Tuesday, December 18, 2012

unlike my Facebook page...

The last 10 days have been a whirlwind. Everything in my world has change. Friendships have come and gone. There was a chance I was going to head to Africa for part of the winter but that fell through. I had a job waiting for me that fell through, then there was another one and that fell through. I had a place to live that fell through then I had something else lined up and I think you get the picture. Same for LeeRoy. I wanted to be close to him so I could see him often but it's not working out that way. I ran out of money and was at one point negative $50 in the bank. I have great people around me that really want to see me succeed. They have stepped up and helped me out. I now have $0 in the bank, $11 in my hand and the bills are just around the corner. All I can say is sometimes it all moves sideways on you. Honestly though, I'm not stressed about it. I like chaos. Plus, compared to the problems of my counter part in Africa (ST) and what they go through on a daily basis I feel like my life is just fine. More than fine, I feel blessed. All my problems are a walk in the park. Well, all except Mitch's death. That's has been a hard one for me.  The crazy thing is all of the drama happened while I was flying and driving back and forth from Salt Lake City to Seattle. 

Flights, driving and trains rides. . . and all my plans change by the hour. I would have a plan in the morning- "take the train to Spokane", and at the train station the plan would change again- where am I going to sleep?  By the time I get a ticket I'm headed to Portland. As of right now LeeRoy is safe and happy with other goats in Olympia. I'm in Portland for a few days, Friday I head to Spokane. I have a lot of job leads but nothing is a sure thing yet. I have an opportunity in Seattle in January but I'm not sure how long it will be for. 

I've been second guessing my decisions. For the last month they've had record high temperatures in Utah.  It makes me feel like I should have kept going. The reality is I had planned to be done around this time.. Ha! But I really underestimated so many factors.

1. If you want to keep your goat healthy and happy it's best to keep him at about 10 miles a day. Make sure you take lots of breaks and days off. 

2. Walking with a goat near any city will take a long time. Everyone wants to talk to you and take pictures. I love to tell the stories of Uzima and the kids, about my best friend ST and how he started this whole thing with Fred, and then my part of this and how the whole crazy thing came together.  It's so wild and against all olds, that the only way to explain all the crazy things that have happened is it was all put together by God.  (Side note: my mom is over there now. She is working with the kids; another God thing. She has already been there a few months and extended her stay twice. I would not be surprised if she never came back and that's cool with me. It makes me proud of her. There is a whole story about my mom and I that I will share later. 

3. I should have planned better. Like I have said before I didn't train. All I did to prepare for this was sit on the couch eating Jimmy John sandwiches and watch YouTube videos for camping trips. . . Hahaha. Just writing that makes me laugh. I made a lot of simple mistakes just because of my lack of knowledge. Honestly the combination of the Goat, me being a city kid and all that comes with walking across america there real is no way to prepare for all the obstacles.   I had no prior knowledge of goats. I never lived on a barn or around any live stock. I did have dogs when I was growing up- I love dogs - but I would say my parents took more care of them then I did. Other than cleaning up the dog poo before I mowed the lawn, all I did was share my bed at night. My dog would always sleep in my bed. . .kid heaven.

On a slightly more serious note, I want to bring up something that is interesting to me. A small detail that really has my mind twisted up. Every time I post about Jesus or scripture, a comment about Uzima and my mission, or the work that is going on over there I get far less likes on face book. In fact, when I'm bold about Jesus people unlike my page. I'm really not disappointed at all, I guess it is just a crazy fact that if I post a picture of LeeRoy I can get 80-120 "likes", but if I post a picture of the Uzima kids or some bible quote I will maybe get 30 likes. Now, again, it's not about the "likes", I'm not posting for approval. It's just an interesting experience. Either way, in all of that Needle2square and Uzima stand for God alone gets the glory! and the "LIKES". I want to end with this bible verse that just. . .gives me so much strength and joy. And makes me feel so loved by Jesus. To me these are the most important 22 verses to me. Some of the most beautiful words in the bible to me.

Psalms 103

Bless the  Lord , O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the  Lord , O my soul, and  forget not all his benefits, who  forgives all your iniquity, who  heals all your diseases, who  redeems your life from the pit, who  crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who  satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like  the eagle's. The  Lord  works  righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his  ways to Moses, his  acts to the people of Israel. The  Lord  is  merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he  keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us  according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For  as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his  steadfast love toward  those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he  remove our transgressions from us. As  a father shows compassion to his children, so the  Lord  shows compassion  to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he  remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like  grass; he flourishes like  a flower of the field; for  the wind passes over it, and  it is gone, and  its place knows it no more. But  the steadfast love of the  Lord  is from everlasting to everlasting on  those who fear him, and his righteousness to  children's children, to those who  keep his covenant and  remember to do his commandments. The  Lord  has  established his throne in the heavens, and his  kingdom rules over all. Bless the  Lord , O you  his angels, you  mighty ones who  do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the  Lord , all his  hosts, his  ministers, who do his will! Bless the  Lord , all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the  Lord , O my soul! (Psalms 103:1-22 ESV)

I would give up the goat for this child any day...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I hate this blog!

So I just woke up. I'm lying in bed in a hotel trying to figure why Mitch the guy I had met back in Glens Ferry took his own life. I hadn’t heard from Mitch for about three weeks. I’d been texting him to let him know I was coming through with no response. We had been talking off and on since I met him. I was planning on surprising him as I rolled through town. I had been anticipating seeing him. As I pulled in to the place I met him I head to the back of the restaurant where the lounge was. As soon as I walk in everyone starts yelling. “Hey it's the goat guy!!” Audrey and Jeremiah (Mitch's best friends) jump up and give me hugs. I say “hey where Mitch?” And the whole place goes silent. Audrey says: “we’ve been trying to get ahold of you buddy. Mitch killed him self.” Both Audrey and Jeremiah wrapped their arms around me... I was in shock. Doing my best to hold back the tears they told me the story. Mitch had given in to his demons. Here’s some back-story on Mitch. When I had met him we had spent the day telling each other personal stories. Mitch told me that he had met a girl and she cleaned him up. He told me he had found Jesus and that this woman helped save his life. He also told me that once he got a good paying job, he had his own money and started drinking again. Well a few weeks back this woman had taken the kids and moved back with her mom. Then from what I hear he took a turn for the worst. This is what I was told: One night he was drinking hard. I'm not sure how it happened but he got in a fight with the cops they took him to jail. Mitch called Jeremiah to bail him out of jail. Jeremiah being his best friend does his boy a favor. Mitch tells Jeremiah he's not feeling well and to come check on him in the morning. The next day Jeremiah found Mitch on the couch dead. He had killed himself with a shotgun. I had sooooo many questions but I didn't want to stir the pot. I let it ride. For the rest of the night we told Mitch stories..well they did. I only had a few. Some the stories were soooo funny and some so tragic. It was crazy ...lots of laughs and tears. Jeremiah disappears for a bit and came back with one of Mitch s work shirts and gave it to me... Oh man ... I lost it for a bit. I headed out to the truck and cried for a while. Jeremiah had called his wife. She came down and we talked for a bit. What a hard convo..she was very strong and put together. I could see through that and could tell how hard it was for her. The guilt she felt. Questioning if it was her fault. Plus Mitch told me he wasn't great at family, and I knew she had suffered the consequences of that. He was so loved by everyone including me.. But we didn't have to live with him, with all his amazing characteristics there still was a very selfish side to Mitch. The reality is that I could see the emotional marks he left one her. He wasn't a good husband or father. However she was left to console everyone around her that only knew one side of Mitch. Or more accurately only chose to see the one side. She was in such a hard place. How do you talk up a person when your in the middle of the worst part of it all.

Everyday since then I have thought about Mitch at first I was sooo bummed and sad. I felt bad for him. Then I started asking questions. Why would he do that? He didn't seem like the type. What was he thinking? He never ever showed any signs at all. Not like I would be able to tell. But you know,not the typical things you would think of a suicidal person would be like. Then.... I was mad, I was mad that he gave up I was mad he left his wife and kids. I was angry and thought that he was so selfish. What a way to leave. He left a huge mess for his wife. While all that is going on in my mind I also was questioning God. I'm not mad at God but I just wanted to know what it was all about. You see I believe what the bible says. The verse that came to my mind while i was think of all this was Isaiah 55:11 ESV version

11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

I love the New Living Translation

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

When it says his word will not return to me empty. I believe it. I had shared a bunch of bible verses with Mitch on that bridge. I explained the scriptures to Mitch about freedom in Christ. What happened? Cause it feels a little like it came back empty right now. I have a real hard time seeing the fruit. I guess I don’t really expect an answer. I know God is in control and God is good. But how can I say to his wife God is good and God is in control and expect her to feel better, and yet at the same time I feel like that should make her feel better. It's just hard to understand.

I looked up to Mitch. I respected him. And this messed up my whole view. I started evaluating that. I saw something in me that I really didn't like. It was about who I looked up to as far as older men/mentor type. I made a list of older men that I trust. I was only able to come up with seven men in my whole life that I respected. Out of those seven men I respect and trust enough to be close with, two of them have died. Six out of the seven were or currently are alcoholics or addicts of some sort. Only one was a bible believing steady Christian man. Six of them had really dark sides. I mean really dark sides. All of them had things characteristics that I wanted. Three of them really invested in me. With one really being a cut above them all. We hang whenever we can. He payed me to work on a truck he was building for his son so I could pay for bible college. He has even called in sick for work to spend time with me when I was coming through town, and that meant the world to me. No man has ever done anything close to that for me. (This is going to require a lot more thought)

It is always great to feel the support of someone that gets you and understand you and Mitch was one of those people for me. I had made a really dumb decision. I was feeling so stupid. I had a lot of doubt in myself. Just before talking to Mitch a had a few phone calls with some friends and they all said the same thing. And it really didn't make me feel any better. Honestly it made me feel worse. But not with Mitch and I'm going to end with the last thing he ever said to me.

Mitch said: "F***em! You made a mistake. You are doing your best! What the F*** are they doing to make the world a better place? None of that will matter when you’re walking into Time Square and the orphanage is built. Hey I got to go I’ll call you later. But don't worry about it. I love you man."

I will miss you Mitch!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What I have learned about myself

 Are you a thinker? I’m not, I'm not the kind of person that just sits around and ponders decisions. I feel my way through things. Walking on the road I have all this time to just think, and I have to say it’s so hard to discipline my mind to just think. What ends up happening is that I let my mind wonder and daydream, I don’t really meditate on problems or decisions. Don't get me wrong, I think about things at times. In the past I tried hard to think through things and discovered it never worked out for me. I would stress and go crazy over things, and in the end nothing seemed to work out the way I planned. Plus what ever my first response to the situation was always seem to be what was best. The more I thought through things the more I kept changing my mind from my original reaction, and in the end it always seemed like I made the wrong choice. So I stopped doing that. I just went with what I felt, here's the negative side of that. Sometimes I made decisions before I had all the info. Or I didn’t think of how my decisions would affect others, and that meant some times the people I cared most about got hurt. One of the cool things is that I am lucky to be surrounded by friends that are thinkers. The best example I can give to this is Steve Turner, I wouldn't say he is a philosipher by any means but he gives careful thought to all the decisions he makes.
I think for the most part people are either thinkers or feelers. I'm not convinced one is better than the other. In fact I feel the best is to do both in equal parts.
I can't get my heart and mind to work together.
Ok let's even take it to the next level. What do you think about? Me being a Christian I understand the concept of Christ centered thinking, but I'm not so sure that is what I do. I would say about 98%of the time it's all selfish thinking. And if I'm lucky 2% is spent on Jesus. I want to love God and the wisdom and knowledge of the bible, but I am a work in progress.
Ok next thought: you know when I was in the cold mountains some crazy head games went down. It all started with being ALONE. A little fact about this trip; I did not train at all. Well not in any physical way. To me this was all about mental strength. I'm really good at not showing what is really happening inside of me. Most of the time I keep all of my emotions inside and cover them up. Then after I have taken time to process it I can talk about it... Umm ya that’s not completely true... it's a case-by-case basis... Anyway... Here's the situation: I’m in the ravine off Highway 6 in my tent in the woods it’s completely dark no moon nothing. No light at all. The mountains feel like they are swallowing me up. I'm completely losing it. I Have NEVER FELT LIKE THIS in my life!! I was having a full on panic attack. I couldn't call anyone because there was no cell service, my iPod was dead, my iPad was low on battery life and my phone was about to die. I know this sounds stupid but all those things bring me a lot of comfort. I was trying to distract my mind with music and even listen to messages or podcast but nothing was helping. The darkness, the loneliness, the empty feeling, it was terrifying. It was like I had been completely exposed, peeled back; there was nothing but a weak fragile child in the harsh cold surrounding. I know all this sounds so dumb but it's truly hard to explain. I felt like I was stripped of ... self or me I don't even know. So there I am, just me and the darkness. I started praying and found no comfort. I didn't want God to see me. I had this overwhelming feeling that he was mad at me, or this fear that HE. IS. GOD. I am still trying to put it all together but I will say this; First: So many times in the bible when people see angels or God reveals himself in some way, those people are terrified. Secondly I use social networking, calling, and texting as artificial connections, security, safety, and comfort. Third: I am not as mentally strong as I thought I would be. This happened more than once out there in the Utah Mountains. I had really negative feelings about those mountains, even fear.
With all that said I’ve been having a lot of questions on why I share so many personal life stories on this blog. Telling my story and my background seems to let people see my influences and struggles. I also think it put the way I do things in to context and helped myself and others understand my limitations. Here’s the other thing, I think that my story is more typical to what people go through in life. People don’t have a perfect life; in fact most people to some degree have messed up lives. So I hope and know that people have found this blog helpful, in some cases it gave people permission to feel or think something. For those out there that feel like they have failed or are ashamed of a mistake, my goal is to give you HOPE, hope to stand up and start again.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rap game!

I love hip hop; real gritty hip hop, the kind that makes your neck and head bob. The kind that just gets deep in your soul! You can’t help but walk with a limp! Let me paint you a picture: Way back in the woods of Utah (arguably the most un-hip hop spot on the planet) I'm sitting on the side of a highway with LeeRoy taking a break.The song A Mill by Lil Wayne (clean version) haha...  comes through my headphones...as soon as the beat hits my soul started dancing. I was head bobbin so hard I dang near broke my neck. Before the 3:41 song is over I'm on my feet limpin like a pimp down the road leanin waaaayyyy back. The stride of pride! Haha I put that jam on repeat and rocked it so hard, halfway dancing down the road. In my head I wasn’t in the woods anymore I was walking downtown NYC laced up in Jordan's and a black fur coat. Looked so crazy... A little later I was thinking about that moment. I could not help but wonder what Lil Wayne would think of some crusty goat guy walking through the Utah Mountains rockin his song.  I still laugh about it.
Alright let's switch gears, head back to Twin Falls. I left determined to make it to Burly Idaho.  I was walking on the freeway and people kept coming out to find me. Bringing fruit and water it was so great. About 13miles into my day I found a traffic sign where we could hide in its shade and rest. It's always so hot. I rolled out my mat put in earplugs had a little food and took a nap right on the side of the freeway. I was awoken by this lady named Kathy Kent. Little did I know what the next few days would be like.. and that is what I love about this adventure. She had brought me some snacks and water. Then before I new it she invited LeeRoy to stay with her and her family, and I gladly accepted the invitation.  I stayed with them for about a week. It was AWESOME. Kathy got me into a church to speak, and she also contacted the news and got me an interview.
The coolest part was that I got to spend the day as a farmer, bean thrashing digging potatoes and driving around in a potato truck. That may sound lame to most people but I have never lived a life anything like that, and it was cool to experience it.  Her daughter-in-law Amanda drove me all over and I got to see the sights. It was rad.
So a little crazy detail: The pastor whose church I spoke at in Hazelton happened to be best friends with Pastor Mark, the Past St and I met back in Parma. I had shared with him about my blog; he read up on it and then called Mark. It was cool.
After a bunch of days there I finally left and headed on my journey. Only to get picked up by another family about 10 miles down the road. It was wild, two amazing families in a row.  I can't remember their names off the top of my head but the husband had done a lot of animal packing in his life and still does. He gave me so much good advice and also quieted some fears I had. He showed me how to take extra care with LeeRoy and a few new tricks of the goat trade.  It's hard to find people that have done anything even similar to what I'm doing so his advice was really valuable to me. He shared with me that he had taken extended pack trips into the dessert and deep into the mountains. Most everyone I know has gone for 3-4 weeks, and something I have learned is that even though those people have super good advice they often don't have to push there animal. Well not to the extremes I have to push LeeRoy.(I'm sure that last sentence is going to get me some hate mail.) Never the less I was given some really great info. It's been so helpful. We spent a lot of time talking about winter care for LeeRoy and how to keep myself warm. The difference in what he did in winter and what I tried was he built fires and I couldn't build a fire on the side of the road. So even though I had a little jet boil it was just not enough.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The police...

Open up… police! That's the first thing I remember. It was about 3 in the morning and I was in a deep sleep. My first thought was great another shake down. I'm used to it now and get asked the same set of questions each time and go through the same procedures. I know that they want to be able to see what's in my tent so I always open the door as wide as possible so they can get a good look in. I unzip the  tent door and there stand two police officers. One skinny and one heavier set, both look really young. They're shinning flash lights in my eyes and I can see that they have there hands on their guns. The skinny one was yelling at me and I'm completely aware of everything but moving slowly as I'm just waking up. He yells "do you have any weapons". I say "… Ummm, I have a pocket knife but I wouldn't call it a weapon".  

He continues yelling orders while I'm trying to be as friendly as possible. I tell them my story, about the kids and the walk and hand him a promo card that I hand out. He yells something about seeing my id… but here's the thing, I had lost my Id. The last place I remember having it was in Glens Ferry. So i told him that which was not helpful at all. It only made the officer more suspicious of me. So I gave him my information and they called it in over their walkie talkie. My name came back clear over the radio but one of them continued yelling questions at me so I started being less friendly . He yelled " what makes you think you can take up residence here?"  I laugh and said " Well, I wasn't planning on getting mail." He yelled that this is privet property  and that I couldn't be there. I replied there were no signs posted. As he continued yelling I just interrupted him and said "Are you mad at me? Have I done something to offend you because you keep yelling at me like your mad."  He calmed down a little after that.  After getting a "stern" talking to I was asked to pack up and leave. So I acted like I was but when they left I went back to sleep. I know that was not the smartest idea but I was too sleepy to deal with anything else that night.

The next morning I woke up and met with a lady who had heard about my story. We chatted and she was really cool. I also posted the story about last nights event on facebook.  It was crazy!!! I got a huge response of support regarding the incident. People were calling the police department, they posted on their Facebook page and sent emails . One lady went so far as to talk to the police chief ( boss guy). They had a few conversations and he told her that it wasn't anyone from his department and that I was just outside of the Twin Falls district. I was just on the line and that it was probably the Jerome police department.  So she followed up and they said it wasn't them either. Here's what I was really unhappy about. After the TFPD denied they had anything to do with it, they posted on MY Facbook that "we had talked" and that they were not involved. Then gave my supporters a rep-remand about getting there fact straight before they act. The truth is that I NEVER TALKED TO THEM not once. They never called me or messaged me or anything. At that point I choose to just let it go. I didn't want to get in a fight with the Law ya know. 

Since this story I have had a lot of encounters with the police. There are a few fun and funny stories but there has also been a few difficult ones that haven't always ended well.  I swear sometimes it feeling like  I'm a criminal and like I'm getting out of trouble by the skin of my teeth.  At this point I have come to the reality that there is a possibility that I could be arrested at some point. I think… maybe for trespassing or something. I can never read cops. Maybe they are just saying stuff to try and scare me. Either way If I do get arrested for some reason I'm sure it will be a great story to blog about. But it will not stop me. I will finish this one way or another.. I will always return to the road. Square or Death.... 

Oh one other thing. I really miss the city life...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Twin Falls Idaho...

I've been out of cell service range and I hate that. I feel the most alone when I can't  call anyone. To have, at the very least, the comfort of someones voice at the other end if I need it. I'm about 10 miles in to the Cannon east of Spanish Fork and I'm headed to Price Utah. From what I hear it's about 60 miles away. I hope to make it there in about 4 days. So much  happens everyday, a book could be written about my time thus far in Utah alone. We will get to it...

Ok so back to Jerome Idaho. Early in the morning I was dropped off at subway restaurant where I was picked up the night before. From there it was a short walk to Twin Falls. When I pulled off the freeway I headed to the Flying J gas station where I was greeted by a really cool guy. He used to work in Hollywood on all kinds of TV shows. Hollywood squares, jeopardy and a number of others. We talked for about 20 minutes outside the gas station and then moved it inside to the truckers lounge where we talked about an hour or more. I told him all about Uzima and Needle2Square. He loved it! So let me tell you a little about this guy. He's a savy business type from the Chicago area. He has a son in high school and was recently separated from his wife. How do I know all this? I asked him! I got the sense that he was at a crossroads in his life/ trying to find himself; where he fit in. He mentioned that he used to be sooo close to his son but now he was getting at that age of starting to not need him and I think that shock him up. I could see that his world was his son. His son didn't need him his wife didn't need him and that messed with him.

 I wanted to head in to Twin Falls before sun down so we parted ways and I started the 4 mile walk into town. Just before I make it to town I see someone walking my way. It was the same guy! He said he wanted to get involved some how so he started telling me all these ideas he had on how to promote better and what not. We walked through the town and ended up at Shari's diner. We talked more about his ideas. So here's where it gets uncomfortable for me. He starts saying I should get my food for free and says that he's going to go talk to the manager. 

Ok … I am not this guy!  I don't feel like this project makes me special and I do not want to use it to get special treatment. I'm not trying to get free stuff or anything like that. I don't have nor am I trying to get sponsors. If a company did want to sponsor me I wouldn't say no but I'm not going to try and sell this project. The best part of this has been not having to do that. I can not tell you how many times I been eating somewhere, sharing my story with someone while other people at a different table are listening in. Once I'm finish and get up to pay for my food, the people at the table I didn't even talk to already picked up my tab. It honestly happens more often than not. Its been one of the many ways how the Lord has provided.  My pastor used to say "where God guides He provides" or "if it's His will, He will fit the bill". That has been so true for my journey thus far. So many times weather its new shoes or a hotel or even new headphones. God provides ALL the time! People ask my often if I need anything and to be honest it's hard to say anything. I tell them " I'm good just give to the kids". That doesn't always work cause they want to give to me in some way.  

 I stayed with a family in Boise and my shoes have reached their end.  I needed to get new shoes at some point soon and Amy's mom comes out as we are leaving to town. She hands me $100 and says I want you to get new shoes but you have to get them TODAY.  WOW, what a blessing!!! I say all that to say this, my job is just to walk and share the stories. GOD has the rest under control. The interviews, the money, my needs... He has it. 

Anyway. The guy was persistent to say the least. We didn't get the food for free but we did get a discount and he ended up paying for my meal. We walked back through the city to his car and exchanged numbers, said our goodbyes and only talked a few times after that. 

I headed back to the freeway entrance thinking I was going to keep walking but later decided to not walk anymore. I waited till it was dark then I set up camp in the back  of a field the truck drivers seem to park in next to a restaurant. 

To be continued...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The past month...

I know its been almost a month since I last blogged. To be honest, I have been so unhappy, sad, emotional, and depressed. I lost my  DRIVE... that fire inside that has always pushed me forward in everything... Its just not there. I've been so unmotivated to write and even walk. I didn't want to be in the spot light anymore. I didn't want the attention yet with leeRoy you get nothing but attention and with attention comes criticism. I felt like I needed to hide out a little, just get out of the spot light. I put LeeRoy in a barn for a bit so I could walk through the city and not get attention but even that didn't work. I started making decisions for this adventure based on what people I had never even met thought. I was in this trap of people pleasing (hate that).  Always thinking" how would this decision be perceived by everyone else?" Anyone that really knows me knows I don't operate well like that. 
Things like... If I take some time off and not walk, does that make me look like I'm a slacker or like I'm not really motivated? Crazy thing is that the more time I stay in a city, the more money I raise. If I eat and hang out at a bar/pub are people going to think I'm a "bad Christian"? What will people think if I don't raise the money? What will people think if I take the winter off? What will people think if something happens to LeeRoy? A million other questions have run through my mind and numerous decisions I've had to make.
For the past month these constant fears and worries have taken the joy out of what I'm doing.  My spirit has felt weak and burdened. I've been faced with many  obstacles and set backs the last month, some of which were my own mistakes  and bad decisions and others were completely out of my control. I'll share more about these in a later post.

The good news is that I feel like I'm getting past all that.  The fire is starting to grow and I'm back on my grind.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Backing out.

After a few days hangin with Mitch and his family, I finally left Glens Ferry. I was headed out towards Twin Falls into another hot desert stretch. After walking most of the day I ran into a camp ground on the side of the freeway.  I thought it would be a good idea to stop for the day so I pulled in and was so warmly welcomed.  I paid for a camp site and settled in with LeeRoy. The camp site had wifi (haha camping/wifi?) so I watched  some NetFlix but after a few hours I started breaking down camp. I was wrestling with myself... frustrated and kind of angry.  There was so much on my mind! I needed to beat the streets and work some of that stuff out so even though I had already paid for a camp site, I headed back out on the high way.  I walked till late at night and set up camp on the side of the freeway. 

The next day I woke up early and walked  into Wendell. It was a Sunday and I so wanted to go to church! I prayed as I walked into town for a place to go and not even a half mile later I found a place.  As I walked up to the church I saw all these SUVs with shiny rims and perfect families all dressed up. They jumped out of their cars and head to the front door of the church. I looked up at the sign and saw that service started in 10 mins. I look back down and saw a few families staring at me from the front door of the church. I have no idea what they were really thinking and by now I should be used to people staring .

But I didn't go... I backed out. I was so embarrassed /shy and even now I get so bummed I backed out.  It's no ones fault but my own.  I should have gone! 

Now I don't know how you feel about spiritual warfare but this is it. The devil wants to separate us for the church, our church family and friends. In my case he wanted me to believe that I had no right to be there. He wanted me to believe that  those people were judging me. He was whispering a single thought to me "I don't belong here". I believed it. I bought in to the lie. I honestly walked away feeling ashamed of myself and LeeRoy. Once I was able to see the lie for what it was a few hours later the devil attacked yet again. He changed his tactic. It wasn't I don't belong and shame. Now it was "your a coward." Here's the kicker I have been a Christian long enough to know that this is the same lie that the enemy uses on me soooo many times. But the thing is that it all comes on so sudenly and it feels logical.  I know however this is not how the Lord is. Well not in the relationship I have with Him. He is always so merciful and gracious with me even when I don't deserve it. He doesn't  see me as a coward and He was not trying to shame me. 

Later that day I walked in to Jerome and received a text from a woman who heard about my journey from her sister. She invited me to stay with her and her family and I gladly excepted. I love those little surprise texts at the end of the day! Her husband picked me up at subway and we headed back to their house out in some farm land. We chatted and I enjoyed my time with them. The next day they took me back to subway and I did the last little few miles to Twin Falls. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The great 8

So here I am approaching Mountain Home after some tough days of Leeroy and I kicking butt and taking names. After covering so many miles I decided that when I hit the town I would take a half day so Leeroy and I could rest and then power out some more miles.
Now backtrack to Caldwell ID when it was St, Leeroy and I walking, rapping and spreading the word on N2S/Uzima when we we're a approached my a real friendly guy who after chatting about what we were doing was so pumped he gave us a huge bag of beef jerky for our journey.Can you say heck ya!
Like most good things that eventually came to and end and as I was on I-84 just outside of Mountain Home finishing this bag of jerky thinking of how I had survived on it and just wishing I could let that nice guy know how it truly had blessed me. As that day was coming to an end I saw a car pull up and to my surprise it was that very guy, he was heading camping and had seen me on the road and so I was able after all able to tell this kind man how his gift had truly blessed me.....
Later on that night I got a text from a family who had seen me walking and read about me online finding my number on my Facebook and inviting me to come stay with them. What an amazing family, so very kind and caring. After some much needed rest, the next morning I hit the most friendly coffee shop in town with some incredibly kind individuals and then to the bank. Later that afternoon I ran into the family who I had stayed the night before with and they invited me to dinner and to stay another night. That night at dinner we shared stories and many laughs......good times#blessed

The next day I hit the road again by 6am with Leeroy and I both feeling renewed and ready to continue powering it out. With Glens Ferry as my destination I used this time as I walked to listen to messages and continue working on memorizing Romans 8

This is all I have gotten thus far

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 ESV)
Thats some heavy stuff, out of this world huh?
Within a couple days I had walked into Glenn's Ferry, surprisingly not the smallest town I had hit thus far but for sure a small town. in this town is where I met one of the most amazing guys I have met thus far. His name is Mitch and let me tell you a little bit about him. On first glance he is a big, tough, weathered man who you would not want to make mad. Hands as big as a bear's paw and voice so deep and raspy it will make you think twice. Anyways underneath this tough demeanor he is one of the kindest, most genorous men with a true heart of gold. This man has gone through it all , he has been in jail in three different countries, battled with addiction and he like most of us carries the scars to prove the life he had weathered. Mitch is a guy I connected with on every level with us becoming fast friends and nearly inseperatable, with me even going to his work and working with him.....love this guy and his whole entire family!
I met Mitch at the first place I came to in town I hadn't even put down my bag before he scooped me up and whisked me into the town, introducing me to everyone in Glenns Ferry. Favorite part, here goes, it about 11pm at night, we are at a bar and grill with his wife. We are telling my story to everyone in the building. Mitch gets up puts some quarters in the juke box and a Garth Brooke song comes on, this whole entire building erupts with everyone cheering and singing along word for word. I am looking around feeling like I am in a movie so surreal. We stayed,talked and played pool till about 3 in the morning and then we headed home. Next day we got up early, Mitch builds bridges on the highway. So we had to go to put water on the bridge to help the curing process...now I am no expert but this helps keep the concrete from cooling down and hardening to fast at least I think. This is when I truly got to know Mitch, we talked about everything, life, all of it. I told him about my testimony, we talked about dady issues. Amazing moment, while standing on the bridge with cars flying by us we start sharing our history. I was able to remember that verse in Romans that's says we are set free from our past and that there is no condemnation and that the is no shame......I told him the impact that had on me and how I finally was able to let the past be the past and how I realized we mess up, fess up and clean it up. God is not keeping score and how powerful this has been  for me because my past has left me feeling completely defeated and useless with the shame of it all attempting to drive me and control my thoughts and life. But O the blood of Jesus and the grace he has shown a sinner  like me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


.. I feel like the last few blogs have been all about the worst of who I've been. It's far from over, and I know that there are a lot of things I still have to deal with. But the worst of it has been dealt with, or at I hope 

My mom gave LeeRoy and I a ride back to Boise where we spent some time camping at the fairgrounds.  I had the chance to speak at  Calvary Chapel Boise, and had an an interview with the news. They did such a great job with the coverage of my story.  It was cool cause It wasn't the normal shots of LeeRoy and I, Ya know walking and standing on a corner with all our geared on. But Instead they met me at a diner, I had a coffee cup in my hand and we just chatted. Some kids were there and they were also in some shots petting LeeRoy.

  Mymom headed back to Spokane and was getting ready to leave for Kenya on a missions trip where she was going to have the opportunity to spend some time with the kids of Uzima and then head back in to the back country for some other stuff. After she left I spent some time with friends and then started walking through Boise once again. A few really cool things happened as I walked through the city. The news had aired my story a few time(I think on the 4-5 and the 9-10 news shows) So the word was getting out and in a big way. I was at a cross walk waiting for the light to change. It does and I started to step off the curb when all of a sudden a fire truck pulls up and blocks all the traffic,  they  had their lights on and a few of the guys jumped out. They hand me some money for a donation and gave me a ton of encouragement. At first I was worried and slightly freaked out that I was in there way. they pulled away  and the light changed but no cars were moving, everyone was staring at me. I laughed and pointed at the light and traffic started moving again.  It was so wild. I finally made  it to my friend Noah's house later that night. LeeRoy and I slept on the porch and headed out fairly early the next morning. I walked through town and was stopped everywhere I went. It was more than usual but I think it was because of the news coverage. I had lunch at pizza shop and sat out side where LeeRoy was tied up just on the other side of the fence. After a bit a police officer shows up. he rolled down his window and yells, "hey has anyone talked to you about you're goat?" I said, no. He began to tell me that he had received a call about animal abuse, and that the goat had no water. We both looked at the water bowl setting in front of leeroy about a foot from his face. We look back at each other and both started laughing. I got up and walked over to him, I handed him a card and showed him what I was doing and he ended up donating to the cause, it was so great. Another cool thing..earlier  on in this trip I met some guys that were biking from Boise to the coast.  Well I ran into them in Boise where i got to catch up with them and hear all about there trip. The crazy thing is  that this  happens more often than you would think. I had met someone in Yelm Wa. and ran into them in John day oregon. 

When I finally got to the edge of Boise things seemed to get difficult. I couldn't find a back road that cut through to twin falls. I ended up getting lost. I missed a few turns and all the roads I tried seemed to be dead ends. I ended up walking 12 miles out of the way, and man did it suck.  I finally headed back to where I last had forward progress and started there the next morning. I made the decision to walk on the freeway. I was seriously freaked out about at first, but it turned out to be one of the safest and best roads I had taken so far. The only problem I had were the bridges.  

A few high lights on the freeway were the truck stops.. I try and find a place to camp close by and enjoy the truck stop life.  So far my favoriet has been the Boise stage stop.  I don't know how to describe it but,  perfection. Little restaurants and old farm equipment outside for decorations.  I set up camp way back in the parking lot next to an old tractor. The sun was just starting to go down and it was still warm out.  I climbed up on that old tractor and made a few phone calls.  After that I  put on some music and just sat and watched as the sun set. It was a perfect "moment". Honestly I felt like I was at home again, LeeRoy and I on the road has come to be something that I love, and that is so crazy to me. I finally felt peace after a long few weeks of chaos. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ted part 2...

I'm standing in the elevator of the SBC building in downtown Spokane, I push the 4th floor button. Man I wished they had some music playing in the elevator. I had only been in this elevator one other time but can't remember why. I know it had something to do with Ted. Maybe to see his new office or to meet up for dinner or a hockey game. I dont know. My mind was clouded with thoughts of what I was supposed to say to Ted. The doors open to the fourth floor and I weave my way back through the hallways to his office. You have to ring a door bell and be let in. I could see into the office through the window next to the door. I saw him walking up to answer.

 I'm not even sure what I felt but to be honest as soon as the door opened I was numb. He was shorter or was I  taller. I don't know but it was clear that there was something physically different about him. I shock his hand as he tried to hug me. He acted like he didn't know who I was at first... like he didn't recognize me. Ya right! He took me on a tour of his office and we ended up in a conference room. He went and got a map and we started talking about my trip. He wanted to know what I was going to do for the winter. He started looking at freeways and highways, calculating miles (he is like a human calculator) telling me temperatures and whether conditions (he loves watching the weather channel). However I had no interest in his opinion on any of that. I wasn't there for advice, I was there to apologize. I have hated him for a long time and I had done things to hurt him...writing this I think I may be a revengeful person. I'm not sure, I'm going to have to think about that one. 

A few years back my mom and step dad split up; divorced/separated. Well...more like separated than anything else. It wasn't a clean brake though cause my mom had moved back in with him but it's not cause she loves him and wants to work it out. Anyway, my mom had asked me to help her move her things either back in or out of the house (I'm not sure which it was). While I was back at the house I saw a legal note pad sitting on the counter with 3 or 4 pages of his "thoughts"... like a journal. It was a set up! He wanted my mom to find it and to feel bad for him. He plays the victim card hard core. He can be a mean and angry person and then blame it on how his brother was a bully and his dad didn't love him. 

So I read what he wrote and then added my own personal notes... hurtful things. I knew it was wrong and childish at the time and I knew what buttons to push, so I did. Years before my parents split I had stopped talking to Ted and just saw him on holidays, If even that. I never ever told him how I felt and I had never planned on it. But reading those words I was just so ...there is not even a word for how I was feeling. Before i knew it I was writing hurtful stuff. Well as you can imagine, they cut him pretty deep. Side note, for about a year he thought my mom had wrote those comments. I can't for the life of me understand why! My hand writing was/is barely legible and I mis-spelled half the words. My mom's hand writing is AWSOME and she has her Masters Degree and I'm sure she would have sounded a lot more eloquent then I did. 

So we're sitting in the conference room and I finally tell him I'm not there for advice on my trip. I start to tell him I'm sorry for writing those hurtful things and for hating him. He replied with "ya, you hurt me a lot". I said "I know, that's exactly what I was trying to do" and he said "ya you really kicked a guy when he was down". I said "I know and I'm sorry". He started to try and say sorry for something and take responsibility. It was just like when we would all go to family counseling. He really wasn't sorry, it was just a learned response from all the years of counseling. It was something like "I'm sorry for not being a father but trying to be more of a friend". In my mind I was thinking, man this guy has just always been soooooo clueless. Then he started getting into stories about how he was raised and how his dad treated him and how his dad's dad treated his father the same way. 

Ok here's the thing. I consider myself very intuitive and able to see throught things straight up. So let me help you see what I was seeing. He was taking long pauses, trying to figure out how he could apply those stories to us. Seemed like he was making the whole thing up. His eyes darted around searching for a way to make his story fit our situation. He went on for about 10-15 minutes and at some point I just checked out. I honestly dismissed everything he said. But then it got really bad. After every apology I have ever heard him give, he always found a way to put it all back on the other person. He went into this whole thing about how I never let him be my father because I idolized my real father. Ok! Then I was all ears, getting very frustrated and angry. 

I'm going to take a brief moment to talk about my true dad/father. He is my idol in a lot of ways. He loved me. We just bonded and he always called me son. He took ownership of me, and I belonged to him. Before this very moment writing this post, I've never really thought about that. Side note/ little fact, I started this journey on May 2nd of this year. The 20 year anniversary of my fathers' death.  

To me he was so amazing! To everyone else, he was a bad guy. He was in and out of jail all the time and no one that I knew that new him ever talked well about him (including Ted). So you know how you can say what you want about your family but if someone else says anything you want to fight them? Well, Ted started talking about how my father would have let me down and he was not a great guy and just put him on blast. In my head I'm screaming the F word and I'm thinking "you really want to talk bad about my DEAD father!?!?!" The craziest thing is that my mom had given me the same exact speech earlier that week. They must have talked about it together in family counseling. Once It was my turn to talk I looked him square in the eyes and said "No! that's not it! I did try but in the end I was never safe with you and I never trusted you. You were an angry and mean person." He paused and said "you know, your mom says the same thing but I don't feel like I am". After that point, the conversation was over for me. I realized that there would never be any kind of understanding between us. 

I needed to get out of there so I said to him "look I didn't come here for this, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for trying to hurt you and for hating you. I don't want to waste anymore of my time/life hating you." In my head I was thinking, you are making that really hard to do. We said our good byes and he tried to hug me again. I didn't want him touching me. Just as we were leaving he said "I love you" and all I could think was "you don't love me, we never had a relationship, and you have no right to say that to me." 

I know 100% that I was supposed to have that conversation with Ted. I believe the Lord put it on my heart. Yet ever since, I've been struggling to see the point. Was that helpful to him? I sure don't believe I got anything out of it. I pray that God gives me clarity about this. I just want to be obedient. It's clear that I still have a lot of things I need to work through. In my mind this conversation was meant to bring closure and help us part ways peacefully. It didn't turn out that way I'd hoped and that bums me out. Honestly... it makes me wonder if there is something more I should do. 

Hebrews 12:14-15 says :

14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

This is the verse that lead me to all these conversations (Sarah, Kim, Ted) but I'm not sure that any of that was achieved with Ted or Kim. I want the door to be closed on this but maybe there's still some work to be done between us and that's not an exciting thought for me. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012


To say I have daddy issues is somewhat of an understatement. I know I'm not the only one out there with this issue. Some how I seem to project it on just about every older male around me including pastors that I look up to. The crazy thing is that I have some amazing men around me at times but like always I find a way to discredit them and end up really hating them in the end. I have come to some conclusions on how my step father had something to do with that.  

Ok the word "father" in step-father bothers me. Here is a little fact... I called Ted "dad". Yet in the 20 years he was a part of my life, he called me son 3 times. I know cause I remember each time. The thing is, once I was able to identify the daddy issue thing in my late 20s I realllllllly started to hate myself for calling him dad. I felt like I had betrayed my real father and its something that I have struggled with for years. NOTHING about Ted was dad like and I'm ashamed I tried to impress him. I tried to make him my father. I HATE THAT! He was just not worthy of the title or position. I'm still not sure how to deal with it.

He is a very successful business man. That doesn't come as a surprise, he has just about every book out there on leadership. People seemed to like him too. Yet no one really knows him like my mom and I do. At home he was a tyrant and childish. With all those books, he didn't even know how to lead a family. For a long time it even affected my relationship with God.  I would see him read the bible every morning but the real God he worshipped was himself and money. 

This daddy issue has also shown up in other areas of my life. Like I have a problem with authority. I really really really have a problem with any kind of authority trying to tough talk me or intimidate me. 

Story time.... so I was on a mission trip a while back. We were doing an outreach with a few other churches, some of which were from Canada. They definitely thought that Americans were too loud and crazy. But that's what our job was for this outreach. We cause a scene and share the gospel. We had this whole flash mob thing that we did in high traffic areas....it was sweet!

Well in this one particular spot we were having trouble with the police so we decided to do our thing with out the music. I had many hats on including playing music, setting up sound systems, and just helping lead in any way I can. Ok, so there was this one guy in the group.  A real "Alfa male" type yet had really dumb ideas and was just not all that great of a leader (from what I hear later he was soon fired from his church and had been fired from a few others). Ok back to the story. I see the flash mob start so I head over to get with my dance partner and I hear him yell my name. I stop real quick and look back. Within a few seconds he is standing over me loudly telling me how my team is so disrespectful and that this is his country, we are only guests and that he is in charge here.

He got in my personal bubble if you know what I mean. He pointed at the sound system and yelled "GO! Get over there! Set it up!"  I ball up my fist and take a step back but out of the side of my eye I catch a glimpse of my dance partner. She looked very concerned and I realized we were on a mission trip so I backed down. That was the only thing that stopped me from punching him right in the mouth! Honestly, it was a miracle, I was about to make a bad decision. I never get angry like that but I was sooooo pissed. I turn and start walking towards the sound system. He is right over my shoulder talking crazy in my ear and I was then way past the point of anger. I did all I could to not cuss this guy out. 

There were a few pastors around the sound system laughing and just talking. They saw me walking up and I think they could tell I was unhappy by the look on my face.  The alfa pastor say, "what do you need to do first?!" I look at him and in front of everyone stair him down and say in a loud stern voice, " I need you to get away from me as soon as possible!"

Other pastors start asking me questions and I start snapping at them too. As soon as I got it up and ready the leaders gathered together and we had a little heart to heart but I was just not ready. The alfa pastor started talking crazy and I blurted out something about how if he ever does that to me again ... And before I was able to finish my sentence another pastor whom I love said, "lets pray".  Haha perfect timing! Cause I was not going to threaten that guy, I was gong to make him a promise..

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Let's talk


When I said I don't know if I loved her what I ment was I didn't love her more then I loved my own flesh, fear and insecurity . I loved Kim as much as I knew how but when it came to really dying to myself and loving her more then I loved myself I failed so very miserably. What I now know and what I now see is heartbreaking when I look back and see how selfish and lost I truly was and how though I was a Christian at the time I could not be Christ like to my wife and choose her and serve her. I know now that  I had spent my whole life in self preservation mode just trying to survive and  still suffering in my own help from my childhood that when we were married I still was in the mindset of taking care of me and protecting me. I am heartbroken and disgusted when I look back at this period of my life and to be honest that's why I hardly ever do.

Why I blog these stories.

This whole trip thus far has been a time where the lord is shaking me and making me the man i have been always wanting to be. I am blogging all of this for a few reasons one because I am such a bad man left to myself but the lord chooses to use me. I want the world to know that the lord can use a wretch like me then you are in no way counted out. The enemy wants you to live in shame over your sin and to hide never ever letting anyone know how disgusting you really are but there is power in bringing it to light and allowing the world to see you standing unashamed due to the work of Christ. So I want to stand and put my money where my mouth is.......

With that said this is the reality of what happend when I talked with Kim. I'm sitting at Starbucks trying to get my head in the game to talk to Kim, but it's just not happening. I'm struggling to even remember all the things I wanted to say to her. She pulled up and we greeted each other with our eyes. I though I would feel something...ya know, some spark or sadness of a love lost. But I felt nothing. I don't know what to make of that. She looked just as I remembered her, nothing was really different.

Kim has always been good at putting on a smile and sailing through a moment and this was no different. We got coffee and started with small talk. I felt like I wasn't being myself and the whole time was trying to figure out if I was being guarded or shock up from Sarah. I wasn't present for the conversation and I think she could tell. I didn't care, I was going to say what I came to say. I didn't want to have to do this twice. I started telling her the end of our marriage was on me. Shared what I was thinking and feeling before we split. I wanted her to know that I let her be the fall guy and I was so sorry for that. 

Somewhere in that conversation I was able to show up and be present. But still a little guarded. I told her about how I had fallen for someone else while we were married. She admitted to some things as well. I must say she is very classy and handled the whole conversation with grace. Even when I was trying to expose the worst of the things I did she coved them. Saying things like "we all make mistakes" and "ya, don't worry about it it's all good". We talked about my conversation with Sarah earlier that day. I told here that I loved Sarah at one point (side note Sarah and Kim used to be best friends). She asked me if I was going to try and make something work out with her I told here I had no intention at all of that and that I didn't think we would ever talk again. 

 The conversation turned out to be not nearly as intense as I thought It would be. Kim recently had a child and we talked about that. She is a mother now, nothing else matters. I'm very happy for her. She seems for the most part happy and I'm so greatful for that. In the end I am not sure it was all that helpful for her like I thought that it might be. I left feeling like she didn't really care and I'm ok with that. I had tagged her in a post on Facebook with the comment "good things are happening". A while later I noticed that she had untagged herself.  Either way,  I definitely felt like all loose ends between us were tide up....well at least for me they were.