New Things…

This past year I have learned many things…

I have learned how to stand up and say no to being abused and bullied. I have learned that God does not want us to live in bondage. I have learned who your real friends are after you walk away from a 16 yr marriage. I have come to understand the depths of God’s grace in a difficult situation.

I have also learned how to laugh again. I have learned the joy of trying something new like floating down the river for the first time, and zip-lining over a gorgeous mountain. I have learned that when somebody really loves you and believes in you, those mountains that seem impossible become as small hills.

I have learned to be thankful for the littlest of things like a place to live, true friends that stand by you when the rest of the world is pointing fingers in judgement, and time spent with loved ones. I am thankful for the good days and bad days, because they are all part of God’s plan for us to become more like him.

I have failed miserably time and time again in my life. Does that mean I have to live under a cloud of failure? Absolutely not. I cant change the is part of who I am. Because of my failures and sin it has made me understand the depths of God’s grace, and taught me how to extend grace to others that have failed. I don’t think I will ever look at people the same way again that I used to.

If you ever catch yourself saying…look at that can they do that?

Matthew 7:5 says

English Standard Version
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Choosing a different path..

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on this site, but now I think the time has come to wrap up this little blog.

As some of you may know, our family has been on a journey to recovery from Alcohol abuse. It has been a long and winding road with ups and downs along the way. I was so hopeful after my husband came back from rehab that things would be better for all of us.

Unfortunately life does not always turn out to be the fairytale ending that we would like. Soon after coming back from rehab, my husband started to drink again. I hoped and prayed that he would see how bad it was for us all, and try to stop again.

Instead of stopping he continued to abuse alcohol, along with other behaviors that ultimately tore our family apart. The last straw came when my daughter came to me one day and said that it was okay for me to leave, and in fact encouraged me to do so.

The thought of leaving scared me to the core, as I was middle-aged with no formal career training, and very little resources. Thankfully God placed people in my life who had experienced this before, and knew just where to get the help I needed. For a time I felt like I was giving up on our family’s recovery process, but God opened up my eyes to see that for my daughter and I, part of our process was to choose a different path than what my husband was following. We could no longer be a part of his process, as there was nothing more we could do for him, as he was the one that chose to walk away a long time ago.

As much as this has been a difficult choice for my daughter and I, it has actually brought us some much-needed peace. Now even more than before we are going to need to rely on God’s provision and leading in our lives. I don’t know what our future holds, but I know that God is still in control of our lives. I am going to continue to trust that God knows exactly where we need to move, and what kind of job I will get, and where my daughter goes to school.

I trust that this little post will be an encouragement to those of you who are living in similar situations that you don’t have to keep living like this..there are other options.


God Is In The Details…

Okay, I know I told you about how Mike had lost his license, and how he was going to have to go through so many hoops to get it back due to his Dui. It seemed pretty hopeless, but I kept praying for God to work out that situation in His time.

Just when all hope seems lost God makes things happen that just make you smile..This week Mike went into the Motor Vehicle branch to check and see the status of his license. He was stunned to find out that his license has been re-instated without any further steering wheel breathalyzer.. He is now good to drive. He can’t insure a vehicle or buy one until his fine is paid, but he can drive one.

Mike thinks that his letter to the government telling them about his treatment helped. I am just relieved to know that there is now more than one driver in the house. I am thankful to God that He has worked behind the scenes arranging all the details like only He can. Praise God for answered prayer! Our God listens to our cries!!

Stroh Healthcare RDP info…

I had a gentleman asking info about the Stroh Healthcare Responsible Driver Program. Although I could not answer his question, I thought maybe somebody else might benefit from the link for basic questions about the program.

Click to access Questions_and_Answers_about_RDP_and_Interlock.pdf

One thing that still sticks in my craw about this program is that if you barely scraping by before you or your loved one gets pulled over for DUI, good luck after. If you even think of Drinking and Driving…don’t do it..not just because it is wrong and dangerous, but because you may never be able to afford to drive again for a very long time.

Here are a few costs incurred due to DUI..

$1000.00 fine for DUI  $500.00 to MVB approx $100.00 or up for towing fees for your vehicle.

Responsible Driver Program fee including GST $985.00

Ignition Interlock Program fee $157.50 including GST

$150.00 for installation of interlock device..$105 per month for monitoring fee

$50 removal fee at the end of the program.

That being said there is no help for those who struggle financially, so you are on your own.

So even if you get back your license, you better be ready to pay through the nose for the next while..

I really wish our government would educate the kids who are getting their licenses how painful this process really is if you are pulled over for a DUI. It is just no worth it..and some company is getting paid very well for your mistake.

One Year Ago…

Well one year ago today we were driving Mike to Kelowna to the Treatment Center. Wow! One year.. So much has happened in a year. I was thinking back on this last year, and how God has led us as a family.

We are now living in a different house than last year, praise God! Brianna is doing well in High School, we have another cat, and a different car. I am learning to love that is a miracle!! I have learned to shop smarter to make my dollars go further, and not just buy something because I want it. I have had a job for close to a year now, praise God!

So what about Mike?? He continues to struggle with drinking from time to time, but doesn’t deny it as much anymore. He continues to struggle with his anxiety, and needs to be on medication to keep an even keel. I don’t know if he will ever be able to live without it.  His memory skills are very poor some times and I find it hard to be patient with that. I wish he had been diagnosed earlier in his life, and I wish he had received counseling. I am still praying that God would get hold of his heart and that he would be totally committed to God. I am also praying that the pain from his past would be healed as only Jesus can.

I am pleased that Mike seems to be more aware of his limitations when it comes to stress, and knows there are some things he can’t do anymore. He is also trying to listen when friends give him good advice, and doesn’t always shut people out of his life anymore.

So there are positive changes, and areas where there needs to be further changes. As much as I would like to see things change overnight, I have come to learn over this past year that all I can do is pray and go to God for my wisdom and strength.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers for God’s guidance and wisdom and grace.

New Post on New Blog..

Just a link to a new post on my new blog…God bless

Might be stopping by here from time to time to share updates, and finish Aurora’s story this year…

New Blog..

Just a quick update..I have started a new blog for the new year. I will keep this one up for the time being if anybody still wants to read these posts. I am feeling led to try a new focus for this year..hope you enjoy it!

A Happy New Year…2011

A Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a lovely and peace filled Christmas, and that this new year will be one of hope, and joy.

We had a quiet Christmas this year. We went to our church Christmas Eve service , and then came home and had frozen pizza and watched a Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim. The next morning we opened our presents, and then went to visit some friends for dinner later in the day. Nothing too spectacular, but nice none the less.

Between Christmas and New Years we got more snow again. So pretty and peaceful looking..unfortunately for me the snow blower broke so Mike and I have been outside a lot lately keeping our driveway and walkways clear. One particular snowfall was very wet and heavy, and by the time I got home in the evening it was awful to shovel. Needless to say my back did not like it.

I thought I was doing okay for a few days, but this week at work I had to empty some really heavy water pails and fill up the water cooler. Ouch!

Yesterday Brianna and I spent the afternoon getting the firewood ready for our big bonfire. We shoveled out around the fire pit, hauled the wood to it. Got the kindling all ready, and scrunched all the newspaper. We were set. Ahh, it would be so easy to light it and then we could roast marshmallows. Mmmhmm..yeah..easy…ha ha ha!!

A slight miscalculation on my part. There was still a bit of snow sticking to the inside of the metal fire pit, and when you burn things the snow turns to water…Oops!! It took almost 45 minutes and many bundles of newspaper to melt all the snow, let it drain out the bottom, and get the fire started for real without the aid of newspaper. Did I mention it was about -12 outside this particular night? Now that might seem like not too bad weather, but you got to understand something about me. I hate cold, and I hate winter.

I would never intentionally venture outside for more than 10 minutes at a time in this weather..My Dad would probably laugh if he heard this story cause he remembers what a disaster it was when I tried to go skiing when I was younger. I hated downhill because I was always freezing and always falling down. Cross-country on the other hand was a good thing because I would work up a sweat and didn’t get cold.  The cold tended to make me a quitter because once I got too cold I couldn’t stand the pain.

Did I also mention that every-time I bent over to tend to the fire I thought I would never get back up again because of the pain in my back?

Okay, so now you know how much I hate getting cold, and how much pain I was in. Last night there were many times I wanted to give up on that fire I had started so many times. It looked as if it would never start. What was the use? I would have…but…

I promised my daughter we were going to have a big bonfire and roast marshmallows to ring in the New Year. I was determined to make some happy memories with her, and try something new that we had never done before.

The hard work paid off, as all of a sudden a little spark ignited on the wood. We could finally warm up and get to the marshmallow roasting.

Okay, I couldn’t share this story without sharing something that occurred to me as I was reflecting on it today.

Sometimes as Christians we get weary because we just don’t see changes  in the lives of other Christians as quickly as we would like, or we don’t see our lives impacting the non-Christians that we know. We live in a society that wants instant gratification and results now. God doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes God is working behind the scenes in people’s lives slowly, and changing them a little at a time. We need to never give up on our friends or family just because we don’t see results. All it takes is the Holy Spirit to ignite a  spark that sets them on fire!

New Living Translation (©2007)
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

All I Want For Christmas…

Around this time of year, people start sharing what they would like for Christmas. It always amazes me when I hear them talking about everything they would like to get, and how they would be so disappointed if they didn’t receive it.

This year I have done some soul searching as to my wants at Christmas. As I wander the little shops down Baker Street peering into the pretty windows, I catch myself thinking about how lovely it would be to have this sparkly bauble or that gorgeous hat.

It’s so tempting  isn’t it to want so many things that we probably don’t need, or can’t afford. I can’t even remember most of the present’s I have been given over the years. What I do remember is the memories..

The older I get the more I realize that things are not what makes the holidays special. It the time we spend with people that give us that warm feeling. More importantly it is our relationship with God that can  make Christmas the most deep and meaningful time of year.

I am sitting in front of the tree right now gazing up at those beautiful lights, and thinking about what my Christmas wish is for this year.

I am wishing not for baubles, clothes, electronic gadgets, or even the finest food. For me this year I have but one wish…for my daughter to come to the realization that God is real, and that He died for her, and that without Him she has nothing. There is nothing the world can offer that compares to the love of Jesus…so as you go about your days leading up to Christmas remember this…God loves you, and made a way for you to be reconciled with Him even though we are all sinners. What more could we ask for??

Further Lessons In Joy..

I am still contemplating what it looks like to be filled with joy this season. Here are some further lessons from Brenda over at Coffee Tea Books and Me.

Just cut and paste into your browser to link to her post.