Tag Archive | temptation

REALLY?????

sign Day 9 Project 365

Some conversations really should not happen before I have had at least one cup of coffee.

Today is my anniversary! My husband and I have been together almost 13 years and married for 8 today! It has not always been easy but then again no relationships ever are. We are a blended family and that will forever be an adventure. Our relationship has taught me more about addictions than I ever thought I would know. Not only others addictions but my very own! That is for another blog but I think if you read back over my story you find bits and pieces of our testimony mixed in.

So this morning my blog really isn’t about my anniversary. It is about a conversation I had today and my thoughts. Warn ya know, it might be a rambling of things you already know but this is called a brain dump. An attempt to get it out of my head and proceed with my day without drawing a “HERE’S YOUR SIGN” sign and passing it around. (side note: I would have to take my turn wearing it too!)

Here goes. No names or real phrases will be used to protect the stupid and the views and comments to follow are completely mine and if they strike something in you good bad or ugly well….

We as addicts (and I believe we all have addiction issues) are addicted to a whole host of things not all of which have any thing to do with drugs or alcohol in the traditional sense of the words. I like wine but I could careless if I have wine. I have been drunk and done some pretty stupid “here’s your sign” things. I know where that kind of drinking takes me and so it is no longer a part of my life. Others may have a drug issue, illegal, prescribed or other wise. They chase a high or an escape or call it something else to make it okay! Some have a gambling problem. They will take their last fist full of money to get scratch offs or bingo or play slot machines. They will gamble in a different way even by spending like they have it knowing they don’t avoiding the moment and making a problem worse. Then there are those that are addicted to shopping and that could mean a trip to the mall with lots of packages or the UPS or FEDX driver slipping your stuff between your doors while you hide it so no one knows you got another “hit”. Some are addicted to sex and sex at all costs. Regardless of who it hurts and if it breaks a vow or the law. Still for others it is pain. They cut and mutilate their bodies to escape feeling or to feel. Some are addicted to food. It is that temporary yummy feeling followed by this deep sense of what have I done as the number on the scale goes up and your self-esteem plunges. Or the food takes anther twist and is the enemy and no matter how thin you really are you are fat and no good and the game turns the tables on you and you are stick and dying. Some are addicted to people (boy do I know this one) because after all in fixing or worrying about everyone else we get a false sense of who we are and feel better for the moment. We people please and in turn find the exact opposite of what we are looking for because we find we are never enough. And what about chaos? Addiction to the addiction, to the chaos, the never-ending problem! To the fight, the argument, the hate, the past, the memory, the un-forgiveness. When things are going good we are good then out of no where we set ourselves up for failure. Things start looking right and we step a little to close to the edge. We walk away from one slippery slope and when another appears dressed in a different “dysfunction” we know we shouldn’t do it but tend not to care because it fills some momentary need we have and thus signals the addiction we have to chaos.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over. We expect a different result and get none!

We end one bad relationship. We stop the pills. The drinking. The lying. The sneaking. We address the issue. We get help. Go to meetings. Find God. Start a new.

Then something happens and in that moment we start to slip into that “only one won’t hurt me” and whatever it is starts to have a hold. No maybe it isn’t the same “DRUG OF CHOICE!” but still, what was feeling good and new and right for the first time starts feeling “off” and we have to make justifications for it, we have to sneak or hide or look over our shoulder or even argue with our selves so we believe in our own minds that what we are doing is okay or not hurting anyone or justified. We had a chance to break a generational curse but now we packaged it in something different. We are crazy if we don’t think others our watching, especially the children. If allowed to continue we start to withdraw and things change. The “well at least I am not “fill in your old addiction” comments have now gone away because you have a new one. You have replaced one for another and expect a different result or someone to approve of it or allow you to justify it so it will be okay.

So, and I will speak for myself, when I ask you if what I am doing is wrong and you know it is wrong it is okay to tell me. When I ask you if I should do what you know sounds like the right thing to do it is okay for you to tell me. If I think and proceed to come up with excuses to keep myself in a place that is not right it is okay to say “well then, Here is your sign!.

And if I do ask someone if something is wrong and they say yes they feel it is I can’t get mad. Chances are they are right and if I am honest I already knew they were right even before I asked. If what I am really looking for is someone to justify and agree with my choices well then I should go find an addict that is in that same place because misery loves company. If what I am really looking for is accountability and I have found it then I can’t get mad. I may not like the way the truth rests in my ears and then penetrates my head and heart but then again, I knew that too didn’t I.

We taste freedom and what the hell is it that keeps up going back like a dog to our vomit. Finally start to get our lives back together, break the hold, get the free pass AGAIN and no jail, get a chance to do over with our families, our children. Get the new job and a driver’s license back. Get out of debate and don’t have to file bankruptcy. Get out from under the bookie and pay off the loan. We finally start losing weight and feeling better. We get a glimpse of healthy and freedom and then………………..BAM.

NEWS FLASH: The grass may be greener now but it could be painted to look that way. They have weeds over there too! They seasons will change and the grass will die. There is no fairy that waters, mows, edges and trims. If that grass is real then someone has to be doing something. GET REAL!

So today is about avoiding the BAM! It is about hearing the truth and finally figuring out how to let it set you free. It is about seeing with your eyes wide open that every action has a reaction. And once you step, well, what happens next could save your life or take it.

PERSONALLY- I have had 2 cups of coffee now and a great conversation were I had to do some eating of crow which tastes horrible by the way. I was ushered away for speaking a truth I myself needed to hear.

Time to step and towards LIFE!

Maybe you are in a place today you don’t even know where to start. I want to share some links with you:

Great song about Letting GO!

In Hampton Roads Virginia contact RECOVERY FOR LIFE

Counseling across the country

This blog today has run circles around my heart and my mind and I know the enemy of our souls wants to make us feel alone, defeated, worthless and like no one can possibly understand. It is in getting us to isolate and justify and give up that he thinks “he has us right where he wants us”. So if you are reading this today and you need help or prayer or someone to listen or some one to help you find a resource to finally step toward LIFE please message me and let me know. I pray that like has happened to me today God speaks to your heart and even if you don’t know what His voice sounds like you will be moved to make a step toward life.

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Another turn in the road

Day 107 Project 365

I have been doing pretty good in the “take every thought captive” battle over these past 107 days.  I have faced all kinds of situations and relationships that I have had to work on, through and in.  I have worked hard on personal responsibility and letting go of the things that are not mine to own.  Then, like a flood, in the early hours of this morning I was overcome.  It was as if the last 107 days had never happened.  I felt panic and anxiety suffocating me.  The initial suffocating feeling only lasted as long as it took me to cry out to God that I needed Him!  I spent about an hour crying and praying and praying some more.  It passed and I was fine.  Even in the midst as I recited scriptures and truths and read my personal notes I could feel “It” losing its power.  Then about mid afternoon as I was reflecting on the morning will waiting for my son to be seen by the doctor it hit me.  There are things I had held on to this past week mentally and emotionally that I should have addressed and let go.  Things I had given rent free space in my head that didn’t belong.  There was even some things I needed to share with someone, instead I had kept my feelings bottled up.  I had imprisoned myself by holding on and holding in.  A few hours later I was able to speak and share what was on my heart.  I was able to say how I was feeling and how I see things.  The best part was when I shared that I had been afraid to speak up and the person assured me it was okay. The conversation and the topic where not easy to hear or speak but it was okay that I had shared it.  What I shared has been a very difficult subject in this relationship but as I was able to pray it through and speak my heart I do believe God prepared ears and hearts to receive.  Now I am continuing on and as I have been for the past 107 days I continue to believe that God has this.  He has me and He has my kids.

A good lesson today in staying on my toes. Things will still happen.  Life will still be hard.  Relationships will still need work and situations will still arise that are not easy.  I am so thankful that I was able to apply truth and what would have sent me into a tail spin a year ago didn’t stand a chance knocking me down today.  I may not know what lays around the next turn but He does.  I can trust Him completely!

Another step in a wonderful new direction.

Eph 6:10-18NIV

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

In the Storm

Day 96 Project 365

We can be going along and every thing is great and the next thing we know we are in a full fledged storm.  Or maybe its been storming for days and weeks and months and our boat is so battered and torn we are staring to take on water and we focus on the storm.

It can be so easy to watch the storm.  As the waves crash around us and the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes.  We can start to panic as the water crashes against our boat.  What once was calm has become chaos and we lose our focus.  Fear.  Panic. Frustration.  Anxiety.  Like a flood, emotions are flying.  When we need to stay calm and focused the most we panic.

In the storm we most remember to keep our eyes focused on the one that can calm the sea.  That can speak to the waves and command they stay still and the ocean to become clear as glass.  We need to remember that those in the boat with us may also be experiencing these same things so they might lash out in fear, panic and frustration too.  Keep calm and speak truth.  Learn to do what you can.  Surrendering control and realize that are some things you can’t change.  Only God can.

Refocus.  Take your eyes off the storm and place them firmly on Jesus. It might be a passing squall or a full-blown hurricane but one thing is for sure- HE HAS GOT YOU if you let Him.

 

Redirecting my thoughts- changing my day

Day 79 Bonus Post

The sun has been high in the sky all day and the temperature has been perfect.  The kids are off at work, baseball, and it is just Kody and I home this evening.  We did a loaded hot dog bar for dinner which the boys love.  The chores are done and the sun is starting to go down.

I have felt off today.  All day I have been anxious, thus my earlier post.

As I push through this evening I have to continue to do the next right thing.

I have struggled with not just flipping out and speaking my peace but the Lord reminded me of Psalm 141 and I prayed for Him to set a guard upon my mouth.

I have contemplated a trip to DQ for as much ice cream as I could afford but was reminded to place my hope in the Lord and delight in Him alone.  Ice cream might help for a moment but will leave me worse than when I started.

This has gone on for a few hours.  I feel something in the flesh and my spirit responds.  I am living what I have been learning.

Then I was reminded to reach outside of myself to those that will lift me up and pray with me and walk beside me.

I am thankful for this place God has me. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned this past 78 days.

I am thankful that no matter where this journey takes me I am safe in His arms.

No matter the size of the giant

Day 75 Project 365

Ready?????

Ready!!!!!

There are times we stand in front of something and when asked “Ready?” we reply with everything and anything but yes.

I had so many of those days last year I couldn’t even count.  I would wake all night with so much on my mind I couldn’t rest, and fatigue and frustration gave way to anxiety and panic.  I faced broken relationships tearing my family and my life apart, an injury that immediately changed my life, a job loss, a life threatening complication in my health, depression so deep that on several occasions I wanted to end my own life.

I was anything but ready.  I had shut down.  Retreated.  I stopped trusting.  I stopped trying.  I never gave up on knowing God but I just allowed my “giants” to become so large I thought they surely would be the death of me.

Today I am reminded……..

No matter the size of the giant my God is bigger.  No matter the size of the whale my God is bigger. No matter the size of the storm my God is bigger.  No matter the size of the mountain my God is bigger.

Are you ready????? This phrase gets a different response from me today.
Yes!!!! Yes I am ready.

Most of what I was facing last year I am still facing.  Some things are improving and some I have seen no change.  The circumstances may be the same.  They may still be giants but the way I look at them and respond to them is so different.

When I haven’t listened and did my own thing and ended up feeling as if I would drown the whale may have swallowed me but my God was bigger. (Jonah)

As I stood before the giants and it looked like an impossible situation my God was bigger. (David)

When I have been asked to do something that requires complete surrender and faith my God was bigger. (Abraham)

When I needed to make the choice to surrender and accept forgiveness and when I faced the fact that regardless of my past my God was and is bigger.  ( Woman at the well)

When I was wrongly accused and hurt beyond words my God was bigger. (Paul)

When I was asked to do something that I knew was wrong and stood my ground my God was bigger. (Daniel)

There are so many examples in the bible of times when God showed up and was bigger than whatever was being faced.   It is exciting to read and to realize that my God is bigger.  Nothing that has happened or will happen is outside of His reach.  I could keep listing things He has done.

Whatever it is, He is bigger and I am ready.

In His time

Day 74 Project 365

I have shared a few times some great inspirational devotions from Sheri Rose Shepherd and this morning before I share I want to again post the encouragement she shared this morning!

Sometimes we fight so hard for what we want out of our relationships, we forget to ask God what His will is in our relationships…If you are struggling in any relationship, here are 4 things you can do.
1. Look Inward and Upward…. The last place we want to look is inward when someone has wronged us. So look upward and pray and ask God to show you what you can do to bring peace to the relationship.
2. Pray for impossible people… God knows those people in your lives, which is why He says “if it is possible.” (Romans 12:6)  so If you are beating yourself up because you can’t get a breakthrough in an impossible relationship, then it may be time to stop fighting and leave the impossible in God’s hands.
 3. Pray for His will… . If we are holding on too tightly, it will be hard to find God’s will for any of our relationships. I know it seems scary to surrender our relationships to God, but actually there is complete freedom when you let go of the need to control others and grab onto your Father’s hands in heaven.
Let me pray for you… I pray in Jesus’ name that you fight the temptation to engage in relational battles that drain your strength, trying to prove your point or win your way or defend yourself. I pray you let your Lord be your defense. I pray you will never again get caught in the trap of blame and bitterness. May our God give you the wisdom to know what to fight for, for those you love, and how to fight in a way that brings blessings and breakthroughs to all of your relationships. In Jesus’ name, Amen. We love each other because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
A few weeks ago before I left to visit my grandfather I was really struggling in some impossible relationships.  I had shared that I had some soul search to do and some time I needed to really spend with the Lord, not just petitioning Him for these relationships but surrendering them and then being obedient to what He has called me to.  The Lord had really used my trip to show me some things in a new way. He really ministered to me in ways that I needed.  When I returned from my trip I had some conversations.  I needed to address some things and speak my heart to some people who I had impossible relationships with.  I had done everything I could do, beat my self up for things I couldn’t control nor fix.  I had some changes I need to make because it was the right thing to do and something God was asking of me.  I had to do these things with no expectations of the other party doing their part or the right thing. I had and have to continue to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord and not look to what I see.  I have spent each day turning things over and purposefully leaving them laying a the foot of the cross. 
Last night God showed up in a huge way.  As I have been very diligent to seek wisdom and let the fight be the Lords and not mine, as I have surrendered all control and allowed Him to work on everyone involved including myself He showed me last night that He really has this.  I will not share details of these impossible relationships but I will say this, as I have purposely honored the Lord and the people involved regardless of what they have done or not done over this last few weeks God has been at work in hearts.  Several times over the last 10 days comments have been made about the changes in me.  I smile and nod but let the glory be the Lords.  Then last night as I needed to confront some mistreatment in one of these relationships it happened….. my husband honored me in a huge way and validated me and my position.  I wish I could relay the magnitude of this and explain better but let me just say this.  I don’t know the outcome because I am in the middle of the journey but I do know that God has “this” and He is at work in me and for me.  I know that He specializes in the impossible and as I am obedient to what He asked me to do many years ago, He will do the rest.  I might never see results that I think I should see but even there He is giving me new eyes and a new heart to realize that all that is required of me is to be obedient and do my part.
I am excited this morning to see that fruit.   I don’t seek validation from these relationships anymore.  I have left that to the Lord.   It has not been easy and although there is much more road ahead I am so aware of who walks with me and before me and hems me in.
Thank you Lord for what you are doing in my heart.  I thank Him today that in His time He makes all things new.  He restores and he redeems. 

Oh Woe Is Me

Day 68 Project 365

I was looking through some pictures and digging through some boxes and came across an old Winnie the Pooh story book.  I used to love reading these adventures to my kids.  As I flipped through the pages I realized that at times I have been able to identify with each of these characters.  Kanga the Momma, Owl, the wise teacher, Pooh the food addict ( oh come now, what would this bear not do for his honey?  like what wouldn’t you do for your chocolate, etc.), Rabbit the OCD cleaner, fixer, gardener, Tigger  the trouble maker, and Eeyore.  Poor Eeyore.  That is one character I might have identified with a little too often.

This weekend while visiting my grandfather I saw something amazing.  I know I have mentioned it in previous posts but it really has left an indelible mark on me.  Every time anyone would ask him how he was feeling he would say I am doing great.  Even though you knew he was hurting and could tell at times he was uncomfortable his first response, unless you asked him further and more specific questions, was to say he was doing great.  When you visited with him he would talk of the love of God and how good his God is to him and how much he loves him. We we would cry and stand around his bed praying he would bring the situation right to the foot of the cross and how great his God is.  How capable and ready and always present his God is.   Then I got to thinking.  How often do I get stuck in the Eeyore complex instead of seeing the things that are good and right about my day, my situation, my life?  How many times have I let my thoughts and my attitude show something other than that goodness of God in my life?  I can get so overwhelmed with the things that are happening that I forget that if it is touching my life than God has okayed it.  Instead of a pity party for myself and allowing myself to sink deeper and deeper into despair I can focus on the things that are good and positive and apply truth to the other places.  Instead of seeing all the things that can’t be I can see the things that could be.  If I applied as much energy to being miserable and depressed and worrying over a situation how much more can I accomplish if I just turn the page and start looking at things new?  What if instead of starting my morning fretting over all the things I have to do that day I woke up and spent sometime giving my day and the events that will occur to the Lord, the one who already knows my days and the number of hairs on my head?

“[Praise to the God of All Comfort]  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”        2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

Oh woe is me!  No more!

I learned something this weekend.  Well maybe it is better to say that I took something I have been taught many times and applied it this weekend.  Yes, there are things touching my life that are not fun.  Yes, I know that God is able.  He can say to a mountain be thou removed and it will move. He can change water into wine and raise the dead.  He can heal the sick and rain food from heaven.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He can do whatever it is He wants too.  Yet He is also wise enough to know what I have need of.  Wise enough to know what will draw me to Him and have me search for Him as the giver and sustainer of my life.  He desires me to depend on Him and know Him and cleave to Him and Him alone.  He knows the things that I am going through are tough but if I look and listen I will see the lesson.  And then to the lesson might be for someone else all together.  Sometimes even the very people and situations that bring us the most pain are necessary to allow us to fulfill the calling in our lives.

There are things I have been facing and dealing with that I wish would go away.  Yet I have so much to be thankful for.  God has truly blessed me and my family and if I allow Him to teach me in the valley like I do on the mountain, if I allow myself to see things as He does and ask Him to direct me, than the woe is me turns to the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I am excited to practice what I learned.  To apply the joy of the Lord to my day.  To see the positive and let the negative wash away.   Something tells me that as I begin to change my perspective a great new adventure awaits……..

Let me share too a short story on perspective

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room with a hospital   window. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain   the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their   homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had   been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window  could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things  he could see outside the hospital window. The man in the other bed would live  for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened   by all the activity and color of the outside world.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and  swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked   arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced  the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on  the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.   Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s   eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head:   Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to   see anything? It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed   at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy   eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found   himself unable to sleep. He should be by that hospital window – and that thought  now controlled his life…….

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths.   When she found the lifeless body of the man by the hospital window, she was   saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away-no works, no fuss.   As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to   the hospital window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making   sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look.   Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly   turn to look out the hospital window beside the bed………..

It faced a blank wall.