Posts Tagged With: walks

Chasing IT?

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 334

Miles walked: 940

Miles remaining: 60

Days remaining: 32

I went to the farm this weekend and had the best walk that I’ve had yet. I know, I’ve said that a few times over the miles but it is possible that they just get better and better.

I had a plan when I started out. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now but it wasn’t a practical idea for my walking route at home.. but it was perfect for the farm. I wanted to walk until I was done. I didn’t want to walk for an hour or so like I usually do in the mornings before work. I didn’t want to walk until I was kinda tired or until I decided that I needed to get home and get my weekend to-do list started. I wanted to walk until I was Done. Physically done.

Here’s the thing. During my walks, sometimes it takes awhile to get past “me” and on to Him (God). I get there but many of my walks are more about me than Him. It’s a human thing, and I know our gracious God is completely understanding of my attempt to dedicate time specifically to Him.. but many times I get lost in the world of things that I’m going through. He’s always there and I usually remember to ask Him to guide me through It, to be with me during It, and definitely to help me with It. IT? yes, IT. Everything. Life, Relationships, Jobs, Finances, Family, Friends, Pain. All of IT. Well, I wanted to get past all of that and just be out there walking.. me & God. No It.

So, I started out heading south like I usually do when I walk at the farm. The neighbor’s dogs joined me as I walked by. We decided to try the first mile that went east since I’ve never taken that road before. I’ve always just stuck to the cemetery road since it’s paved, but today called for some adventure. Especially since this road looked so inviting. It was sort of a rocky dirt road on a hill with trees lining and hanging over in places. That’s my kind of road… and of course, the thought of what lies at the end of such an alluring road. We went up the hill, through the trees that were shading the road, enjoying the break from the sun. We did a little looking into the thick overgrowth off the sides of the road, because you never know what you’ll find out there and then we topped the hill and found nothing. There wasn’t anything special at the top of that hill, past all the allure. And so back to the old cemetery road we went.

We headed south again, like usual, past the road that leads to my uncle’s place, past the cows that act like my biggest fans with all their hollering, and then I notice a cow in the road ahead. The dogs notice it too and they head out to it. So, I call them back fearing that they might scare it to the highway that I could see behind it. That’s all I needed, was to be responsible for a cow getting hit on the highway. We turn around and back up the old cemetery road we go… again.

There aren’t a lot of options on this road, so we take the road that leads to my uncle’s place. I’ve never considered taking it before because, to be honest, it looks like a boring road. It’s just the place where the doe crosses early in the morning. So, for lack of options, I take the boring road. There’s not much to look at, but then I come to a cross road.. except, the boring road is now lined with sunflowers and is climbing a hill. Well, you know me.. I’ve got to see what’s at the top of the hill! So, I pass up the cross road and keep going up the hill until I find.. a rock. That’s all that was at the top of that hill. Well, that and more red dirt road but the trees and the sunflowers were gone. It was just a road. With a rock.

That’s about when the neighbor, and owner of the dogs, showed up. He loaded them up and took them back home so I could “enjoy my walk”. I was loving this walk, and loving all the things that I was seeing. I saw a lizard, a road runner, some doves, a scissortail, several cows of course, and a rock. The smell out there is amazing. It smells green. That’s the only way to describe it. The sun was hot, the roads were dry and dusty, and everything smelled green. It was awesome.

Now that I don’t have the dogs leading my way, I turn away from the rock and head back down the hill on the boring road. The boring road with that cross road that I mentioned earlier. Looking down the cross road, and knowing that I’ve found a lot of nothing on all the other roads that I’ve tried today, made me wary of the nothing that was most likely waiting for me down this road too. It was a road that didn’t look well traveled. There were weeds growing down the middle of the road and it was more narrow than the other roads. Trees lined the road and hung over, just like those roads that I love. The ditches were very over grown with trees and weeds and it felt like they were towering over me as I started walking down that road.

All of the crickets and locusts that had been part of my walk before seemed to quiet down. The dogs were gone. There wasn’t any wind. It was quiet and calm. It was me & God.

There was nothing else to think about. All of “me” was gone. I was a little shocked that I was still walking because my mile tracker had just told me that I had already walked over 5 miles, but it felt like I had just started. That road out there in the country, that obviously isn’t traveled much, was the best road that I’ve ever been down. We get so busy trying to see what’s at the end of our roads that we don’t enjoy “the road”. God wasn’t leading me down the road to see what was at the end. He just wanted me on the road.

That road ended too, and I circled back around to the old cemetery road and headed back home. I never could have walked that far on my own, so it’s a good thing that I got past “me”, because I needed God’s help on the way back. Five miles of me chasing IT, 1 mile of just being on the road that God wanted me to be on, 2 miles of awe at that road that I just walked, and 1 mile of a lot of leaning on God to get me back home = my best walk yet.

The distance we’ve come in the time that we’ve walked is immeasurable. ~ Tasha & Pam..

Done. I was completely Done… and it was awesome.

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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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Warning… Reduce speed ahead

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 159

Miles Walked: 396

Miles Remaining: 604

Days Remaining: 207

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Death of a Friendship

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 138

Miles Walked: 350

Miles Remaining: 650

Days Remaining: 228

So, I have this friend who is divorced but has remained, for the most part, good friends with her ex-husband. They have a daughter and even though it’s odd to have an amicable divorce and even a little complicated at times, they have tried to remain friends for the sake of their daughter.

This friend of mine was married to her (now ex) husband for almost 13 years when they divorced. They were high school sweethearts, and have known each other since the 8th grade, so that’s about 27 years. They divorced because of a nasty little demon named “alcohol”. Her husband used to be amazing… when he was sober. They almost never argued, they enjoyed spending time together, and even appreciated each other but the demon living with them eventually tore them apart. They have now been divorced for almost 8 years. Their daughter lives with her mom and the dad lives less than 5 miles away so you would think that she would have easy access to him.. Not exactly.

Recently, this friend has been having several bumps in that friendship and they have now called it quits. You’re probably wondering if it was the work of the above-mentioned demon, right? Nope, the ex-husband has been sober for over 18 months now. It seems that the unforgivable wedge this time is a different demon. Let me tell you the story.

The mom and daughter have been going to a wonderful church near where they live for over a year now and they have invited the dad (and his fiancé and her daughter) several times. He grew up in church, they have very similar beliefs, and he has even mentioned wanting to get back into a good church.. so, what’s the problem here? I mean, the church is amazing, it’s the best message I’ve ever heard, the daughter absolutely drinks it in and shares it with her friends, but amazingly enough, “Church” is the problem.

Wait.. did I just say it has the best message that I’ve ever heard? UGH, ok.. you probably guessed already anyway. The friend is really me.. It’s me, my daughter, and my ex-husband. It was getting confusing anyway so let’s get on with the story.

The problem? Church. We go to LifeChurch. It’s not a soft-spoken, all dressed up in your Sunday best, conservative little baptist church like I grew up in. It’s a head over heals, on fire for God, go to the extremes kind of church that makes you want to live your life for God, doing what He has planned for you to do!

The excuses:

  1. “the music is too loud”. Really? This from the guy who has always had an amp and an extra speaker box in his car to feel his music..  Sorry, I’m not buying it.
  2. “it’s too rock & roll for me”. Hello… we grew up in the 80’s, 90’s, etc.. and I know that you have a very wide variety of music preferences.
  3. The fiancé would probably feel awkward in church with his ex-wife… There are 6 times to choose from every Sunday and I don’t go to all of them!
  4. “It’s just not my kind of church”… It’s church. Church. Our daughter has practically been begging you to come with her.. It’s just church. Can you put your ego aside for an hour and join your daughter at CHURCH?  How many teenagers actually want to go to church and want their dad to go with them?
  5. There really are more but they’re just as silly as these so I forget all the other excuses ….

But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:14

Let me give a little more detail on the status of the father/daughter relationship. The “demon” that caused our divorce, also caused a dad gone missing for over 5 years of our daughter’s life. He missed birthdays, he missed holidays, school activities, graduation from elementary school.. he missed a Lot. The demon also helped him damage their relationship by saying horrible things to our daughter. Yet, she still wants him to come to church with her.

Church is what has led to the death of a friendship. In my efforts to convince him to go to church with her, I told him how hard it is for me to keep giving him tips on how to be a good dad when he won’t make the effort to be one. He decided that he’s done being a dad. Shocking… and heartbreaking. There is definitely a demon at work here and he is succeeding in breaking a relationship that was already bruised and bandaged.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8

Most likely, we won’t invite him to church anymore. There comes a time as a parent that I need to protect my daughter from some unnecessary hurt and I believe this is one of those times. How many times do I let him crush her little heart? Already one too many.

If you’re thinking that I give up too easy and that I’m letting this church rejecting demon win this fight, then you don’t know me very well! I will continue to pray for my ex-friend, my ex-husband, my daughter’s father. I will pray that whatever hold Satan has on his heart be removed. I will pray that he realizes that he’s missing the best thing that’s happened to his life… his daughter. I will pray for his fiancé to realize that he is a dad and she should encourage him to build that relationship up again. My prayers for him occupy a large amount of my morning walks with Jesus. I walk every day and talk with my Jesus, praying for this man to find his heart and give it back to God.

When my prayers are answered, I will most likely find my old friend again. I would never give up.. my daughter deserves more than that. I’m working on walking my first 1000 miles, so I’ve got plenty of miles left to keep praying these prayers and that demon might as well pack his bags and move on!

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. ~ Romans 16:20

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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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A walk at the farm

Pam’s Journey: Day 119

Miles walked: 324

Miles remaining:676

Days remaining: 247

When I walk at home, I typically walk the same route pretty much every day. You may think this sounds boring but it’s actually really nice. My house is on the 3rd street of my neighborhood so I do a figure 8 route, except I just added a 4th street so now it’s like a figure 8 with an extra loop. I make 2 full 3 looped figure 8’s and I’ve walked about 3.45 miles. I walk these same streets at the same time every day in the dark with my MapMyFitness (MMF) app telling me how fast I’m walking every time I reach another mile. I walk this same route so that I know what to expect. I know who leaves for work, who starts their car or truck and lets it sit in the driveway for 20 minutes, and who puts their trash out in the mornings. I don’t usually have any surprises on my walks and can concentrate on whatever it is that’s needing concentrated on that day.

It’s easy to get absorbed into my walk, or my conversations with Jesus. That’s the reason for my MMF friend to tell me how far I’ve walked because sometimes I forget which loop I’m on. There are days when I need that time so much that I could just keep walking.. of course, those are the days that I’m usually late for work because I do just one more loop. One more prayer, one more question, one more thank you to the one that’s walking with me.

When I go to visit my parents, I look so forward to my walks at the farm. There’s nothing around, except cows mostly, for miles. I mean they do have a couple of neighbors a mile or so away and the cemetery is about 3/4 mile down the road but there is no traffic, no sirens, no airplanes, no horns, no lights, nothing. It’s just quiet country.

The last time I walked there was at Thanksgiving last year. Yes, I know I’m well overdue for a visit. I didn’t walk in the dark because I wanted to be able to see all of the nothing.. just the quiet country. My dad mentions that I might see a doe down the road where it turns to go to my uncle’s place and not to worry about the neighbor’s dog, it’s all bark. I get my layers of clothes on and I set off, up the white rock road. Care to join me?

My choice of routes include East/West which is crazy hilly and I figured if I walked 2 miles East then I would be crawling back up and down those hills coming back West. So I choose North/South.  This was not a much easier choice because it was really cold and windy that weekend. I head off south from my parent’s place. The sun is coming up, it’s amazing. The country air is so fresh. Even in the late fall when all the grass is dead and yellow, the colors of country is still beautiful. The deep earthy greens of the cedar trees, the blue sky with enough clouds to turn the sunrise into a blue, orange, pink, and purple spectacle, the gray-green of the sage brush, bright reds of the sumac bushes, the bright green winter wheat.. it’s just gorgeous.

I pass the Prarie Bell Cemetery.. I think that’s the cutest name ever for a cemetery 🙂  and look to the west where there used to be a little white country church, the Prarie Bell Church. It was tore down years ago because it was falling down, such a shame. I keep heading south where I come to the corner that turns to go to my uncle’s place and what do you know? A doe… seeming to just be waiting for me to see her. She walks across the road ahead of me and jumps the fence and disappears in the field. I pass the neighbors and sure enough, the “all-bark” dog comes to greet me. I hear water trickling in a creek next to the road, and find that I have a herd of fans (cows) that follow me as far as their fence allows, and just as I’m about to come to the highway where I’m going to turn around, I say a thank you because the strong winds I’ve been fighting will now be at my back! I’m also greeted by the friendly sign directing people to the cemetery.

On my way back, still thankful to have the wind at my back and glad Jesus didn’t have a sense of humor that day to give me wind in my face both ways, I found myself keeping an eye out for the mountain lions my mom told me about since the road is lined with trees in several places. I have no idea what I would do if I found one stalking me, but blaring my Itunes was the best plan I could come up with. I notice that some of the trees that haven’t lost all of their leaves yet are flapping those little brown leaves in the wind and it sounds like clapping. I imagine that they’re cheering me on as I walk my walk. I’m so involved in my walk with nature that I don’t notice a big black horse coming down the hill at me until it’s maybe 50 feet away and of course it startles me. The rider, also decked out in black coat and black hat and bundled up against the wind, tipped his hat at me as we passed, because that’s just what country folk do.

I continue back up and down the small hills that lead me back to my parent’s place, the farm. Past the cows that once again follow me as far as their fence allows, past the dog that’s all bark, past the Prarie Bell Cemetery where everyone is welcome, past the sun that’s standing higher in the sky but still shining it’s glorious colors on me, and back to the white rock road that leads to the house. What a walk.

There will be a day when I get to walk this walk every day. For now, I’ll walk my 3 looped figure 8’s and know what to expect on the same streets at the same time every morning. I’ll dream of the day when I get to live on the farm and walk this beautiful walk in all of God’s country glory.

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The first 1000

Pam’s Journey: Day 105

Miles walked: 282

Miles remaining: 718

Days remaining: 261

The first mile of my daily walk is the hardest part of my walk. It’s 6:00 AM, I’m tired, It’s cold, I’m achey, and it’s like that part of a conversation where you don’t know who’s turn it is to talk so it’s kinda quiet. After the first couple of blocks I’m starting to loosen up, wake up, still working on warming up and then the mind flood opens… what shall we talk about today?

Me: Lord, I know I’ve brought several things to you in prayer every day but since I haven’t seen/heard an answer yet, let’s go over my list again. 😉 (like I really need to remind Him)

God: In my time.. you may not like the answers but I will answer them in My time. 

Me: soooo…. now that we’ve covered that again and we have 2.7 miles to go, how about we talk about the walk. I love our walks. It’s like walking with my oldest and dearest friend who knows every single thing about me (and still loves me beyond comprehension!). I can’t hide anything and nothing is off limits…  I was thinking that since I’ve been walking these walks every day for over 3 months that I might be noticing a little more of a physical change by now.

God: In my time.. you may not like the results but I will change you in My time. 

Don’t get me wrong here, this walk is NOT about exercise and I have been so blessed with such an amazing relationship since starting this 1000 miles.. but I’m human and we know that when you do aerobic activity consistently, then usually you start seeing the scales move. We started this walk to develop a closer relationship with Jesus. To walk with Him. To be with Him. It’s the most simple thing and here I went and let my human brain start cluttering it up!

I committed this walk to God, and come hell or high water or as my momma used to say “weather permits and the creeks don’t rise”, I will keep my commitment and finish what I’ve started. I didn’t commit to joining a fitness program. I didn’t expect to get anything out of it, I expected to give myself to it. It’s kind of like a physical tithe to God. I’m giving Him 1000 miles of me. So for me to start humanizing this and think that I should be seeing something because I’m giving something is pretty selfish. Again, I’m human.

This walk is changing me from the inside out. It’s reshaping me… just maybe not my belly, hips, and thighs as fast as I would like, but it’s a change that I could have never done by myself. When I first started this walk, I remember asking God to reshape me however He wants me.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. ~ Psalm 139:14

The first 1000.. my physical tithe (or offering) to God. When I think about it like that it makes me realize that I may not see any physical changes and I shouldn’t expect to. I’m giving the first 1000 to Him. This walk is so precious and sweet that I know 100% that I won’t be able to stop walking after I reach my goal of 1000 miles. So, I’m assuming and am perfectly content to think that I might not see any lbs drop until I’ve given Him what I’ve promised. Another way to look at it is that I must attempt to walk approximately 3 miles per day to stay on track of my 1000 in 365 days. That does give me some extra miles which are part of the plan in case there are some days that I can’t walk due to weather or illness or zombie apocalypse, etc. So, if I want to include some daily exercise in my routine then it must be above and beyond that 3 miles. My normal routes give me about 3.3 miles per day.. so every 3 days, I’m getting in about 1 mile of exercise. That would just about add up to the super slight difference I’m seeing in my  physical appearance… I might just be on to something here!

I know this may sound a little crazy but it’s funny that the human laws of exercise are not applying themselves to the almost 300 miles I’ve walked in just over 3 months. So, I don’t know how else to explain it except to keep walking and see what He has in store for me. I’m so excited to give Him the first 1000 and absolutely can not wait to see what mile 1001 looks like for me!

Me: Sooo… me again 🙂   Just wondering if I’m catching on to your plan. 

God: My precious stubborn child… it’s not about the walk. It’s about the journey. Just Keep Walking.

Have you started your walk yet?

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ~ Luke 6:38

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First light

Pam’s Journey – Day 89

Miles walked: 242

Miles remaining: 758

Days remaining: 277

Sun up.. Sunrise.. Daybreak.. Dawn.. Mornin’.. whatever you call it, that’s my normal walking time. Actually, that’s the end of my walking time. As I’m ending up my walk, I get to see the first rays of a new day. A do-over from yesterday.. a fresh start.. a new beginning..

A brand new day. I love my new days! I get the chance to be better than yesterday, to try harder, and to make a difference. If something was too hard for me to handle yesterday, well guess what? Today is a brand new day!

Something dawned on me last week while I was on vacation.. I seem to be “that person” that people feel they are able to tell all of their worries, problems, complaints, etc… I have no idea why this is but it used to wear on me. It got heavier and heavier every day. Maybe because I’m a “fixer”? I felt the need to try and fix all of those problems, or at least to help them in some way. I came to realize that I am not the fixer. God is. Who knew, right?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  ~ Matthew 6:27

This “giving my worries” to Him thing isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s taken me years to learn that I have to give them up,  and I still have my days that weigh me down. After every single one of those days, I’m given a new day.. first light.. my do-over. I walk my walk and He’s there waiting for me to hand it over every morning. To just let it go.

whew… Just. Let. It. Go.

 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. ~ Peter 5:7

I’ve gotten much closer to my Heavenly Father since I started this journey of 1000 miles. We can talk about anything. I give Him my ideas of acceptable walking weather and He gives me misty rain to tickle my nose the next day (He definitely has a sense of humor!). I recommend that I could walk this walk a little easier if I didn’t hurt every day and He shows me that with Him, I can do anything… including walking through some pain. I ask for guidance with my parenting, and He puts me in contact with kids who don’t have parents and with parents who have kids battling mental and physical handicaps that break my heart. He makes my trials seem so trivial.

I love how my God puts things into perspective for me, if I just ask. If I put my worries, fears, trials, and struggles in His hands. He shows me that my problems are so much smaller than I think they are. He shows me that those problems will not overcome me and that the battle is already won so there really is nothing worth worrying about.

The past few months have shed some light on a lot of areas of my life that I thought I was in control of. I’ve been letting go of this worry weight every day in my walks. Some days I feel a HUGE release, other days I have just a little more spring in my step but I notice that my step is lighter and bouncier and a little quicker than it’s been in a long time. My “southern swag” is almost ridiculously swaggy! I’ve mentioned this before but I must be getting better at it because I’m still just giving it to God.. all of it. Not just my worries and problems but those that everyone shares with me. I’m giving Him their problems. I didn’t realize that I was carrying them for them, trying to fix them for them. I can’t fix them any more than I can fix my kitchen faucet that is in desperate need of some fixin!

Now that I’m not so heavy with life, it seems that things are a little clearer. Those problems and worries that I’ve been letting God deal with, instead of trying to handle them on my own, aren’t quite as big as they were before. The problems seem to almost answer themselves. Crazy weird, I know. I ask for guidance and I feel guided. It’s actually pretty amazing.

It’s funny the things we hear, if we just open ourselves up to Him and listen. This is why I love my walks with Jesus. I walk mostly in the dark, giving Him all I have to give, thanking Him for all He gives to me, and then He gives me light. The first light of a new day. A new day to be better, to try harder, and to make a difference. He gives me that, every single day! He gives it to you too. Have you been walking in the dark? Are you weighed down with worry and troubles? Have you given them away yet? Seriously… Give. Them. Up. 

You’ll never live the same again!

Enjoy the first light of a new day over and over and over…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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