Walk with JESUS

The Big Easy!!

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 362

Miles walked: 1000

Miles remaining: 0

Days remaining: 4

Before I give the wrong idea… let me just say that there is NO Big Easy. Whatever you want, whatever your goals are, it’s not going to be easy. Anything worth having is going to be hard work.

I finished my 1000 last week and let me tell you that it was an amazing feeling when I dinged 1000… and let me also tell you that it was 1000 miles of hard. It wasn’t easy. It was awesome and I would do it again and again but it wasn’t easy. There was no magic button on the days that I didn’t think that I could walk another step, let alone another mile. But there was Jesus every step of the way, He was there and at the end when my 1000 miles of doubting myself was lifted from my shoulders.

The next chapter of my life has me a little nervous. Not scared nervous but just nervous because it’s a brand new thing for me.  I’m going to open a nutrition club. I have worked for doctors for 20+ years and I’m going to phase that part of my life out during the next year and run a nutrition club. It shouldn’t be so different really.. I’ll be helping people get healthy from the inside out instead of watching them cover symptoms with medication. But still, it’s new.. so I’m nervous of change.   

Finishing my 1000 helped me have the confidence to know that if I lean on God during the next chapter, like I did during my walk, then I can do it. Maybe the walk prepared me, built my strength, renewed my faith, and gave me courage.

My devotion today was about Jesus healing the lame man who had been sick for 38 years. The man had been lying near the healing water, but didn’t have help getting in the water. The devotion didn’t focus on Jesus healing the man, but on the man’s excuses. The man was waiting on someone to help him instead of trying to help himself. He blamed the people who went ahead of him for him not being able to get in the water. 38 years.. Did he ever ask anyone for help? He made excuses for 38 years, until Jesus told him to pick up his mat and walk.

– Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”~ John 5:8

Now it’s time to “pick up my mat” and go. It’s time to stop watching everyone else go by while I sit and think that I can’t. I’ve got to make the choice to get up and do what God has prepared me to do. It’s time to go after my goals instead of watching everyone else pass me by as they go for theirs. My life is changing and I can either jump on board and sail my boat with God at the wheel, or I can find another unsatisfying place where I’m just treading water day in and day out. (I think God has more in store for me that just treading water!)

There is still one thing that I probably fight God more than anything else. Accepting help from other people. It is so HARD for me. God has brought many amazing people into my life. People who inspire me, encourage me, and people who I want to inspire and encourage. I have always found it hard to ask others for help but I have learned that when God brings people into your life, sometimes He brings them there to help you. I’m definitely not saying that God brings people into your life to do everything for you so you don’t have to work hard to get what you want. Not at all… but if you’re going after your goals and trying to reach the dreams that God has placed in your heart, then maybe you should look at the resources around you instead of trying to get there all by yourself.

These people who God has placed in my life don’t wait for me to ask them for help, they offer to help me. Who am I to turn down the help from someone who God has placed in my life for possibly that one specific thing? Am I turning down help that I need when God has put it right there for me? That’s like turning down God’s help, right? So there is my struggle.

That’s where I’m at. I know that I can’t do everything by myself as much as I might try. God intended for us to do life with other people for a reason and then He puts specific people in our lives because He knows the plans that He has for us. His word tells us to love others and help others. So every time I don’t ask or accept the help of someone that’s right there and offering, it’s like I’m doubting God as much as I doubt myself.

There will be trials.. He tells us that. There will be hard work, but it will be worth it and rewarded in the end. There will be people along the way that are sent to do what God has led them to do and that might just be to help me at the moment that I need it most. So, again… When God is trying to help me and save me. All I have to do is accept it.

I want to thank everyone that has been on my 1000 miles with Jesus journey with me. You have supported this walk and encouraged my steps. If you were walking the walk and logging miles on this journey, I hope you never stop walking with Jesus. If you started but stopped and don’t think you can start again, you can! Jesus is waiting for you every step of the way. Don’t ever give up and don’t ever think you can’t because we Can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Don’t doubt that. 

More than anything else, I want to thank Kristen for sharing this walk with us and letting us join her on it and I want to thank Tasha for taking God’s lead and bringing us all together or none of this would have ever happened. When God brings people like them into your life, AMAZING things are in store for all of you! ~ pam

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lessons learned..

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 355

Miles walked: 999

Miles remaining: 1

Days remaining: 11

Would you believe that I’ve still been wondering if I’m going to finish my 1000? I’ve tried to keep on track and caught up when I got behind but until it’s done, it’s just not done. The last few days have even caught me being cautious that I don’t twist something or pull something that I haven’t already pulled because you just never know. Someone even said, “you’re as good as done”… No, no, no.. Not until I hit 1000 miles will this commitment be met.

Sometimes we do that though. We think we’re done and so we kinda quit. We quit trying. We think we’re “good” so we quit putting in the effort. That’s one of the lessons that I’ve learned on this journey. You’re never done, so don’t quit. Don’t give up on anything that God has directed you to just because it wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Don’t decide that you don’t want to put in the work, so surely it’s not what God had in mind for you. Keep at it… at least until God changes your direction.

I’ve learned LOTS of things about me in the last 999 miles. I’m kind of a nut, but I think I already knew that before we started walking. I’m a “prove you wrong” kind of person. Say I won’t and you can bet that I will! I’ve said that I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal.. but I’m really not. I’m a planner. No matter how hard I try not to be, I am.

I’ve learned that neighbors are more than just people that live on your street. Some of my neighbors (my new friends) have watched me walk this walk. I have several that sit out in the mornings and wave as I go by every day. They were there at first when I was walking in the really really cold – we’re talking 2-3 pair of pants cold…  They have seen me  walking in the rain, walking in some crazy heat, walking in the dark, walking with friends, and always walking with Jesus. They wave, they cheer me on, they have even visited with me and offered me a drink. They are people that I would have never met if I didn’t start this walk.

I’ve learned that when I think I can’t go any further, I can. A little more strength is just a prayer away.

I’ve learned that no matter how much you think you can’t live with missing some TV show that claims to be “reality TV”… you can. You won’t even remember that show that you thought you had to watch, but you will remember the walk that brought you to your knees because God was working so delicately on healing your heart.

I’ve learned that another mile might mean another blister on my heel but it will also most likely mean peace about whatever is on my mind.

I’ve learned that no matter how late it is at night, and no matter how early that alarm is going to go off to get up and walk in the morning, it’s totally worth being a little tired to lay in bed and catch up on life with my daughter if that’s what she wants to do. There is nothing more priceless than her wanting to tell me what’s going on in her life. Those are the times that we share inside jokes that no one else would get but us and we think we’re hilarious when we’re really just two peas in a pod. Those are the memories that I will cherish and smile about when I think of her.

I’ve learned that Thursday is the smelliest day to walk… trash day.

I’ve learned that people will doubt until the very end. I suppose it’s in our nature, or maybe it’s come to be in our nature because so many things aren’t a sure thing. I grew up with a dad that taught me that a man’s word is something you can count on. If he said he would do something, it was as good as done. I like that quality and will always try to live up to it.

I’ve learned that I can literally spend hours thanking God. Hours. The people that He has brought into my life are amazing. The things that He brings me through and the strength that he gives me to handle life is such a blessing. The obstacles that He places when I’m not quite ready for what I have planned for me,  but then He removes when I am finally ready for what He has planned is nothing short of perfect.

I’ve learned that I’m not the person that I thought I was. I had a list of things that I let define me.. I’m a woman, I’m divorced, I’m a 40-year old single mom, a tired out of shape couch potato, an office working, over-weight, shy, homebody with a bad leg that won’t let me walk for long without hurting, so why put myself through that pain for nothing, I’m an unfinished project with no hope of getting done. I could go on, except I’m not those things anymore. I let myself be those things when it was a convenient cover to shield myself from anything outside of my comfort zone. I have held myself back more than any other person could and it’s taken more than a few miles with God to break that shell.

I’ve learned that without that shell of excuses holding me down, I am strong, independent of others but dependent on God, fearless of failure, determined to succeed, courageous to conquer any obstacle that stands in the way of where He leads me, and I am His.

I’ve learned that I’m not alone, ever.

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Stalling…

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 350

Miles walked: 980

Miles remaining: 20

Days remaining: 16

You may notice that I’m a couple days late with my blog post this week (or you may not have noticed).. anyway, I had a few thoughts of things to write about for Wednesday but nothing that would have gotten me more than a short paragraph probably. I mentioned to Tasha that I would be a day late, and now I’m two days late. She said exactly what I’ve been feeling, “The blogs are becoming so difficult to write”. I thought it was mostly me, but over the last several weeks they have become harder and harder to come up with something. I had the brilliant idea that maybe we don’t have so much to write about because we’ve given it all to God. I mean, we usually write about our life, troubles, trials, etc.. so if we’ve finally handed it all over to God and are just following His lead, then we aren’t letting it consume us and we don’t feel it’s a topic to warrant writing about, right? I hope that’s why it’s gotten harder to write… it’s either that or I’m just stalling.

From the decline of miles that I’ve walked the last couple of weeks, I would have to lean towards stalling. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to end the first 1000 miles, because I haven’t “committed” to walk another 1000. I’ve said I’ll keep walking and I know that I will but this week, when I slowed down and took a couple of days off and slept later, it was so easy to just sleep later and get up and get ready for work. No Jesus time. I read my devotions but it’s not the same as being outside with Him. It’s not as alive.

As I’ve been dragging my heels and delaying the end of this walk, I started thinking of all the things that God has brought me to and through in just the last year. The strength that I’ve felt come straight from Him, just when I needed it. The love that He wrapped around me at just the right times. The forgiveness that He showed me so that I could show others. That was just during the walk. He knew that I was committed to 1000 miles and I have purposefully delayed other things until I finished this walk with Him. So, what might be waiting at the end of the 1000? I’ve been wondering that for months.

I can’t imagine that God would put me on this path, and be ok with me not finishing it. I can’t help but think that there has got to be a reason that he started me on this road and it’s up to me to see it through. He has a plan and I ask Him frequently to show me the way and keep me on track, so I need to quit stalling and get ‘er done!

I’m a sucker for seeing what’s at the top of the hill or around the corner, so I’ll keep walking with Him until I feel that He has a new plan for me. I’ll keep walking with Him until the things that I feel led to do are being done in His time and not mine. It’s so much easier when I let Him lead instead of trying to jump in and do it when I want.

I have hope… and He has my future.

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

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Never give up

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 341

Miles walked: 951

Miles remaining: 49

Days remaining: 25

This week has been trying. If there was an obstacle any where near me, I seemed to find it. It’s been one of those times when I just wanted to stop. Stop working so hard, stop trying so hard, and just stop for awhile. I hate that feeling. I’m more of a “keep pushing, don’t stop, everything will work out if you keep going” kind of gal.

The “keep going” has been part of the problem. I wanted to finish my first 1000 miles before I took on anything else in my life that would interfere with it.  Then other things (life) started happening that were taking a lot of my time, but I was still determined to finish my initial commitment of 1000 before I really let them get too big.  Now that I’m nearing the end, I thought I could start concentrating on some other things. The more I concentrated on them, and the more time and effort that I spent on anything else, the worse everything was doing. It was starting to feel like a failure before I even got started. It felt like I was sinking… and I don’t do failure very well.

Then it hit me.. I guess I do fail pretty decent. What I don’t do well, is Give Up.  I fail awesomely well at times! I even fail hilariously well at some things! If you’ve ever tried one of my cooking concoctions, then you know what I’m talking about. My favorite failure of recent is a shake that I was making for the first time. It was supposed to be a mint chocolate chip Herbalife shake that my daughter and I had tasted, loved, and wanted to make it a regular at our house… Well. Measuring the mint extract didn’t work out so well for me so it was a little extra minty. OK, it was a LOT extra minty. HUGE failure! I’m telling you that it was an awesomely hilarious failure and we drank those super extra minty shakes in record time and then we renamed it the “Date Shake” because we had minty mouths the rest of the night!

What I’m saying is that even if you think you’re failing at something, it’s OK because chances are that you’re succeeding at something else. Don’t give up. Giving up means you start over again and again and that can be pretty exhausting. Just keep going through the failures. Laugh them off. Shake them off. I needed to remember that this week. Just keep going because your time will come.

for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…. ~ Proverbs 24:16

I want to be an encouragement to others. I want my life to make a difference in the life of others. I even want my failures to be an inspiration if that would help another person. So, I’m going to keep moving and keep going. I’m going to work on me and seek God to guide me on the paths that He wants me to be on. Maybe some of the disappointment that I found this week is because I’m not on the path that God has planned out for me. I would much rather fail with my plan now that to miss the one that He has for me, because His is bound to be much better than what I can even imagine.

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. ~ Isaiah 58:11

I won’t give up. What ever you’re going through… don’t give up. Find a success in your failures and keep going, but never give up. 


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Chasing IT?

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 334

Miles walked: 940

Miles remaining: 60

Days remaining: 32

I went to the farm this weekend and had the best walk that I’ve had yet. I know, I’ve said that a few times over the miles but it is possible that they just get better and better.

I had a plan when I started out. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now but it wasn’t a practical idea for my walking route at home.. but it was perfect for the farm. I wanted to walk until I was done. I didn’t want to walk for an hour or so like I usually do in the mornings before work. I didn’t want to walk until I was kinda tired or until I decided that I needed to get home and get my weekend to-do list started. I wanted to walk until I was Done. Physically done.

Here’s the thing. During my walks, sometimes it takes awhile to get past “me” and on to Him (God). I get there but many of my walks are more about me than Him. It’s a human thing, and I know our gracious God is completely understanding of my attempt to dedicate time specifically to Him.. but many times I get lost in the world of things that I’m going through. He’s always there and I usually remember to ask Him to guide me through It, to be with me during It, and definitely to help me with It. IT? yes, IT. Everything. Life, Relationships, Jobs, Finances, Family, Friends, Pain. All of IT. Well, I wanted to get past all of that and just be out there walking.. me & God. No It.

So, I started out heading south like I usually do when I walk at the farm. The neighbor’s dogs joined me as I walked by. We decided to try the first mile that went east since I’ve never taken that road before. I’ve always just stuck to the cemetery road since it’s paved, but today called for some adventure. Especially since this road looked so inviting. It was sort of a rocky dirt road on a hill with trees lining and hanging over in places. That’s my kind of road… and of course, the thought of what lies at the end of such an alluring road. We went up the hill, through the trees that were shading the road, enjoying the break from the sun. We did a little looking into the thick overgrowth off the sides of the road, because you never know what you’ll find out there and then we topped the hill and found nothing. There wasn’t anything special at the top of that hill, past all the allure. And so back to the old cemetery road we went.

We headed south again, like usual, past the road that leads to my uncle’s place, past the cows that act like my biggest fans with all their hollering, and then I notice a cow in the road ahead. The dogs notice it too and they head out to it. So, I call them back fearing that they might scare it to the highway that I could see behind it. That’s all I needed, was to be responsible for a cow getting hit on the highway. We turn around and back up the old cemetery road we go… again.

There aren’t a lot of options on this road, so we take the road that leads to my uncle’s place. I’ve never considered taking it before because, to be honest, it looks like a boring road. It’s just the place where the doe crosses early in the morning. So, for lack of options, I take the boring road. There’s not much to look at, but then I come to a cross road.. except, the boring road is now lined with sunflowers and is climbing a hill. Well, you know me.. I’ve got to see what’s at the top of the hill! So, I pass up the cross road and keep going up the hill until I find.. a rock. That’s all that was at the top of that hill. Well, that and more red dirt road but the trees and the sunflowers were gone. It was just a road. With a rock.

That’s about when the neighbor, and owner of the dogs, showed up. He loaded them up and took them back home so I could “enjoy my walk”. I was loving this walk, and loving all the things that I was seeing. I saw a lizard, a road runner, some doves, a scissortail, several cows of course, and a rock. The smell out there is amazing. It smells green. That’s the only way to describe it. The sun was hot, the roads were dry and dusty, and everything smelled green. It was awesome.

Now that I don’t have the dogs leading my way, I turn away from the rock and head back down the hill on the boring road. The boring road with that cross road that I mentioned earlier. Looking down the cross road, and knowing that I’ve found a lot of nothing on all the other roads that I’ve tried today, made me wary of the nothing that was most likely waiting for me down this road too. It was a road that didn’t look well traveled. There were weeds growing down the middle of the road and it was more narrow than the other roads. Trees lined the road and hung over, just like those roads that I love. The ditches were very over grown with trees and weeds and it felt like they were towering over me as I started walking down that road.

All of the crickets and locusts that had been part of my walk before seemed to quiet down. The dogs were gone. There wasn’t any wind. It was quiet and calm. It was me & God.

There was nothing else to think about. All of “me” was gone. I was a little shocked that I was still walking because my mile tracker had just told me that I had already walked over 5 miles, but it felt like I had just started. That road out there in the country, that obviously isn’t traveled much, was the best road that I’ve ever been down. We get so busy trying to see what’s at the end of our roads that we don’t enjoy “the road”. God wasn’t leading me down the road to see what was at the end. He just wanted me on the road.

That road ended too, and I circled back around to the old cemetery road and headed back home. I never could have walked that far on my own, so it’s a good thing that I got past “me”, because I needed God’s help on the way back. Five miles of me chasing IT, 1 mile of just being on the road that God wanted me to be on, 2 miles of awe at that road that I just walked, and 1 mile of a lot of leaning on God to get me back home = my best walk yet.

The distance we’ve come in the time that we’ve walked is immeasurable. ~ Tasha & Pam..

Done. I was completely Done… and it was awesome.

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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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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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