Finding Freedom

Living Forgiven and Free


January 2016

Walking for Those Who Can’t

I’ve been battling strange urges to walk outside and get the mail. I want to walk into the kitchen and steal Steve’s Peanut M&Ms. My mind tells me, “Hey, it’s ok, just get up and walk!” Of course my body tells me another story. Truth is, I can’t.

My friend Scott Gnile can. This April, he will begin hiking all 2,663 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for those of us with ALS who can’t. His purpose is three-fold:

  1. Raise awareness for ALS
  2. Raise $100 dollars a mile for ALS research and
  3. Provide pictures of the PCT for those of us who can’t hike with #ShellysPCT

Walking for those who can’t. How cool is that? 

PCT pic 17.jpg

Here’s how you can help:

  • Share this post and like the Shelly’s PCT FaceBook page
  • Make a donation to Shelly’s PCT
    (every penny goes to the ALS Therapy Development Institute)
  • Do you have a media contact who can help us spread the word?
    Please email me at
  • Stay tuned for details on how you can meet Scott on the trail this summer!

Important Links
Donate here
Follow Scott’s blog at
Follow my blog at Finding Freedom
Follow my ALS journey on Caring Bridge
Like Shelly’s PCT on Facebook 
Follow us on Twitter: @ShellysPCT
Follow us on Instagram: #ShellysPCT
What is the PCT?
What is ALS?
Learn about the Precision Medicine Program at ALS-TDI
Thank you Debbie Brown Photography for the photos!

PCT pics 13

I’m Forgiven and Free and so excited to hike the PCT!

The Four Agreements

Years ago I read the The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book by Miguel Ruiz, and forever changed how I navigate life.

The pan-theological introduction challenged my sensibilities. Ruiz describes Toltec wisdom not as a religion but rather a way of being.  It took several readings and serious introspection to begin applying the wisdom internally.

The Four Agreements

#1 Be Impeccable with your word
#2 Don’t take anything personally
#3 Don’t make assumptions
#4 Always do your best

Pure Light, Pure Love

Ruiz claims, “Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God. Everything is God…human perception is merely light perceiving light. Everything is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light – and the world of illusion, the Dream, is just like smoke which doesn’t allow us to see what we really are. The real us is pure love, pure light.”

The more I read and looked for meaning, the more I realized the wisdom contained in The Four Agreements can be found in the Bible as well. The difference is the source of love and light. Jesus is my light and salvation. and God is pure love, not me. 

Yes. Everything is existence is a manifestation of God. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 

Jesus is the light and he lives through us. I believe we reflect the light of Jesus through how we live our lives. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

It makes sense. God is pure love; Jesus is pure light. Yet, we only see a reflection and can’t fathom the depths of love nor understand why things happen the way they do.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes. James 4:14

Challenging My Agreements

As a child, I believed what my family, place of worship, community, advertisements, and society told me to believe. I made agreements as to what is right and wrong, attractive and ugly, appropriate and improper. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with this system; we need societal norms. But Ruiz suggests that we challenge our long-held beliefs on our journey to personal freedom.

What if I’ve agreed to a lie?

I’ll be blogging more about how each of the Four Agreements has helped me on my journey to forgiveness and freedom.  In the meantime, check out the Four Agreements for yourself.

I’m Forgiven and Free

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