Monday, July 25, 2011

Spiritual Awakening

Yes, I've had one. Again. They are holy gifts from God the Father and something I can hold when the storms of life hit. They breathe life and the reality of living recovery. It is never one thing, but months of pushing through, digging through my old lense view, so to speak, and adjusting my new view of life, but slowly and one day at a time. We met last night with our couples group. One couple showed up in a great place having a great week, another couple showed up in tears, battered down by life and marriage. The happy, fulfilled couple shared their week. The husband had a softness and confidence I had never seem. He seemed a different man. He had admitted being terrified to pray with his wife and the uncomfortable feelings in doing so, but pushed through that and prayed, every day for a week as a couple together. They were bonded.
The battered, struggling couple had a week of defeat. The husband, wanting appear to be strong, was defensive about his actions and in wanting to appear strong and confident by defending his actions and weaknesses, appeared very weak and full of no self esteem. Just the opposite of what he was hoping to betray. And here I am reminded of the verse.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ..."when I am weak, then He is strong." In admitting and naming our weakness, it allows God to show up and Him to do it. When I am constantly defending, justifying why or why I don't do things it blocks the Giver of Life. I am in self will, self-pity a lot and can't allow God to work. I am scared most of the time that admitting defeat and weakness is weak. Just the opposite. It is what we do with the weakness and how we either defend or surrender to it. I have found surrender to be a confident, faith act. It is the key to the path of freedom.
The marriage dance is getting easier and it goes back to just admitting and having awkward conversations. Such as one we had Saturday of me saying "this feels awkward right now and I want to bail, but I am not". Is it perfect? Hell no. Is it freeing to be confident enough to go there, to enter into the forgein land of trust and faith that I don't know what to do or how to get there, but showing up and trusting God and my husband with my heart? Hell yes. It was hard, but beautiful to be stripped of defenses and to just be present and awkward, but present and honest. It was a good weekend.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I borrowed 1,000 Gifts, the book by Ann Voskamp, from a friend. So far it is refreshing and runs right along with a tool I learned in the early days through AA, make a gratitude list when you are in self-pity or viewing life as an debbie-downer. It helped me greatly in the early days of sobriety, not instantly, but did provide a different perspective and the good things about my life. Not knowing I am reading this, my mentor from our marriage group, challenged me today to make a list of the positive about my hubby, so my mind (as we continue to work on our "new dance" in communicating and living life together) could stay focused on the positive and I could hopefully stay in a more compassionate state of mind. Brilliant timing.

Back to the book, as I was reading tonight, she says "To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it. " AND " In naming that which is right before me, that which I'd otherwise might miss, the invisible becomes visible." So, my list begins and I am not assuming this to be the answer, but obviously feel strongly I should give it a whirl. Maybe it will help drown out the lies that Satan whispers to me about my marriage. So here we go....

My Eucharisteo (Thanksgiving) for my hubby... for today.

  1. He engaged with the children in imaging in the 100 degree heat on the trampoline

  2. He checked in with me

  3. He washed my dirty dishes and filled my dishwasher twice :)

  4. He bathed and put the kids down and told me I could go to a meeting

  5. He engaged my mother at lunch

  6. He hung my mirror

  7. He grilled out dinner for us

  8. He was thoughtful in asking if I minded if he had a beer while he grilled

  9. He kept the kids, while he worked from home, as I ran to a shop with my mom

and more to come in future days......

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Holy Places

As we sat around with other couples who are working through their recovery in their marriages and fighting for strength and purity and redemption, I am reminded of these groups I have been in for nearly over two years. Celebrate Recovery, AA, and now this group. Broken people, admitting they are broken, can't do it alone and through the sharing and listening and exposing one's own sin are seeing redemption first hand....a Holy Place to be. We struggled through sharing our week, a hard week at that. A move to a new house and the stress that goes along with it, opened the wounds and felt like salt poured in. We are not THERE again, but it was a reminder of the fragility of our marriage and how easy it is to drown in one's own self-pity and stress. We left still very broken, but encouraged and a little more strength to hold on.

In putting one of my little ones to bed tonight I was sharing with her a reminder of Satan's lies. Due to the tornado trauma she experienced first hand on TV in our state, I fear she will never be the same. Fear creeps in her eyes when the thunder rolls and lightening lights up the sky. She is thrown immediately back into the day she saw magnificent tornado's rip through towns and heard the weatherman say "people are being killed right now." I wish I had that to do over again and had them in a different room. But the damage has been done, and all I can do now is acknowledge her fear and speak truth to her. The truth being... Satan is whispering to her saying the same thing he says to me "God is not good. He let people die. Be afraid when storms come. It will end the same." In sharing about my own "tornado's" of life and how, just like she, Satan tries to lure me in to fear and in turn I have to fight to hear the truth. To hear God's whisper, "that He loves me, He cares for me and He knows how extremely afraid I am. That He is good." I have to make that choice to believe Him, to turn to Him, to look heavenward, not at the clouds billowing in heading my way... and then, and only then, can I have peace like a river. Not sure if it all sunk in, but it was a sweet dear moment of sharing our hearts and our fears and that our one true Father knows, and cares and loves deeply and we don't have to stay stuck in the lure of Satan....And that was a Holy moment as well.

I am so thankful for recovery and the road I have walked. I pray my children know a Jesus who speaks to them and holds them through the storm. I pray that he takes them by the paths of righteousness and peace, and they may experience first hand His love and mercy and life in their very souls. That they know Him personally and deeply and that He isn't a rule book to keep nor an emotional high. I can not give this to them. I can not assume they will turn out great, moral, out standing citizens, but I can assure you I pray for a deep rooted faith that when nature's storms come and life storms arise and they walk their own valley's they know exactly Who and What they are turning To. Not their parents faith, their Sunday School faith, but a real God who cares in a real way for each of their needs, and out of this they desire nothing more than to follow Him and all He says. May God redeem our family in all the "tornado's" big and small in life and may we never, ever cease to keep making the choice to turn to Him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A New Chapter

I am wiped out. Completely exhausted and need 6 more of me. Our newest chapter begins in a little cottage high on a hill. A far cry from the big house we live in now. My children are thrilled. They even wanted to all share a room. It has made me very happy. Life is not how I thought it would turn out to be, but it is so much more beautiful. I have a beautiful life, weaved with sadness and much inner turmoil, but a passion that has been brought forth through the valley's. It just goes to show, bigger is not better. Quantity is not quality. I think we will all love our new home.
So, God shows up and meets me at the paint store. He shows up when I have nothing left to give, no energy, zero. And I plead for His mercy. He answers my call for help and somehow I am filled with His strength...when I try to muster it up, grit my teeth and keep pushing through, I am drained. He wants me on my knee's. He knows each thought, each need and He cares. I feel it. I know this. So, a trivial thing like moving keeps me facing upward. Though it is not as dark and sorrowful as the other places I have been when I am flat on my face, I know I still need to be flat on my face.
I used to wonder how people made it through life without a drink. That buzzing sensation that makes you feel warm and the giddiness that all is right with the world, until that good thing, that gift, that God has given you becomes your God. Your ultimate longing. Then it slowly starts to kill you and own you. Satan weaves the lie that "this will fulfill you".... "This is what your longing is for"... and just like Adam and Eve I believed it. Now on the other side and after numerous spiritual awakenings and being filled by the Giver of Life, I don't know how people make it without Him.
We are loved by a big God who cares for little people. He wants us to pursue Him. He longs for our love and He is waiting to offer peace to the chaotic, joy to the sorrowful, hope to the hurting, and He longs for us to come to Him when our burdens are all encompassing. He longs to have His glory shine in and through us. The "Church" seems to make everyone want to pretend we are "there". The truth is none of us are and we won't be this side of heaven. So we hide and put on our mask and inwardly die. When we are weak, He is strong. What a nugget of truth for me to hold onto this week. My may face be tilted towards the Father and my inward posture be on my knee's, ever reminded of the One who will fill me up over and over and over again....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It's been a while... I am good, my marriage is more than great, but I feel a longing, an emptiness still. This I have learned is my longing for heaven and to be in true communion with God. I desire God when the storm's and tempest roll. When life is calm and all is well, how quick I forget my need. The everyday chaos of life with children would make one think I would be on my face asking for His mercy and grace every morning, but I don't. Discontentment and looking at the world as "this is it!" sets in and I forget the Valley and the God who led me out of it. My best friend reminded me tonight, as I was discussing my ever so absent spiritual life, how much we are like the Israelites. God is right there watching, waiting for me to remember. Hoping I remember my darkest night, when hope, at it's best, was a tiny flicker. Remember my days of bondage to alcoholism and how I couldn't wait to feed my addiction and how I have been set free. Instead I build other alters to worship and try to find my happiness in other things. I search for the right paint colors, a new pillow, cute kids clothes, which is not bad, but when my joy and desire for these things rises above my desire for the one who made me and can breathe real life into this shell of a women...then my life is meaningless and empty.
My prayer for the coming day tomorrow is... to have God filtered into all my conversations, spend time reading his word and to pray on my hands and knee's as if I was still in my valley. To make a gratitude list and to be aware and intentional in my relationship with Him. I do not want to walk another valley anytime soon, I know there are plenty ahead, but I want to sing with joy and to worship the One true God who is worthy of my praise on good or bad days. Great is His faithfulness. He has never left me. I long for a spiritual awakening. For a filled soul with a Big, Huge God. For his glory to shine in and through me with those I come in contact with through-out the day tomorrow. For it will all burn one day and paint colors are nice, pillows can make a room pop, clothes are fun to shop for, but at the end of the day it just doesn't bring you life. May I be ever mindful of my little alters and how shabby they are in comparison with my Prince of Peace.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Some thoughts.

So, in the wee hours this morning, I couldn't sleep well and was thinking about my journey. I grew up in a culture that you did the right thing. Period. It was laced with the Gospel and I am sure most the adults informing me on how to live a pure life had good intentions, but a regular thing it always lacked was the heart behind it. That is scary to talk about it, because truth be told our hearts are black and ridden with sin, so how does that play into doing the right thing?! And if people were honest and said what they were really thinking and how they really felt, well then the living a pure life would have been confusing so it was just easier to say "walk the straight and narrow and don't ask questions." Well, being a thinker and intuitive I had questions. I had tons of them and tons of turmoil going on inside, which we all do, but that wasn't really something anyone wanted to talk about it. I think most adults in my life were battling their own demons and to keep those at bay, they chose denial and making sure their lives looked clean and polished and trying their hardest to keep it together. I think of the movie "Nemo" when Dory says "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."
Then the pendulum swing. The straight and narrow with no heart just didn't cut it for me. I don't now and never have liked cookie-cutter houses, schools, churches, you get the point. So as an adult I wanted heart and diversity. I wanted to talk about the things churning inside me. I wanted live a life of honesty and freedom laced with the Gospel. Both sides of the pendulum have good intentions, but both sides miss the point. Sex, drugs and rock n roll laced with church did not bring comfort. Talking openly and being in a church where people could be free to struggle was very freeing to me, so much that I felt entitled in my sin.
I am not sure if I can put into words the summary of what I am trying to say, but here goes. In AA, they talk about whatever, whoever it is you need to find "your God of your own understanding". For some that means meetings, for some sponsors, but here is where you see the Sovereign Hand of God and my story coming together. Without all the theology and doctrine (with little heart) that I was fed growing up that was good, I might have been really confused and my God could be a doorknob, if I hadn't been taught the truth and grounded in the Word. Without having been in the church I choose in my early adult years, which led me to really seek my heart, but with little truth of how God calls us to live Christian lives then I might just be living a life now in which I just am doing the next right thing. (again God's hand in the story)
Bottom line the Prodigal and the Legalist are both depraved. They both need something far above their sins and their deeds to save themselves. The legalist does all the right things, for mostly the wrong reasons, which is sin. The Prodigal sin's is pretty evident as he lives a life of entitlement and doing his own thing. I have found both sons in the Bible story about the prodigal are the prodigal son's. They both are sinners in need of a mighty God to reach down and save them. In AA I was really able to see the God of my understanding and take the good out of both my church experiences. A God who longs to know me intimately, who won't run when I tell Him my heart (even the dirtiest parts, he already knows anyways) and a God who demands obedience, coming out of the heart that is in true communion with him. I fear for my friends who live with God JUST as their "Jesus"... where he is just their Savior. I live with fear, almost more, for my friends who God is JUST their "Lord"...and they have such "reverence" for him they miss the point of true relationship and knowing Him intimately. I think the verse sums it up "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, and mind." When you do this obedience comes natural and is not contrived or forced.
This is the stuff that goes on in my head from day to day. The little conversations I have within. Hope it makes some sense.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Wow! It's been so long. I forgot what this blog even looked like. I am blessed and healing and free and happy and trusting and good. Really, I am. I tend to write more when I am trapped "in my head" so to say and discontent, in a rut. That is why it's been so silent. Things have been going really well and I get that it is all God's grace and also continual surrender, daily.
The fight with alcohol has died down. I feel that war, for now, is done. The urge to drink has been completely lifted and I can honestly say I can't think of the last time I thought drinking would be a good idea. Praise. The. Lord. Two years ago I was baffled by this sin, felt as though it was way above me ever recovering from, and I was trapped in delusion. Thank God he has gently, slowly guided me out from that path.
Today, my character defects are ever before me and I sort through things about myself I need to hang onto and things about myself that need to be released. I am free to see myself as a child dearly, dearly loved by my Creator. For years I could tell you that in theory and quote Bible verses about it, but when it FINALLY sank into the depths of my soul- wow- I finally get it. It has moved to my heart and I have had multiple spiritual awakenings. I think about God a lot, which is a miracle bc two years ago I thought clearly only about myself and alcohol. I live with hope of heaven, I don't deny sadness and feelings of loneliness. I acknowledge, embrace, grieve and cling to Jesus. My passion, when I was in the throes of addiction, were strong. I felt a longing for heaven and that all was not well in the world. This has not changed. I now know what to do about it though and run to a Savior that will hold me and whisper to me until I am out of the valley.
From the beginning of time God had a story. So many people want to run from theirs instead of embrace it. When you are truly free and get that you are God's child, that He writes your story and everything- good and bad- is for your good. You will be free. I am free and know that whatever storms blow my way will be for my good and I know He will be there for me. I am not alone. I can't wait to meet Him. To see His face, to see this God who whispers daily into the depths of my soul, who has performed many miracles in my life and others.
Thank you Lord Jesus for your passion for me, your forgiveness of my many sins and your every day faithfulness to me in even the little things. To YOU be all the glory, praise and honor. Today I stand before you grateful for never giving up on me, for showing me blessings in the valley, for walking with me through the valley and for giving me courage to carry on. Please come quickly and until then may I remember YOU are the way, the truth and the life. Without you I am nothing and eternity is what matters. May I dismiss the burdens and trials through-out my days in this sin ridden world. I am grateful to have a Savior who picks me up, A God who is mighty and a Lord who has total control of each detail of my life. Amen