Follow Up to the Wake post

After posting the video about Grieving and Hitting the Wake of our addictions, a few questions popped up. I wanted to answer those in a quick post.

Q– why is the propeller red?

A – because I accidentally hit a button on the screen-capture software and rather than worry about it I just rolled with it.

Q – what do you mean by “don’t let off the gas”? What does that look like tactically?

A – If you’ve attended the Every Mans Battle workshop it means working your battle plan. That especially includes the daily activities, but the monthly and weekly as well are important. You are literally in the process of rewiring your brain for recovery and healthy living. That takes intentionality, just like wiring it up for dysfunction took intentionality.

If you haven’t attended the workshop, then it means developing a plan. What are the key things you know you need to do, everyday, to start creating healthy habits? How do you need to engage God everyday to deepen your relationship and cultivate your sensitivity to the Spirit? Who should you meet with every week and what should you talk about that will lead to creating a culture of honesty?

Here are three things I urge you to make a part of your daily recovery rituals:

1 – recommitment prayer – come up with a simply prayer that will help you align your heart with God, invite Him into your day, and remind you what trajectory you’re on.

2 – connection – talk with an accountability connection everyday. Talk. Not just text. Not email. Not smoke-signal. Not Morse Code. Not Navajo Code. Actually have a conversation with them about where your heart and mind are, and how you’ve experienced any temptation. This may be the most difficult thing in the entire plan.

3 – read recovery literature – read things that are going to help you understand yourself, God and others better. No, the Bible doesn’t count as recovery literature. This is in addition to being the word. There are a TON of great books out there. Have something on hand to pick up and read even a page every day.

Q – Why would I grieve losing something that has been so hurtful and damaging?

A – our addictions/mistresses/compulsions are, in a sense, like a really bad “good-ole-friend”. They offered us comfort, nurturing, escape, excitement, adventure, peace, thrill, acceptance and so on; we’ll miss that. Unhealthy and dysfunctional as it may be, we’ll miss it. Further, all those things we found in unhealthy ways are things that God (I believe) wants to offer us. Problem is, it won’t happen overnight, and those things aren’t shipped next-day. It’s going to take a while to cultivate the relationships with God and others where those things will be found. In the meantime, that old friend can look appealing again.

If you have other questions please post them in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them!

Thankya Lawd

A quick devotional thought for the day:

Years ago, we helped my wife’s grandmother move. She had to have been in her 80’s at that point. As we shuffled things around she would point, direct, and supervise the process of culling through her things. Finally it was time to leave and we walked her down the sidewalk to the car.  As we escorted her through the door and off the porch, we had to navigate a few steps. Quietly, but aloud, after every step Nana would say, “Thankya Lawd”  That’s Texan for Thank You, Lord…in case you were wondering.

In the years since, Nana has passed away, but Shelley and I have lovingly use her little phrase when talking about things we’re thankful for. It’s a tribute to her in a sense, as well as a useful habit for us. Practicing thankfulness is so important. Especially in the little things. It is easy to forget that our Big God is interested in the little things of our lives.

Nana was thankful for making it down a step. When was the last time you thanked God for not falling going down a step? Me? Probably never.  I have a habit of overlooking the little things that God is present with me in. In my addiction, I couldn’t see where God was present in anything, partly because he seemed absent from the big things. But that is a wrong perspective.

To overlook God’s presence in the little things because He seems absent in the big things is faulty thinking.

I urge you to practice thankfulness in the little things over the next couple days. Do something specifically to cultivate gratitude. Take the first minute of every waking hour to be thankful for something. Have you been sexually sober while reading this (man, I hope so!)? Thank God. Did you make it down a step or two this morning? Thank God. Did you make it to work without hitting a pedestrian? Barely, but me too! Thank the Lord.

Here’s the Thankful List I’m starting this morning. What’s yours?

  1. I got to walk my oldest son to school.
  2. My middle son wanted me to hug him.
  3. Shelley didn’t leave me.
  4. Norman, our baby, was happy while I was feeding him.
  5. I have a car that works.
  6. I get to help people for a living.
  7. Sweet tea.
  8. Moontower tacos (a taco shop across from my office).
  9. I have a jacket in the Denver cold.
  10. I went down 6 steps without falling.