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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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!

Categories: The Journey to FIT, Walk with JESUS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Walk with JESUS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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