Here in the United States of America, November is Gratitude Month within the rooms of 12 Step meetings. This is because it is related to Thanksgiving being in the 11th month of the year and the cultivated art of gratitude is practiced
within Step 11:
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
This will be our first Thanksgiving together! Adam, Fred, Me (Cindy O.)
Recovery is real, Folks. The Promises do happen, Folks.
(From pages 83-84 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous) If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. Reprinted from the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
My son and I lived in a hateful, cruel environment in a third world country with no hope of escape. Life was hard there and I spent literally years hunting a place for us to rent and move to where l would be able to have a classroom for my language school in the living room. And the rental house needed to be on a paved street within town and on local bus routes for the humble students. Those were the prerequisites to be able to support my son and myself. It never happened. We had no family back in the states that would even talk to us on the phone, much less give a few weeks refuge to get a life started in the States.
Adam's miracle came first when God sent a 'Good Samaritan' dressed in the title of a sea captain to take him to Texas. Adam used to translate for this captain each time he came to our coastal town to order custom cabinetry or upholstery for his vessels. This person needed free labor to build his boat. He offered his unfinished boat as a living quarters in return for Adam's labor. It was winter and the boat was freezing without a bathroom. It turned out that the arrangement was without wages and without food! My son walked the town job hunting odd jobs. He cleaned a public swimming pool, manned a kayak rental service, cleaned campers and worked on the captain’s boat, as he had promises. He fulfilled his commitment and joined the Navy. That's our boy! He never has complained about those days. He turned it into an adventure of survivor mode. I repeat: "That's our boy!"
My miracle came when I almost died for the second time due to emotional abuse. My heart, mind and spirit were done with it all. And I was finally forced to escape the cold rejection in my home or accept that the next crisis would probably end my life. My purse, a new laptop still in the box, one suitcase and I boarded a plane to American 5:30 a.m. on March 10, 2006. Where I went, what I went through, the culture shock after 21 years away, the technical learning curves, the extreme climate difference, seeking a new profession, loneliness, and the fear of never having a home with my son were hourly fears, I need to battle as not to have a panic attack. I made it! God never left my aching side one second. He constantly repeated sweetly: "Fear not, do not be afraid, I am here."
And, just as I am so proud of my Adam; I know Our Father is so proud of me. He whispers in my heart: "That's my red headed girl! I am proud of Cindy. She's Mine."
He always had His hand upon me and sent me to the fellowship of 12 Steps to receive acceptance, safety, guidance, unconditional love and that feeling of finally being at home. My Late sponsor, Mr. Wade and then hubby #5 often told me: Where there is AA you are home and are never alone. Like any blended family in a new AA group, there is a short period of adjustment and pitching in where needed on your part. However, one quickly does begin to permit the fellowship love them because the fellowship does love our own kind even before meeting the new comer.
Where there is your type of 12 Step group, You Will Be O.K. I did not say life will not happen. I said you will be O.K. Accept your 12 Step group. God loaned them to you as a valuation gift!
Fred's miracle came thru crisis, also. We had met at an AA meeting 7 months prior, as he was driving through Pennsylvania (where I was living), on his way to New England to take his daughter to chemo therapy. She had had a reoccurrence of cancer. He would drive up north every month to spend 3 weeks being with her at all her treatments.
After the AA meeting that we met in and on the way to his car, he thought to the Lord: "Oh wow, God, she's gorgeous! Is this someone I should pursue? (Fred had been single 13 years wanting and waiting for the right match. He had decided this time he would NOT settle for next best. He wanted the real thing.) The Still Small Voice we learn to hear and recognize in Step 11, answered: "No, not yet."
7 months later his lovely daughter died, after all the church services, the funeral and back to back AA meetings where his support team was; he drove back to the mountains of West Virginia. There he camped on his couch a week in a tear dripping daze. Then Monday morning he awoke and called out: "O.K., God. What now?"
The voice, the voice. We, who have done the 12 Steps and continue Step 11, love the voice of our Shepard! The voice told Fred to go call Cindy. He got up and drove to the top of the mountain where the cemetery and cell signal were. His daughter had died on Easter Day as was her desire.
Adam, Fred and Cindy were a family in October of that year. How beautiful our son was in uniform as he walked me down the aisle! Do you like my bouquet? Adam put it together for me.
Wishes for intangible treasures do come true. But it takes faith with action and that means a spirit of thanksgiving paid before receiving the gift.
This lizard tale is all about Thanksgiving no matter what! So Thanksgiving Day becomes an everyday celebration.
Lizards enjoy Thanksgiving time, too. They certainly ate in abundance at my first creepy house in Salina Cruz, Mexico! And was I grateful! I thanked God that lizards were killing off the giant centipedes. The Lizards must have been thanking God for such nice meaty dinners. It is all relative, who is grateful for what. Gratitude depends on when, where and the present condition in life. It simply means that one man's trash is another man's treasure. I have known this most of my life. And even today, at 68 years old, I practice humility with great ease. What am I saying? Just like the Canaanite lady, I gladly accept the crumbs from the table of the noble ones.
Do you have a crisis or longing hidden in your heart? Let me share my beta tested miracle formula with you. If you have been trying everything to make your miracle happen to no avail, take a look.
I start my crisis solution faith walk with the following formula. These baby steps are the size of crumbs when placed beside the giant dream that my heart desires to be manifested! Wait! I am not talking about dreams that can be touchy, driven, worn, or owned.
The dreams to which I refer are not on the market for sale. They include:
This is going to be a Lizard Tale about calling in the real even though it is but a misty distant oasis in our hearts. Remember, faith without works is dead (dormant for lack of action).
*Think about recovery / think about restoration / think about pain that needs to be repaired.
*List the miracle goals you want for your recovery.
*Create visual art cards for each miracle.
*Write that miracle dream under each visual aid.
*Post these clip arts all around your daily life domain.
(ex: on the wall, on the refrigerator, on the car dashboard, on the corner of you PC monitor, on the bathroom mirror)
*Thank God out loud each time one of these mini billboards
catches your eye.
That's it. It works as your spirit is filled with the belief of the miracle being in the making. It IS in the making. Don't stop before the miracle happens. Miracles are everywhere and truly answered. We are the ones who kill them, because of ignorance of the secret formula or just plain laziness to do our part. And then, beware and know, toxic souls in a darkness of confusion and unbelief, will be poisoning your dreams and faith walk, just by being around them. Run! Detach forever or for a while until your miracle arrives. Ask God, and He will direct you on that.
Philippians 4:8New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
“Faith without works is dead”. Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 88.
If Faith without works is dead, then: Faith With Works Is Alive! This is called: THE SECRET = the miracle recipe
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