Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Challenge! – part 2

Pam’s Journey: Day 113

Miles walked: 305

Miles remaining: 695

Days remaining: 253

So, this is it.. my list for yesterday. Starting from the second I woke up until I got to work. The time of day when it’s the same thing every day. My normal routine.. How much could there possibly be to be thankful for in doing the sames things that I do every day?

MY LIST

  1. 5:27 AM – I woke up.  – think this is obvious or something to be a little silly to be thankful for? well, some people didn’t wake up today.
  2. my alarm clock – I’m thankful that I can hear it, some people can’t.
  3. get out of bed – odd? well, I’m in a nice warm bed in a nice warm house. Some people don’t have beds or houses or heat, and some people can’t get out of bed on their own.
  4. walk to my kitchen – you guessed it.. some people can’t walk. I got a taste of this for a few months once. I’m very thankful to be able to walk.
  5. coffee – mmmmm. oh yeah, the luxury of a coffee pot, electricity, running water, etc..
  6. feed my cat – yes, my crazy, sleeps on my head half the time, SlickyBoo.
  7. check my email – where to start.. thankful for a computer, the mental ability to read and the freedom to write what I want… oh, and the friends and family that care enough to email me!!
  8. check the morning weather to see how many layers I need to wear for my walk – another luxury, tv.
  9. get ready to walk – sweats over yoga pants, t-shirt, light jacket, heavy jacket, scarf, gloves, earmuffs, hat, hood, shoes. Some people don’t have that many clothes in their entire wardrobe and I wear it all at once just to walk.
  10. wake up my daughter – I’m so blessed to have a daughter, an amazing daughter. Some people can’t have children or have lost their children and I’m lucky enough to get to wake mine up every day.
  11. leave for my walk, start my MapMyFitness app – yes, thankful for that walking thing again, and the luxury of having a cell phone that’s smart enough to track my walk with me.
  12. spend an hour with my Jesus – some people don’t have the freedom to worship God and I’m lucky enough to have a constant relationship with Him and to walk with my Jesus every single day!
  13. witness a beautiful sunrise – I’ve had a long time recurring dream that I can’t see (I’m blind) and it scares me like crazy. I appreciate being able to see all the beauty God gives me.
  14. make my bed – if I’m lucky enough to have one then I should definitely make it every day!
  15. pick my clothes for the day – some people don’t get to pick clothes or shoes.. all they have is what is on their body.
  16. shower – hot running water, in a house, with shampoo and soap.. crazy that we take all of this for granted every day, huh?
  17. get dressed and ready for work – I’m thankful for the physical ability to dress myself.. not everyone can.
  18. spend some morning time talking stuff with my daughter – I’m so lucky to have good communication with Taelor. To talk to her and keep up on what’s going on with her, her friends, school, boys, her new blog, just to spend time with her is precious.
  19. grab something for breakfast, lunch, and maybe a snack for the day – some people don’t even get 1 meal a day and I’m just randomly grabbing from cupboards full of food.
  20. start the car – you’re catching on enough to know that many people don’t have a car, right?
  21. drive to work – this is when I call my mom most days. Thankful for the cell phone again, and bluetooth of course so I can talk while I’m driving, and very thankful to have a mom to talk to!
  22. traffic – who appreciates slow traffic? Most likely the person in the wreck ahead that’s causing this slow traffic…they would appreciate it, and I appreciate not being the one causing the slow traffic.
  23. work – I’m so lucky and thankful to have a job. Not just a job but a job that I really enjoy and with people that I enjoy working with. How many people don’t have a job? The ones that do, probably more than half of them don’t like their job.. I’m very thankful for mine!
  24. Friday – after getting to do a job that I love all week, I’m thankful that I will get to spend time with my daughter this weekend.. Thankful that I have a house to clean, laundry to wash, a yard full of leaves that need raked, books to read, movies to enjoy, and food to cook up for next week. I’m thankful that I get to go to an amazing church on Sunday, hopefully taking one of Taelor’s friends, to worship with friends that are so fired up for God that it’s contagious!

Well.. it’s 8:30 am. That’s 3 hours of thankfulness. Three hours of my normal routine every day. You may think that my thankful list is absurd but if you start taking some of those things away from any of us, it makes a huge difference in the way we live our life. No bed? No shower? No daughter? I don’t even want to think about it so you can bet I will appreciate what I have, every day.

If you’re still with me in this list of thankfulness, don’t you think we can all slow down and appreciate the things we’ve been given? Even the smallest things that normally might be an irritation.. maybe there’s something to be thankful for in everything. Maybe we should be happy and content with what we’ve been given and not constantly want more. Maybe? Do we have to wait for November and for Facebook to tell us to post something every day that we’re thankful for? I’m suggesting that you be thankful for every second of every day because something amazing is happening somewhere.

As I’m typing out my list for you, I’m thankful that SlickyBoo is trying her best to walk across my keyboard and get in my way so she can lick my arm the way that drives me crazy. But that’s how she show’s me that she loves me and that she’s thankful for me…

Thank you Lord, for everything that you’ve given me.. I’m truly blessed!

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The Challenge!

Pam’s Journey: Day 112

Miles walked: 302

Miles remaining: 698

Days remaining: 254

This may be one of those times when I should apologize for offending some of you because it’s probably going to happen… We didn’t promise that this blog would be all happy sunshine and cuddly hugs. It’s our life and what we’re thinking and feeling at any given moment. It’s our triumphs and failures and our joys and pain.

I bet some of you think I’m going to challenge you to walk 1000 miles with Jesus… nope!  I encourage you to do that because it’s amazing and I’d LOVE to share the awesomeness of this walk with anyone that will try it. What I’m about to challenge you to do is something that many of you will think is super silly, a waste of time, completely unnecessary, and maybe even a little offensive (like any of that is going to stop me!).

So here goes, I challenge you to make a list (and not just a mental list, but an actual list with a pen and paper or you can you use your phone or computer if you forget what a pen and paper is) of things that you’re thankful for. What I propose is that from the time you wake up for a minimum of say 3 hours, you write down the things that come to mind that you appreciate. Yes, you guessed it… I’m assuming that many of us go through life taking most of it for granted. I am pointing fingers and of course I’m including myself in this accusation, so it’s all fair.

Do you have days when you feel like you aren’t appreciated? I’m pretty sure everyone does.. I know I do from time to time. Life is just so busy and everyone has their own priorities that are more important than everyone elses, and we’re human to top it all off so we start taking advantage of things and people without even realizing it. Many times, it’s the most important people in our lives that we take for granted because they’ll always be there, won’t they? We put what we think is important first and let the rest go, because we can.

Isn’t it like that with a lot of things? Things that don’t matter…. until they do. We don’t give the effort that we could/should have and then it comes back to bite us on the butt. Work, family, kids, school, God, health, finances, friends. I know you’re thinking that those things aren’t in the order they should be in, and that’s my point! We get so wrapped up in everything and the “junk” gets put on the front burner because “junk” has to be dealt with. That leaves God, kids, family, health, and friends on the back burner because they’ll still be there once the “junk” is through cooking, right? Not always.

Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:6

Do you spend so much time wanting what everyone else has that you don’t see how much you have right in front of you? Do you obsess over the latest and greatest gadgets, cars, clothes, toys, etc..? Do you feel like you deserve to have more? Do you want what you want, when you want it? Do you care that there are over 6 billion other people on this planet and they might feel that exact same way? What if we all just started appreciating what we do have, instead of what we don’t? How crazy would that be?

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ~ Phillipians 4:11-12

So… about this list I was talking about. There are no rules, but I think it’s better if it’s numbered, and I like doing it on a weekday so I can’t be thankful for something silly like getting to sleep past 5:30AM, but I have to search for those special things in my normal routine. Three hours is just a suggestion, you can do all day if you feel inspired! What are you thankful for? What do you appreciate? From the second your eyes pop open or your alarm clock blares it’s noisy little beep off, write down what you have to be thankful for. It can be something that you think is so trivial that no one else would care but if it’s important to you, write it down. You can even write a brief reason why you might be thankful for some or all of these things.

I challenge you… yep, I double dog dare you to do this!! I’m going to do it too.. actually, I started my list this morning. I’m just doing three hours. I did this once, years ago, and it was an eye opener. I need to do it again to help me put some thing into perspective. Those of you that think I’m being ridiculous, wasting your time, or even being offensive, just do it.  Or not… it’s not like I’ll even know, but you will.

I’ll share my list with you tomorrow.

To Be Continued… tomorrow!

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The first 1000

Pam’s Journey: Day 105

Miles walked: 282

Miles remaining: 718

Days remaining: 261

The first mile of my daily walk is the hardest part of my walk. It’s 6:00 AM, I’m tired, It’s cold, I’m achey, and it’s like that part of a conversation where you don’t know who’s turn it is to talk so it’s kinda quiet. After the first couple of blocks I’m starting to loosen up, wake up, still working on warming up and then the mind flood opens… what shall we talk about today?

Me: Lord, I know I’ve brought several things to you in prayer every day but since I haven’t seen/heard an answer yet, let’s go over my list again. 😉 (like I really need to remind Him)

God: In my time.. you may not like the answers but I will answer them in My time. 

Me: soooo…. now that we’ve covered that again and we have 2.7 miles to go, how about we talk about the walk. I love our walks. It’s like walking with my oldest and dearest friend who knows every single thing about me (and still loves me beyond comprehension!). I can’t hide anything and nothing is off limits…  I was thinking that since I’ve been walking these walks every day for over 3 months that I might be noticing a little more of a physical change by now.

God: In my time.. you may not like the results but I will change you in My time. 

Don’t get me wrong here, this walk is NOT about exercise and I have been so blessed with such an amazing relationship since starting this 1000 miles.. but I’m human and we know that when you do aerobic activity consistently, then usually you start seeing the scales move. We started this walk to develop a closer relationship with Jesus. To walk with Him. To be with Him. It’s the most simple thing and here I went and let my human brain start cluttering it up!

I committed this walk to God, and come hell or high water or as my momma used to say “weather permits and the creeks don’t rise”, I will keep my commitment and finish what I’ve started. I didn’t commit to joining a fitness program. I didn’t expect to get anything out of it, I expected to give myself to it. It’s kind of like a physical tithe to God. I’m giving Him 1000 miles of me. So for me to start humanizing this and think that I should be seeing something because I’m giving something is pretty selfish. Again, I’m human.

This walk is changing me from the inside out. It’s reshaping me… just maybe not my belly, hips, and thighs as fast as I would like, but it’s a change that I could have never done by myself. When I first started this walk, I remember asking God to reshape me however He wants me.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. ~ Psalm 139:14

The first 1000.. my physical tithe (or offering) to God. When I think about it like that it makes me realize that I may not see any physical changes and I shouldn’t expect to. I’m giving the first 1000 to Him. This walk is so precious and sweet that I know 100% that I won’t be able to stop walking after I reach my goal of 1000 miles. So, I’m assuming and am perfectly content to think that I might not see any lbs drop until I’ve given Him what I’ve promised. Another way to look at it is that I must attempt to walk approximately 3 miles per day to stay on track of my 1000 in 365 days. That does give me some extra miles which are part of the plan in case there are some days that I can’t walk due to weather or illness or zombie apocalypse, etc. So, if I want to include some daily exercise in my routine then it must be above and beyond that 3 miles. My normal routes give me about 3.3 miles per day.. so every 3 days, I’m getting in about 1 mile of exercise. That would just about add up to the super slight difference I’m seeing in my  physical appearance… I might just be on to something here!

I know this may sound a little crazy but it’s funny that the human laws of exercise are not applying themselves to the almost 300 miles I’ve walked in just over 3 months. So, I don’t know how else to explain it except to keep walking and see what He has in store for me. I’m so excited to give Him the first 1000 and absolutely can not wait to see what mile 1001 looks like for me!

Me: Sooo… me again 🙂   Just wondering if I’m catching on to your plan. 

God: My precious stubborn child… it’s not about the walk. It’s about the journey. Just Keep Walking.

Have you started your walk yet?

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ~ Luke 6:38

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What’s in a name?

Pam’s Journey – Day 98

Miles walked: 264

Miles remaining: 736

Days remaining: 268

Hi, my name is Pamala.. it means “sweet as honey”. Not sure how true that is but if you’ve followed our blog for very long, you would know that I’m the single mom of a 14 (almost 15) year old daughter. You would also know that Taelor is amazing, she is my life and my blessing. She brings many people into my life, whether I want them there or not. By people, I’m referring to her teenage friends, boyfriends, parents of these friends, etc… As the mother of a teenage daughter, I confess that in my opinion, the term boyfriend is synonymous with enemy. Enemy or not, she continues to bring them into my life.

Have you ever had a person come into your life and keep showing up again and again making it obvious that they were put there for a purpose? I’m pretty sure I’ve had that happen a few times and one of the most recent ones literally drives me insane.  Yep, you guessed it.. it was an enemy a boyfriend. You may remember some blogs about him awhile back.

I would love to say that I hear God speak to me on a regular basis but truth be told, I think I’m so busy over-thinking things that I probably can’t hear what He’s trying to tell me. I have only had a few things come to me so clearly and so opposite of what I would normally do, that I’m pretty sure He is raising His voice enough to get through to me. Example: On my last day of my recent vacation as I was walking my last walk on the beach, I asked a question that’s been buzzing around the back of my mind. “How many times am I supposed to let this person back into our lives.. how many times do I forgive him?”. He said, “Haven’t I already told you?” and this verse pops into my head.

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” ~ Matthew 18:21-22 NLT

This person  has stomped all over the boundaries of my trust and respect but I was told to forgive him. He knows God but he doesn’t walk with Him on a daily basis. He’s a little lost and doesn’t see every day as a do-over option. He wakes up to a lot of dark days and I feel that he was brought into my life or mine into his for a reason. He is so heavy with trouble and worry that he isn’t feeling the freedom that comes when you just give in and let God be in control. He’s trying to live the life that he wants to live.. not the life that He wants him to live.

I’ve seen God at work through him first hand but I’ve also seen him push God aside to enjoy the world that gives him pleasure for the moment. I’ve seen him manipulate and lie when it suits him and I’ve seen him praise God and try to be a better person until it gets too hard and he slides right back into the ruts of easiness, back into the fun of the moment, back on the easy road that his friends are on. The road that sooner or later is going to ruin him or take his life as it has taken the lives of some of his friends.

So, why can’t I just let this person go? Just let him slide out of my life.. I mean, because of the trust that’s been broken, Taelor is not allowed to leave my house with him or meet up and hang out with him. The only place they are allowed to be together at the same time is church. Because who am I to tell him that he can’t come to church? Why does he stay on my mind and in my prayers every day? Because God put him there. Nothing else can explain it so I’ll go with that.

Since there is something bigger than I know going on with this person and his place in my life, I forgive him. I pray for him every day on my walk. I continue to encourage him to make good choices. He’s lost. He’s not in the best family environment. He hasn’t had an easy life. He has had a lot of people taken from his life. He’s human… and I’m like a dog with a bone. I just can’t let go until it’s done.

What’s in a name? I never gave it much thought. I obviously didn’t research name meanings when I named my daughter. Taelor Shae (Tailor) means “to cut” and Shae means “adored”. I’ll buy the adored part but I’m obviously biased. Our God and Jesus has many names. To me, He is my savior, comforter, and my friend. He’s always there for me and He believes in me, even when I don’t.

Christopher.. this boy who has destroyed my trust in him, this boy who doesn’t know what plans God has for him, his name is Christopher. It means “bearer of Christ”. I would have to say that’s a little more impressive than honey! I’ve actually seen this person bring Christ to people. With a name like that, it’s no wonder I can’t let him out of my life until his work is done. I believe in Christopher, even if he doesn’t believe in himself right now.. and I’ll stay in his life (even through a zombie apocalypse if necessary!) until I think my job there is done.

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First light

Pam’s Journey – Day 89

Miles walked: 242

Miles remaining: 758

Days remaining: 277

Sun up.. Sunrise.. Daybreak.. Dawn.. Mornin’.. whatever you call it, that’s my normal walking time. Actually, that’s the end of my walking time. As I’m ending up my walk, I get to see the first rays of a new day. A do-over from yesterday.. a fresh start.. a new beginning..

A brand new day. I love my new days! I get the chance to be better than yesterday, to try harder, and to make a difference. If something was too hard for me to handle yesterday, well guess what? Today is a brand new day!

Something dawned on me last week while I was on vacation.. I seem to be “that person” that people feel they are able to tell all of their worries, problems, complaints, etc… I have no idea why this is but it used to wear on me. It got heavier and heavier every day. Maybe because I’m a “fixer”? I felt the need to try and fix all of those problems, or at least to help them in some way. I came to realize that I am not the fixer. God is. Who knew, right?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  ~ Matthew 6:27

This “giving my worries” to Him thing isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s taken me years to learn that I have to give them up,  and I still have my days that weigh me down. After every single one of those days, I’m given a new day.. first light.. my do-over. I walk my walk and He’s there waiting for me to hand it over every morning. To just let it go.

whew… Just. Let. It. Go.

 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. ~ Peter 5:7

I’ve gotten much closer to my Heavenly Father since I started this journey of 1000 miles. We can talk about anything. I give Him my ideas of acceptable walking weather and He gives me misty rain to tickle my nose the next day (He definitely has a sense of humor!). I recommend that I could walk this walk a little easier if I didn’t hurt every day and He shows me that with Him, I can do anything… including walking through some pain. I ask for guidance with my parenting, and He puts me in contact with kids who don’t have parents and with parents who have kids battling mental and physical handicaps that break my heart. He makes my trials seem so trivial.

I love how my God puts things into perspective for me, if I just ask. If I put my worries, fears, trials, and struggles in His hands. He shows me that my problems are so much smaller than I think they are. He shows me that those problems will not overcome me and that the battle is already won so there really is nothing worth worrying about.

The past few months have shed some light on a lot of areas of my life that I thought I was in control of. I’ve been letting go of this worry weight every day in my walks. Some days I feel a HUGE release, other days I have just a little more spring in my step but I notice that my step is lighter and bouncier and a little quicker than it’s been in a long time. My “southern swag” is almost ridiculously swaggy! I’ve mentioned this before but I must be getting better at it because I’m still just giving it to God.. all of it. Not just my worries and problems but those that everyone shares with me. I’m giving Him their problems. I didn’t realize that I was carrying them for them, trying to fix them for them. I can’t fix them any more than I can fix my kitchen faucet that is in desperate need of some fixin!

Now that I’m not so heavy with life, it seems that things are a little clearer. Those problems and worries that I’ve been letting God deal with, instead of trying to handle them on my own, aren’t quite as big as they were before. The problems seem to almost answer themselves. Crazy weird, I know. I ask for guidance and I feel guided. It’s actually pretty amazing.

It’s funny the things we hear, if we just open ourselves up to Him and listen. This is why I love my walks with Jesus. I walk mostly in the dark, giving Him all I have to give, thanking Him for all He gives to me, and then He gives me light. The first light of a new day. A new day to be better, to try harder, and to make a difference. He gives me that, every single day! He gives it to you too. Have you been walking in the dark? Are you weighed down with worry and troubles? Have you given them away yet? Seriously… Give. Them. Up. 

You’ll never live the same again!

Enjoy the first light of a new day over and over and over…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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