by His grace. It is Gods great pleasure to give us the desires of our hearts. So I will give thanks to the Lord for what he has done for me and is doing in me. His love endures forever.