Monthly Archives: August 2012

Not alone

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 327

Miles walked: 912

Miles remaining: 88

Days remaining: 39

Years ago, when I was going through my divorce, I prayed that God would be so present with me that I wouldn’t feel alone. Being married was all I had known and I didn’t know how to not be. He answered that prayer. In the last 8+ years, there has not been any time that I’ve been “lonely”. There have been some quiet times and some hard times but I have always felt His presence when I needed Him. I’ve never been alone.

Some weeks are harder than others to come up with a blog about what’s going on in my life. It’s not exactly because there’s nothing going on, but more that I just can’t put it into words. God is so present when I earnestly seek Him. He leaves me speechless with His works. I felt His presence so strong and was so thankful for it during the worship on Sunday. This song describes most of my life but even more so, it describes my last 11 months and 900+ miles and all of the changes that are happening in me.

“Never Once”

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.

God has been there for far longer than I’m giving Him credit for. The deliberateness that this walk has provided, for a relationship that I didn’t even know that I was missing, has been the biggest blessing that I could ever have. I’ve learned so much about me.. about who I am, who I want to be, and what I’m capable of with Jesus by my side. I can see that with Him, there are no limits.

So, when I don’t really have much to say, it’s because I’m so busy watching what He’s doing in and around my life and there aren’t enough words to describe just how awesome it is. It’s amazing to know how “not alone” I am.

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Excuses..

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 320

Miles walked: 898

Miles remaining: 102

Days remaining: 46

Oh, I’ve got excuses all right. TONS of excuses. Lately, I have so many excuses, that I don’t even know what’s up with all the excuses. They don’t make sense, and they don’t help, and they’re honestly getting downright ridiculous.

You may ( or may not) have noticed that I missed my blog posting day last week.. and I have excuses for that! I don’t like not doing something that I’m committed to do. But, I think I just needed a break. I still do but things are a little more under control this week, thanks to a lot of seeking God on my walks. I’ve been seeking His help.

I’m really not an excuses kind of person.. I’m more of a “git ‘er dun” type of gal. Well, not this last week. I had excuses for my excuses and it was really starting to get out of hand.

I don’t even know when it started but I remember my Wednesday last week. Wednesday – the day that I can usually walk a little longer because we don’t have patients in the office so it’s not a big deal if I’m a few minutes late. Well… last Wednesday, my alarm went off and I was giving myself every excuse imaginable to stay in bed. I really didn’t feel good. My back hurt. My feet hurt. I pretty much hurt all over from the silly yard work that I did last weekend and my muscles were not loving the physical labor. My bed was too comfortable (this is the same bed that I complain about daily because I wake up with an aching back). I could skip my walk today, even though I feel better when I walk. It was my blog day and I didn’t have a blog post ready. I didn’t even have an idea for a blog post, so I needed to think. Of course, if I stay in bed, my blog post still isn’t going to get done. My miles aren’t going to get walked. I’m not going to get my Jesus time that I obviously needed more than ever. So, I got up.

But the excuses didn’t stop, they were literally piling up on top of each other. I did my morning thing. Got my walking gear on and started out… except I had to stop because the homeless cat that adopted our porch was waiting for me to feed him. Back inside for his food, and then I saw my next excuse. Ants. There were ants in his dish on the porch. I really don’t do ants. They’re so little and crawly, and they can get anywhere. I could just scrap the walk that I haven’t started yet and mix up some of my handy dandy bug spray that my dad gets me and spray the house because if there are ants outside, then there are ants everywhere, right?

I decided the ants could wait.. since I’d be spraying all around the outside of the house and it was 5:30am, so I wouldn’t be able to see anything! Back to my excuses walk. My body is still aching as I head down my street. I looped around to the street north of mine, like I do every morning and wouldn’t you know that my leg starts aching. Bad. My leg that I broke years ago that has the metal plate and screws in it. When it aches, it aches to the bone. I could just call it done and go back home when I loop back around to my street. Who would expect me to walk when my leg hurts?

Somewhere along the way I even thought that I should get back inside because even though I haven’t been bit by a single mosquito while walking these last 870+ miles, there was the possibility that one could bite me and then I’d be taking a chance on the West Nile virus and that would be no bueno… What is wrong with me?!!!

That’s about when it hit me. My little mental whine fest that I had been having with myself since the time my alarm went off. I imagined that God was getting a little tired of my “poor me, me, me” morning. I think I had just said something about that selfish attitude to my daughter recently… and here I was doing the same thing. It was a MEGA whine fest and I have no idea why.

That’s the hardest part.. acknowledging the problem. Now that I know I’m being a whiny baby, I can quit! It really is that easy. That’s all it took to turn me around to thanking God for all the blessings that I have in my life. I started out by squashing all my excuses as I was looping back around to my street again. My leg hurts? but thank You for letting me be able to walk. There are ants on my porch? Thank You for my home. Thank You for my homeless cat that’s eating the cat food on my porch as I walk by my house. Thank You for my aching back and feet and muscles that already feel better after getting out here to walk with You. Thank You for the grace that I needed to be able to skip my blog post and not feel guilty about it. I needed that. Thank You.

To say that I was embarrassed would be an understatement. What was all the mental whining about? no clue. It was completely unlike me. Like any good parent, God let me whine myself out and was there to get me back on track. The most horrible thought of my excuse filled morning was when I thought about all the grace God gives us. Over and over and over. What if Jesus had woke up with an excuse or 50 and decided to be human and not die for me. Or, what if God changed his mind because all of us whiny babies aren’t worth His son’s life.

The rest of my walk was very humble. I appreciated all of it. I turned my “me” focus off and praised God for everything that He is and everything that He will be.

My mom used to have a refrigerator magnet when I was a kid. It said “the devil made me do it!”. Sometimes when I’m feeling so out of character, that’s all I can think of. I’m not a whiner. I don’t enjoy complaining. I don’t even know where the flood of excuses came from, but it was like a tsunami. I’ll be keeping an eye on my excuse meter and I won’t be blaming the devil because I won’t even give him a foothold on my life. No more Excuses for me.

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The 2nd thing.

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 306

Miles walked: 840

Miles remaining: 160

Days remaining: 60

There are 2 things that are the hardest for me to leave with God. I keep giving them to Him over and over but I keep taking them back when I think I need to “control” them. I know.. “The things you worry about the most are the things that you trust God with the least.”

You know what my #1 is.. I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again. The thing I worry about most is my daughter (my chickie boo). The worry about her is just generalized. Parenting worry. It’s not that I don’t trust her to God, but I do worry about her and the decisions that she makes. I’ve gotten much much better though! I spend a lot of time in prayer about her and I know that she’s a good kid. I still can’t help but worry when I know she’s out with a group of teenagers… maybe it’s Them that I’m more worried about. I just know that it’s hard growing up and resisting the things that “everyone” else is doing.

The 2nd thing that I worry about most, embarrassingly enough, is money. I hate that I have to admit that, and I don’t worry about it in the sense that I need more and more and more.. but I worry about the long term security part. The part I worry about is knowing that I will always have a job that will support my household.

I hate how that sounds.

Let me explain.. A few years ago, we had some stressful times at work and my boss thought about closing.  He even said the words, “We’re going to close the office”. I literally had panic attacks. I felt like I was getting divorced all over again only this time it was from my job. The thought of going out and finding another job was just horrible. I’ve worked for doctors long enough to know that there are a lot of bad doctors to work for and only a few good ones. Some doctors are great at what they do but not great at being a boss. I just didn’t want to get stuck in a bad job after working in a great one for the last 5+ years.

That sounds a little better than just worrying about $$. I’m mostly worried about job stability in the quickly changing healthcare world.  AND obviously we didn’t close the office but it’s a thought that stays at the back of my mind.

Occasionally, a new healthcare law will pass that is going to effect insurance reimbursement or independent physician offices and my boss mentions that he doesn’t know how much longer we can do this. Every time he says those words, that thought moves back up to the front of my mind.

I have to be able to support my daughter, me, the cat, the dog, we have a house payment, a car payment, we kind of like electricity and water.. and food is on the list of important things that I need to be able to provide. I haven’t found a money tree that actually pays the bills yet and so I get a little worried.

We all know the verse… For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.~Jeremiah 29:11 In fact, I love the verse because it calms me when I start worrying about that whole job security thing. I’m sure that I’m not the only one worrying about this lately. Unemployment is not a fun thing.

I know you know what I did to help me with this 2nd thing… I repeated this verse for many many miles. I walked, and I prayed that God would be with me in my job and when or if it ends that He would lead me to what’s next. It still isn’t ending (yet) but a couple things has happened.

1) I started liking my job more again. I’ve always liked my job but I was feeling burned out and I wasn’t feeling as connected to my work as I used to. I was feeling like I’ve been doing this for 20 years and didn’t know how much longer I wanted to keep doing it.

2) God started a new path. It’s a path that I can start on now and keep working on until my boss decides that he is ready to close up the office. The new path is my “a future and a hope” that God has promised me.

There is a 3rd thing that I worry about… change. I hate change, but who doesn’t. We’re working on that too. We’re jumping in with both feet and tackling it head on! I can’t sit back and wish for a future if I’m not willing to grab hold and make it happen. We won’t focus on the 3rd thing though.. it’s just part of the process!

Call me crazy but just knowing that there is a plan for my unknown worries is somewhat comforting to me. Taking the step towards that plan and putting it into action is a whole other story but He’s there. God is there seeing this and every other thing through. He’s there to take care of my 1st thing and my 2nd thing for me because my worries won’t change a thing. He’s got this.

Seriously… He’s got this.

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Night and Day

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 299!

Miles walked: 805

Miles remaining: 195

Days remaining: 67

Day 299!!! Am I the only one stressing at the “Day’s remaining”? Ok, sort of stressing. Sort of in shock that it’s almost only 2 months until our 1 year anniversary of starting this walk with Jesus. Sort of amazed at where we are from where we were when we started this journey. Sort of relieved that I might let my aching feet rest for a few weeks after finishing the initial commitment of this walk and before starting the next 1000. Sort of in awe that when you walk with Jesus, side by side every day, you can do anything. Sort of sad to know that the daily countdown will come to an end soon. But most of all, I’m sort of pumped to know that if I can do 1000 miles with Him and change as much as I have, then I have the rest of my life to keep seeking Him above all else and of course to keep walking with Him!

… Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. Nehemiah 4:14

Confession.. I have a sister and I don’t know her. That’s right, I don’t know my sister.

She’s like a stranger. We grew up together, sort of. We were never close. She’s about 4 1/2 years older than I am and it was just enough of an age difference that we were never interested in the same things at the same time, so we never did any thing together to form that sisterly bond. The older we got, the further apart we grew.

It doesn’t help anything that we are complete opposites. Black and white, sweet and sour, night and day – I’ll let you try to figure out who was which ;).  She was an indoor person and I was always outside. She was more of a girly girl and I was a tom boy. She liked to cook and well, I didn’t. She was the older sister and I was the annoying little one. Some things haven’t changed.

I’ve spent several miles praying for her since we started this walk. Some of those miles were praying for me too. Praying that I might know what to do to bridge the gap if it’s God’s will. The gap isn’t just between my sister and myself, there is also a gap between my sister and my parents. I know this causes them pain and that’s why I’ve been praying about it. If there’s anything that I can do for them and our relationship as a family, then I need to do it.

We had a message at church this week that got all over me, again. It was about family.. and more specifically, fighting for your family. The thought never occurred to me about my sister. Fight for my sister? We were never even close enough growing up that I would have thought to fight for her. Plus, she’s the oldest so wouldn’t it be more appropriate that she fight for me? anyway….

I think I was a pretty mild child growing up. My sister, on the other hand, was a little harder to handle. She did a lot of rebelling and a lot of things that she shouldn’t have. My parents raised us both the same. They were strict, they were fair, and they loved us. We went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and probably a few times in between if there was something going on or if anything needed to be done at church. So, how is it that two siblings could be so different? Since I only have one child, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that. That’s actually the reason that I only have one child.

I haven’t seen her in awhile. I honestly don’t even know how long. 5 years, maybe? She’s married. My parents and I wasn’t invited to the wedding. Her husband practices an alternative religion and now she does too. I call it that because it’s not Christian and I don’t know much about it. Being raised in a Christian home, it goes against everything that we were raised to believe.

So, I’m in a place that I’ve never been in. It always felt like we were on opposite sides of the fence or something. We never got along and we never enjoyed being sisters but I’ve seen other sisters and have sometimes wished that I had a relationship like that. I’ve seen sisters that hang out together, vacation together, even work together and they enjoy being around each other. I’ve thought that it might be nice to have a sister.. and then I realized that I do have a sister. We’re just a long way from that kind of relationship. I don’t even know if a relationship like that could be possible for us. And that takes me back to the praying about it on my walks. I figure if anyone can mend a relationship and a family, then it’s in God’s hands.

I did get a facebook message from her a few weeks ago.. It said, “how are you doing?”. I answered her, “i’m doing great! how are y’all doing?”.  I haven’t heard back.. but it’s the most that we’ve said to each other in years so we’re making progress!

Prayer is the best place to start in this fight for my family, no matter who it is. My estranged sister, my ex-husband, and always for my daughter who is growing up so fast.

I’ve got thousands of miles ahead of me and that adds up to a lot of prayers. Who knows, maybe we’ll have another 1 line facebook message conversation again soon. 🙂

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