Saturday, September 8, 2012 that another blue chip? A desire chip? Or was it relapse?

Let me assure you, I did not drink alcohol. It has been almost 45 months without a drink. Yet along the way I have toyed with other habits, ways of dealing, coping. Many times I make the right choice. I turn to the Lord, I text a friend, I get in the Word when I am feeling out of control or uneasy.

Then there are other choices. Like the few days that I took pills that I shouldn't have- I gave the pills away. Or when a friendship became too much of a distraction, but I fixed that.

Each time I struggled with my failure, my weakness. Why, if I knew the right things to do, did I still fall? Why was I tempted, yet again by Satan and his schemes?

Come to find out, I am human, STILL in need of a Savior and still here in this broken world. It is not going to get easier. I am going to get tripped up, even fall sometimes. It doesn't matter that I fall or even fail, what matters is how I deal with it. That I get back up, ask for and accept the Lord's forgiveness and learn from my mistakes.

That is what I did this week. I went to my meeting Thursday night, fully intending on getting a blue chip. I read the scriptures aloud during the meeting as another gal read the steps. I was teary eyed.

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18
Then the time came for chips. As I walked forward for my blue chip it was almost as hard as it was the first time I got a chip. I came back to my seat, turned the chip over and over in my hand and felt His peace. His love. His grace.

No coincidence at all- the lesson that night was on GRACE. It is a lesson I've heard before. With points that I've grown to love, to embrace in my daily life and as I work with others. Yet, I was hit afresh with two sentences on the power point slide:

Grace- getting what I don't deserve.
Mercy- not getting what I DO deserve.

And that my, friends, is truth, truth truth.

This morning I read Jesus Calling, the devotional book. Man, that book can speak directly to me. The lines that reached out to me today were- "Even if you wrongly choose..., I will not reject you. You can turn to Me at any point and I will help you crawl out of the mire of discouragement. I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day."

Oh, thank you, sweet Jesus, for not giving up on me, time and time again. My heart so desires a life that is lived in obedience to you. And I will keep trying. I will stand up, in front of others and proclaim my faith in You and Your strength, not my own. I will also remember that as long as there is breath in me, I've still work to do here on this earth....and you aren't through with me yet....

My favorite lyrics of the moment:

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me "son
Stop fighting a fight it's already been won"

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I'm redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, "Child lift up your head"
I remember, oh God, You're not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be

Because I don't have to be the old man inside of me
'Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I've got a new name, a new life, I'm not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

~and there IS hope

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I have often read the word 'Selah' in the book of Psalms and heard it to mean pause. As I was reflecting on the events in our community of the week I read Psalm 62:8 in the Amplified Version of the Bible:

Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Did you see that at the end.....Selah- pause and calmly think of that....oh wow... new perspective for me. Not only pause, but to think calmly. I will be practicing Selah as much as possible these next few days-

and there IS hope~

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where will I be?

I have a heavy heart this morning. My husband just left for work and we hugged tighter than usual, both of us with tears in our eyes as we pulled away. There was a tragedy in our town yesterday. A man was doing his job and another man, dealing with mental illness, shot and killed two people. The man doing his job and an innocent bystander. Others were also wounded.

An interesting fact....I am connected to 4 people involved in the tragedy. My husband was friends with the first victim. I went to at least junior high and church with the shooter. The other victim has family at my job and a wounded by stander is a friend of a friend from out of town.

As the events unfolded yesterday I was quite unaware. I was seated at a tiny ethnic restaurant, talking with a gal, sharing parts of my story, hearing parts of her's. Our lunch took two hours, not unusual for me. When we exited the restaurant and I checked my phone I had several missed calls and texts, wondering if I was ok, what was going on.

I had no idea.

A quick phone call to my mother in law and mom and I came home. The rest of my information for the day came via text, I did not turn on the television or computer. Apparently we made it on to a major news network.

I tried reaching my husband, whose job sometimes brings him close to dangerous people. No answer. I left a message. I texted. I took my kids swimming, trying to pretend like all was ok. As I was making dinner I received a text with the identity of the shooter. I immediately called my friend....are you kidding me? It was a guy I had algebra with. I remember him.

Unreal. My husband came in from work, with tears in his eyes. I didn't realize how well he knew the first victim. This had all hit so close to home. After a few minutes of long silences and quick phone calls to exchange information, I kissed my husband and left for Bible study.

This summer I've been studying the book of Esther and the repeating theme is that God is in control, He can turn the tables at any point and He works all for our good and His glory.

Yes, I've heard that before. Yes, I want to believe that. Yes, I have to hang on to that when all seems chaos.

As I read the many articles this morning detailing the events of yesterday, two quotes stood out to me. One person said that the first victim wasn't even supposed to be doing that job today, that indeed God was calling him home. And his wife was heard to have said that he was doing what he loved so much.

So I can rest in that. I can rest in the fact that God has numbered my days, that nothing surprises Him. That although I do not know what the future holds, I serve a Lord who does and He will be glorified in my life when I submit my whole heart to Him. I will not live in fear, frightened that I or my husband might die any day.

The truth is, we might. At some point, we indeed will die. I don't know where I'll be, what I'll be doing. Until then I will do what I love, I will serve the Lord and I will not be afraid.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10