Today Is My 10 Year Anniversary – Tin? Are you Kidding Me?

Today is our 10 Year Anniversary.10 year wedding anniversary

It’s official, we’ve achieved the Tin/Aluminum Gift suggestion as per Wikipedia, yes it’s our 10 Year Anniversary. Seriously Tin/Aluminum??? Nowadays making 10 years and actually valuing one another equates to the Silver status of the 25th anniversary in my mind.

Over the past 10 years we’ve faced many challenges in our marriage, from little things like learning to live with each other to larger issues which rocked our world. We have seen many of our friends experience the heart-break of marriage break ups and the fall out which inevitably ensues, even in the most amicable of situations.

I come from a long line of Lifers.

Lifers are those who stay married, I can’t say whether or not all of the marriages were “happy” but almost all of my family members remained married in my experience. On the day of my marriage I was 29 years old, compared to many of my peers this was a late marriage.

I met my husband at the age of 27 when I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend let alone someone I would fall in love with. Frankly I was selfish…shocker I know but I was finishing school and intent on getting a great career going, living in a loft in the city and making a bundle of cash.

He didn’t fit the mold of the men I was dating at the time, much like how I would compare leather to pleather my husband swooped into my life exposing the plastic of the existence I’d chosen.

I can’t possibly review the past 10 years in detail now, suffice it to say that marriage isn’t easy. It’s not a fact, it’s something which must be worked on and focused upon. Back when we were married I firmly believed in having a 50/50 relationship.

Now my perspective is different, I stopped keeping a tally of who has done what in our relationship. Each day I ask God to help me give my husband 100% of myself. 100% of the best I can be…..now that’s not easy, my nature is to be somewhat selfish and it’s a struggle to put another human being first but over time God is teaching me and I’ve been able to improve.

weddingColossians 3:12-17  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  

Today I’m grateful that my husband is the man he is.
He has always been able to see who I am, even when I couldn’t.
My husband isn’t perfect….oh yes I could easily identify improvements…..but he’s the most amazing man I’ve ever met and I’m blessed and neither Tin nor Aluminum seem a fitting reflection of that……just sayin.

Aging Gracefully? Probably Not But Planning Something Big

As a woman who has hit the latter years of thirty I have been graced with the ability to reflect. Yes this is indeed a gift, when I was in my twenties I was much too busy and oh-so special to waste my time doing such introverted activities.

Do I sound pompous yet? I’ve got visions of sitting on a porch in my 80’s in a bright mumu, wearing vibrant red lipstick and magenta hair doling out advice as if I’ve earned the right. 39 feels like a good age to begin practicing.

My 20 something self raced through the day meeting my goals and setting more. Yeah I learned from my experiences, I found the gift of learning in my 20’s thank the good Lord above.

I had managed to grow between the age of 10 and 29, fantastic! At least I wasn’t still eating Cheese Whiz out of the jar with a spoon. I suspect I’m a slow learner, as my friends reached stages of emotional growth I forged along planning for the next big thing and analyzing unimportant things.

party-girl

My 20’s are filled with some fabulous memories, most of which I wouldn’t share in public. I would have to change names and temper down the shock value and that feels much too tiring to attempt. Let’s say that I had a blast in my 20’s, but was awfully tired by the time I hit my 30th year and was ready to slow down.

With my thirties came the birth of our 2 daughters and honestly if anything’s going to make you grow there’s one life-changing event that’ll do it! Nothing like the first 3 months of motherhood, poop, puke and the physical effects of childbirth to bring one back to Earth and their own relevance.

Being responsible for another human being was a HUGE thing for me, finally I experienced the depth of joy I’d heard about in the self-help books I’d read. I actually understood being in the NOW. It didn’t last long, that little baby soon began to move and apparently hated sleep….my life was busy once again and I wasn’t in a seeking mode.

The girls have grown a bit, they’re now 6 & 8 and amaze me every day. I’d love to tell you how mature and self-sufficient my daughters are, alas the hickeys they’ve been giving themselves on their arms lead me to believe this isn’t the case yet.

Today as I reflect I’m doing it with love for myself, I’m looking back upon my life with patience and the knowledge that I did the best I could. That’s different for me, in the past I’d have been looking back cringing at my mistakes, regretting and shameful. I would have wasted the energy being negative. Today I choose to see each experience as a learning opportunity….even if it took me 10 bloody years of aging gracefully to realize it.

This new me, the more mature, grounded me is loving 39 so far. I’ve been planning again but this time its with amusement…I’ve been compiling a list and laminating it. If you’re in your 30’s and don’t understand the humor of a laminated list I worry about you and the lack of influence the TV show Friends had in your life!

weddingMy list includes things I want to do before I turn 40….things like have lunch on a mountain, see my daughter lose her first tooth(damned thing has been wiggling for months), finish writing my first book….

The most important item on my list is a biggie, our 10th wedding anniversary is coming up in October and I want to renew our vows. I want to honor our journey together, the ups and downs by proudly saying my vows again.

This will take some planning and I’m going to be asking for help, this time I won’t plan my wedding alone. This time it doesn’t really matter where, what I’ll wear….this time it’s about God’s presence in our marriage. We’ve had highs and lows and came through every experience stronger within our union because of them and I simply want to honor that.

This is my cry for help, if you want to help plan our big day, let me know!! Mama needs it.

Family Being Ripped Apart Because it's a Gay Marriage??

It’s Friday and I had planned on a funny post but I simply must write about my friend Mark. Mark is an amazing man who blogs over at Our Simple Lives, he’s a father, husband, photographer and one of the funniest writers I’ve seen. Mark gives his whole heart to the world, he blogs about his life and shares openly about his whole beautiful self.

With my blog here at Sober Julie Doing Life I have a voice, I have an ability to reach out from my little laptop to your eyes and minds. I ask that you have an open mind here while you read this post, frankly I don’t care about your religious beliefs, your cultural or political slants…..I’m asking you to consider my friend Mark’s situation from a logical point of view and ask yourself if this makes any bloody sense at all.

Is it right that a family should be ripped apart because it’s a gay marriage?

If you are about to answer yes, I again ask you to open your mind….

Our Simple LIves

Mark is married to Fred, they’ve been married for 4 years and together for over 21 years. This is no fly by night union, they have adopted 4 amazing children together and were living the American dream. This was until September when Fred’s last visa ran out. Fred is a citizen of France and up until now Mark had the ability to sponsor Fred for visa’s to remain in the US. Unfortunately the US doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages under the Defense of Marriage Act and Fred is facing being deported.

Facts:

  • Mark and Fred were married in California where their marriage was legal at the time
  • Fred is fully employed and has been for years in the US
  • Mark and Fred adopted these 4 children together in the US
  • A loving, stable family exists, living together in the US
  • The US government cannot recognize same-sex marriages for the purposes of immigration at this time
  • Mark’s last application to sponsor Fred for a visa to remain in the US has been DENIED

Last year the Department of Homeland Security gave immigration authorities the discretion to stay deportations based on “The person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships.”

For some unknown reason immigration authorities aren’t using this discretion in Mark and Fred’s case contrary to all of the evidence provided.

This is a travesty to see a family being ripped apart when it’s utterly senseless.

What can we do? What can I do as a non-resident?

We can use our voices!

We can write to Senator Bob Casey and Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano urging them to reconsider staying Fred’s deportation. If you live in Pennsylvania, you can write to Senator Casey’s office. Both, on their behalf. You can let them know that you read the story on StopTheDeportations.com or that you know of Mark & Fred’s story from here.

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
393 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
P: 202-224-6324
Toll Free: 866-802-2833
Fax: 202-228-0604
 
Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
202-282-8000

I implore my readers to ask themselves if it makes sense to rip apart a stable couple, to uproot a loving family and tear them apart?

MY ANGER IS TANGIBLE AND I AM ASKING MY FRIENDS TO HELP HERE, SPREAD THE WORD AND WRITE!

We need bold leadership to create remedies that keep all families together. Fred and Mark’s four children, John, Claire, Jacob and Joshua, deserve no less!

If you’d like to give them words of encouragement, please head on over to Our Simple Lives or Mark’s Facebook page, lift this beautiful man up!

 

Family Humor & Inappropriate Comments

Lately I haven’t been inspired to write, it nothing horrible but I’m in a quiet state of mind in most areas of life at the moment. It’s not really a blah feeling, I’m not especially down or sad but I am somewhat hibernating in my mind.

I’ve always been like a bear this way, when I foresee something on the horizon which I’ll need my energy for I take the time to store it up and am restful during the process.

Time for a family update!

Ousydr daughters are fabulous as always, I’ve realized I haven’t posted much about them lately….bad Julie. One wee moment comes to mind to share with you all. For a very long time Sydney, our 8-year-old has been asking to watch Twilight, finally this weekend we allowed it. It was hilarious to answer all the questions and to hear her groan when the kissing scenes came on. I believe the actual statement she made was “Gross do they really need to kiss that much!”.

I loved her disgust.

Chelsea our diva 6-year-old asked what a honeymoon is, Hubby told her it was a vacation taken by a couple after they get married to relax….Sydney laughed really hard and said “When I was a kid I thought it meant people went in a boat and ate honey and looked at the moon, isn’t that hilarious Mom?”

Yes, yes Syd it’s hilarious that you think you’re not a kid anymore.

 

Hubby also had a stellar comment this week, one that sheds light on why partners pray for each other….and provides a blatant example of his warped sense of humor. We were in church when he leaned over to me, touched his jaw line and asked “What’s that on your face?”. Confused I reflexively wiped at my face and whispered “What, where?”. Hubby smiles and with a naughty glint in his eye said “Oh it’s your chin….haven’t seen it in a while, looks good on ya!”

That’s MY man!

Of course I was instantly aghast,  I was in church and couldn’t hit him so I smiled and weighed the situation in my mind. In the ends I’ve chosen to take it as the compliment his wacky mind meant it as and embrace the fact that I may be on my way to a single chin situation.

Fistpump!

 

Does your partner make comments like these, ones you know are meant well but the delivery is utterly horrible?

 

Valentines Day hint for my Hubby…

Valentines Day is around the corner and if you’re like me, you have a bit of a heavy heart because you’re not expecting flowers.

Early in our relationship Hubby explained the situation to me in his on-so logical, calm manner. To him giving flowers signifies he’s done something wrong…yes he seriously feels that way.

The problem is that I’m a Valentines FREAK, I love getting flowers and feeling all princess-like when someone thinks of me. It’s a totally cheesy holiday, I know this and yet my heart aches to be the recipient of valentines day flowers….just one little bunch of flowers would brighten up a dreary February day.

Valentines

Oh how wonderful it would be to open the door to a delivery man carrying a bouquet just for me! I vision myself dressed in high-heeled fluffy white slippers, a gorgeous silk robe with my hair and makeup perfectly applied.

Shhhh go with me here folks.

In my vision the dog will not knock me over to get to the door first, my robe will float beautifully behind me as my slippers click on the hardwood floors. My eyes will display my joy and my heart will fill with love for my Hubby as I accept the magnificent bundle of colors.

Can you tell I’ve recently been watching chick flicks?

Ok so Hubby isn’t into giving gifts on what he refers to as “Hallmark Holidays” but give a sister a break!

I have a plan!

I’m going to be sending him out to stores where I know they are promoting Valentines Day products. There’s a good chance he’ll see the signs and displays of roses and come home venting which will give me the chance to use my well perfected stink eye on him.

By using subtle hints such as pasting this blog post on his well-viewed Facebook page, I’m certain my darling partner for life, the man with whom I share my soul ….this guy will get the darned hint!!

Mama’s not asking for diamonds here.

On the off-chance that my Hubby is bull-headed strong in his position about this I have a back up plan!

My daughters and I will head to the flower shop, I will give them money and allow them to get me my well-deserved gift.  Of course upon returning home I will gussy myself up and get into my flannel pjs and old robe (yeah the silk is a dream) and enjoy the moment.

 

My Story – Alcoholism Isn't Easy to Face

Recently I’ve found I’m being asked about my story. People are curious how and when I realized I’m an alcoholic and how my journey of recovering from alcoholism has looked. I have written about this in many ways on Sober Julie Doing Life and on guest post on other blogs, but now I’ll try to put it in one location.

~~~~~~~~~~~

If you’d seen me two years ago me you may not have guessed that I am an alcoholic.

What do we think one should look like anyway?

At the time I had no idea that I was an alcoholic until I finally felt how close to the edge of losing myself I’d actually gotten.

I grew up in a stable home, did well scholastically and had many friends. I was married to an awesome guy with 2 children, a house and a dog.

How the hell had my life gotten so off track?

lost in life

Throughout my life I was a fantastic chameleon, appearing self-confident and assured yet inside I somehow felt “less than”.

I’m not sure why but in my early 20′s I began to drink regularly. LIKE A SAILOR. I took pride in the fact that I could drink with the “big boys” and leave ‘em in the dust. Thursday – Saturday nights were drunk fests, when most people were making memories I was blacking out. I had a great job, great family and all were well on these fronts…in my mind at the time it was normal for the youth to party like this.

I went to college for my 2nd diploma at 23 and didn’t really do the drinking thing because I commuted but Saturday nights are all a blur. Actually to be fair I was working 3 jobs and school so didn’t have much time but when I did, I binge-drank to oblivion. I think I had created a habit for myself of living my lives in different boxes, student, employee, sister, friend, daughter, party girl and never shall the two meet.

By my late 20′s I met who was to be my future husband. I got my first “real” career job and life was good. I remember feeling loved by someone other than family for the first time and my joy was huge because I loved him too.

wedding

Fast forward again to recent years…I was a Mom who worked, commuted and was often overwhelmed by the feeling that I wasn’t the June Cleaver type Mum which I strived to be. I compared myself to those other women who did it with seeming ease.

I was the Mum who ran out 20 minutes late with the diaper bag that I had forgotten to restock, not showered in a few days, frazzled, and dying for a coffee or perhaps something to eat for the first time in DAYS ….and I never talked to anyone about it.

My Alcoholism Began to Show Itself

This stress caught up with me….a glass of Shiraz on a Friday or Saturday night bled over time into a bottle. My husband loved the gregarious wife who had come back to him on weekends; I was carefree again for a few hours, witty, fun, SEXY!!

I was pretentious with alcohol, it was so important to me that it be “quality” booze until later when boxed wine and buck a bottle beer worked too. Heck I even drank sweet white wine my parents friends gave them for Christmas when I was in a pinch.

Monday to Thursday I waited (without consciously realizing it) to like myself again. I loved my daughters and enjoyed them totally but ultimately felt like I wasn’t the best Mom God could have chosen for them. I beat myself up with my internal thoughts as we women are apt to do. The only time I felt “free” in my own skin was when I was drinking at the end of the week.

This drinking had begun to take a turn, I could be fun tipsy Julie and suddenly for no apparent reason to those around me become Mean Nasty Drunk Julie. It was totally unpredictable by the number of drinks or type. Frankly I didn’t remember most of it. Black outs were common for me.

blackout

The time came after just another Drunk Julie night when I’d had enough, the shame of my behaviour was too much to bear. I told hubby (not for the first time) that I was done with drinking. That I had to admit I needed help. I had known for a long time that I had an issue, that I abused alcohol and didn’t know why. I also knew that the day I quit I would be changing my entire life.

FRIGHTENING doesn’t cover it. I was terrified to face a LIFE-time surrounded by alcohol and not being able to imbibe. I thought this would be excluding myself FOREVER.

Thankfully I was wrong, I’m almost 2 years sober and LOVE my life as I never had before….life is so much sweeter when you stop chasing happiness and ask for help.

Why not take a chance and learn to see the happiness right in front of you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isaiah 58:11
“The Lord will guide you continually …And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail
AA – Twelve & Twelve Pg. 65
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn’t strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due to us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.
If we as, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

Date Night – Are you creative? #EqualCanada and #CBias

Life as parents is busy, no matter how much you love your kids there are times when it’s draining on a marriage. When Hubby and I first got together our concerns were all about us, where to live, where to go out and eat, learning how to co-habitate. With the birth of our first daughter it all changed dramatically, our focus became almost entirely upon her. Add our second bundle of joy and I can honestly say that 90% of our free time has become consumed by them. That means that I have a mere 10% of my attention to focus upon myself and my husband.

With that 10% Hubby and I often have to be creative, we make time weekly to go out alone together and find ways to have FUN!

Theses evenings used to involve alcohol which made it quite simple to find a location and bring in the fun. Now we enjoy dinners, shopping of even just a coffee and a chat.

This week we headed over to Starbucks to spend time together. Normally we go to Tim Hortons for our daily coffee but this is “us time” and required somewhere special, Starbucks qualifies for that!

Hubby got a kick out of me ogling their lovely signage, I’m a sucker for fall colors and Starbucks is very creative with their decor.

 I’ve been on the hunt for Equal sweetener recently and was quite jazzed to see that it’s offered at Starbucks! Starbucks offers 3 types of sweetener which is fantastic, I still cannot believe that other coffee houses and restaurants only offer 1 type of sweetener.

Again, this provided amusement for Hubby because here I was on our date night squealing in excitement and pulling out my iPhone over sweetener?? Yup I can be a tad juvenile at times. I actually looked around for a comment card to tell them how happy I was but Hubby was losing patience with me. Doesn’t the look on his face say it all?

Suck it up Hubby, your wife is loving Starbucks and their darling, efficient store design and doesn’t care if you’re embarrassed by her stating so loudly while taking photos apparently.

There is one thing that will shut me up though, oh how I love this drink! I am a slave to the delicious flavor of a Caramel Macchiato with whipped cream!

Drinks in hand we found a cozy spot to chat and reconnect without interruption after a long week.

We had a wonderful time laughing and reminiscing about our lives before and after children. When we make time for each other like this it just seems to recharge our relationship for the challenges ahead!

How about you, do you make time for those important people in your life?

Have you come up with some creative ideas? I’d love to hear them.

**This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias, EqualCanada #EqualCanada, Equal Canada Facebook but ALL of the opinions are strictly my own.**

You can find Equal via these links: Equal website, @EqualCanada twitter page and Equal Canada on Facebook

 

Road Trip with the Kids?

When the words “road trip” are said to parents of children under ten there is a segment of the population who cringe. Visions of irritable children, squeals of “are we there yet?”, “I have to pee” dance in our heads and immediately we’re glad we aren’t stuck in that vehicle.
And yet at some point we all do it. We know in advance the pain we will have to endure but the end destination is thought to be worth it.
With this knowledge Hubby and I set out for a journey north of our home to Muskoka, Ontario.
My sister and her husband kindly offered us the use of her trailer this weekend at our favorite place in the world, Muskoka Bible Centre. I have written about this amazing slice of the earth before, here with Sand, Love and God at MBC.
I actually acknowledged the road trip challenges within that article, this time my friends Hubby and I were prepared! We were bringing my niece with us…..yup we recruited the big guns to occupy the girls.
Armed with pillows, snacks and DS’s there they were piled in the back seat with promises of good behavior.
We knew we would have to stop often so we planned those location approximately each 40 minutes of the 2.5 hour drive.
Of course it happened, 10 minutes after the first stop the whining began….”how long until the next bathroom….I have to pee.”
Immediately the hairs stood up on the back of my neck with irritation, “who said that?” I bit out.
Typical!
I’d like to point out that there is one child who doesn’t have her hand raised, if you guessed it’s my niece you win the prize.
So here we are driving for what seemed an eternity to the next pit stop, listening to my eldest go on and on about having to pee and what do our eyes spy in the lane ahead of us?
You’re not going to believe this….we were killing ourselves laughing.
The sign on the back was clearly visible and Syd was almost crying asking to go use their bathroom
Next we passed a big touring bus which Hubby kindly pointed out had a washroom on board.
Thanks buddy.
We arrived at our 2nd destination, Webers! This is a quaint burger joint which serves as a half-way point for so many Ontarians heading up to cottage country. Webers has been in business since 1963 and has train cars to eat in, lots of space for the kids to run oh and bathrooms of course!

The rest of the drive was relatively peaceful, there wasn’t much arguing and time seemed to flow quickly.
We finally arrived and something happened immediately…..relaxation. Can you see it in our faces?

All of that nail-biting, irritating, whining, anxiety ridden time in the car was worth it!
 Here my friends is the view we are graced with, I feel touched directly by God each time I see it.
What a gift he gave us in this Earth!!
If you are anywhere near Muskoka Bible Center or if you’re planning a family road trip, today my advice is go for it! Yesterday during the drive at times I would have said never again, but now that we’re here it was all worth it.
Having this as my view for most of the day certainly helped.
Proverbs 3:5
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And he shall direct your paths.”

Sand,Love and God at MBC

I am writing this piece in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club
This week’s RemembeRED memoir prompt asked us to write a memory of sand.

Last summer we took our first vacation as a family; we had rented a trailer at the retreat where my sister and her family had spent their summers for years. We had visited many times, enjoyed the location and time with family and returned home with a few memories. We also took away feelings of being uncomfortable; we had never quite fit in. This Christian retreat had amazing amenities, great kids programs but there were rules that cramped our style, more my style than hubby’s if I’m to be honest.
This year hubby and I decided to dive in and actually stay for a week in a rented trailer to experience what Muskoka Bible Center had to offer. The no drinking rule wouldn’t be an issue anymore; I wouldn’t be spending my evenings hiding wine in a juice cup on the deck. We still smoked but we felt we could work around that rule; it would be worth the discomfort. The “Modesty” rule for bathing suits at the beach was a no brainer; I had put on 30 pounds in a very short time since the accident. The sun could kiss my Buddha belly in the privacy of my own backyard thank you very much!
There is nothing pretty about being stuck in the car with two impatient children and a woman with fears of driving and back injuries my friends, the two hour drive took three hours with pit stops and sanity breaks. But we had finally arrived! Our trailer was amazing, the triple bunks were an immediate success! The views greeting us were breath taking.
I’d often heard the term “unwind” used for vacations but hubby and I had never before experienced the feeling. This week away we truly did. We left behind all the stresses of daily living and allowed ourselves to soak up each opportunity for growth which we happened upon.
It was a slow week, one which we took day by day.  Each morning hubby and I had time alone together while the children we in kids program, we attended chapel together and then took walks through the woodsy trails and on the sandy beach. We reconnected as we hadn’t in a very long time; we fell in love all over again.
Our afternoons were spent as a family on the beach, playing in the lake, making sandcastles, canoeing and making memories.

When the evening rolled around we would reluctantly leave our spot on the sand and return to the trailer. The girls would sneak out each evening while we were preparing dinner to go “frogging” in the gully behind the trailer and return covered in mosquito bites, victorious with a bucket full of slimy friends.
This week allowed all four of us to see God’s love for us, we were surrounded by His unmistakable beauty. There really is no place like Muskoka Bible Center, it was surrounded by water, rocks, trees, wildlife and people filled up with a love for God which brought out the best in each of us.
We revelled in it.
When it was time to leave  I felt a deep desire to stay. I didn’t want to face the realities the world and risk losing this feeling of connection with God. We knew it wasn’t possible to stay; we had to figure out a way to bring the feeling home with us!
When we expressed these feelings to other families there, they understood and gave some tips for keeping God in the forefront of our family.
Upon returning home we made the commitment to attend our church, to become involved. We have since attended regularly, volunteered our time, involved our children in activities whenever possible. Here at home we speak God’s name and Word often throughout the day, we consider God’s opinion when making choices and allow our children to see us doing that.
We are no l
onger afraid of walking this journey with God, we’ve found our purpose. We don’t give up and do our own thing when it’s uncomfortable, we remain steadfast in our resolve to keep this connection we felt that week away.
————————————————————————————
Romans 12:1-2
Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Ephesians 6:14-17
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
AA Big Book, pg 130

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found
nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.