Look What God Can Do

It was November 2020. Each day the hours of darkness grow while the hours of daylight recede. The house was dark when I sat down in my home office and again when I would shut my computer down for the day. I would make my way to the kitchen around the 5:00 hour to grab an unhealthy, processed, instant food to heat up in the microwave or pizza oven and I would finish the day on my recliner where I would polish off a bottle of wine while staring at another [television] screen to occupy my boredom and exhaust the remaining hours until bedtime. Awakening to a pot of bold caffeinated coffee to do it all over again. Day after day I kept thinking, “This isn’t living”.

The pandemic was doing what any extrovert dreads – isolation, lack of social connectedness, limited variety in activity and repetition. Feeling depression growing ever deeper within me, all I wanted to do was sleep. Sure, I could exercise, but only to, yet, another screen. I could bundle up and get some crisp, fresh, cold November air, but why would I do that? It’s cold, it’s dark.
So what do you do when you feel life draining from you? Out of desire to reverse the dark hole I was finding myself digging day after day, I took a personal assessment and questioned myself, “What do I need right now and where can I find it?”
I need people!
I need physical activity!
I need to stop trying to satisfy the void in my life with wine, unhealthy foods, watching depressing news and binge shopping on Amazon.

My conclusion? Get a second job! So I did. A part-time job in the evenings at Fedex Express!
My husband doubted I could do it because the criteria was having the ability to work in extreme temperatures and lift up to 50 pounds. His doubt was enough for this old farm girl to give it a try and here I am, a little over one year later, in cold, frigid Wisconsin February, with $15,000 less debt, an entirely new circle of friends. Conversely, I feel GREAT, blessed, motivated and proud. I even took off a few pounds. #WINNING!

God is so amazing. He used my discomfort, debt, depression and discouragement and gave me a whole new perspective on life. I can’t tell you how much I now see the world in a whole new way through this experience. First and foremost, I will no longer underestimate how God can use our grim circumstances to plant us right in the middle of somewhere that gives you so much more than you could ever ask or imagine. Secondly, how much we need to appreciate people who do what they do so we can get our products conveniently delivered to our door. Be sure to thank a delivery person!

Another way God amazed me is that He gave me a mission field. I don’t have anything to lose by talking about Jesus at Fedex so as we’re stacking boxes, unloading trucks, loading the big plane or tackling a project together, we get to know one another. I get to hear about their love for video games, pets, kids, cars and music. I learn about some of their dating, family and health challenges and a subject near and dear to my heart, their hurts, habits and hang ups; otherwise known as addictions. I get to pray for them, and I do, daily. My Fedex team has become a very important part of my life and I am seriously dreading the day when God redirects me to somewhere new. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about leaving, but we’re still waiting for Covid to be declared an endemic so I’m actually very happy to spend my evenings with my new found friends.
The moral to my story is this: I know people are out there whose mental health has taken it’s toll be it from isolation, stress, fear, darkness, boredom, debt. I know that what you are dealing with is very serious and it is real and it is hard. Do a self assessment like I did. What do you need right now and where can you find it? Then pray and ask God to guide you into something, some place, some where, that will lift you up, transform your life and bring fresh perspective to how He can use you, grow you and above all restore you. Maybe it is a second job, maybe it’s a new hobby, activity or volunteer opportunity, but a ministry. Our God works in mysterious ways and there is no question that He knows what we need more than we do.

So let me end with this…

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:6-8

Addicted To God

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I would like to conduct an experiment. What could God do in 30 days if we acted like we were addicted to Him? If you think about addiction, it is all consuming and it, in many cases, dominates our thoughts, actions, choices, plans and resources.

Let me speak from the vantage point of a shopaholic. She has everything a woman could ever ask for; Shoes in every style and color that compliment multiple hats, purses, handbags, jewelry, headbands, jackets and sweaters. Cabinets, drawers and cupboards filled with make up, haircare, nail care, skin care, foot care, lotions, waxers, shavers, anti-aging exfoliants. Drawers overflowing with Victoria’s little secrets along with hangers and hooks dripping with bathrobes, scarves, belts, tights, shawls and wraps. Clothes for every season and activity; from pajamas to workout clothes, casual to business casual and professional skirts, skorts and pants, to after-five little black dresses to formal glitz and glam evening attire. The dimensions of her walk in closet are comparable to a small bedroom, bathroom or den.

She has a credit card for every department store and balances that are inching closer to their credit limit, while that limit seems hard to catch as it keeps increasing due to her “preferred customer” status.

The addict says, “I don’t have enough” and heads out on a hunt for more. She spends hours searching for the perfect, look, deal, color, fit, size, style or item. As she piles the success of her mission onto the checkout counter and her mind races from, “I hope these match with shoes I picked up last year and hadn’t worn yet” to, “I hope this charge goes through.” Relief breaks the fear when the clerk asks, “Would you like to apply for our credit card and “save” 10%? Of course she would!

She gets home and obsesses over what to wear, which accessories match and if she really likes them enough to keep them or if it’s worth the trouble to go back and exchange them? Even though guilt starts to set in, she feels good; it’s like a shot in the arm that reinvigorates her and makes her feel better about herself. She decides that she is worth it, she works hard for it and she deserves it – then off come the tags, the final decision, with rationalized justification, is made.

30-days later the credit card statement reminds her of her due date. What once was a collection of “must-haves” becomes another bill and she can’t understand when and how it got so high. She may have worn them once since she bought them, but they didn’t work out like she thought they would. They now seem to feel too tight or they made her feel fat when they pulled and squeezed in places that made her self-conscious. Discouragement sets in as her debt piles up and her paychecks keep getting smaller. As if that’s not bad enough, she notices other things that she loves but they are showing their wear with fade from washing or they just flat-out lost their trendiness. So off to the store she goes…again!

Imagine if we could take this one example of addiction and transfer that level of consumerism to reading our bibles, studying the word of God and into prayer? What if we could live like the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

With that kind of strength, we wouldn’t be broke, ungrateful, unsatisfied or discontent and we could “learn” to be content with whatever we have. So unAmerican! Through knowing God, finding our completeness and fulfillment in Him and, quite frankly, acquire an obsession to have more of Him, what could life look like to be addicted to God? What if you were given the living water and never be hungry or thirst again, like Jesus talks about in John 4:15 or 6:35?

Want to give it a try? Commit to 30 days of bible reading. Go to www.facebook.com/godgirlfriends and post your questions, lean into your support system – a community of encouragement. Then report back how you see God work in your life in these next 30 days to inspire others, but most of all to celebrate all you witnessed God doing in your life.

Regardless of your stronghold, addiction, idol or whatever has you in bondage – take the time that you have been previously consumed by and redirect your energy, time and resources into knowing, seeking, reading and focusing on God. The book of Matthew has 28 chapters, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 21. Pick one! Then read a verse, section, chapter or book for a little OR A LOT of time each day. Challenge yourself to dedicate whatever time you would have otherwise spent on other unfulfilling or unsatisfying things.

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

I’m praying for you!


What Does The Cross Mean To You?

black cross on top of mountain

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25

A young lady came into my life recently and we were matched up because she wanted to know God better. To be honest, she had a very convincing testimony and if salvation had a checklist I would argue that she could check every box. I was pleased to see that she already knew a lot of scripture so I assumed my role, as her mentor, would be to show her how she could build daily disciplines into her life, hold her accountable to putting what she read into practice and to encourage her in her walk with the Lord. We both agreed that this would be our goal.

I made her a promise that I would not give her any personal advice, but would point her to scripture that would be useful to teaching rebuking, correcting and training in her righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). With that, I encouraged her to ask questions and to be curious about what she was reading and take time to meditate on how she could apply what she was reading into her life.

Shortly after, her questions started rolling in, I responded with verses that would not only teach her, but affirm her as she would wrestle with the truth. She began to realize that her life wasn’t exactly aligned with what God would want for her and began to open up about her struggles with addition, low self-esteem, anxiety, borderline depression and a complete lack of inner peace.

I kept sharing God’s truth and continued to remind her of who she is in Christ; that she is God’s creation, His handiwork, an heir to the throne and a daughter of the King who is deeply loved. She began rebuking me out of her own disbelief that if that is true about God, why doesn’t she feel that way?

Whoa! There it is… she’s seeking a feeling and desiring after some supernatural, magical, confident state of mind. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all else, who can understand it and when I shared this with her, she had to admit that this is true of herself. She is being tossed around endlessly by her feelings and is guilty focusing on how she feels rather than on what she knows to be true in scripture.

Girlfriends, God made us to be feelers, thinkers and have emotions, which (I can speak from first hand experience), can be one of the biggest barriers to having an intimate, authentic and personal relationship with God.

We can’t wish ourselves into heaven anymore than we can earn it.

We need to throw our whole entire heart (life) into knowing God and trust every single one of the promises that are given to us in His word. We have to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what Jesus did on the cross was enough to cover our sins today, tomorrow and for eternity. Until we do, we will live on an emotional rollercoaster and be tossed around and tormented by our feelings – exactly what is happening to her.

It has been weeks of watching her come to the end of herself in this battle of wills – her will vs. God’s will. Last night she finally made this statement, “I know suffering has a purpose but it hurts when in it… I’d like to view it from God’s perspective.

Oh, the honesty, defeat and vulnerability in those words.

Poor sweet girl (and all of you reading), we DO have God’s perspective and it is found at and in the cross! The cross that performed the greatest, most selfless act in history. The cross, where God’s grace was freely given to us in the form the most sacrificial gift of all time. Not one of us deserve it! It is the most horrific form of suffering, where Jesus was placed on an altar, the altar called the cross, and where his sinless, flawless life was sacrificed and he willingly took all of humanity’s collective sin onto himself paying the ultimate price… death! Satan thought he won, but on the contrary he was never more defeated. Jesus conquered death and he lives!

It is because of this that we surrender our lives to him – our whole selves. He gave everything up for us and held nothing back and when we realize the magnitude of what he did, we willingly, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly give him our lives. When that happens, the Holy Spirit enters us and begins to change us from the inside out. The process takes a lifetime (here on earth), but the assurance of heaven is guaranteed. The changes we begin to see within ourselves are evidence of his transforming work and we not only love ourselves (which covers low self-esteem, doubt and anxiety), but we love others unconditionally.

Today I am going to ask this young lady if she wants to accept the greatest gift of life that God gave to her, because now I can see that she may know scripture intellectually, but not personally. I pray I get to witness the birth of a new believer who comes to know her Father in heaven on Mother’s Day 2020.

Is today that day for you too? Are you done being tossed around by your feelings and emotions and are you ready to accept the greatest gift of all – eternal life through faith in what Jesus did on the cross for you?

I hope so. My greatest pain comes from watching this young lady, and many like her, struggle. Especially because I know that on the other side of this decision is peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that is not contingent to circumstances and love that abounds beyond my ability to describe it.

“Lord, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for MY sins; not just the sins of the world, but for ME! Father please forgive me of all my sins – I admit that I can’t save myself; I need a savior. I surrender my life to you, Lord, and I ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit. That you will guide me everyday for the rest of my life and I thank you for giving me assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name I pray – Amen!”

If you prayed this prayer, Congratulations! Email me at liveoutlougblog@gmail.com and I will share some ideas on how you can take your new found faith and grow it, mature it.

For you and all who have already surrendered your life, we will see you in heaven, sisters in Christ!





woman wearing brown shirt inside room

“Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15

Do you think about Jesus’ return? I do. Most often it’s when I hear something incomprehensible, where we are left with more questions than answers. Murders, police shootings, devastating forest fires, hurricanes, tsunami’s, suicides, animal cruelty, political tensions, school, church and workplace violence. I could go on and on and if I started naming headlines, not only would we becomed depressed, but it would completely derail the intent of this message.

Today is day 102 in sobriety and I have to admit, I can’t believe it. Has it been easy? I would be lying if I said yes. However, I have read books, Facebook posts, heard testimonies, held conversations and met addicts who have had it, or currently have it, far more difficult than me. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t hit my inevitable rock bottom, but regardless, it truly is a daily decision that, “Today, I will chose to NOT drink.” I do have an appreciation for (and a completely deeper sense of admiration for) ANY one who reclaims their life by living one day at a time in recovery.

One of the thoughts that I used to ponder on the mornings after I had “a few too many” is, “What if Jesus came last night?” Would I be raptured, could I be raptured drunk? After all (to justify myself) the bible says that I am sealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:22) and on account of his grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), I assumed I would be fine; but Matthew 24:48-51 says otherwise.

“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

As you know, I am not a bible scholar, just a girl who loves Jesus and who has felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to get a handle on her drinking; I interpret this to mean, “No!” But even if I’m wrong, these verses are still make it clear that, “To profess to be a Christian and then turn around and behave in a manner that is in complete contrast to a Christian life is hypocritical.” Some of you may not need complete sobriety to do it but, unfortunately, due to the stronghold of addiction, many of us do. May I add that I want to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21), not “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).

May I leave you with these verses to be encouraged, which is one that a Godly Girlfriend, sister in Christ, sent to encourage me on a difficult day, Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9

Be victorious, through Christ, TODAY!



Don’t Look At Me That Way

adult alone anxious black and white

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2

“I quit drinking.”

I just know what is coming next. The person to whom I am speaking drops their shoulders, tilts their chin, leans in closer while shaking their head and says, “I am so sorry, I had no idea that you had a problem.”

Wait, WHAT? I am proud of the fact that I quit drinking. I lost 20 lbs, my clothes fit better and my complexion is clearer. I have more energy, I’m sleeping better and I’m 10x more productive. My head isn’t cloudy, my memory has drastically improved and I am an all around a much happier and healthier person and if you put all these things together, I am a stronger, more confident, better educated, champion in life. I’m not sorry, I’m so excited for all the great benefits that have resulted from this decision that I can’t wait to share it with people!

I do have to give credit to some a select few who do know me and have responded with “Good for you” or “I’m proud of you”, but most often I hear the follow up comment as, “I could never do that!” Yet I’m the one gets sympathy?

Just for kicks, what if we changed the conversation over to, “I quit smoking, I stopped gambling or reigned my dead-end job? What if I gave up carbs, cut back on social media, am avoiding refined sugar or I decide to join Weight Watchers?” Regardless of how bad my problem was in these areas I would likely hear, “Good for you”, “That’s awesome”, or, “I should [fill in the blank].”

Is there a difference?  Yes, stigma!

If you Google “Drinking capital of the US“, the top search will bring you to a 2018 article from USA Today that lists the top 20 drunkest cities and my great state of Wisconsin holds 10 out of the 20 cities listed. Not that my geography has anything to do with my choice to consume or not consume alcohol, but I live smack dab in the middle of the #1 and #3 ranked “drunkest” cities; Green Bay and Appleton. This means that by mere per capita, most everyone that I am sharing this news with probably has an alcohol problem too, but they, within their own state of denial, are extending pity on me? I think it goes without say, but we need to feel sad for them.

It’s been 110-ish days since I personally and consciously made the decision to refrain from drinking alcohol, yet I find myself having “the conversation” and proceed to deny that I have had even a hint of a problem; primarily out of fear, shame or risk of being labeled as an alcoholic – or worse – getting that sympathetic reaction from people.

This reaction that makes me feel ashamed and weak as if I’m an outcast and the local weirdo.

We need to get the word out that people who quit drinking are not victims, sufferers and not everyone who quits drinking has hit some rock bottom that they picked themselves up from. Instead, I would rank them among societies hero’s, conquerors and dedicated over-comers because they have unbelievable will-power, are surrounded by a huge support system and, like me, are empowered to live a better quality of life and are able to see life in vivid technicolor unhindered.

1 Thessalonians 5:6-11, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. for those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

I also found this Tedx Talk by Clara Pooly and she does a great job of articulating this. We have similar stories and share the same opinion, I encourage you to check it out.

To all my fellow non-drinkers out there. Keep fighting the good fight. Our lives are better for it and next time someone shakes their head and asks surprised that they didn’t know you had a problem, do a better job of standing tall. I have some work to do.

Tips For Sober Living


Let us examine our ways and test them,
    and let us return to the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:40

Last week I poured out my soul to you with a confession that I have made the decision to live sober. It was my “coming out” post to let the Godly Girlfriends community know that I have been moved, by God, to address my drinking problem. (Geez, that is still hard to own up to – Just sayin’!)

If there is one thing that I have learned in my first 30 days of sobriety, is that you can NOT do it alone. I tend to live my life as an open book, but this is deeply personal so putting this out there really takes vulnerability to a whole new level.

Today I would like to share a list of what has prevented me from giving in to all the temptations that I have encountered over the past month. My goal is to inspire others who are following my journey, looking for the courage and motivation to embark upon their own journey or for you to share with someone on a similar journey who could use some fresh ideas.

No matter what, please don’t judge me. I don’t have the perfect antidote, nobody does, but in these first 30 days, I have learned a lot about myself and this disease so I’m putting it out there. It’s what is working for me:

  1. Life Recovery Bible: I don’t know how anyone can do this without a Life Recovery Bible. It has given me daily biblical lessons that have put my addiction into perspective given me the strength to kick addiction off the pedestal of my life. In addition, I watch the Life Recovery Videos that compliment each step in the bible and the recovery system to further guide my thoughts and support my healing.
  2. Join a Celebrate Recovery Support Group: I can’t speak for AA because I haven’t been there, but I have known enough people in recovery (family members included) who have been successful in AA and have greatly benefited from that framework. I commend anyone who relies on their AA network of support. I have deliberately chosen a Celebrate Recovery (CR) Group because CR focuses on the healing power and sovereign grace of God; not my own manifestation of a higher power. Without having the one and only true God along side of me on this journey, I would not only be unsuccessful at overcoming addiction, but helpless to overcome all the proverbial curve balls that life throws my way.
  3. Countless YouTube Videos: I searched for every topic that I could think of and I listen constantly. In 30 days, I haven’t stumbled upon a repeat video yet. The messages, testimonies, education and knowledge that I have gleaned has given me answers that not only give me the assurance that I’m not alone, but this is possible. Some of the topics that I searched were Ted Talks about sobriety, detoxing, liver damage, sober stories, alcohol use disorder, overcoming cravings, signs of alcoholism, what is an alcoholic, functional alcoholics, women and alcohol, how to eliminate bloating, how to stay sober and what it means to be an alcoholic – to name a few.

    I owe the Life Recovery Bible, my Celebrate Recovery Group and the hosts of the numerous YouTube video’s credit for the remaining tips, but regardless of how I derived at them, they are working and I hope they work for you or someone you love too.

  4. Alcohol is poison: In my research on health, consequences of consuming alcohol and liver damage has given me enough ammunition to refuse to drink. You don’t have to go far to learn the negative repercussions of alcohol on the mind and body, but when you’re enjoying drinking why would you want to know you’re killing yourself? Making the psychologically shift from seeing alcohol a reward or a much deserved selfish indulgence to seeing it as something that will kill you can have a life altering impact.
  5. I want to feel: When you’re not putting yourself to bed and night with a bottle of wine and waking yourself up every morning with a pot of coffee, the world is beautiful in a new and fresh way. The sunset’s are breathtaking and the sunrise’s are indescribable. I love seeing the beauty in the world and appreciating all the moments that I now have to pause and appreciate them.
  6. I hate “Day One”. As much as my last 30 days have been consistent and without relapse, I have been motivated, many times, by the motivation to not have to start over. The thought of going back to day one after putting in this much work and adding another number to my sober days has helped me remain strong.
  7. Record Milestones. First holiday, first time golfing, first Friday night, first full weekend or whatever victory I am proud of achieving. I heard that it requires one year of “firsts” to fully appreciate the exhilarating feeling of being fully liberated from the triggers of alcohol. Also in the time frame of one year, you’ll have the time to create new experiences and build positive memories. As much as this is a “one day at a time” process, there truly is something inspiring of having a whole year of new beginnings. With each recorded milestone, my enthusiasm for a better future grows.
  8. Find new things to love. I love a hot cup of camomile tea before bed. I love reading a good book, working out and checking things off of my to-do list. When I used to come home from work and pour myself a glass of wine, that was putting an end to any productivity I planned to have for the night. I considered packing my gym bag without forgetting anything for the morning after workout was considered a successful night. I now appreciate the feelings of accomplishment, personal growth, good health and productivity. I especially love waking up in the morning with a clear, rested mind and energy! The sense of accomplishment I get from not drinking (again) the night before is exhilarating.
  9. Examine my motives. In one video I learned to ask myself “why I want a drink” each time I feel tempted. I remember pulling into my garage in week 1 and being inundated with thoughts of pouring myself a glass of wine as soon as I could get in the house. I caught myself and consciously asked “Why?” My list of reasons that I wanted a drink was weak; to say the least. From, “I just want one” to “I need to relax” to “It’s been a long day” or “It will help me sleep.” Once I deconstructed each reason for the root of why I really wanted a drink, I was able to disprove the reasons and redirect my desires toward healthier options. I learned I was drinking more out of habit, then for any true, rational or beneficial reason.
  10. Find an accountability partner(s). One of the first things that I was told early on is that I need an accountability partner. For me, this was my best friend. Someone whom I love and deeply respect too much to let down. She welcomed the opportunity to take on this tough-love assignment and she regularly sends check-in texts, unexpected daily reminders and sweet, sweet messages of encouragement and prayers that she is praying for me. With cheerleaders, advocates and non-judgemental safety nets that I have established, I seek their approval and affirmations and look forward to reporting my daily successes to them. I must add that my brother’s sobriety is motivating me. He may or may not, but I feel that he is relying on my strength and want to inspire him and show him that I am in the trenches with him. This feels like a bigger victory in that our family history is overtaken by this disease. Together, we can prevail!
  11. Make a Why List. Denial and justification for drinking is relentless and sneaks up at random and unexpected times. My mind swings from, “This is too easy” to “clearly I don’t have a problem.” That is until one of my triggers flare up and I start entertaining the idea that “just one won’t hurt.” I made a list of 10 reasons why I don’t drink which takes me back to the place that I was when I made this decision 30 days ago and the exact that I declared “enough is enough.” When I revisit that list I am reminded of the guilt, shame, regret and embarrassing memories or strong convictions that gave me the strength to stop. I don’t advocate for living in the past, but remembering where you’ve been and how far you have come is empowering. I’ll take that!
  12. Facebook Group: I searched and found “Slaying Sobriety” on Facebook. This group has over 6,000 women who have their own stories and I appreciate immediate responses with support, encouragement and connectivity to others who understand where I am at. I have encouraged others and they have encouraged me in my moments of weakness.
  13. A Lifestyle Choice. There is no denying the stigma of addiction, alcoholic and drunk. A clever marketer on YouTube suggested that we choose the label we want to bare, rather than hanging our head in defeat. After all, we may be alcoholics by genetics, mental health, past trauma or just fun people who took fun to far and for too long. Regardless, we don’t need society to make us outcasts. Instead, we choose sober living, living sober or life in recovery as a more positive representation of those of us who want better life and are making better choices for ourselves. Nobody criticizes a diabetic for taking insulin for their disease, why should we be ridiculed for ridding our lives of alcohol that makes us sick and will kill us.
  14. A Better Future. I often think about the years of drinking. I have been drinking more than 35 years. I get excited to imagine my next 35 years where I will have fewer regrets, more opportunities, better memories and more genuine friendships. As much as drinking is a societal norm, it is also derails our quality of life.
  15. A New Me. I’m having fun getting to know the new me, I really am. A girl who is full of life with a broader, more hope-filled vision for the future. Let’s be real, it’s not a great and wonderful experience… I’m making it one. There are moments that I do wish I could just take it or leave it, but I have had to get honest with myself and I have a track record of not winning in this area. I find myself dreaming again and imagining what more life holds. I am waiting to see if I get accepted into the Master’s of Counseling Program at Concordia University as we speak. I like the idea that it’s not to late to be what God created me to be.

Thank you for following my journey. Not only with alcohol, but in my walk of faith and continuous growth in knowing God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV





When God Steps In to Fix Your Problem

broken glass shadow wooden table

“Do not get drunk on wine because it will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” Ephesians 5:18 (NLT)

Today marks 3 weeks – 21 days – since I made the decision to live sober. I’m going to have to make this a multi-entry blog over the next few weeks because what I have witnessed and experienced in just 3 weeks of sobriety is nothing short of amazing. I want my journey, learning’s, disciplines and new habits to encourage others. Are you with me?

The million dollar question is, “Why did I quit drinking?”  The short answer… God.

The long answer…

  • Years of bad decisions that have manifested themselves into deep shame and regret;
  • A daughter pointing out that the first thing I do when I get home from work is pour myself a glass of wine before I do anything else;
  • A rapidly decreasing memory and a constant fuzzy, cloudy brain;
  • Being a pants size too big for over the past year, feeling fat and unhealthy;
  • Feeling conscientious of smelling like or sweating alcohol at my morning workout;
  • Tired of trying to moderate or keep my drinking under control only to wake up the next day feeling sick and coming to the realization that “I did it again;”
  • Finding reasons or excuses to justify drinking;
  • A long history of watching alcohol destroy my family;
  • My youngest brother getting his 3rd OWI and visiting to him while he was in treatment;
  • Failing efforts to go a week, let alone a day, without a drink;
  • Being jealous of others who don’t drink and wishing I had that kind of will power;
  • Absolutely fed up with being a hypocrite.

I will unpack all of these in future posts.

For the purpose of this first edition of “Why I quit drinking and am choosing sober living” starts with God. He really is the reason that I declared my sentencing and finally put the gavel down. That day and everyday since He has affirmed me and given me the strength to do this. If you read the bible, you know that God has a lot to say about idols. Even if you don’t read the bible you probably know the 10 commandments and #1 is pretty clear, “Thou shall have no other God’s before me” (Exodus 20:3 NIV). When you have god (small g) that is in direct conflict with thee God, there is a clash of priorities which produces stress, unrest, bitter consequences and constant, relentless conviction. For me it was living with a continuous guilt that I was not acting or living according to God’s will for my life.

How do you recognize an idol? An idol is anything that you make more important than God and “it” can take on many identities. Those of us with addictive personalities, it is anything that we obsess about or allow, to give or have, power over us. I remember telling myself, “Instead of drinking tonight, I am going to read my bible” – which I meant and greatly desired. Yet, I would get home from work and feel like I really needed a glass of wine to relax or worse, pouring myself a glass of wine and then sitting down to read my bible. I would have no recollection of what I read and I would get easily distracted by Facebook or some other mindless activity which drained my ambition and would stonewall any plans that I would have for the night.

I am convinced that alcohol is a tool the devil uses to take our minds off of what is important. It becomes our idol because we seek gratification from it; Self gratification or pride being worst idol of all. Whenever you think you “deserve” something, that is a warning sign that you may be nudging God out.

Whenever we satisfy yourselves and seek pleasure of anything outside of God, that is another warning sign that we are prioritizing an idol. John 4:13, “Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I gave them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I was thirsty again and again at the bottom of every bottle of wine and felt empty again and again every morning.

Here are some verses that God has used to convict me of late:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

“What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk” Isaiah 5:11 (NLT)

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV)

“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” 1 Peter 4:7 (NIV)

When these verses kept showing up more and more frequently I knew it was God putting his finger on something I needed to address. I know that drinking alcohol is not a sin by itself and I admire (and am jealous of) people who can enjoy a drink or two with self control. I guess my stop button is broken. I was falling into sin far to frequently, knowing full well that I was not acting or behaving in a way that would bring glory and honor to God; to whom I profess as Lord and the leader of my life.

I have listened to hundreds of testimonies over the past several weeks and I have found them to be very empowering. In recovery, it is strongly recommended that you don’t isolate yourself, not only for your own healing, but for the healing of others as well. This falls in line with the purpose and mission of Godly Girlfriends, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)

This is me, leaning into my own healing and coming out of the dark. Please like this post if it encouraged you today and please share it with others who may benefit from this and future blogs on this subject so we can strengthen one another and stop the devil from ruining our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.