Saturday, October 25, 2008


(Prayer Girl & "better-half-a-roni")


That's me, Prayer Girl, and "better-half-a-roni". As you can see, we have just had our luxurious bath and our hair done in preparation for our voyage. We were pampered and handled with care.

We're setting sail (more accurately setting out on a cruise) tomorrow as you all know. We'll be on a floating city. It will probably take the whole week just to figure out where everything is located. By the time we get home we'll be familiar with our home away from home and will be ready to go back and do it again.

I'm looking forward to rest, relaxation, fun in the sun, the beauty of the expansive sea, lavish food, new friends, AA meetings, island destinations, meditation, spirituality, prayer, togetherness with my "better-half-a-roni", and "silence".

I'll miss all you bloggers. See ya later.

Friday, October 24, 2008


(Queen Anne's Lace)


So many things remind me of different parts of my life. Sometimes it is an object, other times a place, and even smells - can send me careening back to another time and place. ALWAYS - this trip to the past generates poignant, nostalgic feelings!

Many things remind me of my mother. She loved birds, trees, flowers, gardening, cooking, dressing up, going out, having friends over, throwing parties, and many other things.

I remember the pansies she planted each year on the side of the house. She would point out their faces that peeked up at us. This delighted me so much.

She and my Dad always grew roses outside our family room window. In the same general planting area, they also grew tomatoes that were picked ripe and deep red - always a favorite at our table.

Later on when I was grown and had moved away, she would always cut flowers from her garden and put them on display whenever I would visit. She would have flowers in vases and others floating in water. She loved arranging flowers. She loved pleasing those who would enjoy looking at them.

QUEEN ANNE'S LACE was one of her all time favorites. Whenever we traveled by car, she would always point out the lacy flowers that grew along the side of the road. I can't see Queen Anne's Lace without thinking of her.

One of my favorites that had also been one of her's was the Weeping Willow Tree - I always called it the "tree with lines". Beautiful memories. My mother has been gone more than 10 years, but I feel like she's near right now. "Hi Mom".

This blog could get "very" long if I let it - if I went beyond my mother's love of flowers in my memory. I'm going to limit it to these memories for now. I will head for bed with a smile on my face and in my heart.

Thank God for mothers. Thank God for memories.

Photo Credit: Anne Abrams

Thursday, October 23, 2008



Here's hoping I don't look like this bird (visualize a human head on top of this body) when I return from my cruise. Well, at least she's very cute.

I certainly plan to enjoy all the wonderful food I anticipate will be served while cruising. One of my favorite things is good food that I don't have to cook.

I've been packing for a week - laying clothes out, putting clothes away, sorting through shoes, resorting the shoes - have it all laid out on our spare bed. It's enough to make me crazy. (I think this may be a "girl thing".) I'm trying to remember the slogan to "Keep it Simple". As of now, that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Here are a few more favorite affirmations I have used:

I act out the symptoms of radiant happiness and there I find God.

I keep life simple.

I am free of envy and jealousy.

I am taking in information from Positive Sources.

I am grateful.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008



About 32 years ago I took a trip on the Auto Train (a train that carries passengers and your automobiles) from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida. It was winter - very cold and ice and snow had been on the ground for weeks and weeks on end. I was on that train traveling ONE WAY. I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and had been there about 30 years. (Please don't do the math here. -grin- ) I was moving with my first husband and our son to the sunny state of Florida.

The train left Virginia late one afternoon of a freezing winter day and arrived the next morning in the warmth of Florida. The poem I'm copying here I wrote that night as the train sped down the rails.

I had no idea what was coming in my life -not a single clue - another child, descent into alcoholism, the struggle to survive it, admission of complete defeat, the opportunity to carve out a new life in Alcoholics Anonymous, divorce, the growth of relationship with God, a new God-given marriage, Alanon, finding the blog world, etc.

Often through the years I have thought that God gave me these poems to serve as a life vest I could grab hold of whenever I was sinking - to keep me afloat. I still believe this.


The rails are humming

With piston power

Speeding through the dark

Black sequined night

Towards a new dawn light

My life is racing
With an unleashed urging

Careening through an unknown,

Strange, new passage

Forward to a special message

Quick are the changes
Changing dark to light

Leaving cold for warmth
Casting off illusion to clearly see

Past a clouded veil to a new reality
Prayer Girl

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



Used to be I thought that surely God had "bigger fish to fry" than being concerned about me - my wants or needs. I was "just" a teeny tiny tadpole in the giant ocean of the universe - of insignificance at best and totally rejected at worst.

Perhaps this idea came from my personal view of myself - that I was unimportant, of little value, ugly (pigeon-toed, snaggle-toothed, too many physical flaws to name them all - at least in my own eyes), unlikeable, spiteful, unkind - you get this picture - a total screw-up!

Well, I don't believe God ever intended for me to have that idea of myself. My self-perceptions formed in the family I was raised in were faulty and further warped by alcohol.

God created me out of total love and loves me just as I am. I came to believe this as I worked the AA and Alanon steps and traveled the sober road to a future worth living.

In many AA rooms there are plaques saying, "YOU ARE NOT ALONE". I discovered that AA members were interested in me - a "smallfry". Upon arrival at AA, I felt I was less than nothing, yet all the people at my first meeting turned their loving attention towards me. Wow! I wasn't aware of it at that moment, but it really impressed me. That's what I needed - to feel like something bigger than a piece of S---.

I watch this repeated over and over as newcomers enter the rooms. It is a wonderful sight to watch people crawl into AA and Alanon, find sponsors, work the steps, become active participants in recovery, and undergo a transformation.

Thank God that God has no "bigger fish to fry", cares about all us little fish, and puts people in our path to guide us in recovery.

Monday, October 20, 2008


“. . .Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long arduous quest after truth.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Not merely an absence of noise, Real silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.” Peter Minard

There is something about the idea of "silence" that pulls me - I find very appealing, alluring, and spiritual. I think the soul thirsts after the interior silence where God speaks and one can hear.

Life seems so busy. My mind is often in hot pursuit of the next thought or action. I may be retired, but busier now than when working.

Commitment to AA, Alanon, and our blogging community takes time. I try to read your blogs regularly. I try also to calm my mind long enough each day to allow some idea for a blog to enter in. Then comes the hopefully thoughtful construction of said blog. I do the best I can.

When I was in treatment 23 years ago, there was involvement in lots of groups focused on multiple needs. There wasn't enough time in the 28 days to address all of them. I never had an opportunity to work on reducing stress. Over the years I have learned some techniques to reduce stress, but still have trouble "quieting" myself at times.

Last, but surely not least is time devoted to my hubby. God's grace allowed us to meet and over time develop a wonderful relationship and marriage. Mr-a-roni and I will be away on a relaxing trip soon and I am looking forward to many moments of calm and silence as we float in the Caribbean.

When visiting patients, sometimes silences are the prelude to intimate thoughts needing expression. The training for pastoral care taught this is called "the ministry of presence". Since I tend to be somewhat in high gear, this will take practice.

Bottom line! I dearly love the thought of "silence". Now what is needed is practice putting silence into action - no - into "inaction".
(A good start would be meditating on the three quotes at the beginning of this blog.)

Prayer Girl

Sunday, October 19, 2008



God is the author of this exquisite creature -
suspended in its delicate pose of infinite grace.

The same God fashioned each of us with delicate care and precision out of abundant love. As I grow spiritually in sobriety, my mind can sometimes touch this truth. When I touch this truth, it brings me closer to loving myself and closer to loving you.

This "light as air" winged beauty is suspended mid air - reaching for every possible drop of life-giving water.

I too am suspended in this life -
right in the middle of AA and Alanon -
reaching for "every" drop of life-giving recovery.

On another note:
Hummingbird - an "H" word. Love the letter "H".
Let's see:




Higher Power





Hubby (added by steveroni -grin-)

Photo credit: Mukesh Srivastava

Saturday, October 18, 2008




"When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing. - Catherine Ponder"

"We are in constant communication with one another and with God in the spiritual realm......our path is running parallel to many paths......all paths will intersect when the need is present.....The point of intersection is the moment when another soul seeks our attention."
(Excerpts from: "Each Day a New Beginning" - October 18)

The words above came from the reading at our Saturday Noon Woman's meeting. They were powerful for me and got my mind moving in many directions.

I realize that my life is constantly intersecting with others. Some intersections are face to face and some aren't - like you all - my blogging people. Though we haven't met, we affect each other in a big way. God is surely at work here.

Every time I attend a meeting I intersect with others. Some people I like, some I like a little less, but God always has a purpose in every encounter. This thought tends to "change the way I look at things". And of course when "I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change." Every meeting becomes an adventure - Who am I touching? Who is touching me?

When I enter the hospital room of a total stranger, God is creating an intersection with that person and me. I usually don't know what God's purpose is, but I don't need to know. I just need to share what I have learned from "having had a spiritual awakening" with those I meet (in whatever form is appropriate).

A girl asked me today to sponsor her. I am thrilled each time someone asks me. I have learned that God is ALWAYS in the center of these requests. There is a spiritual reason for the connection - one soul reaching out to another in a special way. What a divine happening!

Thank God for these spiritual connections -
They are fulfilling God's purpose -
Giving purpose to my life!

Photo credit: Cliff Berinsky

Friday, October 17, 2008



Dear God,

I want to "write", not say, a prayer this time. We'll have some company as my blogging friends will be reading this too. I'm sure that is O.K. with you.

Thank you for the wonderful man you brought into my life over 18 years ago.
Mr. Alkyseltzer-a-roni and I are forever grateful You orchestrated our meeting and all that followed and for all the blessings you have brought us.

Thank you for the beautiful day of sunshine and breeze.

Thank you for the three sponsees I met with today. Each provides me with a wonderful opportunity to deepen my understanding of the steps as I guide them through the step they are working.

Thank you God that my daughter had a good two hour interview with a prospective employer. I know that you already know all this, but it helps me to say it. She is one of 20 candidates for 10 positions. If she gets this job, she will get much-needed medical benefits a month after her start date. If she gets this job, she won't have to try for a job at a Colorado ski resort and leave Florida. God, I told her I would be on my knees night and morning in prayer that Your will be done. Please help me remember to do this.

Thank you God that my son and his fiance both have good, steady jobs. I am so grateful that You led them to each other. What a blessing!

Thank you God for the wonderful Alanon meeting I attended today. I am grateful that I decided to buy a ticket to the Alanon Gratitude dinner tomorrow night. It is good for me to participate in an Alanon function like this. My sponsor and lots of program friends will be there. Thank you for guiding me to Alanon and to my sponsor.

Thank you God for the faith and trust in prayer you have developed in me. I don't know where I would be without it.

Thank you God for my health.

Thank you God for leading me to the blogging community.

God, please be with me when I go to the hospital on Monday. Be with me as I enter each room and may I be an instrument of your purpose for each person I visit. Help me to keep you first in my mind as I go about my work.

Thanks and goodnight God.

Prayer Girl

Thursday, October 16, 2008



"More important, I came to believe that I cannot do this alone. From childhood, despite the love I experienced, I had never let people, even those closest to me, inside my life. All my life I had lived the deepest of lies, not sharing with anyone my true thoughts and feelings.
(This quote comes from p. 451 of the BB story
"He Lived Only to Drink".)


As a child I was hell-bent on making sure that no one would ever know what I was really thinking and that they would never ever know what I was feeling. I guarded with the greatest care my mind and any possibility of what was in it from getting out.

This was not an easy task. Needing people yet needing so desperately to stay hidden from them created an overwhelming conflict within me - one I could not deal with.

I did such a complete job of hiding from you that I ended up hiding from myself as well. Over the years I ended up not knowing what I was thinking or feeling. The result of all this running and hiding was that I needed an escape valve and found it in the bottle. Over a not too long period of time, that nearly killed me.

My ascent up from this pit of loneliness and horror began with one person reaching out their hand to me while I was still in my active addiction. A nurse (in AA at the time) where I worked came into my office, shut the door, and stood there explaining to me the negative long-term effects of alcohol on my body. I remember saying not a word, trying not to hear what she was saying, but I know I did hear.

Next - I found myself at my first AA meeting where ladies were kind to me and gave me phone numbers. (Not alone any more.) But, I was in a daze and comprehended little. I did not use those numbers. I had a little further down to go.

I eventually came to believe that I truly could not do it alone. Day after day I could not resist the lure of alcohol. I could not go 24 hours without a drink. Finally, I returned to that first meeting I had gone to and asked a girl to help me (she became my sponsor). She said she would. She told me to call her every time I thought of a drink. I called that woman all day long - at her home, at her work, all day, over and over.

A miracle happened. I actually went a whole day without a drink.....the first time that had happened in 3 years. Alone, I could not do it - with her help, I could.

As long as I stayed with you in Alcoholics Anonymous, I progressed up the path of recovery. I have never been without you since that time. I slipped and slid a few times in those first few months, but you never deserted me and I was never alone again.

Thank God I will never be on my own again. I have you all: my sponsors over the years, my AA friends and mentors, my sponsees over the years, my new blogger friends, everyone who has supported me in my quest for sobriety and emotional health. God has brought the beauty of relationship into my life and for that I am forever grateful.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008




The 9 day visit I had with my daughter

The 4 times we enjoyed the peace and serenity of the beach

The relationship that has developed between my daughter and I - a result of AA and Alanon

The meals my daughter, my husband, and I were able to share around our table

The "girls night out" my daughter and I had with old girlfriends

The early celebrating of daughter's birthday since hubby and I will be on a cruise the actual day of her birthday

The encouragement and support Alky and I were able to give to daughter who has been "laid off" and is unemployed and fearful

Faith and trust that God will protect and provide for all of my family

My loving husband

My sobriety

My sponsees who give me more than I can ever give them - and who I dearly love

My ability to feel all my emotions - both positive and negative

No longer having to "run" at the slightest sign of a conflict

You bloggers

Photo credit: Leonard Smallacombe

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Stock market plunges!
Housing market crashes!
Vicious political rhetoric!
Corruption - political, corporate, personal!
Natural disasters!
Personal family crises!
Health challenges!
Divorce, death, destruction!
Drug addiction!

What do all these things have in common as they pertain to me?


I am totally powerless over the things that happen around me. I have learned by taking and now living the 12 steps that though I may be powerless over people, places, and things, I am not powerless over my reaction to them. I now have a set of spiritual tools that allow me to live life on life's terms - to experience a measure of peace and serenity.

When I arrived at the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was living in a world of chaos. I was powerless over alcohol, jobless, personally penniless, unable to care for my children, and finally acknowledging the fact that my marriage was crumbling. All I was capable of was going to meetings, taking the steps, and dealing only with what each day presented.

Peace and Serenity are "priceless". I have learned over the years that the price I need to pay to have peace and serenity are:
Plenty of prayer (talking to God and then listening for what He has to say)

Talking regularly to a sponsor and to other alcoholics

Going to meetings

Reading AA and spiritual material

Finding ways to give rather than always taking

Seeking to increase my trust and faith in God

Remaining honest, open-minded, and willing

Blogging (more recently)

No matter what is happening in my world, if I do these things, I will find a degree of peace and serenity.

Turns out that the price I pay is a true pleasure.
It works - it really does.

Monday, October 13, 2008



"I'm so glad we're Pals"
"We think alike."
"Let's just sit here together and watch - - forever."
"The sun feels so warm on my skin."
"Move closer, puppy"
"Glad we found this spot."
"Glad we found each other."
"Contentment, serenity, peace - it doesn't get any better than this."
"Love is.........."
"Best Friends Forever"
"If you wag your tail and give me a lick, I'll give you a big hug."
"Hey, I think I see something!"
"I don't ever want to grow up."
"There's room for one more."
"Move over, let me in"
"Shh, Listen, Look"

Today was my 2nd day on the volunteer job "on my own". I must admit to some anxiousness this weekend prior to going this morning (Monday). This reminds me of learning to ride my scooter, excitement and trepidation. I just have to "doit" and the more I "doit", the more confident I will become. I realize that no two days at this job will be the same, but I can at least get some basic patterns established that will help me.

There is such beauty in having the opportunity to pray with people. When I am nervous, it's hard to remember to let God guide the prayer. The more comfortable I become, the more I can allow Him to lead me.

I am trying to "take it easy", do the best I can, keep my perfectionism and ego in check, and keep this endeavor "turned over" to my God.

(Photo credit: Monica Dahlstrom)

Sunday, October 12, 2008



"Faith is a liberation of my I from its preoccupation with self that sets me free to respond to the Father, to speak the Yes of love (Pope John Paul II).
(I read this from a book I was using in church yesterday. I thought it was beautiful.)

A few more favorite affirmations:

When I or someone else opens the door to fear, I do not have to step through.

I think of others more than I think of myself.

I am free of envy and jealousy.

God is in charge!

I take care of myself.

My husband and all our children
The sights, smells, sounds, and feel of the beach
The fact that when life is sad or difficult, I know it too shall pass
Answered prayer
Alcoholics Anonymous
My sponsees

My opportunity to volunteer
My scooter
The warmth of the sun
Faith, hope, and love

My friends - both in my blog world and here at home
Short posts when I'm not up to longer

Saturday, October 11, 2008









A newcomer asked his sponsor, "Do I have to go to meetings the rest of my life?" His old-timer sponsor answered, "Well, you go to 90 meetings in 90 days. Then after that you can go to 7 a week. After that it gets pretty easy - you only have to go to one a day."

Seven days without a meeting makes one "weak".

(Sorry to everyone who has already heard these.)

Today I am grateful for:
My husband
My daughter
My daughter's boyfriend
My son
My son's fiance
My step children
Good health
My kitty, Bert (also known as Mr. Kitty)
My dearly beloved United States of America
My needs are met

(Photo credit: Melissa Bergerstock)

Friday, October 10, 2008



I posted yesterday "The Miracle Happened" - about the miracle of sobriety. I loved everyone's comments and some of you responded with your own sobriety miracle moments.

I also experience the miracle of answered prayer. That's the subject of this blog. The retelling of my answered prayer stories lifts me up. I hope they will uplift you as well. Over my lifetime, there have been so many - some huge, some tiny, but they have all thrilled me and helped me recognize how much God cares about "all" things in my life.

I would love to hear some of your answered prayer stories too.

I'll start with something current. As you know my daughter is visiting for a week. She lives along the coast of Florida, but not very close to the Gulf. When she visits, we love to go to the beach. I don't go myself very often. The weather at this time of year is very unpredictable so it's "catch as catch can" as far as catching some rays versus raindrops. We decided yesterday that the longer we waited, the more chance we wouldn't find a nice day to go while she was here.

So....we took off for the beach with lots of very gray rain-laden clouds in every direction. It truly didn't look like much of a day to get some sun. As we approached the beach area, I said a little prayer and asked God to give us a break in the weather - then I tacked on - for two hours. (It was a spontaneous prayer from my heart for my daughter who can use some relaxing, positive experiences.)

We arrived at the beach at 11:30 and as we set up our gear, along came a break in the clouds directly over us. (This, I know, probably sounds like real B..S..., but I swear it happened just like I tell it.) There was a breeze blowing from the South where there were fewer clouds and it blew the dark clouds in a northerly direction, away from our position. These were definitely clouds with plenty of rain in them. The sun was shining down on us. The wind kept things cool while the sun did its sunning job. We swam, sunbathed, talked as the clouds just kept moving in directions away from us. About two hours later we decided we had been there long enough and as we packed up, we saw that quickly the area was completely clouding over.

My daughter said, "Wow, it's 1:28 - two hours - this is weird."
I agreed!

Answered prayer - in action!

FYI - Whenever I say "weird", it usually translates to "God".

Thursday, October 9, 2008



I felt the need for an early AA meeting today. There is an 8:00 within minutes of my house. I go there seldom, but it's an AA meeting that can meet that early morning need when it arises.

Today we read a story from the BB, "My Bottle, My Resentments, and Me" p.437.
This story is the first in the last section of stories, "They Lost Nearly All" and is a story of "alcoholism at its miserable worst."

Two quotes from this story reminded me of the miraculous power of God's intervention in my life:

One, "The next day we both quit drinking. There are no words to explain why it happened or how it happened; it just did. It was a miracle! Every day we were able to stay sober was another gift from a Higher Power I had given up on many long years before." (p. 442 - the writer of the story is talking about himself and the hard drinking woman he was living with who later became his wife.)

Two, "I believe that I am living proof of the A.A. saying "Don't give up until the miracle happens."" (p. 445)

When I awoke from my LAST DRUNK, I woke up a different person than the one who passed out the day before. This scene of passing out, waking up, being at my miserable worst had played itself out countless times. I would open my eyes and the horror, remorse, guilt, pain, and sorrow of my situation would engulf me.

BUT this last time, I woke up even physically sicker than I had been many times before, BUT - - SOMEHOW, there was the tiniest ray of hope in me. (I had no idea where that came from.) I also somehow knew I would not drink again. (I had no idea where that thought came from either.) I had no idea "how" I would stay sober since I had just proved to myself once again that I didn't know how to stay sober (I had been in and out of AA for several months), but......this time I knew I would be O.K. I finally understood what it meant to live just one day at a time. I dragged myself to an AA meeting to find out what to do "that day". It's been working that way ever since.

This was a miracle from God in all respects - getting sober and staying sober.

I have no explanation for what happened that morning.
Thank God I didn't give up before the miracle happened.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008



Your pulse surges up with the spray of the sea
As the powerful waves toss you round!

You're light as the air seeing birds soaring skyward
In intricate winged patterns rare!

Your blood races open full throttle, touched by crispness of air
That surrounds on a fall afternoon.

But why do you bunch yourself closed tight and shut
When an unbounded spirit appears?

Why at all?
A sea is just a large piece of water
A bird just an object in space
A touch of crisp breeze, just a cooled bit of air
And a spirit - why it's just a face
Prayer Girl

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


(Alky-Seltzer & PG)

I was very anxious that with my daughter here, I wouldn't find the time to blog. It also turned out my brother and his wife were coming for the day today. I haven't seen them in five years. I felt pressure. I felt overwhelmed with cleaning, preparing, and planning. I hate feeling that way.

My solution was to give myself "breathing room". By letting you know that I would be gone and why, I gave myself permission to not worry about whether I would have time to blog.

Now, I feel calmer. My daughter is here, my brother and his wife have come and gone. I can go ahead and blog. I know I will miss you all too much to stay away. Turns out when you spend all day with someone, there is usually time when everyone can use some alone time. Right now is that time. She's busy looking for jobs on-line and I'm talking to you.

When I had training with the hospital chaplain, he told me pastoral care involved three ministries. The first one he discussed was the "ministry of presence" - being fully present with someone. That's what my daughter came home for - to be in the presence of people who love, accept, and encourage her. And that's what is happening.

I know there was some commenting going on re: Alky-Seltzer's comment on my last blog and other comments in response. They made me smile and laugh. That's always a good thing - smiling and laughing. I need more of that - we can all use more of that.

So, in the spirit of smiling and laughing, I ask you to decide whether the two in the picture above are dancing or ???? :)

Monday, October 6, 2008



My daughter is coming to visit.

so.......I'm "GONE FISHING" -

or maybe "GONE SHOPPING" -
or maybe "GONE BEACHING" -
or maybe just "GONE"

I may be away from my blog for the better part of a week.
If I get an opportunity, I'll post. If not, you'll know why.
Please don't leave me just 'cause I can't be here everyday.

God bless till later,

Prayer Girl

Sunday, October 5, 2008



This morning I woke up with a thought for my blog. I wanted to write: "GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE -

But, then what?

All kinds of thoughts about light have come to my mind today.

First was the blog line -
"Good morning SUNSHINE to my blogger friends."

Second was a song we sang at church.

The refrain from one of the songs we sang was:

We are the LIGHT of the world,
may our LIGHT shine before all,
That they may see the good that we do,

and give glory to God.

Third was a memory that came for reasons unknown of a song from one of my favorite albums of long ago.
I remembered some lyrics from the rock musical "Hair" that went like this:
Good Morning STARSHINE

The earth says "hello"

You twinkle above us

We twinkle below.

Fourth, I thought about when I gave my guardian angel a name. Several months ago, a name "came to me". "Came to me", usually means it appeared or floated into my head. I don't know how else to explain it. guardian angel's name came to me:


Today is a day full of light for me -
let your lights shine too.
You all "do shine for me".


Light splinters through the layers
To the substance of a smile

And the essence of emotion

Light is split itself in power
Leaving pieces in all places

Prayer Girl

Saturday, October 4, 2008



"Don't look back,
because in order to look back
you have to stop moving forward."

(From: "Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality",
Edited by Raymond Arroyo, p. 29)

This little snippet from one of my favorite books reminds me of several truisms that I keep close to my mind. They are things I heard in early sobriety, took to heart, and decided to make a part of me. I still try to live by them as best I can.

The first: In sobriety - in life, if you are not moving forward, then you are moving backward. There is no such thing as standing still. It is an illusion. If you think you are standing still, you are actually going backward.

I think this is, in part, why I have been involved in "pushing my envelope" this year; joining the Catholic church, learning to ride a scooter, becoming a hospital volunteer. It's all about changing - moving forward.

I had to be very proactive when I got sober in order to not get drunk "again". After I achieved a measure of sobriety, I needed to feel more at peace with myself rather than considering myself an enemy, needed to get along better with you, and needed to live life a little less like a battleground. Again, I had to move ahead. I did this by attending new meetings, making new friends, going to social events when I really just wanted to isolate, speaking when I really didn't want to speak, sponsoring, trying all kinds of new things.

Second: This little quote reminds me to live in the present moment. If I'm looking back, I can't be moving forward without tripping and falling. I need to live in the present moment. If I'm in the past, I run the risk of being pulled back into guilt, shame, negativity, regret, you get my drift. If I'm in the future, then I'm where I lived my life till I found sobriety - in a fantasy life that had no reality and led me into denial and hopelessness.

So....I'll do my best to stay in the
"precious present".
(wow - two more "p" words!)

Prayer Girl

Friday, October 3, 2008


(Come Monday, I'll be all alone - on my own!)


Today was "P" Day - Pastoral Care Day. It was my first day "on-the-job" as a volunteer in the pastoral care department of our local hospital. It was a training day and I was on the front line - up close and personal with patients. I shadowed a pastoral associate who has been visiting the sick for six years. It was baptism by immersion.

I followed this gentleman into room after room as he approached patients, introduced himself, and prayed with them. He had prayers memorized and had his approach well thought out. I was quite impressed. I was busy comparing my skills to his or as I saw it, my lack of skills (old behavior) rather than identifying those I possess. I didn't have prayers at my fingertips as he did, but I have prayed with people in and outside of AA for many years.

I shadowed him for about two hours including visiting every bed in the emergency room. Then it was my turn for him to observe me. I felt so terribly inadequate to the task, but there was no where to run, no where to hide, so I did what I have learned in all my years in AA......I just did the best I could.

I put a smile on my face as I introduced myself to people and explained who I was. I established and maintained eye contact and prayed "from the heart" when they so desired. I know the praying will become more natural with practice.
What an experience.

Monday, I'll be totally on my own. I just pray there is no emergency like "code blue", someone coming off life support, or death. I must remind myself that I'm powerless over what comes my way, remember God is in charge, and ask God to help me before I even begin.

Hey, blogging team, I sure could use your prayers again - THANKS!

Prayer Girl

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008-PRAYER


From: "As Bill Sees It" p. 321 - Grapevine, June 1958

"As the doubter tries the process of prayer,
he should begin to add up the results.
If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity,
more tolerance, less fear, and less anger.
He will acquire a quiet courage,
the kind that isn't tension-ridden. "

I believe in the power of prayer. I believe because I have personally experienced the results of prayer. In the beginning, at the point of total surrender, I had three things going for me; AA, a sponsor, and prayer.

The early results of praying were the ability to finally surrender to alcohol, my willingness to allow God to call the shots (I stopped trying to figure out how to stay sober - I didn't know how), and I managed to stay sober one day at a time even though I had no personal emotional, mental, or spiritual assets and very difficult circumstances when I returned home from treatment.

Every time someone would "push my button" (when I would normally take a drink in response), I would quietly turn away, go to another room, shut the door, get on my knees, and ask God to help me. He always did - I didn't drink!

As time went by and I continued to practice prayer, I began to have a little less fear, began to trust a little more that things would turn out O.K. even though I didn't know how that could happen. I ended up divorced (I didn't believe in divorce) - it needed to happen. There was such turmoil and upset with the kids (broke my heart), but I was powerless to change that too. Eventually, we all came to terms with the situation in one way or another. Tensions in the home lessened.

Courage and serenity were a little longer in coming, but with time they did begin to grow in me. By following the directions of my sponsor, working the steps, going to meetings, praying, and listening to those who were working the program and whose lives were improving, I began to improve as well. It was difficult and it was slow, but it happened.

Thank God!