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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Role....

First and foremost let me say I love my mother. God has redeemed our relationship and renewed it in many ways. With that being said I am now able to have hard, honest conversations with her and speak truth with love and grace. Something I had never been able to do in the past. I would try to be speak truth, but it would always come out in anger and shame which shuts people down.

She recently went on a trip to see old friends in a city we lived in when I was a child. We often went back and visited our old church and I know they heard horror stories of my disobedience and rebellion through-out the years. My mom told me that this trip she told people that my marriage had gone through a really rough time, we went to counseling and were doing much better. Thankfully she didn't give details, from what I know, but still once again I was the focus and even though it was redemptive, I do not know these people and frankly all they have ever heard are my struggles. At first I was reactive. I got upset that she even said that, but then I was to able to sort through the reason of why it bothered me so.

I was able to see that once again I was the scapegoat. Why would she tell them about my brokenness and not her own? That her and my father had been to counseling as well? That they had a hard marriage at times? It has been far easier for her and my family to speak of my brokenness through-out the years because mine has been outward. On display for all to see. I own these sins and blame no one but myself for the choices I choose to make. There were things that went on behind closed doors in my house which were by no means horrific, but there was dysfunction. There were things that made my sister, the performer, act out inwardly, but no one would ever talk about that.

I have always accepted this is the consequence of my sin, and I guess that is partly true, but I am sick of playing the part of the broken one in my family. Stepping into light, becoming a new creation and having old thought patterns about myself swept away has not been easy for my family. Speaking truth in love about their own brokenness has been hard, but good for me. No longer do I accept things that just aren't the truth. Am I, was I broken? Absolutely. Are they, were they broken? Absolutely. That is all I wanted her to be able to see and admit. Denial is not a fun place and thankfully God walked me through a sin that could not be denied any longer at the end. That is why you hear some say in AA rooms, "Thank God I am an alcoholic".

So, through this conversation my mom did cry, she did apologize and I think maybe she understood. My boundary for her was to please discuss her own brokenness, her own story of redemption and not mine to people I don't know and who don't know me. It was a good, but hard conversation for me to have and I wanted to call and take it all back the next day bc in reality I have lived as the broken one so long it feels easier sometimes to just assume that role. I know, though the words that were hard to speak, they were the truth and maybe God will use it to shed light to her in her own walk with Him. I am grateful and thankful to feel redeemed and made new through Jesus, to have old thought patterns broken and to live joyous and free.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Things aren't always what they seem (part 2)

Well, I reread the last post and felt some sorrow, some more confirmation that all is not well in this world. People are sick. People lie. People are broken. All I wrote about Lady D I would like to believe. I was willing to give her a chance, to help her, to believe in redemption, and that people are trustworthy. I have no clue if anything I wrote about her is the truth. I would like to believe parts are because that was what I was told and believed.

The following day after she had spent the night, I had shared my heart with her and had hope for her, slowly begin to come crashing down. It started out in the morning, a feeling that something wasn't right, was it my selfishness in having someone live with me? OR were we and my friends helping care for her and being used? Finally mid-afternoon I called my best friend who had been and was helping her. She smoothed my fears over some and off I went to work. Still unable to shake an uneasiness in the depths of me I called my husband and voiced what I felt and told him to pray God would show us truth or if it was selfishness I was dealing with. I hung up, my phone rang, and the roommate had called my friend. Lady D had been drinking with her, Lady D had not been kicked out of the home she was living in, Lady D was lying to us all. We confirmed all this with the lady she was living with, my friend called Lady D, confronted her, she sat in my den as I sat in the kitchen and prayed. God is alive and well.

The details that happened are to many to explain, but all speak to the fact God knew what we needed and provided, we didn't even have time to think. I told Lady D I loved her, I was sorry she was back in the middle of her disease, but the fact is she lied. She lied to people who love her, who believed her, who were trying to help in every way possible. We told her she had to leave because of this. I got a call there was a bed at the Salvation Army. I got another call someone would come get her. She was sorry and sad, we all were. Me and my husband sat on the porch with her as she waited for her ride. My husband wanted to give her another chance, I knew we couldn't. We could not dismiss lying and the consequences it has and the bottom she has got to get to.

I hope the best for Lady D. Some of my friends are taking care of her from a distance. I will contact her again, just not right now. I hope she has some peace, some spiritual awakening, but I know all I can do is pray "Thy will be done".

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things aren't always what they seem...

Once there a young girl who fell in love with a man. To escape a hard family life they decided to wed. They had 4 children, went to a promient church and I can only imagine she dressed her little ones in the finest. She was a stay at home mom, she loved her children, and all seemed well. Her prince had an affair, got his mistress pregnant and at 29 she found herself a single mom to four children under 8. She had never drank. She had never been to a bar. Her friend suggested they go out, she did and had her first black-out. She describes what many alcoholics do about the first time they drank, "I finally felt peaceful". And thus her hell begin. She put herself through college and got a degree, she got a well paying job and by the time she was 33 she had made her way to AA. She was sober 15 years.

The story doesn't end there...she relapses, a few times, not for long, but enough to screw her life up. Today Lady "D" as I will call her, is homeless. She see's none of her children. She is alone and has a liver cancer. She starts chemo on Friday. Tonight Lady "D" sleeps under our roof. Tonight she helped me cook and is old enough to be my mother. Tonight she shared stories about her golden years of being a mother and cooking every night. Despite her circumstances Lady "D" has an extremely positive and happy disposition. She is thankful for even the smallest things and offered to give me her food stamps, meekly and humbly. She once was a mama just like me, she was healthy and raised her children...and ironically we realized I was friends back in the day with her girls.

I don't know the different paths she chose and exactly how she ended up where she is. I do know her roommate who shared the bills and rent relapsed forcing Lady "D" to once again be homeless. She is beautiful, you can tell she was a knock-out in her prime. She is fun and lively even though she feels very sick. She has Jesus and hope and she glows. On one hand it terrifies me to think she went back her addiction, but it reminds me "but for the grace of God there go I". So pray for Lady "D" that her hope won't fade, that she can remain with her eyes fixed on Jesus and we will know how best to care for her. We praise God for a house big enough to share with her for a while, food we can provide for her and we pray for compassion to shower upon her.

She calls daily for a bed in a homeless shelter, but they are all full. Tonight as we sat on the porch and listened to the pitter-patter of the rain, I was grateful for everything I've been through. That I am able to share my experience, strength and hope with her. That I am broken and in need of a Savior just as badly as she. So, as the rain continues to fall, Lady "D" will hopefully sleep peacefully tonight knowing that God has met her needs for another day and despite her feeling very alone, from a worldly perspective, she is a sought after, chosen child of our God who offers hope and redemption to us all. It has been life-giving in sharing what I've been given with another, and it's only by God and through God that I am, today, not in her shoes.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I need some, but instead I write. The days are long, but the years are short, right?! I am tired and worn slap-out. I have been sick, took antibiotics to make me feel better and it felt like poison pumping through my veins. Thankfully, the Dr. took me off and I now await a hopeful chance to see another Dr. this week. Physical health affects my mental health and throw in 3 kiddo's and a couple of addicts and you get completely overwhelmed and rundown, not to mention down right crazy. Thankfully, my MORE that I want today is Jesus and I keep, moment by moment, turning to Him, although I don't feel instant sanity...I want what C.S. Lewis says about humility "a blessed self-forgetfulness".

I long for heaven, for something that nothing here on earth can satisfy. I long to meet my Savior face to face and have my sorrows hurled to the sea, forever lost and forgotten. My "Savior" used to be alcohol and truth be told it did relieve some of the mounting pressure, it made my troubles, at the time, not seem overwhelming and depending on how much I had, I could truly escape into oblivion. This is how I got to hell on earth. The thing that helped take off the burden of life became my own pit of destruction, a hell I could not escape, and the worst part about it stopped working. The MORE and MORE I consumed the pain didn't end, it increased. Thus I came to my beautiful undoing- to grasping nothing here that promises a release will in the end quench my ever thirsty, dying soul. That can only be found at the foot of the cross. I often picture myself worn down and weary, crawling, begging for relief at the cross. It comes, but it comes slowly and through perseverance and faith... I know there is another side. There is true relief that comes from a power not of my own. My sister reminds me the Psalmist says in the 23rd Psalm, "when we walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death"...not TO the valley. He only gives us what we can bear. I remind myself of this through-out the day.

With all that being said, my marriage is an 8 out of 10, which is good. I do have glimpses of hope for a life that feels futile to the core, many times through-out the day. But for now it feels awful futile... I know I am not alone. I probably feel it heavier than most, but it only makes me turn to Jesus more. People in my life whom I dearly love are feeling the weight and sorrow of sin...I should not complain. One friends husband announced, after 20+ years of marriage, two children and a string of serial affairs he wants a divorce, another with two small children and health problems watched her husband check himself into Bradford, hoping and praying this time it works, another friend's husband lost his job AGAIN (the economy) and baby #3 is on the way, our car is broken down- a new transmission is needed, I ran over a cat tonight who ran away and I could not find...and I could go on.

So now what...well, I keep persevering. I pray, I take a day at a time, a moment at a time, I pray for others, I spend time with those hurting and my mentors as well, I read my Bible, I tell God my exact needs, I hug my children and pray for Joy. I know if I have faith as small as a mustard seed that I will begin to see things through my lenses of joy. Through lenses of hope. I am just in my Valley right now, walking through, weary and weak, but not alone and there lies my hope.... A God who created the universe, hung the sun and moon and sent this planet in motion is a God who will never leave me. A God who has hope for me. A God who can handle my complaints and hardened heart. A God who cares for the cat I hit, the women who is hurting and alone, and the women who is tucking her little ones into bed by herself hanging onto the smallest glimmer of hope their daddy will come home better, for all their sakes, a God who knows the angst I feel in my soul and who whispers "it's okay". And that is the MORE I was longing for all my life, the MORE I thought alcohol could give me, my friends could give me, a husband could give, but was always let down. A God who is out of this world, who can handle me, Who doesn't give me instant satisfaction at times, but tells me and has shown me His promises are true. A God I can trust to control my life and circumstances far better than I ever could. A God who sent His one and only Son, so that we might live. I can't wait for heaven and today my prayer is Jesus, come. Come quickly.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

So tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.( Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions). So I tried to surprise her and after texting 7 babysitters, finally found one willing to come tomorrow. We never get babysitters and therefore I know she will be surprised by this. I wanted to take her to the King Speech, but wasn’t sure if she would want dinner, so I went ahead and called her to ask her on a date and see if she wanted to do dinner too. It’s Valentine’s Day, what husband wouldn’t want to take her wife on a date…..Well, it turns out she and a few other women (WIVES) had gotten together and decided that this day wasn’t that special and they were all going to get together and spend time with some less fortunate women who wouldn’t have anyone on Valentines (which is another beautiful thing about my wife) and make them feel special….so…..

What have I and other husbands done that we take our wives for granted. (I know I am not the only husband who does this because she is hanging out with other wives). Why is it that we pursue and buy flowers, and make a big deal about Valentines when we are courting our wives, but now, almost ten years later, she isn’t expecting anything...

I really want my wife to know how special she is to me; I want her to never feel like life with me is just another day. I want her to “Be My Valentine”… a little cheesy I know, but I am shocked at how bad I have neglected my wife and I truly desire and want to be with her, and to cherish her… she has never been cherished by me..She is very worthy to be cherished….I hope next Valentine’s Day we will celebrate the love and affection between two intimate companions)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Stirrings of the Soul

Happy Monday! It is early and I have been up way before the sun. My spirit is being stirred, I know it's a good thing, but it doesn't feel like one. An attempt from Satan to drive the feeling of anxiousness and being unsettled, but it is making me turn to God, spend time in His word and pray. I want some serenity, but not feeling it right now. I was in a funk yesterday. My brain was spinning and I felt irritable and discontent. I went to bed early. God is slowly and graciously showing me my selfishness and co-dependency and I don't like to look at my sin, who does... Things this week made me aware of how others affect me- good and bad- and how I constantly still seek approval from men. I don't like this.
Laying in bed in the wee hours of the morning and being made aware of these defects I had a vision of God before me with light surrounding me in a circle. That is the "hula hoop" I want to abide and remain in, but it is hard to stay there in His Presence. In the presence of the One who made, formed and guides my every step. I am reminded of the three A's when looking upon my defects Awareness, Acceptance and Action. I am in the acceptance place. I am well aware of these defects, am slowly starting to get to the place of where I accept them and am seeking God on now the Action to take. It's a hard place to be and a good place. As my husband put it, "once I think I really understand and am close to God I look up and there are so many more levels". I guess in church terms that is called Santification. God continues to work out my salvation and it is good.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hula Hoops, Rabbit Holes, and Hitting Your Bottom

These are recovery terms used often in our house. Today I had a women ask me how she would know if her husband had "hit his bottom". I was discussing it with my husband and suddenly we see our eldest child....hitting his bottom. Laughter broke out and later as I told my husband I thought he might be putting his toe in my "hula hoop" we realized we had three listening ears in the backseat. Once again the car was filled with laughter. The three little ones grasp what a "rabbit hole" is from a previous car ride home when my husband jumped out of the car frustrated and said "you are sending me to my rabbit hole". In the dark we sat and watched him fumble with the keys and run inside, in the dark backseat no one said a word and then I hear a little voice- the eldest again- say "rabbit hole?" Needless to say it totally broke the tension of the moment and I can only imagine him wondering "why in the heck is my father about to crawl into a rabbit hole?!" After some explanation and assuring them their father was not going to crawl into an actual hole they since use this term with each other and state when they think think someone is going down in their hole. May God be gracious and let them be somewhat normal and hopefully their "trauma eggs" they all will carry won't be TOO full!!


Early in recovery my husband came home and shared with me something he had learned at a recovery meeting. Since then we have discussed it many times and it impacted him and has impacted me. From an early age we are taught "these people are okay", and "these people are not okay". I remember specifically my parents saying in hushed voices "Oh their divorced" or "Oh she has many struggles" and then to the flip side of "Oh they are great, great kids, great family" and "THEY have it together". So from on early age I begin to think certain people had it all together and certain people did not. This way of thinking was ingrained in me and I for sure knew I did NOT have it all together and I was the one who was not "okay" husband on the flip side thought he was the one in the relationship who managed his life better and most everyone affirmed his belief, he was "okay", if his wife would only get "okay". SO here is what was a revelation to him that he shared with me and we both try to live in the bottom reality of we nor anyone is free of struggles and "okay".

Belief System in 4 realms....
First- I am okay/You're okay
Second- I am not okay/You're okay
Third- I am okay/ You're not okay
Fourth- We are all not okay!!!

Not only is this recovery material, but it is Gospel material. No one is "okay", if they were we wouldn't have needed Jesus. So many people in my Al Anon groups I go to speak of how they came there to figure out how to make their loved ones "okay", but after time and through the steps they learn how they are not "okay" and how delusional their belief systems have been. It is such a freeing place to come to the end of yourself and your screwed up view of others as well as yourself.

So lately I have been hanging out with people who are obviously not "okay" and with people who I always thought were "okay". God has really revealed to me the people who I would have been so blind to their struggles and crosses are not "okay" nor do they have it together. It is freeing not to live below or above someone else, but in the real reality of... you are Abba's child and so are they. Their struggles may not be yours, but it doesn't mean they are free of them.

Update: I am doing great. Really feeling and seeing the fruits of meetings for 1.5 years and my relationship with the Lord is real and authentic and I feel Him everywhere and in everything I do. I am grateful for His grace in granting me His presence.
Marriage is on the upswing. More healing, more trust as we slowly, slowly walk the road to restoration.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A small victory

Tonight the kids and I were sitting around the table discussing the usual and the homework that needed to be completed. My eldest started his whining and burst into tears not wanting to do it and listing all the reasons his life was miserable, homework being number one. At first I started in with my usual of that is life and that is what we have to do and then I stopped. I let him cry and wallow for a bit and then I felt compassion and begin to sympathize with "YES, I get it. Life is hard and I am so sorry, I wish it were different for you." I let him cry for a few more minutes and then he looked at me deep in the eyes and his tears begin to stop. My compassion was all he needed in that moment. A mama who understood and said she was sorry for him and sad for him. All the lecturing in the world and the reasons of why would have only made it worse in that situation. It was a good moment for me. A good reminder that sometimes compassion can be far better than a list of reasons or telling him to get it together, like I generally do. And the homework got done and I sat with him and cheered him on.
A lady shared last night at a meeting that she had learned in her child rearing years that being critical and teaching do not have to go hand in hand. You can teach and not be critical. That was my goal today and I failed many times before we got to the dinner table, but in that moment God gave me grace to bestow to my son and it moved me. Thank God it wasn't over a cocktail or cocktails and that I could be present in every way for him. Just another moment of grace that I am grateful to have. Tonight I was engaging, loving, not rushed, and in the moment with and for my children. Tonight I was the mama I long to be every night for them. May God give me the grace to do so more often.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Following Jesus

Well, the days are long, but good. Having three little ones will certainly drain your energy, emotionally and physically, but in a good way most days. On the marriage status we continue to sort through the mess and clear out the rubble. It is not easy and definitely calls for perseverance, prayer and Jesus. We have good days and hard days, but the days that are great are when my eyes stay focused on Jesus and not my circumstances. The steps towards real intimacy are a process we are about to delve into and much prayer will be needed as we both have wounds and hurts from the destructive marriage hamster wheel we've been running on for 9 + years. While it has slowed down, getting completely off is scary. At least it is comfortable and predictable, so to say. The other "unknown" is just plain scary, but hopeful.
The Bible verse that comes to mind is, "if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can say to this mountain be uprooted and planted in the sea and it will be.." not sure if that is the exact words but it's a children's song that plays over and over in the car and we all sing along. You get the point....
A year and a half ago I had that tiny mustard seed of faith that mountains could be moved and our lives and marriage could be changed. It was tiny and small and I could barely feel it, but I had it. I HAD to believe. For myself and especially for my children. God has proven Himself in many ways from that time and now my faith has grown to more the size of a grape. It is still there and bigger as I trust more and see His faithfulness to me in tangible ways, some days I struggle more than others to have it, but somewhere deep inside me I never have thrown it completely out. In doing this God has proven Himself faithful and in the darkest valley on my darkest day HE was there. In turn it has taught me to follow and constantly abide. Without Faith or Him on my side I am incapable of changing myself or hoping for change in my marriage. That has been part of my journey in truly following Jesus, not just saying I do or hoping to, but actually putting one front in front of the other and believing when the odds seem stacked against me. He is alive and He moves and performs miracles in ways I never thought I would experience this side of heaven, but it took tears, it took learning to become humble, it took falling down and losing everything of safety and comfort, but I can honestly say I would not change a thing. I know a Jesus I only longed to know for many years and that fact alone is amazing and prove His promises are still very, very true.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Well, God continues to mold me and teach me and what I think is right, He often shows me is wrong. Pre-recovery I had an attitude of "this is me, this is what I am doing, deal with it" and often disregarded others feelings. So, I am trying to live with a new behavior of what I say and do in regard to others feelings. BUT I lied. I lied to one of my best friends in efforts to not hurt her feelings. I thought I was doing the right thing in considering her feelings and not wanting to upset her. I told my children to not tell her children where we were going bc I didn't want anyone to have their feelings hurt that they weren't invited to a mutual friends house.
My husband, gently and graciously, after the fact pointed out how unhealthy that was and co-dependent. SO I had to face my fears and gently tell my friend what I had done. Even though my motive behind it was to not hurt her feelings and my intentions were good, my actions were blatantly wrong. She was gracious and in return forgave me.
I also had to do damage control with the children, apologize to them and ask for forgiveness. I am learning, it is slow, but what I should have done is just tell her that was where we were going in a gentle way, concerned for her feelings, but not owning her feelings or issues that she wasn't invited. (not that those are her feelings or issues, but in my head they were)
Anyways, it felt good to apologize and hopefully it didn't screw my kids thinking up too much. I have to constantly realize I am not God and I will fail them. Period. They will have their own "trauma eggs", hopefully not to traumatic, and have to sort out and deal with the things that as parents we didn't do right. And my prayer is God will mold them and make them, in and through and despite the mistakes we will make as parents.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

From the Valley of Vision. If you don't have a copy of this book get one. It is a beautiful collection of prayers!
New Year Prayer
O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise;
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.
May Thy fear by my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.