The First Step

Well, how'd you do yesterday? It was a beautiful weather day here and my day was busy like most with blessings throughout. I went to church in the morning and am always so thankful to be in the house of the Lord but also to be among what I call my faith family. These are the people that walk along side me and encourage me to be the very best that God planned all along. They urge me on and lift me up when I stumble. And believe me, I stumble.

How so? 

When I stumble, I start my day without a thought of God, my Higher Power. I wake up and charge into the starting gate ready to rock the world. Or I hide deeper under the covers and I just don't want to start anything. Anything.  Over the years of recovery, which led me to a much deeper walk with my Savior, I've learned to allow myself the time to wake up and thank up first. Thank up? Yes, sending my thanks up to God who is giving me another breath of life and a new day to begin again. Do you know how much God has promised us in His Word? Do you know how often He offers us forgiveness, help and a hand up? 

Look at what He says here. 'Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.' (Isaiah 41:10) 

Who couldn't use this kind of help? I sure need Him to hold me up often! 

I stumble through the day when I don't respond to people correctly. Sometimes we say that's just the way we are but if you strive to be better than the day before, it requires looking at yourself and the way you interact with people. I came from a very large family and often the atmosphere was a survival of the fittest which could mean a lot of different things to different people. In our home it might have been the quickest wit, whether funny and lighthearted or sharp and painful, wins. It wasn't necessarily about which way it was delivered but you had to get it in first. This could create a myriad of heartache if you were a nano-second behind. If you came in second, you lost the moment. Strength in words can either build people up or tear people down. Now, everything ever said in our home was not negative and unkind. At all. Telling others to toughen up might not always be the answer although in our culture we could use a little bit of that thinking for sure. It surely is a fine line, isn't it? Truth in love should be spoken but truth in hurtful pokes and barbs is never correct. 

I also stumble through the day when I let electronics keep me from doing a task that requires my full attention. I've been decluttering for months. Months, I say!  Some days I respond to the task well at hand and other days it appears overwhelming. The reward in decluttering however can come in delightful surprises. I'm finding as I go through clothes that didn't fit me just right a year ago (but I didn't pass on) are now fitting me just right. Bonus! 

All this to say that starting my day with God is simply so much better than when I stumble into the day with a face plant. When I sit down with my Bible and recovery reading, without realizing it, I start out with a deep, relaxing sigh. I've noticed that every time. It puts me in a place of surrendering all that I was carrying to our meeting spot. When I start the day with saying 'Thank you for a new day' it sets my mind on God walking me through today instead of me running ahead and asking God to hurry up!

I hope you have found your place with God and people to support you through whatever obstacles face you today. His Word is a great place to find all that He has promised to those who believe. I can testify that it's true!!  Do you know that God says He has loved us with an everlasting love?? If we don't know that, we can't fill up with His strength and confidence. 

The First Step of Recovery which says: We admitted we were powerless over ____ (fill in your own struggle) and that our lives had become unmanageable. We are recognizing and saying that we have no defense over our situation, substance or people. What a great way to start the day. Acknowledge that you are powerless and ask your Higher Power, (God for me, the maker and creator of all things), to lead you in the way that you should go.  I don't need to stumble into the day at all! 

And don't forget, all the strength you need to get through the day is found in His Word. In case you don't own a Bible, you can go to Bible Gateway ( find His love letter to you there! 

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