Posts Tagged With: inspiration

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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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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Top of the World!

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

And the only explanation I can find

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

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

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 271

Miles walked: 710

Miles remaining: 290

Days remaining: 95

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blessed Beyond…

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 243

Miles walked: 613

Miles remaining: 387

Days remaining: 123

Do you ever just want to “high-five” everyone that you see? Maybe they look like life is giving them a beating right now and they could use that little smack of what you’ve got.. or maybe they’re just glowing with an energy that looks contagious and you wanna get some of that! That’s me lately.. mostly the, “I want to share what I’ve got” part.  If you live in Westbury North and see the lady walking every morning at 6-7ish.. the one that waves at you every day when you’re leaving for work – Yeah, that’s me. And that wave is your high-five!

Things are good.

Things are good and I’m giving thanks and praise for all of it to God. Am I doing something different than I’ve been doing for things to be going the way they are? I’m giving more and more to God, and I’m listening more and more to God. I’m trying to put myself where He wants me and follow where He wants me to go… and let me tell ya, it’s pretty awesome. He has the most amazing ideas… just sayin’

When we first started this walk and decided that we would be blogging our journey, I was extremely anxious to say the least. The walking part – over the top excited, yet completely clueless as to what would unfold along the miles. The blogging part – well… blogging isn’t exactly “my thing”, so it made me a little nervous. It’s not nearly as bad as my mind was trying to make it but sometimes I just feel like a big blank new post page with nothing. I look around, thinking about what’s going on in my life this week and sometimes there’s nothing jumping out at me.. nothing except for countless blessings.

I’m so blessed with the friends and family that surround me and support me. I don’t know how I got so lucky… but I do try to surround them and support them right back. I love being with them and just having them in my life. They are the kind of people that every time I think of them, I smile. I thank God for bringing me to them, them to me, and giving me exactly who I need in my life.

I’m Blessed to have won the “friend lottery”.

I have one of those special friends that has been in my life since my first day of 1st grade. Ramona. We don’t live close enough to get to spend much time together but any time we see each other or even don’t see each other, I know that she’s there if I need her (and I’m pretty sure she feels the same). 30 minutes together and we can be caught up on kids, friends, family, life and all the missed years. We were fortunate to get to take a family vacation together over Christmas last year and it was a week that I’ll never forget.

I’m Blessed beyond years for having a life-long friend that means the world to me.

Last month, Ramona texted me to let me know that her momma passed away. Momma Locke was very sick for a very long time. She was in pain and has suffered more than most people ever will. I was able to visit with her several months ago after she had been in the hospital and the doctors had once again said that she wouldn’t last much longer, but she just kept proving them wrong. She was such a strong and very stubborn little lady and she knew that she was ready to go when it was God’s time. During our visit, she kept telling me (us) to live. Live now while we can. Don’t wait. Don’t say you’ll do things. Do them now. Live.

I’m Blessed beyond this life that I’m living and even excited for the eternal life that Jesus gave me.

When I got the message from my friend, we were on our way to Bricktown for the Walk a Mile in My Shoes event to support foster kids awareness. This event was something that Taelor wanted to do as soon as she heard about it. I’ve mentioned my passion of being the best parent that I can be to my daughter. I tell Taelor quite often that she is my most important job. So, when we helped with a foster kids project before Christmas, it gave her an awareness that not only did some of these 8000+ kids in Oklahoma not have toys or essential winter clothes, but they didn’t have a parent that thinks they are their most important job. It helped her to see that even if her momma doesn’t buy her the $100 jeans that “everyone” at school is wearing or her cell phone doesn’t measure up to the newest and best out there, she is very lucky to have a momma. One that loves her so much to stay “all up in her business” even when she doesn’t want me to be there!

I’m Blessed beyond measure because I have so much more than I deserve when others have so little.

If you’ve followed our blog for any time at all, you know that I mention parenting a lot. Taelor is always on my mind and always in my prayers. She’s the first and last person I see every day. She’s my ChickieBoo, my dotter (daughter), my friend, my delight, my button pusher, my inspiration, and my legacy. I could go on about her for days and sometimes do, because there aren’t enough words to express my love for her. I’m sure it’s just a parent thing. Seeing her grow into one of the most amazing people that I’ve ever known is such a blessing. This weekend we were baptized together and I can’t even put into words what that means to me…

I’m Blessed beyond words… I can’t believe what God is doing in her life and that I get to witness it every day.

There was a time when I didn’t have many people in my life and that wasn’t so long ago. Then, I put myself out there. That’s all I did. Put myself out there and things started happening. I always say, “it would be pretty great to win the lottery… but I guess I should start buying a ticket if I ever expect to win”. It’s the same with everything you want in life. Put yourself out there, buy “the ticket” to what you want and where you want to be. Follow God’s lead and you will find yourself being blessed. So blessed that you lose count when you try to name them all.

So, I’m going to keep living. I’m going to Live Now and put myself out there a little more every day. I’m going to dream about the best tomorrow that I can imagine and I’m going to go for it. Yesterday may have been good, or maybe it wasn’t so good but it’s over. It’s time to be blessed beyond my yesterday and be so thankful for my today. Oh, and if you’re not liking your today so much… then change it! You do have the power to do that and with God in your corner, you’re one step closer to the today you want. 

*High-five*

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Momma always said…

Pam’s Journey – Day 215

Miles walked: 546

Miles remaining: 454

Days remaining: 151

I introduced you to my dad a while back.. well, in honor of Mother’s Day, this blog is about my mom – Anna, and some of her words of wisdom that have shaped my life.

To all of you moms out there, wouldn’t you have loved to know how hard it is to be a mom when you were a teenager? Think back to when you were giving your mom fits and treating her like most teenagers do. I would have.. I might have been a little easier to deal with, had I known then what I know now.

Momma always said, “Pretty is, is pretty does…”  (I got this a lot when I was acting up!)

Moms get the rough end of the stick.. They get the job of domestic and child rearing goddess and many still have to hold full-time jobs, and in their spare time they get to be chauffeur, chef, teacher, friend, enemy, knower-of-everything, fixer-of-problems, kisser-of-owwies, I could go on and on…. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are a LOT of super Dad’s out there that are awesome and some of them get these titles too but there’s something different about Moms.. (Dads, don’t be sending me your hate mail!  I just get to tell the story of Mom since that’s what I am.) Dads are generally easier than moms. Dads let the kids do more, go more, and have more freedom without worrying like moms do.

Momma always said, “You don’t need to do everything your friends do.. If they jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?” (she never liked my answer to that!)

My mom is the best mom I could have ever asked for. I assure you that I didn’t tell her this when I was growing up. I know it wasn’t a picnic raising me.. not that I was in lots of trouble, constantly  rebelling, or doing everything that I shouldn’t have been doing. I don’t think I was anywhere near that bad, but I was very very stubborn. I’ve outgrown that trait by now.. Ok ok, I haven’t outgrown it, but I can be stubborn now since I’m the one that has to live with me!

Momma always said, “Your stubborness is going to get you in trouble someday!” (at least she never said “I told you so” when it did get me in trouble!)

Knowing now how hard it is to feel like I’m being a good parent when my daughter does things that she shouldn’t be doing, I imagine this is how my mom felt when I chose to do things that I shouldn’t have done. It hurts. It hurts a lot to see your child do things that you know they will regret one day. Every parent has been there.. and every child that grows up to be a parent will be in the same position some day. We are all rebellious at one time or another. 

I recently finished reading a YouVersion devotion plan called Parenting by Design and it has helped me understand that parents are not responsible for everything that their children do. We can only raise them the best that we know how, teaching them what’s right and what’s wrong. God gave us all free will to make our own decisions and choices. When they get to the teenage years, they start exercising those choices more and more. As a parent, all I can do is try to instill good values and have faith that God will guide her and take care of her.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

The best thing about being a mom is now that I’m the one doing the raising and the teaching, I hear things come out of my mouth or I do things in such a way that is EXACTLY how my mom did them when I was growing up. It’s official… I’ve turned into my mom (and my dad too). All of those things she would say when warning me of my behavior and trying to encourage me to do the best that I could do, well now they come flying out of my mouth and I sound just like her. I must say that I kinda like it!

Momma always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” (So that’s who developed my silent treatment!)

No matter how hard I was on my mom, she was always there. She took care of me, helped me when I needed it, and taught me more than she will ever know. She taught me how to be a mom. I wouldn’t say that I parent anything like my mom did, but I take care of my daughter, I help her when she needs it (and sometimes when she doesn’t), and I know that I’m teaching her more than I will ever know. I consider being a mom my most important job so I’m thankful to have had such an amazing role model!

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. ~ Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT

Thank you, Mom.. you did good!  

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What’s Next?

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 208

Miles walked: 523

Miles remaining: 477

Days remaining: 158

Every week at the end of the church service, after we’ve prayed the prayer to ask Christ into our life, they direct anyone who just accepted Christ to grab a “What’s Next” kit on their way out. The kit has a bible, dvd, and information on what to do next as a follower of Christ. I think this is awesome, because the church that I grew up in didn’t do anything like that. They did a “Let’s all welcome Brother ___ or Sister___ to the family of Christ” type of thing and that was sort of it. Soooo… what’s next? I just love that our church gives some guidance as to what comes next and how to keep growing their relationship with Jesus.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. ~ Colossians 2:6 NLT

Lately, I seem to be asking that question on my walk. “God, am I where you want me to be? ok… so, what’s next?” I’ve heard a resounding voice in my head that says, “You’re not there yet… just keep walking”.  That’s no joke. I’m nowhere near there yet but I just can’t help but wonder “what’s next?”. Other people have been asking me “what’s next?” too. They have either been following this walk or some are walking the walk with us and they want to know what happens after the year and the 1000 miles is up. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since time is flying by and it will be here before we know it.

This is a big question so of course I have a big answer 🙂

Since starting my walk with Jesus, whether spiritually or physically (or both), I know that I can’t exactly stop and expect to continue the same level of relationship as when I walk with Him daily. Wait, back up… I’m not saying that I want to stop. Let’s make sure that’s not what I’m implying. I’m just saying that now that I’ve started this walk with Him, there is no stopping. I can’t imagine my day without that deliberate time to spend with Him. Who would I give my troubles to? How would I get through the rest of the teenage years with my daughter without His guidance? Who would comfort my heart when it’s hurting? Who else would listen to my incessant rambling without interrupting and just let me get it all out and still be there waiting for me every day to do it all over again?

Picture this.. you’re sitting (or walking) with Jesus and you decide that maybe you’re not going to give Him that time anymore. How do you tell Him that? Can you imagine the look on His face? Can you even look at Him when you say the words?

Ouch…

The thing is, we all stop walking with Him from time to time. You know when you’re having one of those horrible days, nothing seems to go right, everyone is out to get you and you can’t breathe from all the pressure coming at you from every direction… did you forget to walk with Jesus that day? Did you give Him those troubles that were weighing you down? Or were you trying to do it all on your own like we so often do.

I read this on a friends Facebook last week and it grabbed me in that moment.

Sometimes I feel like God is so close that I can reach out and touch him. Other times he is so far away that I can barely feel his love. The truth is that God is always the same distance from me. I am the one who puts the distance between us.

Most days, when I’m out the door and heading down my driveway, I smile as I say “good morning” to a dear friend. That’s how my walk starts. Every single day that I’ve walked with Him… He has walked with me. He’s there every time. I feel Him there every time I look for Him and He has never let me down. I imagine the joy on His face, knowing that I’m making the choice to walk with Him again today.. and tomorrow.

So, what’s next? For me, I keep walking this walk. We’re just over the half-way mark of our year but once the year is up… I keep walking. When temptation interrupts my walk – like it undoubtedly will do from time to time – I get back out there and start walking again because I know my dear friend will be waiting for me. He is there waiting to comfort me, to cheer me on, and of course to listen to my incessant rambling without interrupting and just letting me get it all out, and still be there waiting for me every day to do it all over again. He’s pretty awesome like that!

As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” ~ Luke 9:57

What’s next for you? Do you need to start your walk or renew that relationship? I promise He will be there waiting.

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I have a dream…

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 194

Miles Walked: 475

Miles Remaining: 525

Days Remaining: 172

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trust vs Faith

Pam’s Journey ~ Day 180

Miles walked: 443

Miles remaining: 557

Days remaining: 186

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

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

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

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

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

Ouch…

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Me & you, Chickie Boo!!!”

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Shhhh… hear that?

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 166

Miles Walked: 412

Miles Remaining: 588

Days Remaining: 200

I can admit that I’m odd.. a little weird. I like to think of myself as eclectically quirky. A mishmash of oddness that works together beautifully. I hope to have passed this trait down to my daughter and am pretty sure that I have. If you know me or have followed our blog for awhile, you know that I’m a single mom.. it’s just me and my chickie. It’s been this way most of her life and I honestly have to say that I love it. I’ve been able to have a relationship with my daughter that I don’t think I would have had if we weren’t a victim of the divorce epidemic.

So, due to my quirkiness and my beautifully crazy relationship with my daughter, we have talking pets. Yes, you read me right.. talking pets. When Taelor was probably 4ish, she asked me why SlickyBoo never talked. All of the animals and even vegetables talk in kid movies, so this seemed like a reasonable question to me. Of course, that inspired me to give Slick a voice – and so it starts. She has a sort of sassy, queen of the house attitude, with a high pitched, irritating, nasally, always right about everything voice. She’s not a photogenic type of kitty so we have almost no pics of her. Slick is to be admired.. she’s a BIG kitty and she works it! She and Tasha have a love/hate relationship and she’s jealous of Kristen’s place beside me on the couch.. but that’s just how Slick rolls. 🙂

Our newest addition to the family, Beau (aka, BoBo), just happens to have a voice of his own.. go figure! Beau is a yellow lab who found us a couple months ago and has been a nice addition, but a lot more work than we’re used to for a pet. He’s the first boy Boo in our house, and of course he has a boy voice.. well, sort of. He sounds a lot like Goofy and he is pretty goofy. His conversation revolves around food, trying to lick Slick, and his most favorite thing in the world.. his duck – or more correctly, playing fetch with his duck. Beau will play fetch with anything. He would play with air if he could see you throw it!

Taelor and I have the same voice. We are literally two peas in a pod – thinking and saying the same things all the time. Friends and family usually can’t tell us apart on the phone and that can be a lot of fun sometimes! We get a kick out of saying the same thing at the same time and sounding exactly like each other, like our voice is in stereo.

You’re probably starting to wonder why this eclectically quirky person is describing all of the voices in her house. At least I said my house, and not my head. Well, you’re lucky that I left out the pets that are no longer with us!  Anyway.. there is another voice in our house that I long to hear. It’s not a high pitched sassy cat or a goofy dog. It’s the voice of God. I’ll admit to being slightly jealous of people who say that God speaks to them regularly. I want to be that person.. the one that needs help or advice and God tells them what to do! That would sort of be like having my own personal EASY button for my life struggles.

Have you noticed that the people who talk about “God speaking to them”, are the people that work at having a close relationship with Him? They walk the walk, talk the talk, and live the life… the Blessed Life. They have relationships with God, and I’m not talking about a 1-sided relationship where God is doing all of the work. This made me look at my life to see if I’m doing what I should be doing to hear the God whispers that I long to hear.

I’m sure God has spoken to me more than I know but that’s the point. I want to KNOW that God is speaking to me.. I can be a tad spoiled sometimes, huh? I want to know that those more odd than usual thoughts that sometimes pop into my head, or the mental nudges to do something that I’m unsure of, is really God’s voice, leading me.  I know God speaks to us.. I just need Him to speak a little louder!

This hits my prayer time frequently. A louder voice, harder nudges, I’d even take some head smacks if He would do it.. just to make sure that I don’t miss what He’s telling me. More often than not, when I think I’m hearing Him, it’s so subtle that I might miss if it I weren’t listening so intently. I have to shush my brain and that’s not an easy thing to do! I’ve only learned to do this in the last year or so, and even more so since starting this walk.

This walk is about building a closer relationship with God. It’s private time that we spend with Him, walking with Him, communicating with Him. Wait… Communicating? as in talking and having conversations? I have longed for God to talk to me for years but have only recently began feeling His presence and His nudges. Well, only recently have I been having deliberate communication with Him on a daily, hourly, and step-by-step basis. *Head Smack* Do you see where I’m going here? The more I talk to Him… the more He talks to me.The more consistent I am with Him, the more consistent I feel Him with me. The more I read His word, follow His lead, and live the life, the more He blesses me in return. Oh, how I wish that I had this relationship with Him 10 years ago!

For years I was waiting for God to talk to me when I wasn’t exactly talking to Him? Told you I can be spoiled. Since figuring out this snazzy little 2-way communication technique, I feel that I do hear the voice that I’ve longed to hear for so many years. I wouldn’t say that He’s a big talker, but I like knowing that He’s joined my conversation.. my 2-way conversation. It’s not a 1-sided relationship and I’m not expecting anything without giving Him my everything… and He gives His everything right back.

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. ~ Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

Thank you…

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Warning… Reduce speed ahead

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 159

Miles Walked: 396

Miles Remaining: 604

Days Remaining: 207

Most would probably agree with me when I say that life goes by too fast. Everything we do is given a time value. Fast food, fast cars, speed reading, speed dating, express checkout or even self checkout when express is too slow.. Everything is better if it’s faster, right? Not everything.. I don’t know any parent that won’t deny that their kids grow up too fast. Life is short and we try to squeeze so much in that we don’t have time to enjoy the things that matter.

I visited my parents last weekend and on my walk I noticed that I was trying to rush. It was a longer walk than my normal and I knew my dad was waiting on me to show me how to change the oil in my lawnmower, then he was going to do the oil in my car, we were going to try and get some time in at the pond, I had hoped to take another ride around the farm on the four-wheeler, and we always play a couple card games together when we’re there. Oh, and I needed to install some things on my mom’s computer, and check her virus software to make sure it’s up to date, and we are getting her set up on Skype, and there is just so much to do in such a short time!

Back to me rushing my walk… I was on the way back of what turned out to be a 4 1/2 mile walk. I was going north with a little wind in my face, heading up a hill when I felt beat. I started pushing myself harder and it seemed like I was crawling up that stinking hill. I stopped. Took a couple breaths, stood up a little taller, and started at it again. And again, that hill was kickin my butt.

Anyone that knows me can tell you that I’m quite stubborn and determined. (I know this about me and I’m a work in progress so it’s all good!) I stopped on that hill again and realized that I was trying to do it all on my own. Here I was supposed to be walking with Jesus and let me tell you that we had some great conversation on that walk. It would have to be one of my favorite walks to date! I appreciated God’s beauty around me, the amazing silence of the country, and I counted out more blessings than I will ever deserve. But here I was trying to climb that hill all by myself. It was like going up a down bound escalator! But He was right there with me.. so why was I trying to do all the work?

I realized I couldn’t climb that hill by myself.. no matter how stubborn I am. I stood there in the shadows of the tree lined road and asked God to help me up that hill.. and all of the hills that I’m climbing in my life. I asked for God’s help with my parenting hills, my job hills, house and yard work hills, friend and family hills, and all of those other things that take our time but we still keep squeezing them in. It’s a good thing there’s not much traffic on that country road because I stood there for awhile until I felt God telling me to slow down. Just slow down. <Deep Breath>

I took a little longer finishing my walk than I had planned, but nothing catastrophic happened due to my lack of rushing! My dad was still waiting to teach me how to change my lawn mower oil. I still got my mom’s computer checked out and Skype set up, we still played a few games of cards, had a wonderful lunch, played a lot of fetch with Beau, and I even took a nap. So, why was I rushing and trying to do it all on my own? Apparently, so I would realize that I needed to ask for help… and that is something that I’m not very good at. The best part is that He helped. I asked, and God helped.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” ~ Matthew 7:7-8

So you would think that this little lesson would have me slowing down a bit… well, it did for about 5 hours. Then on the way home from my parents, I was already making my mental to-do list for the next day. Church first, then I had to get the yard mowed before the monster patch of weeds took over everything, and I wanted to squeeze my neighbor’s yard in too, just because.. then I needed to put some weed-n-feed down to get those monster weeds knocked out, after that I had some flowers that I got last week and never got around to planting, that would require cleaning out the leaves and dead stuff from my flower beds, then I had plans to tackle my desk clutter and my magazine clutter because it’s starting to get out of control again, and I also wanted to straighten up the patio because Beau keeps rearranging it, then pick up the kitchen, living room and bathroom and…. 

Needless to say, I did NOT get my mental to-do list finished. As I was recovering from my first yearly mowing, weed fighting, flower bed cleaning and planting, and the unusual use of manual labor, I fell asleep. Yes, asleep. I have tried for years to take naps on the weekends when I feel like I need to wind down and relax and it just doesn’t happen. So, two naps in two days is unheard of… and exactly what I needed. It’s exactly what He told me to do. “Slow Down.”

Slow down?.. is it really so hard? When I’m feeling beat, I have to consciously ask God to take every step with me. It’s then that I don’t have to work nearly as hard to accomplish my to-do’s. Slow down?.. are all of the little things that we think are so important really all that important? Will something horrible happen if you don’t get your dead leaves picked up or your floor vacuumed for the fourth time this week? Or will it still be there waiting on you? Trust me… it will still be there and the world won’t end because you didn’t squeeze it into your already too packed day. 

My lessons: Ask, and He will answer. Everything is so much easier when you’ve got the Creator of all giving you a hand with your projects and chores. Invite Him to join you in everything you do.. everything. Slow down, it will all still be waiting on you when you get there. To-do’s… I need a shorter to-do list, or maybe no to-do list at all.

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