Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wednesday, 12/31 - "I BELIEVE"

"I BELIEVE"

I BELIEVE - the lyrics:
I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows

I believe somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows

I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way
I believe, I believe.
I believe above the storm the smallest pray'r will still be heard.

I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word.

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry, or touch a leaf or see the sky,
Then I know why I believe.


I (Prayer Girl) BELIEVE:

I believe that miracles happen every day.
I believe that "it's not about me".

I believe that God has His purposes in "all" that happens.

I believe that God's power and love are limitless.
I believe that God has a purpose for my life and your life.

I believe that hopeless alcoholics get sober.
I believe that God loves drunk and sober alcoholics.

I believe that people can change with the help of God.

I believe God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
I believe that faith and trust in God pays huge dividends.

I believe in the power of prayer.
I believe that "Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."
(p. 449 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)
I believe that the smallest grain of hope produces results.

I believe that "deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God."(p. 55 Alcoholics Anonymous)
I believe it is true that - "We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found." (p. 55 Alcoholics Anonymous)
I believe that life is for learning and life is worth living.

I believe in the healing power of love.

Prayers and Blessings for the New Year,

Prayer Girl

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sunday, 12/28/08 - "MY MIND"

"MY MIND"

From Christmas to Today
Mind goes "bong", "bong"

- - Back and Forth
- - From This to That
- - From Here to There

This means:
It's all about me
- - Nothing is about me


Give me isolation to the extreme (stay at home, watch T.V., read, sleep, T.V., read, sleep)
- - Give me friends to love, talk to, enjoy time with, be with, comfort, be comforted by


Give me simplicity to the max, life in black and white
- - Give me life in technicolor


Retirement from blogging
- - Coming out of retirement


Inside a mind can be a
dangerous place to spend time!

MY MIND
I step as if outside myself
Staring in to see
The many simple landmarks

Known specially to me


But before me stretches long and steep

A passage of debris
A cluttered, junk-filled corridor
Items tossed disorderly

A faint glow penetrates the waste

Spreads slowly to the fore

Then with a sudden gale storm force

The light sweeps clear the way


And the passageway's left filled and bright

The wasteland's disappeared

The tunnel way my oft-trod route again

A known and trusted way

--Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Shut me up by Subtle Emotions Club)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday, 12/25 - Shhhhh! Hushshsh! (whisper) It's Coming!

"CHRISTMAS EVE AND
CHRISTMAS DAY BLESSINGS"


"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads."

- Clement Clarke Moore



Shhhhh! Hushshsh! Shhhhh! Hushshsh!


whisper
Mystery is coming
Love is coming

Hope is coming

Joy is coming
Peace is coming
Radiance is coming
Wonder is coming
Abundance is coming
Recovery is coming

Christ...mas is coming


My present to all of you:


FRIENDS LIKE SISTERS
Way up on a heavenly shelf tucked away

Is a book that is golden with sparkling ray

This book has no words to transmit or convey

The bond God has placed round us friends on life's way


This book that God lovingly holds in his care

Is titled by Him "The Lives Sisters Share"

As the book binder lovingly binds all his pages

Just so has God bound us for all of the ages

Each page holds a life that's uniquely its own

Yet bound smoothly together - a radiant tome

God melds them together with infinite love

A shared lifetime of friendship - His gift from above

Each friend is a blessing - each sister a gift

Brought perfectly together so none are adrift


Thank God for this masterpiece crafted as one

Friends forever together till this life is done


--Prayer Girl

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wednesday 12/24 - "THE FACE OF FEAR"

(YIKES!)

"THE FACE OF FEAR"


"For the most part, fear is nothing but an illusion. When you share it with someone else, it tends to disappear." - Marilyn C. Barrick

This quote reminds me of what we hear in our Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, "A problem shared is a problem cut in half." So in this case, it would be, "A fear shared is a fear cut in half."


My first, middle, and last names used to be "FEAR". When I arrived at the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was filled with so much fear that I was frozen - unable to take any action to help myself. I was not able to speak my fear because first of all, I was out of touch with my feelings and didn't recognize the fear. Second, I had spent a lifetime to that point hiding my feelings from myself and from you.


The process of facing and ridding myself of those overwhelming fears has been so liberating. Discovering my character defects and asking God to relieve me of them has gone a long way to reduce my fears.


My fears are often a product of:


* My perfectionism - fearing I will not do or say something perfectly and you will, as a result, reject me or find me to be less than.....


* My tendency to make mountains out of molehills. I have what is described in one of the stories in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, a "magic, magnifying mind". I have a tendency to magnify things right into the place of fear.


* Projection - projecting all kinds of outcomes with no way of knowing what will actually transpire in the future. This kind of fear robs me of the present.

* People pleasing - Fear that if I don't please you, you will reject me and influence others against me as well.


My fears have been cut dramatically by taking the 12 steps and in particular, steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Thank God I am no longer ruled by my fears. God is my guide.

A beautiful Christmas gift - FREEDOM FROM FEAR!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tuesday, 12/23 - "PARTING"
































"PARTING"


PARTING
Close friends of mine

Passed on the tide
Like shells being swept aside
Glinting with a green bright glow

Same close-felt friends
Carried on current wide

Brushed softly by my side

Leaving seeds of green to bind


And we flowed on - apart

As divergent waters wide

Floating afar each others' paths
Separate tides still left to ride

But the verdant pieces

Left clinging - grow

Surrounding, rounding, bounding

Affixed forever as I flow

Prayer Girl

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monday 12/22 - "DIVINE ATTENTION"

"DIVINE ATTENTION"

"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity."
-George Bernard Shaw

In my opinion, the opposite of this idea - the greatest good we can do our fellows is to pay them "divine attention" - must be what lies behind the reason why people will respond to even the smallest gestures of love, caring, sympathy, empathy, compassion, concern. A smile can light up the face of another person where none had been there before. Just a simple note with the words, "I love you" written on it can warm a heart. A call to say a simple "thank you" lifts the spirit.

There is an episode from my past that speaks to the soul sickness of indifference. When I was in high school, my best friend got married. I, in my infinite wisdom and knowledge, told her all about why she should not marry this man. She was too young. He wasn't the right guy for her, etc. etc.

She lived in a home with a step-mother who was the proverbial "wicked witch" - and she really was. My girlfriend was always on restriction and was constantly being emotionally and mentally abused by this woman. She was escaping an intolerable situation and I, her "best friend" was non-supportive, to say the least.


In the end she did marry him and DID NOT invite me, "HER BEST FRIEND", to the wedding. I burned with resentment I would not acknowledge for 25 years. That resentment took the form of erasing her from my mind as if she had never existed. TOTAL AND COMPLETE INDIFFERENCE! In retrospect, I know this did not really work. I was just kidding myself. She never was erased from my mind like I intended. She hung around in my psyche causing dis-ease, guilt and remorse for many years.

In recovery I have had to see the truth of why I was not invited. I bad mouthed her boyfriend so, of course, they didn't want me there. Duh!


25 years later I finally contacted her. I found out this man had died suddenly many years before of a heart attack caused by a congenital defect. I then learned that her teenage son died suddenly in the same manner years later. I regret my years of indifference. How inhumane. But God can right any wrong and heals relationships when we truly seek His assistance.


There needs to be "no room at the inn of indifference" in my life. Each person I come in contact with is a divine spark from the God whose flame created all of us and each deserves my attention. This is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. I ask God for the power to carry out His will, and forgiveness when I fall short of the goal.


Love you,

Prayer Girl


Photo credit: Tressie Davis

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday 12/21 - CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!


"CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!"

Thanks to Jess for sharing the Christmas Spirit Award with me. I am so grateful for those who share so willingly of their experience, strength, and hope.

The award is a sharing award so I will do as others before me have and pay it forward along with sharing my experience with it.


Sharing the spirit of the award:
* the person you give the award to must also be in love with Christmas
* link back to the person who gave you the award

* list 5 things you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5, then continue till you run out of space

* pass the award along to as many people as you like - that can be 1 or 50 to keep the Christmas cheer going

* let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment

I'm not too good at following directions so I'll just list my 5 things. Anyone who has not already been tagged, may consider themselves tagged. I love you all.
  1. I love Christmas because it means it is time to attend "The Living Christmas Tree" production put on by The First Baptist Church. For me, this event tends to usher in the season for me - that's when I "get in the spirit". I have been attending for 20 years. It is always fabulous.
  2. I love wrapped packages under the tree. I love the way they look. It conjures up memories of Christmases past. I remember all the times my parents would arrive at our house to be with us for Christmas and unload so many packages from the trunk of their car that it would make my head swim. We would bring them into the house in several relays and there would be packages everywhere in layer upon layer around our tree. The children would be beside themselves with anticipation.
  3. I love Christmas for what it represents - the birth of Christ - my higher power. It is another reminder of the power that relieved my alcoholism, the author of all my life experiences - supernatural and natural, and the giver of all spiritual gifts.
  4. I love Christmas music - The Messiah including the beautiful Alleluia Chorus, all the old familiar Christmas Carols, and even one I heard today called, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". (I'm not kidding.)
  5. If I were to describe how Christmas feels, I would say, it feels warm, protecting, nostalgic, peaceful, happy, joyful, exciting, and hopeful. These feelings are a large part of why I love Christmas.
Merry Christmas,
Happy Holidays
to all of my blog friends.
Prayer Girl

Friday, December 19, 2008

Saturday, 12/20 - "LIFE IS SHORT-EAT DESSERT FIRST!"

"LIFE IS SHORT -
EAT DESSERT FIRST!"


Life is short:
  • Eat dessert first
  • Be gentle with yourself
  • Don't sweat the small stuff and almost everything is small stuff
  • Stop beating yourself up
  • Let go of anger
  • You don't have to be perfect
  • Hug someone today
  • Smile :)
  • Love and enjoy family and friends closest to you
  • Pray more
  • There is no place for resentments
  • Let go and let God
  • Go to a meeting
  • Act don't react
  • Prioritize thoughtfully
  • Discipline the tongue
  • Grow your spiritual connection
  • Practice being satisfied
  • Turn it over - now
  • Laugh
  • Strive for "balance"
  • Say what you mean, mean what you say, don't say it mean
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Appreciate nature
  • Appreciate art
  • Appreciate life
  • BLOG MORE
LIFE IS SHORT:
LOVE, LAUGH,
LISTEN, LEARN,

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
Prayer Girl

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday 12/19 - BORN TO READ!

"BORN TO READ!"

I was born to read. Life is made fuller and richer by the written word.
I have felt this way since my earliest reading experiences:

Dick
Dick runs.
Watch Dick run.
Jane
Jane runs.
Watch Jane run.
Dick and Jane run.

Watch Dick and Jane run.
Spot
Spot runs.

Watch Spot run.


I'll never forget all the kids in the 2nd grade trying to look at the book in the classroom that had a picture of Jane in a bathtub.


I love all kinds of reading:
- - novels - suspense, science fiction, romance, mystery, supernatural, historical, etc.
- - short stories - of all types
- - poetry
- - magazines
- - daily readers
- - spiritual literature
- - cookbooks
- - word games
- - crossword puzzles
- - reference books
- - blogs
........just to name a few

I dearly love libraries because:
* They have so many types and choices of reading materials.
* I remember the old-fashioned, mostly wood, many storied library in Washington, D.C. I used as a child.
* I remember taking my children to libraries when they were young.

* It was in libraries that much of my love of books was first born.
* I can borrow a dozen books, peruse them at my leisure, and then decide which I want to read and take the rest back.
* I can take out a one week book, not finish it, return it, and take it out again.

* I can sit in the silence and read to my heart's content.

Some of my reading habits:

1. I love to be reading 2, 3, or even 4 or more books at the same time.

2. When reading 2, 3, or even 4 books at the same time, I can then pick up a book dependent on my mood and particular state of mind at any given time. I love following different plots at the same time.
3. If I am going to "really enjoy" a book, it is usually one that "grabs" me in the first few pages.

4. I will often read books to their end even if they don't "grab" me immediately.
5. I can start a book, lay it aside, and pick it back up to finish it years later.

6. I can buy a book, put it in my bookcase, and not read it for a long time. (I often do the same thing with new purses, shoes, and even clothes.)

THANK YOU GOD FOR GIVING ME THE ABILITY
TO THINK, REASON, READ, WRITE, AND ENJOY
THE WRITTEN WORD!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday, 12/18 - "LISTENING"

"LISTENING"


Dear God help me listen
Between the notes of the sweetest melodies

Into the silences between the words

And in the pauses each of us takes

Dear God sharpen my ability to hear

Not the words, but the hush around them

Help me sense what is written beneath the type
And catch to myself what others convey


Dear God I want to hear

And ache with longing

To know what you are saying

To connect me to another

Prayer Girl

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wednesday 12/17 - A TREE!

"A TREE!"

I must admit this is not my tree, but I'm here to report that my $40 tree is now clothed in "selected" ornaments. Daughter is with her Dad this evening so I spent the evening decorating the tree. It's smaller than any tree we've ever had so I chose only the ornaments I love the most.

There are ones that my Dad gave my Mom (engraved angels with her name on it) as well as some of their special ones that I inherited. Many of them hold memories from my childhood and of them. Then there are the ones made by our kids - most people have a selection of these. We have White House issue ornaments collected as gifts from my brother who worked in the administration years ago. Another collection is an ornament for each year steveroni played in the Living Christmas Tree. Each one is themed for the show presented that year with his name, LCT, and the year on it. And then there are my personal favorites bought over the years.


I am not quite finished with the tree. I have tinsel to add before it will be complete. Once that's done, I'll try to get a good picture of it to post.

I'm enjoying my time with Daughter. I'm tired. She keeps me hopping, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am at peace and am sharing it with you.

Love and prayers to all of you,
Prayer Girl


Photo credit: Wendy Bumgardner (c) 2005

Tuesday 12/16 - LIFE

"LIFE"


LIFE
Beamed electric light of life

Universal chord vibration
Strikes to its mate

Within the core of self


All are pulsing with the quiver

Of the force of life
As the planets spin

And our atoms whirl


A syncopated rhythm

So perfectly attuned - yet out of step

To our imperfect ears

And our unsettled minds


To a purer channel shift

Aligned to pulse and patterns mixed

A widened plane of whitened force
Illumines all illusions clear
Prayer Girl

BTW - Daughter is here and I seem to be finally getting into the Christmas spirit. My transition into this state really began with our going to see "The Living Christmas Tree" last night. Steveroni plays violin year after year and the music, singing, dancing, acting is just always superb and very spiritual. For many years, this event has marked the change to a more festive mood. I have finally started getting some Christmas shopping done.

We have been getting fresh Christmas trees for many years, but the price this year has gone higher than we want to shell out and I found a 6.5 foot artificial tree (already lighted - hallelujah) for half price. I just could not pass it up. We'll light pine and bayberry scented candles this Christmas and enjoy the smell. Two ornaments adorn this little tree so far, but I believe it will be fully decorated and the creche and other decorations will be out before daughter leaves at the end of the week.

Love you all,

Prayer Girl

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Monday 12/15 - "PUTTING MY DANCING SHOES ON"

"PUTTING MY
DANCING SHOES ON"


I'm putting my dancing shoes on for that perfect and intricate dance with God. I have learned that life is sometimes like a beautiful "on point" ballet and sometimes it's a down and dirty rockin' kind of thing. I also now know that if I try to take the lead, I will find myself at the least with two left feet, stumbling a bit or tripping over things, and at worst, falling flat on my face.

I don't have to do that anymore. God is always the perfect dance partner. He led me out of my alcoholism right into Alcoholics Anonymous. He paired me up with sponsors who were just what I needed at the time. He has allowed me to become a sponsor and has brought just the people I could help at the right moments.

God brought me out of economic insecurity into a career that lasted for 22 years. I had the most wonderful boss who was also a mentor and encouraged me in my work. She was a part of my dance.


I was led out of a marriage that was crumbling around me despite the fact that I did not believe in divorce. He helped me care for my children and develop healthier relationships with them.


God brought a man 11 years my senior in sobriety into my life. This wonderful man became my husband, my best friend, my life's help-mate, my perfect partner.


I was then whirled right into Al-Anon where there was still more work to be done in refining my understanding of myself, of others, and our relationships. Sometimes I want to take the lead, but thankfully, this causes me to begin to stumble and I relinquish the lead back to Him who is the "real leader".

The next scene on the dance stage has been the "blogosphere". I'm leaving God in charge in this new and unfamiliar landscape.


I continue to dance in God's arms wondering where the next spin, turn, or leap will take me. I trust the footing when dancing with God and the beauty of the dance is eternal - so I "Let go and let God" be the lead partner in our dance of life.


Prayer Girl


(Photo credit: Ballerina's Dream by Gemini Soul)

Sunday, 12/14 - ACROSS THE FIELDS


"ACROSS THE FIELDS"

"Across the fields I can see the radiance of your
smile and I know in my heart you are there.
But the anguish I am feeling makes the
distance so very far to cross."

- Deidra Sarault

This was the opening quote to the daily reading for December 13 from "Each Day a New Beginning". This was read at our women's noon Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

This quote evokes many different thoughts and feelings in me, but the most persistent is the memory of the distance - the gigantic chasm - that existed between me and God and me and those I loved caused by my alcoholism. This separation was an agony of the soul.

I was unable to love my darling 3 year old or my wonderful 14 year old. I was separated from them by my disease. I was also cut off from the loving, healing power of God. This was truly hell on earth. Then I found Alcoholics Anonymous.

The light of my children's lives and the glow of my God beckoned to me from a far distance at first. Thank God, I was able to cross that distance (slowly, but surely) right into the arms of my Higher Power. The 12 steps and those who continued to carry the message with love, led me to a relationship with God and helped me mend relationships with my children.

Thank God the anguish I felt as a result of alcoholism is now but a memory. Today, life is filled with hope and love. It has taken time and work - patience and persistence, but life has changed and become more than I ever dreamed it could be.

Prayer Girl

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday 12/13 - JUST FOR TODAY!

"JUST FOR TODAY"

JUST FOR TODAY
I rode my cycle early this morning into town to the gym. As I rode I was able to talk with God about how I intended to appreciate every single moment of this precious, glorious day. I was able to ask in faith for God to help me do just that.

JUST FOR TODAY
I was given the opportunity to pray again for a young woman with a small child who I had prayed for in the past who had cancer. She had been treated and declared cancer free. Today she was informed she has cancer in another part of her body.

JUST FOR TODAY

I can sit in a large Alcoholics Anonymous meeting hall alone, waiting for a sponsee to join me, without feeling like an alien dropped into the place from another planet. I could sit comfortably - feeling at ease.

JUST FOR TODAY

I can enjoy a hospital volunteer luncheon held at a local Country Club. I went not alone, but with a sponsee who is also a friend and a hospital volunteer. We had fun and fellowship.


JUST FOR TODAY

I can blog what my heart and mind dictate without worrying who will read it and who won't or how many or few comments will be left. I can leave it all to God.


JUST FOR TODAY

I don't have to judge or criticize myself or anyone else. I can, with God's help, love myself and others unconditionally.


JUST FOR TODAY
I can make a decision to place God first in my consciousness. I can ask God to direct my thoughts and actions. I can ask Him for the intuitive thought that will allow me to better serve Him and be of use to others.


JUST FOR TODAY

I am able to enjoy my day despite having a sleepless night last night. I was able to luxuriate between new, crisp, clean sheets I just bought for an hour nap.

JUST FOR TODAY

I am alive, having been reprieved from an alcoholic death, in order to "pass it on".


JUST FOR TODAY

I am Prayer Girl and I know that prayer is a most powerful force.


Prayer Girl

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday 12/12/08 - PAYING IT BACKWARD!

"PAYING IT BACKWARD!"
(OR - SUPERNATURAL #1)

su.per.nat.u.ral - adj.
1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
3. Of or relating to diety.
4. Of or relating to the miraculous


As I begin this story, I wish I were a skilled writer. I don't say that to put myself down, but because I fear I will inadequately convey the following event. I was asked by several bloggers to explain some of the supernatural events (for want of a better descriptor) mentioned in my "Honest Scrap" blog. This is one of them.

In the early 70s (I was in my mid 20s), I was often in a state of joy, enthusiasm, and often seemed to be "vibrating" at a high frequency. I can't account for why it was so, it just was. I was working at a Federal mental health research facility outside of Washington, D.C. I worked in a hospital laboratory performing biochemical analysis of blood samples using radioactive isotopes. These samples came from volunteer patients with manic-depressive illness and schizophrenia housed on a locked ward. I worked with and for psychiatrists.


I knew the psychiatrist who was my supervisor as well as the doctor who was in charge of the department. Beyond that, I knew only the faces and names of the other doctors. I knew absolutely nothing about them. One such psychiatrist was Dr. C.


One morning I was "bounding" up the hill from my car to the building I worked in. I was "high" on life (nothing else) and literally skipped my way to the door of the locked ward where the office was located. As was the procedure, I rang the bell to be let onto the ward. This particular morning, Dr. C. opened the door. (He had never been the one to open it before.) As I zipped through the door, I found words coming out of my mouth, "YOU NEED TO TALK TO ME!" I had no idea where the words came from or why I said them. I continued on my way into the office, never giving those words another thought.


I proceeded on to the lab where I began my work for the day. It was several hours later that I looked up and saw Dr. C. at the door. He asked if he could speak with me. I said, "Of course." I listened and he began to tell me some very personal things about himself and told me that he saw Jesus walking on the grounds. (Dr. C. was Jewish.) I knew enough to suspect he was having a psychotic break himself. I quietly encouraged him, suggested he seek help and see a psychiatrist, and reassured him that all would be well in time.


Several months passed and Dr. C. came to see me. He said he had followed my suggestion to get professional help and was doing much better. He was grateful and I was filled with joy. God did not need my help, but he surely used my cooperation.


About a year later, I had moved to Florida and received a letter from Dr. C. (my last communication with him). He let me know he was continuing to do well and that he, his wife, and children were happy and appreciative.

SYNOPSIS:
A STRANGER IN SERIOUS TROUBLE
THE WORDS "YOU NEED TO TALK TO ME" SPOKEN
PERSONAL DISASTER AVERTED
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
WITHOUT GOD - ZERO!
WITH GOD - PERFECT!


This experience was a constant remembrance even as I slid into the alcoholic pit of hell and during the struggle to find sobriety. It remains with me still.

I am ever grateful to God for this gift,

Prayer Girl


(Photo credit: Nebulous Termini by Irondoom Design)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday, 12/11 - MY HIGHER POWER "MADE ME DO IT"!

"MY HIGHER POWER
"MADE ME DO IT""


(An addendum to my post at 10:30 a.m. Thursday 12/1 - I was messing with my blog list and OOPs - I accidentally deleted more than half of them. Thank God I had another window up, unrefreshed, that had my unchanged blog list still on it. It may take me a few days, but I want ALL of "youse" guys back up ASAP! I think I'm "layout"-challenged. -VBG-)

I told J-Online that I should have my head examined for responding in the positive to her invitation to be part of a quasi-giveaway. I just don't usually do this sort of thing - especially during a busy holiday season. BUT......I guess my Higher Power had other ideas and "made me to do it"! -Grin-

The giveaway part actually comes from you, and you, and you.

THE RULES, such as they are, are really quite simple:

1. Be one of the first three bloggers to leave a comment on this post, where the first word in the comment is YES. By saying YES, you signify you want to participate in this giveaway. Being one of the first three to say YES will then entitle you to a small gift from ME! In this case, it will be a small surprise I think the three people who first post would like.

2. You must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you then must pay it forward, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers (or the first three who say YES) who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

3. The gift that you send to your three friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. and, remember: it’s the spirit and the thought that counts!

4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate links.

I'm grateful that I have 365 days to ship the gifts. But I won't take all that time. Promise!


I had a blog in mind for Thursday, but will save it for Friday.

Paying it forward,

Prayer Girl

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday 12/10 - PRAYER GIRL'S TWELVE PRAYERS OF CHRISTMAS





















"PRAYER GIRL'S TWELVE PRAYERS OF CHRISTMAS"

(May be sung in part to the tune of
"The Twelve Days of Christmas")


  1. On the first day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO HAVE PEACE OF MIND and TO BE A CHANNEL OF GOD'S PEACE"
  2. On the second day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO FIND SERENITY"
  3. On the third day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "THAT I MIGHT HAVE MENTAL, PHYSICAL, AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH"
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO HAVE FINANCIAL INTEGRITY"
  5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO BE ABLE TO LOVE AND BE LOVED IN RETURN"
  6. On the sixth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO HAVE A LIFE FILLED WITH MEANINGFUL AND SATISFYING ACTIVITIES"
  7. On the seventh day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "THAT OUR LOVED ONES WOULD HAVE MENTAL, PHYSICAL, AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH"
  8. On the eighth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO FIND A HIGHER POWER, EXPERIENCE SPIRITUAL GROWTH, AND HAVE A STRONG FAITH"
  9. On the ninth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO BE ABLE TO WRITE AND READ MANY HELPFUL BLOGS"
  10. On the tenth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO STAY IN RECOVERY (if I'm in recovery) OR TO FIND RECOVERY (if not)"
  11. On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO GIVE GOD ALL THE GLORY AND KNOW MY HUMBLE PLACE"
  12. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Prayer Girl prayed for me - "TO BE RELIEVED OF MY SORROWS"
Prayer Girl

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tuesday 12/9 - GOOD-BYE

"GOOD-BYE"

This afternoon at the hospital I stood with family members as their loved one passed from this life to the next. I had no idea this was going to be God's plan for me today. This was a first for me and I was at a loss with only God to rely on to guide me from one moment to the next. I put the ministry of "healing touch", healing "love", "healing words", "healing silence", and "healing prayers" into action.

I am home now and reflecting on the day and this event in particular. A poem I wrote for a woman when she lost her child comes to my mind.

WHEN FIRST I HEARD THOSE SADDEST WORDS
When first I heard those saddest words
Telling of your loss so dear

A crack appeared in my own heart

Sending an instant prayer to angels near


A prayer that angels sweep close to you

And whisper words of solace in your ear

That they hear and heal your certain sorrows

And gently wipe away your saddest tears


A prayer to spread their softest, wispiest wings

About, around, clasp you to their loving chests

Sing to your spirit a sweet, soothing psalm

And wing your cherished one to peaceful rest

Prayer Girl


As a volunteer from the Chaplain's department, I was a stranger in that room, yet a stranger not. God bonded us together in His "mysterious" way as we shared one of the two most intimate moments of life - birth or death. Angels were in that room today winging this loved one to peaceful rest.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Monday 12/8 - THESE ARE TRUE - - HONEST!

"THESE ARE TRUE - - HONEST!"
(Thanks to Findon and Kathy Lynne)

Here are the rules:
List 10 honest things about myself
Pass the award on to 7 bloggers (I'm skipping this part)

10 Honest Things About Me - - HONEST!
  1. I was pigeon-toed as a child. This led to - as a young child having to sleep with my feet in shoes pointed outward affixed to a bar, having to walk a pattern around the rug in our dining room with my feet pointing outward for a specific amount of time each day, having to wear corrective shoes that I thought looked like boys shoes, and the elementary school kids making fun of my feet.
  2. AFTER ALL THAT - I danced - ballet, tap, and jazz for ~15 years. Dancing naturally corrected my pigeon-toes.
  3. I don't always follow the rules as I "should" - like not passing this award on to 7 bloggers.
  4. I have always had a persistent (compulsive?) thought - when I'm away on vacation or away from my house for a long time, as I drive down the street on my return, I hold my breath fearing that my first sight of my home will be that it has burned to the ground. I haven't figured out where this strange thought originated and it lessens as time goes by.
  5. I dreamed my own death. I have always heard that if you dream your own death you'll die. This is not true. I am living proof. It was a beautiful gift.
  6. At least two supernatural events occurred between me and other people I did not know very well when I was in my 20s. These events have never left me and were in some strange way, a comfort during the years I was "hitting my bottom", trying to get sober, and actually getting sober.
  7. God has given me the gift of a "healing touch".
  8. When my son was very young, around 5, we often used to know each others thoughts.
  9. I honestly believe God orchestrated my meeting, falling in love with, and marrying my husband, steveroni.
  10. I loathe, hate, and despise the phone ringing in the middle of the night - adrenalin shoots through me and I am filled with fear.
Love you all - HONEST!,
Prayer Girl

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sunday 12/7 - CHOOSING WITH FAITH

(My scooter)

"CHOOSING WITH FAITH"

"To choose what is difficult all one's day, as if it were easy, that is faith." - W.H. Auden

Faith has allowed me the freedom from fear necessary to choose the more difficult path. The day I got sober for good, enough fear was replaced with just enough faith to allow me to begin to make the choices I had been unable and unwilling to make. The consequence of constantly failing to make the hard choices was my getting drunk. Prior to that day, I was seldom able to make the difficult choice, relying instead on the "easier, softer way". That way led to near destruction.

Being able to choose the difficult AS IF IT WERE EASY - that is another story - a goal I aspire to. As the years go by, these difficult decisions and actions become easier as my faith grows.


Chronologically, here are some of the difficult choices I have made as a result of a growing faith:

Admitted my complete powerlessness over alcohol

Admitted I would die if I continued to drink
Went to treatment for my alcoholism

Allowed professionals to treat my chronic depression

Divorce
Not drinking "no matter what"!
Wrote a Grant for funds and submitted to the State of Florida

Made presentations of grant results to a State committee
Led training sessions for large and small groups of people
Made presentations at professional conferences
Allowed God to use me to help total strangers

Retired
Shared my poems

Attended RCIA and became Catholic

Bought a motor scooter when I didn't know how to ride

Learned to ride a motor scooter
Ride a motor scooter all around town
Became a hospital pastoral care assistant

Began blogging


I did all these things despite great fear. I still have fear - fear of failure, fear of what you will think of me, fear of being embarrassed, all kinds of fear, but the fears lessen as time goes by. The fear lessens as my faith in God grows.

What are some of the difficult choices you have been able to make through faith?


Prayer Girl

Saturday 12/6 - CYCLE UPDATE-COMING IN FOR A LANDING!


"CYCLE UPDATE - COMING IN
FOR A LANDING!"


Time for an update on my abilities on my cycle. This guy in the picture looks to me like he's having a slightly lopsided, clumsy landing. About a month ago, my landings (coming to a stop at a stop sign, red light, anywhere) still looked this way too often and I'd been riding about three months.

Practice, practice, practice - riding every day is finally beginning to pay off. Most times I am now coming in for smoother landings. I've got a better grasp of the brake speed, balance, distance, and the timing of point of contact - feet to ground.

Slow turns are getting better too. Not only was I having trouble coming to a stop, but pulling into parking spaces was a challenge. That's improving as well.


My entire riding experience seems a parallel in some ways with the course of my sobriety and the changes that have occurred in my thinking and behavior. Both take lots of repetition. Life now feels more like a smooth landing than a bumpy, jerky, uncomfortable set of happenings. The biggest difference is that the changes in my cycle abilities happened relatively quickly compared to the very slow changes to life as a sober woman.

Practice, practice, practice - of the program: the steps, the slogans, meetings, service, sponsorship: being sponsored and sponsoring, principles - honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, opportunities to behave in new and healthy ways, and the development of a God-consciousness have led to this life worth living filled with serenity and peace of mind more often than not.

What will be next? I'll let you know when God lets me know. -Grin-


Prayer Girl

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friday 12/5 - DR. JUNG - MY HERO!


"DR. JUNG - MY HERO!"

"The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life's morning." - Carl Gustav Jung

I love Carl Jung. He was a famous psychiatrist who not only knew a lot about life and people, but gave hope to otherwise hopeless alcoholics.

I am in the afternoon of my life (maybe the dusk -grin-). My sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous, steps 10, 11, and 12 have made it possible for me to find the most significant moments of my existence at these "beyond the midpoint" days of my life.

My life's morning was filled with a lot of "bad thinking, bad behavior, and misery". I'm so grateful I have made it to the afternoon of life and it isn't a pitiful appendage - it is a vibrant and full life of its own. Hallelujah!


In our Big Book - "Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 27, a description is written of Dr. Jung trying to help an alcoholic (Bill W.) he eventually came to label as "utterly hopeless". The doctor told this alcoholic that he had the mind of a chronic alcoholic worse than any he had ever seen and had never seen anyone in that state recover. The man asked if there were any exceptions, was there any hope at all?


Dr. Jung responded, "there is. Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. In fact, I have been trying to produce some such emotional rearrangement within you. With many individuals the methods which I employed are successful, but I have never been successful with an alcoholic of your description."


This man had a vital spiritual experience, was relieved of his alcoholism, and became a free man.


As for me, after slipping and sliding in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous for maybe six months, I woke up from what was to be my last drunk, with a completely different set of ideas, emotions, and attitudes than the ones I held when I passed out the night before. I had what turned out to be a vital spiritual experience. I had passed out and come awake hundreds of times before, but this time was different.
Some complement of God's will and my cooperation took place.

I awoke surrendered, knowing that somehow all would be O.K., I understood that alcohol would kill me, I understood what it meant by "it's the first drink that gets you drunk", I had an understanding of "one-day-at-a-time", and there was a kernel of hope present. I was sick as a dog. (It does get worse even when you are not drinking. I had almost 3 months sober when I drank for the last time.)

There was absolutely "no reason" for me to have this changed attitude, yet there it was. I still call it a miracle.


Love you all,
Prayer Girl


(Photo credit: Jessica Jenney)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thursday, 12/4 - DECEMBER CANDLE

"DECEMBER CANDLE"


(From "One Day At A Time In Al-Anon", December 1)

"Throughout this month, which brings us to the closing of another year, I will review the happenings of my life as though I were standing just a little way off trying to see myself as another person.


Have I made progress in my effort to correct my faulty attitudes? Have I let discouragement plunge me back into my old habit patterns? When something I did had consequences that made life difficult for me, did I try to blame someone else?

How has Al-Anon helped me to realize some of my potential as a person?"
_________________________
What a wonderful idea - taking an inventory of the past year. It is hard to see myself - easy to see others. I'll use this suggestion of trying to see myself as if I were someone else.


Looking back, one thing is for sure - nothing remains the same - everything changes. Seeing the past, the greatest challenge I faced in 2008 - a return to earth - affected my mood, my attitudes, and my interactions with others.

At the end of last year (2007) and all the way through Easter, I was on an extreme "spiritual high". I was involved in the RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) and became Catholic in a beautiful ceremony on the night before Easter.

As the months of summer passed one after another, God gradually brought me down from this "high". It was very difficult. I love being "high" without the use of any chemical, food, or action other than just loving and honoring God. I NEVER wanted to come down. But, this super high eventually had to begin it's journey back to earth - despite me.


In the Big Book of "Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 130, it says,
"....a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done."

This quote speaks volumes to me and reassures me that I'm O.K. My head was too high in the clouds, my feet were lifting off ground, and I needed to come back down. But, I didn't want to crash and end up depressed.

I have had to rely heavily on God and all that I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. It has been a real lesson in acceptance. I have found peace of mind and serenity in that act of accepting my "coming down".


I made a decision on July 5, 1985 to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him. As best as I'm able, I haven't taken it back. It has been a real lesson in humility to be satisfied with the state of my spiritual height or depth. Peace of mind and serenity are the result of my acceptance. Priceless gifts.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.


Prayer Girl


(Photo credit: Evy Johansen)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wednesday 12/3 - SLEEP

"SLEEP"


COME SOFTLY WITH ME

On that brink - that borderland called sleep
Sense the swaying sweep round the tunnel's edge

Now mind's eye open, yet lids shuttered
Feel the folds and furrows of your fingertips

Now, slowly roll, gently press, delicate contact
There! - It's there! - Tiny, small, warm. Feel it?

Like a baby's cheek, a lover's smile, a tender stroke
Soft, smooth, silky to touch

It seems in the tips like a seed
A delicate pearl of a pebble - a mustard seed

And where are you?
All that's left is the simple, glowing sphere

Watch yourself enswirl
Your head down one with neck
Your feet up one with knees

Flow with it

Your neck with chest
Your knees with hips

Be a fluid stream

Your chest and hips collapse in and down and round
Into source with all luminous lights
To a seed - enshelled one with all
Prayer Girl

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tuesday, 12/2 - WHY?

"WHY?"

Last week at the hospital I visited with a 94 year old woman who in the course of our conversation asked me, "Why am I still here?". She said, "I'm outliving my money." Today, another lady of 92 years asked the same question, "Why am I still here?"

Both women asked these questions in a rhetorical fashion, not really expecting an answer, but expressing puzzlement with why their lives kept going on and on. Both women expressed the idea that they had led good and fulfilling lives and though they didn't say it, it was clear to me, they felt "ready to go".


Several days ago, I was directed by Big Jen to a site that provided an informative and very personal video of the life of people with CF - Cystic Fibrosis - an inherited disease of the mucus and sweat glands that affects the lungs, and other internal organs. It shortens and severely restricts the life of innocent young people. Why? Why are some people born with such a crippling disease?

In Alcoholics Anonymous, in Alanon, in life, I have heard questions such as, "Why am I an alcoholic?", "Why was I abused?", "Why did I have to suffer so much?", "Why were my parents taken from me at such a young age?"

I have no answers. However, in considering the questions, I am reminded of "powerlessness". I know that we alcoholics are powerless over alcohol. People are powerless over a lot of things that happen to them in this life.

I also remember the words of my
parish priest when I was on a spiritual search for understanding about a year ago. What he told me applies to lots of these situations. He told me the following:

God has His purposes.
God's purposes are none of my business.
I will not understand His purposes.

DON'T LIMIT GOD.

I do not know the mind of God, but I do believe He is loving and cares about us. I became convinced of this when He gave me the gift of sobriety.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Healing Light by Free Spirit Iris)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday 12/1 - MY BRAIN IS LIKE A ......

"MY BRAIN IS LIKE A ......"

Often, I've heard people say all kinds of things about the way our minds are and how they work.

My brain is like a sieve - it leaks........
We hear what we need to get and stay sober going to lots of meetings. When we don't go often enough, what we have heard leaks out.

My brain is like a steel trap.......
"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely." (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58) My old ideas were locked in my brain in a trap of steel.

My brain is like a committee room.....
... a committee room in which no one is agreeing, everyone arguing. With continued sobriety, the committee quiets down and eventually one voice emerges to bring harmony and that voice is God.

My brain is like a merry-go-round....
... of alcoholism - a dizzying life - nauseating, actually! Once I jumped off the merry-go-round for good, that is when sanity and real sobriety began.

My brain is mush......
Arriving at the door of AA, my brain was pickled - it was mush. Thankfully, as I was restored to sanity, the mush became solid and eventually rational.

My brain deceives......
Alcoholism is a disease that tells me I don't have a disease. I would often rather believe a lie than admit the truth.

My brain is like a blackboard.....
Alcohol erased everything from my mind. Alcoholics Anonymous tells me what needs to be written on that blackboard - - 100 times each:
I will not drink.
I will go to meetings.
I will not gossip.
I will pay attention in meetings.

My brain is broken......
Alcohol broke our brains. God, through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, restores them to health.

Prayer Girl


(Photo Credits due:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunday 11/30 - IN EVERY AGE


"IN EVERY AGE"

Beautiful, haunting words and melody are what captured my heart and soul today as I sat in church singing the words to "In Every Age".
Here they are:


Refrain:
In every age, O God, you have been our refuge.
In every age, O God, you have been our hope.

Long before the mountains came to be
and the land and sea and stars of the night,
through the endless seasons of all time,
you have always been, you will always be.

Destiny is cast, and at your silent word
we return to dust and scatter to the wind.
A thousand years are like a single moment gone,
as the light that fades at the end of day.

Teach us to make use of the time we have.
Teach us to be patient even as we wait.
Teach us to embrace our every joy and pain.
To sleep peacefully, and to rise up strong.
_____________________________
Some thoughts about these words:
I feel the power and majesty in this song that God possesses - capable of relieving the hopeless condition of mind and body that is the state of an alcoholic, the power to arrest the progression of this fatal disease, and to totally transform a person's life. God's power heals all manner of hopeless conditions.

God is our refuge in times of trouble and always a beacon of hope leading us up out of the pit of despair, into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, through the steps, and into an ever growing awareness of our relationship with Him.


God has always been and always will be. That thought is full of faith and hope. God does not change, but He can bring about change in us. Here is the mystery of time again. (A thousand years are like a single moment gone, as the light fades at the end of day.) When I want things to go faster, they always seem to drag. When I want time to slow down, that's when it really seems to speed up - - - - a mystery!

This song is like a prayer - asking to be taught to use our time wisely, be patient as we wait for change, learn to live with the joy and pain of life, and to be given peace and strength. This song makes a great prayer and meditation..............
something to spend time in the silence with.


May you all sleep peacefully tonight and rise up strong to enjoy the new day....SOBER!


Prayer Girl