Leaving the Throne

It was one year ago I saw her post with a picture of the ragged bible and went looking for my Bible. It was sitting on a shelf of books collecting dust, but it had a cover on it which I wrote about here. This year, I took the protective cover off in hopes that it would begin to look used. Let’s just say it’s been a process.

When I brought it down from the shelf, I laid it on the windowsill and I picked it up every now and then to read. It got moved from the windowsill to the bedside table. This table is on the far side of the bed, so basically it laid in a corner. I’d wake up and gaze at that Bible seeming so far away, but not completely out of reach.

I’d grab my phone and do a meditation instead.

A while ago, the Bible made it to the table on my side of the bed. When I sit up in the morning, I still grab my phone, but I grab the Bible along with it. I look at Instagram to see if this same woman with the ragged Bible from a year ago has posted a verse to read. She calls it a ‘Faith Read’ and posts the chapter and verse.

In my previous post, my daughter loved the picture of the woman sitting on the pier. It is a beautiful photo, but I found it on Google. I dug up the photo below and this was my pier. I stood there almost every morning, waiting to see the sunrise and to praise and worship God. This pier got me through everything life threw.

This pier is where God showed up every time I did.

Not quite as blissful looking as Google’s.

While driving into town, I heard a song on the radio. It was an old Philips, Craig and Dean song and it took me back to this pier. It was the song I sang when I wasn’t feeling the whole ‘just show up’ thing. You are God alone, gives me peace and comfort in knowing no matter what we see today, He is still on the throne, and He’s not leaving the throne.

Follow the Breadcrumbs

Once you connect with the dream in your heart, it won’t leave, but it’s easy to put everything else before it. Since posting The Beach Rug, I’ve been following the trail of breadcrumbs.

I’ve had this cutting board for as long as I can remember. Why I took it with me when I left my marriage, I’m not sure, but am grateful I did. I was standing in the kitchen slicing a lemon for a pitcher of lemon water. No matter what I’m cutting, or how much pressure is applied, it just sits there unmoved.

I have a secret to share. When life gets to be a little much, or my job is throwing darts at rapid fire, I make croutons. My daughter will concur, a French Baguette in the house means contentment. I walk into the kitchen, lay it on the cutting board, and pull out my bread knife. I slice it in half, then slice it again lengthwise and continue slicing into the shape of croutons.

Step One of the croutons.

I’ve been doing this since mid March, so it doesn’t require any thought. This is my time to think through some thoughts. With each slice a thought floats by that may or may not need attention. When the slices are complete, I dump them into my red bowl to add garlic, parmesan and olive oil.

Slow the pace to watch your thoughts and only keep the ones of value. By letting go of the ones taking up space, we make room to see what’s important. Focus on that.

Always the red bowl and spatula.

My friend Shawna over at Finding a Sober Miracle left this comment, “This is exactly how my life works! And it happens all the time. And this morning, your blog is another bread crumb in my quest to find out just where I should be focusing my attention.” I found her comment in Spam as I was writing this post. Oh yes, darling check your Spam! Breadcrumbs have a way of hiding.

She left the comment on Breathe It in, and has no idea I’m writing this post which was titled days ago. When I told my daughter about the comment, she asked, “How does it make you feel?” I said, “It’s like confirmation of the path.” Watch for clues that you’re on the right path and follow the breadcrumbs.

Completed croutons in Caesar Salad.

We’ve been talking about living the dream. Here are the posts in order up to now. Thank you for your love and support. ~Barb

Keep Choosing Her

I woke up this morning to the smell of Mrs. Meyers. I cleaned house yesterday, and not just the usual dusting and vacuuming. No, my darling, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing corners.

It reminded me of my drinking days.

I was a falling down, blackout drunk.

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I posted this on my Letitgocoach Facebook page, but seeing it again this morning, it spoke to me as a sober woman. Sobriety is a choice, and when you have family history of alcoholism, the odds of drinking increase.

Recently, I offended a friend of mine.

She lost her sobriety after taking care of her Grand-kids for a week. That would definitely be a tempting time to drink, but no, I’m not giving up sobriety. She asked if I’d ever been tempted to drink, and I told her, “You would think so when the doctor told me I had Breast Cancer, but you can’t drink during Chemotherapy.”

She compared my Cancer, to her one bad day.

Hey, anyone can stop drinking, but living sober is an act of God. It’s a hard choice, and by His grace, the only choice to continue being a sober woman, is to keep choosing her.

A Dreamy Bed

My heart beats a little bit faster for a dreamy bed.

My daughter was home over the weekend, and I wanted to let her catch up on some sleep. As I closed her bedroom door, this quote came to mind, and I remembered this photo on my vision board.

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The two combined became a meme.

I’ve been pondering linen for my bed, but have you priced linen sheets? The real ones are not merely a purchase. They’re a freakin’ investment! A linen bed-skirt would be a sweet touch, and keep the dust bunnies out from under the bed.

I have really good sheets on my bed.

I laid this napkin on the sheet this morning before making up the bed. Yes, the sheets feel as good as they look. The quality of mattress, sheets and pillow reflect the quality of sleep.

How you sleep, is how you feel the next day.

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The napkin is for a bar, but we use them on our coffee bar. Whoever said you need alcohol to get buzzed has never drank our coffee!

Hey there little mountain mover. If you’re gonna wake and move some mountains you’ll need really good coffee, and a dreamy bed.

Women Like Us

There was a comment left on my Blog that caused me to ponder. I had commented on a Blog I follow, and someone made a comment about my comment. My comment was, “My worst day sober, is still better than my best day drunk.”

This Blogger enjoyed my comment, and I’m guessing had not heard it before. She most likely wouldn’t hear it unless she goes to AA. That is where I heard it, but for me, those sayings are part of my sobriety.

AA is the one place I’ve always been able to walk in and feel accepted. Everyone there has a common problem. Alcohol.

♥ ♥ ♥

I met a friend this week for coffee.

Our favorite Barista was working and he always spoils us. My friend couldn’t decide what she wanted to drink, but he was going to help her decide. She told him what she wanted by naming a list of ingredients. This drink wasn’t on the menu, but he was willing to make something just for her.

We sat down at a table and he brought her drink over shortly. When he sat it on the table, it was like unveiling a masterpiece. This drink was so worthy of my friend.

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I watched her face and you could see she felt the love and care poured into her mug.

She enjoyed every sip, and to be perfectly honest it didn’t compare to my bowl of coffee. Our Barista came by to check on us and asked if I would like one too. I jumped at the opportunity to have a drink just like my friends. Then he said…

“It won’t be exactly like hers because I like to leave room for improvement.” He had learned some things the first time and would apply that to mine.

mine

The same drink but it looks different.

The Barista made more than enough for my drink and asked my friend if she wanted it. That is the whole purpose of our meeting. To refill one another’s cup!

I learn from this woman and she tells me straight up. I don’t have to agree with every word, but I respect her wisdom. We love each other, but we also have a bond of core values. We meet for coffee and dust each other off so we can continue our journey.

♥ ♥ ♥

Women like us are supposed to straighten one another’s crown. Not say, “It’s crooked.”

Women like us are ‘doers’, and we blaze a trail. Sometimes we get into trouble and we have to revert back to the rule book.

Women like us have huge hearts, but are particular about who receives a piece.

Women like us don’t need approval, and we run up against opposition frequently.

Women like us are zero drama, but that doesn’t stop it from occurring around us.

♥ ♥ ♥

AA introduced me to a God of my understanding, but my friend and I know the same God. We meet for coffee and inspire one another to be women like us.

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Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and dreams. Otherwise, our lives merely exist.

hopesanddreams

This photo popped up on my Facebook news-feed.

My heart ran as fast as it could into that photo! My life is simple, so skip the fancy couch. A Yoga mat, or pillow will do just fine. The view is what made filled my heart and soul.

To live by the sea is a ‘hope and dream’ of mine.

lifeat40

God gives revelation in yearly increments.

Once 30 years had passed, I knew my life would change. At the age of 35, my daughter was born, and by 40, my marriage was an unhealthy space for everyone involved. After trying to make it work for 8 more years, God opened a door for us to leave. At 48, my daughter and I began our new life together, with God.

Seeing this quote by Jung stirred up memories. My life continues to change, but is it my life changing, or my soul?  My soul is awake as well. ‘Hope’, is what keeps us here, but ‘Dreams’ are where the soul roams.

Save

Dear Sober Me

It’s been raining this week in Texas. The sun broke through the clouds this morning, beamed through the front windows, and filled my home with light. The air outside was cool, but the warmth of the sun felt fabulous. Now it’s cloudy again, but that is only the weather.

I am grateful every morning I wake up, but even more grateful to wake up sober. Today marks 18 years of sobriety for this chick. So, even though the weather is cloudy, my mind is not, and neither are my eyes. There is a lot on my mind at the moment, but my eyes are shining bright! Asking God for His help 18 years ago, was the best decision I ever made.

I just returned form a very long appointment with a Radiologist. Just to check my level of patience, they had me waiting from the very beginning. I went yesterday, which living in the woods, is a 45 minute drive to see them, one way. They had me scheduled with the wrong doctor, and asked me to come back today. So I did, and there was more waiting.

A nurse came in and asked me lots of questions. Once they were answered, another lady came in that is the doctor’s assistant. She liked to talk, and I sat there listening to her describe every aspect of radiation. By the third time I looked down at my lap and zoned out, she got the message and stopped talking. I just wanted to see the doctor and leave.

The doctor eventually came in and went over the same information as she. It was like they were trying to talk me into it or something, so I said, “What are my next steps, and when do we start?” They said their goodbye’s, and told me to expect a phone call this week, or next, about scheduling a scan of my breast.

Two weeks after the scan, they will start treatment.

sobriety

It’s a good day to be sober. I cannot imagine following this Breast Cancer Journey hungover.

God took my desire to drink completely away when I asked. I can’t recall a craving in all these years, but the thought of a drink has crossed my mind. Fortunately, I learned very well that a glass of wine, or ten, does not fix anything. The circumstance I was drinking over was waiting on me the next day, along with whatever chaos I caused while drinking.

I was hoping my Breast Cancer Journey would be over by the end of the year. Radiation will begin sometime in December, and be 5 days a week, for six weeks. The journey will fall into the new year. My sponsor would ask me, “Would you like some cheese with that whine?” I have nothing to whine about. We will continue the journey as planned, and stay sober me.

Only Our Hearts

It’s an honor to be writing for the Sisters of Serenity and Sobriety each Friday. What a fabulous end to my work week!

Losing my home and having it go through foreclosure years ago was heart wrenching. Ever since then I have rented a home to live in. Sometimes for a only a year, or two, but we enjoy moving, and living wherever God leads.

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The home my daughter and I live in today is an old farmhouse, on 5 acres, that has been restored to its natural beauty. We have been here four months and the rent is due the first week of the month. I received a text last night from my landlord, asking for it pronto. I made myself sit still.

If this would have happened before sobriety, it would have prompted me to drink. The majority of my income goes into PayPal, so it takes a few days for it to move into my checking. There was not enough money in my checking to cover rent this quickly.

I was so grateful for that moment. To be able to be caught off guard and not react in a drunken spew. Stopping and asking God for guidance and to be my words is all it took. We talked it through via text and it will all work out. The first thing I said to my daughter when it happened was, “This is a test. I have to pass this test!”

It’s little things like this that make us stronger. I handed my landlord the check this morning and told him I have moved the money from PayPal, but when it shows up is in God’s hands. Moving forward, I will pay them on the first of every month.

I encourage you today to be still and know, He is God. He doesn’t need our help, only our hearts.

Someone You Love

I have people in my life who don’t like people. God wants us to love one another, so there’s a challenge here. My mission is to help the hurt. How do I listen to all the pain? I listen, but don’t take it with me. It’s not personal.

When it’s personal, I have the choice of allowing myself to be hurt, or letting it go. When people are hurt, they tend to hurt whoever is nearby. Past experiences have taught them a reliable outcome. Show them different.

When I allow someone to hurt me, my first response is to back away from them. Doing that would ensure I have a safe and calm life. To take the pain as a lesson learned, and move forward, even if it’s alone.

There is going to be pain and misunderstanding in any relationship. That is part of caring. The pain puts us at a crossroad, and I choose which way to go. Moving backwards has never served me well, so forward it is.

The good of the relationship needs to outweigh the bad. I have expectations for myself and those flow onto my relationships. I treat people the way I want to be treated. I’m not willing to lower my expectations to stay.

Let go of the pain in your life, even if it’s disguised as someone you love.

A Better Way To Live~Day 7

One week ago, I celebrated 16 years of sobriety. The first thing I do each morning is to thank God for waking me up sober. Each day is truly a gift, and waking up without a hangover, is an absolute miracle.

Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.

 

I had to let go of the person I was so familiar with, and open my heart and mind to who I could become. There was no room for negative thinking, or feeling sorry for myself for all the years spent drinking. The pain and hurt caused by my actions were in the past, and I was ready to make amends and embrace the present.

By accepting there is a higher power greater than myself, I was willing to follow His plan for my life. After all, my plan had placed me where I was, and that was not desirable anymore. It was time for a new life, and a new me. Thank you God for waking me up sober, and thank you for my new life.

*Quote taken from “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino.