I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  I have occasions for service today, which is fortuitous, since my sinus condition has me feeling self-concerned.  Physical illness has a weakening effect on me, so I am even more spiritually reliant than normal.  This is good, not bad; when I am weak He is strong!



From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“I am as close to taking that first compulsive bite today as I was on the day I came into program if I am not living in the present and aware that I am a compulsive overeater.  ‘Just for today’ reminds me that today is all I have.”


I have been abstinent since my alarm went off this morning, about two hours prior to this writing.  Nothing matters prior to that.  I used to wait until after my last meal of the day to report online to my sponsor that I was abstinent that day.  I was too afraid to post that status earlier in the day.  Now, one of the first things I do is declare my abstinence for the day.  If I report it as a reality at 9 AM, then at 3 PM when the food begins to call, or at 10 PM when it starts to stalk me, I recall the commitment to abstinence I made that morning, and it ceases to be an option for me.


I recently had a dear fellow in our recovery program tell me that, because I had strung some abstinent days together, she did not feel I could relate to her emotional distress over a recent relapse.  What followed was a growing experience for the both of us, as we each learned to relate to the other from one another’s perspective.  She observed that we were not nearly as dissimilar as her pain originally led her to believe.  I, on the other hand, was stretched enough to learn that those of us who have crawled have not had all the experiences of those who have fallen from heights.  The view from “bottom” is slightly different for a crawling infant than for a mature skydiver whose chute deployed amiss.  Even so, “Just for today” means I am only abstinent today.  It is the same limiting parameter that quarantines a relapse onto one calendar square.  “One day at a time” starts whenever I say so, and I say so now!



From Proverbs Chapter 31:

15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.


This verse is in the section headed, “Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character.”  The section has a literal meaning, which my own wife exemplifies like no woman I know.  (Thank You, God, for Mrs. TL!)  It also has a mystical parallel, when I apply the truth that the Church is, and therefore I am, the “bride of Christ.”  Under the color of that reality, I recognize the ideals listed as goals in my own life, and not just the measure by which I can appreciate my wife of noble character.  This verse makes the point I often recite, “I have to make provision for my success.”  This noble wife habitually acts contrary to her selfish desires.  She is up before dawn, though any person would rather stay in bed.  She considers the needs of both herself and those for whom she has responsibility, and makes adequate provision to meet the needs of all of them.  She is diligent about routine considerations.  As spiritual master of absolutely nothing except me, I recognize that “servant girls” refers to considerations of my physical/emotional/spiritual being: of planning my meals, procuring adequate stores of those things I do eat, to help eliminate from my life those things I do not; of scheduling my time to allow for the sanity for which I strive; of managing all my resources with forethought and wisdom, keeping ever mindful of my stewardship responsibility of God’s provision for me and mine.


God, keep me faithful to my duties as Your servant, to serve those in my circle and manage Your provision for my success.



From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 13:

7 Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them.”  This reminds me of the food in my first abstinent days.  I was spiritually young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist the food.  That is when I added to my Plan of Eating a plan of avoidance.  Today, I can walk into a convenience store, but for the first year or so, I paid for gas at the pump just to avoid those “worthless scoundrels” in the indulgence cases and down the aisles of pre-packaged death.  I made my coffee at home to avoid the temptation of the poison outlets that also have such great coffee.

11 Every morning and evening they (the faithful priests) present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD.  They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening.  We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God.”  When we offer ourselves to God, to build with us and to do with us as He will, we turn from that decision far too fast to let it go more than “one day at a time” between offerings.  When I kneel each morning and offer myself to God, I know that I am following the pattern of the ancient priests, laying down the “bread of the presence” as it were, daily.  At least nightly, but hopefully each moment I live my day, I light the golden lamp and search myself for occurrences of my defective thinking or behavior.

18 The men of Israel were subdued on that occasion, and the men of Judah were victorious because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers.”  The defiant faction fell and the faithful flourished.  Imagine that!  I choose faithfulness.



From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 14-15:

For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.


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