My Big Life Change!

Picture taken by Abby Austin of 1000 Miles on my own two feet.


To transform my life, with God's help of course, one step at a time.

1. Get healthy & honor God with my body

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

2.Become at least 50% sustainable with emphasis on doing our part to take care of God's planet.

3. Live life as an adventure, experiencing new places, things & people.
18 out of 150 bucket list goals accomplished

4. Become debt free & build security for my family, so we can then bless others financially also.

5. Continue to grow closer to God, building My family's faith & sharing the Gospel with those we meet, by using the talents and gifts God has provided us.

6.Continue to make money by creating and sharing my thoughts and beliefs through artistic expression: all the while hoping that my art will impact others. "Holly Kennedy

: All I know is, if you don't figure out this something, you'll just stay ordinary, and it doesn't matter if it's a work of art, or a taco, or a pair of socks! Just create something... new, and there it is, and it's you, out in the world, outside of you, and you can look at it, or hear it, or read it, or feel it... and you know a little more about... you. A little bit more than anyone else does... Does that make any sense at all?" Quote from PS I LOVE YOU

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts of a not so thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of happiness and cheer, or is it? I have learned so much about many things since wandering into Celebrate Recovery for the first time. So many things that have changed my views on life but one of the most surprising things I have learned  is that many people don't like or enjoy the holidays. It was a huge shock to me!

As a kid in a disfunctional family, I loved the holidays. When my dad left the house the first time, my life changed forever. Instead of Mom and Dad buying us presents, my mom would work and work and do everything she could to make sure that we would have a good Christmas. If mom would work on Christmas Eve, we would still have Christmas that night when she got home no matter what time it was. Then on Christmas day we would eat a big meal and visit family and friends. Thanksgiving was the same way. It was one guaranteed day that we would get to spend with mom. Time with mom was rare since she was always working. So after we ate ourselves silly we would clear the table and play cards! Laughing and hanging out around the card table was our favorite family past time. Even if we went to Grams's house the cards or dominoes would always come out! Such good memories are surrounded around my holidays!

But now that I have experienced life a little through recovery eyes, I can see why the holidays aren't always good occasions. First of all, the holidays usually bring back memories of loved ones that are no longer here.
I have a friend that lost her mother the other day. I went to the funeral for this lovely woman who was all about her family. But although she is in the best place you can be ( with Jesus) I imagine her family is really going to miss her tomorrow. Not to mention going through Christmas without their mother, wife, sister or grandma is going to be extra hard. So many people out there are going through life missing part of their family. It is easy to pretend that life is not hard without them when we keep busy, but when we have to slow down sometimes our mind goes overboard with memories. Some people are completely alone for many different reasons. Like my dad! Although alienating himself was his doing, the holidays can be very hard on him. And although he would probably not admit it, he would rather not be alone. So luckily John's family is very good about welcoming him in. We go get him on Thanksgiving and get to have much needed time with him and other family. Right now my mom is apart from us and I am very thankful for the friends she has that takes her in on Thanksgiving and Christmas when she can't come home.

Secondly, living with addiction is hard. And if you are a food addict like me Thanksgiving is a holiday where my addiction stares me in the face. But as hard as it is for a food addict during the holidays, it is nothing compared to dealing with an alcohol or drug addiction. Alcohol was never part of our holidays growing up, but I have learned that many families include alcohol as part of their family festivities. Now I am not judging anyone, so if you have alcohol or eggnog during your holidays don't think that I am saying anything to you. But  for drug and alcohol addicts. Holidays are really hard times. Many started their addictions because of events that happened in their families. Whether it was abuse of some kind or growing up with too strict of a lifestyle or many many other reasons, getting back together with that family and reliving that trauma is too much for some people to handle. Also, even if their family is not the reason for them to be in their addiction, sometimes hanging out with people that point out your addiction even if not on purpose, can be really hard. I also want to tell you that I have learned of many occasions where sexual abuse has happened within families and for whatever reason the victim lives in secret oppression from this person. Seeing this person during the holidays and other occasions, can be very traumatic if not dangerous.

Thirdly, holidays are very expensive and busy. We grew up poor in money but not in spirit. One of my mom's spiritual gifts is making friends. My mom can make anyone feel at home and can turn a stranger into a friend in minutes. Because of this, mom has always had many friends at church and at home. And mom's church family always took care of us during holidays where we were having trouble coming up with food or gifts. In fact, year round they were always there for us if we were in need of anything. But for many people asking for help is not second nature. Pride can cause many a man or woman to fall. And sometimes people don't know where to go for help. So spending the holidays without food or gifts to give your children can be devastating. Also, with the stores competing for your attention on the best deals on food and gifts, we can over spend so easily! Then along with dealing with after thanksgiving belly aches we are looking at our empty wallets and trying to figure out Christmas. Buying the biggest and best toys and games for your family can cause major headaches and heartaches. I have been invited by some of my friends to go with them Black Friday shopping. I would never do this. First of all, I can't stand crowds. Secondly, I am the complete opposite of a morning person and cannot stand getting up early. Thirdly, I believe that competing with others for perfectly meaningless reasons only causes more frustration and cause to forget what we are thankful for. I have always wanted to ask some of those crazy black Friday shoppers what they are thankful for while they are freezing their little tushes waiting for a store to open.

So the point to this very long monologue is that we should be mindful of why some people may not share your holiday spirit. And I am saying this to remind us of why we are all broken and we all need Jesus. And as His hands and feet we are to portray Jesus's love and message to the world. His second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. So maybe the next time Mr. Scrooge gets in front of us in the grocery line, or passes us on the highway, we will show compassion and remember why Jesus came in the first place. And that is why Celebrate Recovery never has a night off. This Thanksgiving I am going to spend time with family during the day but at night as normal on a Thursday night, I will be spending time with my CR friends. Because recovery is a process and it doesn't stop because it is a holiday. Thank you for letting me share!


  1. I was just talking to T about your Christmases growing up. I love having a little insight into what you guys did growing up.

    And I agree about Black Friday. It's absolutely nuts! Plus I am the furthest thing from a morning person, so there will not be any 2 am wake ups for material items I don't really need. :)

  2. I would love to know what he remembered about our Christmas's my memory is awful! I hope you don't get up at 2 am, you are growing my precious niece. Sleep in!

  3. Ty Mrs brownie :) It actually isnt until Dec 6th but momma gave it to me now :)