Posts Tagged With: walk

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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20 seconds

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 285

Miles walked: 761

Miles remaining: 239

Days remaining: 81

20 seconds. Courage. Bravery…  If you go to LifeChurch or watch online, you know what I’m talking about. 20 seconds of courage. 20 seconds of insane bravery to do something that could change your life forever. What would my 20 seconds be? 

To be honest, I’m not ready for my 20 seconds yet. 

Sorry, sue me.. I’m just not ready. I am working on it, but I’m not quite there. Yet. 

If you don’t go to LifeChurch or watch online, then you don’t have a clue what I’m rambling on about. But, the super cool thing is that you can probably still catch this weeks service online. Click it, see what time the next experience starts and don’t miss it! It will help this make much more sense if you watch it. 

So, the reason I’m not ready for my 20 seconds of courage is because I’m still doing the work

…“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you… ~ 1 Chronicles 28:20

I’ve been working on some of those Chazown spokes that I talked about awhile back. Specifically, the health stuff. This walk has been a huge help in that area. I was in terrible shape. My main form of physical activity was mowing my yard and a lot of times, it kicked my butt. I know what you’re thinking, so what did I do for physical activity when the yard didn’t need mowed? Not much!

When we started this walk, every mile was a struggle. The miles have gotten much easier. I remember huffing and puffing to finish a mile in the beginning and thinking that I might even have to call my daughter to come pick me up because I wasn’t sure I would make it home. I didn’t know how I would do it.. but mile after mile, it just got easier. Maybe because I kept doing the work.  😉 

Yes, I’m making progress on my health goals. I’ve started being much more diligent with my nutrition. I’m taking extra time off the couch and adding more on my nutrition and fitness routine. I’m getting there.. but I’m not getting there from the couch, or the computer. I’m putting in the work. I want to change and it’s my time. I know that if I want to encourage others with their health, nutrition, and fitness, then I need to be an example and do it myself.

Many times, we want to change something but we’re not willing to do the work. Yeah, that’s me to a T. I’ve been wanting to get fit for ummmm, well, probably 15+ years now, because my daughter is 15 and I know that I never got back into good shape after having her. I just wasn’t ready to do the work, and obviously it doesn’t happen all by itself. 

If I’m not willing to “do the work”, nothing will change. I won’t build stronger relationships. I won’t move ahead at work. I won’t get out of the debt storm that so many of us are in. And my Health? Obviously, I won’t make changes in your health unless I do something about it. Yep, it was time for me to do the work. It’s not easy and no one said it was going to be, but it will be worth it. Some days it’s hard, and it has been very painful but it will all be worth it in the end. 

 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13

I’m amazed every day when I see things happen to people who are doing the work. Changing their lives. Making good choices. Taking control of their future and making it better, with God. Yes, with God. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – If God’s not in it, then it’s already failed. The best part is, whatever you need to change is ridiculously easier with His help. There is no way that I could be at over 750 miles if I wasn’t doing it with God.  Seriously.

The message this week at church was literally all over me from start to finish. (I hope you clicked above and watched it if you didn’t see it already!) It was encouraging, inspiring, and dead on for this place that I’m at in my life. Change.. lots of change, and some of it is slightly scary change. I’m good with “the same”, and I’m content with simple things, so this change that’s coming about is ruffling my feathers like crazy. 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

The first time I let this verse stir something in me was about 2 years ago. It hit me again on Sunday. New things are ready to happen. God is behind it and leading me to it. He’s been behind it the entire time, just waiting for me to get up off the couch and make the decision to do the work. 

I’m still walking. Still doing the work. This walk is preparing me for so much more. I never would have dreamed of the things that are coming about. But, until this walk is over – the first 1000, that is – I’m just not ready for those 20 seconds of insanity.. I mean bravery!

And for the record… I am NOT buying a Zoo!

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And on the seventh day..

He Rested.

…………..

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 278

Miles walked: 734

Miles remaining: 266

Days remaining: 88

Do you feel like you’re running nose to the ground, 90 miles an hour, full throttle, open choke? or is that just me lately? Running on fumes, steam, vapors, or just plain running on nothing. I’ve even been going to sleep, and I’m talking ridiculously early, but I’m just beat.

Last week was the 4th, and that meant a day off work, I was planning on relaxing and doing a bunch of nothing. Maybe see a movie, definitely take a longer walk because I would have no time constraints, maybe go through a couple piles of junk mail that I let get stacked up, and I wanted to go through some clothes in the back of my closet that I’ve been meaning to sort through… oh, I think you’re supposed to trim up your mums around the 4th of July (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere), so I thought that I could do some garden work that has been almost nonexistent this summer, and I need to grab some paint to match the bathroom cabinet that I started painting and then I might as well paint the whole bathtub deck thing since it’s basically connected to the cabinet, and I’ve had this project in the back of my mind that I just haven’t gotten around to finish or actually to even start.. so I could just do some of that while I’m relaxing and doing a bunch of nothing, right?

Wait… Why am I beat? I think I found the problem. Me.

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so He rested from all his work. ~ Genesis 2:2 NLT

Even God rested.

I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to at least keep my Sundays clear but even a simple Sunday – wake up, walk, church, mow the yards… Now, you might be thinking that I shouldn’t mow on Sunday, right?  Sunday is the day of rest. But I enjoy mowing.. love it. Mowing to me is like meditation, with the result of a pretty yard in the end. It’s like white noise that gives me an hour of uninterrupted thought or even nonthought. It’s like quiet time.

Then the day is already 1/2 over and I still have so much to do before the week starts all over again. My body is feeling the lack of rest lately. I feel good and have tons of energy when I get up, but at the end of the day, I’m flat exhausted. I’ve been asking God to give me strength and to be with me in every step and every breath, but I haven’t asked Him to be with me in my rest.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28

This morning on my walk, I found myself humming the “Word Of God Speak”..

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness 
Word of God speak.

I desperately need to stay and rest in His holiness. I mentioned last week that I’ve been distracted and found that I wasn’t even doing my daily devotions some days. I need to get back to my restful time with God. My time of listening for Him. My time with Him.

Yesterday, I stayed home from work – sick.. blaming it on a pulled muscle/misaligned scapula issue. I went to the chiropractor Monday afternoon and it wouldn’t budge. So, when I woke up yesterday from a horrible nights sleep, I knew that I was no good to go to work. It was radiating through to my chest and everything hurt, even breathing. After I moped for awhile and took some anti-inflammatory medication, I laid down and prayed for rest. Let me tell you that it was the best rest that I’ve gotten in a long time and I forgot to mention that I was laying on my loveseat that I have declared the worst thing in my house to sleep on. I dozed off and on throughout the day, so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sleep last night. I prayed again for rest before going to bed and almost instantly fell asleep.

When I woke up this morning, I noticed two things. First, my shoulder wasn’t hurting and it didn’t hurt to breathe. Second, I was rested. My body wasn’t tired. I didn’t wake up during the night like I do so often. I had more energy on my walk. I just felt better. Rested.

I gotta tell ya, if my shoulder hadn’t been hurting so much, I never would have thought to pray for rest. I mean, I pray for everything involved in my waking hours.. but rest?

For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet. ~ Jeremiah 31:25-26

God is good all the time.. awake and asleep.

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Top of the World!

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

And the only explanation I can find

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

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

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 271

Miles walked: 710

Miles remaining: 290

Days remaining: 95

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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Dare to Fail!

Pam’s Journey – Day: 133

Miles Walked: 343

Miles Remaining: 657

Days Remaining: 233

I’ve been having a nagging feeling of failure the past few days. This nagging feeling is weighing on my heart because I haven’t walked for 6 days. I know it’s silly and I know that it’s not a failure but I also know that Satan isn’t happy about the purpose for this walk and he will take every opportunity to put a wedge in this growing relationship with my Jesus. I know my nagging feeling is his work.

When we first planned to start this walk there was a lot of talk about the “what this walk means and what it is and what it’s not”. I wanted to do the walk the second that Kristen mentioned it. The more we talked about it and then decided to blog our journey, I started getting a little nervous. Blogging? Me, writing? and other people actually reading what I write? I wasn’t so sure about that. I mean, writing is not something that I have ever enjoyed or felt that I was good at. My fear was giving Satan a plowed field to plant doubt… but 4 months into the walk and what do you know, writing isn’t so bad.

The other thing that made me hesitate even more about this walk was when we put a time limit on it. 1000 miles in 365 days. I had no doubt that I could walk 1000 miles… but in 365 (actually 366 this year!) days was a little intimidating. It averages to 2.74 miles every day or if we round up and walk 3 miles every day then it gives us 32 days overage to play with. So, if we are sick or weather prevents us from walking or any other unforseen reason would occur then we have 32 days of grace.

You may be wondering why this stresses me out.. you might say that it’s just a walk, and we have God’s grace and just the effort of doing this is kind of  inspiring. But it’s more than that. It’s a commitment. It’s a promise that I made to the One I’m walking with. What if Jesus didn’t follow through on His primary purpose? What if God had changed His mind, which would be completely understandable to me as a parent. Giving His perfect son for a world of sinners… I couldn’t do it. So, His promise means everything to me… and in my mind, my promise might mean something to Him.

I often refer to myself as “an unfinished project just waitin’ to happen”. I mean that literally and spiritually. Literally – I am famous (at my house) for starting projects and not finishing them.. like the almost finished paint on one of my dining room walls from last spring, the almost finished kitchen remodel from 2+ years ago, the multiple almost finished scrapbooks that are always “a work in progress”. I’m really good at starting projects and have every intention of finishing them but… the dining room has a vaulted ceiling so the wall is like 16ft tall and that’s a pretty good reason for putting it off.. and the kitchen remodel was a joint effort with my ex-husband and he kind of decided not to help me finish it and I never got around to it.. and well, scrapbooks are like a never ending hobby so that’s understandable too… right?

Spiritually – we’re all a work in progress… and I love this because it makes me feel better about my projects!

Oooops, I forgot about the wood trim that we replaced in my daughter’s room last summer and there’s 1 piece that goes above her closet door that never got put up… it’s in the garage, next to my nail gun and is just waiting for me to finish it. We won’t even mention my almost finished refinishing job on my coffee table.

The upside to this is that when I do get around to finishing my unfinished projects, they usually turn out amazing! I get compliments, I feel good about my work, and I can say that I accomplished something that maybe in the beginning I didn’t know if I would be able to do… which comes back around to this walk. I know this is one “project” that I will finish. But then again, I know that this will be another one of my famous unfinished projects because once the 1000 miles is finished, there is no way that I can stop this walk with Jesus. It’s like air and I don’t know that I can live without it.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5

Sooo… I’ve already watched the weather and there is no snow, ice, rain, or freezing fog in the forecast for tomorrow morning. You know what I’ll be doing at 6am, don’t you? Walking.. yes, walking!

Dare to Fail…

Try something new, start an unfinished project!

What we may think of as failures,

are sometimes God’s masterpiece…


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