Monthly Archives: April 2012

At a loss.

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 201

Miles Walked: 499

Miles Remaining: 501

Days Remaining: 165

Have you ever been to church and hear something that just gets all over you? Like, something that you know you do – but you shouldn’t, or something you should be doing – but you’re not?  Yeah… lately it seems that I keep getting the “Love like Jesus does” thrown at me. It’s been in my devotions almost every day. So, I keep trying to put it out there and be what Jesus wants me to be…. and then some reckless, road-raged punk comes zooming up on me, whipping around me to cut me off by squeezing in between me and the car ahead of me when there is 2 miles of empty lane directly behind me! OH, and then, he starts giving Me some sign language that I may have just been thinking about giving him but would never actually do, like it was all my fault that I made him drive like that!

Love like Jesus… of course there were no highways with fast lanes in His time. Did I mention that the above-mentioned punk never once  used a blinker to indicate that he needed to get in my lane.. like I’m supposed to be reading his mind, right?

And No, I do not have road rage… but I may have Rude Rage.

I’m having a hard time dealing with rude lately. I’m drowning in negativeness. The constantly complaining, never satisfied, thinking they are the only ones that has “things” going on in their lives – people. I get it – Life can be hard. Trust me, I get it.. but Life doesn’t give a pass to sling rudeness to everyone in your path.

A couple weeks ago, Taelor and I were headed to visit my parents and we stopped for a snowcone (her treat!). While waiting in line, the dad ahead of us ordered snowcones for his 4 little girls, that were absolutely adorable, and he requested no “cones” so they wouldn’t make a mess in his truck. This snowcone stand doesn’t do the cones on top, so no problem, right? One of them was slightly (like 1/2 cm maybe) rounded above the lid of the cup and the dad made such a rude comment to the owner that left my daughter and I standing there, looking at each other, with our mouths hanging open.

I’m probably sounding pretty uncaring and definitely not like I’m loving like Jesus does, but I’m completely at a loss with how to keep dealing with the negative people. I’m at that place where one more complaint about “life” may just send me over the edge. I guess I assume that everyone should realize that we’re ALL going through life.. none of us are exempt, so just roll with it.

‎”The Lord also keeps safe those who suffer. He is a safe place in times of trouble!” Psalm 9:9

I’ve tried the cheerful, optimistic attitude because this is my norm and it works on some people but not those that obviously just enjoy grumbling and complaining about everything and don’t want to look on the bright side of things. I’ve tried distancing myself from them but sometimes it’s impossible with my daily interactions. Now I’m at the “keep my mouth shut” option because I have nothing to say that’s going to improve their mood or it would have already improved it, so I try to say as little as possible and just pray that they find peace. I hate to be at this place but I don’t want to risk their toxic attitudes affecting my life.

I mentioned the “funk” that I was in last week and this funk is a direct result of the negativeness being hurled at me from every direction. So, if these people are causing my funk from all of their negativeness… then are they in a funk all the time? That’s a really sad thought. Thinking that they must be that miserable all of the time makes me feel a little sorry for them.

Do you know these people? I’m sure we all do. I know someone who knows he is one of those people. He’s asked me to pray for him from time to time.. and I do, but I feel that maybe I should share something with him. I don’t have a secret decoder communication device to send these prayers to the God that can give him peace… OH Wait, I do! It’s just prayer.. simple, humble prayer. As much as I don’t mind keeping other people in my prayers, I desperately wish that he would do some one-on-one prayer time.

Sometimes I have to face the fact that I can’t fix everything (or everyone). I can be quite determined and stubborn but there does come a time when even I have to admit that I may be letting more harm than good come from some of this toxic exposure.  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33. 

This is a touchy thing for me because the more I try to follow God’s lead, the further I’m being led from some of my friends and even some family. Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14. The more I pray about it, the more I feel that it is time to keep my distance. I will keep praying for them of course but keep some distance between me and their unhealthy attitudes. When it affects me and more importantly, when I bring it home to my house, it’s time to let it go. 

Let go… and let God. Of course, I will keep trying to love like Jesus loves 🙂


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I have a dream…

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 194

Miles Walked: 475

Miles Remaining: 525

Days Remaining: 172

I’ve been in some kind of a funk this past week. Walking in a haze, just going through the motions. I HATE feeling like this so I’ve been spending a lot of time asking God to help me through it, reading His word, and just trying to figure out what’s up with the funk. I keep coming back to the fact that this thing that I’m going through, this thing that everyone is going through, is only temporary. God has much better plans for us than this funk. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

I have a plan.. or a dream, maybe. Whenever I think of my dream, I hear the Martin Luther King, Jr. voice in my head. “I have a dream…” My dream may not have the impact that his had, it may not change the world, and I may not get my own national holiday, but it’s still my dream.

I started working in the medical field about 20 years ago and was blessed to walk into a job that I feel I was meant to do. I’ve worked just about every position in a medical office, receptionist being my least favorite, and I enjoy almost every position. Currently, I’m an office manager and certified professional coder for a general surgeon. I love my job. I love getting to help people through whatever illness or injury they’re going through. Since I have always enjoyed doing what I do, I have never considered trying anything else.

A couple years ago, I went to an event at church called the Chazown Experience. Chazown is the Hebrew word  meaning “dream, revelation or vision”.  Proverbs 29:18 – where there is no vision, the people perish. Chazown is about finding your vision. We definitely don’t want to be perishing so finding and achieving my dream sounds pretty good to me!

The Chazown Experience walks you through things about yourself and your life, events that you’ve been through, people involved in your life, what your strengths are, and it zeroes in on what you are called to do with your life. It was very revealing and a wonderful growth experience. Towards the end, when people were coming up with things that they might be called to pursue, I heard a voice in my head that simply said, “You should be helping these kids”. I’ve blogged about some of the kids that my daughter brings into our lives and some of them definitely need some help. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do… I didn’t know what kids I should be helping or how I should be helping them.

Confession time… I don’t especially like kids. <GASP> I know that’s pretty harsh. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I was never one of those girly girls that wanted to play with babies. I wasn’t a professional baby sitter growing up, I don’t even know that I was “ready” (if there even is such a thing) to have a kid when I had my daughter. Of course, she is the best thing that’s happened to me, but I’m not one of those super maternal type of people. I’ve just never been comfortable around kids (that aren’t mine) for long periods of time. So when I felt the push to “help them”, it was quite a shock.

After the Chazown Experience, I began evaluating and working on things in my life that would need to be addressed before my dream could take shape. The 5 areas of focus are:

  1. My relationship with God
  2. My relationship with people
  3. My financial life
  4. My physical life
  5. My work life
  • I dove in head first to my relationship with God. I started reading and applying His word to my daily life. Church became a much more important part of my life. I have found a relationship with Jesus that I desperately needed. Daily devotion with Him and of course my walk with Him has become like air to me.
  • I joined a LifeGroup.. this wasn’t easy for me because I’m pretty much a hermit. I like my alone time and get stressed in social situations. Obviously, my relationship with people needs a LOT of work! Several special people have come into my life and I know they will be there for years to come.
  • I went through the Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University program. I got my bills under control and have the tools to apply to my spending. This is a daily battle for me because I do like to spend… I don’t spend a lot on myself but I love to shop for my daughter and our house.
  • The LifeGroup that I joined was started as a weight loss support group. I was able to start focusing more on my physical life and make some healthy changes. It’s a work in progress but there has been a lot of progress.
  • My work life has always been good to me. Like I said before, I love my job. I’ve worked for several different doctors in several specialties over the years and have finally been blessed with a doctor that is a pleasure to work with.
So, what’s my dream? I did get a little sidetracked up there… well, I’m envisioning some sort of retreat, or camp, for kids mostly where they can come and learn who they are, who they want to be and gain some life skills. Maybe a place where foster kids can come for a couple weeks in the summer time. Maybe a Christian summer camp like I went to when I was a kid! Something for kids to come and learn and grow and know that they are special and loved.
As a retreat, I see it for anyone who needs to “get away” and get back to living life with God. A place where people can seek God and renew their relationship with Him. My daughter is seeing a “hunting retreat” during the fall/winter months. I’m sure we can fit that in to our plan. I would also love to have families come together to “find their family” again. There may be a weight loss boot camp time, and a creative getaway for others, and it’s definitely going to be the perfect place for anyone who is interested in starting their 1000 miles with Jesus!
 
There it is… I told you my dream, now you can tell me yours! The shape of my dream has changed and evolved but it’s still there. I’m still working on my 5 areas of focus and I have a long way to go before my dream might happen, but I’m not in a hurry. It will happen in God’s time.

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The Good, The Bad, and the Horrible.

Pam’s Journey – Day 187

Miles walked: 458

Miles remaining: 542

Days remaining: 179

Yesterday was one of those hard days as a parent. It started with some defiance from my daughter and seemed to get worse throughout the day as I found out some recent things that she has told me weren’t true. That always hurts. You’ve read about my daughter before and I’m pretty sure you will read about her again, but that’s mostly because she’s more important to me than anything else on earth.

I am by no means a perfect parent and I have by no means raised a perfect daughter – but she is perfect for me. That’s why God gave her to me – and me to her. He knows what He’s doing.

Let me tell you about our day.. Yesterday morning started with the normal routine – Get up, make coffee, take my vitamins, apologize to SlickyBoo for running out of her wet food and only having dry cat food, tame my bed head hair so I don’t scare anyone on my walk, feed the stray cat that has adopted our front porch, wake my daughter so she can walk Beau, set out on my walk with Jesus… that’s my favorite time of the whole day. I had a very thankful walk yesterday. I have been blessed with so much, sometimes it overwhelms me, so there was a lot of thanking Him on my walk. After my walk, I went in to make sure Taelor (and her friend who had stayed all night since yesterday was Taelor’s birthday) was getting ready. Taelor was sitting at the computer, most likely checking her Facebook and Heather was laying sideways across Taelor’s bed. So, I began the morning prodding: Get moving, don’t forget to feed and water Beau, don’t forget to move the laundry she started from the washer to the dryer, don’t mess around and miss the bus…

That was mostly what took place between 6:00am and 7:15am. Then I started getting myself ready for work. Beau got fed – not watered, the dryer was emptied – but the washer clothes didn’t make it into the dryer, and thankfully the bus wasn’t missed. I get frustrated when my daughter doesn’t do the things that I ask. What parent doesn’t? So, I watered Beau and put Taelor’s clothes in the dryer before I left for work (yes, I make my daughter do her own laundry!). That was when I decided that we would be having a family talk after work, because those things and more are happening daily. Those things aren’t life or death issues but they are her responsibilities and I would be doing her an injustice if I didn’t hold her accountable for those responsibilities… that’s my job.

Later in the day, I spoke with the parent of one of Taelor’s friends and a few things that she told me wasn’t matching up with what Taelor had told me. So, this added to the list of things to talk about in our family meeting after work. Family meetings are not my favorite thing and there is always the chance of tempers flaring since our butting heads is almost inevitable. This is why I started praying early in the day to let it be calm and productive and even sent out a prayer flare to my godly gal pals, because I can use all the prayer I can get!

I love when I get home and we both know that we’re going to be having a talk, but when I walk in I’m greeted with the smell of fresh laundry or my favorite kitchen cleaner. That’s always a good sign that Taelor knows she’s done something that she shouldn’t and is already trying to make it better. We talk, we cry, I ground her and I think we both felt better after talking through some things and she goes to her room to work on that laundry and cleaning.

Our day had some good, some bad, but we didn’t know that it was about to have some horrible.

The next thing I know, my daughter is coming back to the living room and crying hysterically. She just found out that two close friends were involved in an auto/motorcycle accident and are being taken to the hospital in critical condition. We go. I don’t know these friends or their families but if there’s nothing else that I can do but sit with them and pray for their boys, then that’s what I will do.

Between the boys, there are multiple broken bones, dislocations, road rash, and 1 of the boys is in a coma and on a respirator. He is still in critical condition, has a fractured skull and his brain is hemorrhaging. This isn’t what I planned on blogging about this week but this horrible accident has impacted my daughter so much and has brought an awareness to us both. We all know that accidents can happen any time and Taelor gets tired of me reminding her to wear seatbelts and be careful and to not be reckless, and.. and.. and. Life has finally hit close enough for her to realize that my warnings might actually be warranted.

We prayed. We sat at the hospital with the family and other friends for hours last night. We prayed. We waited for any news on their status. We prayed. We watched the parents of these boys suffer with the fear of losing their children… and we prayed.

Too often you hear, “The only thing left to do is pray”. When the reality is, “The only thing to do is pray”.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. ~ Matthew 18:20

I don’t stress prayer enough with Taelor. I know this and I know it’s hard because I didn’t have her involved in church when she was young enough to grow up with it being a normal thing. She was already a teenager when we became involved in church, so pushing her to take her problems to God in prayer is sometimes just that, Pushing.  I encourage her to pray and I pray for her daily, she knows this. Unfortunately, times like this are the best time to remind her to pray and encourage her to invite her friends to pray. I’ve suggested she do this at the hospital today.. every hour, bring everyone together and pray for these boys and their families. I’ll be praying with them from work and I know the families of these boys would appreciate all the prayer they can get. Please join us in praying for the boys. Ryan and Matt.

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Trust vs Faith

Pam’s Journey ~ Day 180

Miles walked: 443

Miles remaining: 557

Days remaining: 186

I’m going through a hard parenting phase. It’s not the phase of rebellious or ungrateful teenager (this time)… it’s the letting go a little phase. That probably didn’t make much sense, but it’s the time when my daughter is in high school and I know it’s time to let go a little. I don’t want to let go and my eyes are tearing up just typing this… and now my nose is sniffling too. We’ve been through lots of the teenage phases and most of them have been pretty short lived but I don’t know that any have bothered me as much as this one.

This has been coming on in waves for a few years but it’s gotten worse lately. It’s the closed door.  UGH… there’s nothing I hate worse than the closed door. It’s just me and my daughter at home so why do we need closed doors? Here’s an example: we’re hanging out together, maybe watching a movie in the living room, and the dreaded “bzzzzzzzzzz” happens and she jumps up, grabs her phone, runs to her room, and closes that oh so hated door. I’m sure most parents can relate.. or maybe I’m hoping most parents can relate because surely it’s not just me that this is happening to!

You’ve heard a lot about my daughter over the last 6 months. We have always been very close. She’s my chickie boo, I’m her mommy boo, we’re both dorkfish, we think alike and we get each other. That’s why the closed door is driving me crazy. There’s something that she doesn’t want me to get, or hear, or know about, or whatever. Friends come over and the door closes, the phone rings and the door closes, she’s on the computer and the door closes… all of this closed door business has been eating at me and finally manifested in a lack of trust. Because why else does she need the door to be closed? Why can’t I know what’s going on in there?

As much as I don’t like it, I know that she needs this space. Her space. <here come the teary eyes again> My problem here is Trust vs Faith. I know Taelor is a good kid (who likes to push the limits sometimes), and I have complete faith that she is going to make a difference in many many lives throughout her life. She’s a good person with an amazing heart and enough charm to captivate people and inspire them. Faith isn’t the issue. God has taken care of that. I have the faith to know that everything will turn out exactly like it should, but apparently I have trouble trusting the process of getting there. Trust. That seems to be where I’m getting hung up.

Admitting the problem is the first step to recovery, right? So, did I just admit that I’m not trusting my daughter… or did I admit that I’m not trusting God’s plan on getting her where she’s going in life?

Ouch…

I know that she is responsible for the choices that she makes and even though they’re not all the choices that I think she should be making, they’re still getting her to where she’s going. My choices would probably save her a little heartbreak but may not teach her the life lessons that she needs to be taught. That old saying “Momma knows best”… not always. I’ll admit that while Taelor hasn’t taken the routes that I would like to see her take, she is ultimately getting to the same finish line.

Giving everything to God isn’t the easiest thing for me to do, but giving my daughter to Him has been almost down right painful. I’ve only been trusting her to Him for the last couple of years. Oh, I thanked Him frequently for giving me such a easy going child when she was younger. She was an angel when she was a baby and even a toddler. I was so blessed by her and always said that God gave me what I could handle. So, I’m confident that while I turn my teen parenting challenges over to Him, He is only giving me what I can handle.

Today, I started my walk a few minutes after 6am and she is usually first in my Jesus conversations. I made my first loop and as I was approaching our house again, I heard our gate opening so she could take Beau for his walk. She meets me at the street and usually she goes the opposite way than me… but today, she turns around and walks with me. 🙂  We walked around that loop, and she was filling me in on all of her friends and boyfriend issues and what’s going on and we talked, laughed, and joked. She brought me up to date on what’s going on in her life since the last time she brought me up to date which was most likely just a couple of days ago.

I’m blessed that Taelor and I talk frequently about “stuff”. We talk when we’re getting ready for school and work in the mornings, we talk when we’re in the car going anywhere, we talk before bed, we actually talk a LOT… so, obviously I’m over reacting to the closed door syndrome. It’s not like she’s avoiding me or is setting off red flags with serious changes in her mood and personality. It’s just that I need to let go a little, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I have to give her some room for her to grow into the person that I know she can be.

That loop, that one loop out of the dozens that I walk every week, was my best loop. So, while Momma doesn’t always know what’s best… God does.

…. and yes, she’s still my chickie boo and always will be!

“Me & you, Chickie Boo!!!”

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