Posts Tagged With: RELATIONSHIP

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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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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My Mayberry

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 236

Miles Walked: 591

Miles Remaining: 409

Days Remaining: 130

I was able to visit a friend last week, and I must say that I felt some envy of her daily life. I know… that’s not a good thing, but I LOVED her job. She gets to go to work every day where people come in and hang out, encourage each other, and thank one another for what’s happening in their life. She owns a nutrition club and gets to help people every day who want to improve their way of life and that usually means that she’s going to be around positive people who are trying to make good choices.

Being surrounded by positive people.. yeah, that’s sort of my dream.

I enjoy helping people. Giving and caring, trying to make a difference.. that’s my thing. But, it seems that sometimes the more you give and try to help, the more some people just want to suck it out of you and drown you in their selfish negativity. What’s up with that? When did it become the norm for people to use harsh words and rudeness to get what they want? My friend/receptionist was telling me a story of someone she talked to last week.. this lady said to her, “why don’t you get off your butt and make my life a little easier?”. I think that means the same thing as “could you please help me?”, but apparently it’s easier to be rude than to pull out the manners card. That kind of blows my mind and what scares the heck out of me is imagining what the world is going to be like when the kids growing up with that influence is going to be like in another 20 years. Actually, I do know what’s up with that… it’s not God’s plan but I’m guessing that it makes Satan plenty proud of himself.

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galatians 5:14.  That can be a hard one.. especially if we don’t know each other.

I’m pretty sure that I had my vision of “the perfect” community before I ever heard the Rascal Flats song, “Mayberry”. Cheery houses with lots of windows, big front porches, front yards full of flowers that bloom through every season, and neighbors that you know well enough to keep your doors unlocked and not be shocked if they just come on in when they want to visit. I imagine a neighborhood full of people that you know, that know your kids, people who help each other if they need it, and neighbors that look out for each other. Call me crazy, right? I guess I want my Mayberry with an ice cold diet cherry coke.

Well I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice cold Cherry — Coke
Where everything is black & white
Picking on a Six String
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by

I grew up in the country and living in “the city” for years has worn on my idea of the perfect place to live. When I was growing up, I remember wanting so badly to have cable tv and to be able to have pizza delivered for supper. Since achieving those goals and having everything that I could ask for be a 10 minute drive away or less, I’m ready to move back out to the country and slow it down. It being Life.

The truth is, we don’t live on tree-lined streets with white picket fences. These are the types of communities that movies portray as perfect and safe. Most of us live in garage-door communities. We come in and out of our garages with little or no interaction with one another. That was me. Then I started feeling the nudge to get to know my neighbors. I started feeling that it was time to meet the people living next to me, maybe across from me, or the ones that I see on my way in and out of my neighborhood every day.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” ~ John 13:34-35 

There’s not a lot of “loving each other” going on these days. It’s more like the “all about me” epidemic that has plagued the world. I want to change that. Am I praying for world peace? I just want to start with neighbor peace, parking garage peace, and co-worker peace. Then move it to traffic peace, grocery store peace, and maybe Black Friday Shopping peace. It’s easier to be rude and selfish to people that you don’t know so how about we start getting to know people. This isn’t an easy thing for me because I tend to be a house potato. Not a couch potato, but I like being in the comfort zone of my house. Getting “out there” isn’t an easy thing for me but I don’t think Jesus’ disciples reached people by sitting in their house or sunning themselves in their privacy fenced back yards. My idea of the perfect neighborhood isn’t just going to happen by itself.

On the weekends, my walk usually starts a little later in the morning than the normal 6am weekday walk. A few weeks ago, as I was walking around 7am, I noticed there were people out sitting in yard chairs on their porch or even at the edge of their garage. They were drinking coffee and reading their papers. They almost all waved to me after I waved to them and greeted them with a “Good mornin!”.  Some even asked how I was doing. The longer I walked, and the more people that I had interaction with, I realized that the vision of my Mayberry neighborhood wasn’t that far off from what I was walking in my very own neighborhood. We’re not exactly a white picket fence kind of neighborhood but I have some good neighbors… I just need to get out of my box and meet them, help them, and get to know them. My vision of the perfect community might be right outside my front windows.

 

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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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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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