Posts Tagged ‘addict’

Loving the Unlovable-from Coffee Hour @Chicklit Power

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Loving the Unlovable-Step 3

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Thank you so much for allowing me to share your coffee hour and my experiences with you as they relate to loving the unlovable and difficult people in my life. It’s funny; while I was originally blogging this series, there were many real-time opportunities to put these steps into practice and as I review them now for you, I realize that as long as we are alive, there will always be opportunities for us to put loving the unlovable/difficult people into action. I hold myself accountable to Him and to you, which leads us to Step 3. Grab your coffee and let’s get to it.

Step 3 involves finding someone you respect and trust to share your list with. That’s right; this is going to involve self-exposure, but lay down that pride and let Him preside, because transparency can be a beautiful thing for all involved. For example, when my husband shares something from deep within and he becomes transparent, it softens my heart like nothing else can. I don’t consider him to be weaker in his moments of transparent vulnerability; rather, quite the opposite.

Can you recall a time when someone you care about was transparent with you? How did you feel in that exposure of vulnerability?

In the last few years, through my unpacking process, I’ve learned that many have a difficult time allowing themselves to be vulnerable. That is for a myriad of reasons, many of which are truly complicated and deeply rooted. In my third year of ministry, God gave me an incredible vision that totally lines up with what we are talking about right now, transparency and accountability. Let me explain what I mean.

I saw this girl, down on her knees. Directly in front of her was this over-sized trunk. It was sort of a dingy black-brown, the hardware somewhat tarnished, the handle quite worn. There were patches of the outside finish that had chipped off and let’s just say it looked worn, tired and worn. The lid was open and the girl was staring into the almost empty trunk, tears streaming down her face, but they were happy tears. There weren’t many pieces left to unpack, and yet, the ones that remained would take some time to get to their root. But she was no longer in a hurry. His love in the process had taught her that some things take longer to achieve than others, depending on their root. But, oh, the freedom she felt now. She looked up, lifting her arms up she thanked Him, again and again and again. And then, in order to comfort others with the comfort she continued to receive, she looked behind at all that He had unpacked and was accomplishing in her life. The pieces of emotional junk that once had the power to destroy her lay behind her now. The tears continued to flow and then, almost as if He put His hand ever so gently under her chin, she looked up behind the unpacked pieces and there in the distance were thousands and thousands of others watching the transparency, encouraged to begin their own unpacking process.

See, in 2nd Corinthians 1, we read that the comfort we receive allows us to speak into the lives of those who need comfort. Where you see failure and pain, He sees victory and healing. Go ahead and think about an accountability partner to share the process with.


2014 Headshot


Loving the Unlovable-from Coffee Hour @Chicklit Power

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Loving the Unlovable

Step 3

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartThank you for inviting me back into your coffee hour and into this series. I know what we are learning is not easy to hear, so please know that I am sincerely blessed that you are allowing me to walk with you in this. I believe with all that is in me that He has ordained this time to unpack any and all junk as it relates to unlovable and difficult people in your life. Grab your coffee and let’s go to the next step in loving those unlovable/difficult people in our lives!

Today, I would just like to share with you an analogy about why we are even doing this series, give you some thoughts to ponder before we move on to Step 3. Just as the first step in an addict’s or alcoholic’s recovery is the most important because admission of their problem opens the door to their recovery, so does acknowledging unlovable and/or difficult people in our life opens the door to healing. Let me explain what I mean. You see, in this process, the one that will change is you! You and I are powerless to change the unlovable and/or difficult people on our list! But, oh, how I’ve tried over and over again, delusional enough to think I actually could change others. Have you ever caught yourself thinking this of anyone in your world?

As a result of the change in you, that unlovable/difficult person may or may not move off the list you have them on, but I can guarantee you this: their unlovable, difficult attitude will no longer have the same power over you!

I’ll use my biological mother as an example. At the time I wrote this series, she was still an alcoholic, so negative, and obviously so angry, but I am no longer exasperated beyond belief when I talk with her! He has helped me through these steps to push exasperation and frustration to the side, at least most of the time and now there is room for understanding, and even love. I don’t want to give too much away all at once, so I’ll tell you more about my own experiences as we get further into this process.

If you need extra confirmation about making that list, let me share with you

the Book with ALL the answers!

the Book with ALL the answers!

Psalm 4:4 which says: “Be angry and do not sin” – this tells me that God does understand anger and frustration; it’s what we do with it that separates us! It goes on to say: “Meditate within your heart on your bed” – or your place of privacy – “and be still.” Now let me share with you a diamond I found in that verse.

The word “meditate” sparked something so I dug a bit further into its Hebrew (Old Testament) definition, which is: “The act of thoughtful deliberation with the implication of speaking to one’s self, to consider.”

Go ahead and affirm your meditation by journaling your list and speak the names aloud to yourself. He will hear you!

Learning to love the unlovable,


2014 Headshot


Tasty Words from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Thanks so much for joining me today for the conclusion to our March Words of Wisdom and Weapons of Warfare. Grab your coffee and let’s get back to these tasty words found in Paul’s letter to the Colossians.

So we’ve been encouraged by Paul that even in light of disagreement with others and their beliefs, we are to add sweetness to our words with the spice of grace. He then continues to add flavor by saying: “. . . seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Well, if grace is the sugar, what is the salt? In Ephesians 4:29, Paul warns us about corrupt words coming out of our mouths and to make sure that what comes out is good for necessary edification and that it imparts grace to the hearer. So is the “salt” necessary edification? Let’s explore that through the Greek concordance.

Ouch! Salt translates to “prudence.” So in other words, we must be slow to speak, not only think before we speak, but pray before we speak.

Metaphorically speaking, salt refers to character and condition of the believer. Salt is also used as a metaphorical symbol of peace and of wisdom.

Did you know that salt has purifying, perpetuating and antiseptic qualities? Think about it: salt on a wound does what? Salt on sweet fruit does what? Can you see the significance of your salty words?

Jesus used salt figuratively as a symbol of spiritual health and vigor which is essential to Christian virtue and counteracts the corruption that is in the world. Is it any wonder that a sign of our Spiritual health is revealed in and through our Tasty Words?

Oh, to be more sweet and salty . . .


2014 HeadshotP.S. Happy happy b-day to one of my forever friends, Nancy . . . may this year’s celebration be the best yet and may the memories you make squeeze your heart with love and joy for years to come! I love you.


Nana Holds-from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Thanks for joining me today and taking time out of your busy life to just stop and shut out the cares of this world. Grab your coffee and let’s get back to more of Nana Holds.

Do you have a tendency to be gullible? And I’m not referring to a great joke, or even pranks people play. No, what I’m speaking of and this assessment is speaking of is denying hurts, habits and hang-ups of others.

Oh, my friend, I have to admit, I am still way too gullible. I do have a tendency to believe the best in others, and that’s not a bad thing. But when it comes to a level of denial, that’s where this symptom can add to the infection in an incredibly detrimental way and at a speed that will make your eyes water with speed-induced blurriness, in more ways than one.

At the time I stood before our friends of CPM on February 23rd, I could freely admit that in my past, beginning with my first husband, I was blindsided by my own issues that interfered with the reception of all the warning signs. In fact, I was

Nana Holds 2-23-13

Nana Holds 2-23-13

as clueless as a bug entering a web spun by a spider. Never in a million years did I imagine that he was a drug addict. I’ll never forget how I found out that major truth, either, but not until almost seven years into the marriage! Wow, talk about someone swimming up the Denial River!

I continued swimming up that river while single-parenting my son, who at the age of twelve was learning how to romance drugs and later on, in high school, he, in his own ignorance and gullibility, was completely taken in by drugs and I was devastated. And each time he came out of rehab, I believed the best in him, starting over with a clean slate, as Christ tells us to do, but my denying enabled him in ways I didn’t know.

You might be saying, “What’s wrong with that?” Well, nothing, really, that is as long as you don’t ignore all the other warning signs. One key that I wish I would have learned easier is the truth that a child needs a parent first, not a friend! I was afraid to really “parent” my son for fear of him not liking me. That’s the condensed version and there’s much more that goes into that, but hopefully you can relate in some way with this scenario.

God tells us to show grace, but He also commands us to pray for wisdom and discernment, to train our kids up in the way of the Lord and when they are old they will not depart from Him. Now I always like to add, they may wander, but . . .

website mission statement cloud 200xWhen we are actively pursuing Him, He will prepare us for the things we need to know to avoid swimming up and down the Denial River. I know this to be true because as my relationship with Christ developed, I remember suspecting certain things, especially having to do with my son’s drug use. Instead of acting on it right away, I would pray for Him to reveal it. And you know what? He did. I partnered with the best Father ever to help me in parenting my son in his later teen years. I believe with all my heart that is why he eventually did return!

But that is not to say that since being in this amazing relationship with Christ, I haven’t reacted before praying when I suspect something about someone, anyone for that matter, i.e., someone talking crap about me, someone keeping something from me, someone lying to me. I’m sure you get the gist; I mean, I’m not inhuman and though I have tougher skin now, three years into writing and ministry, I still have a tender heart and I do cry when offended!

Sometimes I need to remind myself that I can’t stop anyone from doing anything, that if they are on the tracks and the train is coming, headed straight for them with some sort of train-wreck of a battle, I cannot play SuperWoman and go rescue. People are going to do what they will and my responsibility is not to rescue them from their consequences, neither is it to pretend it’s not happening, but to pray for wisdom and discernment to know how to navigate through the stormy waters and to continue to show them the love of Christ. We need to get our head and heart out of the sand, look up and give it up!

So, take a minute to see if you have a propensity to be gullible, especially when it comes to excuses from others in the midst of suspicions. Before I leave you today, let me share an acrostic for the word “denial,” which comes from the Celebrate Recovery curriculum. Denial . ..

Disables our feelings

Energy lost

Negates growth

Isolates us from God

Alienates us from our relationships

Lengthens the pain

Praying that the eyes of our hearts will be opened …


Nana Holds!

Nana Holds!

Don’t Leave your Soul on the Sidewalk-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Coffee Hour!

Thanks so much for joining me for our Coffee Hour. I know it’s not always easy to break away but my prayer is that you will be glad that you did! Grab your coffee and come on in.

The title of today’s blog just burst out of my heart and mouth in the midst of a long-awaited conversation with my son. It had been a couple of weeks since we had talked and despite leaving him a couple of “encouraging” messages, he had not returned my calls. As I write this, I think to myself, Now, I certainly didn’t raise him to be rude! Oh, get over yourself, girl. Oh, dear, I’m starting to have conversations with myself! LOL! 🙂

Anyway it wasn’t like I was waiting by the phone for his call, but once a mom, always a mom and when I don’t hear from him for a while, especially after leaving messages, I become a little concerned! Now, there’s an exaggeration! I was getting REALLY concerned and the mother’s intuition thing was beginning to kick into overdrive, which is not a good thing!

The reality is, he’s a husband, a daddy to six-year-old Dillan and three-year-old Tyler, a full-time student and part-time worker. His life is crazy full, rushing past him at the speed of lightening. I totally understood why we hadn’t been able to connect. I just missed him and I sensed that because he hadn’t had a day off in over two months, he was probably teetering towards burn-out Mountain, especially if he wasn’t nurturing his own soul! Moms just know these things! 🙂 Can I get an “Amen”? 🙂

Two days after praying that he would call, I was driving to the grocery store and my cell phone rang. As soon as my screen told me it was him, I immediately found a place to pull over so I could give him my undivided attention, abandoning the current emotional tug-of-war I found myself in.

I was so excited to talk with him and as soon as I heard his voice, my heart sang. When I asked him how he was doing, and he hesitated, my heart dropped to my feet for a moment, and I knew that I knew that he was soul-tired.

See, at that time, he was probably a fourth of the way complete with his apprenticeship at a sober living facility in Pasadena and though he was helping others with their program, his own program was getting little attendance, becoming a flicker in the background, something he would tend to later, because, in his mind, the demands on his time are many.

In his hesitation, a newly-learned truth came to the forefront of my mind: even in the midst of our ministry, or our calling, our own souls can wind up on the sidewalk.

Join me tomorrow for the explanation and conclusion to this powerful truth.

In His grip,


Stop & Smell the Roses-May’s WOW-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses

Psalm 46:10               

The Book that Began the Journey!

Coffee Hour!

Thank you so much for joining me today for our Coffee Hour! I can’t believe May is here. Wow, what a month, and how amazing it is to rewind the weeks and reflect on the previous month’s experiences. Grab your coffee and let’s go share some words of wisdom and weapons of warfare for our new month.

As I reflect on the past month and the new one before me, I can’t help but realize that He is giving me a refresher course in many areas of life, testing me along the way, sharpening my tools that will help me maneuver in the trials of life.

There are seasons when life itself is a school we must attend in order to pass the tests that circumstances and unforeseen events hand us, and just like our children need to be taught they must attend and don’t have a choice, so we must attend the lessons of life. We can choose to learn what the day has to teach, or we can spin so fast and busy that we miss the lesson that each and every day holds.

What a great assignment that would be; to daily review and rewind the events from the previous day and find the lesson learned and give it a title! Hmm, I think I want to try that this month. I think we’ll call it “The School of Life and its Lessons.” Oh, we have some sweet coffee hours ahead! 🙂

Anyway, this truth surfaced to my heart just last week when I accepted an invitation from a friend of mine – she’s also my esthetician and a sweet supporter of CPM and a sponsor to too-many-to-count recovering alcoholics/addicts. She invited me to attend a home-group recovery meeting at her home and mingle with these women with the possibility of coming to speak with them a couple weeks later. It was an experience I will never, ever forget.

As soon as I walked in and met each of these women, I was captivated by their love, warmed by their immediate acceptance and teachable hearts, as well as their raw vulnerability. It was an incredibly humbling experience and here’s where this month’s WOW comes in. 🙂

After dinner and fellowship, they have a meditation time, led by and through a reading on a CD. Before they begin, they remind each other to breathe in, aka, smell the roses, and breathe out, aka, push out the stress. I don’t know about you, but I certainly need that reminder, probably hourly!

On the other hand, and I don’t know about you, but “meditate” sounds kind of different to me and so I have stayed away from this practice. To be completely honest and transparent, it’s because I’ve been narrow-minded enough to think “meditate” only relates to Buddha-type worship, But in fact, meditate means: “to engage in thought or contemplation; to reflect.”

His Spirit within me told me I was safe and so I reflected on the words speaking to us from the stereo, reflecting on serenity and the serenity prayer, the most profound, equalizing and stabilizing statement to travel all of creation. As I write this for you, the early wisdom from my self-adopted mom floats to the surface of my heart because she always led me back to this powerful prayer. Seriously, try closing your eyes and repeating the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

In order to truly reflect, we must be still and know that HE is God. With that acknowledgement comes serenity, and as a bonus, the strength to get by and through whatever lesson life brings us. These words are from His heart to yours today: “Be still and know that I am God.”

From that one powerful, equalizing and stabilizing truth, we can spring into the playground of life.

Learning the lessons,



Five Ways to Succeed in Life and Love-Step 2- From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Hey, thanks for stopping by for our coffee hour and more on “Five Ways to Succeed in Life and Love.” We are still on the second step, but hopefully, I can wrap it up today and we can move on to step 3! 🙂

So I gave an example of something not so good that we unknowingly commit ourselves to, and yet there are so many other things. The reality of it is that if we have some bad habits, hurts and hang-ups, subconsciously we’ve committed to them; they don’t just appear. For example, addictions range in size and substance, but are never physically, emotionally or spiritually healthy for us and yet, the more we feed them, the more committed we become to them. These are the kind of commitments we need to break free of!

Take a few minutes and think about this: What are some things that we unknowingly have committed to that aren’t so good for us? Please, whatever you do, don’t let the devil’s tool of shame come raining down on our revelation right now, or even later, either. This is just the appointed time for you and me to learn about these things so we can be free to commit to things and people that will be good for us. 🙂

Let’s go back to that question, are you committed to something, or someone, that is physically, emotionally and spiritually good for you? Let’s think of some positive ways to commit to something for our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

So real quick like, because I know we’ve spent so long on this second step, but then again, each step leads to the next and the better we know the preceding steps, the easier it will be to move forward! Starting with physical, if we were to watch over with intensity – I’m getting a picture of an ice-hockey game and the goalie who twists, turns, delves and dives to prevent the puck from coming in! If we were to treat what we eat like a puck, and only the stuff that’s good for us makes it into the cage, that would be a great commitment for our physical well-being.

And just off the top of my head, I can give us a double-hitter application for our emotional and spiritual well being; that if we were to watch over with intensity to see that we practice this one little thing, we would be wiser in choosing whom and what we commit to, and be stronger and better at keeping them. Did you know that the Bible is the greatest self-help book that is committed to helping us commit! Practice taking in a little of it each day – a little dab will do you – and don’t be intimidated so easily by this task. Just show up to partner up (resolve) and ask Him to help you understand what you read. Trust me; the scripture you do read will come alive!

When we resolve, partner with the Holy Spirit, to commit, that will inevitably take us to the next step . . .

We’ll pick up there on Monday. Don’t forget to join me for Power Friday!

Joyfully committed


You’re Invited to Understanding & Overcoming Depression-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and I’m so sorry I didn’t meet with you on Friday for our series, “You’re invited to Understanding and Overcoming Depression.” So, since I brain tooted real big on Friday, here’s what I had for you:) Grab your coffee and come on in. I want to talk a bit more about antidepressants. 🙂

I have known and to this day have incredibly close friends who suffer from depression, both endogenous and exdogenous and many of them are on antidepressants and some are not and then there is the other group who have been on them and have weaned themselves off of the antidepressants.

As I mentioned last week, there are several side effects to any and all antidepressants, and they vary depending on the type of depression as well as with the person. However, there are a few common side effects. Needless to say, because everyone is uniquely different, it is hard to generalize the side effects specific to a person.

So are antidepressants necessary for all who suffer from depression? Oh, what a tough, tough question. There are so many pieces to each person’s puzzle that need to be put together before one can assess someone else’s picture and decide if antidepressants are necessary for that person. Let’s look at some of the pieces of the antidepressants themselves.

Rather than put it in hard-to-understand medical terms and get all up into neurotransmitters and all the brain stuff, et cetera, let me try and put it in easy-to-understand terms by using an example that many of us can relate with or to. I know of several recovering addicts who because of their drug misuse have flipped the switch in their brain too many times and because of that, antidepressants are vital to their healing, well-being and a tightening of the switch, so to speak, becomes necessary to even begin the healing process.

Here’s another way to explain how antidepressants aid in this process: an antidepressant like a synthetic filtering, much like insulin is for a diabetic, so we put them in until we can learn new coping behaviors. Antidepressants give us the ability to confront things without shutting down or getting overwhelmed.

We could keep going, but why don’t I stop there and give you another invitation to our next Destination? Joyful! ™ event. You won’t want to miss it! Steve Atkinson, a licensed psychologist and a very special friend of CPM’s will be there to help us understand depression and give us some powerful tools to overcoming it!


Looking forward to seeing  you,


October WOW (2) From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and welcome to another blog on our October Wow, words of wisdom. I want to say thank you for coming by. I truly thank Him for the gift of you, and from the bottom of my heart, I hope that today’s cup of transparency from me will be a cup of encouragement for and to you. Grab your coffee and come on in.

So our WOW this month is “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” When we first talked about these words of wisdom at the beginning of the month, we examined the word ”corrupt” and discovered it meant rotten, bad, poor quality, which translates to no cuss words, rank jokes, words tossed out like arrows filled with anger, no lies, gossip and/or not words that stir up trouble. No wonder I’ve been speaking less this month! Just kidding 🙂

So I’ve been faced with two personal and very difficult situations over the last several days. They involve two people very near and dear to my heart, both of whom have been trying to stay sober without feeding their faith through the Word, meetings, prayer, accountability, etcetera. Watching them lately has been like seeing a train way, way down on the track coming toward them as they stand there in their addictions, getting sucked in and not moving forward whatsoever. One of them knows they need help; the other says they’re not going backwards but they don’t want to live their life in fear of failing.

I’ve learned so much through the Word and through Al-Anon, and Al-Anon is based on scriptural principles. I’ve learned that I have to let go; let God, and there’s even a step that says: “Easy does it,” which reminds me of our WOW this month because what comes from our mouth needs to be good for necessary edification, in other words a building up of that person without tearing them down. Tough love is a form of building up that can lead them to His grip of grace.

I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t fix, change or control anyone, but the words I speak to them could change their life forever. I’m not good at pretending, and I’m not good at walking over the elephant in the middle of the room. In other words, when there’s something that needs to be said but no one’s saying it, I can lean on the side of just kicking that big fat elephant to try and get it to move.

This month’s WOW is definitely helping me to think before I speak, or kick, and to make sure that I make a deposit before I take a withdrawal, to speak truth in love, and try to leave the frustration out of it. I’ve got a ways to go before I perfect – or should I say before He perfects that last part in me, but I’ll keep trying to speak words that edify and pray that they point those whom I speak to towards the gift of His grace.

Have an awesome weekend….