Monday, November 30, 2009

Tuesday 12/1/09 - "GETTING BACK TO BASICS"


"GETTING BACK TO BASICS"


I, unfortunately, stray from keeping things simple sometimes and then I must remember to get back to basics. I have always been prone to over-analyzing, compulsive thinking, and to being a person who worried situations like a dog with a bone - all very exhausting and very non-productive activities.

These activities cause mental fatigue, confusion and can lead to feelings of hopelessness (powerlessness). Too many changes or multiple stressful events at the same time can push me into these old patterns of behavior.

So what can I do to move out of this unpleasant place I find myself in at times? Getting back to the basics I have learned in my 12 step Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs has always worked.




What are some of these basics?

Spend time each day with God praying and listening.

If there is an amends to be made, DO IT!

Take time each day to review the numerous things I am grateful for. Focus on what I have, not on what I lack. Practice being satisfied.

Take time to remember where I came from compared to the life I live today. This is guaranteed to readjust my perspective if it has gotten out of whack.

Go to meetings regularly and frequently.

Talk to other alcoholics and members of Al-Anon often.

Take a moment each day to smell a rose, watch a bird, listen to it sing, watch a cloud scud along on a breeze, or watch tree limbs bending in the wind. In other words, enjoy the mysteries and beauties of nature God has surrounded us with.

Take a deep breath and think about who is in charge. If it's not God, then readjust my thinking.

Remember to be where my feet are. (Stay in the now.)

Remember always that love is stronger than hate, jealousy, or envy - it can dispel them.

Think about someone other than myself, but at the same time, take care of myself.

Love and prayers to my blogger friends,
Prayer Girl

Monday 11/30/09 - "HOLD ME"

"HOLD ME"

Just as this little bird is being held, I ask God to hold me and those I love in His hands today.

I did not have the energy or thoughts to blog last night. It just wasn't in me.

I am off to the hospital in an hour, need to get ready, so this will be short.

I am asking God to also hold close within His arms those who are in the hospital. I pray that God will guide me to those He wants me to visit today. I leave the results of my visits in God's hands. I say this prayer every Monday.

I pick daughter up Wednesday at noon. My "God Box" is getting full. Daughter is in there along with so many others in and out of recovery. I'm in there too.

I will keep things simple today and pray that in the simplicity of each moment my mind will stay clear and peaceful and productive.

I will do my best to live the Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs well. I will try to practice the principles in all my affairs.

My blogger friends are in my mind and heart today. I care about all of you that I have come to know as we read and comment on each others writing.

Simply and lovingly,
Prayer Girl

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday 11/29/09 - "QUOTE ME EINSTEIN, PLEASE!"



"QUOTE ME SOME EINSTEIN, PLEASE!"



Genius words from Albert Einstein and some of my simple thoughts:

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever - this is a somewhat new kind of religion. "

I believe his statement would be perfectly acceptable in an Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon meeting. Our beloved program is spiritual, not religious.


"A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
"

Who is crazy? You? Me? At times, what a slippery question that can be. When it gets too slippery I sometimes end up in a murky, hazy place with no clear answer. Very confusing.

"God always takes the simplest way."

God takes the simplest way while I'm busy getting lost in the complicated corridors of my mind.

"I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind."

I long for simple thinking, simple love, simple peace, and simple serenity. My body and mind wish to be still and know that God is in charge of everything and that I am not God.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Now I know that this well known AA phrase came from Mr. Einstein.

"It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely."

Loneliness is a terrible feeling. It lives deep down inside and can come out when I am depressed, too stressed, experiencing too much change all at once. It can be crippling. When this happens, I feel powerless over the emotions it engenders. I have to call out to God, "Help me!"

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious ... the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

Mystery - give me more of it. I always experience God in the middle of mystery or what I call miracle.

Happy Sunday to all of you.
Prayer Girl

Friday, November 27, 2009

Saturday 11/28/09 - "WELCOME"



SIX WORD SATURDAY

"WELCOME"




WELCOME ABOARD, SWEETHEART - FULL LIFE AHEAD!


Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Windy City Gazing by Denny Beck)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday 11/27/09 - "GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES"


FLASH FICTION FRIDAY 55

"GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES"


*
1985: The frightened, broken woman heard the words, "she is a chronic alcoholic" reverberate around the treatment center conference room.


2008: She was on board the largest ship cruising the Caribbean enjoying every moment of the annual Alcoholics Anonymous gratitude cruise.

"In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you..." **


Prayer Girl

* The Broken Woman at Highgate Cemetery, London
** 1 Thessalonians 5:18


Flash Fiction Friday 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, November 25, 2009

Thursday 11/26/09 - "A HAPPY DAY OF THANKS"


"A HAPPY DAY OF THANKS"



I am happy that:

my son and his wife are happy together on this Thanksgiving (their first as a married couple) and that they have a wonderful fun day planned.

my mother left me a terrific recipe for strawberry pie that I just finished making.

I will be going to our Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouse tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner with strawberry pie in hand. They always have a wonderful holiday meal with "everything" to eat.

there will be an AA speaker the last hour of the festivities.

the treatment center my daughter is in will be coming to the AA club too - hurray! We'll get to see her.

I met for the first time today with a new Al-Anon sponsee. Our next meeting will be to start Step One. We broke bread together at Crispers. We both had reubens - soooo good!!! When we parted she told me how honored she was that I spent time with her. But what I feel is totally honored myself that God has blessed me with this opportunity.

I and those I love are all in good health.

I love my kitty, Bert, and I really love my daughter's dog, Lucky. He is a handful, but so sweet and loving. He lickingly lifts my spirits. :)

I have a relationship with God who is the power in my life that I lack.

I can wish you a blessed Thanksgiving.

Prayer Girl


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday 11/25/09 - "CAN'T WE ALL JUST - PLEASE - STICK TOGETHER?"


WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

"CAN'T WE ALL JUST -
PLEASE - STICK TOGETHER?"





Prayer Girl

Photo credit: Family Portrait by Frank Somma (meerkats)

Tuesday 11/24/09 - "LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD?"

"LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD?"

Life according to an alcoholic's strange thinking is characterized by the regular use of rationalization, justification, and self-delusion that is considered rational and quite normal by the alcoholic.

I have been this person and I have lived with this person. It is hell. It is crazy making. Life becomes one big fantasy world that is more like a nightmare than a fun day at the park. A sunny day is called a cloudy day. A DUI is blamed on the person the alcoholic was drinking with.

The need to distort reality, denial, is the way life is lived. The truth must be hidden at any cost.
What is the truth? The truth is that the alcoholic is in a total state of powerlessness whose life is completely unmanageable. With no way of dealing with the hopelessness of the situation, the alcoholic will not, cannot, must not see the reality of his life.

What is the answer? Steps 1, 2, 3. Whether I am the alcoholic or the person living with the alcoholic, the solution is the same. I must admit my powerlessness (over alcohol or the alcohol the other person is drinking), recognize and accept that only God can restore sanity, and make the decision to stop trying to fix things myself. I need to turn my will and my life over to God's care.


Powerlessness - need of God's power.

Insanity - God, good orderly direction, can restore me to sanity.
A life out of control - living in God's will can bring order
.

God bless,

Prayer Girl

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday 11/23/09 - "WHAT DO YOU SEE?"

"WHAT DO YOU SEE?"

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see happy or sad? Do you see old or young, beautiful or ugly? Do you see fear or trust? Do you see incompetence or competence? Do you see shame or acceptance? Do you see slavery or freedom? Do you see clearly or dimly?

My answers to all these questions have been dependent upon my recovery. Finding Alcoholics Anonymous and later Al-Anon, working the 12 steps, and living a life of recovery has gradually changed my answers from the negative to the positive.

Happiness has replaced sadness as the norm in my life. I am no longer living in a state of constant depression. Today when I am sad, I take action to alleviate that mood. I talk to my sponsor, journal, go to a meeting, take positive actions that make me feel better - take a walk, be in nature, or visit a friend.

Do I see old or young, beautiful or ugly? This answer is too often a function of my self-image, how much I see myself through the eyes of others. The more I value, love, and honor myself, the younger and prettier I feel.

The result of working all 12 steps is a spiritual awakening and the formation of a spiritual connection with God. The closer I stay to God, the more my life is guided by trust, not fear.

I used to feel totally incompetent in all areas. My self-esteem was in the sub-basement. I felt that way whether I was performing poorly or brilliantly. It made no difference. Today, my self-esteem is "right sized". I am able to see myself clearly. I forgive myself for mistakes I make and do what I can to improve. I also give myself credit where it is due.

Shame is pretty much a thing of the past. If it slips in, I remember that I am a child of God and that I am totally accepted as I am. If I do something I regret, rather than feel shame, I take action to make amends - to put things right.

I used to be a slave to my emotions and crazy thinking, a slave to obsessive behaviors, a slave to alcohol. AA set me free from the bondage of alcohol. Al-Anon has continued to free me from past negative patterns of thinking and acting.

Do I see clearly or dimly? Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 have allowed my mind to move out of confusion and darkness into the light of truth.

Thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and the 12 steps.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: feel old by hekatus at deviant art)

Sunday 11/22/09 - "SUN DAY GRATITUDE"

"SUN DAY GRATITUDE"

It is "Sun day", a beautiful morning with lots of sunshine, and my soul is full of gratitude.

I am grateful for:

the sun that will kiss me, not bake me today

the fact that God has changed me enough that I am able to have brief moments of clarity - that in these fleeting crystal clear moments I am able to see certain events of my life and patterns of my behavior that help me understand myself and others.

the grace of God that touched Bill Wilson and that this touch brought Alcoholics Anonymous into existence to save my life and the lives of countless others.

the ability to grow quiet enough to listen for that softest of voices deep down inside me and to be able to hear.

my faith and trust that "all is well" if I continue to listen for that still small voice within, just follow the gentle nudging and prompting of that voice, and allow it to lead me in the right directions.

the opportunities God gives me to touch others with my hands, words, and sensitivity - that when these moments occur, they leave me with an overwhelming conviction of the love of God.

my family, friends, and blogger companions.

all creatures great and small including my great big 85 pound foster dog, Lucky, and my small 14 pound kitty, Bert - may they learn to live in peace.

the sponsee I will meet this morning and the home group Al-Anon meeting I will attend.

the chili recipe I will make this afternoon and enjoy this evening.

the ability to write and read blogs.

the love I feel in my heart.

Prayer Girl

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saturday 11/21/09 - "BLOCKED"

SIX WORD SATURDAY
"BLOCKED"



BLOCKED?

FEARFUL?

SURRENDER!


PRAY!

LISTEN!

TRUST!

Prayer Girl

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday 11/20/09 - "CONTEMPLATION"

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY 55

"CONTEMPLATION"



Hours passed sitting alone, head bent, staring, asking, "Is it an in or an out?"

*
She was contemplating the fuzzy parachutes on the dandelion puff ball. How many would land to grow and how many float into oblivion?

She thought, "There must be more to life than sitting wondering if there is more to life." **

Prayer Girl


(* Photo credit: Image taken from: http://imagecache.allposters.com/images/pic/PTGPOD/345660-FB%7EDandelions-Blowing-in-the-Wind-Posters.jpg)
** Quote by - Unknown


Flash Fiction Friday 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, November 18, 2009

Thursday 11/19/09 - "THANK YOU SARAH"

"THANK YOU SARAH"

My day began in such a beautiful way with an award from Sarah. The sun is up and shining bright and this award has me glowing even brighter. Thank you Sarah.

The rules of this award are:

1. Thank whoever gave this to you

2. Copy award

3. Post it in your blog

4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don't know

5. Link 7 new bloggers
6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog

7. Keep being awesome!


The list of 7 things readers don't know will be difficult. I have been blogging over a year and during that time I have pretty much "let my hair down" and there is very little I haven't shared. On the other hand, newer readers may not know some of these things so I'm repeating a few.


My list of 7 things

1. I have a habit of "counting". I often count the number of people in an Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon meeting. If others enter after I have counted, I recount.


2. When seated in a restaurant or meeting room, I prefer to be seated facing away from a wall and looking out over the larger part of the space.

3. I received a number years ago. "My" number is 141. I will often just happen to look at a clock at 1:41 or see items that cost $1.41 or the unit price of $1.41.


4. Receiving the gift of a healing touch has completely changed how I look at everything - you, me, the world, life, God.


5. I dreamed my own death and didn't die....thank God. :)


6. When poems come to me, I consider them cherished parts of me and they change my world.

7. My second toes (those next to my big toes) are longer than the big toe and all the other toes. Someone once told me that was a sign of intelligence. I think that someone (he) was trying to "hit" on me. :)


8. I tend to break the rules of blog awards, but bloggers are forgiving and still pass awards on to me. Thank you all.


And, again, thank you Sarah.


Prayer Girl

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday 11/18/09 - "ALL IN A ROW"

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY
"AND TROPICAL BIRDS
ALL IN A ROW"










Prayer Girl

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tuesday 11/17/09 - "A DOOR INTO LIGHT"

"A DOOR INTO LIGHT"


"The action of Step Four gives us new-found courage and permission to love ourselves. The door is now open to new horizons of growth and a spiritual awakening we have never before experienced."

"People compared doing the Fourth Step to opening the door of a closet that has been locked for a long time, or looking into a mirror that I've been avoiding."

"Each spiritual awakening added another measure of light to my life."

(From "Paths to Recovery - Al-Anon's Steps, Traditions, and Concepts", pp. 43 & 46)


Though these excerpts come from an Al-Anon step book, they reflect how it was when I first got sober in Alcoholics Anonymous. I did not get and stay sober until I took the first three steps. When I woke up from my last drunk, I woke up changed in mind, body, and spirit.

I gave up. I surrendered. I "hit bottom". I suddenly understood clearly how powerless I was over alcohol and how insane my behavior was. I understood that I was an alcoholic, it was a fatal disease, and I needed power that I didn't possess to restore me to sanity. I gave up "thinking" - thinking about what I could or could not do (I had to be willing to go to any lengths), thinking about what was good or not good for me, thinking I had any idea how to stay sober. I turned my life over at that moment. I knew that I would find the answers in Alcoholics Anonymous.

I was led into treatment and when I came back home I knew I had to rid myself of the horrible shame and guilt I had needlessly carried around for too many years. I needed to "wash my spirit clean". I had to work step 4. I was filled with not just courage, but with an urgent desire to dump the past as quickly and completely as possible. God knew and I knew that if I didn't do this, I would be at risk of drinking again. I am glad I was willing to take a deep look into myself - no matter what I found.

I stopped blocking the truth, shared it with another person and with God. This action gradually opened the door to the truth I had kept from my own awareness. The 4th, 5th, and remaining 12 steps have brought me to a spiritual awakening, a spiritual connection that provides the power I lack. It is a power that never fails me. It is the power I need to live life and stay sober.

I took the action of the twelve steps. My life began to fill with light. The longer I continue to live according to these steps, the more light enters.

I pray God that light will enter your lives.

Prayer Girl


P.S. Ever since I posted yesterdays blog, I realize I have even more names for daughter's dog. I also call Lucky "Mr. Dog" and "Big Guy". :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Monday 11/16/09 - "MEET LUCKY!"




MEET LUCKY!
(Rhodesian Ridgeback, German Shepherd mix extraordinaire)

This is 'Lucky', daughter's dog. He is a very sweet, happy, playful, happy-go-'lucky', loving puppy. And he loves to lick. It's almost an obsession with him. Though his name is Lucky, I have some other names I use for him. I call him 'Baby', I call him 'Lucky', and sometimes I even call him 'Lickey Lucky'. He responds to them all. :)

This morning I heard two very funny one-liners in my home group Al-Anon meeting.

LET GO OR BE DRAGGED.
and
FUN IS THE OTHER 'F' WORD.
:)

I heard this in another Al-Anon meeting and loved it - No one ever has to explain a "YES" answer!

My face lights up with happiness at these thoughts:

Today was a gloriously sunny day with a beautiful soft breeze, high around 80, and a perfect day for an AA picnic. I saw many people I knew there and had the pure pleasure of seeing and sitting with my daughter and some of the other young people from the treatment center.

A girl I admire greatly from Alcoholics Anonymous asked me to sponsor her in Al-Anon. What a gift to be able to pass that program on to someone I love.

I will have the opportunity to visit patients tomorrow in the hospital. I wonder what that will bring. It is always a unique 'experience'.

I talked with my son tonight. He and his wife had a fun-packed weekend including the wedding of friends and an early Thanksgiving dinner with his wife's parents who are visiting from out of town, her sister's family, and her brother. It sounded like a wonderful time and it makes me happy to hear them happy.

I just lit my candles sending prayers for loved ones heavenward. They are in front of me as I blog and I will leave them burning for a while.

Thank God that finally after several crazy hours of cat and dog 'stuff', Lucky understood how very serious I was when I yelled for him to leave kitty alone and he finally went to his mat to lie down and he's sleeping. Kitty is lying quietly on the back of the sofa near my shoulder and he's sleeping too. They wore themselves out so, for the moment, all is calm and I am grateful. One of the candles I just lit was for Lucky and Bert.

I have had the time to read blogs this evening and that makes me happy.

Bedtime will be coming soon. :)

Love and prayers,
Prayer Girl

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday 11/15/09 - "BE CAREFUL OF YOUR THOUGHTS"

"BE CAREFUL OF YOUR THOUGHTS"


Be careful of your thoughts

For your thoughts become your words.

Be careful of your words

For your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions

For your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits

For your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character

For your character becomes your destiny.
- - author unknown



WHAT IT WAS LIKE:
I was filled with thoughts of limitation, unworthiness, fear, and emptiness.
The words that left my mouth reflected self-doubt, being less than, and self-deprecation.
I feared to act boldly and quit even when I had success within my grasp.
These thoughts, words, and actions were habitually woven throughout all areas of my life.
The result of such negativity was my choice to use alcohol to cope - eroding my character.
My destiny seemed sealed in destruction as my alcoholism progressed.

WHAT HAPPENED? I FOUND SOBRIETY! I CHANGED!
I became filled with thoughts of sobriety, hope, freedom, happiness, and joyousness.
Words like God, love, you (not me), peace, beautiful, more than, found their way into expression.
I took the actions of the twelve steps, turning my life over to God, searching my character, and righting myself with others.
I developed the habit of steps 10, 11, and 12 - reviewing my actions daily, praying and meditating, and living the principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs.
Over the years of maintaining these habits, my character has been strengthened and my relationship with God has grown.
My destiny is unknown to me, but I do know that it is blessed.

Love you all,
Prayer Girl

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friday 11/13/09 - "I REMEMBER"


FLASH FICTION FRIDAY 55



"I REMEMBER"

I remember:
Mom and me hugging, kissing till my first puppy barked in jealousy and we giggled with glee.

Playing cowgirl on my horse - my little bicycle equipped with holster with toy rifle, saddlebags, the works.

Roaming with friends through a deserted mansion - weaving stories of the lives of unseen people who had lived there.

Prayer Girl


Flash Fiction Friday 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, November 11, 2009

Thursday 11/12/09 - "NOT BUMPER STICKERS, BUT BUTT-KICKERS"



"NOT BUMPER STICKERS, BUT BUTT-KICKERS"

I was asked to prepare a topic for our Tuesday Al-Anon meeting. I chose a section from "Opening our Hearts - Transforming our Losses", the reader we use for this meeting.

I picked "Making use of the slogans", p. 148-149. A few sentences shouted out to me and gained my attention. Here are a few of them.

"...the simplicity of our slogans is what makes them so effective."

"If we are having a hard time focusing our attention, we can simply turn to the slogans."

"Al-Anon slogans and phrases are quick reminders for us to stop whatever we are doing and focus on some aspect of taking care of ourselves."

"When fears about the future bombard us, "One Day at a Time" and "Let Go and Let God" can help us focus on this day, this moment."

"Our slogans can help calm us when we are anxious."
________________________________

The slogans serve me well when the s--t is hitting the fan and I am in crisis dealing with chaotic emotions and thoughts. These one-liners are often what come to mind when the head is swirling. The simplicity of the ideas they express make them manageable. Sometimes what I need to remember is to just KEEP IT SIMPLE or remind myself - EASY DOES IT!

Here are a few things I heard in this meeting.

The slogans aren't just bumpers stickers, they're butt-kickers.
The slogans aren't just slogans, they are profound advice.
Slogans are life savers - not concrete building blocks.

________________________________
Even though these slogans are short, that is no indication that they are of lesser value.

We talked about LET IT BEGIN WITH ME. We needed to take responsibility for ourselves, for our own lives - that responsibility had to begin with each one of us.

I then thought about shortening this phrase to LET IT BE. I was thinking about how often I have to let things be what they are. If I am powerless and cannot control a situation or cure someone, then I need to let it be. (surrender) I can use the Serenity Prayer and ask God to grant me the courage to change anything I can and ask for the wisdom to know what that might be, but otherwise I need to accept it - LET IT BE.

I spent many years before recovery denying, distorting, ignoring my feelings. When I found recovery and had worked the 12 steps, I came to understand how important it was to feel my feelings. If I stuff them, they will corrupt me and make me sick. I also learned that if I allow my feelings expression, they will eventually pass.

JUST FOR TODAY I need to LET IT BE!

Another one-liner that can help put things in perspective is HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
Is it a lump in your oatmeal?
Is it a lump in your throat?
Is it a lump in your breast?

A non recovery one-liner that a lot of us heard from our mothers was:
YOU MADE YOUR BED, NOW YOU MUST LIE IN IT.

Today, my response to this idea is that I don't have to lie in that bed. I can throw the bed out, sleep in a different bed, buy a new bed, or sleep on an inflatable mattress. I have learned new ways of dealing with life and I like it. :)

NIGHT ALL!
Prayer Girl

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wednesday 11/11/09 - "I WISH!!!"


WORDLESS WEDNESDAY
"I WISH!!!!!!!!!!!"



Prayer Girl

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday 11/10/09 - "AN UNEXPECTED GIFT"

"AN UNEXPECTED GIFT"

I never know what will happen when I show up to volunteer at the hospital. Sometimes I am assigned to one of the two towers of the hospital and sometimes the other. I never know whether there will be a lot of people requesting pastoral visits or just a few. My priority is to visit those requesting pastoral care first before seeing those admitted more recently.

Today, the tower that tends to be the more difficult (in my opinion) and is generally assigned to the gentleman I shadowed when I first started, was the one I was assigned. My mentor was sick. There were a lot of requests for visits.

The very first woman I saw turned out to be a blessing, a gift to me.
As I entered her room, it was dark and quiet. I softly called out her name and she beckoned me to enter. I told her who I was and why I was there. She said she would like me to visit. She apologized right away because she was feeling very sick, nauseous, and was sucking on some type of medication to relieve the nausea.

I sat down and asked her some general questions about herself. She quietly answered. After several minutes I asked if I could hold her hand, she said yes, and I took hold of her right hand with my left one. She gripped mine strongly and I placed my right hand over our clasped hands. We just sat in the silence, in the darkened room, this way, for what seemed a long time.
In that silence, she suddenly said to me, "You have a gift". I was surprised and told her, "Yes, I do. I have a healing touch." I told her it was the first time I could remember someone saying that to me so spontaneously. She told me it surprised her that I took hold of her right hand. She said a year previously she had broken a finger on that right hand and when it healed had physical therapy. But there was pain that remained in that finger. When I held her hand that pain left. I had been praying in my mind as I usually do as I held her hand.

We held hands and talked a little longer. She was waiting to be taken for some type of procedure using a scope inserted down her esophagus. Near the end of the visit, we prayed. I asked her if there was anywhere else she wished me to touch and she immediately asked for a hug. I took her in my arms and as we embraced I found tears coming to my eyes. She said, "Please don't cry" and I told her they were tears of joy. She then told me she was feeling better in general.
I walked out of this young woman's room (she was 36) feeling as though my feet were not touching the floor. I have felt lifted up the rest of the day.

All I can say now is, "Thank you God for this beautiful gift you have given me." It gives hope and relief, peace and calm to troubled people, people in pain. And what it does for me is indescribably wonderful. I am humbled to have been blessed in this way. I am filled with gratitude.


I share this story that it might uplift others as it lifts me up.


Prayer Girl

P.S. I did go to the gym after volunteering - first time in almost two weeks. It felt good and I'm so glad I followed through. It boosts my confidence to do what I know is good for me, to take care of myself.

Monday 11/9/09 - "A QUICK BLOG"

"A QUICK BLOG"

This is not a picture of me - wrong age - but she looks how I feel today. I feel pretty darn good.

Yesterday was another jam packed day. It began with my home group Al-Anon meeting where we talked a lot about boundaries. That would be a blog for another time. It was a great topic and a great meeting.

I met with a sponsee to work on step 10. We are using the Al-Anon book, "Paths to Recovery". It never ceases to amaze me how people gradually change. They read a step, answer questions, we discuss, they continue to live life one day at a time, go to meetings, call their sponsor and other program friends, develop a relationship with their higher power, and - - they begin to get better.


After that meeting I saw sweet daughter at the treatment facility. Hubby and I went and it was so wonderful to see her. We saw her room, the areas where she is living her life for this month. We sat outside in the cool breezes and talked about whatever came to mind. Her sponsor was there when we arrived. Oh happy day! The half hour blew by too quickly. I know I will see her again before next visiting day somewhere at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting just like I did on Saturday. The ladies from the center were brought to the noon women's meeting I attend regularly.

Fast forward through to today. I am leaving for the hospital soon. I have not been to the gym in about two weeks and I vow I'm going after volunteering. Please hold me to it, bloggers. After that, I'll be meeting up with Mr. Steve for my favorite Starbucks latte.

A little cooler weather is scheduled to arrive in a day or two. I'm excited and eagerly look forward to that with happy anticipation.

I am grateful today - grateful:
to be able to live in the moment more frequently than I used to

to believe in the power of prayer and to pray often

to have candles in my family room that I can light and watch the smoke drift to heaven with my prayers mingled there

for the tremendous love I feel and joyfully act upon for my husband, daughter, son, and son's wife

for my kitty and doggy - may they develop peace and maybe even some companionship between them

for my blogging community, my blogger friends

Love and prayers,
Prayer Girl

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sunday 11/8/09 - "BLESSING THE ANIMALS "

"BLESSING THE ANIMALS"

I'll start with a follow-up comment of my own about yesterdays blog, "Lucky & Bert".

The six words, "Peace is a work in progress" can be clarified at the present moment in this way:

Progress is very slow
Peace seems to be a very distant possibility
It will take a lot of work
I have faith

This is why I chose for my blog a photo of a mural, "The Blessing of the Animals", depicting St. Francis of Assisi who had such love for all living creatures.

I ask St. Francis to bless the progress towards peace that Lucky and Bert are making.

Some other blessings I ask God for:

Please bless alcoholics and addicts everywhere who are:
Not even aware yet of the disease they harbor in their mind, body, and spirit. May their lives bring them to a place of awareness and subsequent surrender that they may discover the possibility of health and a new life

Newly sober and straight people struggling to live one day at a time without using a substance to cope with life. Place in their lives recovering people, circumstances, and experiences that will encourage them to "go to any lengths" to hold on to their new lives.

Sober and straight for years, but struggling with situations that are challenging. Help them remember that their sobriety is the most important thing in their lives, to reach out for help, and rely on God for the strength they lack.

I pray blessings for the many who have lost their jobs, had their work hours cut, or are in fear of losing their livelihood. May they live in today and rely on God for their daily bread.

Bless those who are being or have been abused in any way. Knowing that God can turn even the worst of experiences to the good, we ask God to guide us.

Today has been another very busy and emotional day. Time to pull the shades on this 24 hours, turn out the lights, and sleep in the care of God.

Goodnight to all you bloggers. I love you.


Prayer Girl

Friday, November 6, 2009

Saturday 11/7/09 - "LUCKY & BERT"


SIX WORD SATURDAY

"LUCKY & BERT"
















PEACE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS!

Prayer Girl

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friday 11/6/09 - "BETWEEN THE ATOMS"


FLASH FICTION FRIDAY 55



"BETWEEN THE ATOMS"

It slipped into my soul on breath of gentle breeze
Arrived on unseen angels' whispering willowy wings
Came captured in the wispy Queen Anne's airy lace

Was layered in the vibrant colors bright, as butterflies alight


Thank God my gaze was held between the atoms' silent spiraling spaces small

For there, was love, in all

Prayer Girl

Flash Fiction Friday 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, November 4, 2009

Thursday 11/5/09 - "FEAR WILL LEAVE US"


First - thank you Dream Dancer for this blog award.
I appreciate the award and your kind words written on your blog.
Love you much.


"FEAR OF PEOPLE AND OF
ECONOMIC INSECURITY

WILL LEAVE US"

("Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 84 - 9th 9th step promise)

I just realized that I never finished my blog series on the 9th step promises. The last one written was the 8th promise and that was blogged on 9/13/09. Life has sidetracked me. I'm ready, at least for today, to pick up where I left off. That brings me to the 9th promise, "Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us."

In the beginning of my sobriety I was filled with fears of all kinds. Many of them were nameless, but there were plenty I could put a label on. I was unemployed and unemployable at the end of my drinking. Eventually I did get a job, but it paid barely over minimum wage. Within a year or so I was separated and then divorced. I had two children to care for and though I got the house, I also got the mortgage. My car was old and prone to breaking down. I was in constant fear that I would not be able to pay my bills. I was forever filling out pieces of paper with lines down the center. On one side would be the income figures and on the other side of the line the expenses. It was always in the red and worried and talked about it a lot. But somehow I always managed to pay the bills month after month and year after year. Over the years my income increased and God continued to meet my financial needs in His way. Through these experiences, I have lost that fear of economic insecurity. I know today that God will take care of me as long as I do my part.

The job I found was surely God-sent, but that did not prevent me from fearing the people I worked for and with. I was in fear that I would not do a good enough job, fear that I would disappoint my employer. I was even fearful of other people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know now that most of my fear of people stemmed from my perfectionism, people-pleasing personality, and plain old low self-esteem. I was afraid to approach people talking in groups after an AA meeting. I was sure that my presence would be intrusive. What a horrible feeling. It probably took at least a year for that to improve. I finally came to believe that people really could just like me the way I was. I know now that I came to this belief when I finally accepted and liked myself.

These changes in me came about as a result of not drinking and working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. What a miracle it is to watch a life be transformed as the result of doing the work required by the steps. I experienced this miracle myself and am awed every time I watch these same changes in a sponsee or other newcomer.

How grateful I am to live a life without the burden of overwhelming fears. There is power in the steps - of that I am sure.

Prayer Girl
(Photo credit: against the tide by midnightskies7 at deviant art.com
)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wednesday 11/4/09 - "I AM ALONE"


ALMOST WORDLESS WEDNESDAY
"I AM ALONE"















I call this an almost wordless Wednesday because I have blogged this poem before. It is my favorite, most cherished one and these pictures are a visual expression of the words I wrote.

I AM ALONE

I am alone
Amidst a wide expanse
Of flame and frenzy bright
I tower far above
A meadow bursting forth
In wild, profuse delight

I am alone
Yet know a voice
Of petals bending in the breeze
I reach to hear
Yet only catch the wind
I listen past my ears

And I hear the vastness
Of the thousand petals
Stretching out beyond my sight
A feather bed in which to lie
Cascade around my head
A velvet, silk-soft coverlet

And I am not alone
Nor alien in their midst
They offer forth their honey scent
Show off their coverings bright
Bend gently to my softest touch
And whisper we are one

Prayer Girl

Tuesday 11/3/09 - "DOG, CAT, AND ME MAKE THREE"

"DOG, CAT, AND ME MAKE THREE"


Though we have not had dog Lucky and cat Bert anywhere near water and this is not a picture of our beloved pets, this picture does depict the scene in our house much of the time.


This picture captures the reverse of what normally happens. Kitty seems to be rubbing up against doggy's head. What really goes on is dog is pushing his head into kitty at every possible moment.


This is the goal. Will it ever happen? Time will tell.

Daughter will be leaving tomorrow morning for 28 days and the love, care, and training of "the animals" will be in the hands of hubby and me. Both animals display a certain obsession for each other. Doggy wants to play and be great friends with kitty. Kitty, on the other hand, wants to hiss, spit, swipe out with his paws and generally try to put dog in his place. At the same time, Kitty will "egg on" the dog and almost lures him to harass him.

The players in this drama are ill-matched. Bert is about 14 years old and weighs 12 pounds. Lucky is 2 years old and weighs 85 pounds. Bert is old and set in his ways. Lucky is a youngster full of playful puppiness. Of the two, I think the one who is more likely to be open to "training" and change is Mr. Dog.

I will be using every tool I have learned in my years of sobriety. The twelfth step directs me to practice these Alcoholics Anonymous principles in ALL MY AFFAIRS. Doing my part to foster reduction or the taming down of the skirmishes between Lucky and Bert fall into this category. I need to practice, practice, practice patience, persistence, and being kind in my treatment and guidance of both animals.

I will keep my blogging friends updated on any and all progress.

Prayer Girl