Tuesday, March 30, 2010




Prayer Girl

* From "Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 25

(Photo credits:

Alien Thoughts by Popa Florin@deviantart.com

Another Dimension by ladyrapid@deviantart.com

To See In Another Dimension by peewee82@deviantart.com

Quest for the Fourth Dimension by Jonathan Shih@deviantart.com)

Monday, March 29, 2010



I used to live life in black and white. I remember the first television my family ever owned. I was about four when it arrived in our house and it's picture was in black and white. It was fascination at first sight and I loved it. Life was played out in black and white on that set and in the same way my thinking developed in those two stark contrasting colors.

One of the ways I coped with a chaotic mind and erratic emotions was to quickly classify unpleasant or disruptive thoughts and feelings into categories of black or white. If I could pigeonhole them then I did not have to think about or experience them anymore. Things were either good or bad, evil or holy, all or nothing, smart or dumb, wise or foolish, pretty or ugly, perfect or worthless, etc. etc. I had no idea this method of coping was destructive.

Living in this world devoid of shades and colors of thought and emotion was crippling. I engaged in many types of behaviors that I did not recognize as self-destructive. I lived in a world of escape.The final blow to my denial was my deadly confrontation with alcoholism. That got my attention. It brought me to my knees and I surrendered.

Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon has shown me a different way to live, think, and feel. I have discovered the many shades of gray that exist between black and white. However I retain one black and white item. I am an alcoholic, alcohol is poison to me, I don't drink, no gray.

Otherwise life today is full of an infinite variety of shades of gray. In meetings I hear, "There is a little bit of good in the worst of us and a little bit of bad in the best of us." I understand this today.

Life is full and rich. Life is good.

Prayer Girl
(Photo credit: tears of a rainbow 2 by tristefleur@deviantart.com)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monday 3/29/10 - "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SON"


39 years ago this night I was laboring away in a hospital delivery room in Bethesda, Maryland. It was back in the "olden days" - before Lamaze births, before delivering babies became a more civilized affair, before it was routine to be able to identify the sex of the coming baby. I was totally alone, screaming, visited intermittently by nurses till finally at 3:00 a.m. 3/29 you arrived.

I was so delighted that my first child was a boy. You were perfect. My memory of past events is not always the best, but I remember that night and your birth vividly. I always will.

So, son, happy birthday. I have been proud of you always. I was proud of you when you were a little boy, proud of your accomplishments in scouting, school, and friendships. I was proud of your compassionate heart when you were so helpful while living with your grandparents. You worked, went to college, and were there for them as well. I was so proud of you when you graduated from college and your success in your chosen profession. Things have not always been easy for you, but you have a wonderful spirit that rises to all challenges. You have grown into a man that I continue to be proud of. I am so happy that you will be celebrating your first year wedding anniversary in just 6 days on April 4th. My heart is filled with happiness that you are happy.





Prayer Girl
(Photo credit: birthday cake by vonzilla@deviantart.com)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday 3/27/10 - "FILL THE VOID"




- - unless I come to Starbucks again :)





Prayer Girl

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday 3/26/10 - "SILENCE"



Hushed hallowed space
Outside sounds all around
Of birds and breezes
Of running in the rain

Inside total silence reigns
Exquisite interior quiet
Peace and prayer exist
There in that universal union
One with God

All is still, sweet silence
No note, no tune, no word
Just miracle muted music pure
Love's power sure

Prayer Girl
(Photo credits:
still winter by luvne32
silence by vebri rizcha carolin@deviantart.com)

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010




Prayer Girl
(Photo credits: Heaven by TazGold@deviantart.com
Crossing Over by RileyRican@deviantart.com

the journey to heaven by BlackEyesSnowAngel@deviantart.com)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday 3/23/10 - "HANDS OFF"


"How often we hear it said at meetings that the alcoholic is a past master in the art of conniving and manipulating us to get his own way.........do we realize that we ourselves have often been guilty of the same fault? Haven't we tried all sorts of tricks to outwit him - to make him stop drinking, to make him join AA, to make him go to more meetings, or go to fewer meetings? Am I being perfectly honest and fair when I meddle and manipulate our situation?......am I still trying to be the boss?"

"Al-Anon principles set a pattern before me: to work on myself and to stop interfering with others. The words for this procedure are "hands off!""
From "One Day at a Time", March 23, p. 83.

I have to love this same message that comes wrapped in so many different ways.

Here comes another dose of REPETITION:

There are two kinds of business - my business and none of my business.

If I have an imaginary hula hoop around me, everything inside that hula hoop is my business and everything outside of it is none of my business

AND - now there is "HANDS OFF"

Even an obsessive mind that has been tamed by many years of healthier thinking in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon can still revert to the old pattern of shifting my focus from myself to someone else. Are the alcoholics in my life going to too many meetings or too few? Is that any of my affair? Absolutely not. I need to keep my attention on my own life, my own number of meetings, my own spiritual condition, my own growth.

I can't remember my family ever telling me I was overly or under involved in AA. When I came home from treatment my husband finally left that alone and my parents knew very little about alcoholism and didn't live where I did so they had no opinion. For better or worse, even my sponsor did not monitor the number of meetings I attended.

I have sponsored a lot of women and many have been in relationships where their spouses weren't real happy about the pattern of partying being interrupted. They would often say, "You're going to too many meetings." Then there are families full of fear constantly suggesting the alcoholic is not going to enough meetings. To me these behaviors are all understandable. People act out of fear and don't like change. However, these reactions can be very destructive.

This is why I love Al-Anon so much. I love the freedom I have to explore my own journey with God while I allow others the same right to choose how they will walk their journey. God has had a way of correcting me when I strayed too near the edge of the right path. The best I can do for other family members and friends is allow them the same courtesy. God is in charge, not me. I can always pray for them.

At this moment I am in the right place in my mind and grateful for it. Today I am in "HANDS OFF" mode. :)

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Hands Off by allison712@deviantart.com)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday 3/22/10 - "THIS DAY"


This day I choose to remember:

Where I came from. I was a hopeless drunk on her way to death sooner rather than later. Alcohol had snared me up into it's deadly trap.

The miracle of sobriety. God reached out with his miracle healing love and offered me the precious gift of sobriety. I reached out and grabbed hold of that gift.

Life is not always as I would choose it to be, but I can choose the attitudes I will hold as I walk through each day one-day-at-a-time.

God will never desert me. God will never give me more than I can handle WITH HIS HELP. There may be times when I doubt the truth of this statement, but if I will look back at my experience, strength, and hope I will know it is, in fact, true.

God holds closely those I love. They have a Higher Power and that power loves them with the force and energy of creation.

If one-day-at-a-time seems too long a time to handle, I can live life one hour-at-a-time or even one-minute-at-a-time.

I am powerless over other people, places, and things. I am powerless over their choices and behaviors. Rather than allow that to drive me crazy I can decide to turn them over to God with a trusting heart.

It is my responsibility to deal with my resentments. I can choose to allow them to take root in the soil of my soul and cut off the sunlight from the spirit or I can get to work with the tools of my Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs such as sharing with another recovering person how I am feeling and what I am thinking, forgiving the other person, praying for them, and asking God for help.

God will be with me as I visit patients in the hospital.

God will give me the strength for today even though I slept very little last night.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Beauty and Death Unmasked by incoldmirrors)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday 3/20/10 - "THE ANSWER"





Prayer Girl

(Photo credits:
Your God by My Nightmare@deviantart.com
Question Mark by quartertofour@deviantart.com)

Friday, March 19, 2010




Born in a seashore village
Bereft of refinements of any kind
The sea played mystical magical music to her
Mind, body, and soul swayed
She bounded boulder to boulder
Years passed
She pranced rock to rock
One day a pirouette emerged and as she twirled
Off into the sky she soared
The heavens above opened

Prayer Girl
(Photo credit: Re Creation of Above the Ocean by Dreamypunk@deviantart.com)

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thursday 3/18/10 - "SWEET REMEMBERING - PART 1"


I'm thinking about the patterns of my life and the rich variety of experiences that make up the "me" I have become. I have many wonderful memories, many painful ones, and lots in between. It has taken most of my life, but today I love the "me" I am and it took every experience I have had to bring me to this place.

I remember my childhood in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. There are so many memories of a childhood filled with play. I was such a sensitive child and emotionally I became very twisted inside, but I believe the fantasy and play life I led with my neighborhood friends provided a little balance to that pain. It provided escape. We ran in packs around our block playing hide-and-seek, spinning ourselves around til we fell down dizzy, catching fireflies at dusk, climbing trees to live in imaginary tree houses or in the fall to jump into piles of leaves below.

When I was a little older we explored a deserted mansion in the area weaving make believe stories of the people who had lived there. Two sisters and I put on a play for our families in my living room, "Little Women". It has been so long I don't remember what part I played, but I still have a picture of us with our shawls around our shoulders and our parents, our audience, sitting around the edges of the big room.

I remember my first bicycle with training wheels and how proud I was the day those wheels came off and I remained upright on that bike. It became my horse and I the cowgirl in her cowgirl outfit rode that horse everywhere. I was equipped with saddlebags to carry my most special things, a water container, and my rifle. My horse bike and I explored a broader world together.

Mixed up thoughts and feelings grew in me as I grew older, but God was good and sweet memories continued in spite of myself. I will sit with these memories for now, savor them, and save some for a later post.

I am feeling very nostalgic and I am allowing the sweetness, the goodness of those memories to lift my soul.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Autumn's Child by Pinktutu@deviantart.com)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wednesday 3/17/10 - "MYSTERY OF CREATION"



Prayer Girl

(Photo credits:
Creation by sarettal@deviantart.com
Creation by PhunBlazt@deviantart.com
There Is No Tomorrow by darkmatter257@deviantart.com
Creation of Life by siffen@deviantart.com
Mother & Baby by Abhijit Naikdesai - Kodak Picture of the Day
The girl planted within clouds by musketeergurl@deviantart.com)

Tuesday 3/16/10 - "PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS"


Tuesday was filled with people, places, and things. Morning brought prayers that my hospital volunteering would be directed by God. When I arrived the other Monday volunteer was sick so I had my choice of south or north tower. I chose to see the patients where there was a request for visiting in both towers.

The last visit remains in my mind - a lesson in the unpredictability of life. I entered a room where an old woman in a wheelchair was sitting beside her bed eating her lunch and another younger woman was seated by the window reading (her daughter). I discovered during the course of the visit that the patient's 90th birthday was coming up on March 21st and she had booked a celebration cruise for herself, her two daughters and their children. The family members going with the patient had never been on a cruise and it was to be a magical time for all. Several days earlier, this elderly woman fell and broke her hip - no cruise for her. One daughter and her children had already canceled their reservation. I don't know the details of how she broke her hip, but she told me it happened because she wasn't minding her own business.

I sum up what I found in that room: She was inconsolable.
I could identify with her situation. We prayed. I can only hope God gave me the right words that would lessen her self-hatred, loathing, and deep sadness and regret.

After the hospital Steve and I met my son visiting from Tampa for lunch. We had a wonderful meal and conversation. His birthday is the 29th so he got his present early. After lunch we had coffee at Starbucks. I tried their new espresso drink, cherry mocha latte. Delicious. I decided to skip worrying about the calories in it and just enjoyed it.

Next came a walk with Mr. Dog in the still beautiful sunshiny low 70s day. I am delighting in this weather as long as it lasts. A 20 minute walk I can handle and seems to be enough for Lucky to expend his pent-up energy and give his bloodhound-like nose plenty of activity.

I had a long talk with my Al-Anon sponsor and I was filled with gratitude that I have this woman in my life. She grounds me.

Daughter and I rounded out the day with dinner out with longtime friends. I ate two cherry pastries so now I will be back to the gym and watching the calories.

Life is good. Life is unpredictable. I have learned to focus on appreciating each moment of each day, one day at a time.

I pray God blesses your day.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: The balloon carrier by worthyG@deviantart.com)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Monday 3/15/10 - "MY CUP"


99.9999% of everything I say or write I have heard from someone else; either in a meeting, in a social setting, or read somewhere. Nothing is uniquely my own idea.

However when I wrote about boundaries with soft edges, I had never heard that before. As far as I know it belongs in that .0001% category. If it has been said before I haven't heard it.

Today in my home group Al-Anon meeting as I was listening to the lead and to members sharing another thought entered my mind that I have never heard before. We were discussing the reading of March 12th, p. 72 in "Hope for Today". The sentence that caught my attention was "...a negative attitude invites self-pity and discontent."

Until I found recovery I lived in negativity and self-pity that nearly drowned me. I swam in a tumultuous sea of depression. I am an alcoholic and I qualify for membership in Al-Anon having grown up with an alcoholic brother and then being married to an active alcoholic for nearly 20 years.

The thought that I had and shared in the meeting was this:

The alcoholic says, "Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink."
The Al-Anoner says, "Poor me, poor me, pour me a cup of self-pity."

Thank God I don't have to live that way anymore. Either cup full whether of alcohol or self-pity holds the power to kill me. Today I know how to use the power of prayer and all the other tools of the programs to move out of negative thinking and the resulting self-pity. I no longer have to pour a drink or a cup of self-pity.

Thank you God.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: My Cup of Phantomhive by Taymeho@deviantart.com)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday 3/14/10 - "GIVING THANKS"


I have so much to be thankful for.

I have learned how to move through difficult times knowing they will pass. When I am upset I can turn to my sponsor, friends, and tools of the program to guide me through and back to happiness. Everything passes. I no longer feel hopeless. I have learned I 'always' have choices. I have found freedom.

I am filled with joy that after 3 years I am still blessed with the spiritual gift of a healing touch. It is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received with the exception of my birth and my sobriety.

I am thankful that on Wednesday after a women's Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, I was in the ladies room when a girl I know casually was there and was talking about the deep pain she was feeling on her leg. She had an accident when her dog's metal chain leash got wrapped around her lower leg and cut into it. I am grateful that I was aware of that still small voice within that told me to ask her to let me see it which she did. I had the courage to step out in faith and ask her if I could place my hand on it. She agreed and I did. Now it is Saturday and I saw her at another women's AA meeting. She told me her leg is still healing, but the pain has been gone since I touched her. I cannot describe the love that this fills me with. I gave the credit to God and accepted that my part was the willingness to be a channel of God's healing power. Life is good.

I am grateful that today I am glad that I was born and I treasure my life. I spent many years wishing I had never been born or wishing it was over. Those days are gone forever as long as I continue to work the Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs God has given me to restore me to sanity and a life of value.

I am happy that daughter is in classes all weekend learning about insurance and she is enthusiastic about what she is learning and seems genuinely happy.

I look forward to my son being in town for a very brief visit this weekend and we will have lunch with him on Monday. I will be happy to see him.

Once a year around St. Patrick's Day Cracker Barrel has a wonderful corned beef and cabbage meal. We have dined on it more than once and always love it. Steve and I will do so tomorrow and I can't wait. It will be delicious.

I give thanks for the cool breezes that have been blowing frequently in this part of my world. I feel the spirit in the wind.

I delight in the daily walks daughter's dog and I take. Last night we looked up more information on Rhodesian Ridgebacks. (Lucky is a Ridgeback and German Shepard mix.) They need exercise and an opportunity to run at full speed each day. Most days he will run in a figure 8 around our back yard so fast it takes my breath away. He loves our 20 minute walks. He is a hunting dog and has extremely keen hearing and sense of smell and he smells every square inch along our route. The information also said they are a very dominant breed so the owners need to be sure they make it clear who is in charge. We are. So we are working on reasserting who is master here. Lucky was getting into the habit of acting like he was in charge. Get the picture? :)

I could not wish for better weather. After heavy winds and rain all day yesterday today was full of brilliant sunshine with highs in the low 70s and breezy. Perfect!!!

Heard in a meeting and thankful for it:

Time repairs the clock that dragged when I first got sober.

If God brought you to it, He will see you through it.

I am so grateful for my readers, their comments, their blogs, and their obvious care and love.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Spring Breeze by woodsac@deviantart.com)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Saturday 3/13/10 - "BOUNDARIES"





Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: boundaries by rosiehardy@deviantart.com)

I blogged about boundaries the other day and this is a brief repeat, but I love it and I need repetition of good ideas in my life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Friday 3/12/10 - "SAMENESS"



She felt invisible, another identical clone in a universe of sameness.

She, the girl next door, the man above, the woman beneath her, all carbon copy people.

She didn't think "their" lives were meaningless, but hers was totally irrelevant.

Then, God softly whispered,
"I knew "YOU" before your birth. You are unique in all eternity."

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Neighborhood by kgeri@deviantart.com)

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, March 10, 2010

Wednesday 3/10/10 - "TOUCHES OF HEAVEN"



Prayer Girl

(Photo credits:
Heavenly by KaizokuBG@deviantart.com

Heavenly Glory Nebgulae by j4m3sb0nd@deviantart.com

Heavenly by Behind Green Ey3s@deviantart.com

Heavenly by Nightrose64@deviantart.com

07 Heaven by allison712@deviantart.com

going from the heaven by greenfeed@deviantart.com)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday 3/9/10 - "YESTERDAY AND TODAY"


When I choose to look at the happenings of my day with my spiritual eyes I see a beautifully rich and intricately woven tapestry of vibrant color created by God.

Yesterday began with turning my volunteer experience over to God as I drove to the hospital. I never know what awaits me. There are times when nothing very extraordinary seems to have happened, but even on those days I know He has been at work. Other times I am more aware of God's presence.

When Steve asked this morning whether anything memorable happened yesterday when I was visiting patients I immediately responded that I felt led to place my hands on two different women. Both were very receptive and one of them prayed for me after I prayed with her. This lady had breast cancer two years ago and now there are signs that it may have returned in her lungs. They also discovered a brain tumor that was going to be removed the next day. We talked. We prayed. I touched her head and back.

Another woman was in the hospital with pneumonia and she had severe arthritis. Her fingers were very painful. As we talked I held first one hand and then the other. She said they felt better and then she said she just felt so good. I placed my hand on her back. I have no idea what if anything physical occurred, but I do know something spiritual happened.

Tonight is the second of our Lenten services on the sacraments. Steve and I will be going and it will include a healing service with anointing with oil. I will be carrying nine people in my heart and prayers when I go. Four of them are people bloggers have requested prayers for. I will pray.

So yesterday and today have been beautiful days for me. I pray God blesses your day.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Winter Wool by Mustafa Kizilcay - a Kodak picture of the day)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monday 3/8/10 - "SAYING TO MYSELF"


There are times when I share at a meeting and what I say is something I realize I need to hear. These are a few things I need to say to myself.

I am retired, but it is not too late to begin another 20 year career if I want it.

Limitation thinking stands in the way of my pursuing another career. The kinds of limiting thoughts I have include comparing myself to others and always coming up shorter, less than. My thoughts also return to a past time when I had little self-esteem and I measure how I think I would succeed today based on those past negative beliefs. I also project outcomes in the negative. I project failure. It is time to get back to doing affirmations. They work. I have tried them.

A few possible new affirmations:
  • God writes the details of my life on the blank slate I offer Him.
  • I am changing my attitudes and my life is changing.
I need to be a blank slate upon which I allow God to create whatever is His will for me. To do this I must keep my mind free of negative thinking - the comparison thinking and projection of outcome thinking.

I need to stop playing God, writing His script for me without Him.

I heard this prayer in the meeting today.
Dear God, please keep my brain where my feet are.
(out of the past and future)

Things heard in my home group Al-Anon meeting today.

If it is meant to be, it's up to me.
(I add, with God's power.)

Working the Al-Anon program is exercising my soul. In my case, it is working both programs, Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Breathe in! - Exhale out!
= God in! - Prayer Girl, self, out!

Have a wonderful week my friends.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Talk about nothing by LalA vi Doll@deviantart.com)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Saturday 3/6/10 - "MEMOIR IN SIX WORDS"




Prayer Girl

On Thursday Syd suggested readers write their memoir in a six word sentence.
This Six Word Saturday is my response.

(Photo credit: Change your mind by Lohey@deviantart.com)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Friday 3/5/10 - "ON HER KNEES"



The city of pathos, loss, sadness stretched out before her.

Where boundaries once were placed and safe, now broken lives and homes remained.

She sat straight and staid by the flowing water, lost in thought, remembering the past now gone.

She heard prayers. On bended knee she joined the woman in the sky in supplication.

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 readers.

Thursday 3/4/10 - "CONVERSATIONS"


Tuesday night Father Fred led the first of three Lenten services titled "Conversations with Father Fred". Father Fred says mass in our church once a week and his spirituality fills that beautiful place to overflowing.

Our evenings with Father Fred will be conversations about the sacraments. This week we talked about the sacraments of initiation; Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Steve and I were asked to present the gifts, bringing the bread and wine to the altar. It was a lovely honor and I was happy. It was also a blessing I will cherish that he and I were in church together - sitting together. Just before the mass ended, the prayer I posted yesterday appeared in my mind. One moment I was totally involved with what was happening in the sanctuary and then like a sudden breeze the spirit placed the prayer in me.

Next week our conversation will be about the healing sacraments; the Sacrament of the Sick (anointing with oil) and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If anyone reading this would like me to specifically take them in my heart to this healing service next Tuesday, let me know here or in an email.

The following appeared at the end of the insert to the weekly church bulletin;
In keeping with our Lenten theme: Give up, Give in, Give back, "Let the spirit of God open your hearts to hear every word God speaks in your midst in the days ahead." I say, "Amen".

The following came to me a different way. They are things I heard in an Al-Anon meeting.

Just because I am invited to a fight, I don't have to attend - not physically, mentally or emotionally.

God is my doctor, Al-Anon is my medicine.

Love and prayers,
Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Spring Breeze by woodsac@deviantart.com)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wednesday 3/3/10 - "A PRAYER"


Dear God,

I pray for straight and strong,
for clear and concise boundaries to my life

with edges smoothed and softened
by your compassionate love.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Final Moment by StahrSkyraper07@deviantart.com)