one word 365

one word 365

Monday, June 13, 2016

Giving it Away:On My Birthday and TheTwelfth Step

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 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!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Choose Joy:Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts

When I met Sara in 2008, I was a mess. My husband and I were separated. I was living with my sister in NW Indiana, while my husband and and sons were in a St Louis suburb.

I was living with chronic pain and had been for years. I could not understand why my husband and family were not empathetic or understanding, and no matter what I did it never seemed enough. I had pushed my body to the point that I could not even take care of myself, let alone my sons. I was deeply ensnared in the abyss of self-pity.

And then I met Sara. I was new to social media. To Twitter and Facebook. Through Divine intervention and seemingly random connections, I met my Sweet Soul Sisters; Tammy, Alece, Jenni, Cathi and Sara. Let's not forget Matthew Paul, Chad, Mark, Pete, Blake, Anne Marie and all of the folks at Each and everyone of these people would have a profound impact on my life and still do, but it was Sara who changed my life.

I remember very clearly the first time I read her blog. It was called "A Week in The Life", and it was a brutally honest series of posts about her life, her autoimmune disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and what it is like to live every moment of your life in your home. Being allergic to the very air we breath and take for granted. The amount of medication she took on a daily basis to just live astounded me. Yet, the most amazing and impactful thing about Sara was how she chose joy and was completely grateful for what abilities and amenities she still had. Her faith and trust in God was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Sara gave me a true picture of what it means to be a faithful follower of Christ.

The more time I spent with Sara on social media, her blog, and CPTV, the more I realized that I had that same choice. I found that my diagnoses did not define me and even though I was in pain all the time, I didn't have to live like I was. I could choose joy. And I did. I still do every day.

This gift that Sara gave me is one that I will forever be grateful for and will share her story until my final breath. This book is a reminder of her voice, when choosing is hard, That "no moment from my God is a rock of burden. it's just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones."