Monthly Archives: July 2012

I am ___________.

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM…. ~ Exodus 3:14

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 292

Miles walked: 777

Miles remaining: 223

Days remaining: 74

I am __________. That’s a good fill-in-the-blank question, right? There is such an emphasis on labeling in our lives. Everyone labels every thing. We label ourselves, our friends, family, enemies, strangers, etc. We label the things we have no business labeling – people.

In a word, what am I? I could give you about 50 words maybe, but in one word… I am-.-.-.-.-.-determined. I guess that would be best since it can cover everything. I know, it’s kind of a cheater word. If I would choose to be “nice, funny, friendly, caring, awesome, happy, giving, compassionate, faithful, sometimes lazy, trustworthy, punctual, sincere, yada yada…” then I would be limiting myself. Since I am determined, then I am determined to be all of those things to the best of my ability. I won’t let one word label me, because I am so much more than that.

When I was a kid, I remember my dad encouraging me to be honest and strong. He showed me how to be those things. They are definitely at the top of my list if someone would ask me to describe him. My mom encouraged me often to be nice and polite to others. Those labels start to describe her as well. I think that I encourage my daughter a LOT. I hope I’m encouraging her in the same things that my parents encouraged me but I feel like I’m encouraging her to be so much more. She is truly amazing and I see so many opportunities for her, so I don’t want to limit what she can do or where she can go by giving her a label.

We’ve talked about Taelor’s friends before and you know I’ll talk about them again, 😉  because we have teenagers come in and out of our house and they have no self-confidence. They don’t think they can do simple things, so they sure don’t think they can change the world or any of the things that I encourage Taelor to shoot for. They’ve been labeled. I’ve heard some of the labels that their parents and friends have given them. My blood is boiling just thinking about it… Dumb, stupid, lazy, fat, ugly, worthless, a mistake, a waste of space.

Yeah. It almost leaves me speechless… almost.

Once you’ve been labeled, you carry it with you. You might carry it for days, years, or maybe forever. You either keep believing it or you have to outgrow the label. You have to prove that you’re not that thing that you have been believing for so long. So, years after being a label, you might be an adult that is still trying to overcome it. I have one that I’m trying to overcome. It’s not even a bad one but it’s one that I can hide behind and blame things on. I am shy. I am. I have been my entire life. I dread talking to new people. I really dread going to big public things. I don’t enjoy it at all. I can keep limiting myself and hiding behind the label or I can kick it.

I don’t want to be shy anymore.

I don’t want to use that excuse anymore. I don’t want that word to define me. I’m lucky that one of my worst labels is “shy” and not something more. But I’ve used it long enough and it’s time to break the label. I’m turning a new chapter in my life and there isn’t room for shy. I don’t want to be an adult that’s hiding behind something that I’ve been labeled since I was a kid. I really was shy. Very, very shy. But, I don’t have to be. I’m going to start with baby steps but I want to kick the label.

What’s your label? Fill in the blank… I am _________. Are you carrying around a label that you’ve been given or have lived with all of your life? Are you ready to kick it? Have you labeled someone else? Do you need to take back some labels that you’ve given to someone else so they can move on to something more?

Seeing kids that are growing up with so many labels, I want to be very careful with what I might unintentionally label my daughter. I don’t like to talk when I’m upset because I don’t want to say something that I don’t mean. Of course, I am human and I have said some things when we have had our mother/daughter disagreements. Things that should never have been said. I hope that I’ve remembered to apologize for all of those things because I would hate to be the reason that my daughter thinks she can’t do something, or can’t be something.

Taelor is absolutely 100% amazing.. she shows me this more and more every day! I am so privileged to be her mom and to get to see what she is capable of and where she’s going. I can’t think of anything that she couldn’t do. Some things may be better life choices than others but she has the potential to change the world – one person at a time. A couple years ago, she told me that she was going to do just that.

If I had to give her any labels, I would make her determined too. That’s what I would want her to be, so she can be determined to be the best that she can be at everything!

The verse up top, Exodus 3:14 – Wikipedia says that it literally translates as “I Will Be What I Will Be”.

I like that. I will be what I will be.

I think I might pick a new label.. I will be a limitless possibility! What will you encourage others to be… what will you be?

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20 seconds

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 285

Miles walked: 761

Miles remaining: 239

Days remaining: 81

20 seconds. Courage. Bravery…  If you go to LifeChurch or watch online, you know what I’m talking about. 20 seconds of courage. 20 seconds of insane bravery to do something that could change your life forever. What would my 20 seconds be? 

To be honest, I’m not ready for my 20 seconds yet. 

Sorry, sue me.. I’m just not ready. I am working on it, but I’m not quite there. Yet. 

If you don’t go to LifeChurch or watch online, then you don’t have a clue what I’m rambling on about. But, the super cool thing is that you can probably still catch this weeks service online. Click it, see what time the next experience starts and don’t miss it! It will help this make much more sense if you watch it. 

So, the reason I’m not ready for my 20 seconds of courage is because I’m still doing the work

…“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you… ~ 1 Chronicles 28:20

I’ve been working on some of those Chazown spokes that I talked about awhile back. Specifically, the health stuff. This walk has been a huge help in that area. I was in terrible shape. My main form of physical activity was mowing my yard and a lot of times, it kicked my butt. I know what you’re thinking, so what did I do for physical activity when the yard didn’t need mowed? Not much!

When we started this walk, every mile was a struggle. The miles have gotten much easier. I remember huffing and puffing to finish a mile in the beginning and thinking that I might even have to call my daughter to come pick me up because I wasn’t sure I would make it home. I didn’t know how I would do it.. but mile after mile, it just got easier. Maybe because I kept doing the work.  😉 

Yes, I’m making progress on my health goals. I’ve started being much more diligent with my nutrition. I’m taking extra time off the couch and adding more on my nutrition and fitness routine. I’m getting there.. but I’m not getting there from the couch, or the computer. I’m putting in the work. I want to change and it’s my time. I know that if I want to encourage others with their health, nutrition, and fitness, then I need to be an example and do it myself.

Many times, we want to change something but we’re not willing to do the work. Yeah, that’s me to a T. I’ve been wanting to get fit for ummmm, well, probably 15+ years now, because my daughter is 15 and I know that I never got back into good shape after having her. I just wasn’t ready to do the work, and obviously it doesn’t happen all by itself. 

If I’m not willing to “do the work”, nothing will change. I won’t build stronger relationships. I won’t move ahead at work. I won’t get out of the debt storm that so many of us are in. And my Health? Obviously, I won’t make changes in your health unless I do something about it. Yep, it was time for me to do the work. It’s not easy and no one said it was going to be, but it will be worth it. Some days it’s hard, and it has been very painful but it will all be worth it in the end. 

 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13

I’m amazed every day when I see things happen to people who are doing the work. Changing their lives. Making good choices. Taking control of their future and making it better, with God. Yes, with God. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – If God’s not in it, then it’s already failed. The best part is, whatever you need to change is ridiculously easier with His help. There is no way that I could be at over 750 miles if I wasn’t doing it with God.  Seriously.

The message this week at church was literally all over me from start to finish. (I hope you clicked above and watched it if you didn’t see it already!) It was encouraging, inspiring, and dead on for this place that I’m at in my life. Change.. lots of change, and some of it is slightly scary change. I’m good with “the same”, and I’m content with simple things, so this change that’s coming about is ruffling my feathers like crazy. 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

The first time I let this verse stir something in me was about 2 years ago. It hit me again on Sunday. New things are ready to happen. God is behind it and leading me to it. He’s been behind it the entire time, just waiting for me to get up off the couch and make the decision to do the work. 

I’m still walking. Still doing the work. This walk is preparing me for so much more. I never would have dreamed of the things that are coming about. But, until this walk is over – the first 1000, that is – I’m just not ready for those 20 seconds of insanity.. I mean bravery!

And for the record… I am NOT buying a Zoo!

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And on the seventh day..

He Rested.

…………..

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 278

Miles walked: 734

Miles remaining: 266

Days remaining: 88

Do you feel like you’re running nose to the ground, 90 miles an hour, full throttle, open choke? or is that just me lately? Running on fumes, steam, vapors, or just plain running on nothing. I’ve even been going to sleep, and I’m talking ridiculously early, but I’m just beat.

Last week was the 4th, and that meant a day off work, I was planning on relaxing and doing a bunch of nothing. Maybe see a movie, definitely take a longer walk because I would have no time constraints, maybe go through a couple piles of junk mail that I let get stacked up, and I wanted to go through some clothes in the back of my closet that I’ve been meaning to sort through… oh, I think you’re supposed to trim up your mums around the 4th of July (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere), so I thought that I could do some garden work that has been almost nonexistent this summer, and I need to grab some paint to match the bathroom cabinet that I started painting and then I might as well paint the whole bathtub deck thing since it’s basically connected to the cabinet, and I’ve had this project in the back of my mind that I just haven’t gotten around to finish or actually to even start.. so I could just do some of that while I’m relaxing and doing a bunch of nothing, right?

Wait… Why am I beat? I think I found the problem. Me.

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so He rested from all his work. ~ Genesis 2:2 NLT

Even God rested.

I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to at least keep my Sundays clear but even a simple Sunday – wake up, walk, church, mow the yards… Now, you might be thinking that I shouldn’t mow on Sunday, right?  Sunday is the day of rest. But I enjoy mowing.. love it. Mowing to me is like meditation, with the result of a pretty yard in the end. It’s like white noise that gives me an hour of uninterrupted thought or even nonthought. It’s like quiet time.

Then the day is already 1/2 over and I still have so much to do before the week starts all over again. My body is feeling the lack of rest lately. I feel good and have tons of energy when I get up, but at the end of the day, I’m flat exhausted. I’ve been asking God to give me strength and to be with me in every step and every breath, but I haven’t asked Him to be with me in my rest.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28

This morning on my walk, I found myself humming the “Word Of God Speak”..

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness 
Word of God speak.

I desperately need to stay and rest in His holiness. I mentioned last week that I’ve been distracted and found that I wasn’t even doing my daily devotions some days. I need to get back to my restful time with God. My time of listening for Him. My time with Him.

Yesterday, I stayed home from work – sick.. blaming it on a pulled muscle/misaligned scapula issue. I went to the chiropractor Monday afternoon and it wouldn’t budge. So, when I woke up yesterday from a horrible nights sleep, I knew that I was no good to go to work. It was radiating through to my chest and everything hurt, even breathing. After I moped for awhile and took some anti-inflammatory medication, I laid down and prayed for rest. Let me tell you that it was the best rest that I’ve gotten in a long time and I forgot to mention that I was laying on my loveseat that I have declared the worst thing in my house to sleep on. I dozed off and on throughout the day, so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sleep last night. I prayed again for rest before going to bed and almost instantly fell asleep.

When I woke up this morning, I noticed two things. First, my shoulder wasn’t hurting and it didn’t hurt to breathe. Second, I was rested. My body wasn’t tired. I didn’t wake up during the night like I do so often. I had more energy on my walk. I just felt better. Rested.

I gotta tell ya, if my shoulder hadn’t been hurting so much, I never would have thought to pray for rest. I mean, I pray for everything involved in my waking hours.. but rest?

For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet. ~ Jeremiah 31:25-26

God is good all the time.. awake and asleep.

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Top of the World!

I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation

And the only explanation I can find

Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around

Your love’s put me at the top of the world.

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 271

Miles walked: 710

Miles remaining: 290

Days remaining: 95

It feels good at the top. When everything seems to be going well. Things are good, easy, and enjoyable.. Life is moving by at a fast pace and there’s not much that you can even think to complain about. Not that I need something to complain about but are things going too good?

That’s how things have been feeling for a while. For probably the last month or so, things are good. I’m walking, working, living, and it’s just flashing by so fast that there’s not much time to think about anything. But there is something. I just don’t know what it is. I started noticing it in my LifeGroup when we would take prayer requests or talk about what’s going on in our lives over the last week. I didn’t have anything. Things are just “good”.

Don’t get the wrong idea.. I’m not that “doom and gloom” person who is always looking for the other shoe to drop. I don’t expect something bad to happen because things aren’t suppose to be this good. I’m a glass half full, everything will turn out good in the end kind of person. Things just seem a little off lately.

This week, it’s been hard to stay focused on my walk. No.. the focus has been getting hard for 2-3 weeks but this week it was down right impossible to focus. The walk. Jesus. Relationship. Communication. I can’t even tell you what most of my focus has been on. I even came up with a new “focusing tool”. When I feel distracted (which has been almost the entire hour that I’m walking) I think to myself, “every breath, every step, all day, every day”. That has been my request to Jesus to try to stay focused on Him and to continually seek Him.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. ~ Matthew 6:33 NLT

I got a text yesterday. It was an invitation to an impromptu girls night out to a neighborhood concert and fireworks show. I immediately accepted. This is actually unusual for me. I don’t accept on the spot without details and it’s even more unusual for me to accept from an unknown number that texted me. (Cell phone issues and lost numbers and all that.) So, after accepting this invitation and asking who was texting me, I find out that it’s girls night out with Kristen and Tasha.. my 1000 mile sistas!

There is nothing that I needed more than a night with my girls – My Godly Gal Pals, My Cupcake Companions, My 1000 mile girls.

We met and went for dinner. That alone is a blog post in itself, but it was awesome and so nourishing for the heart and soul. We talked about stuff and we talked about nothing and we talked about oxen.. There is no better time, than time spent with the other two legs of our tripod. The strength I get from our relationship is like that of the cord of three strands. The completeness that we each bring to the other.. is like the magic in Vicki’s Tres Leches Cake at The Purple Burro. You just have to experience it to know what I’m talking about.

After dinner, the trek to the neighborhood concert was another blog post in itself but once we got there and settled in, it was pure enjoyment. The music was fantastic. The atmosphere of the neighborhood was envious. So, why was I still feeling somewhat distracted? I was having a great time, with my favorite people, and spending my night “flying by the seat of my pants”, right?

Then it hit me.. like one of the BOOMS from the fireworks show. Everyone always says, “The devil gets you when you’re down”. That’s when we’re usually most vulnerable. Well, I don’t have too many downs so could he be trying to distract me while I’m up? In actuality, wouldn’t that be the better time for him to “distract” us? Things are good, so who would notice Satan creeping in to do what he does best. Distract us from what’s important – The walk. Jesus. Relationship. Communication. If he can’t bring us down – then his next best trick would be to blur our focus.

Yes, my focus has been blurred. My concentration has been attacked. I have been struggling to keep my mind where I want it on my walks. I’ve been struggling with focused thoughts to blog about. I’ve even been struggling to read my devotions every day. But “things” are still going good. There has been nothing that would make me think that I’m being attacked.. nothing except my inability to focus on what is most important. My relationship with God.

You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” ~ Genesis 4:7 NLT

Did it take a completely unfocused night of fun with my girls to bring me back in focus? Yes :).  I may have figured it out sooner or later but most likely later.. I probably would have started getting into a funk of a mood and wouldn’t know what was causing it or how to fix it until it just ran its course. That’s what usually happens. Looking back, that’s exactly what happens from time to time.

So, I will sing with my girls at 10:46pm to the “Top of the World”, while we’re looking to run into a McDonald’s for a $.27 cup of ice water. I will creep through parking lots with them to satisfy our curiosity, and I will most definitely cherish my unplanned escapades of seat of my pants flying silliness. Sometimes that’s what it takes to refocus on what matters most.

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