Friday, June 10, 2011

Step #1 admitted that we were powerless...that our lives had become unmanageable...

A bunch of years ago I was working as a residential counselor at a drug and alcohol rehab center for juvenile delinquents. My job was to be a custodial guardian for 6 teenage drug addicts who were in recovery. Each morning I would wake them up, ensure that they ate breakfast and did their chores, send them off to school, make sure they did their evening chores and then put them to bed. In addition to all the other functions of my job, one of my responsibilities was to take them to nightly Alcoholics anonymous meetings. It was at one of these A.A. meetings I had my world rocked. About ½ way through the meeting the speaker asked the question, “What lengths are you willing to go to in order to stay sober?” It was at this moment that I realized I was willing to go to any length. I stood up and started to stumble my way to the front of the group of about 60 people and with tears in my eyes and all the conviction I could muster, I blubbered out loud for the first time, “My name is Andy, and I'm an alcoholic.” In the midst of 60 awkward stares and a few looks of shock disrespect on the faces of the clients I counseled, I experienced peace.

You see, at that moment I knew that the awkwardness and instability of my immediate future was only a temporary discomfort in comparison to the immeasurable rewards that awaited me in recovery. I just didn't care anymore about what others thought. I only knew that things couldn't get any worse and that no matter what happened next, whether I was fired, or ridiculed for being a counselor at a drug rehab center while all along being a closet addict didn't matter to me anymore. All that I knew was that from this point on things were going to change.

I finally admitted that I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable and due to God's grace and my willingness to stay willing, I haven't taken anything stronger than a Tylenol in over 6 ½ years.

I often wonder what it would look like for a church community to mimic A.A. And to be as honest and thorough about going to any lengths to have peace, joy, contentment and deliverance from destructive behaviors. What do you and your community do to ensure a healthy honesty?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time to Reminisce

One of Ruthy and my favorite things to do on our “date night” is to go to a Borders bookstore, pick a random relationship book off the shelf and then read a chapter out loud with one another and discuss it. We have probably done this a dozen times over the course of our marriage and have found the practice to be quite helpful to our relationship. (Coincidentally, us never actually purchasing a book from Borders has proven to be quite disastrous for them since they are now out of Business). One of the books we read was by Dr. John Gottman. Dr. Gottman said that one of the keys to a successful marriage is taking time to reminisce. Gottman says that couples who take the time to look through old photo albums together, recollect stories and share remembrances have a much greater success rate in maintaining a healthy marriage.

Recently Ruthy and I looked through a few photo albums of our 7 month honeymoon and had a great time remembering old stories and laughing at some of our more "inconvenient" memories. Below are a few of the highlights we remembered.

Navigating through 1000's of jellyfish while diving Taking the scariest taxi cab ride ever in Vietnam Starting off our SE Asia trip in the middle of a Civil War in Thailand.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Working with Ruthy

My wife is an incredibly hard worker. She is a marketing consultant for LivingSocial and all day, everyday she is hustling for business all over Tacoma. She is most definitely my 'sugarmomma.' I on the other hand am a part-time waiter who enjoys the more leisurely pursuits in life such as 'Hulu' and 'Angry Birds.' Due to my recent inspiration from John Adams (see Tuesday's blog) I have decided to mirror my wife's work week. I will work as many hours on serving Tacoma Community as my wife works at her job with LivingSocial....So far today I have totally followed through on my plans.

Ruthy-has burrowed her head in her computer since we arrived at the coffee shop at 11:00 and has not stopped making phone calls and appointments since we arrived. In an outstanding effort of equally matching her work effort I have spent the past 4 hours writing this blog post.....and taking the following picture.

I must admit I am doing a pretty darn good job of following through on my commitment.