My Truth

Stability…

At work today I was listening to YouTube (as usual) and a TD Jakes clip played…

You didn’t get to pick what shaped your world. But you do get to pick what stabilizes it’

This to me is so timely and powerful. I have been looking for stability in my life for a long time. I’ve felt like I was white knuckling life got the last 20 plus years. All day. Everyday. Trying to control everything.

And what brought me the stability that I’ve been looking for? A little 12 Step Christ centered program called Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve found a new stride. My new normal. It’s a pretty happy place. Not without challenges. Not without struggles. Not without upset. That’s just called life. And because of that I’ve learned 12 stepping, living the 12 steps daily and by God’s Grace, I can cope in a new way.

Finding stability when life is always changing. Finding stability when the unexpected happens. Finding stability in an uncertain world.

No longer do I need to live in secret, silence or shame. No longer do I worry about what someone may think of my situation or of me. As a mother, sister or friend.

This stability that I thought was so far out of reach, wasn’t. And as I continue to let go of control and trust God and His plan for

my life, the more stable I have become.

And the more stable I become, the more I need to be stable.

Stay on this ride with me, the best is yet to be.

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pic used in this post.

Advertisements
My Truth

New off shoot blog…

Incase you were wondering…

I’m still working my program. And I have found my new normal for sure. Things are good. Hanging out and living in Steps 10, 11 and 12 is really nice but I am also keeping myself grounded by doing a second step study.

This is exactly were I should be. God has been preparing me all year to be exactly where I am.

Which brings up God’s timing. God’s timing is always perfect.

Never early.

Never late.

My recovery journey has grown an off shoot and I started a second blog to process and share about this part of my journey.

I will still be writing here. Recovery stuff is in my blood. It’s who I am now. It’s like I was bitten by a radioactive spider and it’s changed me from the inside out.

So if you are want, come check out my new blog and follow me there too. Smart (sugar free) Cookie

Stay on this ride with me, the best is yet to be.

My Journey Continues…

PS I am so grateful for everyone who reads, stumbles on, follows, likes and comments on my posts. Blogging helps me and I hope maybe it helps you too.

My Truth

🌻🌻🌻 Sunflowers and Me πŸŒ»πŸŒ»πŸŒ»

If you have followed me for a while you would know that things stir up in me in themes while I work on or process things.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about sunflowers 🌻. Sunflowers are my favorite flower which is funny to me because I don’t like the color yellow.

The last few days I’ve done some reading about sunflowers 🌻 and I wanted to share some amazing things that I learned and these flowers and myself.

People associate sunflowers 🌻 with positivity, joy, strength, warmth, power and happiness.

This reminded me of something I read many years ago….’a flower doesn’t think of the flower next to it. It just blooms.’

It has been said that a sunflower 🌻 is a symbol of God’s love. It’s a symbol can also represent the unwavering faith that guides the soul. It’s bright and bountiful that tracks the sun β˜€οΈ and seeks the light. This special flower 🌻blooms in the heat of the summer and endorses.

In Greek mythology Clytie turns into a sunflower 🌻 after grieving the loss of her love, Apollo. Clytie is always facing the sun β˜€οΈ, looking for Apollo’s Chariot to return.

Here are some other words that sunflowers 🌻 stir up.

🌻 Faith

🌻 Worship

🌻 Life

🌻 Growth

🌻 Serenity

🌻 Light

🌻 Focus

🌻 Grace

🌻 Joy

🌻 Optimism

🌻 Warmth

🌻 Gratitude

🌻 Hope

🌻 Driven

🌻 Loyalty

🌻 Peace

🌻 Love

🌻 Wisdom

In many ways, for a long time I have not bloomed. I was taking care of others and didn’t have the time or ran out of energy. Sometimes I’ve been comparing myself to others and while they bloomed, I didn’t feel worthy.

As I continue on this journey to serenity, I’m starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel that a lot of words are who I am and I just need to keep my head up and keep seeking God’s will for my life.

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pics used in this post

My Truth

What my phone says about me…

I listen to music a lot of the day. I love to hit random and see what happens. I’ve often thought about if someone listened to my play list, what would they think of me? Bouncing from 80’s punk to current Christian worship to show tunes to cover bands to everything between. Well everything between for me.

For whatever reason, I was looking at my pictures today. I started the day with over 4000 pictures beginning 3 years ago.

My very first pic is….

I love Friday the 13th because I was born on Friday the 13th

In May of 2016, I was just a few months into my recovery journey and learning about codependency. So there are lots of inspiring quotes and all of my early blog meme’s.

There are lots of family pics and present opening and dinner out during months with birthdays.

I have lots of nature pics, like of the squirrels who were running around the tree while I wrote out my step 4. Or a rain drop on a leaf. Pics of sunsets and clouds. Pics of flowers and butterflies too.

Pics of tree lines with the sun peeking from behind. Pics of the dog(s).

Screen shots of Bible quotes. Screen shots of painting inspiration and Tattoo inspiration.

Pics from events like a wedding and a graduation. Many scout camp outs. Lots of snap chat selfies.

And more recovery words of wisdom. Man some of these are gems!

I found I have pics of 6 people who have passed.

And I have pics of fun days like painting with friends and axe throwing with my work peeps. Pics with friends at concerts and out to dinner and CR training days too.

Pics of things I’ve used when giving a CR lesson.

Maybe I need to do this more often. Cause I don’t know what you may be thinking about me but this is what I learned about myself.

What my phone says about me…

  • You will find who I love
  • You will find what inspires me
  • You will find where I spend my time
  • You will find that I have a lot in common with my brother who passed 8 weeks ago when it comes to taking pics of nature. He just had a better camera =]
  • You will find that I love all things Recovery and CR
  • You will find I totally have a thing for hearts in clouds, rocks or leaves
  • You will find I also totally have a thing for owls and steam punk
  • And you will find, I have an eclectic selection of music

Now I have less than 4000 pics. I deleted some duplicates. And I deleted some things that seemed important at the time but are less important now

It’s been a hard 8 weeks since my brother died. Lots of ups and downs. Weeks ago I spent a couple of days looking at my brothers pic on social media and I’m glad I spent that time ‘with him’.

And I’m glad a spent some time with myself to discover/rediscover those things about myself.

My journey continues…

My Truth

To know him was to love him…

This is the eulogy I wrote and read at my brothers celebration of life service.

This is my favorite picture of us.

To know Jim was to love him. Even though he sometimes had an intimidating exterior, if you know him you would know what a kind and approachable man he was. That twinkle in his blue eyes and smirky smile stood out from across the room.

When he grew up, there were 5 born in 6 years and then 5 years later, I was born. My growing up experience was likely different than my siblings but it was also likely a lot the same when it comes to our relationship with Jim. Jim made an effort to not only be my brother but also be my friend. He was 11 years older and he when he moved out of the house, I was 7. Jim made time to do special things like have me over to watch the Wizard of Oz on tv and we made cookies during the scary flying monkey scene.

I remember going to restaurants where Jim worked and he would come to our table with his tall chief hat on and made sure we were well taken care of.

Jim supported my family by coming to a many play productions my sons were in, taking pictures of the matching band and gave the best pep talks before each pinewood derby as well as photographing the big event. Jim was very interested in and supportive of my youngest sons scouting efforts and I was hoping that in about a year, Jim would be the one to present him for his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Jim will be so missed.

I loved seeing life through Jim’s color blind eyes and how he captured the world around us. All the special moon’s or a spiderwebs. A close up of a flower or a bubble bee on a blade of grass still with morning dew. He loved challenge of getting amazing shots of lightning or fireworks, where timing and exposure can make or break the photo. But the thing that sticks out most to me is the candid photos of people he took. His people shots where always close up so you could see the sweat beads rolling down one of his grandkids face while playing sports or the excitement of the kid who’s pinewood derby car won 1st place, the intensity of someone’s face while playing an instrument and matching. Or the connection of a musician to the song they playing on the drums, the guitar or singing. The beauty of a new bride and the joy of a new formed family.

I have fond memories of going to Rolling Thunder together, seeing our brothers high school band reunion performance and being a taste tester for his BBQ sauce.

But I will always cherish the times I spent with Jim and Barbara during her long illness. I had the privilege to witness what love really looks like while he cared for her. I would come and visit with Barbara while Jim went grocery shopping. I’d tell him take your time, go do guy stuff like go to home depot or go hit a bucket of balls but he never did. He was gone the exact amount of time it took to shop and get home. The love and care he had for her, was like no one else I have ever witnessed.

That truly was Jim. Compassionate. Dedicated. Loving.

Carolina BBQ will never taste the same. The Wizard of Oz will always be our thing. I will forever look through my camera lens in a different way. And I will love unconditionally. Until we meet again, I love you kiddo.

My Truth

One Moment At A Time…

Learning how to live one moment at a time Because sometimes one day at a time is too much.

The afternoon of April 6th while I was out with a group of friends, I got a phone call from my brother. I knew just from how he said hello, that something was wrong. He told me our other brother had a heart attack. He was in the hospital 2 hours away and to hang tight for more information.

In that moment, the world kept spinning around me but I was standing still. My mind was racing with who needed to be where and when, what was on my desk at work, how long it would take to drive there, how much money did I have if I needed a hotel, who’s with him, who needed to be where and when, how long will it take to get there, who’s with him, over and over and over.

The very familiar feeling of being completely out of control and numb. Feeling everything but it’s easier to feel nothing. Numb it out because this hurts far too much to think that my brother was so sick.

But I’ve worked so hard on not numbing out feelings. That new skills bubbled up….like naming feelings is better. Feeling them is hard but better. I was afraid and worried. And while I had control over nothing. So I had to do the only thing that I could do….trust God.

I started immediately understanding what living one moment at a time felt like and how I fragile life is.

I was asked to hang tight and wait for more information. I stayed with my friends rather than going home and crying by myself. I was there physically but my heart and head were not.

Sunday, my cousin drove us down to the hospital. Two of my brothers were in the visitors room and one had just left. As soon as I saw them, I started crying. It all felt like too much but I took a deep breath and we went in to see him.

Central lines, IV’s, tubes, wires, bags of meds hung and machines making rhythmic noises. All so overwhelming. So much to overcome.

In control of nothing.

Accepting one moment at a time.

Thy will be done.

I spent the next two days with him. Lots of ups and downs. We had a group text going to share updates. I felt like every time I sent an update, things changed.

Every time the machines rhythms changed, I looked to see. I’d rub my hand across his forehead and tell him how well they were taking care of him. I’d say his name and he would open his eyes.

Living one moment at a time.

Accepting one moment at a time.

Being part of every moment at a time

In control of nothing.

Just being there. Doing life together.

I went back home and my brothers rotated in and out over the next few days. There was very little time that he was alone.

Thursday was hard. Feeling like he was back sliding. Should I go back down. Should I wait. I decided to wait till morning and then decide.

Very early Friday morning April 12th, my sweet brother passed away. Grateful my brother was with him. No regrets I was not. The time we spent Sunday – Tuesday was special.

I learned to live one moment at a time.

I learned that even when not in control, I could still be there.

I learned just how fragile life is.

I learned that doing life together sometimes means doing death together too. And I am forever grateful the time we had together in his final days.

I love you kiddo. Until we meet again.

Photo Credit: my brother who passed. His caption for this photo on Facebook was ‘before my bubble burst’

More soon about him and the legacy he left his kid sister.

My Truth

Everything about her screams love…

While attending a Christian Women’s Conference yesterday, I had a bit of an ah ha moment.

I’m not even sure it’s what the speaker intended but it’s what I heard and spoke to me.

She was talking about that names we call ourselves matter. Are these names inspirational, aspirational and words of strength?

Then she talked about that we were created in God image and gave several examples of where in the Bible talks about love…rooted and created in love…..put on love….God loves us, he gave his only Son….God is love….beloved…

She then suggested that we get a picture of when we were 4 or 5 years old and how could we look at her and not think that she is anything but beloved.

This is not the first time I have heard something like this. Being God’s daughter and honoring her. Taking care of my sons mother. But something clicked differently yesterday.

Could I look at her (that picture of me) and say to her what I say to myself? Hell no. I would not say to her or anyone else for that matter.

Being the youngest of 6 kids, I do not have a lot of pictures. But I found these from when I was around 5. I actually don’t remember seeing these before.

How can I ever look at her and think anything other than she is beloved. She is joy. She is happy and cute. Everything about her screams love.

So on days that I looking in the mirror and I don’t recognize the person looking back at me or on days that I’m telling myself I can’t or on days I’m telling myself anything other than I am beloved, happy, joy, cute and that everything about me screams love…..on those days, I will look at these picture and remember I would not say that to her and I need to lift her up. And I need to stop on those days and ask myself what do I need right now.

My journey to serenity continues…