Archives for category: recovery

IMG_0837

Photo of “small pebble” courtesy of K. Farwell

 

I think it is time to write again. My emotions have been dashed about by forceful waves of fate these days. There have been almost constant reminders of suicide and the importance of reaching out with compassion to each other. Yet, at the same time there have been acts of violence, fear, and frustration erupting in my own state and all over the world. My spiritual studies have told me to hang on—-to “rejoice” in the moment , to go within to reach God’s peace and sanctuary so that I can, hopefully, share that with those who inhabit the world around me near and far.  Wisdom through the ages has taught “as it is within, so it is without.” It makes sense, then, that I must focus on creating a “within” that is worth sharing and then find ways to share it so that it can influence my outer world.

I must admit at times, this seems like an impossible task. At others, it feels like a “pacifist cop out”—-it seems too easy to “hide within” when part of me wants to actively fight for what is right and good. But, you see, that is what most people spreading violence and hatred among one another believe they are doing—-fighting for what is good and right. At times like this I find solace in words of wisdom I find in the Psalms and in the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Both focus on harboring and reverencing a “God within”—-and using that “Higher Power” to direct one’s efforts in working on improving one’s own character defects and bad habits so that one can be aware of, willing,  and able to carry out God’s will. There are strong messages of reconciliation in both books—-an emphasis on the need change our own behavior and to make amends for our own wrongs before we judge others or lash out against others.

So, today I must remember that I am a small pebble in a big ocean and that my mission, today and always, is to focus on improving my relationship with God and so I can radiate love, compassion, and peace to help build God’s kingdom on earth one molecule at a time. May God bless and keep you.

Our Food Bank Truck

Photo courtesy of K. Farwell

 

This is hard to write. Re-entering harsh reality after being on vacation, both mentally and physically, has been challenging. There are refugees all over the world desperately needing help; there are children fleeing live-threatening conditions  at our own borders who also desperately need help but are not getting it because they cannot technically be classified as refugees—————and we, as a people, cannot seem to view these human beings, these children,  as anything more than representations of our own political beliefs.  There are fears they will bring untreatable life-threatening illnesses into the United States; just as we did to the Native Americans when we immigrated into what was to become our nation rather than theirs mostly due to our own greed. I suppose we could send them all back home, protect our borders, and try to live with ourselves knowing we sent them back to violence, rape, and death.

I have been participating in several groups who are wrestling with the topics of suffering and love. Both are viewed by some as doors to spiritual transformation. I agree with that. There are some who believe the majority of our suffering is caused by our own need to control everything to combat our own feelings of being overwhelmed and afraid that we can’t control things. Twelve-steppers believe you have to hit bottom, get sick and tired of being sick and tired before you are willing to change your life by entering a spiritual transformation process.  I acknowledge that the suffering in my own life has, for the most part, been caused by my need to control things. I also believe that need for control was caused by being hurt as a child and learning to do whatever I could to avoid additional pain and hurt. Some of my avoidance behaviors were not healthy, and they did, indeed, create suffering.

However, I do not believe the children stuck at our borders hoping to be allowed to live in what for them is a safer, less violent environment are suffering because of their own control issues and consequent poor choices. I think they are suffering because they have left their families and loved ones and are trying to escape being hurt or killed. If I think their suffering is their own spiritual path and that I need to let them experience it without my interference, then I am not being loving or compassionate as my own spiritual transformation process is teaching me to be. Nor can I help myself or others by deliberately seeking   or causing suffering so they or I can be “more spiritual” or “closer to God.”

So, I see pain, sickness, war, jealousy, greed—–all the evils of mankind being manifested all around me. I have to wonder what can I personally do in response to this overwhelming cloud that hangs over us. The answer is, for me, I cannot control or solve these overwhelming problems myself. I must ask God to help me and all of mankind to love one another and  to be compassionate. I must ask God to show us how we can share his love rather than contributing to the evil that is alive and well in our world. To borrow one of recovery’s key phrases, I have to “let go and let God.” That does not mean I do not have the responsibility to do what I can to understand God’s will, to help carry out God’s will, and to treat others with love and compassion. We are taught to love one another as ourselves and to do unto others as we would do unto ourselves.  That is part of God’s will I already know about. I will continue to ask for knowledge of his will and the power to carry it out.

I am reminded of the hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers” we sang so often in Sunday School as children. Marching off to battle seemed to be the main message. Now as an adult I cringe at the image of promoting battles and wars. So this morning, I looked up the lyrics to that hymn. Thankfully, God called my attention to the verse that says we are united in hope and charity. Perhaps that is a clue as to how we can begin to carry out God’s will.  God bless and keep you.

Clearing Up

Photo entitled “Clearing Up” compliments of Joshua Burgard

It has been a week of drinking lots of fluids and taking antibiotics religiously every 12 hours—-but last night I finally woke up in the middle of the night and “coughed” the gunk out of my lungs. I know now I am going to be alive and well again.

The sun just came out —-and it is not raining, thundering, blowing, or too hot or too cold. I literally have no complaints, and I welcome the feelings of gratitude that are seeping into my awareness. They are so much better than feeling bored, tired, out of breath and questioning whether you feel tired all the time because  you are sick or if depression is rearing its ugly head again.

Last night, I read the scripture I am supposed to read in church Sunday, and although I did not have the breath to read it all out loud, the words brought comfort to my heart and tears to my eyes. The words reminded me that the presence of our creator is in the midst of all this wonderful and sometimes painful  mess we call life. The bible verses I was reading was about creation…..you know, the one about   “in the beginning was God.” As my breathy, croaky recovering voice read the beginning of these words out loud, hearing them and feeling them brought tears. It was as if God hugged me and said, “See, I am still here. I am still in charge. I still love you.” Sounds a bit childish, I know, but I needed to feel loved—-and although I know God and his love are always there sometimes I do not let myself be receptive to that love. I am letting myself be on the receiving end again and the love is flowing. Soon I will have “recharged” my love reservoir and be able to more actively share that love with others.

Well, that’s it. I simply wanted to try to explain how comforting knowing God is surrounding you with love can be when you set aside your intellect, your self-absorption, your worries, etc. for a moment and let yourself  really feel the love in every fiber of your being.  My experience cannot really be put into words, but seeing  blue sky and sunshine after days of storms provides a metaphor for where my soul has been this past week. It has been trudging through cloudy, gray, gloomy places feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired. Now things are clearing up,  and  my soul is basking in the sunlight of God’s love. It feels good to be back.

 

securedownloadcoin

 

Photo courtesy of K. Farwell

I awoke this morning from a very insightful dream.  In this dream I was once again married and being ignored by my husband. As in life, he was very self-absorbed. However, in my dream he had asked me if I “minded” something. I started to answer with a truly co-dependent response, “only about what it might do to you.” I caught myself mid-sentence in this scene and instead had the courage to tell him what I really thought without holding back so he “wouldn’t get upset.”  Of course, in this dream scene as I was talking my husband stomped off totally ignoring my answer to his question. In the dream I got angry enough to follow him around as he tried to evade me and  forcibly communicated my feelings and thoughts. Not surprisingly, they poured out of me——a veritable flood of emotions centered on abandonment issues and my anger and hurt over always be ignored.

You see, my life used to be like that. And this dream showed me, after all these years, the part I played in contributing to the sad state of affairs our marriage was in. I grew up in a family that taught me at an early age not to communicate feelings and to expect those around me to intuitively know what I wanted without me having to tell them because it was wrong to “want anything for yourself.”  This was the perfect upbringing to create a nurse who married a Viet Nam veteran with PTSD, depression, and a vast array of other “take care of me” issues.  I thought I was careful to avoid the role of care taker, but indirectly, and some times directly, I did so any way. I bought property in the middle of of the woods—-a cottage that was secluded and would feel more safe to him than a home in town would.

I started a pattern of living my life centered around meeting his emotional needs and neglecting my own. I got to the place where I wasn’t even able to acknowledge what I was feeling—-denial worked. I learned early into our marriage that I had to walk on egg shells and that the slightest comment or action that insinuated challenging what he said or wanted could trigger his anger. I was very afraid of his temper although he never struck me.

I am ashamed it has taken almost a decade for me to realize, thanks to this dream, that in never telling him what I was feeling or what I wanted I was setting myself up to be a doormat.  I did tell him sometimes, and fights usually resulted.  My childhood taught behavior of silent martyrdom was further reinforced. I have to take responsibility for contributing to and maintaining the dysfunctional communication patterns in our marriage.  Before this morning, I tended to blame him for all the problems we had, but now I can see I set the stage for what happened, and then I played my part well.

Where was God in all this? Definitely not at the center of my heart and being as He currently is but, instead, more on the “fringes of my soul” where I went to pray  automatically and superficially most of the time. At times, I viewed God as just another male authority figure that intimidated me. I am very grateful that as my life has unfolded I have discoverd that perception of God was totally wrong.

God is now with me every moment. God is a part of my being so interwoven into my essence that all I have to do is think the word “consent” and I know his love is engulfing me, guiding me, and is always there to help  me handle life’s challenges.

Those who knew me then and now know I am now much more assertive about saying what I think, feel, and need—–sometimes abrasively so (I’m working on my sarcasm). They also know the part my faith plays in my life now because I write, talk, and hopefully act in a way that reflects that.

So, the lesson I learned from this dream is no one can know what I’m feeling, needing, or wanting unless I tell them. God can, of course, but my fellow human beings cannot. If I want my relationships with other humans to be healthy, then I need to communicate my feelings and thoughts directly—-implying them or communicating them non-verbally with my facial expressions or tone of voice is not an effective means of communication.  Putting the needs of others first over my own is also a threat to building and maintaining  healthy relationships. When Jesus told us to love one another as we love ourselves I believe he was also telling us that we need to love ourselves. There is a lot of wisdom in the recovery slogan “to thy own self be true.” God bless and keep you.

Nov72013Crafts 014

 

Today I heard a friend remark he “prefers pictures” when he was explaining why he did not wish to follow our group discussion regarding twelve step principles that were read and commented upon around the table.  That one moment in time, that one unexpected comment—-has set me to wondering, pondering, and thinking. Sure, we’ve all heard “you may be the only Big Book any one ever encounters,” but my friend’s comment carried this concept a bit further in my mind.

What if all learning, growing, and self-awareness are, in fact, more accurately portrayed in images than in words? How would communicating with images rather than words change the way I live moment by moment? Would it cause me to stop and think about what I was portraying with my actions? Maybe actions do speak louder than words.

I can pray for serenity over and over again, but if my way of being, my affect, my stance, my tone of voice, my facial expression, the tenseness of my muscles all give a strong message that I am far from serene, does the image I portray communicate an intent to relax? Yes, my prayers may be sincere, but my intent to be serene also needs to be apparent in my actions.  If my actions are incongruent with my spoken words, then the message I give myself and others is one of confusion.

So, what messages do I give others with my actions? Do I wave as a friendly gesture when I see a friend? Do I make comments under my breath when someone is monopolizing conversation in a twelve step meeting? Do I volunteer to do dishes after a meeting? Do I offer to let someone behind me in the “post office line” go ahead of me because that person only needs to buy one stamp and I have two packages to process?  Do I accept invitations from friends to socialize after meetings?

I am somewhat embarrassed to answer these questions, but if I really want to know what image(s) my behavior is portraying, then I need to do so. Yes, I often wave at passing friends, but I often don’t—-not because I am snubbing them,  but because I am too near-sighted to see them or too preoccupied to even notice what is going on around me. When I don’t wave the image I give others is one of either being unfriendly or too self-absorbed to respond to their attempt to be friendly when they wave at me.

Do I take other’s inventories and make comments under my breath at meetings when someone is talking? I am ashamed to say I sometimes do. This behavior portrays a condescending elitist attitude that tells the world I think I’m better than some if not most people.

Yes, I volunteered to do dishes after the meeting, but I was more than happy to let someone else take over. The image I communicated in doing so may have been one of not being sincere about wanting to do menial task-oriented type service at meetings. Yes, I let someone ahead of me in line this morning at the post office….but there was only the three of us in line, so it wasn’t like I was making a big sacrifice.

And, yes, I often decline invitations  for coffee or tea after meetings. I always have a “reason”—-but if I am honest with myself, participating in an hour long meeting is all the socialization I am comfortable with at times. That particular image almost screams out to me I am in a self-isolating mode, a condition known to be conducive to drinking.

So, today, I portrayed an image to others of being civil, self-absorbed, judgmental, insincere  about carrying out clean-up tasks, and, perhaps worst of all, antisocial because I rejected a well-meant offer of friendship and camaraderie.  My words at the meeting were in stark contrast to these rather negative images. I talked about learning lessons throughout the years of my recovery and making related changes in my behavior. I felt pretty good about myself until I analyzed the “image message” I gave in conjunction with my spoken words. I obviously still have a lot of change and growth that needs to take place before my behavior and my words communicate the same message on a consistent basis. May God bless and keep you.

 

IMG_0526

Photo courtesy of K. Farwell

Last night at a meeting a friend gave me a card with a few brief words typed on it. These words were originally hand-printed on a piece of paper slipped in between the pages of a book that had been bought second hand at a thrift store—-one that is used at meetings when a  member needs a book so he or she can follow what is being read and discussed.

Somehow the simplicity in these words by an anonymous author spoke volumes to me, so I want to share them with you today:

“My Higher Power/God:

-Wants my highest good

-Wants me to be my best

-Wants me to live to my potential

-Loves me unconditionally

-Is an unending source of love, support, and energy”

These words describe how I perceive God, and I feel a direct kinship with the person who wrote them. I particularly appreciated the words because every 12 step meeting I attended in the past two weeks seemed focused on turning our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him, and I can’t help but think that perhaps the enlightened soul who wrote these words had sat through similar meetings.  Wherever that person is today, I hope he or she still carries these beliefs in his or her heart.

This unadorned, simple list makes me think of the assignment many sponsors give to those they sponsor when it comes to working this step—–and that is to write a description of the God you want to be you Higher Power. Many members come to 12 step meetings with feelings of unworthiness, shame, and anger at a God who has abandoned them or at least turned his back o them. Many were taught God was stern, punishing, and vindictive when people failed to please him.

I have heard many people who start working the steps  remark that God never left them—-that it was they who left God, and it took involvement in a 12 step program to bring them back to God. A key component of that reunion, I think, is the ability to perceive God as all-loving and always present. When we perceive our Higher Power as loving and as accessible, it is much easier to form a trusting relationship with that source of power. It is possible to form a close relationship that carries us through the challenge of day to day to day living and whatever the future may bring. We become the recipients of a profound gift. Our spirits are renewed and our sense of spirituality blossoms——-much as leafless trees do when spring arrives.

One of the miracles of working AA’s 12 steps is that when one begins to feel loved and accepted by a Higher Power, one can begin to love and value oneself—–and then, and only then, do we have the ability to pass our experience, strength, and hope on to others who need to establish a vital connection with a power greater than themselves if they are to survive the disease of their addiction. It is all pretty much about loving, trusting, and passing it on to others. So, thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous for leaving your simple yet powerful message in your book for those of us who were to follow in your footsteps.

 

Wolves (2)

“Completed Jigsaw Puzzle” photo courtesy of  K. Farwell

This morning I was reminded of how action, any action, is what is needed to “become unstuck.” That word gave me a small, but significant, “aha… moment.” I suddenly realized I have been stuck for about a week as I first reacted to and then started recovering from a bit of dysfunctional family type chaos that temporarily threw me off balance.  My soul felt bruised, and I’ve been coasting and letting myself “take it easy.”  Now I know what I must do to return to equilibrium so I can “move forward again in balance.” I have to start writing again!

In my “break” from both writing and crocheting, I have been taking solace in playing an on-line jigsaw puzzle game that takes concentration and cultivates patience…..and keeps my mind from obsessing about whatever happens to be bothering me.  In working these puzzles, I have discovered that when I think it is hopeless and I will never solve the puzzle, there are three things I can do to “start moving.” First, I can quit trying and push the computer button that makes the puzzle go away. Secondly, I can just keep doggedly trying even though nothing appears as if it will ever fit together, and eventually, slowly, piece by stubborn piece, it does. The last “technique” I use to solve these puzzles, and the one that seems to work the best for me,  is to put the puzzle on “pause” and come back to it later. When I return the remaining puzzle pieces seem to magically fall into place. It is as if I am seeing the pieces from a totally new and helpful perspective I never would have gained if I’d stayed bogged down in trying to force the pieces together.

As I wrote those words, I realized my life is like that. Sometimes I just use denial to “turn my problem(s) off.” Sometimes I doggedly keep trying to “force my problems fixed” all by myself because my stubborn ego or false self is running the show. Once in a while that works, but the stress associated with “stubbornly doing it myself” is harmful.  The best way I handle my life’s problems is to temporarily “put them on the back burner” as I pray about them and ask God for guidance. Sometimes, I have to seek confidential help from friends who can also listen and suggest various actions that might be helpful. In facing last week’s challenging life problem, I waited almost three days before I took action beyond praying and turning my problem over to God. I realized, with this new perspective I’d gained by “pausing,” that sometimes besides turning things over to God, I must also actively do something to help God’s will unfold. It is often something I don’t want to do, and I also frequently do not know what the outcome may be. It is at that time that I must move forward “on faith”——I must get my “problem pause” unstuck.   Then God and I can move forward in partnership once again.

I am not a religious scholar like many of my friends, but I believe it was the Methodists who stressed the importance of having to combine faith with works. For me that is true. I can spend years asking God to solve my problems, but there comes a time when I have to take some personal responsibility and take purposive action before positive outcomes can be achieved. This action shouldn’t be random, it should have a specific purpose. This action should be guided by God.  Using this approach has given me thirty-three years of recovery one day at a time, and I am learning this is how all aspects of my life need to be approached. God bless and keep you.

 

securedownloadcoin

 

Photo courtesy of K. Farwell

In my pocket are two things: a quote from  Hafiz saying “I have enough of loss, enough of gain; I have my Love, what more can I obtain?” and a coin celebrating  33 years of recovery that reminds me to be true to myself. Today is supposed to be a day of rest between Jesus’ crucifixion and Christ’s resurrection, and I thought my “soul wrestling” was finally ready to rest for a bit.

Then this morning I was confronted with words I did not want to hear, and my “soul wrestling” started all over again. I listened to well-meaning words that made me face my own character defects and unrealistic expectations of fairness that always get me in trouble.  I was reminded rules are needed to set boundaries and those of us in recovery need rules to help us maintain those boundaries.  I was reminded that suffering is meant to bring me closer to Christ and that every day I have a choice to let suffering do that or to let it come between me and Christ.

The dialogue going on in my head is painful. One voice on the committee keeps saying “I understand the issues underlying rules, but God’s people should be trusted to live ethically without having to abide by ‘rules’—-especially when living ‘by the law’ does more harm than good in my opinion.” Another says, “Christ did not always follow rules either.” The recovering alcoholic two year old inside my head chimes in with his two cents worth and urges me to jump up and down, curse, and just have a plain old “temper tantrum.” A still small voice of reason reminds me to “be true to yourself and don’t let your character defects separate you from God’s love.”  And then Hafiz reminds me, “it is all about God’s love. Period. ”

In re-reading the above paragraph the real problem jumps out at me. There is that single letter “I”—— “I” am the problem. I have to admit my own operational definition of “fair” means “my way.” And when things aren’t my way, I don’ like it,  and I get my feelings hurt.  I have a hard time letting that hurt bring me closer to God. And yet, just this morning, I told a group that “atonement” to me means “At One with God’—————–so why is it so hard for me to accept what I consider to be unfair so that I can be “At One” with God?

So,  this pain is my own fault. I need to accept life on life’s terms just as I need to accept the crucifixion on God’s terms. As long as I am connected with God’s love everything else is just “stuff.” I can choose to “lounge on the pity pot. ” I can choose to do something passive aggressive to enlighten authorities about how “stupid”  their rules are. I can choose to pursue a geographical cure from the site of my spiritual dilemma. I can choose to indulge in one or all of my addictions.

But, most importantly, I can choose to be true to myself and stay connected with God’s love. If I allow my character defects of wanting things to be fair (my way) and resenting authority block the current of love that flows between God and I, then I am the one creating emotional upheaval in my soul. I need to stop trying to “obtain” and just stop and appreciate what I have, the love of God, as all I need. Today I choose to stay connected. May God bless and keep you.

 

 

Rolling Stone

Image courtesy of Vlado/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

My mind seems to be cluttered this morning with bits and pieces of thought and memory floating around trying to tell me something. I have been “feeling down” because I spent three days watching the aging process slowly robbing  my father of his mind. It hurts to see him struggle to form a single word, a meaningful sentence, or to untangle a splintered memory. Yesterday’s bible readings in church spoke of dry bones and Lazarus being given God’s gift of life. Of course, being in my somewhat befuddled state of mind, I focused my attention on the Lazarus story’s detail about how Lazarus had lain dead for four days and, in his decay process, he had begun to stink. Jesus still had them roll away the stone, commanded him to live, and had them “unbind” him so he could be free of the cloths that bound him.

First, of course, my mind went into a flight of free association and attached the “stink of decay” concept to  the phenomenon of “stinking thinking” we talk about in twelve step recovery.  Stinking thinking is a thinking process that sneaks back up on us in recovery and replaces our new Higher Power directed way of thinking with our old self-will powered thinking . And, yes, if we stay bound up in that morass of self-will our spirits will begin to decay and we will have a spiritual “stench” about ourselves. If we let go of that self-will and allow our Higher Power to once again guide our thinking, we will be freed from the bonds of self-will that were slowing killing us even though we had momentarily escaped our past addictions.

Yesterday a dear friend asked if I was okay. I explained I was caught up in the pain of watching my father lose his mind, and my friend quietly but emphatically informed me, “it could be much worse.” I needed to hear that. I know aging and gradual decay are part of life. Am I so terminally unique that I really think my father and eventually myself should be spared that part of living? God has held my hand through absolutely everything, and he will hold it still as long as I let him. Instead of obsessing about my father’s comment when we parted that “this may be our last hug” I should be grateful that we were given that wonderful hug to hold in our hearts. I should trust God and know that when it is time in his own way he will breathe the breath of life into those he has created so that we  may live once more outside the stench of aging and dying.

And, lastly, I know that one day at a time I can allow God to breathe the breath of life into my being, my experience, and my recovery. Whatever comes my way can be faced in partnership with him. I should stop worrying, grieving, and being afraid. I need to trust God to be there to roll away whatever stone blocks my progress and to un-wrap whatever binds me and keeps me from living a life in partnership with him. May God bless and keep us.

 

rethink

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Sometimes you hear yourself telling someone else exactly what you need to hear. Last Thursday, I met a very nice lady who was very distraught because she was afraid her daughter had “lost her salvation” because her daughter died as an alcoholic. I found myself telling her God loves us in spite of ourselves and that God’s love and grace are gifts we do not have to earn. I even reminded her Jesus used to hang out with prostitutes and tax payers—–sort of his culture’s equivalent of our culture’s “addicts and alcoholics.” I explained to her I am both an alcoholic  in recovery for over 32 years and a diabetic and my God does not love me any more or less than anyone else  because of those diseases. I also hugged her and asked God to bless and keep her. I hope she found my words comforting.

I didn’t realize I needed to hear my own words until I was sitting in church yesterday and the rector preached about how we often feel unworthy, and how our thoughts about ourselves are actually quite powerful. He talked about the importance of replacing negative self-talk (thoughts) with positive self-talk. For instance, if  a  new crochet pattern I am trying out is just not working, I may automatically think,  “I can’t crochet this pattern,—–it’s a mess! I’m stupid, I can’t learn a new technique, I can’t  get this yarn to work, etc.” I should, instead,  think, “I’m doing the best I can. What else  can I make out of this “project?” I actually have several nice things I’ve crocheted that are the result of just such creative moments—-ones that changes dismay and anger to something useful that I actually like! Now I need to work on doing the same thing with the way I unconsciously think of myself.

I think part of my discomfort last week was based on realizing I was distancing myself from God’s love —–and later that  under that “layer of the proverbial onion” is an even deeper insight that I, quite frankly, do not like to acknowledge—-that at a very deep, inner part of my being is  an almost unconscious litany of self-talk that tries to convince me I am not worthy of God’s love or of loving myself.  I remember recently asking God to help me love myself as much as he does. I think that was my slightly different way of asking God to let me feel worthy, not just of his love but also my own love. I realize my old enemies of low self-worth and poor self-concept  (powerful thoughts) can invade and control my inner being and consequent outer behavior if I am not careful. But I have to love myself enough to want to be careful, to want to allow God to love me, and to consent to live my life in partnership with him.

It is sad when a psychiatric  nurse has to admit she has problems with her own self-worth. What I heard yesterday from my rector and from myself last Thursday, reminded me I am both worthy and loveable.  The scripture supporting this belief is from Isaiah 43:4: “You are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you.”  Now it is up to me to remind myself over and over again that I am precious, loved, honored, and definitely “worthy.”  God sent me two “Eskimos” last week to remind me, and he definitely is answering my prayer to help me love myself.

Just as God gives me the grace to make  something wonderful out of crocheting mistakes, I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he is helping me transform the mistakes and negative thinking in my life into a creation we can both love and value.