Posts Tagged With: prayer

The Big Easy!!

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 362

Miles walked: 1000

Miles remaining: 0

Days remaining: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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lessons learned..

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 355

Miles walked: 999

Miles remaining: 1

Days remaining: 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Faith + Obedience =

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 257

Miles walked: 660

Miles remaining: 340

Days remaining: 109

For me, I’d have to say that Faith + Obedience = Blessings. Some days that’s all that gets me through my walk.. faith and obedience. Today was one of those days. My body hurts all over and it was a chore just to put one foot in front of the other. Jesus was right beside me, every step of the extra long 4.45 miles today. Even when it hurts, it’s all worth it in the end.

Faith.

I don’t even need to say more, do I? I have faith. TONS of faith.. For some reason, Faith has always been an easy one for me. No matter what the situation, I know that it’s going to turn out the way it is meant to turn out. So whether it’s good, bad, hard, easy, or whatever, I know that if I remain obedient to God, then it’s all going to work out. We know how the story ends, right? God wins. The End. I suppose that’s what makes it easy for me to have faith.

Obedience…

Well, that’s another story.. I’ve been praying for some help in being more obedient to God. It seems that obedience has always been a problem for me. When I was a kid, I remember being in Sunday school and hearing, “children, obey your parents”. Obey? It meant that someone was supreme over me. I was to be submissive. I suppose that I still have issues with this one. I’ll be 100% honest here… When I got married, I decided that we would do some nontraditional vows and make them a little more “up to date”. It was all because of that one word. Obey.

“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-6

That sounds like a good enough reason to be obedient, but being obedient has obviously given everyone some grief since the beginning of time. Eve? Yep, she was the first to disobey. I hate to say it but it always makes me feel a little bit better about my inequities when I remember that they date back to creation. Just knowing that I’m not the only one to struggle with obedience to God, helps put it in perspective for me. I’m not saying that it’s ok because of that, but at least I know I’m not alone in the boat.

One of the things that God’s been working on in me is getting to know my neighbors. I know, I’m weird. I’ve blogged about it before and here we are again, but I feel that God has been pushing me to get out of my comfort zone and meet them, get to know them, and help them if they need it. 

Saturday, I was walking around my neighborhood and I came upon a couple that I’ve seen walking together before. They’re older than my parents and they are adorable. They walk, holding hands, nice and slow around a couple of the same blocks that I walk. As I was coming up on them at a much faster pace than they were walking, I tried to decide if I should cross the street so I don’t startle them (or appear to be a creeper). That isn’t very practical in the area where I was going to pass and I knew they already saw me coming so I didn’t want to appear entirely unsociable.. so I just swing out a couple more feet to pass them and shuffled my feet a little more than usual so they hear me. (I’m such a dork sometimes) As I was passing, the husband heard my shuffling and nods at me. I say, “good morning”, they respond and we visit for about 1/2 block as they were almost back to their house. I wish them a good day and continue on my walk. 

I keep making my loops and wind up on their street again after another mile or so. I wave as I go by and loop the next street but it keeps coming back to me that I didn’t tell them my name or ask theirs. So, on the next loop, I go on up in their driveway where the wife is sitting in the shade and enjoying the early morning air. I introduced myself and she of course invites me to sit and offers me a drink. We talked and got to know each other over the next 1/2 hour. We visited about our neighbors, kids, family, yards, flowers, storm cellars, health problems, and who knows what else, and it felt like we were old friends. 

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 MSG

I’m so glad that I followed the prodding in my mind to “go meet your neighbors”. You may think it’s a crazy way to be obedient to God but I’m a pretty private person. I used to be so shy that I didn’t even talk to people who I’m related to, so for me to go talk to some complete strangers that live a street over from me, that is way out of my comfort zone. I feel like I’m one step closer to my Mayberry.

Oh, and wouldn’t you know that my neighbor, my new friend… her name is Faith.

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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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The Rest of the Story

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 231

Miles Walked: 583

Miles Remaining: 417

Days Remaining: 133

When I was a kid, my dad used to listen to the Paul Harvey radio show. I wasn’t especially fond of it and my favorite part was when he said, “And that’s the rest of the story.. I’m Paul Harvey. Good Day.” It was my favorite part because that meant it was over. Paul Harvey just wasn’t my thing.

I was reminded of those words a couple weeks ago when a patient came into our office and I was told that he wanted to talk to me. I’ll admit that I was a little irritated because I’m not the medical person in our office so I wasn’t sure why he needed to tell me what was going on instead of our medical assistant. All that aside, I went up and asked what I could do for him. He said he wanted to tell me his story. He’s been sick for awhile and has a long history of multiple medical problems, all of which were part of his story. At one point he paused and I assumed he was finished, so I started to speak and he interrupted me (politely) to tell me that he wanted to tell me the rest of the story.

I won’t lie – it was a very long story. After his polite interruption, I felt my irritation subsiding and my compassion take it’s place. He just wanted to be heard, and he knew that I needed to hear his story to make the best recommendations for him.

I thought of him over the weekend, partly because I gave him my cell # in case he needed anything – and let me tell you that he was not afraid to use it, and partly because I realized that we almost never tell “the rest of the story”. Everything is always abbreviated to save time or we just don’t want to get into the the full story. We even do it when we talk to God.. like He doesn’t already know the full story. But we try and keep out some parts to justify why we do what we do. Sometimes we just need to take the time to get and tell the whole story.

Recently, I asked a friend for her opinion of an idea that had been swimming around my mind. She responded with a, “Why do you feel you need to do that?”. Wait a minute… I just wanted a yes or no. I didn’t want to have to explain myself. I didn’t want to tell the rest of the story! I had reasons.. but it ultimately came down to just being something that I wanted to do. I had been thinking about it and I had prayed about it.. but I didn’t bother waiting around for that prayer to proclaim itself answered. I just wanted to do it.

Once she called me out, I realized that I do this a lot. I come up with ideas that might even be really good ideas but when you get to the “why, what’s the rest of the story?” part of it, did I really submit it to God and wait? Are the reasons for doing it good enough or does it just come down to “because I want to”.

The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. ~ Proverbs 14:13

I find that when I’m convicted like this, I go back through my mind and pick out the things that might have turned out different if I had waited for God to answer. I’m not saying that I replay things that I regret or beat myself up for the way I did things. It’s sort of my live and learn process. Then I am more empowered to make a better decision next time. I thought of several things that I had done “because I wanted to”. There was way more to the story than the reasons I thought I had at the time, and we’re talking about some life changing things. Of course, since God wrote my story, I know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be in my life, but the choices I made to get here weren’t always for the best reasons. More often that not, I should have looked at the rest of the story before making my decision.

My walks have taken on a new conversation since I’m making an effort to give the full story to God. I’m not just giving him my high points and my favorite reasons for things that I’m discussing with Him.. but I’m trying to lay it all out. I mean, He knows the whole story anyway so I might as well come clean with myself and put it all out there. The good and the bad and even the selfish if that’s what it comes down to. He knows my heart but sometimes I wonder if I do. Laying it all out is letting me see which way my heart likes to lean and it’s not always leaning the way it should.

I’m happy to say that since I got called out on my intentions, I have gotten better at identifying when I’m trying to just do something because I want to do it. It’s helping me to make better decisions and especially take my time when asking for guidance on things that are bigger than me. That’s not to say that I haven’t done some things just because I want to. But wouldn’t you know that when I do those things, the outcome usually isn’t what I had hoped for. Go figure…

 “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions,
and store them in your heart~ Job 22:21-22

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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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At a loss.

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 201

Miles Walked: 499

Miles Remaining: 501

Days Remaining: 165

Have you ever been to church and hear something that just gets all over you? Like, something that you know you do – but you shouldn’t, or something you should be doing – but you’re not?  Yeah… lately it seems that I keep getting the “Love like Jesus does” thrown at me. It’s been in my devotions almost every day. So, I keep trying to put it out there and be what Jesus wants me to be…. and then some reckless, road-raged punk comes zooming up on me, whipping around me to cut me off by squeezing in between me and the car ahead of me when there is 2 miles of empty lane directly behind me! OH, and then, he starts giving Me some sign language that I may have just been thinking about giving him but would never actually do, like it was all my fault that I made him drive like that!

Love like Jesus… of course there were no highways with fast lanes in His time. Did I mention that the above-mentioned punk never once  used a blinker to indicate that he needed to get in my lane.. like I’m supposed to be reading his mind, right?

And No, I do not have road rage… but I may have Rude Rage.

I’m having a hard time dealing with rude lately. I’m drowning in negativeness. The constantly complaining, never satisfied, thinking they are the only ones that has “things” going on in their lives – people. I get it – Life can be hard. Trust me, I get it.. but Life doesn’t give a pass to sling rudeness to everyone in your path.

A couple weeks ago, Taelor and I were headed to visit my parents and we stopped for a snowcone (her treat!). While waiting in line, the dad ahead of us ordered snowcones for his 4 little girls, that were absolutely adorable, and he requested no “cones” so they wouldn’t make a mess in his truck. This snowcone stand doesn’t do the cones on top, so no problem, right? One of them was slightly (like 1/2 cm maybe) rounded above the lid of the cup and the dad made such a rude comment to the owner that left my daughter and I standing there, looking at each other, with our mouths hanging open.

I’m probably sounding pretty uncaring and definitely not like I’m loving like Jesus does, but I’m completely at a loss with how to keep dealing with the negative people. I’m at that place where one more complaint about “life” may just send me over the edge. I guess I assume that everyone should realize that we’re ALL going through life.. none of us are exempt, so just roll with it.

‎”The Lord also keeps safe those who suffer. He is a safe place in times of trouble!” Psalm 9:9

I’ve tried the cheerful, optimistic attitude because this is my norm and it works on some people but not those that obviously just enjoy grumbling and complaining about everything and don’t want to look on the bright side of things. I’ve tried distancing myself from them but sometimes it’s impossible with my daily interactions. Now I’m at the “keep my mouth shut” option because I have nothing to say that’s going to improve their mood or it would have already improved it, so I try to say as little as possible and just pray that they find peace. I hate to be at this place but I don’t want to risk their toxic attitudes affecting my life.

I mentioned the “funk” that I was in last week and this funk is a direct result of the negativeness being hurled at me from every direction. So, if these people are causing my funk from all of their negativeness… then are they in a funk all the time? That’s a really sad thought. Thinking that they must be that miserable all of the time makes me feel a little sorry for them.

Do you know these people? I’m sure we all do. I know someone who knows he is one of those people. He’s asked me to pray for him from time to time.. and I do, but I feel that maybe I should share something with him. I don’t have a secret decoder communication device to send these prayers to the God that can give him peace… OH Wait, I do! It’s just prayer.. simple, humble prayer. As much as I don’t mind keeping other people in my prayers, I desperately wish that he would do some one-on-one prayer time.

Sometimes I have to face the fact that I can’t fix everything (or everyone). I can be quite determined and stubborn but there does come a time when even I have to admit that I may be letting more harm than good come from some of this toxic exposure.  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33. 

This is a touchy thing for me because the more I try to follow God’s lead, the further I’m being led from some of my friends and even some family. Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14. The more I pray about it, the more I feel that it is time to keep my distance. I will keep praying for them of course but keep some distance between me and their unhealthy attitudes. When it affects me and more importantly, when I bring it home to my house, it’s time to let it go. 

Let go… and let God. Of course, I will keep trying to love like Jesus loves 🙂


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The Good, The Bad, and the Horrible.

Pam’s Journey – Day 187

Miles walked: 458

Miles remaining: 542

Days remaining: 179

Yesterday was one of those hard days as a parent. It started with some defiance from my daughter and seemed to get worse throughout the day as I found out some recent things that she has told me weren’t true. That always hurts. You’ve read about my daughter before and I’m pretty sure you will read about her again, but that’s mostly because she’s more important to me than anything else on earth.

I am by no means a perfect parent and I have by no means raised a perfect daughter – but she is perfect for me. That’s why God gave her to me – and me to her. He knows what He’s doing.

Let me tell you about our day.. Yesterday morning started with the normal routine – Get up, make coffee, take my vitamins, apologize to SlickyBoo for running out of her wet food and only having dry cat food, tame my bed head hair so I don’t scare anyone on my walk, feed the stray cat that has adopted our front porch, wake my daughter so she can walk Beau, set out on my walk with Jesus… that’s my favorite time of the whole day. I had a very thankful walk yesterday. I have been blessed with so much, sometimes it overwhelms me, so there was a lot of thanking Him on my walk. After my walk, I went in to make sure Taelor (and her friend who had stayed all night since yesterday was Taelor’s birthday) was getting ready. Taelor was sitting at the computer, most likely checking her Facebook and Heather was laying sideways across Taelor’s bed. So, I began the morning prodding: Get moving, don’t forget to feed and water Beau, don’t forget to move the laundry she started from the washer to the dryer, don’t mess around and miss the bus…

That was mostly what took place between 6:00am and 7:15am. Then I started getting myself ready for work. Beau got fed – not watered, the dryer was emptied – but the washer clothes didn’t make it into the dryer, and thankfully the bus wasn’t missed. I get frustrated when my daughter doesn’t do the things that I ask. What parent doesn’t? So, I watered Beau and put Taelor’s clothes in the dryer before I left for work (yes, I make my daughter do her own laundry!). That was when I decided that we would be having a family talk after work, because those things and more are happening daily. Those things aren’t life or death issues but they are her responsibilities and I would be doing her an injustice if I didn’t hold her accountable for those responsibilities… that’s my job.

Later in the day, I spoke with the parent of one of Taelor’s friends and a few things that she told me wasn’t matching up with what Taelor had told me. So, this added to the list of things to talk about in our family meeting after work. Family meetings are not my favorite thing and there is always the chance of tempers flaring since our butting heads is almost inevitable. This is why I started praying early in the day to let it be calm and productive and even sent out a prayer flare to my godly gal pals, because I can use all the prayer I can get!

I love when I get home and we both know that we’re going to be having a talk, but when I walk in I’m greeted with the smell of fresh laundry or my favorite kitchen cleaner. That’s always a good sign that Taelor knows she’s done something that she shouldn’t and is already trying to make it better. We talk, we cry, I ground her and I think we both felt better after talking through some things and she goes to her room to work on that laundry and cleaning.

Our day had some good, some bad, but we didn’t know that it was about to have some horrible.

The next thing I know, my daughter is coming back to the living room and crying hysterically. She just found out that two close friends were involved in an auto/motorcycle accident and are being taken to the hospital in critical condition. We go. I don’t know these friends or their families but if there’s nothing else that I can do but sit with them and pray for their boys, then that’s what I will do.

Between the boys, there are multiple broken bones, dislocations, road rash, and 1 of the boys is in a coma and on a respirator. He is still in critical condition, has a fractured skull and his brain is hemorrhaging. This isn’t what I planned on blogging about this week but this horrible accident has impacted my daughter so much and has brought an awareness to us both. We all know that accidents can happen any time and Taelor gets tired of me reminding her to wear seatbelts and be careful and to not be reckless, and.. and.. and. Life has finally hit close enough for her to realize that my warnings might actually be warranted.

We prayed. We sat at the hospital with the family and other friends for hours last night. We prayed. We waited for any news on their status. We prayed. We watched the parents of these boys suffer with the fear of losing their children… and we prayed.

Too often you hear, “The only thing left to do is pray”. When the reality is, “The only thing to do is pray”.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. ~ Matthew 18:20

I don’t stress prayer enough with Taelor. I know this and I know it’s hard because I didn’t have her involved in church when she was young enough to grow up with it being a normal thing. She was already a teenager when we became involved in church, so pushing her to take her problems to God in prayer is sometimes just that, Pushing.  I encourage her to pray and I pray for her daily, she knows this. Unfortunately, times like this are the best time to remind her to pray and encourage her to invite her friends to pray. I’ve suggested she do this at the hospital today.. every hour, bring everyone together and pray for these boys and their families. I’ll be praying with them from work and I know the families of these boys would appreciate all the prayer they can get. Please join us in praying for the boys. Ryan and Matt.

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