Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Pain of Growth

I've had the most amazing Thanksgiving holiday. I've spent quality time with my husband and son, I've participated in a lot of AA meetings, I've worked hard on completing orders for Serenity Sacs. I am grateful for God's hand in my life.

The past couple of days, however, have presented me with a couple difficult and narrowminded people. One lady who saw my link on a friends facebook page wrote and said that the idea of writing things down and putting them in a bag was a "dumb" idea. After reading the bantering of she and my friend awhile, I wrote and told the story of how they came to be and the effectiveness of them. Found out later that this lady is an Aethiest and she finds the whole God thing pointless and stupid.

Yesterday I gave a lead (told my story) at a meeting. It went well and I received positive feedback from many in the room. However, one gentleman came to me and said "were you here to give a lead or to sell God Bags?" I just about hit the floor. I talked about recovery for 50 minutes and shared the story of my Serenity Sacs for less than two minutes. I find it very sad that what he took from that meeting was not a message of hope, but rather anger because I included the story of my little ministry in my story. My ego took a blow and I left there angry myself instead of uplifted like in the past.

I get very angry at myself for letting people get into my head and cause me anxiety. I've gone over those two situations in my head over and over so many darn times, but I had a revelation this morning. I'm going to pray for those two individuals whose narrowmindedness caused me upset and embarrassment. I pray that P be able to accept me for who I am and see the quality program I practice daily. I pray that M finds God in her life because there is so much peace to be had if you just open your heart and let him in.

As for me, I've grown because of these two individuals. I still believe that this little ministry was God driven. I never intended to sell these, they were just gifts for my sponsees last Christmas. I feel in my heart that God is who brought the sales to me so that I could create a spiritual tool to help others develop their relationship with Him. And dag gone it, I enjoy making them! I've had the opportunity to really look at my AA program and be grateful that God led me to AA. I've realized that I'm a garden variety drunk/drug addict who still has much work to do. I've realized that my dependence on others to make me feel worthy and ok is still a big problem. My dependence must be on a Higher Power.

So thank you God for putting M & P in my holiday weekend and for opening my eyes. Even though it was painful, growth occurred and for that I'm grateful.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Feeling SO Blessed

Yesterday was my 4th sober Thanksgiving. It's only by the Grace of God that I can say this. He removed the obsession very early on for me and I only need to try to align my will with His and life just seems to move along peacefully.

We've had some very rocky times in our family. My husband has watched me go to the dark depths of my addiction and alcoholism, both of us watched our son take his own dark journey. Yesterday was the first time in about five years that the three of us woke up clean and sober, and rode to my family's Thanksgiving celebration. While sitting the back seat of the car, I began to cry......this time it was tears of gratitude.

Some may think it not a big deal to just be riding to Thanksgiving dinner with my family. But for us, this was a huge blessing. All I've ever wanted was to be a "normal" family. The only thing I've ever known about normal is that it is a setting on a washing machine!

I have no doubt that if I continue to do what I've been taught in the program, our family will become even closer and peace will continue.

Today, I think I'll just sit back and enjoy this new found peace and remember that I owe it all to GOD.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Filled with Gratitude!

God has been so very good to me and my family lately. Or am I just finally noticing it?

As I look back over my life, I've realized that God has been the one carrying me and looking over me through all my struggles. The Footprints Prayer is very true for me.

My Etsy shop has been fairly busy these days in preparation for Christmas and my outside sales are skyrocketing. Sometimes I find it overwhelming because I work full time, I go home and catch a quick nap, prepare dinner, feed my family, do some laundry, then off to an AA meeting. My life is sometimes hectic as can be. This morning I decided I'd just be grateful:

1. For the opportunity to spread God's love by selling my Serenity Sacs
2. For having a fulfilling job which I'm good at
3. For having an understanding and supportive boss who is more like my brother than my boss
4. For the co-workers who support and love me even when I'm not so lovable
5. For my husband who works so hard to take care of our family but still finds the time and energy to show us how much we mean to him
6. For our son, Anthony, who has so much potential and who is striving to reach his goals these days
7. For my AA friends who loved me until I could love myself
8. For my mom, dad and siblings who never gave up on me
9. For the new friends I've met on Etsy. You women have become my friends and I'm blessed to have you in my life (especially the Christian Crafters Team!)
10. For a God of my understanding who has given me much more than I feel I deserve at times.
11. For having an extremely busy life that gives me the opportunity to touch others (both in and out of AA).
12. MOSTLY for having the wherewithall to be able to recognize my blessings and to be grateful for them. Yes my life is hectic, but my heart is full.

Yes, my friends, today I am blessed and I know it. I learned in AA that gratitude is an action word. You can feel and express thankfulness, but you need to show gratitude by helping others, offering a smile to a stranger, or just giving someone a hug when you see that they're not having the best of days. Today I intend to show my gratitude!


Monday, November 9, 2009


The words "God either is or he isn't" have never meant more to me.

My son, Anthony, has been down with the flu since last Tuesday. The poor thing really wants to get back to classes and his darn fever was back again this morning. I've been blessed to just be his "mom" this past week and give him the TLC that he needed and deserves. I try so hard to trust that God will take care of him and return him to good health, but there have been days (and tough nights) that I was filled with worry.

As I was on the porch talking to God this morning, my neighbor stopped by during her walk and asked me to pray for her grandson Ryan, 9 months old, who is having a blockage removed from his heart this morning. I instantly had a perspective change. Rather than worrying about Anthony, my heart and my prayers turned to little Ryan and to his family. The doctors were doing tests on Ryan last week so that they could surgically remove a cyst on his eye. When they couldn't find a good pulse from his foot to his hip, they did more testing and found that he had a blockage to his little heart. You talk about a God thing! This heart condition wouldn't have been diagnosed had he not had that little cyst on his eye.

I said to my neighbor, "don't worry. God's got him!" I gave her a couple of my Serenity Sacs (God Bags) for her and Ryan's mom which seemed to bring her a bit of peace. Before she left, I also quoted "God either is or he isn't Mary Ann."

You talk about a perspective change. I have compelling evidence of God working in my life and the life of my family and my friends in AA, but there are still those days or situations where I just can't trust (well, I just DON'T trust). Saying that to her this morning renewed my trust and I sat there with this amazing sense of peace.

It's amazing to me that in helping others, I receive help. God is so so good!

Have a blessed day and please keep Ryan in your prayers.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

I've Realized

My life is nothing without God right smack in the middle of it

My sobriety is the most priceless gift I've ever received

Miracles happen to my every single day and it's up to me to open my eyes and see them

God has carried me all my life, and when one of life's roadblocks is placed in front of me, I need to remember all my blessings.

God has given me a talent and a ministry and it's up to me to make the most of it

Helping others is my calling today.

I'm so very grateful!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Serenity Sacs

Greetings all! This is my first attempt at blogging so bear with me.

My name is Rhonda and I live in Northern Kentucky. I'm a wife of 27 years and have a 22 year old son (the light of my life!).

A bit about Serenity Sacs......I have been clean and sober for 3+ years and am extremely active in a 12 step program. While in treatment, I learned of a God Box. We were told to write our problems, fears and anything else we were powerless over on a piece of paper and put it in our God Box. Some stuff you just have to trust God to take care of. This past Christmas, I wanted to make something for my sponsees. Somehow this idea popped into my head. I had no intention of ever selling them, but then a girl at work just "had" to have some. Here it is November and I'm still cranking. I feel this talent of mine (never sewed before in my life) is God given and that it's his way of letting me give back and help increase his childrens' reliance on him.

Not only are these a great gift idea for church groups, womens groups, card clubs, baby showers, brides to be, 12 step programs, friends and family, or anyone who is having a difficult time dealing with life, family, or illness......they are an effective tool for increasing ones reliance on a Higher Power and restoring a sense of peace. Write down your problems, place them in this sac, say a prayer and turn them over to God. You will be amazed at how effective and well received these are. Custom orders welcome. CHRISTMAS is just around the corner. These would make excellent stocking stuffers or gifts for teachers, caregivers, daycare providers, or for the family member or friend who has everything. How about giving them a little bit of serenity!?

"There's something about the action of writing my worries on paper and placing them in God's hands that just frees my mind and gives me peace. I love my Serenity Sac!" ....C.G., Cincinnati-

"My sunday school children love them. Each week I have them write a note to God and place it in their Serenity Sac. Seeing these children become reliant on God is such a blessing!" ....P.C. Covington, KY-

"Possibly the best gift I have ever given my Mom and Sisters. Great gift idea!" ....C.J., Cincinnati-

"Thank you for the Serenity Sac. Your (God's timing) is amazing. I was diagnosed with cancer a few days ago and was feeling pretty hopeless. You have no idea how much this simple little gift has helped me. Thank you, thank you, thank you." ....R.J., Cincinnati

Until next time, you can find me at the sewing machine!