I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  Last night I was given the privilege of turning a history of misery into a story of encouragement and hope for a group who invited me to speak of my experience in recovery.  I was grateful for the opportunity and honored by their invitation and hospitality.  I am blessed to bless!



From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

Yesterday is the past, tomorrow our future, today our present – a present from my Higher Power to be enjoyed one minute at a time.


In order to help me live one moment at a time and develop the habit of pausing before acting on life, rather than reacting to it, I practice a deep breathing exercise called tactical breathing.  It is a process of taking control of a racing heart rate by reining in its autonomic cousins, the breathing lungs.  This is done by counts of four: a deep belly-breath inhale through the nose for four, a hold for four, a diaphragm-forced exhale for four, another hold for four, and repeat.  If I do it properly, I will draw and exhale about four to six breaths a minute.  In one minute, I can recollect a stressed out mind and body and focus it on dealing with one thing at a time.  According to Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, author of On Combat, this practice has been used effectively by combat fighters and law enforcement officers across the globe to help focus on their task at hand even while surrounded by traumatic conditions and under fire.  If it works in those conditions, it should be effective in getting me past a pizza billboard.  When I combine this practice with prayer and meditation, amazing things happen.  I move from surviving a stressful moment to living a moment of peace and joy that comes from relationship with my Higher Power.



From Proverbs Chapter 20:

3 It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.


“Every fool” means not just me.  Whew!   Still, I do not wish to be in the company of fools.  This defensive, argumentative, inflammatory temper is one of my most shameful character defects, and I know that it is rooted in my own self-centered fear.  With this defect I have inflicted more harm than with any other.  Recognizing these facts and daily committing to harm no one and help someone has helped me “avoid strife” and replace it with a mission.  I can’t complete my mission of being helpful if I’m leaving a wake of wounded in my path.   Prayer, meditation, and the breathing exercise described above are three of the tools I use to amend this behavior pattern.  It helps to restate the confession of Step One: I am powerless over (person/place/circumstance), my life my way is not going manage it effectively.  Steps Two and Three follow naturally in the simple prayer, “Your will, not mine, be done!”


If I am quick enough with my strife-avoidance to be successful at it, then the Step 4 through 9 process of follow-up is abbreviated, as if it were a problem solving flow-chart.  Did any new resentments, fears, behavioral patterns or harms present themselves in this momentary trial?  If no, I move on.  If yes, I talk it over with myself, with God and with another human being, and take it through the rest of the steps.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!



From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Chronicles 27 and 28:

I was struck with awe and wonder at a few verses in Chapter 28, especially with the understanding of the spiritual parallel to myself as God’s new temple.  (Reference 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.)  King David gathered all his trusted servants together.  (Chapter 27 was a list of the divisions of these men.)  In the presence of the assembly, he gave his son the charge to construct the Temple, and his orders echo those of my God to me, His son of this generation:


9 And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.  10 Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary.  Be strong and do the work.


20 David also said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.


These words are humbling and empowering at the same time, giving me purpose, instruction, and hope.  Wholehearted devotion, a willing mind, and strong, courageous diligence to do the work is my part – integrity and diligent action.  My promise is that He will never leave me until the work on the temple that is me is completed – relationship and power.  The additional Good News is that upon completion, I am convinced I will be graduated to His eternal presence – the authentic Temple of Heaven, as an extension of the relationship developed here on earth.  (Philippians 3:14, Revelation 21:22-27)


I’ve got work to do.  I have no time or energy to spend on self-indulgent remorse and fear!



From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 46:

As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him.



Have a blessed day (OD@aT)

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 2)