Recovery

Addiction Shows Up in Unlikely Places

I don’t know about you but the more time I spend with me, the more the “past” haunts me.  During these “stay at home” times, most nights I’m by myself since hubby is an essential employee.  Despite my best efforts, the inner gremlins of the past creep in.  I think about those I have hurt.  I think about the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” things.  I think about “what if”.  Not always a good place for a recovering addict.

I love this simple message:

“Don’t Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”

I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive about a habit which trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our present and our future.

I had an “epiphany” last night.  As I was thanking God for the blessings of the day and asking for his guidance, I realized I had again substituted one thing for another.  My addiction had shown up in an unlikely spot –  not really unlikely for me. Showing up in unlikely places is not uncommon for addicts if we don’t keep things in check.  No, I didn’t have thoughts of using drugs or drinking.  No, I didn’t go on a shopping spree.  I was eating “junk food” and hiding it.  Crazy, right?

I thought about the went last 5 days hubby had worked.  I went to pick up some groceries and here is what happened.

  • I stopped to Dunkin for my iced green tea.   It was Friday so I got a “free” donut”. I was out a second time on Friday to pick up Baby’s medicine.  Stopped at Dunkin again and got another “free” donut.
  • Went to Aldi’s for some fresh fruit and fresh veggies – a good thing, right?  They had Cadbury mini eggs on sale.  I have been obsessing over them for a week so I bought a whole bag along with a bag of Robin’s Eggs.
  • Stopped to Wawa and picked up bottles of Wawa diet tea. Not very healthy because of all of the artificial sweeteners.
  • Had to stop myself yesterday from going out just to get a Dunkin tea and a donut.

Each time I go on a shopping run, I end up buying something I normally would not eat or drink.  WHY???  I want what I want when I want it.  LOL. The crazy part is I was hiding all of this stuff from hubby.  I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal BUT it is how it starts, right?  Substitute one thing for another and keeping secrets.

I know I am only as sick as my secrets so I am letting them into the light….I’m sharing it publicly as a way to be accountable.  As harmless as it may seem to someone, it is the start of the spiral.   I beat myself up.  I start to justify things with “I haven’t gained any weight”, or “it is stress eating” or when this is over I will do better.  The truth is by then it will be too late…..the weight will be back and I will be miserable.  I have been riding the stationary bike every day for at least 20 minutes which has helped to keep me from gaining weight BUT it doesn’t justify the sneak eating.  This is an old behavior from my days of being a bulimic – the only difference is, I’m not purging.

I know I’m not alone….finding things to keep us busy and out of our heads can be tough.  I have been creating angels, reading, sewing and cleaning out closets.  I have been doing at least one video meeting a day – over the weekend it was 3 meetings a day.  WHY?  Because I know when I hear what others share, I am out of my head and I know I am not alone.

Today I am giving myself grace – it meets us in the asking for strength from our Higher Power.  Because of this I can move forward (and so can you) in His grace. Even when life is complicated and messy.

It’s not about locking things in a secret compartment of your heart. When we turn things over, no matter how insignificant it may seem to our Higher Power, He can give us the rest we long for. Healing for our heart wounds.

The reward of faith is freedom in our Higher Power. With this faith, the past has no hold on us.  Grace fixes our gaze forward.

So the next time I’m tempted to beat myself up because of a mistake, I will turn things over to my Higher Power and choose not to beat myself up, not to re-hash a painful conversation, not to blame another person … not to stumble on things behind me.

Instead I will reach for grace. I will reach for my Higher Power and call to Him for help.

This seems like a jumble of thoughts but I need to be accountable.  Are you struggling with keeping away from the “junk food”?  What are your best tips?  Share them with us..

Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

When You Don’t Want to Go Back to the Way You Were

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s  message:

I just got my braces off…again.

I have had braces on my upper teeth three times. Count them. One. Two. Three.

As the orthodontist explained, “Teeth have a memory. They always want to go back to the way they were.”

As soon as he said those words, I felt convicted. I have a tendency to go back to the way I was.

We all do.

Karen (not her real name) admitted to single handedly destroying her marriage with passive aggressive coldness, destructive words, and disrespect of the worst kind. After her husband walked away from the marriage, she had a Holy Spirit moment and realized what she had done. Karen’s heart softened and she vowed never be that woman again.

She immersed herself in Bible study and began to pray for her ex-husband even though the marriage was over. Karen took on the beautiful holy glow of a woman who knew she was totally forgiven and completely loved by God. Miraculously, her ex-husband saw the change, and the marriage was restored!

However, after a few years, the destructive behavior began to creep back in.

A word here.

A cold shoulder there.

A retreating into self for weeks at a time.

Ten years after the miraculous restoration, the marriage crashed and burned.

“Teeth have a memory. They always want to go back to the way they were.”

Jesus saw this tendency to fall into old ways when He cleaned out the temple. In the beginning of his ministry, after his first miracle of turning the water into wine at the wedding of Cana, He traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.

“In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle, he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market.’” (John 2:14-16 NIV)

Three years later, during his last week of life on earth, Jesus came upon the unholy mess again.

“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers’” (Matthew 21:12-13 NIV).

How did the corruption happen the second time?I don’t think it happened all at once. After Jesus cleared out the temple initially, I suspect it stayed that way for a time. But one day, a money changer set up his table. Then another brought in a few birds, followed by a couple of sheep, and then here came a cow.

The next thing you know, the temple wasn’t any different than it was before Jesus cleared it out and cleaned it up three years earlier. In three years it had reverted back to an unholy mess.

And God whispers in my ear: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV).

Sometimes I am that messy temple.

Swept-clean sinful behavior, ungodly thoughts, and jump-off-the-cliff emotions are itching to creep back in at all times. It is up to me (and to you) to keep the temple clean.

Perhaps you’ve had a Holy Spirit moment at some point in your life—a moment that caused you to make a major lifestyle change.

But for the moment to maintain momentum, we need to be constantly aware of our tendency to revert…to go back to the way we were.

I am so thankful that Jesus went back to clean out the temple a second time. It lets me know that He will graciously return to my messy self again and again with broom in hand.

I don’t know about you, but I never want to go back to the way I was.If you’re willing to take a few moments and ask God if there is something you’ve allowed to creep back in, join me in praying Psalm 51 in the prayer below.

Then leave a comment and say, “I’m doing it today!”

Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Facing the Future or Fearing It?

Thank you Kathi Lipp for today’s message.

Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34, ESV).

When I was a young adult, I would often tell myself, “When I become really successful, I will give away so much money! I will support orphans and the needy. I need to work hard so that in my later years, I can do a lot of good in the world and for God’s kingdom.”

At the same time, I was in a constant battle: me versus my stuff. My home was stuffed to the brim with things I bought and used (or not). I would try and try to declutter, but everything in my house, to me, was completely essential. Maybe not right now; I couldn’t get rid of anything that I might need, someday. It seemed wasteful to have bought the heart-shaped muffin pan, use it once, and then give it away. (What if, five years later, I had another child who wanted little heart shaped cakes for Valentine’s Day?) My entire house was brimming with “what ifs.”

So as my house kept bursting at the seams, my plans I had to care for the poor never magically happened. I knew the next step was to earn more money so I could serve the poor and buy a bigger house so that we weren’t always so crowded, and I could concentrate on loving others well. Right? Isn’t this what the world tells us?

All of this was faulty, future thinking. Instead of doing what I could, in the moment, to serve those right in front of me, I kept saying “someday.”

  • About my clutter.
  • About my helping the poor.

When it came to clutter, “What if I need it someday?” is the cry of the fearful heart. Because for the fearful heart, what we once decided would be “enough” to start helping the poor, “enough” to have in our homes, will never be enough.

The only way we will have enough in our homes, enough to help those who need the help, is to get to the place where we trust the God who has already given us so much.

It took me well into my forties to believe — really believe — that I could get rid of the “extra” in my house, the “just in case” in my house, without fear. Have I given away a few things I needed again? Occasionally. In those instances, I’ve had the peace of knowing that my extra was being used by someone else who needed it, and I could, if I really needed it, buy or borrow those items again.

But the most exciting part of this journey has been the ability to help people — not “someday” but right now.

Instead of selling our couch that was still in wonderful shape and people had offered to buy from us, we were able to give it to a single mom who just moved to our community.

And when our friend was raising funds for clean water in Africa, I had a piece of jewelry (given to me by someone who was no longer in my life) that I was able to sell for money to help build a well.

I would rather carry these acts in my heart than extra stuff in my house.

Don’t let your abundance be what you put your trust in. Instead, trust your abundance to God.

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I know, the holidays are barely over AND maybe you are just putting your decorations away.  The kids just went back to school and you are trying to get a grasp on the New Year…..Have you been in the stores lately?  Christmas sales are GONE!  Valentine’s Day, St. Pattys and even Easter decorations are out. It is CRAZY!  So I figured I would jump on the bandwagon since Thirty One is having an AWESOME Outlet sale. What better time to shop then during a sale, right?

Thanks to a little help from Thirty-One Gifts, you can convey a message to leave a lasting impression on that special someone’s heart. Forget the box of chocolates – there’s nothing sweeter than a shared memory or sentiment which holds a special meaning. If you want to touch someone’s heart with a truly special gift, check out these customized ideas sure to become their all-time favorite gifts.

Straight from the heart

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without giving someone your heart, right? But if you’re not quite ready for a commitment, why not give a heart on a pillow or tote instead? The new heart-themed print designs allow you to add a heartfelt message to your gift. Each is a graphic print you can add to any of several Statement Canvas products including throw pillows, custom wall art, a Mini Shopper or Zip-Top Pouch.

Bundles of love

There are lots of things which come in small packages, BUT think of all of the AMAZING things which could come in a BIG Thirty-One bag! Why settle on one gift when you can pack lots of love in a tote, caddy or bin?  Create a special gift set with everything your sweetheart can appreciate throughout the year.  Check out some of these ideas:

Design a bin just for him

Put together a sports-themed Essential Storage Tote with game tickets, his home team’s jersey, sports magazines, signed memorabilia or a new pair of running shoes or cleats. Or design a fishing-themed Catch-All Bin with new tackle supplies like bobbers, hooks and lures or packed with a new tackle box or fishing hat!  Guess what??? Those Catch-All Bins are part of the outlet sale (you can save up to 70%)!

Create a special spa package

Fill a Mini Storage Bin with bath bombs, sugar scrub, slippers, beauty products, a sleep mask or even a gift certificate to a local spa or massage therapist. On a budget? Search for DIY bath product recipes on Pinterest. And YES, these are also part of the outlet sale…

Have a romantic indoor winter picnic 

Treat your honey to a personalized Picnic Thermal Tote with chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, fancy cheeses and crackers. (The Leak Lock® lining means you can fill it with ice!) Just spread out a blanket in front of the fireplace, grab a couple of champagne flutes and toast to the perfect Valentine’s Day!  The best part is you can use this year round when you want to take the picnic outdoors.  It is great for tailgating, trips to the park or even road trips.

Add a little sparkle

Were you thinking more of jewelry??? If you want to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, make sure they’re properly dressed for the occasion. Our Gallery™ Earrings and Luxe Loop Dangles are the perfect start to any romantic dinner or a night on the town.

Make her blush

While we have your attention, gentlemen…you should probably know she’s had her eye on these fashion-forward styles in her current favorite color since we introduced them this season! For a fail-safe Valentine’s Day gift she’ll love to carry all year long, choose a Convertible Belt Bag, Rubie Mini or Studio Thirty-One™ bag in Rose Blush Pebble and personalize it with her monogram in tone-on-tone Blush embroidery. (You can thank us later.)

Share the love, ladies!

Even if without a significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can always be Valentine-mates with your best friends, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters – anyone and everyone you love. Valentine’s Day is about appreciation and letting others know you care. We want you to know we care, too! Lots of love to you this Valentine’s Day.  Thank you Thirty One for today’s tips….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

What Matter’s Most

You hear all of the hype and negativity about direct sales.  You hear about the “scams”.  You hear about businesses closing.  What you seldom hear about is the AMAZING hearts of direct sellers especially those in leadership.

I’m not talking about the BIG fundraisers but about the way many leaders love on their team.  It is the heart of a leader which leads people to a team or a business.  Heart is actually a big reason people are attracted to direct selling and why they stay.  Heart builds relationships and brings joy.  Who doesn’t want more joy in their life?

What matter’s most?

The topic of last year’s Thirty One National Conference and it is a question I ask myself a lot.  When we know what’s in the heart of our teams – we are able to create a strong bond and build a relationship with them.  As a leader, it is up to us to help them identify what matters, it is where their why resides.  I will be the first to admit, I struggle to get to my why some days mainly because of health (memory issues).

As we start a new Thirty One year, I am reaching out to my team (and those potential recruits) to see if I can help them uncover their why.  When everyone has a clear picture of what matters most to them personally, connects it to their business – they will be on fire!

I know, we have all been asked – what is your why?  For most of us, it is about financial freedom, or staying home with the kids.  But is the basic why enough to get you out of bed on a bad day?  Is it is enough to keep you moving forward when there are no parties, or no sales?

It is about digging deeper – uncovering what matters most to them (and you).  How can you tell you have reached their true why?  The emotions will shift and you will hear it.  When I hit my true why, It usually brings tears

I have told the story often of a coaching call many years ago which helped me to work towards and achieve my goal (at the time) of being Director.  Hope Shortt spent an hour on the phone with me asking me questions and helping me to uncover my why.  It was the most emotional coaching call I can ever remember – it brings tears to my eyes even now remembering it like it was yesterday.  What mattered most to me?  My family being proud of me. I wanted to hear their words of affirmation (one of my love languages).  For some, this may seem shallow BUT for someone who struggles with confidence – it was HUGE.

Not sure how to reach your WHY or help your team reach theirs?  Listen and then listen some more.  It is important to have an action plan BUT it is also important to engage the power of their motivation.  A plan won’t work on the tough days if they can’t connect to their motivation for working the action plan.

Here are some questions to help them (or you) connect to WHAT’S important with WHY it’s important.

  • What makes this important to you?
  • Who do you impact when you achieve this?
  • What difference will this make to you and your family?
  • What will it look like when you accomplish this?
  • How will you feel when you accomplish this?

The key to each of these questions it acknowledging what you hear and then repeating it back to make sure you understood their answers.  When you see their emotions shift, you will know they have found their “true” why.  It is then, you can spend time exploring the ripple effect of what it will be like when their why is their reality.

When you connect to the hearts of your team, not only will your business grown but you will also build lifelong relationships. Once they have connected with their why, keep it in front of them.  The motivation of their why will create action, and actions produce results.

Share your why with us… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!