All posts tagged: Faith

A Haiku of Faith

The path is twisted, But there’s a cross, in the light, Guiding my footsteps. And an update for the road— My summer break is coming to an end. School starts Monday, and my bag is already packed. It’s been an interesting season, and I’m glad I took the time to refresh and recharge. I started organizing posts recently, updating some of my categories, and I realized something. Stories about my faith have dwindled. I guess a blog is a bit like life; like people. We wander. I’ve been a wanderer since the day I could crawl—both figuratively, and literally. I love to travel, to explore, and to learn new things. Maybe that’s why I love being a student. Every day I learn something new, discover new things, and meet new people. So, where am I in my faith? There’s a quote I found about a year ago, by D.L. Moody, and it really struck me. “A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.” I’ve emphasized the second sentence …

Karma

Whatever goes up, will surely come down; Like a boomerang, it just all goes around. You get what you give, or reap what you sow; If hate’s what you plant, then hate’s what will grow. If you want to see change; if love’s what you thirst, Be bold with your kindness… Dare to go first. Your Daily Word Prompt: Karma I’ve been stumped the past few days. Writer’s block, creativity block… whatever you want to call it. Slightly annoying—that’s what I call it. When I saw the word Karma my mind went where any annoyed person’s head would go. To the dark side. You know… rubbing my hands together, evil grin, thinking the worst. Revenge (even though I’m my own worst enemy, so that’s probably a bad move). But Karma isn’t revenge. It’s quite the opposite actually. If you sit around hoping (bad) Karma will make its way to someone else, you’ve missed the point completely. That’s like trying to get the speck out of your friend’s eye when you’ve still got a log in …

Living the Dream

Chaotic workday— a scuffle with friends, Five o’clock traffic— the stress never ends, Pressure to do well— fearing failure, too, Stuck in a pattern— afraid of what’s new, Plan for retirement— look forward to rest, Where children once played— is now empty nest, Dating disasters— a marriage from hell, Lack of investments— there’s nothing to sell, No regrets linger— My head’s not for rent, All of these moments— are evanescent, March forward, full steam— toward what is unseen, Faith is eternal— I’m living the dream.

Unshakable

I used to feel invisible, and I was empty inside. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me though, as I was beautifully bedecked with many embellishments. Coolness was probably the first (and the cheapest) ornament that I picked up, and it stuck to me no matter what I did. Of all of the decorations that I collected through the years, coolness was also probably the most vocal. “Be cool,” it would whisper, “just act like you don’t care.” Shortly thereafter, I found the spirit (the liquid kind), and I discovered that consuming that spirit brought about all kinds of shiny garlands. My penetrating fears were veiled by courage, and in time I acquired pride as well. Courage came and went freely, but a healthy dose of the spirit usually prompted it to run back home, and sit boldly on its wobbly throne. Pride, on the other hand, attached itself firmly. If the spirit was low, or courage seemed to be lost, pride would encourage arrogance, or feed on other things to help it grow. …

Come Together

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. —Henry Ford This is a bit of a mishmosh of thoughts, but it all ties together. First of all the image is just something I was toying around with. I combined three different photos I took of kids playing at the beach. Then I did some tinkering in Photoshop and Illustrator to create the look of a drawing. I added outlines to give it a poster kind of look and to (hopefully) tie in with the “come together” theme. I had my first writing class last night and I have to say that it already has me thinking about how writing may (or may not) fit into my future. I’ll repeat what I shared in the class, as we each had to talk briefly about why we took the class. Since starting this blog, a recurring thought I’ve had is “Can I really WRITE? OR do I just know how to write about myself?” I WILL say that the reason I started …

Little Stargazer

A simple, childlike faith in a Divine Friend solves all the problems that come to us by land or sea. -Helen Keller We had some awesome cloud formations yesterday so I finally dusted off my camera and got a few new shots of the sky. 

A Bright Burst

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado My journey sure is getting interesting! Every day I learn a little something about myself, about my habits, and about the power of thoughts. 

Finding Rest

I found the words this morning! So, I am going to go with it, with very little editing… so I hope this all makes sense. I guess the coolest thing I’ve found about studying the word trust is that it keeps leading me to new words. This morning the word was REST. First of all… here is what I’ve learned about what it means to trust God… He is a place of refuge, and (in) Him we are surrounded by His protection and embraced by His compassion. Trusting Him means: to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to hold onto Him, to flee to Him for protection, to stay, to hope, to expect, to be patient, and to linger in expectation… and wait. It also has a lot to do with being on the inside. Examples are: to be firm (in), to confide (in), to have confidence (in), to be secure (in), to seek refuge (in), to feel safe (in), to have assurance (in), to abide (in) and to find rest (in). This morning finding rest in …

Shades of Spring

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi I’m not a huge fan of pastels, but I thought this was a good fit for the season. And I’m pretty sure that this is a dove. Pigeons and doves confuse me sometimes. I don’t know if I shared that quote before, but it’s been my mantra for the past week and will continue to be for awhile. I realized recently that I was getting WAY ahead of myself for a little while. Or way ahead of God I should say. Sometimes I get some grandiose ideas and then I realize that there are still very small things that I’ve yet to tackle! That’s a bit humbling. And alcoholic thinking. Anyway, I guess a good thing to remember when walking with God is to walk WITH Him, not a mile or so ahead! What’s funny is I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wanted to do a post called No Shortcuts! Then today, I’m reading …

Scrolling Up

I’ve had an unusually hard time finding interesting things to photograph, so I’m sticking with my plan to try new and different ways to edit and display them. In case it’s not clear, this is a tree framed on a scroll.  (it’s hard to know how it’ll look on various devices!) I’m also going to spend more time on ONE image.  I’m always pointing out what I could have done differently… so from now on I’m doing things slower, and hope to make those changes first– then post. I’m aiming for improvement now, rather than speed. (which is a real feat for this speed demon!) In other news… and speaking of being slow… I’ve been in no rush to update my other blog because I’m really thinking things through. Being young in both recovery and my walk with God, I’m finding more and more that I still have ample work to do. Nourishing my soul and allowing my roots to grow deeper, for starters. My relationship with God MUST come first, before anything. So I’m spending more time with …

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity! Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3. I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put …

Walking My Walk

So… I guess this would be the portion of my blog where I share about my walk, and where I’m at; the My Journey section. Maybe I over-complicated the whole thing by trying to explain it. I do that sometimes. In time it will all make sense. The main thing I want to do is properly categorize. I hope to organize this “hodgepodge of a blog” and it ain’t easy. Eventually I will nail it. I emailed my sponsor about my decision to dive back into A.A. and to start making myself more available to be of service (which I guess you could call re-committing). I just love her! Her reply was right on point… “We can preach a better sermon with our lives than our mouths.” One thing I failed to mention in my last post is that ALL of the meetings I’ve been attending these past six months are not your typical A.A. meetings. That information probably helps to make sense of my thoughts. Monday night recovery is actually a class at my church, and it’s taught by our …

The Valiant Blogger Award

HALL OF VALOR Liz of Daily Warriors  created, and nominated me for the Valiant Blogger Award. Thank you so much Liz! The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way. RULES: 1. Post the award on your blog (Done). 2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor (See above). 3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it (See below). 4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life (Look to God). 5. Thank the person who nominated you, nominate a new blogger for the award, and make sure to let the blogger you chose for the award know that you nominated them (See below). The greatest challenge in …

Having Enough

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir Sometimes I think or say something, and later I realize that it wasn’t 100% correct. I try to look at it like there’s a lesson that I need to learn, or a new discovery that I can take away from it. I’ve mentioned before that it’s important for me to learn how to live sober, and that DOES (and probably always will) hold true—however—there are other things that I need to DO, and I always seem to put them at the bottom of my list! Giving. Being of service. Carrying the message. Thinking more of others. It’s not that I don’t have a huge desire to be selfless… I really DO! It’s that my mind keeps returning to my old thought pattern—which goes something like: What do you have to offer? You’re not ready. You’re not well enough. You don’t know enough yet.  I can go on and on, but you get my drift. IF I allow myself to listen to and believe those thoughts… I’ll NEVER be …

A Tale of Redemption

A few things happened today that really moved me, but I’m only going to talk about one for now. Tonight was the meeting that I co-secretary for, and it turned out to be a pretty emotional meeting. There’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, but I was never sure if the time was right, or if bringing it up was even the right thing to do. Tonight I got the answer (and permission). I’ve mentioned before that I have three grandsons. A photo of my oldest grandson (who is eight) is here in the blog, buried back in an old post. I have far fewer photos of him than I do of the other two, because I don’t see him that often. He lives with his mother and grandparents, and his father (my son) is now married and has the two younger boys. His mother is a recovering heroin/meth addict. I was in my four years sober without a program phase when I met her over eight years ago, and she had just gotten clean at the time. I …

Eyes Wide Open

For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience, they are none the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their being, their spirit. -A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Unteach Me

I titled my story Unteach Me because I’ve learned throughout the last two years, after finding God, that I’d always been looking at life wrong. Not only did I have a lot to learn, but I had a lot to unlearn. The following was written before I started my blog, so I shared a piece a day after I decided to share my story. Just in case anyone would ever like to read the story in it’s entirety, I thought I would add this table of contents to make it easier to navigate. IN THE BEGINNING: Looking back, I can clearly see that this would have been the perfect time for me to find God. Instead, I found alcohol.— REWRITING YOUR STORY: The very first drink I took fixed everything. I was no longer tongue-tied. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was courageous!— THE AUTHOR OF MY LIFE: I was always STRIVING. I strove to be ultra-independent, to make money, and to be totally self-reliant. Then I strove to be stress-free so that I could somehow be …

Roots

Root is an extremely important word for me today. Throughout the past two years I have been reflecting on my life and writing about it, in an attempt to get to the ROOT of my problems. Noun: The basic cause, source, or origin of something Verb: Establish deeply and firmly (be rooted) As of January 7, 2015, the day that I first attained sobriety (though relapses occurred), and the day that my wholehearted search for God began bearing fruit, I’ve spent a lot of time becoming deeply rooted in Him and His Word. And as of March 7, 2016; the day that is now my sobriety date, I’ve worked at being well rooted in my recovery program. Gil always reminds me that we have seasons in our lives. I do see that, and I believe that after many, MANY months of reading not only God’s Word, but some great books by C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, Philip Yancey, and even A.W. Tozer; my roots—although baby roots—have taken hold. I also believe that in starting this blog, a new season came upon …

Confessions: Part Two

If I had to sum up how or why I took the wrong road, I’d say it was because I had no faith or belief in God. To make matters worse, I had no direction, no plans, and no goals. I was a walking, breathing, empty vessel… easily tossed around and swayed by whatever (or whomever) was in my vicinity. I just existed. That’s how the chameleon came to be. It was never intentional. I was a shy and quiet girl, from a perfectly normal family, who JUST wanted to fit in and be liked. I started becoming someone that I was NOT in junior high, when I entered the world of cliques. I never fit perfectly into any one of the groups. To survive that excruciating experience, all I could do was pretend that I wasn’t petrified. I started acting cool. Coolness came with a price. It meant parties with drinking and recreational drugs. It also meant failing my classes, in spite of the fact that I was perfectly capable of passing with excellent grades. I …

Conversation with God

Father, you feel so far away,I’m not sure that my words are right.All I ask is to feel you near…Did you hear my prayer last night? Open your eyes my little one,Remember the veil was torn apart.Be still, and know that I am God…for I am speaking to your heart. I’ve summoned the wind to join us,My spirit stirs amidst the breeze.Look! The branches, they dance about…Rustling leaves whisper melodies. Forever and ever I am with you child,I’m everywhere, and in everything.Your words need not be perfect…I know your heart, I hear it sing! Oh thank you Heavenly Father,for this song that you’ve given me.I’ll be back again tomorrow…to dance beneath our sacred tree.

Picking Up Speed

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. My sponsor said that to me after I told her about all of the coincidences that started happening in my life once I came to believe. I think that prior to that time, my eyes were just closed. I say that because—looking back—I’m finally able to recognize God’s little nudges and prior attempts to get my attention when I was in desperate need of help but didn’t know (or believe) that it was HIM that I should turn to. One thing I’ve never mentioned is that some years ago, I lost my jeep. It quit running and I was in no condition, mentally OR financially, to have it repaired. I had NO business driving back then anyway, if you know what I mean, so I have to wonder if that was actually one of those anonymous blessings. Anyway, I received a text from my best friend. We grew up together and she’s like a sister to me. She and her husband were talking about me over dinner when her husband made …

I Said YES

PAY ATTENTION! I hear those two words a lot. I have a very short attention span. I get lost in thought, so being “present” can be a challenge for me. There’s a little world inside my head, and I need to limit the amount of time I spend there. It’s my private little dwelling space, and that’s what I do there… I dwell. I think about the future, and I mull over the past. There’s a fine line to tip toe around in recovery. Don’t dwell in the past, but never forget where you came from. That’s a very fine line, indeed. Writing helps me with that. Write it down and move on! And I daydream! I used to do way too much daydreaming. I can conjure up some pretty wild “expectations” in my daydreams. There’s a lot to be said about the disappointments that we encounter in life, due to our own expectations. The bottom line is that most people can’t live up to them. Not even ourselves. I speak from experience here, TRUST …

A Child of God

Asking God to help me see my life from His perspective is what truly helped me. I went back forty years, to when I was lost in that awkward limbo between childhood and adulthood, and serious issues consumed my thoughts. I was convinced that no one would EVER understand what was going on in my head. I was the odd man out, the outsider, and a teenage misfit. I just didn’t fit in anywhere, and it was too risky to try. I let fear win. How I saw things now was that a curious young girl stood before me—full of intriguing thoughts and questions about life—and I silenced her. I introduced her to alcohol to help ease her angst, and we hit the fast-forward button. We raced into the adult world- totally unprepared. What I came to realize was that, although my outward appearance had changed, that child had lived on. She carried-on in protest like a rebel without a cause—always reminding me that I was not like everyone else, and that I’d never measure up in …

The Comeback Kid

I’m so glad I’m writing again and looking back on my journey. It’s really helping me grow. It’s not fun to recall my crazy blunders, but if I stay focused on the lessons learned, I seem to learn even more. Plus it’s refreshing to see how far I’ve actually come. Last night I started thinking about how I always refer to January 7 of last year as the day I got sober. But, I’ve had relapses since then. I couldn’t put my finger on why that particular day was the date that I always went back to. This morning it dawned on me. It was the day I came to believe in God. I knew that it was Him working in me that night when I had my moment of clarity, and He had finally become REAL to me. THAT’S when I knew that my life was going to be different. It wasn’t some overnight transformation, but it was the beginning of change. Now my mistakes look different to me. I see that I was only …

A Sprinkle of Faith

There were a few things that were weighing heavy on my mind when I first reached out to my friend Gil. He’s the one that I wrote about in Hearing God’s Whisper. I had reached a point in my life—and in my drinking—where I knew that I was not only ready, but I NEEDED to find God. The life I had been living was without faith, without belief, and—looking in the rear view mirror—seemed pointless. I had no purpose. One of the most significant things that changed my perspective entirely. Gil inspired me to write my story. It wasn’t so much that he encouraged me to write, it was that he proposed that I “write about how people can change at any age.” I think that’s when I had my first epiphany. I was ready to accept the challenge! I was going to write the story of how my life was transformed. This actually meant something HUGE. In order to fulfill the mission, I actually had to change! I HAD A PURPOSE! I started with …

A Lighter Load

Some people won’t look up to God until He puts them on their back. That point really hit home for me. Agony, sickness and feelings of despair definitely put me on my back. I was truly humbled, and it forced me to look up to God. Whenever I quit drinking before, it was merely that. I quit picking up the glass. I would continue on—just as I had—but with a clear head. I strove harder, forging ahead faster, stronger, and more diligently than ever. I had something to prove. The failure to see results would eventually discourage me. Exhaustion would eventually set in, and I would inevitably turn to the one thing that gave me comfort. The bottle. This time I just KNEW that my life was going to change. Once I had that moment of clarity, and realized that getting sober (and staying alive) meant more to me than my business (or anything else, for that matter), my priorities shifted. My business wasn’t much, but it was MINE. I built it, and I owned …

Hearing God’s Whisper

Whenever I talk about finding God, I always wonder how people perceive that. You know… like… I wonder if they think I saw a vision (or thought that I did). How else DO you acknowledge that you’ve found something that can’t be seen or touched? Sometimes people come into your life, and whether they stay long or just pass through briefly, they leave you with something. They have an impact on you. To me, that’s God. When I was younger, the handful of times I attended church had discouraged me. I showed up. I tried to understand. Sadly, I was like a fish out of water. I felt nothing. It was like walking into a theater… in the middle of a movie. The entire time you’re watching it you’re trying to catch up, but it’s not making any sense! Everyone there knows something that you don’t. They know the WHOLE story. I spent months on end corresponding with a dear friend of mine (the one who inspired me to share my story) when I was drinking …

Sweet Surrender

I’m always doing things backwards. Act first, think later. Of course my first thought after doing something is always “Now WHY did I do THAT?” And then there’s the other side of me that refuses to take a micro-step until I know (and understand) everything there is to know about something. And I mean EVERYTHING. That might explain my lack of interest in all things spiritual for the better part of my life. If anyone asked me what I believed in, the most accurate answer I could give would be “nothing”. The only thing that I knew to exist was my own little reality, and it wasn’t pretty. Still I prayed at times, mostly when the chips were down—and I mean REALLY down. Even then, I wasn’t sure “to whom” I was actually praying. Several years ago, in the throes of a downward spiral, I fought to hold myself and my business together—by a thread. The harder I held onto that thread the more everything seemed to unravel. My mental state was deteriorating, I was …

The Author of My Life

The first thing I want to throw out here today is that I’m new to blogging. Maybe that’s already obvious, but I’m adding a disclaimer to be safe. Doing a little C.Y.A. (as we used to say at the office). I just dropped my anchor here and jumped in. I’ve got a habit of diving into the water before getting my toes wet. I’m notorious for it. What matters is that I’m doing it. Typing my heart out, and bopping away to the beat of my own drum. I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum. Maybe it stems from feeling like such an outsider in my early years. At a pretty young age I started exploring self-help books and read whatever I could about becoming the magnificent Author of my Life. I was always STRIVING. I strove to be ultra-independent, to make money, and to be totally self-reliant. Then I strove to be stress-free so that I could somehow be happy and content! The only thing that ever stood between me and the …

In the Beginning

Adolescence. Such an awkward time in life. My personal experience with it was life changing. Mainly, I remember mounting depression. I left grammar school anticipating fall, when I would be entering Junior High with my fresh suntan that I’d spent all summer working on. I was brimming with excitement and I had so much to look forward to! Much to my chagrin, life had other plans. I was confronted with unforeseen changes. I was also suddenly more aware. I began to question everything. Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Why do we have to die? Death grew to be an obsession with me. It was ugly and unspeakable. My lifeless body would someday be six feet under, disintegrating… for eternity. Life would continue on without me, and eventually one day I would be completely forgotten by all. I had such a difficult time fathoming all of this. Why are we here anyway? We’re all just headed in the same direction. To the grave! It made absolutely no sense. No sense at all. …