Category Archives: GRATITUDE

10 Years Later

Three years ago this week, Nelda’n I took Lex’n Logan to Yosemite.

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On the way, we passed through the area burned by the RIM FIRE. Five years ago, that 400 sq mile forest fire dominated the headlines much as the CARR FIRE has this summer.

I remember standing at the edge of the road overlooking one of the valleys that had been destroyed. We were saddened and dismayed at the measure of destruction.

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However, just around the next bend in the road, we were able to observe the recovery that was beginning to take place. New sprouts of green were beginning to appear. A (very) few birds and animals were venturing into the area.

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You see fire is a part of nature.  However recovery is very much a part of nature as well. There are some pine cones that only open after they’ve been through fire. God and nature takes care of His part, but some of the rebuilding man has to participate in.

Ten years ago this month, I remember standing on the edge of the “road” I’d been traveling, feeling very much as if I was gazing upon the hopeless devastation that had engulfed my life as a result of that dark, dismal time. I now refer to that time, that place as my “GIFT of Desperation”. If I had not been there, I doubt that I’d be here. You can read about it HERE!

This morning, as I’ve sat on our patio for a couple of hours in the morning quiet, I’m able to recognize the recovery that has been taking place. New Growth is occurring. I’ve (We’ve) been healed in places I did not know needed it. Areas of my life that had been closed have opened to new revelations. Relationships have been renewed, strengthened and restored. Hope for tomorrow has never been brighter. Fears of past, present or coming storms are greatly diminished. Rebuilding is underway.

“Old (dead) things have passed away, Behold, all things are becoming New.” II Corinthians 5:17

Through it all, we (me’n mine) have discovered, He Really IS still our God even in the midst of darkness! I’ve realized that God has His part in my recovery, and I have mine. I can’t do His part, (‘cause He’s God, I’m not) but He helps me with my part when I ask. The more I keep that in mind, the better it is! Last night, a young man asked me: “Hi Jim, How are you this evening?” I replied: “Better than I ever thought I’d be.”

You can read the RIM FIRE post from five years ago   HERE

F. B. F. #1

FlashBack Friday #1

TODAY… JUST for Today, I Surrender. To HIM. Just like I did before Yesterday became TODAY. I plan to do it again, when Tomorrow once again becomes TODAY. We’ll see! But I’m getting better at it – some days. Hopefully, it will soon become a habit. Life’s better when I do.  D’ya wan’na join me? He’ll teach us how.

3 years ago, this was my post… It shares more about Surrendering

https://itreallyisjustthatsimple.com/2015/08/22/sharing/

 

SEASONS

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SEASONS Come. SEASONS Go. But they don’t come BACK, they come AGAIN. Each season comes for it’s own Purpose. Strive to learn / fulfill the Purpose in its Season. Don’t long too much for the end of this season in hopes for a better one to come. Sun. Rain. Wind. Snow. ALL Things work together for good. If one yearns in Winter for the coming Spring, Angels in the Snow may never appear.

Are you in a WINTER season? Take time to rest, heal and recuperate, asking God to reveal His Handiwork in You

Are you in a Spring Season? Take time to Sow the Best Seeds

Are you in Summer? Let Him continue the Work He started in you

Are you experiencing a Harvest? Be sure to share out of the abundance!

Understand, God’s Seasons are not, like nature’s, specific lengths and times. The Seasons in my life have usually been recognized as such only in hindsight. Some weeks I seem to be in a different season every day. But I have learned it’s possible to TRUST HIM to know BEST!

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 to 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)

SATURDAY GRATITUDEs #4

You can read part #1 HERE

Part #2 HERE Part #3 HERE

There’s this guy that likes to live in my head. In AA they call him “The Committee of one” I call him Sir James. I introduced y’all to him HERE. And HERE

One of the favorite tricks of Sir James is to get me to Compare. I’ve said it before, and I come to believe it more as time passes: 

Comparison is a Thief of Joy! 

AND Gratitude. 

Comparison is such a part of our natural way. It’s what makes us feel better (or worse) than others. It’s what drives us to build bigger, buy more, to plan ahead for greater tomorrows. It’s also a huge part of the reason I occasionally find myself in a pit. Fortunately, not as often nor as deep as in past times. 

I doubt that I have ever felt grateful because of comparison. Oh, I’d be glad that didn’t have “problems like other people.” But, I’ve discovered that feeling was usually based more on PRIDE than GRATITUDE. The major problem with being glad you have a better life than someone else is because none of us are at the top. There’s always someone else that’s “glad they don’t have a life/troubles like mine”. 

So… How/Why am I grateful? To a large degree, it’s a matter of choice. It’s a choice that I can CHOOSE to make. I do not have to listen to The  Voice of Sir James.  

My friend Matt once told me: “Jim, you need to write a book about Sir James, because EVERYBODY has a Sir James in their life.”

Q for YOU – What’s the name of the man / woman that lives in YOUR head? Does {S}He bring you to a place of peace and gratitude? 

This prayer is one of the thngs that helps me cope with Sir James:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. 

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen