searching

hippoThe other day on the drive home from school, my younger son said hippos were one of the most dangerous land animals on the planet.

I was incredulous, “What?! Hippos?! No way. Hippos are those cute fat animals that splash around and play with their young.”

The most logical next step of any modern family disagreement was to, “Google it.”  So, we Googled it. And he was right. In fact, hippos are actually pretty darn aggressive. I gave him a dollar.

Laughing, my oldest son asked how old I was when I started using the internet. He looked stunned when I told him I was 25.  It was one of those, “I had to WALK FIVE MILES to school in 8 FEET OF SNOW,” conversations we have with our kids to let them know how easy they have it compared to, “When I was your age!”

I told him if we wanted to find out about hippos, we’d have to get our parents to take us to the library, hope the specific volume of encyclopedia wasn’t already in use, and look up hippopotamuses…then find the specific section and passage which mentioned their temperaments. We’d have to take notes if we wanted to take the information home with us because we weren’t allowed to check out reference books.

By the look on his face, I think he actually felt sorry for me. (Mission accomplished, ha!)

What’s my point? Sometimes I annoy myself because I take way too long to get to my point when i write. SEARCHING. Searching is my point. We are all searching for answers…either to academic questions, trivia, lyrics to our favorite songs, or the meaning of the universe. So, we Google it. 

Since I hadn’t blogged in such a long time, I checked the stats on the backend. Even when I wasn’t posting anything, I had thousands of visitors per month coming to my blog. WTF? So, I dug deeper. WordPress gives us the exact “search terms” that are most often used to find us.

Here they are…this is what people are SEARCHING for when they find Catholic Alcoholic through Google:

  • catholic alcoholic
  • alcoholic from a catholic perspective
  • patron saints for alcoholics
  • prayer for alcoholic
  • my husband is an alcoholic, catholic view
  • stop drinking catholic
  • catholic aa
  • help for catholic to stop drinking
  • catholic and can’t do aa
  • is there something other than aa for catholic alcoholic
  • alcoholism catholic view
  • prayers for my son alcoholic
  • catholic addiction recovery
  • catholic alternatives to aa

So, there you have it. We’re all searching. Searching for something, whether it’s why hippos are so angry all the time, what time is the Braves game tonight, or help me I’m Catholic and can’t stop drinking…. We don’t have to call a hotline and speak with anybody. We can do an anonymous Google search to hopefully find what we’re looking for.

Fortunately, questions about hippos have easy, definitive answers. Deeper questions, those that relate to recovery from alcoholism or helping a loved one with an addiction…those answers aren’t solved by Googling. Wouldn’t that be great, tho? If there was ONE right answer.

This blog post is sort of making me sad. I have no answers. I guess all I’d say is never give up, never stop searching. Giving up is NOT an option. Keep trying. Each day is a new beginning. Who CARES what “they” say? You’re worth it. Keep searching.

AA is a big part of my recovery equation. But don’t feel hopeless if you can’t do AA. Please. Keep searching. I can see from these search terms that there are thousands of alcoholics that really want help but can’t do AA. I get it. You are NOT ALONE. I’m not here to sell anybody on my way. One of my dear friends has been sober three years by daily recitation of the Rosary. Another by daily Mass and a commitment to weekly Reconciliation. I wish that was my story. I need all the help I can get. So that’s sort of why I started this blog to begin with…because I felt strange…i needed a Catholic slant to my recovery. I just did. It’s who I am. So, anyways, good night. This post isn’t making sense even to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late on the Gospel But Thoughts About Fathers

Reblogging an old post in honor of Fathers Day! I love you Daddy!

Catholic Alcoholic

me and dad 001I’m a few days late on this. Last Sunday’s Gospel reading (Luke 15:11-32) was the infamous story of the Prodigal Son. One of my favorites, of course–no need to explain that one–but aside from the obvious (me being the prodigal son–ok there I explained it) I like the story for others reasons, too.

I’ve got two sons. If one squandered and messed up but then came back home I’d be thrilled and unconditionally welcoming. Like the Father in the story, all I would care about is that he had returned, humbled and reborn- and wanted to turn his life around.  I’d probably run up to Publix, buy his favorite meal, call everybody to let them know he was back, make up his room with new sheets and fresh flowers, and take him shopping for new clothes.

But at the same time I’d be really intuitive to the other son…

View original post 1,097 more words

Room at the Inn at Belmont Abbey

RoomattheInnlogofinal50I’ve been following the construction and progress of the Room at the Inn at Belmont Abbey College with great interest. Ever since I became minimally involved with Feminists for Life (FFL) years ago, I’ve been interested in the work that pro-life groups do on college campuses.

One of the objections from the pro-choice groups is if she doesn’t have an abortion then she’ll have to quit school. And FFL always said, “What kind of ‘choice’ is that?” So they worked to establish programs to make it easier for pregnant college women to stay in school and not have to abort. I’m not sure if FFL is involved with Room at the Inn and Belmont Abbey’s efforts, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Anyways, the news today is that the licensure process is complete for the new facility at Belmont Abbey and they are approved by the state of North Carolina to accept maternity clients. Six young pregnant women, representing multiple colleges throughout the region have already begun the interview process for residency. Their first residents for the new college-based maternity program will be moving in soon!

Room At The Inn has a very special silent auction prize that will be awarded at this year’s simultaneous Golf Tournament and Brunch events on May 20th.

Their special prize is called FEASTING WITH FATHERS. Three of their priest friends; Father Kauth, Father Reid, and Father Roux, all excellent cooks, will come to your home and prepare a sumptuous meal for 8. This special evening with the fathers includes a three course meal for up to 8 people, with wine and cleanup!

You can bid via email at iroomattheinn@rati.org or call 704-525-4673 x 10. Just give them your name, contact information and the amount of your bid. The current high bid is $800 and subsequent bids must increase by increments of $100. Their web site and the phone line will be updated regularly so that you can check on the latest high bid and enter a higher one if you like.

What an entirely worthy cause!!! So excited for them and hope they raise a ton of funds to support their efforts.

3rd of Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary: Chastity

10 evangelica virtues of maryHere is the third article in a series I’ve been writing for Catholic Mom about the Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary.  This piece is on “chastity.”

According to Pope Benedict XVI, with God’s help, the evangelical virtues forge character.

The ten evangelical virtues are derived from a combination of the human, moral, cardinal and theological virtues, described to us in the Catechism. They are actual qualities of Mary, the Mother of God who by her example is the epitome of evangelization: chastity, prudence, humility, faith, devotion, obedience, poverty, patience, mercy and sorrow.

In this year of faith, efforts to increase in virtue are a worthy exercise. We are called to evangelize with virtue in a variety of vocations, as a mother, a daughter, a sister, an employee, a wife. Modeling our behavior on the Blessed Virgin is an excellent way to bring others to Christ.  Who more than Mary has brought more of us to her son?

The first Evangelical Virtue of Mary is Chastity.

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, since I do not know man?” Luke 1:34

The word “chastity” is difficult to pronounce in the modern world, hardly evident except within religious circles.  Our children are exposed to all sorts of immodest dress and behaviors through media and through their companions. How can we teach our children the importance of being chaste? Why is this important?

Instilling the virtue of chastity in our children must start first with taking a look at it in ourselves.

Are we chaste? Do we follow the Church teachings on artificial birth control? Are we careful with the way we dress? Do we “like” immodest posts on Facebook? Do we “share” celebrity relationship gossip through our social media channels? Did we read Shades of Grey and recommend it to others?

You can read the rest of the article over at CatholicMom.com here.  Enjoy!

Looking Forward to taking my kids to Opening Night of this Movie

MovieStills_CoryBrand1My boys are aware of the effects alcoholism has on families. As middle schoolers they’re mature enough to understand the themes and relate to the recovery and redemption message of Home Run, which opens in theatres across America this weekend.

Supporters/sponsors of the film include Celebrate Recovery (a Christian-based excellent recovery program), Iron Sharpens Iron, Fathers.com, and the National Fatherhood Initiative.  Gotta love THAT.

I’m all about boys and baseball. And I’m all about responsible and modeling fatherhood.  And any Christian messages that are mixed in will be icing on the cake!  Can’t WAIT to see this.

Here is a teaser from the presser. I’ll review on Saturday, of course:

HOME RUN

Freedom is Possible

Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control.

Hoping to save her client’s career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory’s agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up. Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can’t wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible.

As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind.  With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.

Based on thousands of true stories, HOME RUN is a powerful reminder that with God, it’s never too late … because freedom is possible.

The Best Medicine

tumblr_mde4ncT1kk1qbzun1o1_500I have always been a big fan of modern medicine—maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing which implies the sciences are gifts to us from God’s grace, or maybe it’s just because I’m all about the quick fix to ease my aches and pains. I hold medical researchers, doctors and smart people in high regard.

If I’m completely truthful, I actually don’t hold the agnostic or atheistic researchers and doctors in high regard—those types think they are gods so I absolutely hope to steer clear of them. But the humble faith-filled smart doctor people have my complete affection and respect.

But today I experienced the most natural form of healing which involved no medicine, no research, no health studies, and no cardiovascular exercise: lunch with my mother.

I’m telling you, and I’ve said this before on my blog, that my mother is one of those people that lives her life the way the saints did: in self-sacrifice for the people God has entrusted to her and in complete obedience to Him and His will.

She would say, “Are you kidding me?”

And I would say, “No, I am not kidding, Mom. I want to be you…the same way I wish to be a saint but never will be.  You give me an ideal to strive for and you offer mercy and forgiveness before I even realize I miss the mark.”

I could write about how Mom goes to daily Mass, takes care of my father and mothered and continues to mother eleven children who never got hooked on drugs (ha ha ha why is that my standard, that none of us ever got hooked on drugs…ha ha ha).. and I could write about how when we were wealthy and then had hard times she went immediately to work to make ends meet; how she loves and forgives and loves and respects and loves and loves and loves her husband.  This is huge; because marriage is really hard.  Especially for me, lately.

I could tell you all that, but instead I’ll just talk about my lunch with my Mom today, which will give you an example of how to be a mother:

Me: Mom I’ve been in such a funk lately.

Mom: I know darling–you haven’t written any blog posts in almost two weeks and I miss them.

Me: I know. I’m a little worried after sending out all these resumes at the beach that some of my future employers might read my blog so I don’t know what to write anymore.  What if they read what I write and think I would make an awful employee?

Mom: Yes, maybe. But does it matter?

Me: No, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t want to work for anyone long term who didn’t get it.  And Husband and I are like friends passing in the hallway.  After 15 years of marriage I don’t think he likes me.

Mom: Sure he does darling.

Me: And he does this and this and this.

Mom: Yes

Me: And this and this and THIS. And he did THIS!

Mom: Yes.

Me: And here I am 43 years old. And I have everything I ever wanted: marriage, children, family, house, blah blah.

Mom: Yes. (she holds my hand.)

Me: So how are the rest of the siblings?

And then my mom updates me on everyone… All of my ten siblings, what’s new and what every one is up to.

And then I take it back to me.

Me: So I don’t know. I’m just all crabby lately.

And she says, “We have to have lunch at least once a week.”

And I say yes, yes, we do.

And we will.

Because I need her. Because my mom doesn’t judge or try to control me. My mom doesn’t get focused on petty stupid things and she doesn’t engage in gossip. My mom doesn’t like to go shopping (I really hate to “go shopping,” like it’s some sort of special event) and she doesn’t use passive aggressive tactics to manipulate me.  She just LOVES ME.  And she loves her other ten children just as unconditionally.

Like God. None of us says she loves one more than the other. No favorites. Unconditional love available for eternity for all of us.  Just like God.  So that’s where I’ve learned my concept of God, from my mother.

And my mom is my medicine.

Home Runs, PMS and Career Transition in Sobriety

READER WARNING: this post makes no sense and is long and rambling–so you can probably skip it.

Yesterday was I guess what I would call a “bad” day. I put that into quotations because in all honesty it wasn’t that bad. But it was tinged with an emotional state which made it nearly impossible for me to appreciate the beautifulness of it all.

pms4Skip this post if you believe PMS is a crutch that women use to justify all kinds of behavior and emotions. A lot of people get uncomfortable when someone blames PMS for things. Not me. Because PMS is so real. I’m wicked in touch with my body/mind/soul connection and for the few days a month when my hormones are acting up there really is not much I can do other than turn the whole day over to God. When I am in the throws of hormonal imbalance, I am 100% aware of the fact I am not in control. And so I put it all into an imaginary box with a pink ribbon and hand my little day over to God saying, “Here you go.  I can’t makes things work today. You take it.”

Yesterday was this kind of day.  I was so weepy all day. I worked a few hours on site for a client–well, not really a client but a marketer who sub-contracts with me to do social media for her clients—who then took me out to lunch. Because of my herniated disc issue in my back, sitting for extended periods of time really starts to hurt. So, I was in physical discomfort. Plus, she was asking me questions about my goals for my business and career. Since I’m in a mid-life thing with that aspect of my life, I did what I always do to dodge serious things; and I just talk, talk, talk about everything and nothing until the time runs out and it’s time to go.

pms2So, after I left lunch, I sat in my car and cried.  I felt so unsettled and useless.  I don’t know what I want to do with my life. My whole career was in sales but that was an accident—I do not have the salesperson personality but I unfortunately am still pretty good at it.  So, I’d sell, win the awards, bust past my quota, and then go home and cry.

I’m in the process, over the last 12 months, of transitioning from sales to marketing. I love marketing—there is so much  writing involved in marketing. And a lot of the persuasiveness of marketing is through the written word: social media, blogging, twitter, press releases, special event planning, content development.  Love this stuff!  And right up my alley.

But I suffer the confidence factor—who would want to hire me?  My clients–who have come through referrals, connections with friends– over the last year have raved about my work. And I’ve been able to get prime media coverage for some pretty obscure local businesses, which I am excited about; but I still lack the confidence to go out and try to get more clients.

I stick to local entrepreneurs–those that normally wouldn’t do the “background” check on me. With rehab and a DUI on my record I usually don’t apply for corporate gigs. With bigger resources and departments, they will probably Google me, find out I’ve got all sorts of baggage. I’m not proud of my baggage.

pms3I think most people have baggage but not the public kind. Maybe they were in a bad relationship and overcame it. Maybe they had Cancer and recovered. Maybe they grew up in a broken home. That’s a different kind of baggage.  Mine is public record.  And then here I am adding more publicity to my baggage by blogging about it all!  What is up with that?

I guess I’m trying to face my fear and in the process of sharing my story, hopefully help others.  In doing so, I have to let the insecurity over my baggage go.  I have to wrap it up in a box and a bow and give it to God. He can do with my baggage what He thinks is most useful to His plan.

Back to PMS. After lunch with my client/contractor  I had a doctor appointment for my back–an evaluation which is the pre-appointment to getting the shot that will help ease the nerve pain. I drove up and down McGinnis Ferry Road looking for this Emory Johns Creek Hospital and couldn’t find it. I used GPS, which never helps me because I can’t determine which way is East and which way is South. So when it tells me, “Go East on blah blah blah and then turn Left, I usually guess– and guess wrong–and end up on the other side of town looking for a road out West that was actually East.

So, I cried.  Sobbed. I’m driving and cryin’ (which happens to be the name of one of my favorite bands from my college days in Athens, Georgia: Drivin and Cryin’). And, I called Husband, in tears,

“I can’t find it!”

In the middle of a hard deadline and client pressure at work, he doesn’t have time for this, but he can tell I’m upset, “What can’t you find?”

“The doctor’s office.” sob, sob

“Can you call them?”

“Yes. Ok, I will call them.” sob, sob

“Ok, baby.”

“Ok, bye (sobs).”  And I hang up.

So I pull over, Google the office number and call–apparently I had gone too far down McGinnis Ferry and had to backtrack. Finally I found it, parked and had to walk what in my emotional state felt like “100 miles” to the front entrance–I called my husband, still sobbing, “I found it. But it’s so far and my back is really killing me. And, and, and..”

And he again stops what he’s doing and tells me everything will be okay.  So, I say okay and good-bye again.

After waiting over (more sitting) an hour I finally got called in; and the doctor did all the doctor things–I said, “I’m sorry I’m just so weepy today…tears welling up in my eyes.”  And she told me it was okay. And we scheduled the appointment for the shot for next Friday.

The doctor seemed generally relieved I wasn’t there to ask for pain medicine—I don’t do narcotics, obviously. But I get the impression all these back pain doctors get a lot of folks shopping for opiates–she seemed genuinely surprised I didn’t need pain medicine. I just wanted the appointment to get the shot that would make this pain go away.

Sob, sob, sob…  purchase a pack of cigarettes–and I had quit for 2013 New Years resolutions— and they actually did help. That nicotine buzz helped, I’m embarrassed to say—yes more baggage-I smoke! Sob, sob. Good, well-adjusted people don’t smoke, sob, sob…

homerun benI got home, just in time to meet the kids from carpool, and called my sister. The one that always knows just the right Catholic, God thing to say. Sob, sob.

I took Ben to his baseball game and FINALLY I began to feel normal again. In this hormone thing, we/I can get so caught up inside myself. And the baseball game took me out of myself.  My brother-in-law  came  to watch Ben play, and I was so touched by this.  On a Friday night he came all the way out to Macedonia to watch my son play baseball for 2 hours.  Of my five brother-in-laws, he definitely gets the Brother-in-Law of the Month award.  And talking with him helped take me out of myself.

And then Ben hit is first home run!!!!! He was so proud, head held so high, that humble smile on his face, that lift in his step afterwards and all the high-fives from his teammates. He even got a skinned knee sliding into home which made it even more exciting! I was so thrilled for him. What a feeling to hit a home run for a 12-year-old boy!  And I was there to see it. And he got the game ball afterwards!

And I was sober and present and grateful to God that I didn’t have a thermos filled with beer in my hands. I was fully present and that enabled the joy. So yay!  And I was grateful that my PMS would soon pass, as it always does each month. It’s so annoying, but it does humble me. At least once a month I am able to see my powerlessness and turn it over to God. I am so powerless over PMS.

Anyways, sorry for my guy followers — you can send your prayers to Husband who has to bear with me every month.

Make it a great day!

Wife, Mother, Catholic, Alcoholic

fall in north georgiaI submitted this to another Catholic forum and wanted to post it here too. Click here to read this article on Catholic Mom.

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I’m a Catholic mother who loves my Faith, my husband and my children more than anything else in the world. I pray the Rosary every day. I visit Christ in Adoration. My children attend a wonderful Catholic school. I volunteer, play tennis, help with school parties, and drive carpool.

Oh, and by the way, I’m an alcoholic.

I never would have admitted that when I was still drinking. But now that I have been sober for a while and am in recovery I have found that admitting I’m an alcoholic helps me hit back at the shame that can cripple me if I let it.

And if I’m lucky, being somewhat public about my problem might help another woman face hers.

Shame goes hand-in-hand with being an alcoholic mother. Shame is awful, sneaky. And it’s not of God.

The stigma of being an alcoholic can keep some moms from getting help earlier, says Ann-Marie Loose, LSW, a clinical supervisor at Caron Treatment Centers based in Wernersville, PA.  “You try to have the perfect home, be the perfect mom and wife,” said Loose. “And you look completely under control to the outside world, but alcohol is slowing destroying your life.”

And, Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., L.M.H.C. author of, Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic, said “It is as though the image of the “mother” and that of the “alcoholic” seem contradictory.” However, alcoholism does not discriminate and there are definitely good mothers who are also alcoholic.

My “problem” affected my marriage and my children, and it separated me from God. It wasn’t just about me anymore. As a Catholic mom it was imperative I tackle this truthfully, and in light of my Faith—without saddling myself with shame.

To be honest, I always knew there was something different about my drinking. I seemed to really love it. Everyone else could take it or leave it. Where other people had a couple of drinks to loosen up or wind down, I had a couple of drinks to “get going.” I eventually crossed the line from being a social drinker to being an alcoholic.

How did I know?  For me, I came to accept that I had a problem because of two things: God and my children. I came to recognize my dependence on alcohol was affecting my relationship as a daughter of Christ and as a mother to my children. So I became committed to seeking help.

The desire to mature in my relationship with God and the desire to be the mother I knew I could be were finally enough to get me to admit my problem and seek help. This was a very humbling endeavor, one I am so grateful to God for walking me through.

I think for each of us facing the facts about our drinking is a process, sometimes a long process. Sometimes that process is helped along a little bit by a DUI or an embarrassing episode. But for the most part, it’s something we come to accept through our relationship with God and with our families.

Experts offer these signs that our drinking might be out of control:

  • We start making mistakes, forgetting our child’s sporting event, missing appointments.
  • We start drinking before a social activity.
  • We begin to avoid situations where alcohol will be present because we have difficulty controlling how much we drink—we wanted to protect our reputations.
  • Once we start drinking we have trouble stopping.
  • The time between drinking binges gets less and less.
  • We might experience “blackouts,” which are simply periods of time we are unable to remember what took place when we were drinking.
  • We behave in ways that are uncharacteristic of our sober selves. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

If you think you might have a drinking problem, or you love someone who does, I encourage you to talk it over with your Confessor. I found great strength and courage from admitting my problem first in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

A few Lents ago, in the homily at Mass Father Frank challenged us to determine that “one thing” in our lives that was separating us from having a more intimate relationship with God.  For me, I knew right away what that one thing was.  I thought about this a lot. And then, finally, I gave up the alcohol.  And in doing so, my whole family benefited.

3 Ps: Priorities, Perfection, Procrastination in Sobriety

prioritiesI just read a post on Therese Borchard’s new blog A Blog About Hope where she talked about perfectionism. I’ve followed her over at Beyond Blue on BeliefNet and read today that she’s closing down Beyond Blue to make time for other things, including this new blog which will be a repository in a sense for all of her archives and a place to move forward.

Anyways, her post made me think about priorities because she talked about having trouble turning down requests for help. She calls it perfectionism and maybe that’s what it is for me.  But I’ve always had trouble with the word “perfectionist.”  I’m a word girl, and sometimes that is to my detriment. The root word of perfectionist is perfect; and I am unable to ascribe anything to do with the word “perfect” to myself.

But I was able to figure out that I had a problem with setting priorities.  And I guess the way this manifested in me was sort of a form of perfectionism, mixed with a little bit of procrastination.

Borchard gives a quick example of how perfectionism manifests itself in her life:

“Can you help out with the Halloween party?” “Nnn…….. okay.”

“Will you chaperone the field trip to the pumpkin patch?” “I caaa…….sure.”

“Could you organize the ‘Santa’s Run’ fire-department gig for the needy kids? “Nnnnnnn……maybe.”

I want to be the devoted mom at all the class parties. I want to be the noble citizen who contributes her time to community service. I want to say thank you to my alma mater for the four exceptional years of nurturing and education I received.

So (I noticed recently that I begin a lot of paragraphs in this blog with “so.”) my priority problem was that I had, say, ten things that were my priorities: being a good wife (this created its own sub-category of sub-priorities!), being a good mother (more sub-categories), my work, my parents, my husband’s parents, being a good friend, cooking dinner every night, keeping the house clean, keeping the laundry folded (never had trouble doing the laundry but definitely put off folding it).  Oh, and taking care of my health/physical self, that needed to be on the list too.

I had no problem figuring out what my priorities were but I couldn’t put them in the right order, or any order for that matter. I put half of them at #1 and then the other half just never got on the list.

So this was my list:

  1. wife, mother, daughter, house, cooking, laundry (but not folding)

And there was no #2, 3, 4, 5…with all these other things as “top” priorities I ran myself ragged trying to get all those things perfect.

This whack-job on setting priorities was a big source of a lot of my anxiousness, overwhelmness—see, I’m doing it again. I can’t use the word “anxiety” because saying I have anxiety means I need to ease it, which leads me back to beer.

SO. So, I made it a priority to determine the proper order of my priorities.

What would I put first? Definitely cooking and cleaning were knocked off the list and I was down to the top three.  But was this procrastination?

godfirstinfographicI finally looked to my Faith to see what God says about priorities. Naturally, I wanted to put the children first on the list. But I learned from my Faith and the Scripture that “wife” was supposed to be first. What I mean by “supposed to be” is that God gave that instruction because that’s what works best. Putting the marriage first and the children second worked best for the children!  It was a trick!

Okay, so now my list:

  1. wife
  2. mother
  3. daughter

But my brain still created all these SUB-CATEGORIES.

Finally, probably in exasperation, I turned to God in prayer.  Why am I always so frazzled, God? Will you help me figure this out?

Ta da! I realized through prayer that I didn’t have GOD on my priority list.  I figured He was a “given.”  And I looked again to Scripture:

The Bible told me God was supposed to be FIRST.

So I put Him first.  And oh my goodness everything else fell into place!  If I put God first (the sub-categories for God ended up being sobriety/recovery, morning prayers and holding tight to the connection with Him constantly all day) then my marriage worked better, I was a better mother, I was a better blah blah blah.

I didn’t even have to THINK about the other things anymore. I didn’t have to stress over things. When I remembered that God was first on the list—-and nothing else—then it all just worked.

Luke – Chapter 12: 22-32

Then he said to his disciples, ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds! Can any of you, however much you worry, add a single cubit to your span of life? If a very small thing is beyond your powers, why worry about the rest? Think how the flowers grow; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of them. Now if that is how God clothes a flower which is growing wild today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, who have so little faith! But you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry. It is the gentiles of this world who set their hearts on all these things. Your Father well knows you need them. No; set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well.

And Luke: 12:34 For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.

So now my list looks like this:

  1. God
  2. Everything else

Happy Humpday everyone!  Make it a great day and remember to put God first today.