Prosperous Trees

Prosperous Trees

“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do they prosper.” source: Psalm 1:1-3 

That is not to say that the Godly people do not have problems, because everyone has problems. Just because you do God’s will does not mean that you are immune from problems. It is how we deal with our problems that makes the difference. I live my life to the best of my ability to seek and do God’s will everyday. Since, I have turned my life and my will over to God, I have peace, and serenity where there was chaos and fear, it has been replaced by faith. I will not always get my way, but God never leaves me nor forsakes me. I know that no matter what happens, God will be there with me. I never have to be alone again. Praise be to God.

Let Go And Let GOD Be God

“O our God, will You not exercise judgement upon them? For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” ~~2 Chronicles 20:12

Here Jehoshaphat admits to God openly his total inability to deal with the problem. For years I tried very hard to change myself without success. I tried so hard and so long to break bad habits only to fail time and time again. I tried to alter different things in my life, to get prosperity, to make my ministry grow, and to be healed. I remember wanting to give up because I was so exhausted from trying to fight my own battles. I went through all that on a regular basis until I was being really kind of melodramatic about it, trying to impress God with how miserable I was. I said something like, “God, I’ve had it. This is it. I’m through. Nothing I’m doing is working. I give up. I’m not going to do this anymore. Just then, deep inside me, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Really?” There was real excitement in His voice. That happens because the only time He gets to work in us is when we become so exhausted that we finally decide,  “Instead of trying to do this myself, I’m going to let go and let God be God.” Trying to be God will wear you out fast. Why not give up your own effort and do what Jehoshaphat did in verse 12? Admit to God that you have no might to stand against your enemies and that you don’t know what to do, but you’re looking to Him for direction and deliverance. source: New Day, NEW YOU, Joyce Meyers, 2007

I always have had problems with setting, and keeping boundaries. As a child, I had only two choices: comply or get a beating. In school we had NO choices, it was their way or the highway.  I was NOT allowed to define my own boundaries or to be myself. I was NOT expected to defend myself, because in those days, the teachers and doctors were god and were never wrong. And…whatever they said was the law.

I believe my addictions began about the age of twelve. I used to escape a critical, confining, and controlling environment through my addictions. I did not believe there was a god, or else I was such a horrible child that I deserved to treated the way that I was, so I wanted no part of him or established religion.

In my recovery, I found God, because I had tried living my life my way, and I had hit bottom in order to be desperate enough to give into something that I thought was make-believe and not real. I was allowed choices. I could go on to the bitter end, or try this god-thing.

I was allowed to choose the “higher power” that I needed for me. I chose one that was not a hateful, abusive, critical, condemning, controlling God, but a loving and forgiving one. I had to stop “playing god”.  I am NOT God, so it is NOT my job but God’s job.

Through the years, I have learned to let go a lot sooner, and stop playing God. I asked for help, instead of suffering alone. I was taught that all I have to do is to do the best that I can, and leave the results up to God. We have to do the “footwork” or the next “right thing”.

I make a lot better decisions today and I have a lot more peace and serenity as a by product of “right living”.  No, I am not perfect because I am human. I am a Human Being, not a Human Doing. I almost died trying to be perfect, and still today I have “defects of character” that I am working with God on. 

GOD MADE ME NOT JUST A SURVIVOR BUT A THRIVER!!

SURVIVOR VS VICTIM

Today, Sally, we believe God wants you to know that …you were created to be alive.
You weren’t made to simply survive until you die. Live it up, embrace life.

This entire planet exists for all God’s creatures, – and that includes you. Don’t wait to start living, begin right now, with your very next breath. There are many wonderful experiences waiting for you, so get going.

I BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE ME NOT JUST A SURVIVOR BUT A THRIVER!!

In my recovery, I found out that I had a choice whether I wanted to continue to live in the anger and resentments, or did I want to get help and get better. AA = Attitude Adjustment.

I just told a friend last night, that “Why would anyone choose to stay miserable and angry, and die drunk?? And…not take what was so freely given to us and countless others.

I wanted it ALL, so I had to do as I was told to, and I attended meetings, got a sponsor, read the literature, and WORKED the steps, ALL twelve of them in order. We offer to cheerfully refund your misery if you do not want to get help or change. 

I have heard people say, “Oh, AA does not work, I got drunk again.” I say, “No, you chose to continue to run your own life instead of doing God’s will, and if you don’t do the footwork = work the steps, then, yes, many do drink again and die a slow painful death.”

In recovery:

1. I went back to college and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree.

2. God gave me the love of my life.

3. God and my parents gave me a home.

4. I have learned to be content in whatsoever state I am in.

5. I no longer choose to do things that cause me pain and chaos and consequences. 

6. I do NOT want to continue to pay the consequences! I chose sobriety and serenity.

I have learned that if people continue to ENABLE and cover up for an alcoholic/addict, then they may never recover or change, and many die that way. Please, STOP enabling them and allow them to hit their bottom. Give them to God!  

Your Needs Are Important Too!

YOUR NEEDS ARE IMPORTANT TOO

I have used this analogy before. I have had to remind myself of the concept many times. If I don’t take care of me, then I have nothing to offer others. If I volunteer myself to be used or abused, then my self esteem must be low.

Healthy people do not have to worry about what to do to keep others from taking advantage of them, they instinctively know what they must do. Healthy people know that they must take care of themselves first, then help others, if they are capable of helping them without causing harm to themselves and family.

The Bible also tells us to take care of our families first, then help others if we are able.

The Serenity Prayer teaches me to accept the things that I cannot change, and to change what I can, and my program helps me to learn the wisdom to know the difference.

The 12 Steps teach me that I am powerless over people, places, and things.  I am only responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, and actions….no one elses. Knowing that helps me to keep my sobriety and serenity.

Recovery and working the steps, have taught me that… I have a choice….and I never have to give up me to be loved by you! God loves me…just as I am…He loves me…and He wants me to take care of me…then if He wants me to help others…He will provide me the means to do it.   

Serenity Prayer = Sobriety = Sanity = Serenity

SERENITY PRAYER-AA

God grant me the SERENITY to
accept the things I cannot change;
COURAGE to change the things I can;
and WISDOM to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that He will make all things
right if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.  Amen

The Serenity Prayer has been an important part of me keeping me sober, serene, and sane. I spent a lot of years trying to change other people, and when I could not, I got really pissed off!

I can apply the prayer to everything and everybody in my life, including myself. I never lived up to others expectations of me, and they never lived up to my expectations of them. 

Lately, I have really had to remind myself that I am powerless over people, places, and things. God does not want me to just sit back and do nothing. He wants for me to do the best that I can with what He has given me.  If He did not want me to have the things that I have, He would not have given them to me.

America is under attack from “inside” and from “outside” evil forces. I get so discouraged because I am unemployed and broke as hell. I have always had a job. I was not too good to take less pay or part time work. I always had a job, even if it was as someone’s maid. I worked my ass off and graduated with a bachelor degree, so that I could get good employment to take care of me and my family. I was so full of hope in 2008 (before obama). I never asked to be rich, just to have enough to pay for housing, food–the necessities of life, but because of the socialists and communists sucking our resources dry and obama killing jobs–I pretty much have given up hope on finding employment now.

So, pretty much I live my life, “Day by Day”, and praying for God to help me afford to care for myself and my disabled husband (who by the way worked all his life and paid into our system). We have always worked for what we “needed”, and never expected others to support us. If not for family, we would be homeless and hungry!

One-Day-at-a-Time

It pissed the hell out of me that the communist/demon-rats are bringing in Illegals and Terrorists to intentionally overwhelm our system.

If they would stop funding the Terrorists and Illegals with our taxpayers money, then they could afford to take care of our Legal Americans who paid into the system all their life’s. Social Security is NOT an Entitlement, we paid for it!

I pray to God that America can survive the socialist,communist, islamic, illegal INVASION of our country!!! I know that I am doing everything in my power to help save her, and I will continue to. It all goes back to the serenity prayer. 

 

Forever Texas

Lovely, painting and story. Native Texan here. Thanks for posting.

Mikki Senkarik

As we were looking at the painting last evening Jack and I saw a couple of things I needed to fine tune. First of all the oak tree by the barn was too small so this morning I made it grow a bit. I also decided to make the blue part of the roof a little duller and lighter so the barn stays back in the distance. Then on the left side I took out the big rock behind the Cactus and Indian Paintbrush, expanding the upper pool so the glistening water could show through. Now for the flowers on the right side of the stream.

Red Indian Blanket flowers are blooming everywhere around us right now. They make a fine compliment to the Phlox and Indian Paintbrush growing out of cracks in the limestone boulders. The Bluebonnets provide a cool backdrop for the fiery red-orange blossoms that are blocked…

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Am I Acting Or Reacting? Just Because They Are Angry Must I Be?

serenity_prayer-300x200

Am I Acting Or Reacting?  “Just Because They Are Angry Must I Be?”

This is taken from the Al-Anon book, Courage to Change;
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Many of us come to Al-Anon confused. We are so focused on our alcoholic loved ones that may not be able to see where they leave off and we begin. We’ve lost our sense of what is appropriate. How can we distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior when we don’t even know what we want or need?

[It talks about Step 4 here, about an inventory, and what our values are or need to be and my new values of what I will accept and not accept]

Where in the past I have allowed unacceptable behavior, I now can choose a different response. I must consistently do what I say I am going to do. Today I have the courage and faith to be true to myself. whether or not others like or agree with me. I must remember that announcing my new ways to others is not nearly as important as knowing what my own limits are and act accordingly.

Today’s Reminder
I will remember that knowing my boundaries does not mean forcing others to change; it means that I know my own limits and take care of myself by respecting them. The focus, today, is on me.”

Before recovery, the answer would be yes, but today I have the freedom to choose whether I want to allow others to suck me into their shit or not, so the answer is no.

Remember we DO have a choice! Sometimes I have to physically remove myself to not react. The other person usually gets pissed off if I don’t react and get angry with them. If I want serenity, I must accept the fact that I have no power over others and cannot change them, but I do not have to react to them or get angry too. I pray for them and turn them over to God. 

Today, I choose serenity over chaos. I do NOT have to accept unacceptable behavior. I am God’s child, and I do have a choice. 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” ~~Proverbs 15:1-2

Are You Helping or Hurting = Enabling??

I am re-posting a earlier post that I hope everyone who needs to see it does. I pray to “help” not “hurt”.

I woke up today thinking about the topic of “hurting” or “helping” again today. I have been praying for God to “direct my thinking” and to help me to share what I need to share to try to help others find peace and serenity like I did. I am again dealing with trying to “help” not “hurt” a close family member that I love dearly and only want to help.

My natural instinct is to try and “fix”, “control”, or “cure” them. I admit that I hate being powerless! And…that reminded me that~~I have no right to try and do my will instead of God’s will. I wanted to fix the world, but I learned that was God’s job not mine. Thank God for AA, AL-ANON and all the twelve step programs.

“Acceptance is the answer to my problem. When I stopped living in the problem, and started living in the answer, the problem went away.” (AA Big Book, page 448) ~~the quote out of the book saved my sanity and serenity many times in the last Twenty Six (26) years. 

Sally's Serenity Spots

This close to Mother’s Day, and working in the field that I do, I have really been remembering how I was taught to be a Caretaker. My Mother raised me to be a loving, kind, unselfish, independent, strong, and moral person. I grew up living in my dream world, where everyone loved everybody, and there were no mean, hateful, and abusive people.

I have tried to help others all my life. I married an abusive and unfaithful man, and tried to fix him. Of course, it did not work, because we cannot Control, Change, or Cure anyone. I had to learn the difference between helping or hurting. I had to learn the meaning of “Enabling“. Enabling is doing for someone else, what they could do for themselves. If we continue to “enable” someone, then it serves to make them irresponsible, and not be responsible for their own…

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A CONFIDENT WOMAN

A Confident Woman

Most of my life I resented and envied Confident Women. I wanted to be a woman with Confidence. Instead I was a little girl, that was afraid of everything and everybody. I was a skinny, flat, and insecure little girl.

Where did I get my confidence from?? My confidence comes from a Higher Power, that I call God. I had to first “hit my bottom”, and ask for help. God never forced Himself on me. I tried many things to help make me feel better about me, but none worked. I used people and things to try and fix me. None of it worked. 

At the age of sixteen, I was so miserable, that I decided I was going to live my life the way that I wanted to. No longer living to try and please someone else. This was NOT my bottom. I spent the next seventeen years living, or really existing in a chaotic and crazy world. I hated me and I was miserable as hell. I had NO God in my life. I ran my life on self will. I thought that if I had the “right” body, the “right” husband, the “right” job, the “right” house, and “if only” people would just do what I wanted them to~~then I would be happy. Nothing worked. Until I hit my bottom and started searching for help~~nothing got better.

My bottom was when the alcohol and pills stopped working, and I was barely surviving in an abusive marriage, I had no job skills and a four year old. I wanted to die.  By God’s grace, I had a family that I could turn to for help, but they could NOT fix me. They loved me and I will be forever grateful that they never gave up on me. I found my higher power in AA.

My journey began in 1987, and it has been a long, hard road, but today twenty six years later~~I am finally at peace and I have serenity. I have a God who loves me “unconditionally”, and a group of drunks = god~~who taught me how to live and be happy with myself and my life.

My maternal grandfather always used to say, “Always wanting what is not, when it is cold you want it hot, and when it is hot you want it cold”. 

St. Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content“. 

I thank God everyday for this gift of sobriety and serenity. No one else could do it for me. I had to want it more than anything else. 

AA meeting sign
AA meeting sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You Know You Have Grown Up When You Realize The Best Gifts For Christmas Are Found In The Heart and Not At The Shopping Mall

rEAL rEASON fOR cHRISTMAS

You Know You Have Grown Up When You Realize The Best Gifts For Christmas Are Found In The Heart and Not At The Shopping Mall 

It is so wonderful, when you are finally happy with things just as they are, and you are happy to be just where your at, and you don’t need superficial and material things to be happy. When you don’t have to search for someone or something to make you happy, then you are truly at peace with yourself. 

Givers And Takers

My mentor told me years ago~~”Sally, in this world there are Givers and Takers. You are a Giver, and as long as you are willing to Give the Takers will Take until they Suck you dry if you let them!” 

I had to learn how to set boundaries, and start saying, NO when I needed to. I had to relearn some things that were not benefiting or helping me, and were keeping me in the Victim mode. I had been taught to not be selfish, and think about the “starving children in Africa“, etc..I was taught by some self righteous Christians, that I should not be selfish, thank God for the twelve steps, I learned a new way to live. Healthy, Happy, and Independent. I did not become heartless, I just had to learn to start being true to mine own self and needs. One of our quotes to live by is: “To Thy Own Self Be True”. 

I had became Co-Dependent and depended on others too much. I almost allowed the Takers to suck me dry!! When I reached the point of Depression and thoughts of Suicide, I decided that I either had to “let go” or die, and that I must take care of me first or I was of no use to anyone else.  I learned that my needs are important too, and that it was OK to take care of me, and that I did NOT have to give up me in order to be loved. I had to learn how to have relationships with God #1, Myself #2, and then Others #3. 

People who sit back and whine about their life’s and how everybody “done, done them wrong”, are playing the Victim, and they are not helping themselves to grow or succeed in life. They stay stuck and angry and are allowing their resentments to “eat them up”. They are a drain on society. I chose to take control of my own life, and change what I could about me. I learned that it was NOT my job to fix the rest of the world, and if they wanted what I had then they had to be willing to go to any lengths to get it. And…that there are NO free rides! I chose to become a Victor instead of a Victim. 

Today by the Grace of a loving and forgiving God, I have Peace and Serenity

JUST AS I AM, LORD

I don’t have to give up me, to be loved by you.  I think we should celebrate being white or whatever race that we are. We should not allow others to play the race card with us. I am proud to be white, never wanted to be any other race. I am not ashamed of it, like some would like me to be. God made us all. We are each children of God. To deny what we are is Shaming and Wrong! God made me and I will be proud of how beautiful God made me. I wasted a lot of years trying to please others, and be something else than what I was, and I tried to fit in.

Years ago, God told me, “Why do you keep trying to fit in, when I made you to stand out?” One of the greatest blessings that recovery has given me, is to know that God loves me ‘JUST AS I AM’.

Wow, this little girl has a powerful message. Beautiful voice.

Your Life Is Not an Adventure But a Quest

Your Life Is Not an Adventure But a Quest.

Remember God is in charge. I try to find out what God’s will is for me, and try to do it to the best of my ability. However it turns out, that is God’s will for me.

Seven years ago, I was divorced and lost my job. I had to move out of my apartment, because I had no job to pay rent. By God’s grace, I had a loving family who took me in. I did not want to move back home at the age of 50, and I felt like a failure. But with God, my family, and my support system, I survived it. As an added bonus, from God I met the man of my dreams 3 months later, and we married. We took care of my elderly mother for 6 yrs. and he has been my saving grace. I went back to college and earned my BS degree with honors.

I was so hopeful, that when I graduated I would find a good job, and then I could help support my family.  Well, suffice to say, the economy bottomed out, and my mother passed away, and still no job! Thank God, for God’s grace, my husband has been my “rock”, and he has been there for me all along.

Conclusion: If I had not “let go and let God” have my will and my life, I could have missed the last 6 yrs. with my mother, and would never have met my husband. God is good!

My suggestion: Never, never give up! Go where God leads you.

Seagulls in Flight~Reminds Me of the Book Johnathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the feature-length film of the same story, see Jonathan Livingston Seagull (film). For the Neil Diamond album featuring songs from the film, see Jonathan Livingston Seagull (album).
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Johnathan Livingston Seagull.jpg
Book cover for Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Author(s) Richard Bach
Illustrator Russel Munson
Language English
Subject(s) life of Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Genre(s) Spiritual
Self-Help
Novella
Publisher Macmillan Publishers
Publication date 1970
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 127 (paperback edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-380-01286-3(paperback edition)
OCLC Number 6158608

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach, is a fable in novella form about a seagull learning about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection. It was first published in1970 as “Jonathan Livingston Seagull — a story.” By the end of 1972, over a million copies were in print, Reader’s Digest had published a condensed version, and the book reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list where it remained for 38 weeks. In 1972 and 1973 the book topped the Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States.

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” In this new place, Jonathan befriends the wisest gull, Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.” Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.

Have A Dream

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of taking rest before we get tired. ~ Jules Renard.

Have you ever wonder why some people seem to succeed in everything they try? They have successful careers. They have great friendships. Actively and meaningfully involved in community services and are in great shape all the time. Then, there are those who seem to falter at everything they do. Why is this?

In many cases, they start out strong on some path of endeavor. But, somewhere along the way they let things slide. Then, they quit. And they will justify with excuses like, “I just couldn’t follow through with my leads.” “I got disconnected.” “I intended to do well.” “I wanted to work out, but so many things popped on the days I plan to work on this.” Somewhere in the back of their minds, they believe that intending to do things is…

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Gospel Relevance

Peter the disciple denies Jesus the Messiah. Not once or twice, but three times. Jesus predicted it would happen and it did.

“. . . And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he [Peter] went out and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75).”

Jesus would later die for sin and rise for salvation as God, Savior, and Lord. Peter would later go on to preach to thousands and be one of the prominent leaders in the early Church. But I have a question.

How many times after Jesus’ resurrection do you think Peter heard a rooster crow? Roosters were an animal, in Peter’s day, that were everywhere and Peter probably heard them crowing all the time.

When his ears were met with the crows, he may have felt sick to his stomach. Maybe he had horrific…

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Have A Dream

When life becomes a problem much too great for us to bear ……

When your nervous network
becomes a tangled mess,
Just close your eyes in silent prayer
And ask the Lord to bless
Each thought you are thinking
and each decision you must make
As well as each word you speak
and every step you take —
For only by the grace of God
can you gain self-control.
And only meditative thoughts
can restore your peace of soul.
Instead of trying to escape,
let us withdraw in prayer —
For withdrawal means renewal
if we withdraw to pray
And listen in the quietness
to hear what God will say.

I reckon we agree sometimes in life, things happens that are beyond repair. Say, the loss of a loved one, a debilating illness, going through a horrible divorce or break-up, the aftermath of a violent crime, a crippling accident and…

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