Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#70: Not Bad for a Cheap Digital Camera [30 Day Photo Blog] [101 in 1001]

Nutty as it is, considering I just finished a month- long blog challenge, I've started a month's long photo blog challenge.  I don't remember where the idea originated from, but I though it would be fun to try.

What I'll be doing is going through my normal days (whatever normal is) and I'll take pictures along the way.  I'm not a professional photographer and I have a very cheap digital camera that only goes up to 4 megapixels.  Don't laugh; I know your cell phone has more than that, but at least my cell phone can actually make phone calls. **smile**

I hope y'all will enjoy another month of nuttiness...this time with pictures.

Titters from the Twitter (and Other Places) April 2014

This month's titters from the Twitter (and other places).  Enjoy! 

04/01:  From Facebook:  S.Dibiase shared:

04/03:  From YouTube:  Courtesy of the Rick and Bubba show

04/04:  From Twitter:  @BenDukes tweeted:  You guys think Myspace is dead…but today I received $0.01 in streaming royalties from there. So eat it.

04/04:  From Twitter:  @Bridger_w tweeted:  If I were a new parent, occasionally I would post a photo on Facebook of a baby that wasn't mine just to see who was paying attention.

04/05:  From Twitter:  @GeorgeTakei tweeted:

04/06:  From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted:  "Thanks for driving slower when I tailgated you!" What I think a guy in a Hyundai tried to tell me today with his horn and finger.

04/07:  From Facebook:  R.Tompkins shared:

04/08:  From Twitter:  @GeorgeTakei tweeted:

04/11:  From Twitter:  @GeorgeTakei tweeted:

04/12:  From Facebook:  M.Bohon shared:

04/13:  From Twitter:  @lynnfergy tweeted:  Just asked Ferg (11) the difference between a bison and a buffalo. "You can't wash your hands in a buffalo" he said.

04/15: From Facebook:  C.Harper shared:

04/16: From Facebook:  D.Goodman shared:

04/16:  From Twitter:  @GeorgeTakei tweeted:

04/16:  From Facebook:  Crochetville shared:

04/17:  From Pinterest:  K. Hall pinned:

04/21:  From Pinterest:  A.Raulerson pinned:

4/22:  From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted:  "We are all Tom Hanks staring at a volleyball for community, only instead we are holding phones." What just said to me.

4/22/14:  From Facebook:  R.Tompkins shared:

04/23:  From  Funny text.

04/29:  From a Facebook group site:

Z is for Zee End...or is it? [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y

Zee End...or is it?
As I end this blog challenge, I thought I'd present some "honorable mentions" for my recovery heroes series:

Dolvett, Jillian, and Bob:  The Biggest Loser Trainers.

The sweet ladies from my Sunday School class.  We are called morning blend.

77 year old Ernestine Shepherd is one of the world's oldest competitive female body builders.  She didn't get started on her health journey until she was in her 50's.

Richard Simmons.  Flamboyant? Yes.  But this dude has maintained his health for about as long as I've been on this planet!

I hope you've enjoyed going on this blog challenge journey with me.  Stick around for more


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Spiders in My Salad: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.

April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Are you blooming where you're planted as we begin the month of May?
No, right now I'm an acorn in the wind just trying to be the nut that held is ground and became a mighty oak... or at least a decent sapling.
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no big deal, and 10 being full scale panic, rank your fear of spiders.
1.  I just stomp them and go on.
May is National Salad Month (who knew???)...besides lettuce, what are two must-have ingredients in your favorite salad?
Spinach (it's not lettuce!).  I also must have some sort of cheese, either grated cheese or cottage cheese.  Yes, I know I'm weird, but I put cottage cheese on salad.
I mentioned on my blog last week that my Daughter1 will be moving to Washington State after she is married. Of the following sites in the Northwest, which would you most like to see in person-Crater Lake (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Vancouver (British Columbia), San Juan Islands (Washington),  Mt. Rainer (Washington) Oregon Coast (Oregon), Mt. St. Helens (Washington), or Olympic National Park (Washington)
Neither.  I'd rather go a little further south and visit sites in California.
This coming weekend marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby...when did you last race (literally or figuratively) to cross a finish line? 
About 3 weeks ago.  I ran a 5k in Anniston, Alabama.
What is something little you love?
Babies.  And they love me.
Would you say you are more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Elaborate.
I'm actually more of a tactile learner.  I learn processes and mechanics better when I can get my hands in something and play around with it and do it myself.  For facts I must memorize or information I must retain, I'm a better auditory learner.  I love to read, but I also get more out of a book if I read difficult passages out loud.
Insert your own random thought here.
April has been a strange and difficult month, but not all bad.  Some things I'll not share today because they are not finalized.  But some stuff I need to get off my chest.  WARNING:  venting coming.  If you're not in the mood for it, move on.  I'll be back in the fun zone quickly.
April 23rd marks the 10 year anniversary of my father's death.  The first year was the toughest, but every year after that it got easier. The death of a parent is nothing you just "get over," but the pain of loss eases.  For some reason, this year was different.  Several nights before the "day," I started having dreams about my dad.  They were good dreams, but when I awoke, I had to remind myself he was gone.  The pain started crowding in like it was happening all over again.   
I still haven't visited my father's grave since the day he was buried.  I know I should, but I want to go alone and I don't want to disturb anyone else's time.  I have such a large family that I never know when one of them will be there.  I also fear going alone.  Strange dichotomy, I know, but I need someone to feel my pain with, but not family.  I love my family, but I usually don't allow myself to be the real me around them--not in pleasure or in pain.  I need someone who will not belittle my pain or emotions because they thought I was incapable of them.  For the most part, I grieved for Daddy alone, and I guess I must continue to do so.
Then another sad event much less important than my dad's death happened.  One of my recovery hero/mentors, Craig Ferguson, announced that he is leaving The Late Late Show at the end of the year.  Not nearly as painful, but it just added to an already sucky month.  Hopefully May will be better.  Oh crap, my birthday is in May.  Never mind.  :(

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for YMCA [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X

Pulling into the parking lot, I see the nice cars lined up in the spaces; some with the little stick figure family decals (which I think are tacky simply because they are of no use to me).  Many of the vehicles even sport a bicycle rack (oh hoity toity).  I gaze at the well manicured grounds, smell the fresh paint, and hear the music coming from inside.  I think, “Oh Lord, what am I doing here?  I don’t belong here.”  Hesitantly, I step through the front door.  I’m greeted in the foyer by faces; some smiling, some looking like they’ve been sucking on a sour pickle for 14 years.  Sigh.  I haven’t even said good morning, and the analysis has started already.”  Timidly, I go into the crowded main room.  Those familiar with the routine are exchanging pleasantries, giving a quick smile and nod my way.  A few more “pickles” are puckering up and nodding my way as if to say “What is SHE doing here?!  This is OUR place!  Who does she think she is?!”  I try to ignore their stares.  With shaking hands I hang up my jacket, pop in my headphones, and step onto the treadmill.  And so, the fight begins.
I’ve often heard it said that a church is the most judgmental place on earth.  Unfortunately, that is true in some cases.  However, I believe that the gym is an even more judgmental place. - Excerpt from my post "Mind Your Business." 

YMCA of Calhoun CountyThis superior attitude had been the majority of my experiences with working out in public.  I'd been to a couple of gyms that offered free trials before I signed on the dotted line.  They were all too intimidating and made me feel like I didn't belong.  Sorry, but I guess fitness clubs are for people to stand around and talk about how fit they already are, not to actually get fit  This was in the days before JackVegas built our new Community Center and before Planet Fitness and their "no gymtimidation" commercials.  That is, until I encountered the local YMCA.
When I was about 10 years old, my Girl Scout troop (shout out to troop 149 Cottaquilla Council) had a lock-in at the Calhoun County YMCA.  I know I was just a kid running around playing and eating junk food, but something about how nice people were stood out to me.  Years later, I decided to try a membership there.  They were great.  The Y is how all gyms should be:
  • They had instructors who showed the proper way equipment should be used and would not move on to the next apparatus until they were sure you understood what you were doing..  No guesswork or injuries.
  • They had fitness classes for every level with certified fitness instructors.  (There wasn't any Zumba back then, thank the Lord.)
  • Anyone not there to workout was asked to leave.  I remember being in a cardio kickboxing class when a group of women came in, sat on the back row, and proceeded to watch, point, and laugh at us instead of participating with us.  The instructor promptly stopped the music and told them to either join in or leave.  They left.  No lunks, no spectators, no BS.  Thank you very much!
  • There were no "club levels."  In other words, you weren't asked to get off of a piece of equipment because you weren't in a particular workout group or socioeconomic class.  Been there, done that, you can keep it.
I worked out there for a good long while and had a great time.  It was the first place where I actually looked forward to working out and had fun in the process.  Financial difficulties were the only reason I gave up my membership. 
I visited the Y this past month for a running clinic and orthotics demonstration.  There was more of the same cheerful and accepting attitude.  There will always be a special place in my heart for the Y.


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for X's [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

"All my x's live in...stretch pants." - Me
“Even if you look good–because women at 40, 50, 60 are working out and y’all look good–but you can’t wear the pants that say ‘Juicy.’ Stop that!” - Sinbad, Comedian
I hate shopping.  I know that's a shocker for a female to say.  Want to pass out?  I'm probably the only woman on the planet who hates to buy shoes.  *thud*
In the beginning when my clothing size was off the chart, shopping was difficult because there wasn't much available for the plus size/extended size/heifer-husky size.  The choices were stripped muumuu, flowered muumuu, stripped muumuu with flowers, flowered muumuu with get the idea. 
As I began to lose x's--I've lost at least 3; I've got one left--I had more choices...sort of.  The smaller the size, the less fabric used to make the garment.  Can designers not find a happy medium between "Extreme Makeover: Prude Edition" and "BET's Hoochie Mama Collection" without everything looking like a business/church lady suit or MawMaw wear?  Look, my 80-year old mom doesn't even wear MawMaw wear!  But hey, at least it's not a muumuu.
A wonderful piece of advice that has helped me in my journey actually came from Dr. Phil.  Years ago In my cable days when his show featured The Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge, he said that when clothes were too big, to get rid of them.  This gets rid of two things:  the temptation to make poor choices that get me back into the larger sized clothes, and the "might need" mentality that sets me up for failure (and clutter).  I've done that, and even though I'm struggling, I've managed to stay in the same sized clothes for more than a year.  Dr. Phil also said to get rid of elastic waist pants, but I can't go there yet.  Elastic waist pants are cheaper.
It's a small thing, but I'm still amazed every time I look at the XL tags in my clothes.  It still feels like they shouldn't fit, but they do.  After looking a huge clothes in my closet for so many years, an XL, though still big, looks very small to me.
Imagine what a nut I'll act when I'm down to a large! Have mercy!


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for Woolly Booger [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V

Woolly Booger
This is Jimmy.  Jimmy (or as I say to people, my friend over there with the woolly booger beard) is a fellow struggler and Christ follower  He is also the Training Coach for my local Celebrate Recovery (CR).

Why is Jimmy a hero to me?  1) I've heard his testimony of struggle and triumph, and seen the evidence of God working in his life.  B) Jimmy has such a heart for CR.  He simply oozes recovery.  3) Jimmy encouraged my running.  Last year, He and I ran many of the same 5k races.  Well, not only is he taller than I am, Jimmy is also a much faster runner.  He would finish his race, run back to find me, and run with me to my finish--cheering me on the whole time since he pretty much could just walk to keep up with me.  That wasn't something I asked him to do; it was his way of encouraging me to keep going until I finished.

Is that not how recovery works?  A sponsor or accountability partner  who's further along in his recovery--comes along side someone who's not as advanced, pushing them to finish the course no matter how long it takes.  That's why I said Jimmy simply oozes recovery without even trying.

Thanks for being a hero, my woolly booger friend!

For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Volunteering [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U

"Make yourself useful."  Man, how many times have I heard that over the years?  I was always told that serving others was a help to them.  I've observed how much volunteering also helps me.
  • It keeps me active.  While I am still job hunting, volunteering gives me a burst of activity that accomplishes something useful.  It's softens the blow of rejection from potential employers.
  • Volunteering lets me use my strengths.  Most of my duties involve music, crafts, or office work.  Three things I'm good at.
  • I meet new people through volunteering.  It's awesome that God has taken me from painfully shy to social butterfly.
  • It gives me a purpose.  One of the worst feelings in the world is to be bombarded with the thought that my life serves no purpose.  My purpose is constantly challenged because I have no husband, children, or (as of right now) a job.  Apparently, society has dictated that those are the only three purposes in life for a female.  When ladies get together, those seem to be the only three things they seem to try to find commonality on.  Kind of frustrating.  When I get the chance to help someone, they don't reject the help because I'm not married or say, "I'm sorry, but we don't accept donations from the childless."  They don't care.  Let me rephrase that; MOST of the time, they don't care.  Sorry, but I have actually been rejected for service because of my marital status.  Tacky, I know, but in some circles, marital status is a direct correlation to one's ability to wash dishes.  O.o
  • Volunteering is just plain FUN. 

Some of the places I'm able to make myself useful:
Check them out.  They can always use more useful folks.


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Five Minute Friday: "Friend"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)
Trust.  Real friendships are about trust.  Jesus said in John 15:14 "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."  This is not some bully saying, "I'll only be your friend if you do what I tell you."  No, insecure teenage girls do that.  To me, what Jesus was saying is, "Hey, if you do life the way I do it, then you trust me enough to call me friend."
It's a horrible feeling to not be trusted.  Whether it's with bosses or coworkers, or friends.  Sadly, I have betrayed the trust of some friends and vice versa.  It hurts like all get out when it happens.  It's a beautiful thing when that trust is restored.
I love my friends, whether they be face-to-face friends I see in person, or my social media associates I've never seen "in the flesh."  It's just wonderful to finally have people in my life that I can trust to share my heart with.
My favorite friendship song is Friend of God by Lakewood Live.  (video below).
My least favorite?  Friends are Friends Forever by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.  Church youth group bullies used that song for exclusion purposes and I absolutely loathe it!  (no video below--I love y'all too much for that). 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for UGLY [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T

What if everywhere you went, you ran into someone you didn’t like? In fact, you absolutely loathed them! Wouldn’t that be an absolute horror? "Oh, crap," you’d think "him again!" You go to a party and you have to hear all about her family and what she thinks. You go to church and he’s sitting right beside you in choir to sing loud and off-key in your ear. "What a pain in the...butt this is!" you think. Then, it gets even worse. There he is at the dinner table with you! She’s lounging by the pool on your vacation. They are EVERYWHERE!

Now, before you put on your sanctimonious shoes and say "I don’t hate anybody. God says we’re supposed to love everybody’ answer me this question. What if I told you that the hated person I just described is YOU? 
That's right, YOU!
As many mean things as I've seen, heard, and had done to me over the years, the meanest things I see now are thing things that we say and do to ourselves.  We give others grace and mercy while giving ourselves none, we say things to and about ourselves that we wouldn't dare say to or about someone else.  When is the last time you told someone else that they were fat, old, lazy, and stupid?  Yet, we say these things to ourselves every day.
So how to we fix this?  We've got to get UGLY:
U - U
G - Gotta
L - Love
Y - Yourself
One of the hardest things for me to take on in my journey is loving myself.  It comes from a combination of fighting low self-esteem from years of feeling unloved by others, plus being taught the bonehead concept that loving oneself was selfish and sinful.  In several places in the Bible, it says to love oneself:

Leviticus 19:18 - Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
Matthew 22:37-39 -Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Romans 13:9 - ...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:14 - For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
James 2:8 - If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.
These passages tell me one important thing:  I cannot truly love others until I truly love and care for myself.  I tried for years to simply focus on loving others and ignore my own needs and feelings.  I tried to make the passages say, "Love thy neighbor better than thyself.  In fact, don't love thyself at all."  The worse I felt about myself, the worse I felt about others and assumed they felt the same way about me as I felt about myself.  Talk about depressing. I had start trying to see myself as God saw me--the way Christ saw me--I was to die for.  I'm nowhere near where I should be, but I'm working on getting and staying UGLY.
The getting UGLY principle in recovery?  Principle 2:  Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recovery.  "Happy are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."  Matthew 5:4 


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Twelve Steps [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S

Twelve Steps
The Twelve Steps of Recovery and their Biblical Comparisons
We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors. That our lives had become unmanageable. Romans 7:18 - I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Philippians 2:13 - For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God. Romans 12:1 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Lamentations 3:40 - Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. James 5:16 - Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. James 4:10 - Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Luke 6:31 - Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Matthew 5:23-24 - Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. I Corinthians 10:12 - So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.

We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out. Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Galatians 6:1 - Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to:

Indescribable Chit-Chat: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.


April 22nd is Earth Day. Are you inspired by nature? In what way?
For me, nature inspires my art.  On of my favorite projects are still life paintings of flowers.  There are so many different kinds of flowers that it will take my whole life to learn to paint just a fraction of them.   Nature inspires worship.  Seeing God's hand in the beauty around me shows His creativity and His utter awesomeness.

Down to earth, four corners of the earth, move heaven and earth, not have an earthly chance, or salt of the earth...which earthly idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.
I'd say "down to earth" and "salt of the earth."  I've been spending a lot of time with my friend Sue.  She's one of my God-grandmothers who is very down to earth and tells it like it is.  There's nothing pretentious about her.  She's also one of those salt of the earth people who loves to help people however she can. 
Share one piece of advice you might give a newly engaged couple.
READ THIS BOOK AND DO IT!  Most marriage squabbles happen over money!

When did you last engage someone to perform a job, task, service, home repair, or improvement? On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the best) how would you rate their work and/or your satisfaction with the job or service provided?
Don't get me started.  Every time I call the maintenance department for my apartment complex, I never know what kind of service I'll get.  They've got one guy who works hard to make sure things are done right.  I rarely get him.  Then, there's the other guy who doesn't want to fix anything, speak to you, or pull up his pants (eww!).  This is the same guy who told me I didn't have a leak under my kitchen sink (btw-I'm still collecting buckets of water underneath my non-dripping sink) and told me I just needed to keep the sink dry.  Do what?  It's a SINK!  The two best repair people I've ever dealt with for other issues are Scot, who has a bicycle repair shop, and Steve, who runs an appliance repair business.
When did you last find yourself engaged in small talk? Are you awkward or an expert or somewhere in between?
I volunteered at Sav-A-Life today.  We're professional chit-chatters.  Along with the work we do, chatting with my friends is one of the things I look forward to every week.  I'm pretty good at it.  Give me long enough and I can always find the funny in it.
What was the last historic place you visited?
Well, I visit the refurbished train depot on the Ladiga Trail quite often.  I've often wondered if I should sign the guest book every time I use their bathroom?

The world would be a better place if we just ______________.
Love God and love one another.
Insert your own random thought here.
This is the first time in a long while that I've had a little bit of the blues.  Not depression or anything--thank God--just a little bummed.  I think it's a combination of looking at everyone else's good times from Easter weekend (family joy and stuff), an upcoming list of church fellowships that I long to be a part of but can't, the anniversary of an event I'd rather not relive, and the onslaught of the "week of woman."  Oh joy.  Hopefully, this funk will be gone by morning.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Serenity? [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Theme A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R

Serenity - the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.

The Serenity Prayer

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.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

[Before I start this discourse, let me issue a disclaimer.  I am in no way criticizing the prayer or the programs the prayer represents.  I'm critiquing my understanding of it.  Thank you.  Now read on...]
I've sat through almost six years worth of recovery meetings, all of which were ended with this prayer.  From day one of hearing it in it's entirety, I've been mystified by the purpose of it.  I've not felt serenity from it, but rather, confusion and a bit of dejection settles in.  How?  Well, let's just take this a piece at a time.

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.  How can I possibly just lie down and accept this addiction I can't change, or anything else for that matter?  But then, I hear during every meeting how I can't change myself.  So the message is confusing; you can't change yourself, so you need recovery to change.  Oh, wait, you need to just passively accept what you can't change.  This conundrum doesn't give me an option to "know the difference."

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;  I have found great comfort in this portion of the prayer.  Living in the now while receiving healing from the past and planning for a bright future is so freeing.

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;  Hold on, hardships and failures is why I've not had any peace.  God and His word are the pathway to peace.  Jesus Himself is the Prince of Peace.  According to Strong's Concordance of the Bible, the word peace in Hebrew is shalom, which means "completeness, welfare, safety, health," or as one of my favorite ministers defines it "nothing missing, nothing broken."  Ongoing destructive hardships are the direct opposite of the Biblical definition of peace.  This is getting worse...

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;  I do not understand this line at all.  Yes, Jesus took the world as it is.  However, He forever changed it by his life, death, and resurrection.  So, the world didn't stay "as it is."   My job is to live a life that makes the world better and not leave it as it is.  So, I don't get that part.

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.  God is working on me to make all things right, so I'm sure I can be more than just reasonably happy.  The definition of reasonable is "moderate, not excessive."  I have the Spirit of the living God inside me and I'm only supposed to pray for just enough happiness?  No way!  Ephesians 3:20-21 says "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."  Doesn't sound merely reasonable to me.  Yes, I know that heaven will be better than anything I can imagine.  However, I don't see winning others to Christ if I'm only reasonably happy to be one of His followers.  I've never seen "lemon religion" or "pickle-puss evangelism" work on anyone.  

I realize the this prayer is just a small part of the meetings, and I've just simply refused to pray it because I don't understand it, but many of my fellow strugglers really get a lot of peace from it.  I haven't yet.

I know my blog challenge is about recovery nouns and recovery heroes and this seems to contradict that.  But, I think the good part is that I'm allowed to question these things and find answers.  I'm sure that I will get the answers I need to make this prayer an integral part of my recovery.


For more information on the A-Z Blog Challenge, go to: