Category Archives: EGO

Side Tracks


I took my youngest (by a minute) G.son to school this morning. I haven’t counted but there are probably 20 or more traffic lights between here and there and back. About two thirds of the way to school I realized I had stopped at only one red light!! We continued on to school, I dropped him off and on the way back it continued – Green light after Green light after Green light! WOW!! What a wonderful day this is going to be!”

  • Then, it happened! I did it! It was my fault! I wasn’t paying attention (too busy congratulating myself, I think) to where I was and I made a wrong right turn.  About two blocks down that road, I realized where I was and at the first opportunity made a U-turn.

I’ve been in Recovery a bit more than 8 years. This path I’m on is MUCH smoother now than before. There are days I hit “Green light after Green light after Green light.” It’s real tempting on those days to not pay close enough attention to where I’m going. Some days, before I know it, I’ve made a wrong turn. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about the consequences that await me at the end of that side track. I’m now much quicker to realize I’m headed the wrong way and I make that U-turn at the first chance I get.

This morning, when I realized where I was and what I’d done, all I did was say: “Oh, Ratz!” I didn’t reach into my “backpack” and grab my favorite tool to beat myself up. (like I used to) In the past, I would become so wrapped up in condemning myself for my mistake, I could be MILES down the road, and it would be a LONG way back. Sometimes, I’d get lost down that side track and wonder if I’d EVER make it back.

My WW and I love taking Road Trips. When I’m driving, she usually pays pretty close attention to what’s going on around us. I’ve told her “If U see something U think I need to be aware of, feel free to speak up.” It’s always better for her to speak and tell me something I already know than to keep silent and then we’re both sorry later. I needed her in the car with me this morning.

I need somebody walking with me as I travel this road of life.
I need someone who can speak up when it’s needed. 

There have been times she’ll speak up and my thought (or words) will be: “Honey, sometimes I wonder how I managed to drive that huge bucket truck for ATT all over three counties for 40 years without your help!” She often replies (nicely): “I wonder the same thing sometimes!”

I have learned give her the freedom to speak up when it’s needed. It’s become a two-way street. There are things, there are times that I need to speak into her life as well. (though it’s hardly ever about her driving)

Do you have someone in your life with the freedom to speak up when it’s needed?
It’s a lot more important than U might realize.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.
  Proverbs 12:15 (NKJV)

The Bee in the Mirror

Several years ago, I was sitting in my Pacific Bell bucket truck having lunch, parked under the shade of a big tree. I looked out the window as a honey bee buzzed up to the rear view mirror. I sat there mildly fascinated as it flew up and touched the frame holding the glass.

It stayed there several minutes, flitting from the top to the bottom, from left to right, and from the front to the back. Occasionally I saw “two bees” as it flew across the front and I could see its reflection. I was surprised then, when it buzzed up to the bottom of the windshield and did the very same thing to the wiper. It was as if the bee was investigating my truck.

That bee began to experience, in its own extremely limited way, all it could know about the mirror, and the the wiper blade. I imagined it’s thoughts, as it flew away, “I always wondered what that big, noisy contraption was, as it passed by everyday. I’m so thankful it stopped and I finally got a chance to find out for myself.” Can U imagine the story it shared at the hive meeting that evening!?!

As I sat there chewing down on my burrito and watching the bee, this thought crossed my mind… “Perhaps that bee is somewhat like me, in my life-long quest to understand Who / What God is.”

The more I learn about God, the more aware I become of how limited is my understanding of Him.

The more I realize how extremely limited I am in my own understanding of Him, His Ways and His Purposes in, for and through me, (us) the more I recognize my need to rely on and trust Him. He’s taught (teaching) me that my understanding BEFORE TRUSTING (Him) is not as important as my ego always told me it was!! 

He delights in and honors my request – “Teach me your ways, Lord… Search me, see if there be any way in me that is not of you!” Ps 139:23,24

HIS TAPESTRY

Can I Trust w/o Understanding?

Psalms 139

 Isaiah 55:8,9

Job 38

Psalm 119:33,34

TRUST w/o UNDERSTANDING?

I spent 50+ years trying to figure out and UNDERSTAND my life. I could take U to the recovery room, I could show U the light that came on as I read step #3 that said “Turn Ur life and will over to the care of a loving God as U understand Him.”

I thought: “I can never understand God. If I could, I’d be God. He is and I’m not.” 

So I decided to stop trying to understand. 

It was as if I stepped thru a gate that had been locked. That decision set me free in ways that I did not know (understand) I had been bound. 

I discovered that MY UNDERSTANDING was not the important thing. I became able to Trust (God) in ways that had been beyond me. 

In the coming months, I found out it was MY EGO that had been driving my QUEST to understand. 

I’ve said it before, it’s still true: GOD and my EGO are not compatible. I find that strange, because they are roommates. They both live inside of me. 

https://itreallyisjustthatsimple.com/2014/01/18/hotel-ego/

                     H.A.H!

Ralph from Teen Challenge’n I were chatting a couple’a weeks ago while we were at New Life Church. He said something about Humility. Before we knew it, this was the result of our discussion:

H.onesty    A.uthenticity   H.umility

I’ve always been puzzled by the scripture that tells ME to HUMBLE MYSELF.
Humble yourself before the LORD, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

I remember someone telling me once: “Jim, when you get as spiritual as I am, God is really going to do mighty things for you.” My thought was… “Say What? How can YOU be spiritual if you are PROUD of how spiritual you are?” It seems to me that humility might fall in that same category. Is it possible to strive for Humility? Would that not then lead me to be proud of how humble I am? It seems like I would then LOSE my humility.(see what happens when I think too much?)

I must confess, I do not know how to humble myself. (maybe I’m just afraid to ask Him to teach me – like I did with Trusting Him) But – I CAN choose to be honest. I have discovered that it is primarily my pride that causes me to keep secrets. If I keep secrets, I am required by the very act of secrecy to pretend. And lie. 

Authenticity and secrecy are incompatible. Either one will destroy the other. 

I can CHOOSE Honesty.
Honesty produces Authenticity. In me.
Authenticity is a Basic Building Block of Humility

So… BOTTOM LINE – if I wish to be HUMBLE, I must FIRST learn to be HONEST.
HONESTY requires TRUTH from me: to Myself. To Others. And to GOD.
As I learned Honesty I began to Discover the Real Me. 

Others in my life are now telling me I am Authentic, Real, and Humble. They tell me they can trust me. They tell me their secrets, so they must. I don’t know, it’s not something I’m striving for anymore. I’m just having a good time being THE REAL ME! Finally!

Authenticity comes from Honesty which leads to Humility. 

H.onesty –>
A.uthenticity –>
H.umility!

     H. A. H.

HIS Mysterious Ways

“Embrace Ur problem?”
“Nickname Ur problem?”
“Make friends with them?”
“Thank God for Ur problems?”
Say what?!? Yeah, it works… The name of my biggest problem was/is SIR JAMES!

U can read about him here: and here:

I don’t normally share the wisdom of others on my blog.
(hmmm, RU trying to tell me something. Lord?)
But today’s words by Sarah Young beg to be shared. I’m amazed at how it fits into some of the lessons I’ve had from God! I sure wish I’d learned it by listening to people like her instead of the way God had to teach me.
But, then, I blame SIR JAMES for that!!
Too bad he’s me!
**********

 

 

Today’s – Jesus Calling:

March 5
by Sarah Young
(boldtype mine)

 

Make friends with the problems in your life. Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything. I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be. The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall, if you react with distrust and defiance. The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.

 

The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread. The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in My loving Presence. I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.

 

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

—Romans 8:28 amp

 

But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

—1 Corinthians 1:23–24


Now read this post: 

HIS Tapestry

4976tap Tapestry

SATURDAY GRATITUDES #4

IT HAPPENED AGAIN!

I’ve been up – in my morning chair since 4 AM. “Really Lord can’t we do this at another time instead of this ungodly hour?” Oh, wait…

Some six years ago in the first year of this journey God has been taking me on, my Bible developed the habit of falling open at Jeremiah 18:4.

“…but the pot he was shaping was marred in his hand. So the potter
formed it into another pot, shaping it as seems best to him
.

potter at work1

THIS MORNING IT HAPPENED AGAIN! it’s now about 6:15. I’ve had coffee, checked FB, sent a ThkQ to Jon for his help yesterday, snuggled with Logan, and wrote a blog post. (for another day) Then I dozed for a few minutes!

Logan stole my iPhone and took it to his bedroom so I pulled my Bible out of its slot and it opened to…. Sure’nough, Jeremiah 18:4

6 years ago, this verse was a promise of what God was doing in and for me. Today I see it as a fulfillment of that process. For the past 6 1/2 years, He’s been shaping me into a vessel suitable for His purpose.

Lest I come across as arrogant, let me assure you that for most of this journey, I’ve been dragged by Him, kicking and screaming all the way. AA has a phrase that applies here – “looking for a softer more gentle way.” I don’t want the rough road. I prefer the peaceful path through the meadow. I don’t like the 2×4 whops to the ego. I like the gentle nudges, the velvet covered slaps to the back of my head.

But HE knows what works best in me. He has been RELENTLESSLY FAITHFUL to do for me that which HE knows is for my ultimate best and for His purpose.

AND FOR THAT, ON THIS EARLY SATURDAY MORNING,
I AM GRATEFUL

What about you? RU in process? Do you long to lay down beside the quiet stream and rest for a while? RU instead feeling the knife of the Master Physician cutting deep? RU in recovery from past wounds? Have U begun to recognize the shape of the vessel He has been forming in U? Yesterday? Last week? Last months? RU getting a glimpse of his purpose in you? Please share with us.

My dream and vision for this blog is for it to be a “digital-small-group” recovery meeting room. THAT can only happen if U share.

WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER – NOT FIX EACH OTHER
(Celebrate Recovery small group guideline#3)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
Jerimiah 29:11(NIV)

planforU2