Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Did you ever notice how glacially slow sunrise happens? If you are in on it from its first light behind the trees, it seems to take forever. Today's showing was quite unspectacular as sunrises go. I viewed it  from behind the kitchen table. I had pulled the high, swivel chair around the corner of the table and tucked my feet up into the warmth of my body and waited. Today my meditation period was spent in this expectant place and it was good.

Hope doesn't have to be all warmth and soft colors. Today it came in the rhythm of peaceful regularity, as pale as the winter skin on my face and as quiet as the dogs reclined on their blankets.

It could have come in its louder fashion. Typically, if my soul is yearning in the morning for sustainence, I take it to the daily meeting at 7 am. I catch the sunrise on the fly, I head east so it feels as if I am traveling to join the cosmic sunshine. A mere 6 miles away, I pull into a parking lot of familiar cars in the early shadows, light pouring out of our meeting room windows, fragrant coffee in the air and greetings with my name in them. That sets a girl right for the day.

But, if I want change, to know God's calling, I can shift my focus, draw away from the familiar to allow some space. I never have a problem running along to the next shiny object. My task is to slow down, always. There is nothing that doesn't improve by my slowing down.

And so, I tell you in this slow moment, that is what is good about today.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp wrote a best seller by this name. The list is of things she is grateful for and how the process changed her life. I read it a couple months ago and fell in love with her lyrical writing style. I started my list and stalled out around twenty or so.

I am thinking about starting again, writing it in my own way, that is each entry would be three words or less. Can anyone join me in this?

When I change my thoughts, I change my world. That's what's good about today.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Plan

So, my one and only man child is home for a visit. I bustle in the kitchen asking a question here and there of his exploits. Somewhat exploitive they are. At 21, it is all about him. I give thanks that this is not what I live with every day. I take hope that he was honest enough to say that 'partying' was going to be his activity this weekend. A good sign that he can be at least that honest, he would have told a story six months ago.

The next morning I look for my box of matches to light my meditation candle. Not to be found next to it. Not to be found on the counter or the floor under it. Hmm. Boy smokes. Boy took?

Musing this morning that there is no promised Christmas present, slicer dicer in sight in evidence yet. Nothing mentioned, no substitute proffered.  Wondering if the check I sent him is going to help buy a better car or is already up in smoke.

Though I cannot make any headway in talking about substances stealing ambition or how Jesus asks that we love each other in thought and deed, I have a plan. It is a plan more for me than for him. It is to say what I mean and not say it mean.

I need to say that we humans need each other, self seeking avails us nothing. Being dishonest will only get you so far.

This morning I looked for toothpicks.  ?where are they? Boy took? Nah, couldn't be, sigh.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Acceptance Is the Answer to All My Problems

Years ago I picked up a greeting card that had a great message about the need for acceptance. I kept it for years, I think I had it taped to my bathroom mirror. A couple years ago I was gratified that I can enjoy the passage forever in the Big Book.

In the hour that I've been up, I have asked for acceptance in our living situation. It is super in a number of ways but I get pangs wishing I could give my dogs more companionship. I leave them for a long day at work.

I ask for acceptance because I can't meditate worth crap right now. My thoughts don't play like monkeys, they run like cheetahs! Ah, well. My only job is to keep the effort going.

I ask for acceptance of my overloaded desk at work. I will accept the bountiful from the universe and know that at any moment I can slow down and breathe and know that life is about taking one moment at a time.

I write what I need to hear, that's what's good about today.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Prayer for Presence Throughout This Day

Holy God of all, I ask for your help in keeping my thoughts in this moment. It is a present most valuable and given freely. Let me choose to claim it over and over. Let the worry over tomorrow and the concerns from yesterday dissolve like fog so that I might gaze in full appreciation at our blessings.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Honesty vs Rigorous Honesty

I am better than half way through a six month AWOL which means that we are coming into Step 5.
We started 4 in November and discussed and worked it for the expected 3-4 weeks but have now had 3 weeks off due to a storm and then holiday break as it meets on Tuesdays.

I felt emotional and low over the holidays and it occurred to me that part of it might be to my Step 4 moldering inside of me with no place to go. I shared this with my sponsor on a Saturday who had no time until this past weekend which is typical of her un availability and my willingness to put up with it.

So I reviewed it that morning, got distracted and went to meet her without my Step 4 in hand. This was unacceptable to her which was unacceptable to me and she harangued me about the timing of it in connection with the AWOL I actually had mentioned it to one of the facilitators who said it was fine especially since I had done it before and was in some angst.

There is a gift in that we have been like two politicians smiling and glad handing each other. It forces me to see that I am drawn to different types of emotional un availability and how I pick people as a set up to be 'better than' per my two paragraph describing how exquisite my thinking versus my hack of a sponsor!

Another gift is that it deepened my relationship with a couple  other members of the program. One is a woman who I am friendly with and one is a man who I took my fourth step to over the weekend. He is ill and offered to hear it, old veteran that he is, he has fondness for others and the program that I feel secure with. So, I did it. I'm not sure if I feel done with it. But it is drawing us closer in what may be his last months.

The last gift of the process so far is that I note where I have been less than rigorously honest. I thought I would spill it right here but I think not. For the moment it remains mine to ponder, pray on etc. Had I not stumbled to its importance (or not), I would not have an example of honesty versus rigorous honesty. For now, it is helping me to be more honest today.

Last year was the year of learning to love my neighbor, this year could be honesty in things large and small. To be oneself in all circumstances, that will take my higher powers help!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Step on Snakes Before Breakfast

 I really want to share Ann Voskamp with you at Www.aholyexperience.com. I have her posts emailed to me and their rich generosity of spirit are inspiring to me. She might be too much for you, her site misrepresents her as kind of giggly and treacly. If you follow her blog you will find her as in touch with her defects as any of us and down to earth in her struggles.

That is why I call her generous as she opens her life to all of us interlopers. I will enjoy her while she is so accessible as I fear that someday she will reclaim her privacy. Another reason I am growing to love her is that she is a True Believer. A year ago I might have passed her good words right by, thinking to myself, 'give me a break, a wacko Christian proselytizing'.

My Spiritual Director recommended her book One Thousand Gifts in which she mentions her process of writing a list of what she is grateful for.  Now, anyone serious about recovery has written a gratitude list. They are usually pretty concrete, numbering 20 or so, or perhaps starting with each letter of the alphabet.

Her list is lyrical which is another thing I enjoy about her, she is such a good writer. She has me, I tell you. I started a list in November and I better get back to it.

So, if you are ever in Amesbury, MA and want to talk about gratitude, join me at 7am everyday but Sunday for the What's Good About Today open meeting of AA. Because it's good to step on the snakes before breakfast!