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.

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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

I cried because I had no shoes…

I’m reading this amazing book about grief. I have learned quiet a bit. I have made some new connections and have a better understanding of my own grief.

A few years ago, I asked a client how she was doing (knowing she just lost her job and was putting one foot on front of the other to get by) but I really wanted to know because I enjoyed working with her. She said ‘I don’t complain because I was always told, ‘I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

This for sure gives an picture of empathy and to be grateful for what you have because someone always has it worse.

I hadn’t thought much about that quote after my conversation other than it was a good perspective. Until I read it in the book and it created a new point of view for me.

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.

It implies that someone’s pain or hurt is more than another. That I shouldn’t cry because I have no shoes because someone else has it worse than I do. It also implies comparison of pain and hurt. That my pain is less than.

Hmm

Grieving the loss on someone (although it can be many other things besides a person) is personal.

The relationship I had with my mother, for example, was different than the relationship my mother had with my each of my siblings. The pain I feel, is the pain I feel and the level of pain they feel, is the pain they feel.

And the pain that woman feels who lost their daughter that same day. That woman’s pain doesn’t make my pain any less.

And while it’s easy to look at both situations and say that mother who lost her daughter pain is worse than me the daughter who lost my mother. But is it? And really who cares, why are we comparing??? Both of these women are hurting and that’s the point. Both women lost someone they love, let’s meet them where they are and love them.

Let’s stop comparing pain. Let’s stop trying to fix each other by saying things like time heals because the truth is time doesn’t heal. It’s a big fat lie. Time only means it’s been longer that I’ve been in pain. Longer that I’ve missed my mom.

Not remembering until I saw it the other day and I was actually stunned to read it but I wrote on my mom’s memorial online…mom, I don’t know how to be here without you. This was just days after she died. And you know what I wrote last March on the 9th anniversary of her passing….mom, I don’t know how to be here without you. So time has not healed the pain I feel.

So yeah, I cried because I had no shoes. And I will cry for my friend who has no feet too.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Awareness, Seeing Things In A New Way

The thing about continuing to work a recovery program is that you (or me in this case) get the opportunity to continue to have a deeper understanding of myself. A new level of awareness. Healing even deeper.

This is the most stressful time at work and between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a very difficult time of year for me personally and emotionally for YEARS. So in the middle of chaos and heart ache, I decided to do this work.

Crazy right!

Well, it has forced me to make time for myself. It’s made me practice some self care when I’m exhausted after a long day at work. To set aside time to read. Process what I’ve learned. Write about it. And have a weekly meetings about it.

I’m doing some work on grieving. I’m reading a really good book that has pointed out some things that has gotten me looking a things in a different way. About things I had not thought about in a long time but now thinking about them in a different way.

We are just at the thick of it. It’s just like that part in working the 12 steps….step 4 and 5. During that part, many people walk away because it’s hard. Its scary because you are afraid of being judged or embarrassed or feel shame around what you did or didn’t do. It’s pulling the curtain back and being vulnerable.

To be open enough to say those things out loud that no one talks about. Those things that may cause fear or judgement or shame and saying it anyway. And you know what happened when I did my step 4 and 5 with my sponsor…..ready, because when you haven’t done it yet, you don’t know. But this is what happened……my sponsor, loved me anyway. And every time I give my testimony, my recovery community, loves me anyway.

Crazy right!

So I am not afraid of hard work. I am doing the work. And I’m doing it, because I know what happens when the hard work is completed.

Which reminds me of Psalms 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.

So that painting….do you see a line of tress with the sun setting? Or do you see a guitar? Do you see both?

Don’t be afraid of working a program. Dig deep and see things in a different way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, I don’t work a perfect program. I make mistakes, I sin. I disappoint others and I disappoint myself. But God doesn’t need me to be perfect or to work a perfect program. Everyday making the decision to walk in the right direction. It’s called progress. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what matters.

It works if you work it and you are so worth it!!!

My journey to serenity continues…