Thursday, May 31, 2012

Feel The Heat Or See The Light?

"Ok, I feel the heat now, time for change." Boy, isn't that the truth?! Can you imagine what it was like for the Egyptians to see millions of frogs in the kitchen cabinets, toilets, beds, food pantry, shower, BBQ grill, living room, wall to wall, frogs? Frogs ruled the country. I am not really fond of frogs. They just don't have that cozy appeal to me. They just sit there and breathe and kind of smell. And yet, Pharaoh was hard-hearted and stubborn as all get out. Finally, Moses even got tired of them cried out, "Lord please end this.." (Ex8:12) Then it got worse as the frogs died where they sat. Can you imagine?! Pharaoh didn't catch the hint and returned to his stubbornness when the pressure was lifted. Wow! What will it take brother? But then I realize I was the same way in my life. It wasn't when I saw the light but when I felt the heat that I was driven to action in my life. The funny thing is though, when the wave of “frogs” is lifted in my life, then I can tend to get comfortable and say "I think I got this whipped now. I don't need this recovery thing anymore." Then I divert back to what got me to the frog fest to begin with, "me, me, me". I now know that this recovery process is a life time process. We call that sanctification as a fancy word for steady growth as we seek Christ. I don't want to end up with a bunch of frogs filling up my life in order for me to wake up. I am prayerful that I will stay connected to His will daily so that I can hear my Masters voice and then have the humility to be teachable and grow in my mistakes so as to keep my side of the street clean. I promise the temperature will just keep rising if we don't face it now. Signed, Frog Face Holmstrom, Nat'l Assimilation Coach For more information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Friday, May 18, 2012

MY Will Be Done

To quote a contemporary therapist, “How’s that working for you?” For me, it landed me smack dab into recovery! I kept having low attendance at my pity parties. I seemed to be the only one who showed up. And there have been times when I stayed entirely too long; wore out my welcome by hours, days, and weeks. You see, every now and then my inner two year old used to visit and try to take over my life and everyone else’s.
I don’t really remember the day when I felt the empowerment of queen and judge of the world. It was quite a responsibility. Those are two very heavy robes to wear. Between the tiara and the gavel I was really weighed down. Somewhere along my life’s journey I came to believe that with me in charge of everyone and everything life would be much smoother, happier, better, richer, fuller. Need I go on? I was a good and fair ruler. I wanted what I believed to be best for others even if they didn’t know what it was. They could trust me, I did. I wasn’t overly harsh or manipulative. I was generally a subtle consistent drip on the foreheads of my loved ones. (Think Chinese water torture here.) My need for power and control came from a deep seeded feeling of lack of control. So when I didn’t get my way, well, hang on, get ready. I had a variety of tools in my bag- nagging, silence, presentations of research to support my point and so on. One of the saddest things is that I didn’t consciously use any of the tools.
It’s just who I was. Like any child, if I didn’t get my way I would metaphorically throw a fit until I did get whatever it was I wanted. Remember though, I was a good and fair ruler. What I wanted for everyone were only good and right things. At least according to MY will and plan. Here’s the deal. I’m not really in charge and rarely in control. My first step in recovery was to admit this as well as my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life had become unmanageable. Really, how good is a two year old when it comes to running things? They are pretty powerless, as am I.
I recognize now that when I begin to slip back into the old control habit, it’s generally for a reason. Well, one or more of five. I do my darndest before I bring out the old familiar robes of control to ask myself if I’m hurt, exhausted, angry, resentful or tense. Almost always, it’s at least one of them. Other times, I simply forget, I’m not God. His word never mentions my will being done. I’m through with pity parties. I’m going to love not indulge that little girl inside me. I’m much freer when I’m not in charge or trying to be. I’ve got more time for fun and really living life to its fullest. “Not my will but thine be done.” God really is a loving, good and fair King. I’ll just focus on being a princess and let Him reign. Daphne, Another Changed Life For more information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, May 14, 2012

Am I A Giver or A Taker?

Ephesians 4:29 “ Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” I’ve been reflecting on this passage and what that actually means to me in light of where I am in life right now. Foul language doesn’t always mean the socially forbidden set of words that we all know. It also refers to those words that will tear someone down instead of lifting someone up, and the tone in which they are said.
I seem to be frustrated recently by meaningless correction by some. Since the popularity of social media has exploded, it seems to be an open market for some to correct others in front of thousands of people. Mostly on insignificant things such as misspellings or words used incorrectly, i.e. there vs. their and so on. Seeing these types of things has caused me to wonder what the motivation is behind this type of correction.
I find myself countless times starting to type a comment or a response to an email in which I would like to do the same thing, but gratefully, the Holy Spirit whispers to me, “that’s not the right thing to do”. Am I really correcting in love (which is absurd because it is so insignificant and should be done one-on-one) or am I trying to make myself look better, smarter, etc. by making them look stupid?
Now, to clarify, there are times when we need to speak the truth in love (one-on-one, not publicly over Facebook or Twitter), and sometimes those things are not necessarily good, but certainly helpful. It’s interesting that the issues that I struggle with or have in the past are the ones that now frustrate me the most. I don’t post much on Social Media, I don’t usually send out mass emails and I don’t speak in front of large crowds. I am generally a behind the scenes person and so I am not out in the open to be criticized much. However, for those that are constantly putting themselves out there, I feel a deep sense of sadness for them when they are criticized ruthlessly over such unimportant things. And then it makes me angry. My first thought is, I need to respond to that to protect that person, whether it’s my family or a good friend, and I take it personally. But that is not my job. I cannot control anyone else's thoughts, actions or words. My responsibility is to make sure that the things coming out of my mouth and from my finger tips as I type are to be good and helpful to those I am speaking with and to lift them up with things that will be a blessing to them. If I can’t do that, I really need to keep my thoughts to myself. Just like the old saying I heard when I was a child, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.” There is much truth in that and something that I need to work on every day. Carol Holmstrom, Celebrate Recovery For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Coming Your Way Today

Three years ago today, I said goodbye to a special person in my life. My mom left us on Mother's Day weekend of 2009. Last night as I was sleeping, God gave me a gift that I will be forever grateful for. Tears of joy streamed down my face this morning as I received this gift and saw the date on my phone after waking up. I was back in my mom's hospital room letting her listen to the song, "I'm Coming Your Way" and she gave me the sweetest smile. God loves you so much and nothing you can do can separate you from that love. Would you be willing to give Him all your heart today? The rewards are eternal.Check out the story of my gift below.

Here is the song I spoke of that I was able to allow my mother to listen to on her death bed in her hospital bed.

For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Friday, May 4, 2012

6 YEars of Life Change Landing

Remember the saying, “you better recognize!” It’s funny this morning how that phrase keeps popping in my head this morning as I read an old and yet familiar passage from Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Solomon is giving us some incredible wisdom to not lean on our old crutches of life any longer (our own understanding of survival or own strength, or unhealthy coping) but instead to lean with all our might INTO His strength while “acknowledging” Him. In other words we must “recognize” Him in all our ways. When I do this in my life, He keeps me on the right path. Tonight we celebrate 6 beautiful years of The Landing/LHGH at our CR ministry under the great leadership of our dear sister, LaDwana. Tonight, we recognize Him in all He has done and see a picture thru two life change stories of our students that have gone thru the Landing. Tonight we see a glimpse of what life is like when we lean into His strength and quit relying on our own. Our incredible Landing leaders bought a sponsorship on the KLRC radio station today and people all over NW Arkansas are hearing the message of hope thru the Landing. The coolest thing about this is LaDwana, our trusted leader in this ministry picks up her 10 Year sobriety coin in her area of recovery! Wow! Talk about a blessed night we will have the privilege of being a part of. What do you need to recognize in your life that the Father is doing around you? What are you anticipating He will do in your life as you seek Him. Today, my inner thought dialogue is “Rodney, you better RECOGNIZE!” Rodney, Nat'l Assimilation Coach

Thursday, May 3, 2012

HE’S Doing It All Wrong

Just when I think I’m making progress on my journey and things are going smoothly, I trip. The difference now versus in the past is that I caught myself as I was headed down instead of totally falling hard with a splat! Actually, God caught me and I learned a lesson. The lesson being, MY WAY IS NOT THE RIGHT OR ONLY WAY. The following is my confession and lesson. My husband makes a power smoothie for breakfast every morning. It contains protein powder, milk, honey, peanut butter, frozen strawberries and a fresh banana. That combination is enough to make me gag. My nutritional training tells me he’s wasting protein. Funny thing, I don’t have to drink it so it doesn’t matter what I think. And to top that off, he didn’t ask for my opinion. Anyway, I’ve let go of the fact that I need to control his blender concoction. What I hadn’t let go of was the WAY he used the blender. You see our blender has two speeds plus an ice crusher. Upon inspection of his daily ritual, I realized he was using the ice crusher and then the blend button. Note, the recipe above does not contain ice. What was he doing?!?! The beat or puree button were clearly more reasonable options. So I ignored my inner voice to keep my mouth shut and dove in. “What are you doing? Why are you using the ice crushing button? You don’t have any ice in there.” His response was calm and clear. “I consider the frozen strawberries like ice cubes. It helps break them up and give me a more consistent smoothie.” Well, fine, if that’s what he’s really after- a smooth smoothie. I have found comfort in knowing I’m not the only person alive with control issues. Upon sharing and confessing my story with my sister, she too, had a story to share. You see for years her husband has stirred his coffee with a fork. Yes, a fork! Everybody knows forks are for spearing not stirring. What was he thinking? What kind of home was he raised in? Finally, one morning she snapped. She had to say something. “Why do you stir your coffee with a fork?” His reply, “It blends things better. The coffee flows through the tines as I stir.” Okay, we both admitted he has a point. Plus when he pulls the fork up out of the coffee, he has a couple minor of drips instead of the spoon blob when he lays down his utensil. Such seemingly insignificant situations can either teach big lessons or create big tensions. I’m grateful that now (after months of work and release) I am able to release control of more and more in my life. I thought the phrase, “Let go and let God” was for big stuff. I’ve come to realize that it includes the small stuff as well. It helps explain the phrase, “The devil’s in the details.” My character defect of the illusion of control is a long standing generational issue. But hey, I have a rebel spirit and am willing to break the cycle. My way is not the right or only way. I’ve stated it twice now. Please feel free to hold me accountable. Daphne- Another Changed Life For more information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org