R.A. Dickey debuted his knuckleball by breaking one of baseball’s worst pitching records, giving up an unbelievable six home runs in one game. Sent to the minors and faced with the failure of his pitching dream, Dickey decided to end his life. He duct taped a hose to his car’s exhaust pipe, connected it to the driver’s side window, and placed his hand on the ignition. It was about more than his dream failing. It was about the babysitter who molested him as a child, about the man who raped him, his need for cleansing and purpose in life. He had hoped baseball would give him meaning and a way to escape the pain of his past, but all that seemed impossible now. He couldn’t see how R.A. Dickey would one day find healing and redemption and success beyond his wildest dreams.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Oh my word! I am so tired! I've been working such long hours and it's for an amazing organization that is fighting pornography and sex trafficking, but it's been physically and emotionally draining.
It's so easy during these times to just turn on the computer and watch some porn, or run to the cabinet and each some junk food, or pour myself a glass of wine - but it's not going to solve my being tired. It's just a quick fix. And in the end, more harm is done than good.
What I really need is to give it all to God! I tend to get emotional when I'm tired. I go from giddy to crying. That's when I know I've hit bottom (and I'm just about there too). But, what I've learned from attending Celebrate Recovery is THIS is when I need to give it to Him.
When I read this verse, I literally picture a big father holding his outstretched arms waiting for me. I can cry in those arms and fall apart - because it's safe. And when I'm done and he wipes away my tears, I know he is going to give me rest. Physically and emotionally.
I also know that when I'm at this point- it's when I need to find ways to rejuvenate. Ideas that work for me are to read my Bible, sit outside and just enjoy "being", go for coffee with a friend, read a book, watch TV, go for a long bike ride (I love my bike). It's so important to realize that exhaustion is a huge trigger and that we need to guard from it.
I'm heading to bed now as I need to refuel for the morning.
Albert Einstein was heard to say, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Sadly, it does seem that far too often there is no limit to the foolishness we get ourselves into—or the damage we create by our foolishness and the choices it fosters.
It was in such a season of regret that David poured out his struggle and complaint to God in Psalm 38. As he recounted his own failings, as well as the painful consequences he was enduring because of those failings, the shepherd-king made an insightful comment: “My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness” (v.5). Although the psalmist does not give us the details of those choices or of his worsening wounds, one thing is clear—David recognized his own foolishness as their root cause.
The answer for such destructive foolishness is to embrace the wisdom of God. Proverbs 9:10 reminds us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Only by allowing God to transform us can we overcome the foolish decisions that cause so much trouble. With His loving guidance, we can follow the pathway of godly wisdom.
Loving Father, forgive me for the seemingly
limitless capacity I have to be foolish. Teach me
in Your wisdom, so that my life might be pleasing
to You and a blessing to others around me.
God’s wisdom is given to those who humbly ask Him for it.
So it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:5
I think yesterday's devo really hit the mark with some. After receiving emails about the traditions others do it got me to thinking about traditions that we do within our 12 Step Meetings or Celebrate Recovery meeting. And with today's verse I am reminded that we do these things as all the parts of one body and how we do belong together.
One of the most profound memories I have of going to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting was the giving out of the chip indicating anniversary's of sobriety. Everyone cheered (and rather loudly too) celebrating the victories of others. Not everyone received a chip that day. In fact only 2 people did. But it was profound. A little chip.
Relationships are built at meeting like Celebrate Recovery or 12 Step programs where you begin to talk and understand the root of each other's problems and can begin to support each other. And isn't that what our body does. One part helps support another in order to function together?
If you haven't tried a support program yet, I highly encourage you to try one out in your area. Be supported as part of one body. God made us to enter into relationships with others and to find our support from Him but also from those who he created. He does work alone at time but most often He works through others.
Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus itself. Ephesians 2:20
I was reading my devotions this morning and the topic was about belonging and I began to think about the community of those who have addictions. Feeling isolated is for many a huge trigger that fuels the addiction. No one gets me. No one understands. I feel so alone.
Her topic was about family traditions and wouldn't it be great to start something new - something that can be passed down through the generations to remind our kids of where they belong.
We have some of those in our family - things like giving the kids $20 on vacations for them to spend any way they want OR to keep it at the end. This way, we don't hear "Can I get....." at every souvenir shop. Or attending a family retreat for families affected by disabilities the first week of August every year. Or getting slushies after bike rides with the kids.
BUT, in our house we have a tradition that is laced around the fabric called recovery too. When my husband quit his addiction a few years ago, he made a pact with a good friend. This pact is filled with actionable items to keep him accountable to God, to me, to our kids and friends and most of all himself. The words of the pact hang on our wall for everyone to read and each person signed it as well as a pastor that came to pray with us on this day. The tradition part is that every December right around the anniversary of the pact, our families get dressed up and go out for a meal to celebrate. We want to honor the men in our lives and the decision they made to be men of faith. Our children understand a little about what we are doing and my prayer is that as they grow older they will begin to see that we do in this one meal is so important and the importance of the decision their fathers made.
And so, I challenge you today. Traditions don't just have to be something that you think is outside of the recovery world - especially when fighting addiction is part of your world. Perhaps, it's time to start a new tradition. Have a great day and prayers for thinking about starting a new tradition.
Recently, I began studying the kings of the Old Testament with some
friends. I noticed on the chart that we were using that a few of the
leaders of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are labeled good, but most of them are labeled bad, mostly bad, extra bad, and the worst.
King David is described as a good king who “followed [God] with all
his heart” (1 Kings 14:8) and is an example to follow (3:14; 11:38). The
bad kings are noted for their willful rejection of God and for leading
their subjects into idolatry. King Jeroboam, the first king to rule
Israel after the kingdom was divided, has the legacy of being remembered
as one of the worst kings—“who sinned and who made Israel sin” (14:16).
Because of his bad example, many kings who came after him are compared
to him and are described as being as evil as he was (16:2,19,26,31;
Each of us has a unique sphere of influence, and that influence can
be used for evil or for good. An unfettered faithfulness to God is a
light that will shine brightly and leave a legacy of good.
It’s our privilege to bring glory to the Lord. May others see His light shining through us and be drawn to His goodness.
Oh, make me, Lord, so much like Thee,
My life controlled by power divine,
That I a shining light may be
From which Thy grace may ever shine. —Robertson
The smallest light still shines in the darkest night.