Category Archives: Walking Across America

Is that Me??

Slacker.  Me.  Yep.  I admit it.

Big time. Slacker.

I haven’t been posting like I should.  I hear all of you saying, “Duh!”  I haven’t posted about my walk across America.  I haven’t given any accountability updates.  Nope. Nada. Nothing.

Ahem…. I haven’t been posting much of anything as of late.  I believe I posted once last week.

Well, please allow me to explain and clear my name.  I am working part time as a cake decorator at a local sweet shop.  AND I am having the time of my life!!  I didn’t realize work could be this fun!!

I’m having so much fun at the sweet shop that my other duties ….. well let’s just say that they are on the back burner of my stove.

Oh the shame…..  My dear friend in Sunday School asked where I had been.  He missed my posts.  AND then, while volunteering at the public library yesterday, one of the librarians asked me why she hadn’t seen any updates on my walking.

Head hung down in SHAME!  My juggling act has dropped a few balls.  In fact yesterday, I passed this lady as I was going going going and she looked so familiar.  Ahem… it was me, I finally had met myself going!!

How in the world did I work full time?  And keep up with the laundry? And get the kids where they need to be?  And stay awake!  I was in bed by 8 last night.  I was pooped!!

So, since my last update, we have walked 950 miles and we are now in Pontiac, MI.  AND…. I am happy to announce I pulled out a pair of jeans from the back of the closet.  They are on and I can breathe.  Whoop Whoop.

I guess you are wondering where this month’s donation will be going……  The Ruth Peterson Community Center.  Yay!!!

Well, I guess I have caught myself up….. oh wait, there’s that gal again.  Man, she looks awesome!!!  Is that me again???

Oh geez, even I am rolling my eyes at myself.

Good night and God bless……

A Bruising

Since January, I’ve struggled.  The battle within my mind keeps me on a roller coaster.  At the beginning of this “Give yourself away” journey, I felt plagued, tired, and virtually unhappy all the way around.  I didn’t know if this whole idea of accountiblity, craving more God, and constant giving would make any difference in my overall physical and emotional health.

Usually, though, by February, I abandon my whole “New Year” change tactics.  But, this year, things are different.  I am changing in ways I never could imagine.  It is like I have stepped out of myself to watch the growth.

One obvious change is my hair.  The spikes are gone.  No, I haven’t shaved my head…. although that is a thought.  Rather though I have let it grow.  I wish I could blame my hairdresser for having surgery and making me do this change….. Even though she is still healing, it was my choice.  She probably doesn’t feel that way especially since I sent her a text saying, “I can not be held responsible for the irrational behavior I may exhibit while holding scissors.”  Let’s face it, I’m not used to having to do anything with my hair.

The whole walking across America has proven that I am a very active woman that doesn’t sit still.  I am constantly on the move.  Time is being spent helping others.  What they don’t realize is that I am getting more from them than they are from me.

I am currently involved in three, yes three, Bible classes.  I’m diving into the Word!  I enjoy learning and growing closer to God while I do.  In fact today, I got the biggest bruising in the most blessed way.  First of all, I learned the definition for “Victory.”  It isn’t just doing one thing right.  Nope.  It is to live right.  Yeah, I can celebrate a small victory but the battle (or war for my mind) isn’t over.  I have to make continual and constant victories in order to overcome.

Before I could shout, “Amen!”  I realized something else…….

If I continue to be unhealthy, I will die prematurely.  That would mean I would be responsible for cutting God’s ministry through me short……

Oh, now that messed with me….. but that is what whispered throughout me.  No one fed me that line except God, Himself.  I sat there and cried.  I don’t want to be that irresponsible.  I don’t want to cut short the blessings God has in store for me just so I can have fatty, sugar coated, unhealthy foods.  Tears fell down my cheeks and I begged for forgiveness.  My heart broke….. shattered.  I felt literally sick to my stomach.

And then, victory…… I didn’t eat.  I praised God for His word whispers.  It wasn’t until later today before I sat down to blog that I realized food didn’t even cross my mind at that moment of impact.

Growth.  Glorious Growth.


Praise the Lord!!


241 Miles

241 miles in February!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Team Dettra walked 241 miles and ended up near Massena, NY. We’ve walked a total of 475 miles and are 14% of the way across America.  It is so hard to believe!

Now, today is the last day of February and you know what that means!  I get to announce the organization we will be sending our donation.  This was a hard choice.  There were so many to chose from…… several ministries, churches, the Salvation Army, Museums…… but then I found the golden ticket!

The Animal Food Pantry of Massena, NY!  According to the Massena Chamber of Commerce, “the Animal Food Pantry is a non-profit, all volunteer group of Massena residents who are dedicated to helping senior citizens feed their beloved pets: especially in tough economic times. For many senior citizens, their pet has become their family and some seniors sacrifice their own needs to ensure that their pet does not go without. We hope that through the kindness and generosity of those who can help, we will be able to help those seniors who have done their part in this community in the past and who may need a little help now. ”

Awww, sounds so sweet.  Now if you would like to join me in sending a little something their way, here’s the address to send donations :

Animal Food Pantry

173 McKinley Ave.

Massena, NY 13662

And I have a shout out today….. A dear lady, Sara, contacted me.  She is a stay at home mom who has been inspired by the Walking Across America.  She explained to me that she never realized that she walked 5 miles a day taking care of her children and home.   Warms my heart!! Go, Sara, Go!!

May God bless your paths today…….

Give Yourself Away….Lent Style

First, allow me to update you on the Walk Across America…….

This week we walked 64.82 miles … our best week so far. We’re in
Noyan, QC, Canada about to cross Lake Champlain. We’ve walked 383.8
miles and are 11.34% of the way through our journey.  Funny….. On Wednesdays, I prepare the meal for our Wednesday Night Alive.  This past Wednesday, I cleared my pedometer as I entered the kitchen at 12:30pm.  I walked out of the kitchen at 6:45pm….. I had walked over 8 miles in the church kitchen!!!

Second, today is Shrove Tuesday….. or Fat Tuesday, if you please.  Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday;  the day in which, the Lent season begins.   The word, “Lent,” comes from the Middle English word, “lenten,” meaning spring.  Spring is the season in which all of God’s creations come back to life from the cold winter’s death.  The Lent season ends on Easter day, the very day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

Lent is a period of fasting and penitence.  It was traditionally observed by Christians as a preparation for Easter.  The length of Lent is 40 days.  The reason for 40 days is because of the 40 days in the wilderness experienced by Moses, Elijah, and Christ.  Moses purified himself before going before the Lord on Sinai by fasting for 40 days (Exodus 24:15-18).  Elijah’s fast of 40 days was like Moses….. in order to approach God on Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).  And Christ prepared himself for public ministry by fasting 40 days in the wilderness, where Satan tried temptation…. and failed miserably (Luke 4:1-2).

There are three traditional disciplines associated with Lent:

Fasting: Skipping a meal once a week or refraining form eating certain foods (The forbidden foods were meat, milk, eggs, and butter).  This gives us the opportunity to spend more time feeding on the Word of God and being spiritually nourished through prayer and meditation.

Abstinence: Removing a particular bad habit, sinful indulgence or guilty pleasure from our daily routine.  This frees us to engage in activities that are God-pleasing and reflect in a small way the self-sacrifice that Christ endured for us.

Almsgiving: Giving something extra during this time—-to our church, to the poor, and to the needy amongst us like charities or other service organizations.  This is to help us remember that Christ gave up everything to save us from sin and to free us to live a new life with Him.

On Ash Wednesday, many churches have a ceremony in which ashes are placed on our foreheads in the form of a cross.  The ashes are a symbol of purification in the Old Testament which reminds us that we are only mere mortals.  Ashes also represents penance…..and thus Ash Wednesday.  The ashes are a reminder to help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.  Some churches burn the palm leaves from the previous Easter season and use those ashes in the ceremony.

“Remember that you are dust, and dust you shall return.”  Genesis 3:19

So tomorrow, we will begin our Lent….. our remembrance…..our fasting….. our abstinence….. our almsgiving.  This year, I decided to use candles along with the daily Bible readings and devotionals to remember why Christ taught, lived, and died for me.

I found 40 tealights (Yeah, I know….. who keeps that many tealights around). I arranged them on my great grandmother’s platter.  We will light a tealight each day while we read our devotional and Bible readings.

I personally will be fasting from milk, meat, eggs, and butter this year.  I have done this in years past and really enjoy the challenge.  I will be abstaining from sugar.  This is going to be hard.  I am a sugarholic.   Plus, my goal this year is to abstain from whining about what all I have given up…… I got a bruise when I read this little tid-bit from Jesus

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18

My almsgiving will be a little different this year.  I am trying to rally the Team Dettra into doing a family project…..5 minute showers, no electricity, and well, guess I am a little nuts with my ideas!  Then, I ran across this little idea…..

40 Bags in 40 Days….

Each day, I will fill a bag or a small box to give away to Goodwill or ARC.  I will be spring cleaning and giving away at the same time.

May God bless you during this Lenten season!!

278.09 Miles and Biscuits

Well, I guess our Walk Across America should have been called Walk Across North America because Google’s walking directions have us entering Canada twice on our route to California. This week we entered Canada for the first time and after walking 57.32 miles we ended up near Newport, Québec, Canada. We’ve walked a total of 278.09 miles and are 8.22% of the way to our destination.

I look at the piles of cut hair across our living room floor.  Dog hair.  Enough off of the spaniels to make a third dog.  One cowers to the sound of clippers. The other worries himself into a seizure.  So, I clip with scissors.  A long haircut.  About an hour to sit, cut, and sooth with mother tones.  Both hate their feet touched. Pains me to know what they have endured.

No more.

Love is stronger.

I clip.  I softly say, “I love you.”  I caress the scared canines.  Shaking.  Worry in their eyes.  As much as I try to comfort, their worried eyes dart away.  Long ago fear captures their hearts.

Yet they lay.  Allow me to clip away the matted hair and shape those sweet soft ears.

Will my love for each of them ever cure their fear?

Wounded forever.

They are a lot like me….. those sweet wounded spaniels.

I am wounded.

I am afraid.

I worry.

Wonder after God whispers, “I love you,” does he ask the same thing?  Will my love for her ever cure her fear?

Fear of loss.

Fear of tragedy.

Fear of pain.

Funny.  I make dog biscuits just for them on Monday mornings.  Peanut butter and oatmeal.  Tasty.

This morning after clipping and bathing, I hand them comfort in the form of a biscuit.

This will make it all better……

Comfort in the form of a biscuit.

Why not a hug?  A sweet pet?

I comfort myself with food, too.  I shudder with truth.  I stand in the middle of my kitchen.  Trying to make the connection of when I was given the comfort of food….. I have no idea as to how food became my comfort.

Boggled.  I pet each wet dog…..

God bless……