The Power of ONE

One-Logo

Finishing up day ONE. All day I had to bombard my thoughts with prayer and affirmations, and I smashed any random craving thoughts that zipped through my brain without my permission. Around midday, one of those pesky thoughts wouldn’t go away! I was so annoyed—I had to get a little mentally violent with it, actually. lol. And it finally relented.

There is power in getting through another day ONE.  Day one, and I’ve had many unfortunately, takes a tremendous mind-shift. An all hands on deck mentality. An, “Okay, let’s DO this already.” I’m actually pretty mentally exhausted.

It’ll be nice not to bug my friend with drinking emails tonight. Living amends. No more emails. It’ll be nice to wake up tomorrow morning early, not hungover. Journal-time. Yay.

The marriage separation, while sad, is necessary. I had mixed support at home for sobriety. I happen to be married to a human, just like everybody else I know. A human who is quite as imperfect as me, with his own battles to fight. While my sobriety is absolutely and ultimately up to me, I’m giving myself a better chance by separating, at least temporarily. I have a hard time with the “idea” of divorce. It may happen. My focus has to be on sobriety first. First things first.

And I have to remember this every single frickin’ day. Even on the lonely days, the broke days, the hard days. I can’t forget to think of sobriety first. ONE DAY AT A FRICKIN TIME. I have a powerful forgetter. And I have a high-tolerance for unmanageability. When you’re married to your drinking buddy for 18 years, it’s easy to turn to alcohol to let go and enjoy each other. No matter how badly he wants me sober, he’d still love it if I could drink just “once a week.”

Topped day ONE off with a massage. Going to watch some Netflix episodes of Homeland and call it a day. Hit the pillow sober. Nite, y’all.

Weekday Mass, Saint Catherine of Siena and Judging Others

Saint Peter Chanel Catholic Church adoration chapel in Roswell, Georgia

Saint Peter Chanel Catholic Church adoration chapel in Roswell, Georgia

Whenever I have a lot of little things in my head that I want to write about, I title my posts like this. Just a series of unrelated topics.  First I wanted to say I love weekday Mass.

Recently the mother of the family we carpool to school with and I switched so that now I drive mornings and she drives afternoons. So, I’ve started stopping in for a quick adoration moment in the chapel after I drop the children off.

The adoration chapel at Saint Peter Chanel is beautiful, with statues and stained glass and wooden pews and a beautiful monstrance which holds the Blessed Sacrament. There’s a large crucifix behind the altar and stained glass windows on either side of Mary and Joseph.  To the right is a large painting of Jesus of the Divine Mercy and a kneeler beneath with candles ready to be lit for special intentions. To the left of the altar is — I can’t remember what is to the left.  I think it’s Mary. I’ll have to check tomorrow and get back to you on that.

Anyways, so I’ve been stopping in for a quick adoration–15 minutes. It’s so peaceful.

Lately, however, my quick adorations have extended into the time the group of parishioners spontaneously start reciting the Rosary as a group. This first happened last week when I was sitting there reading from one of the spiritual books on the shelves in the back. An older gentleman launched into the Rosary and every body else joined in — sometimes another lady would start the decade and another would chime in with the mysteries.

I LOVED IT. And I keep coming back and they do it every morning at 8am. It’s so beautiful. And I don’t participate in it. Not because I’m an awful person but because I love sitting there and listening to it. It’s like beautiful chanting. It’s rhythmic. It’s calming and brings me a lot of peace. And so I started staying through the whole Rosary.

Then Mass was starting and I left because I have “too many things to do.”  Right?  But then last week I started staying through my quick adoration, through the beautiful public chanting of the Rosary and on through for Mass.  And I leave walking on air, light and at peace.  It’s amazingly uplifting.

Wouldn’t it be great if I did this every day for the rest of my life?

Unfortunately, knowing myself and that summer is coming (no carpool for two months) I will inevitably let life get in the way and lose this beautiful practice of weekday Mass.  For now, though I’ll enjoy it one day at a time and not worry about tomorrow or forever.

I’ll write later today about Saint Catherine of Siena (my patron saint whose feast day was YESTERDAY and I didn’t even acknowledge it!) and judging others (I read a cool article in OSV by Mark Shea about this today).

Money Isn’t Everything

newspaperThe family and I are heading to the beach today. It’s spring break and we are looking forward to getting in some fishing, strolling, seafood and hang-time.

Also, I have an interview down there!  An interview for Editor of a small town newspaper!  The pay is about of third of what I’m used to making in my sales jobs; and it’s so funny because I don’t even care. Money isn’t everything. And we’ve learned over these last two years how to live small.

There is so much freedom to living small.  We don’t have to be stressed to make ends meet in order to keep up with a big house and big life. We are more free to do the things we’re called to do, even if they barely pay enough to put gas in the car. ha ha.

I’m exaggerating (but just a little) because the pay isn’t that bad; but actually it is pretty bad ha ha ha!

We’ve been wanting to move to the beach for a long time and the boys are begging me to get the job so we can actually do it this time.  Why not? I tossed and turned all night with angst-filled dreams and I’m not going to read too much into them.  I prayed this morning for God to give me/us peace, His peace, if this is His will.

The job itself sounds fantastic!  Managing a very small news room and being the “face” of the town representing the paper.  Getting involved in the community and interacting with the residents, joining networking associations, etc…  I would love it. Also, cooperating with the Publisher to increase subscribers and achieve budgets.  I’ve always loved local news…obituaries, crime, traffic, church news, school stories, local business news.

I stalked the paper a little bit via Google and discovered they just hired an editor in February; so I’m not sure why they would be hiring for the same position again?

I hope they have good AA meetings down there.

Dear God, please give me your peace about all this. And if it is your will and my family and I can make a difference in the lives of others down there then so be it. If not, then not.

I’ve got to go pack!  Happy Easter Monday!

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.

Dear God

Iron Kids Triathlon, Alpharetta, Georgia

Iron Kids Triathlon, Alpharetta, Georgia

Dear God,

Hi. How are you? Thank you for keeping me sober yesterday and please keep me sober today, too–I keep following your instruction to do this sober thing one day at at time. I was surprised yesterday when I realized I will have six months sober on Easter. I’ve been counting the days and didn’t realize how many months had added up.  By your grace, I’ve been able to get back to my sober life.

After being sober for three years, I really didn’t think it would be a big deal to have wine on my anniversary. But since I hadn’t been to AA the last year and a half of those three years, I didn’t have the regular reminder that I can’t drink like normal people.  And it took me three years of trying really hard to get sobriety back before I have been finally able to. Please don’t let me lose this?

I look at those three years and see your lessons.  One of the things you taught me was that financial security isn’t something I can count on, nor should I.  And through all that, here we sit in a teeny house with our life downsized 2/3 the size it was before. I never want to go back to big.

The blessings in having this little simple life are enormous. The boys share a room. We all four share one bathroom!  What character you’ve built-in all of us from all this sharing and physical closeness.

In my downsized life I actually get the laundry done.  The laundry room is right there.  I walk past it every time I go to the bathroom or to my room, so it’s easy to just throw a load in or take a load out.

Remember in the old house, the 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom golf and country club house?  Remember how the laundry would pile up in the playroom so high that my Mom would have to come over and help me fold it all?  I felt like such an incapable mother that I couldn’t keep up with the laundry!

Waverunners in Perdid Key, Florida

Waverunners in Perdido Key, Florida

Working full-time then and trying to run and manage that big house and big life really was too much for me. Sure I could handle it. I won the sales awards and the sales contests. I made really good money and we had amazing benefits for our whole family.

But none of that worked for us. Husband, the boys and I were all always running around, low-level anxiety permeated all of us. It wasn’t until we left all that behind, on a whim almost, when we decided to purchase this 1300 square foot 1925 farm-house and renovate it, that life began to get simpler.

Not at first, though. All the work the house needed before we could even move in! We were still drinking, and I can still see some of the trim I painted drunk that needs to be touched up.

Settled now, for the most part, I started my own small marketing firm, took a few clients immediately and learned the ropes of my new endeavor. Then, I got pregnant–and the boys were out of school for the summer–I gave up the clients and focused more on our home and family.  I was really happy. Giving up drinking when I was pregnant was a no-brainer, piece of cake. It was fun imagining the baby would be a girl and finally having some pink around our house. I remember thinking how grateful I was to you, discovering we were pregnant at age 42–I thought this must be Your way of getting me back to sobriety. We had decided to name her after my mother, Elizabeth Claire.

But you knew there were other plans for me, the miscarriage and subsequent D&C–gosh all that was awful. All the blood and painfulness. I was so sad.  The boys were so sad.  But it wasn’t meant to be. And I was able to see that if that wasn’t your will for me then I am okay with that. There must have been a reason – beyond my understanding – for losing the baby.

I’m sorry I went right back to drinking. And it was worse, more. After two months of that Husband had had enough and he threw me out. And in those dark, dark days that followed, I quit you. During those days of unspeakable brokenness and tears, I finally, finally broke.  I even felt something break in my head, like a physical sensation. It was the moment I told you I hated you, didn’t want you in my life and that I had no use for you whatsoever and I meant it with my whole being. I completely 100% for the first time in my life ever hated you. I told you out loud that I consciously choose to kick you out of my life.

And then something broke.

family2But then you sent an angel. my sister Liz who took off work and took me into her home and showered me with love and all of her religiousness.  Everything in her house is touched by you–the crucifixes, the rosaries, the Mary statues, the prayer cards, all of it. She set me up in her son’s room for ten days and I remember staring at that picture of Jesus of the Divine Mercy that she had tacked up on the wall right next to my pillow at eyes height. I remember staring into Jesus’ eyes. And they penetrated me, warmed me, filled me. I remember telling you I was absolutely broken and scared.  And I started writing.

I filled two journal books in those ten days, and I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day LOL!  And my sister who hates smoking never said a word to me when I smoked full-time on her back deck! She even brought me an ashtray. And I wrote two full books full of talking to you, praying to you, begging you and reaching out to you.  Every day my journal started out with Dear God.  And you filled me like you had never filled me before.

Thank you.

Within two weeks, I was reunited with the family and within two months I’d gotten back into AA and started working the steps. And now here I am, dear God, writing to you filled with peace and gratitude for all the wonderful gifts of my life. If I had to plan my life, it wouldn’t have looked like this.  And thank you for that! Because if I had planned my life, I wouldn’t have the joy and peace that you give that surpasses my understanding.

Love, Reg

100 Followers!

Yay! Party! I just got my 100th follower!

Discovering the Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary

10 evangelica virtues of mary

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

I first discovered the them when reading about one  of my favorite saints, Teresa of Avila. I googled the term “evangelical virtues,” and there was very little information out there. However, in a transcript on Vatican Radio,  Pope Benedict XVI mentions Teresa’s intense program of the contemplative life...which at its heart were the evangelical virtues and prayer.”

In this year of faith, efforts to increase in these virtues is a worthy exercise. We are called to evangelize 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?  How does Mary evangelize?

 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…1Peter 3:15

These ten evangelical virtues are derived from a combination of the human, moral, cardinal and theological virtues, described to us in the Catechism. They are actually qualities of Mary, the Mother of God who by her example is the epitome of evangelization.

The Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary is a wonderful synopsis of Mary’s character:

1. Chastity (Mt 1:18, 20, 23; Lk 1:24,34)
2. Prudence  (Lk 2:19; 51)
3. Humility (Lk 1 :48)
4. Faith ( Lk 1:45; Jn 2:5)
5. Devotion  (Lk 1:46-47; Acts 1:14)
6. Obedience (Lk 1:38; 2:21-22; 27)
7. Poverty (Lk 2:7)
8. Patience  (Jn 19:25)
9. Mercy (Lk 1:39, 56)
10. Sorrow (Lk 2:35)

We notice in this list, there is no mention of being obnoxious when we evangelize others.  Quite the contrary, evangelical Catholics are to remain humble, be patient, prudent. Evangelizing to others is as simple as happily proclaiming our love and support for the Faith and the church. This is sometimes tough for cradle Catholics who grew up thinking “evangelism” was a sales tactic, associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Fundamentalist Christians.

The Catechism tells us, “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do good. It allows us not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of ourselves.”

As Catholic mothers, we’re called to instill these virtues first in our children.  We don’t keep our love of the Faith to ourselves. We bring it into everyday activities.  We direct our focus into our own homes, become evangelizers in the midst of our work, the laundry, the dishes, diaper changes, the cooking, carpool, the cleaning and paying bills, our marriage. By pro-actively instilling these virtues in ourselves and in our children, we develop the character of Mary, rather than the character of the world—isn’t that our objective?

“It is far from easy to sum up in a few words Saint Teresa’s profound and articulate spirituality. In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life.” Pope Benedict XVI

On the ceiling of the 18th century Marian Church of Gozlin, Poland, there is a ten-pointed star symbolizing Mary’s evangelical virtues dear to the Marians. Mary’s virtues are like the rays of a star enlightening our path and inspiring our behavior.

One way to integrate these virtues into your life is by praying the Chaplet to the Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary.  Let’s get started.

Ash Wednesday in Good Cheer, To Go

I found this quote from Saint Philip Neri on my blog from last February:

Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.St. Philip Neri

AshWednesdayIt reminds me it is important I remain cheerful when I give something up, when I sacrifice something I like in order to have a closer relationship with God. Today, with my (frown) back pain it is tough to remain cheerful. I am not a very cheerful person when I’m in physical pain. I’m not awful–I’m just useless.

I couldn’t go to Mass for ashes because of the pain. My Mom said someone could bring me ashes like they do when they bring holy communion to the sick.

My sweet ten year old was happy to do this for me. Their school Mass was at 8:30 this morning. He tried. But our parish priest said it’s not allowed. (frown). So, I ended up rubbing foreheads with my children to get some of their ashes onto me.

Check this out! Ashes To Go in Saint Louis–here is an article about how for the seventh year in a row in St Louis several priests offer ashes to parishoners in traffic. I love this! Not sure if it’s a Catholic practice, though?  It might be an Episcopal thing. Anybody know?

I remember that I am dust, and to dust I shall return.

Addicted to More or Less

mynatureisfirephotoLong story short I’ve been on Prozac for the last 17 years because of something I went through when I was 26.

I had always suffered from bouts of deep depression; but it finally became bad enough for me to take the doctor’s advice and go on an anti-depressant.  It worked! After about a month on Prozac in 1996 I remember noticing, “Wow. So, this is how normal people feel.” Life went on— but on Prozac I didn’t spiral down into a hole and stay there for days. I really felt like it was a miracle drug for me.

And I never stopped taking it. I was too afraid to experience deep depression again.

But after the miscarriage this summer, and my relapse, I doubled my dose of Prozac because I was afraid of becoming depressed. (I had extra pills because I didn’t take it during the pregnancy) The mere  memory of depression triggered a big fear in me.  So, like a good little alcoholic, I doubled the dose of my Prozac without consulting my doctor.

Twice as much should work twice as well, right?  That’s the way my brain thinks.  I’m that way with Advil, too.  If two work on a headache, then four will really work.  And, of course, with alcohol.  If one glass of wine makes me feel this good, then just think what three glasses will feel like!

I’m addicted to more, so I will feel less.

This doubling up on my dose however has made me a crazy person.  Sure, I haven’t gotten depressed (over almost losing my marriage back in September); but I have been the opposite of depressed.  I’ve been manic.

And I’m “in fear” (as they say in AA)–avoiding starting my 4th Step, afraid to “look under the bed” at my marriage and my life– because I’m afraid of what I will find.  I don’t want to feel anything because I’m afraid of going into a deep depression and getting stuck there “forever.”

So, these last four months on the double dose I’ve created like five small businesses, fourteen new blogs, purchased beads and made a hundred rosaries, spent way too much money on the boys for Christmas, and had very little sleep.

This is taking its toll on my body. I got a flu-bronchitis thing over Christmas.  And though I improved, I am sick again now with a bad virus.  And I haven’t been able to slow my brain down. I even thought about drinking last week to get some relief.

Finally, a few days ago, I put 2 and 2 together and figured out it was the double Prozac that was making me nutty.  (Insert AA lingo here: sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly) So, I cut back down to the minimum dose—and although I was still afraid to feel and face everything, I was more eager to stop being so manic.

I am so happy to report I slept well the last couple of nights and am slowly beginning to feel like myself again, without the mania.

I’m addicted to more, so I will feel less. But what I’ve discovered from this little brain-serotonin experiment on myself is that I can’t escape. Not through alcohol and not through doubling my Prozac.  Neither works.

The only thing that “works” is reliance and faith in God, putting my whole life and my will in His hands, and letting Him do with me what He wants. Today, this day, I have faith that God will bring me through what ever it is I’m supposed to face about myself and my marriage.  My sponsor will be happy I’ll finally be starting on my Fourth Step! More or less.

Hope Flows

Girl with a balloonThis hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil. Hebrews 6:19

Looking back at some of my old posts I was drawn today particularly to this one which sounds a lot like where I am today.  A little disconcerting to realize this was written almost five years ago, back in 2008–and I’m still in “this place today.”  Yikes!

The truth is my spiritual, family and professional life travels in cycles: re-birth, exploration, running the race, and the fall. Would love to avoid the falls, but the older I get I realize how necessary the falls are in leading me to more growth.

I’m in a re-birth phase today, in transition in all areas of my life:

From professional salesperson to my true love, which is writing with an eye for marketing and design.

From Mom of two little boys that need full-time supervision to having a lot more independence–Ben is old enough to “babysit” so even at night my husband and I can go out for a couple of hours and leave them at home if we want to.  Also, they’re both needing me less and less for help with school.  They attend a top Catholic school and the academics can be quite rigorous.  It seems they’re in their grooves, keeping up, handling the workloads on their own.

From newlywed and “young married couple” to a 15 year marriage that has weathered some storms and has the scars to prove it.  There is an acceptance and humility in our marriage now.  We’re not invincible anymore.  We need to actively “protect” and nurture our marriage.  It doesn’t run on autopilot anymore.

From financial fairytale ignorance to cultivating and developing a financial plan for our family that is diversified and works with reality, not with dreams. Investing all of our time and money in real estate, dreaming our investments would sustain us to and through retirement turned out to not be a great plan when the housing market tanked, along with our “dreams.”

From daughter who brings all my problems to my Mom to adult daughter who realizes that my 80-year-old parents need some help.

From a three-year stressful period of not taking care of myself physically to beginning again my self-care, more AA meetings and more running.

abandon hope2I love my life today. I feel good.  I have hope. As Pope Benedict said in the opening paragraph of his encyclical on Hope, “The present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.”

Hope is one of the great themes in the Bible. The Pope observes a deep link  between faith and hope, so much so that, in some passages, they are almost “interchangeable.” He draws on the Letter to the Hebrews, Letter to the Ephesians and other New Testament letters to make his point.

In Ephesians, our Pope points out to us, “To come to know God—the true God— means to have hope.”

He discusses Paul’s encounter with the Ephesians. “Before their encounter with Christ they were ‘without hope and without God in the world’ (Eph 2:12).” In spite of their empty gods, the Ephesians “were ‘without God’ and consequently found themselves in a dark world, facing a dark future.”

Hope, of course, in and through Christ, leads to the light.

I had a rebirth of hope back in 2007–I remember it distinctly.  But it wasn’t even a couple of years later–in 2009 I went back to work in sales to ease our financial troubles at home–when my priorities shifted, and God was eased out of His place of prominence in my life. My spiritual life (from which the rest of my life breathes) didn’t flow.  Funny how life doesn’t flow very well when I’m not remembering to live in God’s will every morning.

It wasn’t on purpose.  I got attracted to working again, having a lot of money, being praised and liked by others. I won sales awards, and I chased each next thing I could accomplish to get me more praise and attention. More!

The malaise snuck up on me.  Taking a good job with plenty of income and benefits seemed to be a good idea at the time. It was a good thing, right?  But little by little I was losing “myself” by drifting from my God, chasing as Pope Benedict described above “empty gods.”

I have finally turned the corner to head back in His direction with my full attention.  It’s weird to say this, but quitting my job last April was the first step for me back to God.  And I have HOPE once again. We just don’t have much money. 🙂

My “goal” is God will.  And if I remember each morning to ask God to direct my thinking and my actions for this day, then hope flows. It’s as simple as that. Yay!