A Woman I Admire (and I don’t even know her name)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Every once in a while we come across people who truly inspire us.

Last month I spent the evening at a wedding in South Carolina. While everyone at my table was eating pork tenderloin and making small talk, I was watching a woman dance.

I could not keep my eyes off her. She must have been fifty something years old and looked stunning in her elegant trendy blue off the shoulder dress. Her hair was blonde and her lips were painted pink.

But what was so captivating, was the way she was dancing. She wasn’t just half heartily dancing while looking around to make sure no one was watching.

No. She was there to have FUN! She carried herself with such confidence it all worked. And I thought….that’s how I want to live my life.

I want to have fun with the people I love: to care about my appearance (and not disappear into my soccer mom clothes) but not care so much that I’m trying too hard and looking for others approval. I want to be comfortable in my own skin and quit worrying about what others will think of me.  I’m ready to stop apologizing for my weaknesses and start taking more chances.

How do we find the courage to embrace who we really are? By knowing God made us. He loves us and He forgives us.

Loving God is 50% of the gift. Accepting His love for us is the other half and just as life changing.

I struggle with this sometimes, do you? Do you fully understand that you are deeply loved and accepted….enough to have the courage to step out in faith and be the courageous woman He created you to be in your daily life? Or, are you still stuck in self doubt and lacking faith?

Please share with us and leave a comment (I will respond)! Let’s encourage each other (and leave comments for one another)! Loving a man who drinks too much or deals with substance abuse can beat you down – let’s rise, put on our blue dresses and dance!

From Me to You

A Personal Story

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My ex-husband called me last night and told me he was dying.  Five years ago this would have been upsetting news.  But now I just recognize it for what it really is:  a cry for help (he is not really dying).  I asked him what I could do and he asked me to “just listen.”

He began to sob like a child.  Over the last 10 years he lost multiple jobs, a wife, a long-time live-in girlfriend, two sets of children, and is about to have his electricity turned off because he can’t pay the bills.  He lives amongst filthiness and dysfunction. And even his family refuses to talk to him – too many bridges have been burned.  He is only 38 years old.

“I am all alone, Michelle”.

I did not try to fix him, or condemn him.  There were no words.  I just listened.

“I don’t want to go on living.  My whole life I have been fighting this and I am tired.  I hate being sober because I have to face so many things, but I hate myself when I drink.”

It must be an awful life.  Constantly running away from all the people you have hurt and the pain you feel.  He really needs to hear the forgiveness and mercy that God is so ready to grant him, if he would just surrender.  But unfortunately, the bottom of his rock bottom is very, very deep.

I told him I would pray for him.  Gave him some updates on the kids and compassionately said goodbye.  It was sad, and it broke my heart a little to hear a man so wounded by his own choices.  My husband walked into the room and asked if everything was ok.

We climbed into bed together and prayed for him.

That was my old life.  Drama.  Pain.  Suffering.  Loneliness.  Powerful words that only someone who loves an alcoholic or addict can understand.  I thank God that all it now takes to leave that dysfunctional world behind is hanging up the phone.

My life now is filled with love, laughter and joy.  My children are safe and I am married to a honest man who cherishes us, comes home on time, and is filled with integrity.  I know I would never to be able to appreciate my life today had it not been so awful for so long.

What’s going on with you this week?  Share your story with us, ask a question on reach out to one another.  You are not alone.  We are here to encourage you and cheer you on… don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter in the top right corner.

Daily Choices

3 Ways To Get Help Now

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

You feel devastated.  Life was never meant to be this painful.  You are exhausted and anxious, and don’t know just how much more of his drinking or drug use you can take.

You love him for the man he could be. He has so much potential.  The good times are great and the bad times are awful.  It’s a rollercoaster ride.  And you want to get off.  You want a happy, healthy life with the man you love.

I was just like you.

My life was consumed with trying to help my husband.   But there is a better way.

1.  If you don’t pray – start now.  Stop being busy with “busy work”, put your hands together and ask for help.

2.  Have faith – if you think nothing good will happen, nothing will.  Look out for ways God begins to work in your life.

3.  Get help – Go to an Alanon meeting, Celebrate Recovery, a therapist, or buy the Love Over Addiction Program.  It all works, if you make the choice to start working.

You are beautiful, loving and caring.  You deserve to feel cherished and deeply loved.  I say it all the time – but this disease can make you feel so unworthy.

Do you know anyone who is suffering?  Would you like me to come to guest speak in your church or organization?  If so, pass this along to your friends, family or pastors.  Let’s grow this community and SHARE. There are so many who need help.

Daily Choices

How to Feel Grateful When Life Seems So Hard

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I separated from my husband many years ago (we are now divorced.)  I had no money, no college education and three little children to care for.  I was scared to death.  Leaving someone who suffers from addiction was awful.  I didn’t know where I was going to live, how I was going to be pay rent and the idea of anyone ever loving me again seemed impossible.

One night I was driving home from an appointment with my therapist and I started to think of all the things I was grateful for.  My children’s smile, my new cookbook, reruns of The Golden Girls (I know, I’m a dork), my brother who stepped up and offered to babysit the kids so I could get help and go to my appointments.  The list went on and on.  The more detailed I got about what I was grateful for, the greater the joy started rising in my heart. 

I know now this was God helping me give thanks in all circumstances.  Why?  Because He knows that being still and reflecting on all the little things that are blessings in our life is the easiest way to take our heart from darkness to light.

No matter how bad my life circumstances got (and they included court dates, restraining orders, threats and hiding out in hotels), I gave thanks throughout the day and choose to focus on all the “little things.”

What do you need to give thanks for?  Do you have a grateful heart today or are you stuck in the darkness?  

Make a list of things to be thankful for each day and begin to feel the joy!  Romans 12:2

You are a beautiful, loving person.  You are generous and kind hearted.  Leave a comment and dare to be vulnerable with each other.  Lift each other up and encourage one another. Subscribe to the free newsletter (above) and don’t forget to checkout the life changing Love Over Addiction Program.