Category Archives: cleansing

These Servant Hands

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The picture you see here is not of dirty hands.  As a matter of fact, I wash my hands over 50 times a day, most recently with textured soap, the same kind that mechanics use.  Look closely.  Can you see the cracks?  See the stains? See the toil and strain?

I recently became more aware of the way my hands looked.  I went into a nail salon 2 weeks ago in preparation for a huge event that, not only was I attending, but was also sharing my testimony at. When the beautiful young girl picked up my hand to paint my nails she wrinkled her nose & made a comment about how badly I needed a manicure, but that there wasn’t much she could do at that point.

My hands are not dirty, they are stained from processing beets and other colorful fruits at my juice bar.  I try and I try to get them clean and uncracked, but nothing seems to work.  I think I’d have to take 2 weeks off to heal them completely. They are ugly, and gross (looking) and I have become increasingly aware of these facts.

This morning as I got ready for church I noticed them again. UGH…I was a greeter this morning.  It’s something that I take great pride in because I can’t offer much to my church body in the way of money or time, but by golly, I can wish them a helluva fine “Good morning!” But this morning as I got ready, all I could think about was how disgusting my hands looked.

I went into the bathroom, again, to give them one more good scrubbing, to no avail, then headed off to church, where I was sure that everyone who took a bulletin from me would notice.

Greeting went as it always does.  Lots of chit chatting with my greeting partner for the day, hugs and smiles from other church members, comments on hair and dresses and bow ties. Standing in the sunlight of the Spirit both figuratively and literally. Seeing my peeps.  My church family.  Serving them in the best way I know how, with a warm greeting!

As I snuck into church after the opening prayer and took my place next to my dad and my husband, I looked down.  There they were, those old tattered hands.  I had only just then thought of them again!  I had been sure that morning that I would have a hard time focusing on what I was doing because of the state my awful hands were in, but no, I hadn’t thought of them at all.

What a concept!  My service to others; people I love, people I hardly know, my friends, my family, total strangers, had completely taken all the fear, self loathing, embarrassment and inner voices away.  I had been healed, if even briefly by that simple act of selfless service to my fellows.

For the rest of the day I wore these battle scars with pride.  I work hard for these deep cracks and stains.  I love my life, dirty hands and all.  Most importantly, when I was feeling low, it wasn’t self-care that helped, it was helping others that healed.

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Awkward Silence

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Silence is golden…or so they say.  It can be a coveted luxury for a new mom, the sacred place for a worshiping soul, the blank canvas for a studious learner.  It can also be death for an abused lover, pain for a suffering addict, the dark and lonely place of a mind that feels alone.

Almost 3 years ago I embarked on this sober journey…again.  I was known as a chronic relapser.  Someone who comes in and out of the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, staying sober until life looks good, then tearing the whole thing down, only to scratch and claw their way back into AA, repeating the cycle. It is embarrassingly awkward, filled with judgment of people who don’t understand and lonely because clearly, you just can’t “get it.”

I ALWAYS wanted to be sober.  I longed for it to come easy to me.  I saw people, knew people, who had come in, dragged up from the depths of hell, much like myself, and they “got it.” Whatever “it” was, they got it.  I wanted that illusive “IT!”

Lack of desire was not the issue.  If you knew me when I was using, you know that I am not even a shadow of the person I was created to be.  God made me in His image to be loving towards people who are hard to love, kind & generous, creative.  When I am using, it’s as if the candle is blown out.  I can think of nothing more than of myself, justifying my poor behavior as acceptable, greedy & dried up in a desert of shame & pity.

When I washed ashore in September of 2013, in my own version of Nineveh, Victoria, TX, I felt the call to be creative.  I come from a family that fosters creation on one side and encourages hard work on the other, with little time for creativity.  I fell somewhere in between, loving both hard work and writing.  I needed and outlet for the time because I was given the chore of sitting still, being quiet and listening to God.  Not the easiest thing for a girl like me, but I knew my will had been broken, I was going to do whatever I was told to do, so I did.

I began this blog.  You can look back over those posts and see that my journey had just begun, but there was still a powerful story of redemption beginning to surface.  I was awakening, slowly but surely.  I received a phone call on afternoon, from someone I greatly admired who told me that I should put the brakes on this writing thing, that being so “out there” with my early recovery could be detrimental to my case in point.  I heard & listened & shut it down. I also got a comment from a person from my dark past, who did not have my best interest in mind.  These two incidents drove me to this 2 year awkward silence.

Recently, listening to God and not my fear of being “found out,” I started sharing my story.  I was given the green light from my husband to be candid, open, honest…even when it is ugly, about what I went through.  You see, this story is not just mine, it is his too.  He suffered on the other side of my addiction for 2 years, mostly silent, dying in his own way.  So to get his blessing to move forward was all the push I needed.

Here I am.  Back. With an incredible story of redemption, light, love that defied all obstacles, hope.  This isn’t just my story.  It is the story of many women, who sit in silence, wishing they too had an outlet.

Stay tuned.  This is just the first of many posts.  I can’t wait to tell you of all that has happened.  A love story that only God could’ve written. A business that was built in His hands.  A family stitched together with the Almighty thread of peace.  A life you would hardly recognize as the one violently tossed from the belly of the whale.

This story is ours.  Join me. Break the silence.

Beauty for Ashes

I have heard it said many times that God takes the horrible, tragic things in our lives and uses them for good.  A prime example in my life has been the relation and comradery I find in the 12-step program I attend.  Each one of those folks is using their darkest past to carry God’s light to the suffering afflicted in order to help them see that change is possible.  Another great example would be mother’s who put their children up for adoption.  The majority of children who are adopted out are not born into the greatest of circumstances, but their new family is able to provide them with the love they so desperately need.

Neither one of these senerio’s is perfect. Each one is still conducted by and through human beings, and we all know that humans will fail us, but in each one of these dramatic cases there is a common thread of God showing up and showing off.  He loves to take unbearable situations and make them remarkable!

I wanted to share with you a real time experience I had in this arena just yesterday.  It will demonstrate how humans fail, I fail even bigger, God comes in because I open the door and something even more out-standing than I could have ever imagined happens.  He is so Good.

A couple of days ago I called my husband.  A little back story here is that we are currently separated and I worked on utterly destroying our marriage for the last year.  We both have room for improvement, but my actions warrant complete dismissal.  Back to the story at hand.  I called him earlier than he likes to be called and I bugged him about something that I wanted him to do.  Great way to wake up, right…a nagging wife!  When he answered me, his tone was condescending and his manner was short. I immediately went on the defensive and ended the phone call, only to text him moments later.

The text was NOT nice.  It wasn’t wrong in the sense of context but it was accusatory and angry.  I needed to say what I said, but I didn’t do it in a very loving way.  It was a knee-jerk reaction to an uncomfortable situation and I wanted to shake him up.  The text ended with the threat of, “maybe we shouldn’t talk if you can’t change your behaviors.”

And with that, we didn’t talk for 30 long hours.

30 hours may not seem like a very long time, but in marital fight time, especially when 300 miles from each other, it’s an eternity.  I spent the first 5 hours checking my phone every 20 minute or less to see if he responded.  The next few hours were spent in anger contemplating whether I would answer the phone when he did call.  After that I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.  My dreams were awful.  I was hiding from someone and on the run.  I woke up unrested, but with a new resolve to make that day better than the last.

The problem was finding out how to do that.  In the past I would’ve acted out of fear.  I would’ve manipulated, spun my wheels until I got what I wanted, cried, begged, pleaded and degraded my own worth in the process.  Today would be different.

I started off by praying that God help me to focus on the task in front of me.  That each step be clearly marked and that my selfishness be removed so that I could follow through with duty.  I placed more emphasis on God and I let him carry me to work.

One of my jobs is cleaning houses.  During that process I asked God to help me do things differently.  To allow me to make a move I have never made before.  I called someone who God has lead me to as trusted leadership.  I told her about the situation and she spoke some truth about herself and her relationship into my life and I identified with her.  I had been selfish, I had reacted out of fear.  Did he need to stop speaking to me in a disrespectful manner? Yes. But how was my reaction going to transmit us to a place of common ground.  I was humbled by our talk and hung up refreshed.

I called on God again. I asked God to forgive me and to give me guidance on how to rectify the situation.  I waited and I sat still until I felt God move me to call my husband.  What ensued could only be attributed to God.

When we talked a heaviness was lifted.  I expressed my apologizes and insecurities.  I didn’t explain or justify, I simply laid my mistake down before him and asked him what I could do better.  We talked about it and he set some clear boundaries. I did the same.  I expressed my dissatisfaction with the tone he used and we both vowed to get better.  We talked through some of the hardest shortcomings of our 6 year marriage in a little over 30 minutes.  My husband told me that he could only tackle one issue at a time without getting to angry and I followed his lead.

Our conversation ended with the first truly unprovoked, unsolicited, unforced “I love you” we have shard in a very long time.

This is one of many times that I have found that just by letting go of the reigns and relinquishing control to the man upstairs, a dooms-day situation was turned into a beautiful bridge to recovery.

Thank you, God, for allowing me to mess up.  Thank you for loving me when I do and thank you for turning ashes to beauty.  You are an awesome God.

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All Things Made New

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Happy New Year!!!

What a wild ride 2013 was.  It wasn’t the best year I’ve ever faced, but I was brought to a place of utter dependence on God and that is worth all of the failing and falling that I did and continue to do.

I have a new apprication for the things in my life that came so easily to me.  Shelter, work, transportation, but most valued of all the things I attempted to destroy are the relationships with the people in this world that I truly love and care about.

You would be amazed at the love, consideration and grace that has been shown to me over the last year.  Someitmes I am shocked when certain people will still answer their phones or return text messages.

For a while I was under the impression that I didn’t deserve their love and kindness.  Then one day, it dawned on me, I absolutely didn’t deserve it, but they gave it any way.  They showed me what it was like to have forged true friendship and I am grateful in deeper ways than one could possibly imagine.

In light of all these amazing discoveries and revolutions, I decided that this year, instead of making a list of things that I resolved to “change” or things I would swear off, I made a list of things that I will do more of.  I am of the firm philosophy that if you fill your time with good things then the bad things eventually become obsolete.

This morning when I woke up I set my intentions as such:

Pray way more. Constant communication with my maker causes me to make less of my own decisions and depend more deeply on Him.

Spend more time repairing relationships with family and friends.  I have caused a lot of damage over my life time.  I should have my hands busy with this one.

Treat my body better.  What I put in it and what I do to it. More veggies, more working out.

Write often and with consistency.  Writing is a great passion of mine and I just don’t treat myself to it enough.

There are more, but I won’t bore you with the details.  As you can clearly devise…it’s going to be a year of addition and not subtraction.

2014. Here I come!

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

Just The Beginning

Walking through a cleanse, especially a four fold cleanse, is not always the easiest thing to do. There are areas in our lives we thought were nice and clean and cleanses just tend to expose the muck and the mire. Sometimes on the other end of a cleanse I feel more broken and useless than I did before the cleanse.

Before exposing myself fully, mentally, physically, spiritually and socially, I have usually built up a great tolerance and pattern to my sickness, in whichever area. I have blindly ignored God’s calling or told myself that I am not equipped. I read only fiction, put the crossword down when first stumped or use my calculator for simple math equations. I do just 10 minutes of yoga or walk instead of jog…or worse, just sleep through that alarm. I hang out with people who feel compelled to stay stuck or lay aside any check in my spirit just to keep the peace.

I walk around this life in a rut. Circling the same paths over and over. Digging into habitual sin longer and longer until I no longer see the freshness and pain of being separate from God in that area. I am a master at ignoring red flags and pushing through sticky situations.

Each time I cleanse in the way outlined through the last month different areas are fully disclosed, usually within myself, but sometimes everyone else see’s them too. I am laid bare before God, my friends and family, but most importantly, myself.

But what does one do with this kind of exposure? I have to admit, sometimes I just sweep it under the rug or I justify my old comfortable actions and just keep on trucking. But every now and again I invite the raw, open wound to bleed out and heal.

I seek God’s face regularly. I ask him to show me where I can improve and beg him for mercy though the process, but a lot of times that is just lip service. Do I really want God to work on me? Do I desire to go through that again? Am I really asking him to do His works or am I just saying it to appease everyone around me?

It’s a good thing that God knows our hearts, that he see’s us exactly the way we are and He meets us there. I used to have a friend that would tell me to be careful for what I pray for because I just might get it. I have found that to be so true. I have asked Him to take it easy on me before. The results were clear. He took it easy on me and I styled the same. No changing, not growing, bored to tears.

I open to His loving, stern touch today. He shows mercy when it is needed, like I said, thankful He knows. When I moved to Victoria I laid myself down in front of him and told him to have at it. I wasn’t convinced that he could actually do a damn the with the piece of trash that was naked before him, but I was willing to sit still, be quiet and wait.ni did those things and the results have amazed me. He is faithful.

I wonder a lot if I even deserve to call Him father. I wonder if He cringes when He see’s me coming. I wonder if that bridge has finally been burned. What I find, and it grows each day, is that He rejoices when I breathe His name. He laughs when He see’s my face and He delights in helping me rebuild burnt out bridges. He is faithful and I am grateful.

Thank you Jesus for the chance to come along side you and celebrate life. even though e cleanse is over for now, it is just the beginning of this newest adventure through life.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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The Politicians Daughter

My father was a politician. He was also a business owner, salesman, public figure and a man who cared deeply about what others thought of him. He was also an abusive father and husband. These two lifestyles were so contradictory to each other that in order to survive at home my mother and I were forced to adopt a certain mentality that not only made home life easier, but it kept us alive.

Now, I can’t speak for my mother, nor can I attest to her struggles in that home, but I learned at a very young age to manipulate, lie and sell myself in order to make others like me. My fathers public image was so important to him that morality and righteousness we jeopardized at the cost of sanity.

No one was allowed to know how things were behind closed doors in our home and if they somehow caught a glimpse or were told about the indiscrepancies they had a hard time believing it. I remember more than one occasion in which either me or my mother went to the police for help and we were turned away as a troubled child trying to exact revenge or a scorned wife who was just crazy. He had a tight hold on his community and on his reputation.

During my childhood I just accepted my fate and went along with the lies. I didn’t go to the neighbors when my mom screamed out for help, I didn’t tell the counselor at school that my grades were falling because I feared for my life at home, I didn’t even tell my therapist whom I loved and trusted what was really going on. I put on a mask that held back years and years of pain and fear. I wore that mask so long that eventually it cracked and shattered into a thousand tiny little pieces.

I wasn’t trained to fix my problems. I was trained to hide them. When they were fully exposed the best reaction I could come up with was to cover them with drugs, alcohol, food, men…I have a slew of vices to choose from and will gladly fall back on any one of them to mask the issues that are really at hand.

As I’ve gotten older and each one of these masks have utterly failed me, I have learned to recognize them and been forced to face them or cover them once again with yet another self destructive vice that attempts to kill me. My heart breaks, my mask falls, my skin is exposed and I falter OR I run into my fathers arms and cry out to be healed.

The healing process is not a fun one. Scabs are itchy and the skin around them gets red and tight. The scar is embarrassing and explanations are sometimes in order, but every time something is healed, it comes out on the other side stronger.

When gold is found it is black and ugly. It is covered in a layer of burnt looking muck called dross. Under the dross is the soft, fleshy deliciousness that we adorn ourselves in. In order to get to that precious metal the dross must be burned off through a process called refinement. The fire must be hot and the process is tedious. But the reward is a great one and well worth all the trouble.

This is also how God’s refinement works. He’s see’s our weaknesses and desires to make them strong, to use them for His kingdom and to radically rip away the old in order to make us new.

Thank God today for refinement. It’s ugly, it’s messy, it hurts, but the freedom and reward are unparalleled.

As we round the corner of this cleanse find a way to refine the junk in your life and open up pathways for new connections.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Hey Shawty, It’s Your Birthday

Today is my birthday. I. Love. Birthdays. They are the one day of the year that is set aside to focus on you. You in all your glory, you born and growing, you, glorious you!!! It is also a day of gratitude and His ultimate Grace.

By all accounts I should NOT have made it to 35. I got sick a couple of times as a baby and to hear my mother tell it, I was close to death on more than one occasion as a baby and she feared the worse. Throughout the years I have given her more than enough reason to, again, fear for my life.

She has picked me up from questionable places, I have been dropped off at her house after being beaten up by my father or having been missing for weeks. She has been there during numerous life threatening trips to the hospital. I am seriously super lucky to be alive. Some Devine power has been carrying me through this life and surely I have some purpose here.

God has been a guiding light through this adventure and He keeps showing off every time I show up. He is an amazing father, a loving friend, my constant companion and the director of my every move…as long as I let him. He is also a stern teacher, a calm storm, a roaring lion. He is all powerful and all encompassing. Ever consuming my heart, whether I like it or not.

You may wonder, “What do you get a girl who has lost everything?” the answer is simple. I have already been given everything that I need. Grace, mercy, love, another day to start another life. When you are reduced to nothing, you sometimes realize that you have everything you need.

Each day we get is a gift in and of itself. Don’t wait for the one day a year that is dedicated to you, celebrate each day as a new lease on life. This is your opportunity to shine, get up and do it.

Happy birthday to me AND to you. You are worthy and loved.

“Awake, O’sleeper, and arise from death, and Christ will SHINE upon you!!!!!!!” – Ephesians 5:14

Today instead of cutting out some of the old contacts, make new ones. Look for opportunity to enhance a new friendship. Smile at everyone you see. Make solid eye contact when speaking to others. Put your phone away during each meal. Use this day to increase His love.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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The Darkest Days

Most of you know that I am just coming off of a pretty horrendous relapse. This one was worse than the last. Darker than before. Just as promised in the 10 or so treatment facilities I have been in, just as promised in those 12 step fellowships I’ve graced, just like my momma said would happen, my disease was progressive.

The things that happened to me weren’t any worse than the last time I relapsed, the consequences weren’t any different or worse than the last time, the same old things happened that always happened and it looked about like the other times, but the was something about this one. Something inside of myself snapped and spiritually, mentally, emotionally I was in way deeper than I had ever been in the past. It was so bad, as a matter of fact, that I decided that I would never try to get sober again and I was going to try to end my life because I was so tired of trying… again.

I relapsed some time in mid-July after a few months of solid sobriety and I moved down to Victoria to get sober in early September. In that 7 weeks, I tried to OD twice, ended up in the ER a total of 5 times, I wrote 3 suicide letters, sent out 37 suicide text messages and had 2 motel maids sent to my room to check on me. Not to mention the thousands of dollars I spent on drugs and alcohol and purposefully injested more than I knew I could handle.

There were a number of people who were key in my getting to where I am now. Some of them were good friends, some of them were perfect strangers and some of them were people just passing through temporarily. All of them were sent by God to protect my life, even though I did not want to be protected.

At some point, after the number of attempts, I realized that as hard as I was trying, God was NOT letting me die and that really, really pissed me off. Didn’t He see how pointless and destructive my life was going? Couldnt he see that I was never going to find a solution to this problem? Wasn’t he going let me die a good addicts death, why not then?

Now, let me just assure you that the using and drinking, the way I was doing it, was NOT fun. I have passed the stage of drugs and drinking being fun anymore. I am THAT girl. The one who gets too drunk and too high and no one wants to be around me, not even my family. Hell, especially not my family.

I tell you all this to say that Gods idea of how our life looks and our ideas don’t always align. We paint this picture, or we just smash through the canvas, of how we think things would be best for us and God doesn’t always agree. He won’t force us to live in His will, but sometimes His gentle nudgings aren’t so gentle and we can clearly see what is right.

I am at a place in life where I have smashed the canvas so many times that my pretty little picture should be completely ruined, but it is not. Somehow there is still hope. Somehow, I have found a peace and a comfort. Somehow God still see’s value in me and calls me forth to do His biding.

Your life may look dark right now. It may seem like there is no hope. I haven’t much to offer you except this…it is always darkest before the dawn. You don’t have to like what He is offering and you don’t have to like Him and you need is to believe. That one little nugget of Truth may just be what brings you back into a life worth living. It did for me.

For the social cleanse today, check your phone for any unused or unwanted phone numbers. Also, highlight and add lists for those you can reach out to in your ties of need. God isn’t always a burning bush, sometimes He is an answered call.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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Silence

You may or may not have noticed that I have been absent on the blog scene for the last week. As we traveled through a spiritual cleanse my silence was partially purposeful and partially practical. I believe that aside from the one Truth, a relationship with God is just as personal as a relationship with a spouse, even more so really. God knows your deepest fears, highest aspirations, dirtiest struggles and most ridiculous insecurities. For me to “guide” anyone through that personal of a cleanse would be a farce, with my finite image of Him and my total lack of your personal journey. I hope that you found solace in replacing some of those false images of your creator and replacing them with Light.

Many times I will find myself floating through life with these ideas of a God who is ready to strike me down if I falter. My truth is that Jesus paid that price and my real punishment is in the consequences of my sin, not in the “whooping'” God dishes out. When I drink; I drive perfectly good cars into trees. When I use dope; I lose relationships and belongings. When I cheat on my significant other; I invite a split. These are obvious consequences of blatant sin, but what about the spiritual consequences that I suffer from?

I struggle the hardest with trusting that God’s plan is better than mine. For some reason I forget that He promises us that He will give us the desires of our hearts. What does my heart desire the most? First, pure, unequivcal, unadulterated, messy (mostly on my part), complete relation with Him. Second, the same kind of love and relation with the rest of His children.

I absolutely adore human beings. I like them big and small, short and tall, mean and nice, fat, slim, rich, poor, funny, humorless. I just love people. Where I falter in this area is in seeking God first. I tend to make people my God’s and while our Father is perfect and blameless, humans are NOT! Humans will fail me every time I try to put any kind of assurance in them. Why? Because they are human silly. Made in God’s image, but not God. I place people on pedastols and when they fall or fail, I lose hope in all mankind, get angry with God for not being there, even though I was clearly not seeking Him in the first place and I find a way to comfort myself outside of people. My biggest offenders are food, drugs and alcohol.

These are my spiritual consequences. I place things ahead of God and I lose them. If you have a relationship with God the you may be able to identify with what I am about to relay to you. When I seek His face first and join in Hs plan rather than trying to create my own plan, when I Love Him above all else and share His yolk, things are sweet. Life still happens, but somehow I am able to bear burdens, I miraculously find answers to problems, I am peaceful even in the chaos. But, when I am placing other things ahead of God, making my own plans, following self will and wrecking shit, life really sucks. There is a sweetness, a peace when you are face to face with God and when I am absent from His presence I feel a deep pain, like something is missing, because, truly, it is.

There is a line in the movie ‘Dogma’ (if you haven’t seen it, do it now. Kevin Smith is a genius.) where an angel in telling another angel about the pain of not being with God anymore, of not seeing his face on a daily basis, of not being next to Him. He is our lover, our best friend, our comfort, our steady and constant companion and unlike this angel who had been booted out of heaven, we have the choice to commune with Hm every minute of every day. What a blessing.

Take your blessing. Hold it close to your heart. Use it. He loves you and has given you the most precious gift, His presence. We will all fail at this over and over again, but for this moment, hang on to what He has for you.

Today starts the social cleanse. This is a tough one, especially when you place the value of people above the value of God. Go through your social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc and really evaluate your “friend” list. Are you friends with that one guy who’s name seems vaguely familiar? Do you really enjoy all the political rants from Chic X? Are those pictures that one person posts life-giving or demoralizing? Only you can determine these limits. You don’t have to make public deceleration of it, but you can if it makes you feel better. I’m a people pleaser so I always preface my “housecleanings” with an apology!

I hope this week is rewarding for you and that when it is said and done you feel lighter, free-er, more whole. Happy social cleansing.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

Here is the link to the scene from Dogma that is fore mentioned. Watch it!!!!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CSQYRq8kf4g

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You Can’t Tell Me Nothin’!

I’ve been in the restaurant industry most of my adult life. I started working when I was around 16 and have worked in diners, drive-in’s and dives!!! My history is extensive and I can literally do almost anything in any given restaurant. From dishwashing, which is one of my favorite things to do, to profit and loss statements, which is my least favorite. I can do it all. Really the only things that change from place to place are the people and their preferences.

What I can not predict is clientele and ownership. Those things always change and I have found that every restaurant owner has a very different idea of how they want their restaurant run. Some owners love my big Texas personality and want more of it, some think I am loud and annoying and want me to tone it down. Some love my hands on approach and some want me to delicate more. Some want me in the front of the house and some want me in the back. It’s all just a matter of preference and I have to find my niche each time I change restaurants.

What I am not good at is humility. I walk into many situations and think that I know it all. I know how things run. I can cut fruit. I can brew coffee. I can talk to a customer. I can short order eggs, even. The only difference is, I don’t know how you want me to do it and I let my knowledge/ego get in the way. I have never walked into a restaurant and had the owner tell me to do whatever I want. They have always had an idea of how they wanted things run and they are signing my paycheck so they expect me to follow through with their demands…even if I know a better way to do it.

I have this same struggle in my recovery and ultimately with God. I have experience with my life. I know how to do this and you can’t tell me nothin’! When I honestly evaluate my life my experience really lies in totally f-ing things up. I don’t just break things, I totally destroy them. There is an old AA adage that says, “My best thinking got me here.” I have always regarded that as the silliest of the silly sayings on the wall, but after this last little bout with king alcohol, queen meth and court jesters crack, weed and pills…I am tired of entertaining my own cognition.

Its not easy to “Let go and let God.” another silly saying from the walls of AA rooms across the nation. I mean, really? How exactly do I let go? If I do nothing, I get nothing. If I do too much, I find myself right back to this place of desperation. Alone, having run everyone off and empty, having destroyed everything around me. My heart broken and my mind muddled. It almost seems like a better alternative to do nothing. But the fruits of nothing, as I said, are, well, nothing.

My call from the Lord is to find balance. A happy medium, if you will. A place of working but not working too much. A very wise women once told me that if I try to fix something and a solutions not easily found then its probably not my problem to solve. I had a sponsor once that would give me 15 minutes to try to fix a problem and if I couldn’t do it in that time frame then I wasn’t allowed to try to fix it again. I sucked at that.

God clearly wants us to do the work behind solving some of our challenges, He just wants us to depend more on Him than we do on our own ideas.

Today I take a step back when I know I have a problem to face. I ask God to guide me in the situation, I wait (this is the hard part) then I get to work putting His solution into action. I don’t do this perfectly every time, probably not even 75% of the time, but I get better at it each time I do it. I let God run the show instead of pushing Him aside and stepping on His toes. I have found that when I do that, His plan was so much better than mine.

Today is the last day of the physical side of the holistic cleanse. I hope that you are feeling lighter on your feet and that your dependence on sugars, starches and refined foods has diminished or disappeared completely. Tomorrow is a rest day. DO THAT!!! Rest. Find comfort it he fact that God gave us time to soak in him and love yourself. Our spiritual cleanse will start on Thursday and it should be a refreshing week, full of God’s promises. See you then.

Perspective

What is your perspective today? How are you seeingthe world? After 5 days of cleansing your body and 7 days of cleansing your mind, your perspective should be great, right? Ha! Sometimes after going through a holistic healing process I find that my perspective is more askew than ever. Many times centering in my own mind and giving myself lots and lots of credit. I find that when I am the most broken is when I am having the finest moments of clarity and perspective.

My mom and I have talked about coauthoring a book together for many years. It won’t be an easy book to write and there may be many feelings that are hurt, mostly mine and hers. We have been through a lot of really hard situations together over the years and there is a lot of gross junk that will be out down in black and white. We aren’t set out to destroy each other through this process, quite the opposite actually, but we know that there are two sides to every story and my side may hurt her feelings and vice versa.

You see, my mother was abused by my father. In every way possible. Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially. It was bad and from a child’s perspective I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t doing more to get out of that situation. I blamed my mother for many years and was angry until I became an adult. I learned of the ramifications of abuse, then, as if the sky opened, I felt deep remorse for not having protected my mother more. My perspective changed because I was armed with facts.

I like to tell people that when you are sitting at lunch with your friend. Here are three stories going on. Yours, theirs, and the sandwiches. I’m sure many of you have heard something like this before, but really think about it today. When you enter into an empty room you bring everything that has happened to you in your life.

When I walk into a white room with nothing in it I bring in fear of the unknown, the clamor of silence clenches my throat, the stark white walls remind me of hiding in my closet while my father beat my mother, I hate the white room, there is only a straight jacket waiting for me in that room.

On the other hand my dear friend sees a place of rest. She smells the cleanliness of white, imagines floating on clouds, is in a room where there are no screaming, demanding children, white is her favorite color and that room holds naps and psalms of peace for her.

Now, my day usually starts off with a fun workout, relaxed time with God, prayer, meditation, writing, yoga, deep breathing…it’s all good stuff. Her morning is usually jumping out of bed because she has slept thought three alarms and the boys are late for school, rushing them around yelling for them to hurry, never looking in the mirror, no time to call on God and shoving food in her mouth and in the kids months before dragging them out of the house and into the car.

With those two scenarios in mind, once we made it into the white room, you would think our roles were reversed. She is calm, cool and collected and I am a complete mess. It’s all a matter of perspective.

God has a very clear perspective of our lives as well. He has the perspective of a grieving parent, a sovereign employer, a loving father and an omnipresent king. He loves us, he’s jealous for us, his heart aches for our sin and he cherishes us in ways we will never fully fathom. He sees our heart and he loves us for our desire. He is with us through every hardship, every victory, every lie, every altruistic action. He is everything and yet we disregard His vision as incomplete because in our perspective, how could anyone love us when we have those thoughts, or when we do those things or when we act human.

Today embrace what God believes about you. “You are wonderfully and fearfully made.” “You are a new creatioin Christ.” “You have a future and a hope.” Afterall, His perspective is ultimately what matters anyway.

Continue on with your physical cleanse. Let the old perspective of dependence on sugars and starches be cleared from your body and replace those with the new lenses of health and nutrition.

Palms up. Minds open. Hearts receiving. Others touched! To live.

This blog is managed and written by Summer Shine aka Victory Chic. The opinions herein are endorsed solely by Summer and are not the opinion of any of the affiliates mentioned…so don’t go getting all crazy with anyone else. Don’t like what’s being said? UNSUBSCRIBE. Love ya!

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