The gifts of recovery are far-reaching. . .

Every time I go to a meeting or receive a phone call from a friend or sit down at my computer to read comments on the posts I have written or open emails from readers who have been helped by one or another of my books, I sit back, stunned, by the impact of the changes that have occurred in my life simply because I got clean and sober.  I never, in my wildest dreams, expected to live the life I have been given.  And I no longer doubt that God orchestrated it all. There is simply no other reasonable explanation.

I was thinking about this when my sisters and I were having lunch on Tuesday. We were celebrating my oldest sister’s birthday and I felt over-joyed that our lives had come together in such a meaningful way.  It wasn’t always this way between my sisters and me.  I was the family nay-sayer.  I was on the opposite side of all family discussions.  I took pride in not agreeing with them, in asserting that I was more open-minded.  Perhaps about some things I was but about them, I was far from being open-minded.  I accepted very little about them, their opinions, their values.  And my isolation from them was painful for all of us, particularly my parents.  Growing up pays off, doesn’t it?

Before my parents died we had a very peaceful co-existence.  I would even say that my mother and I developed a very close bond, in fact, one that grew out of an intimate conversation we had about her life and her dreams and how all of it had impacted me.  Even while she was pregnant for me.  We are the sum and substance of all that went before.  And the many people who have “escorted” us along the way have played a part in who we have become too.  Personally, I think that’s a marvelous set of circumstances.  What we must avoid, however, is placing more emphasis on one experience over another.  They all had their impact.

So back to my sisters and lunch.  We three, at 71, 76 and 81, laughed about old times and present situations.  We know we are there for each other.  That if we need a prayer or a helping hand, it will be extended.  Had I not honored God’s invitation for me to get sober, that lunch on Tuesday would not have happened.  Praise be to God.

Are you fully appreciative of all that has passed in your life?  Are you looking at today with gratitude?

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