Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Truth for Lies: How I Know I Am an Addict

My name is Kelley
I am an addict.

"You would love Pinterest," she told me,"but it's addictive." She was oh, so right. Pinterest is addictive. That's why I did not climb aboard. The good ship Pinterest wasn't going anywhere I wanted to go, on the sea of addiction.

See, my new and fifty-fifth year of life began March 9, but it was just after the New Year 2015 that I realized the fantasy is over. I found myself out.  

I am an addict.

I'm not addicted to cigarettes or drugs or glue.

I'm not addicted to shopping or decorating or stuff.

I'm not addicted to p*rn or s*x or gambling.

But I am addicted. My addiction is the lust for refined sugar.

I am a refined sugar addict.

How I Know I'm an Addict
Addiction has both a biological and a behavioral component.  "Anything that stimulates the reward pathway is going to be interpreted as something that's necessary for life and needs to be repeated," Brad Lander stated, an Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center psychologist.

1.  I lie to myself all the time. "I need (fill-in-the-blank sugary food)."


2. I honestly answered yes to some hard questions. I reworded and rephrased "Am I an Addict" to fit my particular situation. Instead of drugs, I used sugar, sweets, etc.  Addiction to refined sugar will never send me to jail, but to where could this addiction send me?

Additionally, I disagree with some of the concluding statements of "Am I an Addict" which stated:

"1. We are powerless over addiction and our lives are unmanageable."

This is not true. I can take authority over my flesh, and I can manage my life. God's Word told me so.

... Walk in the Spirit,
and you shall not fulfill
the lust of the flesh.
~Galatians 5:16 KJV

... We have an obligation--
but it is not to the flesh,
to live according to [the flesh].
For if you live according to the flesh,
you will die;
but if by the Spirit
you put to death the misdeeds of the body,
you will live.
~Romans 8:12-13 NIV

My husband teaches a wonderful message, "Where There's an IF, There's Always a THEN." "IF by the Spirit I put to death the misdeeds of my body, [the then is assumed here] THEN I will live."

"2. Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery."

My addiction is not a disease problem. My addiction is a sin problem. If I love something which displeases God-- I love something I wasn't commanded to love-- I have made that love an addiction, if you will. I've made it a necessity, a need, an idol in my life.

And idolatry is sin.

You know what I need right now?
I often ask myself.
A candybar.
A salted caramel hot chocolate.
A bowl of ice cream.

That is where I am. Slaying the need dragon. Replacing the lie with the truth: I do not need that.

And I am responsible for my recovery. If I lie to myself about what I do not in fact need, I can instead tell myself the truth about what I do in fact need.

Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalts itself
against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity
every thought to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV

The NIV phrases it like this.

We demolish arguments
and every pretension that sets itself up
against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

"3. We can no longer blame people, places, and things for our addiction. We must face our problems and our feelings."

This is the truth. I must stop blaming my husband for the poor choice I make to eat the Rolos, Reese's peanut butter cups and KitKat bars he buys and puts in our freezer.

Just because we're relaxing at home in the evening doesn't mean I must give in to my yearning to feed my sweet tooth. I am lusting. That is the truth. It's the lust of my flesh and it's a battle and I must win the war. Margaret Thatcher said,

"You may have to fight a battle
more than once
to win it."

The wedding reception with its alcohol candy bar in full array-- jar upon jar of wrapped chocolates, caramels and nutty-buddies is, for me, no different than the alcohol bar being open to alcoholics-- bottle after bottle of vodkas, bourbons and whiskeys.

What is the reality of my addiction? Indeed, I must face the problems, face the feelings and choose truth over lies. 

"The ultimate weapon for recovery is the recovering addict."

This says to me, "I am my weapon," but I say, "God's Word is my weapon."

... It is written,
Man shall not live by bread alone
but by every word that proceeds
out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

His Word is a "lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). I can hide "It in my heart that I might not sin against" Him (Psalm 119:11).

The time to take counsel of your fears
is before you make
an important battle decision.
That's the time
to listen to every fear you can imagine!
When you have collected
all the facts and fears
and made your decision,
turn off all your fears
and go ahead!
~George S. Patton

Monday, March 16, 2015

West Coast Skyway Highway

One swallow does not make a summer,
but one skein of geese,
cleaving the murk of March thaw,
is the spring.
~Aldo Leopold

Feet on the dashboard in Portland, Oregon

The season
is not a proper noun.

Before I forget, I've neglected to share a couple of events, so kindly allow me to update you chronologically if you please.

-- 18: Another soldier has gone Home.

Lance Appleton
September 22, 1952 - February 18, 2015

Lance with grandson Ian at Labor Day Picnic 2013

--28: Next, I forgot to tell you about the last day of February in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dave ministered at a Spanish church there. The former pastor had abandoned his wife for another woman so the first lady is giving it her best at holding the church family together. The folks were and are behind her 110 percent, too. 

Look at the beautiful countenance!

After the service, through an interpreter this lady said she wanted to be baptized and would Dave baptize her in Jesus' name. Using a pair of soup pots, the young men filled the horse trough baptistry with warm water. With a team effort, request granted!

MARCH 2015
-- 04: I forgot to mention that my brand new iPhone 6 Plus crashed this afternoon. While surfing the Web, the screen turned bright red and gave up the ghost.

-- 05: If you read the Highway Skyway post here, I hadn't yet edited the event that occurred during this day's Inbound Orientation in St. Louis. 

Inbound Orientation with
Pacific Regional Director Roger Buckland

Mother texted, stating that her doctor postponed her knee replacement surgery until April 1, so my hubby scrambled successfully and got me on his return flight to San Francisco. Following the 5 o'clock Inbound conclusion, we Hubby drove two hours back to Mother's and I threw packed my things back into my suitcase. We He drove the two hours back to St. Louis and we climbed into the bed at about 11 o'clock.

-- 06: We left the hotel at 4:30 a.m. and flew from St. Louis to San Francisco. After a delicious Mexican lunch and wonderful fellow- and fillyship at La Parilla with Jerry Powell and his daughter Jerryann, we towed the Li'l Dutchgirl to an RV park in Bakersfield.

No snow boots. No tights. No coat. Windows down, windows open. Bugs on the windshield. We love bugs on the windshield.

Nearly in tears of exhaustion, I crawled into bed at 7:55 p.m. The last thing I remember was asking my husband if he was coming to bed. "It's 8:30, Babe," he replied, "and I am not going to bed at 8:30."

-- 07: I woke up at 7:30 a.m. Eleven hours of positively delicious sleep.

Bakersfield, California.

We lunched at Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que with long-time friends, Bishop Leonard and Linda Sansom (married 50 years this August) and their daughter and son-in-law, Pastor Mike and Kim Hanks.

Sorry we got you with your eyes closed, sweetie!

That evening we went with the Sansoms and Hankses to Melodrama where several others from the Bakersfield church also met us. By the time the evening was over, I'd put some serious hurt on that bucket of popcorn. I am a popcorn girl!

Giggling again!

Afterward-- like we really needed to eat more-- we all piled around a table at Dewar's.

* * * * *

Sadly, it was on this same day that my son-in-law Corey's maternal grandmother passed away.

Christmastime 2014

His mother Darlene had tucked her sweet mama into bed for the night and when she woke up, she was in Glory. Mrs. Elsie Freeman was 87.

Vesta Mangun read Corey's grandmother's favorite Scriptures.

Corey was honored to speak at the graveside service March 14.

-- 08: We headed to Taft, California, for our Sunday morning service with the McDanielses.

We actually saw gas for $4.50+ but I didn't get a picture.

Flowering trees were all abloom.

Oil drills are everywhere in Taft.

Later we were on our way to Atascadero with all of Route 58's twists and turns. We were so glad we weren't towing!

The mountains were brightly freckled with patches of orange wildflowers.

Photos never do justice.

And then there were tumbleweeds.

Our Dana would've loved a bagful!

-- 09: My 54th birthday

We waited for my crashed-iPhone replacement to arrive at the RV park in Bakersfield. Because it had not made it Saturday due to a snowstorm that impacted Tennessee over the weekend, it was promised by noon Monday. It didn't make it.

We drove over the mountain, towing the RV to Valencia where we unhitched it and parked it in the storage lot for $4 a day. Our bags were packed for a week in Oregon; they'd never been lighter.

We met up with Mike and Nancy Flowers for my day of choice: driving golf carts for the guys-- which Nancy had never experienced before. Aren't I nice? Out in the sunshine, among the Canadian geese and all the other golfers (no other wives or girlfriends).

Beautiful Nancy, my dear friend since 1988

I'm learning about outings like these. If the guys are in a golf tournament, that's another thing altogether. But on a beautiful day like this was in So' Cal', good husbands love it when their wives go to the golf course with them for a few hours of de-stressing. And for my good husband, who drives a bazillion miles on deputation, it's especially great when I drive the cart.

Some of our best friends, Mike and Nancy

Mike kept asking Nancy, "Isn't this fun?" and saying, "Nancy, c'mere. I want to tell you a story about this hole." Both of our husbands enjoyed our presences immensely.

The other golfers-- a couple of guys on a cart or a group of guys-- always say something complimentary about me and the other wives driving the carts or riding on the carts with our husbands. "Wow, we know the best lookin' drivers on this course today," or, "Wow, look who they get to play golf with today, and would ya look who I'm stuck with (pointing to golf buddy)!"

"Those guys are jealous of us guys who have our wives with us," Dave has explained to me. "A lot of guys can't get their wives to go out on the golf course with 'em. I love it when we have a day like this and you go to the golf course with me."

So all afternoon Mike was hoping and praying his wife was having a good time. We gals just don't realize, do we?

I was reminded of Dennis Rainey telling how he loves it when he asks his wife, "Wanna go to Home Depot with me?" and she answers yes. Our men love it when we go do things with them. Sure, not everything, but hey. If they invite us, we would do well and be wise to say yes once in awhile. And for heaven's sake, act like you're having fun!

-- 10-15: By the time we'd arrived in Portland and driven to Albany, Dave was physically on autopilot. He was in sleep deficit for sure. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard him say how tired he was. That's just not like him. I'm so glad we flew up here (on miles) and that he didn't have to drive. We have napped every day possible this week and I think we're finally refilling our sleep banks.

... And my iPhone replacement finally caught up with me Wednesday, the 12th.

For those of you still with me, I leave you with some scenes from Oregon. Again, photos simply do not do justice.

Hush, Can you hear it,
The rustling in the grass

Bringing you the welcome news
Winter's day is past.

Cherry trees

Soft, Can you feel it?
The warm caressing breeze

Telling you the sticky buds
Are bursting on the trees.

Look, Can you see them?
The primrose in the lane,

Now you must believe it-

Spring is here again.

"It Must Be Spring"
By May Fenn

It wasn't my birthday anymore, but I got cake-- my very favorite! A sweet wife of her 28-year-old hubby lit the candles on this cake Sunday night in Newport, Oregon. I nearly did a dance! The best dessert in the whole wide world is birthday (and wedding) cake baked in a bakery! Mm-mm! I can still taste it!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pulling Over

If you fuel your journey
on the opinions of others,
you're going to run out of gas.
~Steve Maraboli

Back in February, we had just left the Midwest and driven through Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona, all where gas was under or about two bucks a gallon. We pulled into a gas station near Blythe, Arizona, and nearly lost our lunch. $2.85 ?!?!? "We're not getting gas here," Handsome bellowed, steering us right back onto I-10.

It'd been several years since we towed the Li'l Dutchgirl through the desert, so we'd forgotten one minor detail: When you see a gas station, pull over and get gas.

As we crossed the Arizona/California state line, Handsome muttered, "We could be in serious trouble." We weren't seeing any signs for fuel ahead. We texted our friend, asking him about the Gas Buddy app. Exit after exit had no filling station.

"Ask Siri!" I nearly screamed. We're Siri-ignorant. She came with our new Expedition and we've yet to scratch the surface of her boundless knowledge. "Maybe she can tell us where the next gas station is."

"Show gas stations!" the voice of authority commanded. *BING* Names of the closest gas stations appeared. Chevron was 30 miles away.

I closed my eyes and winced, "How many miles does it say until empty?"


We looked through the bug-spattered windshield. No, no, no. On the horizon was mountain after mountain yet to climb. We offed the air conditioner, let up off the gas pedal and crept along, 60 miles an hour.


I began praying aloud,

Please, please help us
reach the gas station and not run out of gas.
We were so foolish to not fill up back there
for $2.85 a gallon.
Forgive us for our foolishness.
We promise we will never,
ever do that again, God.
Would You please, please help us
get to the gas station safe and sound?

Oh she-of-little-faith started thinking, We've no gas can.

"How many miles does it say now?" 21. Twenty-one miles till empty.

We crept along at 55 miles an hour. "Now how many miles?" Nine. Nine miles till empty.

Chevron is 10 miles away. He slows down our speed even further. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus...

"How ya doin' on gas now, Babe?" Six. Six miles till empty.

Then, "Three miles to Chevron and two miles to empty..."

I see a sign.
General Patton Memorial Museum.

"So cool!" I say, my voice trailing off. Dumb girl. You can't go to that. We've gotta get gas first!

As we pull safely up to the pump, I ask, "What does it say, Babe?! What does it say?!" O. It says the number zero. It says empty. The vehicle didn't die, but we literally ran out of gas pulling up to the pump.

Off to the left is General Patton Memorial Museum, sharing the same entrance and parking lot with the Chevron. We listen to the gas flow from the pump into our vehicle. "Do you wanna go to the Patton Museum, Babe? It looks so cool." I give him a smile.

Handsome gives me a look. End of discussion.


Flying over the Rockies

It's later in February and we've flown from San Francisco to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. After landing, a piece of luggage hints that it doesn't want to show. Of course-- it's got all my clothes in it. Finally, it arrives, in the Oversize Baggage ClaimLoaded up, we're finally on our way from to Medicine Hat in a rental car.

A Calgary, Alberta, Canadian Plains sunset at our backs

We enjoy dinner in Medicine Hat with a couple we met for the first time that evening, the Zilinskis. They've put us in a beautiful lodge for the night.

The next day we're Handsome's driving to Regina when the gauges on the dashboard go wonky and the lights and headlights begin flickering off and on. My husband calls Hertz and they arrange to exchange the vehicle at the Regina airport.

Lots of smokies/highway patrolman/Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Alberta Highway 1. "Watch your speed, Babe," I scold in a maternal tone. "That's all we need is to get a ticket in a foreign country."

Somewhere between Swift Current and Moose Jaw we pass a smokie and I feel our car pulling over to the shoulder. "Are we getting pulled over, Babe?"

"Yes, we are getting pulled over, but everything is under control. Get the rental agreement out of the glove box, please."

I was doing a Word Find I'd found in a local newspaper. I know this is what I was doing when we got pulled over because when I heard my husband say, "Hello there" to the officer, I felt the presence of the second officer on my side of the vehicle. He peered into my window where my head was down, my eyes focused on the Word Find. Words in the Word Find could be single or two-word phrases and could be found going upward, downward or backward. If memory also serves me correctly, the title of this Word Find was "Great Outdoors" and so far I'd circled words like sightsee and campout.

The officer asked, "How are you doing today, sir?"

"I'm doing great but this car's not."

"Oh, really? What seems to be the problem? Is it on fire or something?"

"Well, no, sir, but I called Hertz and when we get to Regina we're going to swap it out for a different vehicle because the gauges on the dash are goin' crazy and the lights are flickering off and on."

The officer looks over my husband's driver's license and the rental agreement. I circle road trip on the Word Find as the officer asks,

"Is it making you speed?" 

"Uh, well, no sir," my husband chuckles, "it is not making me speed."

"Have a nice evening and drive safe," the officer concluded as he returned my husband's belongings and walked back to his patrol car.