Tag Archives: Keep It Simple

Open the Gifts of Life

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 4, 2015

gift-boxes-stained-glass

Open the Gifts of Life

Today’s reading from Keep It Simple opened my eyes. (Again.) This reading reminded me of such an obvious solution to the nagging difficulties navigating through my daily routine. “Each day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons.” – Ruth Ann Schabacker [1]

What a simple, straight-forward thing to do: open the gifts each day brings to me. It’s not rocket science. Look for the gifts, because they are there, for sure! Living one day at a time can be challenging, sometimes. Rewarding, occasionally. Just plain hard, once in a while. But regardless of what each of us is dealing with every day, one day at a time is simple.

Not necessarily easy, but simple.

If I close myself off to God and to others, that is one definite way to not receive gifts. If I isolate, or put up walls, or go in my bedroom and pout, who does that hurt? No one but me. If I seek out others (even as few as one or two others), or let down those internal barriers and boundaries, or be open and willing to be friends with others, who does that help? Lots of people! Me, definitely. And, I have the opportunity to help others, to encourage and support them.

I understand that recovery is an inside job. If I orient my insides toward God as I understand God, or as some people think of it, my Higher Power, that is a tremendous beginning. Orient myself towards looking for the Higher Power’s gifts, each day. One way I develop my spiritual program is through prayer and meditation. Just what Step Eleven calls for.

Dear Lord, gracious God, remind me to stop and listen to You. Remind me that You love me very much.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 4 reading.

Something Completely Different—In Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, November 1, 2015

Step 11 coin

Something Completely Different—In Prayer

Prayer and meditation mean a lot to me. I try to do one or both on a regular basis. Recovery principles also mean a lot to me. (Did you know that I have a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, certified by the state of Illinois?) Helping people in recovery and their loved ones is also important to me.

That is why I am devoting the month of November to prayer and meditation, as seen through the lens of people in recovery. Since November is the 11th month, in many daily reading books Step Eleven is a natural focus for the month. What is Step Eleven, you wonder? I am glad you asked.

I will be looking at “Keep It Simple,” a daily meditation book from the Hazelden Foundation. Here are my thoughts from the reading for November 1st.

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him … “ – First half of Step Eleven. For people in recovery and their loved ones who practice the Twelve Steps, Step Eleven is an important part of the spiritual side of recovery.

As I have talked with people early in recovery, they often are distant from any idea of God or a Higher Power. Many of these people are hesitant to accept the concept of God, even as each individual understands God. That is perfectly all right. Two important words for recovering people are “willing” and “open.” People who are willing to work the Twelve Steps need only to have the willingness to be open to the idea of a God or a Higher Power. That is all, one step at a time.

Conscious contact means knowing and sensing God in our lives throughout the day.” [1] This is the next step. Once a recovering person is open and willing to God, then comes the possibility of conscious contact with God as each person understands God.

Dear Lord, gracious God, I thank You for this excellent reminder to concentrate on You. And, with today’s meditation, I pray that our relationship does grow stronger, day by day. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 1 reading.