At 12:34 a.m. tomorrow morning, June 14th, I will be 48 years old. It looks really crazy as I type those numbers, however, it is the truth.
Most of you who know me personally or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, know that I have been an in active recovery for just over 9 years and the 12 step program I am in leadership with is Celebrate Recovery. The premise of CR that I love so much is that anyone with a "hurt, habit, or hang-up" is welcome. The program is all inclusive and all encompassing. It doesn't matter if i struggle with divorce, anxiety, alcohol, drugs, the effects of childhood abuse, food addiction, sex addiction, pornography addiction, loneliness, anger issues, Chronic pain and illness, overspending, same sex attraction, whatever, we have an open share group for that.
Celebrate Recovery is based on the same 12 steps as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, however, it has eight biblical principles that work along with the 12 steps. This program, along with the people God has placed in my life over the past nine years, has turned my world around in the best possible of ways.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in CR is based upon the twelfth step, which states;
"Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
In layman's terms, what that means is; we can't keep our sobriety if we don't give it away by serving others. One of my biggest struggles is codependency. it can be very easy for me to get caught up in taking care of others, then set unreasonable expectations of my friends and family to do the same for me. I have come a very long way in this struggle and one of the tools i have used to do so is by giving my birthday away.
In the past, I have asked my friends and family to help my friends who were newlyweds and headed to the Philippines, with donations for airfare, so they could help an orphanage there.
This year on my birthday, I would like to draw attention to and ask for my friends and family to support a couple of ladies, without whom, I would not be where I am today.
The first is The Sara "Gitz" Frankl Memorial Foundation .Sara was a sweet sister whom I met on Twitter, then her blog and eventually we worshiped together at the online campus of crosspoint.tv. She taught me that no matter how I felt physically, my pain and discomfort did not have to define me. That I have a choice in what i show the world and that i can choose joy and choose to live with what I have been given. I wear her life words, in her handwriting, on my right wrist and although they are looking aged and starting to fade a bit, can still look at them and be reminded of this powerful lesson. To always "Choose Joy".
The second is my sweet soul sister, Tammy Hodge. Tammy is one of the funniest, most loving, gracious, straight - shooters i have ever met. She is tender-hearted and kind, tactful, yet tells the truth in love. And honestly these are some of the reasons why I so love her. That and she is transparent and vulnerable. Tammy has quite a story. She shared it with me many years ago, when she was, but thinking "someday 'maybe' I'll write my story". Well, my friends, she did. and it is life changing. The most amazing thing is you can read it yourself and get a copy for a friend for free when you purchase it here. Tammy has supported me through prayer, email, text, phone calls, lunch, etc. through the years and a divorce, custody battle, and going back to college, along with serious chronic illness. I could not ask for a better friend and soul sister. Please help me support her by reading her blog and purchasing her books.
|Tam and I, 10/2015|
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration and I pray y'all have a blessed day!