Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Missing Pig Is Found!

One of the first blogs I ever wrote is attached. I wrote this after going to see Roger Waters in concert. During the show he floats this huge pig overhead. It is 2 stories high and as wide as 2 school buses. Well, it seems that this giant pig escaped during a show. It was recovered in nearby neighborhoods. I'm sure it will be replaced. I hope that this time RW decides that he will not endorse a candidate that he cannot even vote for. At least something good came out of it. 2 lucky women got to share a $10K reward for returning the shredded pork!!

Paid For Propaganda
OK. I have had enough!! Since when is it OK for an artist to charge an addmission for a ticket and then slam thier political views down your throat??! This is what upsets me:I pay $30 for a stupid piece of grass (packaged and sold as a “lawn seat”) 1/2 mile away from the stage to see Roger Waters (Pink Floyd). Now I love Pink Floyd. Always have. But what I don’t like is that this guy likes to make statements about MY president and my country’s current leadership. I DO NOT agree with his views or opinions about anything. And this guy isn’t even from MY country!! SO I pay the stupid $30 and then have to endure his stupid views when the last thing that I am wanting to do is think about political stuff when I am sipping wine and enjoying music that I paid money to hear!!No one would dispute the talent of this man. No one could dispute the contribution to music that he has made along with his other band members. But where do these musicians, actors, and the like draw the line? I have read outragous remarks by Brad Pitt. Rosie O’Donnell. The Dixie Chicks. At least these people are from MY country. Let them use thier freedom of speech rights. But why do they have to do it in a realm of entertainment? Why do they feel that they need to blah blah this and blah blah that? And some of the things that they say are rediculous! Can’t these people think for themselves? I find it sad that they can only criticize the current situation and want to break down our country by throwing ill thought out opinions that very rarely have any substance to them.I mean this: Do these “women” who like to throw thier words around realize what kind of lives women in Iraq and Iran had before we entered thier country to help them? I’d like to say a few words here myself. How about forced clitoris removal? How about denial of education? Denied access to health care? How about spousal abuse? Sexual abuse? Honor killings? How about years and years under a black covering? Who do these people with big mouths think that they are? Do our soldiers not go into war knowing full well that they may die? Since when did joining the military become a safe career? Is is not an honor to die for freedom whether that be for OURS as in the USA or ensuring the freedom for someone who is oppressed? The last time I checked…Freedom has never been Free. It always comes with a price. Look at the price that was paid for my salvation.I will get off my soap box for now. I will continue to dare to think for myself. And I hope you will to.

Monday, April 28, 2008

300 Pots Of Coffee

I worked my first weekend shift at my second job this weekend. I am a coffee hostess / coffee wench at my local WaWa. If you don't have a WaWa near are denied. We serve the best coffee and the best sandwiches this side of heaven.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sanity and Insanity

Sanity. Something that we assume every human has. A rightful mind. The opposite of sanity conjures up all kinds of images in my head. But what is sanity? I know the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results”. I think in recovery that pretty much sums it up. When we enter thru the doors seeking recovery we are saying that we are done trying to fix it. We can’t. We need help. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. That implies that we are “insane” when we start out in recovery.
Lets take a step back in time and figure out where this insanity starts. You are not insane because your husband drinks. You are not insane because you kids are acting out. You are not insane because your boyfriend is a jerk. You are not insane because your life is out of control. It stated long before these things occurred.
When we are created we are knit together in our mothers womb by the hands of God. He creates us with a personality, certain bents, DNA that identifies us. Before we take our first breath the Creator knows us. We are brought into a sinful fallen world defenseless. To be raised and grown to adulthood. What we end up getting is anyone’s guess. What God creates us to have is a beautiful picture, listen to this:
Check out what Gayle Hoone, L.I.F.E. ministries says:
God meant for children to flourish in their created identity. Even at their beginnings, they are invested with the consciousness of God The Creator. HIS intent is that parents teach, guide, protect, while depositing honor [to prize, value, revere, esteem; to give dignity, originating from (giving) glory & numerous, rich, honorable] into the child’s soul-hearts, and minds.
Children learn via the growing experiences of a nurturing family, proper attitudes, and appropriate actions that honor others. The practice of these attitudes and actions generate life principles [codes and standards] of morality and integrity. Proper morality and integrity give growing privilege [freedom, honor, benefit] in each development stage of the child.
To honor means to respect, admire, revere, value, consider, follow, abide. The goal in a family is to accept each other’s uniquely made character, rather than comparing one to another. It is God’s love in the mother and father that compels a child to accept and embrace themselves, and others individuality.
Uniquely made character = Psalms 139.13-18.
Love = 1 Corinthians 13.4-8; James 2.8
Unfortunately, we don’t always get what God designs and intends for us. Thank you sin and free will. As a result of the fall of man, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, our parents and our parents parent’s and their parents before them have been passing down the effects of sin. The curse. We are brought into life and what we experience is the effects of sin and dysfunction. My mother and father were products of their parents and the effects of their dysfunction. They picked up the tools of communication and functioning and used them with their own children. Neither one of my parents sought after God and a life of holiness. I was raised without the influence of the church and the body of Christ to nurture and encourage me. My parents were on their own doing all that they knew how to do. But how does that equate with healthy? How does that equal insanity?
When a parent is dysfunctional, the child, who is like a sponge, absorbs the affliction [burdens and/or troubles] of the parent causing the child to lose needed mental and emotional development.. Gayle Hoone, L.I.F.E. ministries
We lose the ability to communicate. To feel. To think things thru. To love and be loved. We are a product of their sin and dysfunctional behavior. We are stunted. We grow up with wounds on our heart and unhealthy tapes playing in our head.
I grew up thinking that I was unwanted. Dumb. Ugly. In the way. My tapes say that no one likes me. I don’t belong. It must be me. I am no good. I am worthless. These are the messages that I grew up with embedded in my heart and mind. The seed of insanity and dysfunction were being sown all along.
Then I drag these tapes and messages into adulthood where they are in full gear. I then enter into relationships. What do you suppose happens? I try to undo the tapes and messages and prove that I am able. I enter into dysfunctional relationships where I hope to redeem myself and get it right. I set out to prove that I am just the opposite of the tapes and messages. I am not like my parents. But I have all the coping skills that I learned from them. I have all the patterns of the past. I have the model of dysfunction to follow. Insanity says that I can do it better if I try harder next time. Insanity says that if I just give more and try longer then the result will be different. And over and over the cycle repeats. Relationship after relationship. Failure after failure. And all the while I am still carrying the tapes in my head and the festering wounds on my heart.
To me the definition of sanity is realizing that I am not GOD. I don’t have to be. I don’t have to fix it. I don’t have to change THEM. I don’t have to. I don’t. My decisions are based on truth not feelings. My choices are made with my eyes wide open. Sanity to me is acting not “re-acting”.
So if we enter into recovery to get healthy. To be whole. To be functional. Why do you think that once we get a taste of the good stuff. The peace. The pain eases. The stress relieves. Why do you think that we want to keep going back into situations that are a pattern of the past? Why do we keep looking for affirmation from the family of origin that hurt us? Why do we keep seeking love and acceptance from the system that scarred us to begin with? Why do we attract abusers? Why do we attract the angry men? The alcoholics?
I recently spoke with my sponsee and she told me that her sister commented to her that, “She just wants her sister back”….and this made me wonder. What if the sister that she remembers is nothing but a shadow of dysfunction and a shadow of the past? What is the sister was a person made up of unhealthy coping skills. What if the sister is a completely different person when she comes out of recovery?
Recovery if it is done correctly, strips away to the bone the sick unhealthy part of us. The defenses and the coping skills that destroy are cut away. The heart is circumcised and filled. A whole new person emerges into life. Into sanity. Living life with full confidence in God that He is ultimately in control and that we are only responsible for our part and what He desires of us. What we emerge with is the Freedom to BE who and what HE created to begin with. We emerge a new creation complete with the awareness that “just for today” and “that was then and this is now”. We emerge with the ability to not react to feelings or tapes. But we live one breath at a time trusting that He will work out the results.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Turtle On A Half Shell....

I have always described myself as a turtle. A recovery turtle. Simply said, that means that I usually move slowly. Make changes slowly. Make decisions painfully slowly. I usually know which way I am headed and the goal in sight but I just take a while to ‘get there’. I am steady and purposeful in my steps. I rarely falter in my steps and I never seem to change direction. I will however stop and rest. Make a pit stop and evaluate. I have been sitting at a pit stop for a time. Not spinning my recovery wheels or anything like that…just evaluating where it is that I am headed. I often will take a look back over my turtle shell and see where I have come from because I think it’s important to measure progress. It also gives me a chance to pat myself on the back for hard work done.

I was talking to one of my mentors at church recently about this turtle persona that I have taken on. I shared with her how I have been hurt by the leadership and other people that I serve on a ministry team with. She said “well, where is your shell?”……I had one of those “HUH???” moments. A moment of clarity. Where is my shell? Then it hit me square in the heart. I have been extremely vulnerable. I guess in order for me to function on a recovery type ministry team I have always believed that we have to be open. Honest. Direct. And vulnerable. Un-masked. WITHOUT the SHELL. I guess I was trained to be all of these things in the past ministry I served in. How can you minister to others that are hurt and broken if you cannot share you own hurts and brokenness? How can you show hope without being raw and real with the pain and the past that Christ has healed you from. So I have always functioned without my shell in this type of ministry. I have exposed myself and walked around with the expectation that I am safe in a ministry that is recovery focused. I walked around thinking that the others that I served with would be healthy. And as result I have come away with wounds. Deep wounds caused by people that I believed were there to help to bind up wounds not create them. I was deeply mistaken to think that the others were healthy. I was grossly mistaken when I believed that I was safe.

So I have some more sorting to do. After taking some time off to lick my wounds and get focused I know that I know that I am supposed to give away the hope and healing that I was given by Christ. I am called to teach. To teach and guide. So do I go back into this ministry still vulnerable without my shell? OR can I slip that protective shell on and still function? How can I be bare-assed honest with what I have when I feel unsafe and worried that I will be hurt by the team that I serve with? Can it be done and is it what Christ wants from me? Or does he want me to serve as HE did? Without shells or pretense? I am called to share in HIS suffering. He was hurt, rejected, called a heretic. Why should my life and my walk with Him be any different?

I have found in the church. This bride of Christ, that there are so many wounded broken people. ‘Stupid Church People’ MASK UP when they are in church. Very rarely do we see authenticity. Rarely do we see the real stuff. Rarely do we see the ugly of the brothers and sisters. Recovery ministries are where we need to get honest and throw the guts on the floor. It is where we are supposed to feel safe and cared about enough to do that. Do we in ministry and the church really need to offer a fake response to the real dirt? Or do we need to show the guts and glory of recovery? Just a thought or two. Can I give away what I have to the leaders when I am discredited? Christ was discredited by the Leaders of his day. How can I wash the feet of those I serve with and those that need help when I am not accepted? Christ was not accepted by the Leaders either. How can I stay healthy and focused when I am constantly looking and scanning for the next burning arrow that is flying towards me? And is it worth it to even bother with THIS ministry. THIS church? THIS team?

In true turtle form. I will take the time to sift and sort this one. Ponder. Ponder. I don’t have to ‘get there’ today. But is sure nice to enjoy the current pit stop that I have found. I am safe here. I can rest. I can be healed. I can wait for the next step.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Step 2: Came To Believe

We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

I have always heard it explained this way:

First we CAME (we showed up)
Then we CAME TO (the denial lifted)
Then we CAME TO BELIEVE (that there was hope)

I want to break this down even more. The first 3 Steps are always the hardest. They are all about surrender. Surrender your way of trying to do life. Your way of trying to make it better. Make the pain stop. Make the insanity stop. Make the husband stop drinking. The kids stop acting out. Make the house quiet. Stop fixing everything. Stop being exhausted. Stop lying. Stop spending money. Stop eating. Stop NOT eating. Surrender is something that comes pretty hard to most.

Coming to believe that there is hope is a pretty scarey thing. We want to believe there is hope. That there is a God out there that cares. That there is freedom from striving and spinning and twirling and living out of control. Most people that enter recovery come in with some awareness that there is a Creator. It is the "coming to believe" that is the hard part. It requires us to trust. Trusting that there is a God and that WE matter to Him??

How can be get to a place where our need for a higher power is greater than the fear and disbelief of reaching out for Him? For some men and women the concept of a Heavenly Father is terrifying. Thier fathers here on earth have traumatized them, shamed them, hurt them, bruised thier souls, and crushed the very spirit inside them. Reaching out to a 'father' in heaven is beyond reason.

I'm going to get really honest here in these posts. I will not hide. I am a firm believer that there is no other reason for going thru what we go thru, other than to give away the hope that we recieved thru restoration of Christ. As I said I will draw from others and what they have to say, but I will draw from my own recovery the most. I am an incest survivor. My father took my innocence when I was 4 yrs old. Then he abandoned the family. So for me, the concept of a 'father' was something that I could not reach out to. But the really cool thing about the Father is that He provided me with his Son. Jesus. Jesus was the one I reached out to. I had to separate this in my mind before my heart could grasp it. Jesus walked me thru the darkest placest of my recovery. He fought for me. Stood up for me. Healed me.
Restored me.

That is what I "Came To Believe" and what He used to restore me to sanity.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What IS Normal??

Here is a link to an awesome blog on what normal is. It is written by Gayle Hoone of L.I.F.E. Ministries of Tampa Bay FL. She has some other really insightful stuff on her website. Check it out! You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rusted and Weathered...Step 1

I lie awake on a long, dark night
I can’t seem to tame my mind
Slings and arrows are killing me inside
Maybe I can’t accept the life that’s mine
No I can’t accept the life that’s mine
Simple living is my desperate cry
Been trading love with indifference yeah it suits me just fine
I try to hold on but I’m calloused to the bone
Maybe that’s why I feel alone
Maybe that’s why I feel so alone
Me…I’m rusted and weathered
Barely holding together
I’m covered with skin that peels and it just won’t heal

When I hear this song by Creed it just reminds me of myself when I am "IN MY STUFF". My mind races. I have no peace. I have not clarity. At times when I lose my focus and take my eyes off Jesus, Satan will attck and so will the tapes of negative messages from my childhood that are embedded in my brain.

I have to remember to take up that Sword of the Spirit (the word of God) and fight fire with fire. Most of the 'slips' in my own disease co-dependentcy occur when I am not sharpening my sword. I lay the Word down. I get lazy. Or I "feel" strong and put my 'tools' away.
It is a cycle. A form of denial that once it take that tiny step into it spins out of control and away I go. Like an alcoholic with that first drink.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Idols And Affirmation

Idolatry is defined as:
1) The religious worship of idols.
2) Excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion.
3) Obsession, madness, mania.
I’ve been thinking a lot about idolatry lately. What a strange word right? It’s an old school biblical term that you don’t really hear a lot about. I believe that’s because as Christians we don’t pursue idols. Not the idols spoken of in the old testament. We certainly reject the mere thought of having them in our lives. We don’t offer incense or food sacrificed to anything. We don’t offer praise to anyone but God.
But, I for one have discovered that I have been keeping an idol. Not the “on bended knee” kind of idol. I am not prostrate on the ground in worship. But the kind of idol that involves putting someone else before God. The people-pleasing-fear-of-man kind of idolatry.
I let my ex-boyfriend become an idol. I wanted his acceptance. His approval. As a result of that I let myself be consumed blindly by my idolatry.
What I don’t understand about all this, is how it happened. How did I let myself fall into the old thought patterns of my disease….co-dependency? What is it about me that is still broken to the degree that I don’t even think twice about falling into the pattern? It comes so natural to me. I have realized that it is PART of me. Part of my nature.
I can function in a relationship with any healthy man, woman, or child and stay healthy and focused myself. But you add to that relationship, an unhealthy person. A controlling person. A biased person. A religious person. And I tend to lose me. And worse, I tend to lose sight of WHO I was created to be. And I tend to follow after the sick twisted thoughts and feelings of my co-dependency. Within days….my disease has taken over and away I go. Chasing after approval. Chasing after acceptance. No matter what. Throwing myself away. Losing respect for me. And that plummets me deeper and deeper into a place that isn’t a good place for me to be.
Holy shit!!
I have come to terms that I do not have to please anyone. I don’t have to have all the right answers. I do not have to conform to anything or anyone but God. I don’t have to live a life of accommodation for someone else’s comfort. I don’t know all there is to know. I don’t think I want to. But this I do know….I am perfect just the way I am. I am already accepted. Already loved. Already bought and paid for. I am already sealed. I am already sanctified. I am who He created. I also know that there is no such thing as a mistake for a believer. We have learning experiences. A chance to be more refined. More like Jesus. When I blow it in the minors or the majors just doesn’t matter. I must go forward. I must.
Looking at this idol in my life made me wonder what other idols there could be lurking and skulking about. What else must come to the surface as I continue to sort and sift. Time will certainly tell.
What idols are presenting themselves in your life?