Friday, July 31, 2009

Saturday 8/1/09 - "NOW I LAY ME"


Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Bless and watch me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.

(18th century children's prayer. Version printed in "The New England Primer".)



Now I lay my self-will down
And ask dear God, please keep me sound
In body and soul, in spirit and mind
May all these parts become aligned.

(July 31, 2009 prayer. Taken from "Prayer Girl's Mind.)



Now I lay my own life down
To help the lost who now may drown
In that sadness sea that drink creates
My heart your outstretched hand awaits

(July 31, 2009 prayer. Taken from "Prayer Girl's Mind.)



Now I pick the twelve steps up
To get a look inside - closeup
To lead and guide to God above
And find that place inside of love

(July 31, 2009 prayer. Taken from "Prayer Girl's Mind.)

Prayer Girl

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday 7/31/09 - "AMISH COUNTRY"



Clippety-clop, faintest noise growing louder.
Small lane vanishing into a country by-way.

Simple beauty stole my breath away.
Grape vineyards far as the eye could see, clear brook, a neat small farmhouse off in the distance.

Alone save the small horse and buggy approaching.

Compelled....stop the car, jump out, lie down in green pastures.

Prayer Girl
(A memory of my first and only trip to the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Country ~1970)

Friday Flash Fiction 55
is a story written in exactly 55 words.
Let the G-Man know if you write one.
and read the ones of your fellow writers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday, 7/30/09 - "AN AA LIGHT"


How powerless a pawn in life's full game
From life to death and back - full circle came
But for the grace of God I'd have perished soon
He wrapped twelve steps round - a safe cocoon

Lost and lonely - drunk, confused and weary
Abject, dejected state of mind - so teary
Being just like this did I find my way
Through the AA doors - I came to stay

And there the light poured in upon this soul
God healed the heart and made it whole
He asked but one small gift in turn
To share with others God's care, concern

Prayer Girl

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My "mandala"

Roses, Queen Anne's Lace, and an Angel

Beautiful eating!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday 7/28/09 - "CRISIS TRIAGE"

(pray on your knees)


Triage: Definition #3. A process in which things are ranked in terms of importance or priority.

Life happens. Crises happen. Sometimes they are spaced close together and other times they occur many years apart. It is a rare life that does not experience some catastrophe.

Disasters come in many shapes, sizes, and types:
  • We may discover that a loved one has betrayed us.
  • We may find out a person we cherish is in trouble with alcohol, drugs, or maybe with the police.
  • There may be frightening medical test results.
  • A natural disaster - tornado, hurricane, flooding may interrupt the normal flow of everyday life.

As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, I have had to learn to live life on life's terms. I have also learned tools for when a crisis occurs.

I realize today that over the years a "Crisis Triage" procedure has developed. When a crisis happened recently, this is what I did automatically, without a lot of thought.

When this event occurred, I was not able to think well at that moment. My emotions, especially fear, began to overwhelm me. This is what I did.


1. Quickly get to a private place, get on my knees, and pray. Ask God to help.

2. Call my sponsor. Talk out what has happened and what I am feeling. Get support and reassurance that I am not alone and that ultimately, all will be well.

3. Write down any important information and what I need to say or do, or any questions I may have to ask.

4. Take action one item at a time.

5. Reach out to trusted others for encouragement and support.

6. Go to meetings as often as possible.

7. Continue praying frequently.

8. Stay in touch with my sponsor.

9. Remember to take care of myself as best I can. Try to rest, eat, and keep moving.

10. Remember my experience, strength, and hope that builds faith and trust in God.

God bless you now and in time of crisis,
Prayer Girl

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Monday 7/27/09 - "SPIRIT, MIND, BODY"


The deterioration of my life due to alcoholism followed this progression - in this order:


My relationship with God had been the main focus of my life from the time I was very young until sometime in my college years. I remember just before I left for my freshman year, a girlfriend and I went to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It was a weekday and we were alone in the gigantic, ornate, and holy sanctuary. I was on my knees at the altar asking God to guide me as I went off to school. I had relied on God for direction, comfort, and hope for many years.

For the next 20 years, I forgot God, stopped looking to Him for guidance and help. I began looking for satisfaction, happiness, and meaning in every other place - in relationships, in excelling in academics, marriage, and children. God was sometimes in the back seat and sometimes not even in the vehicle of my life. This loss of contact with God gradually became a near complete separation.


As my estrangement with God developed, my mental state took a downward turn. Suicidal thinking was frequent. Low self-esteem and total lack of self-confidence was the norm. The lower my self-image plummeted, the less I was capable of healthy thinking. As the years progressed, my thinking became more and more confused and I began to frequent chairs and couches in psychologist and psychiatric offices.


At the age of 35 the progression had destroyed my spirit and mind and the body was next. Alcohol entered my life. Within 3 years, my body was a disaster site. I was 5'5" and weighed about 100 lbs. I was bone and skin, little fat - emaciated. I was unable to work. Alcohol abused me. I couldn't live without it, could not stop drinking.

My recovery occurred
in the reverse order.

Once I stopped drinking for good, my health was gradually restored. I stopped shaking. I no longer put alcohol into my body. I began to sleep, eat, exercise, and participate in normal activities that fostered a return of good health.


As I became healthier and attended Alcoholics Anonymous, my thinking began to straighten out. My mind cleared and I had some self-awareness allowing me to make healthier choices and decisions. My more balanced mind made it possible to ask for and receive help from a sponsor, a trusted counselor, and other recovering friends. I was able to work the 12 steps, restoring me to sanity and helping me learn to live in healthier relationship with others.


As THE result of working the 12 steps I was finally restored to a relationship with God. My new found partnership with God is stronger, deeper, and more vital than the one I had enjoyed as a child.

How grateful I am for the restoration of my life.

Prayer Girl

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday 7/26/09 - "SERVING THE PEOPLE"


James Oh at Lift You Up passed on an award to a list of recipients. It was a delightful surprise to find my name among them. On his blog James explains the bamboo slip with four Chinese characters marked on it.

The characters mean
"serving the people".

Thinking about this award that signifies "serving the people" causes me to write the following:
  • I do blog to serve.
  • I do most things to serve.
  • I try to remember that is why I blog.
  • I try to remember that is why I do most things.
  • I serve because I was served by others both when I arrived in Alcoholics Anonymous and today.

God saved me from an alcoholic death and I owe Him my life and my actions.

I am at His service. I am at your service.

Prayer Girl

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saturday 7/25/09 - "TAKING CARE OF MYSELF"

(Rely on your trusted friends to watch your back!)


When I first got sober, I had no idea how harshly I treated myself. I didn't understand how I punished myself, how much I did not honor or love myself. Learning how to care for myself has been a learning experience that I continue to practice regularly and am still learning. My body was often like a high tension wire filled with crackling electricity.

As an alcoholic, this state of mind and body is not good. When I'm not taking care of myself, I tend towards restlessness, irritability, and discontentment (RID). And the antidote for RID was always DRINK! I have had to cultivate new behaviors to reduce the RID so I would not resort to drinking. Today I understand that drink will not only RID me of my restless, irritable, and discontent temperament, but it will RID me of my life as well.


1. One of the first and most important things is to develop a sense of self awareness so I can know how I am feeling. Thinking about the acronym HALT is a tool that helps me do this. I can ask myself, "Am I hungry? Am I feeling angry? Am I experiencing loneliness? Am I tired?" Before I found recovery I would give none of these any thought and therefore do nothing to rectify any of these conditions. Today I take action if I am off the mark in any of these areas.

2. Sometimes my "obsessive-compulsive" nature gets the upper hand and I, like many alcoholics, will take something to excess. It can be something fun and wonderful just as easily as something detrimental. When this happens, I may neglect other areas of my life till they are out of balance - sleep, food, or maybe time alone. For me, this is not taking care of myself. I need to remember to keep things balanced. I function best that way.

3. When I am under a great deal of stress and anxiety due to circumstances of life, it takes a huge toll on my serenity, peace of mind, and general well-being. Sometimes I cannot prevent high levels of stress. I need to be as vigilant as possible while these times are occurring to do the best I can to try ease the tension by eating properly, sleeping enough, praying, getting to meetings, and talking with my sponsor.

4. When a very stressful time has passed, it can require a period of time to return to normal. Taking care of myself at a time like this means giving myself permission to rest or sleep more. Sometimes I need to relax my routine, adjust it until my strength and focus returns. During this time, the best thing I can do is go to a lot of meetings and be gentle with myself.

5. Taking care of myself includes staying close to my friends - allowing them to comfort, support, and love me. I allow myself to trust my friends to "watch my back". Taking care means not isolating - allowing trusted friends to know what's happening and what I need that they might be able to help me with.

6. Taking care of myself includes taking time to pray, meditate, sit in silence, be calm and at peace inside myself.

7. I am taking care of myself when I give myself time to read a book or do some other leisure activity that I enjoy.

8. It is also taking care of myself when I write a TO DO list rather than growing stressed over too many things to do. By putting them in a list and marking them off one at a time as I complete them, I reduce the stress and cut what seems like an insurmountable number of tasks down to a manageable size.

I am valuable. I am worth taking care of. We are all children of God and deserve to be cared for not only by God, but by ourselves as well.

Prayer Girl

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friday 7/24/09 - "FIRST KISS"

(sealed tenderly with a first kiss)


The summer night was dark and fresh.

It was my first hayride and blind date -
on our way to a carousel park overlooking the river - cushioned in sweetness.

Glowing lights, gaily colored horses - I'm reaching out, grabbing a brass ring.

Sixteen and never been......

That magical night in hay sealed tenderly with the first kiss.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit:

Friday Flash 55 is a story
written in exactly 55 words.
Let the G-Man know if you write one
and read the ones of your fellow writers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday 7/23/09 - "CULTIVATE A BEGINNER'S MIND"


Today I attended a noon women's Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It was the same meeting, in the same room that I walked into for the first time 24 years ago. Different women, the furniture newer, no smoking is the rule, but otherwise it is exactly as on the day I arrived as a "beginner". My guess is that they were saying pretty much the same things, but at that time I heard and understood nothing.

Today I heard the following statement and was able to hear and contemplate it:

I liked it and asked myself why it resonated so strongly with me.

I love the idea of cultivating a mind - nurturing and fostering the growth of healthy ideas. If I am cultivating my mind, I am keeping it fertile, fresh, free to receive new, life-giving information.

But why would I want to cultivate a beginner's mind? Why not a long-timer's mind? The next thought in my mind was Mark 10:15 from the Bible:

"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

As a child I was full of curiosity, was always searching to know and experience more, and I had open-mindedness. These are the same qualities I need and desire today. These attitudes keep my memory green and hopefully make it less likely that I will repeat the horrors of my active alcoholic past.

Additionally, the more years I work the AA program, the more I come to understand how little I know. As a newcomer, I knew nothing and I was hungry for anything that would lessen my confusion, anxiety, and sick thinking. I was anxious to increase sane thinking, and create and strengthen a spiritual connection. I want and need that today as much as when I first arrived.

Let's remember there is a time to "CULTIVATE A BEGINNER'S MIND".

Prayer Girl

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wednesday 7/22/09 - "GOD IS GOOD"


I know that no matter how things may appear at any given moment - no matter how difficult - God is good, cares about me, cares about those I love, and is always ready to scoop us up into His loving and powerful hands.

I am grateful tonight as I so often repeat - for prayer. I am grateful that I believe in the power of prayer, that I pray often, and that I have been given proof in seeing prayers answered in my life and the lives of others.

I am grateful that others are so loving and willing to pray for me and my loved ones. I know that I have been prayed for, I feel those prayers, and I watch the results of those prayers play out in my life.

I am so very grateful as I also often say - that God gave us the Alcoholics Anonymous program without which we would perish. I watch lives transformed in front of my very eyes. I watch God do for me and others what we cannot do for ourselves.

I am grateful that after a very, very long day, I will be able to lay my head on my pillow tonight knowing that God is completely in charge and is holding all of us in His loving hands.

Good-night and God bless,
Prayer Girl

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday, 7/21/09 - "A SLATE STILL EMPTY"

(Strange Day)



My mind is still acting a little fuzzy, floating, un-focused. In this state, I think I'll do the same as I did in my last blog and just see what comes up onto the slate of my mind.

1. I'm looking out the window and my slate is filling up with gray. It is a very gray day with raindrops hidden in clouds all around. None have fallen yet, but I feel their moisture in the air and see tiny flashes of lightening skittering about within the clouds. Every now and then I hear a distant, muffled, faintest rumbling. I await nature's coming wet kisses and no matter what sounds there are around me, all are damped by the gray ceiling hanging above.

2. The words, "This can't be happening" are being written across my slate. These words have appeared at some of the worst and best times of my life. My reaction to these most life changing events have been a feeling of unreality - a thought that it could not possibly be happening.

A few examples:

My father is the person who drove me to the treatment center in Avon Park, Florida when I was 39 years old. As he left me sitting in the reception room, I began to cry and believed at that moment I would never stop crying. I could not believe my life had come to this, that this was happening.

The day I put my hands on Mr. Steve's hand and later that night on a friend's back and healing was the result, I thought, "This can't be happening." I was in shock.

Both events, worlds apart, one seemingly the most horrible thing that could happen in my life and the other a wonderful event of huge importance to me turned out to be "God milestones" in my life - God's will.

These "this can't be happening" moments are still happening and now I know:



3. Upon my slate comes the word "ACCEPTANCE". This morning I found a little card among the items on my desk with the following well-known sentences from our Big Book, "Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 417:


"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

I never tire of this passage. I have blogged it before. I love it and I need the repetition of it's meaning in my mind.

The slate is empty now so "good-night",

Prayer Girl

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monday 7/20/09 - "A BLANK SLATE"

(A blank slate - a blank mind - A Beautiful Mind!)


I was out with girlfriends for dinner tonight and on the way home we were talking about memory lapses. I told them I have areas of my mind that are just blank. I think some of it is due to too much alcohol poured into the system during my drinking days. Some may be due to age.

There are events my friends talk about that seem so vivid to them and they are sure I will remember, but in the place where the memory should be there is just a blank. I know many others who experience this type of selective absence of memory so I'm not worried it's early onset Alzheimer's.

Tonight I have a slightly different type of blank....I have not a single idea for a blog. Since my mind is like a blank slate at this moment I'll just blog what gets written on it NOW.

The first thing that appeared on my empty slate when I thought of "A Blank Slate" was the thought of "A Blank Mind", and then I thought of the wonderful movie "A Beautiful Mind". I loved it the first time I saw it and one Christmas my daughter bought it for me. I have watched it several times. It is a beautiful love story and a haunting story of a genius mind hidden inside a psychotic mind. A paradox - a mystery - a beautiful thing.

Second item on my blank slate - there is such power in dropping to your knees in prayer. I remember when I first returned from treatment, I had a very difficult time knowing how to deal with the realities of my life sober. I could no longer deal with them by pouring a drink. Somehow God put a perfect substitute coping skill in my mind. Every time something would trigger those old feelings of wanting to escape I would immediately go to my bathroom, drop to my knees, and say a very simple prayer, "God help me!" It worked. Today, if I am feeling sorrow or anxiety or fear this same practice works as well as it did then.

The next thing arriving on my slate is opposites. I used to think in very black and white terms - something was either good or bad, right or wrong. There was very little room for in between. My thinking was rigid and caused me a lot of confusion. I have discovered that life is not so compartmentalized. A lot of life happens in the million shades of gray between black and white. Having said that, there are a few things that are shades of gray.

One, I am an alcoholic. That is very black and white - you either are or are not an alcoholic. Two, God either is or He isn't. I choose to believe that God is. Three, I either trust God or I don't. I choose to trust. Are these always easy? No.

When I first got sober I had some trouble with getting the "I am an alcoholic" to stay in the "ABSOLUTELY" category it needed to be in. When I drank for the last time and "came to", I "got it". I knew absolutely that I was an alcoholic. Period! End of thought!

When life seems out of control it is because IT IS. I am powerless over alcohol and most things that happen to me in life. Today, I believe God "is" and I choose to place my trust in Him.

I like watching things appear on my slate, but enough for tonight.
Prayer Girl

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sunday 7/19/09 - "THINGS I'D RATHER NOT DO"

(up one, down one, up two, down two.....
nuts to exercising to maintain health)


I usually blog positive posts like gratitude lists, answers to prayer, spiritual stuff....

Tonight - "tongue in cheek", here is a list of "THINGS I'D RATHER NOT DO"!

I must amend it a little by stating that the fact that I'm alive to not want to do these things is a miracle in itself. I think that means that I'm glad I'm able to do the things I don't want to do.
Go figure!!!

1. I really would rather not have to exercise. I was faithfully going to the gym for an hour of strenuous exercise 2 to 3 times a week until we went on vacation for two weeks. I have had to force myself back into the routine, but am managing to motivate myself only 1 or 2 times a week, if I'm lucky.

2. I would rather not be in the 90+ (feels like over 100) temperatures with lots of humidity that are the norm for south Florida every summer. Every single summer for as long as I can remember (i.e. since I got sober) someone "always" says, "This is the hottest summer ever." And I always reply, "We say that every summer." I don't like walking in it, riding my scooter in it, doing work in it like gardening, just being in it. It seems to suck the air out of me. - BUT remember, I am still grateful there is still air in me to be sucked out.

3. I would really rather not have to be constantly picking up clutter (which we create here in our house quicker than it can be picked up), dusting, vacuuming, looking at all the things I would like to replace in my house - rugs, furniture, bathroom fixtures, etc. BUT remember, I am still grateful I have a home that holds many fond memories. Painful ones too? Well, of course, but the number of wonderful things that have happened in this house outnumber those that weren't so good.

4. Now this one will really sound petty, but I really don't like going for routine blood work so I must admit I haven't had any done in about 3 years. For one thing, they can't get a vein on me so it's poke, poke, poke. Second, I absolutely despise having to go without coffee till it is completed. (I know - I'm a sissy.)

5. I would really rather not have to go through the process of losing the toenail on my right big toe. I have never lost a nail - ever - and I had hoped to never do so. However, the injury I sustained while on vacation is leading to that very circumstance. I think the idea of it is actually grossing me out more than the reality will end up being. I'm soaking it once a day, keeping it clean, and protecting it with gauze - mostly so I don't have to look at it. (Such a sissy!)

I have had a whirlwind day: Al-Anon meeting this morning, home long enough to turn around and go to an AA meeting. Then off to the grocery store with just enough time at home to go to mass. Back home to fix a dish to take to a potluck we were invited to attend. Mr. Steve and I were then off on our scooters to the very fun-packed party. Can't wait to hit the bed.

Night all,
Prayer Girl

Friday, July 17, 2009



The other day I was hunting through all my literature for an index to topics in "Alcoholics Anonymous", our Big Book. I found it tucked inside another book, "Living Sober", a little yellow book I had when I left treatment August, 1985. In the same book I found many papers I was given while there. What follows is a synopsis of one set of papers I found in that book. I used it and thought about it frequently in the first years of sobriety.

The checklist follows:


While the individual himself must maintain the disciplines that insure sobriety, there are ways in which others can help. Others close to the alcoholic are often able to recognize behavior changes that indicate a return to the old ways of thinking. Often they have tried to warn the subject, who by now may not be willing to be told. He may consider it nagging or violation of his privacy.

There are many danger signs. Most alcoholics if approached properly, would be willing to go over an inventory of symptoms periodically with a spouse or other confidante. If the symptoms are caught early enough and recognized, the alcoholic will usually try to change his thinking, to get "back on the beam" again.

A weekly inventory of symptoms might prevent some relapses. This added discipline is one which many alcoholics seem willing to try.


(This inventory was very useful in the beginning while I was working the steps and learning through steps 10 and 11 how to inventory myself on a regular and immediate basis.)

1. Exhaustion

2. Dishonesty

3. Impatience

4. Argumentativeness

5. Depression

6. Frustration

7. Self-Pity

8. Cockiness

9. Complacency

10. Expecting too much from others

11. Letting up on disciplines

12. Use of mood altering chemicals

13. Wanting too much

14. Forgetting gratitude

15. "It can't happen to me."

16. Omnipotence

This checklist may have been in vogue 24 years ago, but I believe the items listed are as relevant today as they were then. I hope this will be helpful to someone who reads it.

Love you all,

Prayer Girl

P.S. - I really miss Mama Duck who became a part of our family for the month plus that she made her home on our front porch. I miss the ducklings too. I will keep my eyes open as I move about the "hood" for a glimpse of Mama duck with her little group of ducklings waddling after her.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Friday 7/17/09 - "THE BOX-TEN YEARS LATER"

(Flash Fiction Friday 55 - lacy curtains billowing inward)

(Photo credit: Mr. Steveroni - taken at 5 a.m. 7/17/09)




"Our" ducklings arrived in the wee small hours of Friday morning 7/17/09. Jadey's guess of 7/16 was the closest guess and she wins the award.


Friday Flash 55 is a story
written in exactly 55 words.
Let the G-Man know if you write one
and read the ones of your fellow writers.

Introduction to my final FLASH FICTION
FRIDAY 55 - "THE BOX" serial.

(It is amazing how completely a life can be turned around in a matter of years. A life can be shattered to tatters, lost seemingly beyond saving. Then God places an event, person, or series of them in a life and change becomes possible. At the moment that Darlene met Lucy, alcohol addiction and spousal abuse described Darlene’s life filled with fear and terror, self-loathing, and a total inability to take action. Lucy introduced her to the life-changing power of AA's Twelve Steps and ten years later she is living a life that seems in many ways like a dream, yet is completely real and wonderful. Read for yourself.)


She stretches, inhales the sweet scent of honeysuckle. She is lying in a meadow full of fragrant blossoms.

No, she is awake in her own bed, lacy curtains billowing inward with the breeze, a soft coverlet at her chin.

She's not dreaming. Today is her wedding day. A radiant smile spreads across her face.


Prayer Girl
Note: The following was LAST WEEK's
"55 Flash Fiction Friday"


"Anyone with one year?"

Lucy gently nudges her, she's up front now, hand out, a bronze medallion marked with a Roman Numeral One in it.

She's pinching herself, saying, "Wake up!" Is she dreaming? There are so many changes. She's renting an apartment. Her divorce is proceeding. She working on Step Twelve.

Life is good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thursday 7/16/09 - "FAITH IN PRAYER"


I sometimes wonder how many people were praying for me at the end of my drinking. No one ever actually told me that they were, but I feel very certain that it was happening. My parents did not know I was an alcoholic until the day I hit my bottom and called them for help, but before then I did call them at times "crying in my vodka", whether they knew it or not.

I would be in that terrible self-pitying place where everything was my ex-husband's fault. I had not a clue that my alcoholism was making it impossible for me to cope with life's problems and find healthy solutions. I feel certain my mother and father were praying for me without knowing exactly what the problem was.

I can remember being in Bible study groups on Sunday mornings, hung over. Maybe some of those people recognized what they were seeing. I sure didn't. And perhaps some of them were praying for me.

When I had a crisis with my drinking, I was in pastoral counseling with a wonderful minister in my church who kept telling me he would meet with me anytime, but gently added that things would not get better in my life till I stopped drinking. At that point, I just couldn't stop, just didn't stop, but he kept seeing me and I will never forget the love and kindness he gave me. I'm sure he was praying for me. And thank God the day came when I did stop.

Today, I have faith that there were prayers being said for me and I know that God answered them. I have faith that prayers are heard. I say many prayers. There are many people who need them. It is my great privilege to give what I feel sure was given to me.

Strong belief in something, especially without proof.

From "Relentless" by D. Koontz, p. 150
"Among other things, my past had taught me that the very fact of my existence is a cause for amazement and wonder, that we must seize life because we never know how much of it remains for us, that faith is the antidote to despair and that laughter is the music of faith." (italics are mine)

"Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish." (p. 16, lines 12-13)

"When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did." (p. 52, lines 24-27)

"For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us." (p. 55, lines 13-22)

"The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear." (p. 68, lines 21-27)

" an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action." (p. 93, lines 24-26)

FAITH, PRAYER, ACTION - A recipe for recovery!
Prayer Girl

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wednesday 7/15/09 - "IS YOUR UMBRELLA BIG ENOUGH?"

""We are people who normally would not mix."
(Big Gook of Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 2, p. 17)

A person's age, marital status, color, religion,
profession, socio-economic status, legal status
has never had anything to do with
their ability to help me.


"We stood at the turning point."
(Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5, p. 59)

When I reached that turning point,
I took my head out of the sand,
oops - out from under my own wing,
ditched my denial and looked squarely at the truth....
I was an alcoholic.
I was powerless over alcohol.
I needed restoration to sanity.
I couldn't restore myself.
No human power could restore me.
I turned my life over to God.
He restored me to sanity!



I remember my first "best friend"
in Alcoholics Anonymous.

She helped me file my income tax after I was divorced.

I had never completed an income tax return in my life.

She hand sewed my wedding gown
as a
wedding gift when I married Mr. Steve.

She returned to drinking and died

as a direct result of her alcoholism.

In my heart she is still my friend -



(This little guy has been caught without a big enough umbrella!)


MY UMBRELLA IS GOD and He Is Big Enough
to protect me in all circumstances.

Prayer Girl

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tuesday 7/14/09 - "REACHING OUT"


Alcoholics Anonymous: The Responsibility Declaration:
"I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible."

Al-Anon Declaration

"When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help,
let the hand of Al-Anon and Alateen always be there, and—Let It Begin With Me."



I blog as a way to clarify in my own mind and express my life experiences past and present.

I blog because when I allow my thoughts and feelings out, it somehow frees my spirit.

I blog because I believe in living the 12th step....carrying the message I have received in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon to the alcoholic or person affected by alcoholism who still suffers and in practicing these principles in all my affairs which includes sharing them in my blog.

I blog because I have discovered many new friends as I write.

I blog because it is a wonderful way of "REACHING OUT"!

I blog in the hopes that my blog will provide some examples of quality sobriety - both sobriety from alcohol and emotional sobriety.

I blog in the hopes that my blogs will reach as many readers as possible and that God will use it to help others.

I blog because as other bloggers comment it expands my own blog reading world.



On July 10, I received the following email. It was a total surprise. It read in part:

We just posted an article, “
Top 100 Overcoming Addiction Blogs” I thought I'd bring it to your attention in case you think your readers would find it interesting.

I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this list.

(This publication was put out by the Online Nurse Practitioner Schools website.)
I was surprised, happy, and grateful to my Higher Power for providing me this opportunity to reach a wider readership. This list of addiction blogs is in sections such as "Best Alcoholic Blogs", "Best Drug Addict Blogs", Best Blogs of Those Who Have Addicts in the Family", etc. Some of the blog sites listed I already follow, but there are many more. What a wonderful chance to expand my world.
You might want to take a look.

Quote Today:
"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - Booker Washington

Prayer Girl

Sunday, July 12, 2009



I'm in search of a spiritual boost, an extra dose of spiritual lift, a movement just a little closer to God. What better way to achieve this than to express gratitude....gratitude for all that God has given me. So, this Sunday night, I am grateful for:

I am grateful for the spiritual boost I can get from just taking a nap. I was thinking about this after reading a section from our Al-Anon reader, "Having Had a Spiritual Awakening" at our Friday 11th step meditation meeting. It read, "...napping...lends an unforseen touch of spiritual experience to my day."

I am grateful when I am able to quiet my mind and slow my pace enough to just lie down, relax and nap. That may mean actually sleeping and sometimes just resting - either way it opens my mind to God.

I am grateful that I have learned how to take care of myself in other ways besides taking a nap if I want to. I have also learned when I need alone time, to give it to myself. I know when I need to express an emotion rather than stuffing it like I used to do. Today my sponsor touched my hand and I cried. Sometimes they are tears of joy and sometimes sadness. I am able to express joy and love. I am just grateful to be able to feel. There was a time when I couldn't.

I am grateful that the last person to speak at my Sunday morning Al-Anon meeting told a joke that I and everyone in the room laughed at with delight.

Question: What kind of insurance do co-dependents buy?

Answer: MY FAULT!

I am grateful to have a sponsor who:
1. knows me
2. has my trust
3. can be the voice of reason when I am lacking it
4. is able to remind me of Al-Anon principles, tools, and program wisdom

I am grateful that when God opened the door to sobriety, I surrendered and stepped through.

I am grateful for the twelve steps that restored me to sanity, to right relations with others, and a right relationship with God.

I am grateful for the people who read my blog and for those who post blogs. So often I read something I need to hear, that makes me laugh, or reinforces my own thoughts.

I am grateful that Mrs. Duck has not abandoned her "setting" duties. She is now standing over the eggs sometimes, sitting on them at other times. I'm wondering if the eggs are beginning to move a little. We'll see. So for those who are wondering - no hatchlings yet. I am checking constantly. I promise to let you know when the ducklings begin to make their appearance.

I am grateful for all the women I was able to speak to today. They are such a blessing to me. They call me to talk, to share problems, to ask for my experience, strength, and hope, or to just "touch bases". I truly believe that I get far more from them than I can ever give. I thank God for them.

I am grateful that I have many people praying. Prayer is so very powerful. I am grateful for my belief in prayer.

I am grateful to be a:
Prayer Girl

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday 7/12/09 - "THE HANDS OF GOD"


I have several people in my mind and heart as I write this blog tonight, myself being the first. I am thinking of how I was delivered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, rescued from my alcoholism.

When I think back to all the events leading up to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, my final surrender after that, and all that happened around the date of my last drink (July 5, 1985), I am in awe of how perfectly it was orchestrated to produce the result that it ability to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Neither I nor any other person could have planned all the happenings in the sequence and timing that they occurred that placed me in every right place at the right time. At the time, I'm sure I didn't understand anything that was going on and actually rebelled at some of it. I was in such pain and confusion. But I have been able to look back over the years I have been sober and see the "Hands of God" in all that transpired. There is no other explanation.

I have heard similar stories of people in hopeless situations finding their way to sobriety through circumstances beyond their understanding. I have listened to people share their experiences in countless numbers of meetings, lived through those moments of new sobriety with sponsees, and shared experiences with friends in the program.

When working with a newcomer, I can draw on this knowledge that it is in the "Hands of God" that I need to place this person. His guidance is essential. I must look to God for the inspiration and directions I need. I draw on the faith and trust I have gained through personal experience as well as witnessing God working in the lives of others.

When we find ourselves at this jumping off point, the last thing we can imagine is how by having a sponsor, working the twelve steps, attending meetings, praying, living just one-day-at-a-time, and turning our lives over to God our lives will be restored. Little do we know that we will come to be able to love ourselves, be of use to ourselves and others, live a fulfilling life brimming over with satisfaction and joy. We will be able to match difficult times with a measure of serenity and peace, and know how to use the tools of the program we have been given. All this and more is something our sponsors know long before we can even contemplate the possibility. In time we come to know it ourselves and can pass it on. What a miracle life we live.

So tonight, I am placing myself and those who are reaching that moment of reckoning when they realize their score cards are zero and they are down for the count, in the loving "Hands of God".

Quote for today:
"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." - Ray Bradbury

Prayer Girl