Thursday, August 27, 2009

Treading Water

Hi Y'all,

We are still waiting to hear if Mike has gotten a waiver from the Army. I am hoping we will hear something today. The waiting is what is hard.

I'd like to share with you something I just learned to do this summer. I learned how to tread water! You'd think at my age...I would have learned this a long time ago, but after almost drowning at 16...waiting 31 years doesn't seem to long! (*_*)

I've been a little scared of the water since then. Several times over the years I have tried to take swimming lessons or just learn with a buddy. Mike has tried to teach me. The truth is I can swim like a fish in the shallow end, but as soon as I realize I can't touch bottom....I panic! I don't mean a little all out terror engulfs me and the water becomes an evil super power like the rip tide did many years ago. This has been a fear...irrational as it is...that has kept me from enjoying a lot of things in my life.

This summer, a friend of ours offered us the use of their pool. So we went often. Zoie and I swam in the shallow end, while Mike would swim in the deeper end. A couple times I would brave the deep end with a noodle. Soon though, I got confident enough to try to swim from the deep end to where I could touch as long as Mike swam beside me. Zoie too began to gain more confidence in her own swimming ability and would swim from the deep end to her dad. The last time we went, Mike tried to get me to tread water. I told him no, that I would panic. He looked at me and said, "Pamela, you must trust. (there was that word again, the one I been working on for the past 3 years!) Look, the water here is only about 5 inches over your head. If you sink you can kick back up with hardly no effort. Besides, you have already swam the length of the pool. I'm right here and there is no way you can drown." I could not argue with his logic, so I reluctantly agreed to try. He demonstrated how to move your arms and legs and pulled me beside him. He then said something profound, "Pamela, take it easy. Don't fight the water. Think like a dog. A dog in deep water makes big, slow, easy strokes. He does this to rest and use the water."

We counted to 3 then I let go. I wish I could say that I didn't panic, but at first I did and of course started to sink. Then I heard the words "rest and use the water"again. In an instant, I was treading water! It was a blast!

That is what I am doing right now. Taking it slow and easy, using big steps of faith, resting and using these uncertain circumstances to help me stay afloat. Treading water is not floating. It is work! I had soar muscles for a couple days after doing it the first time. These unknown circumstances are both uncertain and unpredictable. But, by treading with rest and faith, they do not control me. They are not pulling me under. I'll keep moving my arms of faith and kicking my knees to prayer, I'll make circles through God's Word and keep my eyes on the goal....following Jesus...even into unknown and deep water.

I love you all.
Wanna go for a swim?

PS. Thanks for all your prayers please keep them coming.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wanting Lies and Boulders Pulverized

Hey Y'all,
This is an update and sequal to yesterday's post.

Mike went to our primary care physician this morning. He looked over Mike's records then talked to the allergist who tested Mike 8-9 years ago and both agreed that Mike does not have any food allergies. They drafted a letter to the army supporting this fact and we are praying that this will be all we need to get the waiver. Neither Dr. has ever had to treat Mike for any allergies of any kind. Mike called his recruiter to tell him the letter was going to be faxed there. The recruiter said this may or may not be enough to get the waiver. We may still have the boulder in front of us. I have started praising. I know that sounds a little crazy but it is what my spirit is telling me to do. Praise! I serve THE God who spits out stars. I sever the only true God. I serve the God who can not....not act in my best intrest. I serve The Living God...The LORD JEHOVAH. Even if my God decides not to move this boulder...I will praise Him. His way is far better than mine. He who can see and be in the past present and future all at the same time...knows where the path around, through, under, or over that will lead us to His Promised Land for us here and then on to Glory with Him. So I'm praising Him. I'm singing and shouting praises for my God to this boulder. I'll sing when it falls down like Jerico and I'll sing and shout if it stands and we are lead in another direction. Can you hear me? I'm a shouting right now. Its my war cry!

This Southern Belle is letting out a godly yell!

WHOOHOOO! that fewlt good!

Now for the lies about my writing. One of the biggest stumbling blocks I have is the mechanics of writing. Growing up in the mid sixties in a small town in the south, with a handicap had many disadvantages. One was that it was assumed that since I wore a brace on my leg that I must also have one on my brain. By the second grade I was tired of defending myself every time I made a hundred ona test. The teachers and other students would accuse me of cheating. As a seven year old wanting people to like her, I decided not to make any more hundreds or A's...ever! At first it was hard getting things wrong on purpose. But then as new things were introduced and I would half pay was easy. If you do not learn the material...well you get the idea. Soon I forgot about this desicion and I too believed that I was as slow and retarded as they thought. I graduated high school with a low "C"/"D" average.
It was by the grace of God that I even got into collage.

During my first Writing 101 class, we were assigned a one page essay. When it came back it did not have a grade on it...just a note..."See me immediattly after class!" I was scared! The professor sent me straight to her office to make an appointment with her. During that apponitment she she told me "When I finished reading your paper, I was astonished. I have never seen a freshman who could take a subject and run it through the entire paper the way that you did. Once I could read it your paper is remarkable. The problem is that it took me almost 2 hours just to read your paper. How can you write so well when you are functionally illiterate?"
I will never forget those words. They both encouraged and discouraged me like riding a drop zone ride at an amusement park. She sat down and taught me that say simple sentance structure. I was able to pass collage with a high "C"/ low "B" average. I later graduated seminary with a solid "B" average.
Yet the mechanics of grammer has always been a puzzle to me. I think I'm so sure that I can't do it right that I sabatoge myself before I even start. Even as I have been sharing this I have made more spelling and gramatical mistakes than I have in years.
How is it that even when we know it is a lie in our heads we can still be defeated by it?

So there you have one of my biggest fears/lies. Pray with me that I will get my eyes off of what I can or can not do and just beieve that the Lord Himself will guide my fingers and my mind.

I will update you occasionally about my own "Much Afraid's" adventure. So do you know any easy to learn grammer books out there?

And just so you know what I'm talking about...I'm not going to spell check or have Mike or Zoie proof this for me. THis is me raw!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Boulders, Slipping Feet and Eggs!

Hey Y'all!

That path I told you about in my last post, just took a few steps and already...and I have discovered a boulder in the way the size of a whole Army! In fact it is the Army, or at least the MEPS (medical ) portion. 8 years ago, Mike had an allergy test done and one of the things listed on the test was an allergy to eggs. Well we laughed! Mike has continued to eat eggs and things that contain eggs almost everyday. This allergy showed up on his medical records and the Army has automatically given him a medical disqualification. We tried to get a waiver but was turned down. Our next step is to get a doctor to officially document that this is a non medical issue. Mike will see our primary doctor tomorrow. His name is Dr. Villamore. Please pray he will be able to give Mike the right paperwork to put this issue to rest. We need this done so that Mike can complete his physical, and get his packet to the board before September 3rd. We believe with all our hearts this is God's will for us. He is a God who can pulverize boulders. So would you pray with me for the next few days, in order that we may see the mighty, boulder-breaking hand of God move. And then all involved will be amazed at His handiwork?

I have to admit, my faith and feet has slipped a couple times the last few days. Tears of fear and faith have battled for my attention and emotions. This path I am on will take me not only into the Army as a chaplain's wife, but also into a new direction in my ministry. I'm going to say it out loud or I will continue to dodge it and deny it, so here it goes. I believe I am to write more.
This scares me. I know what some of you are thinking...Pamela, you have been blogging this devotional for over a year. Pamela, haven't you been writing Special Ed Bible Study for 13 years?
Yes to both...but both are a different type of writing. The curriculum is creative "how to" with fun takes on the Bible stories and an application story. The blog...well it is more like sitting and chatting with you.
I'm a little scared of the kind of writing, I feel God is asking me to do. I took a correspondence writing course once, and it became clear that I could tell a story, but not show the story. In other words, I speak it better than I write it!

Please pray for me as I seek out this steep path. I feel a little like Abraham, as he left for the land God would show him, not having a map or GPS to guide him. I don't even know what tomorrow's step will be.

I love you all and I am trying to be as real as I can. Your prayers are needed. Your advice is more than welcome. I'll post a little more tomorrow about some more of the fears (I mean lies) that are in my head and fingers. I ultimately want to follow my Jesus up this treacherous looking path. Will you help me?

Thank you for listening.
I love you.
Still "Much Afraid" Pamela

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Walking On Unbalanced Shoes!

I need your help. The enemy is kicking my but! It is little things that seem like such boulders and they seem to big to move.

I feel so much like a character in one of my favorite books called Hinds Feet On High Places.
Her name is "Much Afraid" and I am "Much Afraid."

In this allegory of a Christians walk with God, Much Afraid is attacked by her evil family every step of the way, on her path to the High Places. Her cousin "Craven Fear" and his friends "Pride" and "Bitterness" constantly assault her and torment her as she seeks to Follow the Good Shepherd up the path He has for her. Her companions on this journey are "Sorrow and Suffering."

Well "Much Afraid's" enemies have been attacking me like crazy! I feel like Jesus wants me to follow up a steep path. A hard path...but one with a glorious treasure and view at the top. However like "Much Afraid," I feel inadequate, scared, and can only see the obstacles.

I've read the faith knows that if I follow Jesus, I will be able to make this matter how hard...all the way to the top. I also the top of this path, is so much better than what I am comfortable with here....yet...I am still much afraid.

I need your prayers. Today I am making the first steps up this steep cliff. My feet are shaky and I am feeling very I am trying to climb with my feet in one flat shoe and the other with an 8 inch spiked heel!

But stepping I am. May God grant me Hinds feet to follow Him to the high places. May I listen no more to "Bitterness," "Pride," or "Craven Fear." May all the more, Jesus receive the Glory!

Thank you for your friendship and prayers
A wobbly much afraid Pinkshoelady

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Giver is Now Receiving The Ultimate Gift!

In this life he was a giver!
He gave, time, compassion, prayers, advice, and love.
I've never known him to hold anything back. If he could help, he did. He was the first everyone "who knew him," called when help was needed. You knew, that if he found out you had needed help and didn't let him know, he would be hurt.

Oh, people did take advantage of him...but then...he gave forgiveness.

My friend Bonnie is now being given to, in person, by the Great Giver.
God called Bonnie home Friday night while I was at the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference.
To tell you the truth, I was torn....stay where I believe God called me...or rush home to be with the family. It was a struggle!

Every time I was at the point where I was ready to pack up my things and call it quits...I would see his face.
He would lay both arms across my shoulders or put his finger in my face and in a firm but loving voice say, "You stay where you are! Don't you come home." I learned many years ago it was useless to argue with Bonnie. You just obeyed. So I stayed.

I made it home on Sunday, after the conference, for the visitation.
I was amazed at the people. This man had loved and helped so many!
Honestly, I had always thought I was special...I was amazed....yes...I was were so many others.
We all felt special to this man who could love so deeply. Many there felt like I did, that they were losing a second father.


To love so deeply that people feel you are part of the family...loved like a daughter or son!
Please God, help me to love like that....I don't. I want to. It is the way You love.

Look at the picture above.
This is Bonnie loving me at my wedding. My favorite picture....with one of my most favorite people ever!

Bonnie, receive all that Jesus has stored for you. You deserve it.
You sure gave us all His love.
I know Jesus better for having been blessed enough to know you.
I miss you.

Thank you Jesus for granting me the blessing of seeing, hearing, and feeling Your love through this "Giver" friend Bonnie.

I love you all