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How To ReBuild, Restore, And Rejuvenate To Your Healthy THRIVING Life

This week, our ministry, Love-Wise, released my newest book, Glimpse of God’s Glory: One Woman’s Near-Death Experience.  This is an interactive memoir of my journey of a primarily strong and healthy, even thin woman, to have a “perfect storm” spiral me into pain, toxicity, then a trip to the ER and my coma in the ICU. Jesus, our Immanuel, “God with us” carried me in His great peace, power, provision and PRESENCE. In the book, I share the glimpse of God’s glory that He gave me as I spent time in heaven while in a coma, and I share the story of what I saw and experienced there, and how God saved my life and sent me back to continue a life of service to Him.  In this blog, I share a slice of my journey back to health, strength and productivity.

“…for in him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28 KJV)

The Path Back to Strength

When I came out of the hospital, our Medishare health program offered a few sessions with a physical therapist, plus we have a doctor and two coaches in our family, so I began to gather wisdom for first steps to regain my health. I also phoned several of my friends who had also suffered commas or recovery from severe auto accidents, and a friend who fell into an empty pool and broke most bones in her body!

I knew they would inspire me!

I also reached out to my friends in the field who teach fitness, are physical therapists, and run groups on health and wellness in life’s part B. By talking to professionals and patients, I cultivated a path toward strength, a little at a time.

My friend, Danna Demtre, author of Eat Live Thrive and Health Coach at Lean, Healthy, Ageless, says “Small steps taken consistently over time add up in a big way.”

My friend, Vicki Heath, President of First Place 4 Health reminds, “Something is better than nothing” so each day I try to move somehow!

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise…” (Proverbs 13:20) 

Small Steps Forward

I chose my Word of the Year: Resilience, because I knew I would need inner God-powered motivation to rebuild. My theme verse was:

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chron.16:11) 

I knew I couldn’t completely control my comeback, but I could control “seeking God’s presence continually!” So my small steps began with walking—primarily with Bill and we would pray as we walked. The first days were just a few hundred steps, but soon we found joy walking in nature, but also ventured to the mall on rainy days, and eventually we headed back to walk our dock, where our boat is moored. Then as I grew stronger, we walked the beach. I also elected to take stairs over elevators, we parked far away from the store,  and when I shopped, I also added a few laps around the outer edges of those retail big box businesses. I kept walking–even if I moved very slowly! Now 15 months out, we still walk daily, with a goal of 10,000 steps a day.

One of our marriage and family’s healthy habits has always been prayer walking. Most days we do a “Sunset Selah” walk, talk and pray as a couple.  (Selah means a “pause to to ponder) I also enjoy prayer walking with friends and family. Early on in recovery, the pace was slower, but one of the best ways I could gauge my improvement was to see my pace quicken.  Before my DKA, Bill always held my hand as we walked because I tended to walk quicker than he did, After my DKA, Bill held my hand out of fond affection– and to help pull me along! It was a happy day when I was able to keep in step with Bill. If you have never woven prayer into your walks, I highly recommend our friend Janet McHenry’s book and audio, Prayer Walk

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. ” (Gal 5;25)

Movement Begets Movement 

“A body in motion stays in motion” – Issac Newton, Laws of Motion

My body craved movement but I needed to add activities in slowly and gently. I added daily stretching almost immediately. I keep a Pilates ring next to my bed for daily morning stretch. I enjoy “Praise Moves” as it weaves stretch with Christian music and scripture. Then I joined a Pilates studio to rebuild my core, and added days at our marina gym for weightlifting, circuit training,  stationary bike and treadmill. (Increasing time, weIght and reps gradually over the months)  I even bought a hula hoop! These habits of daily walking plus one other extra kind of exercise each day,  helped strengthen me so I could jump back into our speaking ministry  by 10 weeks after being released from ICU– and I was able to play and care for our grandkids, including two new baby grandsons that were born  10 weeks after my ICU episode– and this reason alone brought great joy and stoked my motivation to keep up the rebuild.

Because I love the water, I added in swimming and water aerobics as the weather allowed. Eventually, Bill and I began to kayak again. (At first, for both of our peace of minds, he went with me in the same double kayak until we both felt confident that I had the strength to paddle myself to shore if necessary)

I also love the ministry of Body and Soul Fitness as they offer classes and workouts through an APP and workouts are to Christian music that lifted my spirit as it strengthened my body. I discovered when we moved inland for my recovery, we lived a ten-minute walk from our local senior center so over the months I added various types of dance classes to my schedule too and I have worked up to dancing three times a week.  (And to bless our marriage, once a week, at least, I try to dance a bit in Bill’s arms!)  Now, one of my great joys is tap dancing with my granddaughter!

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! (Psalm 149:3)

New Goals 

This second year, I have some new goals of adding in more HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts each week and we are looking for an electric bike so I can bike with Bill with the assistance of that motor on the uphills! I also want to add in a few 5 K walks for some of my favorite non profit organizations. In this way, I can walk with family and friends and make a positive difference in this world as we walk.  I also want to build up my stamina so we can travel overseas to a few places on our “bucket list”, like Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand– all places of our family heritage.

If you are interested in “Building Back Better”, consider joining a First Place 4 Health online wellness group. First Place 4 Health is a Bible-based health, wellness and weight loss ministry. I lead a group for women in ministry leadership (email me at for more info)  When I asked my doctors why someone who was strong, ate healthy, was active and was at my target BMI, ended up in the ICU, he explained that I experienced a “perfect storm” of escalating symptoms  beginning with my soaring A1C and broken rib and compounding negative health experiences over a very few days that plunged me to near-death–then he added, “Your strong, good health going into this trauma was like a shock absorber– it helped save your life and is why we are seeing such quick recovery even here in the ICU”

“Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.  I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. (Psalm 46:4-5)

Your Turn to Thrive 

We gathered and created many “extras,” to encourage, enrich and inspire you as you read and process a “Glimpse of God’s Glory” book.  You might find the “Healthy New Beginnings” worksheet I designed for goal setting for over -all health and wellness  a helpful tool. (It is also in the Extras for Glimpse of God’s Glory)

Over all, I am so grateful God gave and continues to give strength to match my day’s responsibilities.

“As your days. are, so shall your strength be.” (Deut 33:25)

Because of God’s power at work within me, I have seen the Lord rejuvenate my productivity too. This was a social media post at the one year anniversary of my near-death experience:

Jumping for #joy! One year ago today, I woke from a coma. God gave me the clear word that my work was not yet complete here on earth. These are the books released in the last year! And I am currently writing a devotional with my beloved Bill. Many thanks to coauthors, Jean Esther Jones, Karla Smallwood-Dornacher (Discovering Wisdom in Proverbs) and Karen Whiting (Growing a Joyful Heart devotional). A shout out to Michelle Rayburn for the honor of writing a chapter and foreward for her #boymombook (Plus The WISDOM creative quiet time journal is from our imprint LOVE-WISE )

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. (Psalm 56:13NIV)

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, the author of 61 books including her newest Glimpse of God’s Glory and co-author of the Discovering the Bible Series, including Discovering Wisdom in Proverbs: A Creative Bible Study Experience and bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, co-authored with her husband of 44 years, Bill. The Farrels make their home on a live-aboard boat docked in Southern CA. Together they Co-Direct Love-Wise , and when not traveling to speak, they enjoy time with their 3 sons, 3 daughters in law, and 7 grandchildren.

(Photo taken 6 months after ICU episode) 

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