Category Archives: SERENITY

Phil.4:8 Response

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Gualala, Ca “Sea Cliff on The Bluff”       http://seacliffonthebluff.com

This is our favorite Get-Away Spot! We love sitting in the twin recliners gazing out the picture windows overlooking The Pacific Ocean and this view. At times, we’ve even been able to watch the whales. When we manage to spend a few days here, the cares of our (real) lives fade into the distance.

By the time the morning of our final day is drawing to a close and it’s time to depart, we’ve been able to rest our bodies, quiet our minds, renew our spirits and begin to dwell on “The Better Things” of life.

The good news is, more and more, we are learning – (being taught – by Him) to do this in the midst of our REAL day-by-day lives. How? You ask? Good Question!! As I sit here this morning and ponder, I’m  realizing how “simple” it turned out to be.

GOD Loves me! The ONLY Things He desires of me is for me to Love Him – in return. “It Really IS Just that Simple!” #But-ItAin’tEasy! This PROCESS of getting from “there” to “here” and continuing on to “there” has been an at-times tortuous trek. Other times, it’s like a walk in the park.

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I’m learning the difference is that I can walk with Him, because He LOVES me. Unconditionally! Just as I am! I spent a lifetime trying to be worthy of walking with Him. HE walks with me! He takes my hand. He holds me by my right hand. (Isaiah 41:13)  I can rest secure in His Love! That makes it simple. Whether the path is smooth or rocky, bright or dim, straight ahead or hidden behind a bend in the road, when I choose to believe His Promise to “Never leave me, Never forsake me,” my life works in ways that amaze me. One of the most amazing changes has been the voice in my head. Phil 4:8 has become much more a reality because I’m able to see it as RESPONSES to His Presence rather than REQUIREMENTS.

Photo credits:

Gualala Sunset by – The Author

Mtn.hike photo by Eric Sanman on Pexels.com

ParkPhoto by Andrii Nikolainko on Pexels.com

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


JimmyCat’s MondayMrng Musings

My sister Millye, my WW Nelda and I are driving to Carmichael this morning to spend the day with my brother Cliff, along with my other sisters, Naomi and Betty. 

Doyle, we will miss U!

Cliff’s wife Susan recently “won” her battle with ALS. I must say it that way, because the disease did not!!! defeat her. Yes, it stole her body, but EVERYTHING ELSE that Susan was remained intact. 

Nelda and I agree, (as we do with most things) – Susan was the most amazing woman we know. Her journey through ALS served to expose and strengthen her core of deep faith, humor and loving care for others. 

I remember at the beginning, her thought was “How can this struggle be used to help others?” I saw her embrace this new fight in the same way she approached every facet of her life. Through it all, her favorite phrase remained: “It is well with my soul!” (take note of the tagline in the cover picture on her blog)

As an expression of her concern for others, she started a blog called “SusansSteps”. 

We who followed her blog have been blessed, challenged, saddened, amused, loved, enriched and encouraged. 

It is totally appropriate, and so much “Just like Susan” that in this last post, she declares that this is her GRADUATION. 

SUSAN, You did it with the highest honors!!!

Susan’s Steps

P.S. To read her blog from the beginning, start HERE

WEDNESDAY MORNING MENTATIONS

  Today’s FB post: Blog Version

     Been up since 5:45. Why? I have absolutely no idea. When I was working, I’d wake up’n get up “with barely enough time to get there.” Now that I could sleep till noon…, here I am, bright-eyed’n rarin’ to go! …well, I’m up!!

It’s a thoughtful morning. Quiet. The twin stormz are still asleep! There’s a cool breeze blowing through the open window onto my (bald) head. Hopefully, the breeze is blowing away the heat for the day. I’m wrapped in a blanket sitting in my morning chair. I’m listening to Kenny G. play the sax. The birds are chirping (’cause the feeders are empty) Life is good. (except for the birds) God Loves me, my wife likes me, and I’m content to be me.  

It hasn’t always been like this:

Somehow, for most of my life, “I” was not OK. With me. 

      But – I’ve stopped trying to figure out how/why that happened. I’ve stopped blaming the people I thought had a part in making me that way. I’ve stopped trying to be who and what I thought others wanted me to be. I’ve stopped comparing (as much) my faults with the strengths I see in others. (D’ya know U always lose?) I’ve stopped trying to get God to love me – more! (He already does) and… His Son’n I are BFFs

     It’s been a journey, into some deep valleys, in which I found myself standing at the edge of a cliff, and to majestic mountain tops. (Why can’t I stay here all the time?) But I’m finally walking a level(er) path. (most days)

For Today, Just For Today, I’m content to be who and where I am!

But! I’m still on my journey! And will be – for the rest of my life. There will still be ups’n downs. ‘n That’s OK! That’s life! 

20 / 20 HINDSIGHT

This morning, my friend DEBRA posted this to FB: 
This was my reply / comment: #SharedWithPermission

I usually just ignore or delete the 

“If U share this with 55 friends within 55 seconds, God will…”

I used to believe, seek for, and be secretly thrilled when people would say to me: “Jim, God is going to REALLY bless you because of all the things you do for…” 

The unfortunate side was that when I didn’t see (or others didn’t tell me about) God’s blessings, it was my fault. “Oh crap, I must’a blown it! Now I gotta start all over! Again!!

Gradually, I have learned that I AM (already) BLESSED! BY GOD!!

I’m also learning that I don’t always recognize God’s blessings. They are sometimes, often (usually?) disguised. Some of my most intense difficulties and struggles have become the times of greatest change in my life for the better. 

  Counting your blessings is best done with the vision of 20/20 hindsight. 

There is a HUGE difference in working / giving “TO BE Blessed” and doing it “BECAUSE U R Blessed!” The first is bondage. The second is freedom.  

P.S. – God’s blessings does not always involve cash!

P.S.s. – I can’t remember when anyone told me: “This Pain, This Struggle, This Conflict in Ur life, Is God Blessing You.” But lots’o times, it was!!

Feel free to share a comment about Ur  blessings that came disguised!

If U share a comment, God will bless U within 33 days…  

…Ok,I’mSorry,IjustCouldn’tResistThat! lol

This post is a thought regarding God’s blessing upon my life:

https://itreallyisjustthatsimple.com/2014/04/10/his-tapestry-3/

SOBRIETY part 2

This morning I was reading and replying to some of the comments made on yesterday’s post. 

ThkQ, BTW, for reading and entering into dialogue with me. I’m amazed, I’m only 50 views short of having as many views as I had in all of 2014. 

One of my followers is “The Snarky Blonde” I LOVE this post I found on her blog and the way in which it describes my journey – p.s… If U don’t care for “snarkiness,” don’t go there. But she shared some TRUTH about discovering the diamond buried in the mud. 

http://thesnarkyblonde.com/2015/06/23/diamond-in-the-mud/

This was my reply to her comment:

           ******

I‘ve said it before… It’s become one of the fundamental beliefs of my existence. THERE ARE ONLY TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. THOSE IN RECOVERY AND THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET DISCOVERED / ADMITTED THEY NEED TO BE. 

I love the way U put it: “In reality our self defeating patterns. Every single one of them, Began as survival strategies in response to our dysfunction…” It was in recovery I discovered THE REAL ME and learned to like living with that person 

        *********

Let me add this postscript….

Psalm 139, 13:18 begins like this… “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. (‭Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭13-18‬ NIV)

Most of my recovery has been discovering who God made me to be and letting Him heal the damage living caused in me. 


SOBRIETY – Event? or Process?

One of the Greatest Bondages you will ever be in is that of pretending to be something or somebody that you are not

I spent 50 years like that

Freedom from that bondage is a Journey, a Process of discovering who you really are and learning to live that person’s life

I took my last drink 40 months ago today. But the Process of Sobriety will continue for as long as I have feet on this planet