Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past….but I’ve Been Redeemed You Set Me FREE

Today started off as a typical day. 2 Sons at work and my youngest and I were home. I made a list of things to do including some outdoor stuff that I wanted to be finished sooner rather than later because of the heat. 

I live in a townhouse and have a pretty small yard. Really too big for a push mower so I have a small electric mower. I got the mover out of shed and headed out the back gate to walk around to the front yard. 

When I opened the gate, in the grass just outside the gate was a plastic beer bottle. It was a 40 oz and was the brand my ex would drink. 

For a split second, I was frozen in my tracks at the thought that it was his. As quick as that feeling came, it went. It was just trash. It held no power. It held no feelings. It does not define me or a time in my life. It’s not mine. 

My day continued to be a typical day. 

How far I have come in my recovery in the last 110 days. It makes me smile to know that ghosts from my past, hold no power. That only with the grace of God and me working my program was I able to not be rattled by seeing that garbage in the grass. 

After I cut the grass, I did some trimming and went in the front door for water and to take a break. A bit later I had to run get my son from work. I took the mower back around to the back shed. I don’t even remember seeing the beer bottle that time. 

As soon as I got in the car to get my son, this song played.

  
BIG DADDY WEAVE LYRICS
“Redeemed”
Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone

Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free

So I’ll shake off these heavy chains

Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free

So I’ll shake off these heavy chains

Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be

Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be

Jesus, I’m not who I used to be

‘Cause I am redeemed

Thank God, redeemed

This new life and way of thinking with recovery is so amazing. I am so grateful for the Celebrate Recovery program and those to attend and support each other. I am so grateful for my sponsor who is helping to guide me while I work the steps, and I am so very grateful that I am willing to live life differently, with God first and trusting His plan. 

My journey to serenity continues….

running on empty…

I feel like I’ve been running on empty for a very long time and especially lately. for different reasons but empty all the same. 

Sparks of recharging but short lived. 

I have felt overwhelmed about all parts of my life for a long time. Trying to keep all the parts moving within reason. 

I am planning on making some time this weekend and get a plan together for a few things that need to be taken care of. 

  

Plan your work, work your plan.   

I have often thought about time and energy spent on different parts of life as tanks. My relationship with God tank, my relationships with my kids tank, my personal development tank, my friends tank, my enjoyment at work tank, my financial tank as examples. I draw tanks and label them. On a scale of 1 empty to 10 super happy where do I feel I am in these different places. 

How I choose to spend my time and energy is my decision. Sometimes some things need to take a backseat and less of my attention. 

Spending time and energy on my recovery from codependency and really healing from prior bad relationships takes time, energy and willingness. I’m so there but it’s exhausting. 

Hoping this 3 day weekend will allow me to recharge, reevaluate and recover a little bit more. 

John 16:13 
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Proverbs 21:5 
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

James 1:5 
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

My journey to serenity continues…

10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Painting…

I have been blogging for 60 something days now about the story of my codependency and recovery from a dysfunctional relationship with an alcoholic. 

In my blogging, I have been able to use my paintings and added text using an app called Font Candy. It’s been a very cool experience for me to be able to use my artwork in this way. Who knew that these two outlets would work together so well. 

It’s official, I’m out of artwork to use. So I better get busy. 

I am hoping to paint some more things soon but I figured I’d share some life lessons I am reminded of while painting.  

1. If you know you want to be or do X. Find People being or doing X and do that……I have to share this quick story. A few years ago I was at the grocery store and looked at the items on the belt of the person in front of me. ‘Huh, so that’s what skinny people eat’ I thought and chuckled to myself for thinking that and an idea was born. I asked a group of ladies to go to dinner with me. They all were inspiring to me in their own way. A week before dinner, I asked them for their to go happy inspiring song. At dinner I presented each friend with a CD of the 12 songs that lift us up. I figured that if you want to be happy, find out what happy people listen to and listen to that! So if you want to paint, find  paintings that make you happy or inspired or interested in and do that. You want to —– find people doing it and talk to them and do that. 

2. Get inspired. I am fairly new at painting so I search the Internet, Pinterest and You tube for inspiration. My final artwork often looks nothing like the original. But it’s got my spin. Be inspired, add your spin. It’s mine and I love it. 

3. If you know me, you know I love pink. My room as a kid was pink, my prom dress was pink, the tire cover on my Army Green Jeep is pink, my hair had been pink, my sons have pink dress shirts and pink ties just for me. My Keurig is pink. I guess it’s a good thing that I have sons. I can’t have too much pink in my life. So know what you love and what makes you happy and have that around you.  I have many shades of pink paint because I know I’m going to use it.

 4. Make time. People make time for what they want to do. It’s true for anything. If I want to go to the gym, I’ll make time to do it. If I don’t, I’ll make an excuse. It’s how people work. HOWEVER, If you are finding you don’t have time for something you want, I would recommend you put it on your calendar to force youself to make time or ask for help. Can you do this so I can now do that. You’ll figured out a other time to fold laundry, trust me.

5. Don’t rush. When you rush, you make mistakes. And some mistakes can be really hard to fix. Slow down, enjoy where you are. 

  

6. Don’t take short cuts. Shorts cuts sometimes seems like a good idea, but in the end cause unforeseen problems. I painted something for a coworker and I took out my hairdryer to dry the canvas, which caused the paint to crack when it fully dried by the next day. Everytime I see it, it makes me shake my head and think I should have been more patient. 

7. When you make a mistake. STOP. Take a break. In painting, you have to let it dry completely, then you can often paint over it and no one will know. But not waiting, it will be a big freaking mess and only get worse. 

8. If it’s didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Get a new canvas and start over. You can always paint the 1st one over in white, let it dry and start all over. You can always start over from this moment. We all fuck up. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s cool. Start from this second and do the next right thing. 

9. Clean up your mess and make a list of what you need so you are ready for next time. I have had to throw out bushes because I didn’t clean up or  went to start painting only to find out that I’m out of white or black (or pink…..never) paint. Finishing well and setting yourself up for next time is part of the process. 

10. Take time to feel proud of your accomplishment and share it with someone else. Remember #1, someone will see you being awesomely you, and ask you what you are doing. Embrace that! Be that. 

BONUS #11. Be authentically you. No one is more qualified to be you than you are. Don’t be afraid to be authentic. I can tell from my paintings that I’ve painted over or blog posts that I deleted when I was doing it for someone else and not being me. You’ll know. And once you are authentic, everyone else will too. 

You know her, Mar, she may struggle with codependency but she is pretty awesome, just saying. =0) 

My journey to serenity continues…

Finding Hope in Healing…

I looked up the definition of HOPE. Hope is to trust in…..wait for……look for…..or desire for …..something or someone ……..beneficial in the future.

There was a time not long ago that I had hope in  my own ability to get a situation were I wanted it. The more I tried, the further from hope I got. 

If you are new to my blog, first welcome and thank you for reading and second what you should know is I struggle with codependency. I was in a relationship with an alcoholic. 

We struggled for months and months with our addictions and our lives were completely out of control. With his encouragement, I kept waiting for him to hit his bottom and at each thing that turned out not to be his bottom, I was pulled further into a life that was not my own. 

It ended in the worst of ways. He went to jail and I went to the courthouse and got a protective order. Heartbroken and confused about how this all happened. 

  
I started attending a 12 step program about 6 months ago. I really felt hopeless when I first started. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I was so broken inside. 

With the grace of God, I kept attending meetings, tried different nights, started talking to people and found out about the program I now attend and just adore. 

I know that God goes before me and put people in my life to help me with my understanding of codependency and recovery. 

God had restored my hope and my hope rests in him. 

What does the Bible say about hope?

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you. declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. 

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

My journey to serenity continues…

Time heals all wounds…not so much

There’s that expression, time heals all wounds. My ex husband just said it to me yesterday when we were talking about his relationship with our children. 

I don’t think time is what heals wounds. In fact I think it’s the opposite. Time makes the hurt deeper. Time creates additional resentment. Time brings distance from events and causes details of memories to be blurry.

   

So what heals wounds? Talking about it in a healthy way, heals wounds. 

While I start to work on Step 4, getting ‘stuff’ up and out and letting go is what heals wounds. 

I’m just at the beginning of Step 4 and while its overwhelming in some ways, in many other ways I want all this stuff I’ve carried my entire life up and out and finally healed. 

I am shining light on these dark places. The dark secret places in my heart that has caused me to not be honest with myself. Has caused me make unhealthy decisions.

Today is 100 days since I said out loud that I am powerless over being codependent and compulsive behaviors, that my life was unmanageable. That only God can restore me to sanity. And I’m turning my life and will over to the loving care of God. 

My name is Mar. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. Time does not heal all wounds, dealing with it in a healthy way does. 

My journey to serenity continues…