The Author of My Life

You know what I love the most about writing my story? 

New chapters. 

Fresh, white, clean pages–not yet colored with ink—lay crisp and uncreased, just waiting for me to pen something new. Something different. Something unique to my own story. 

I’m actually back to the rewriting of my original story, Unteach Me, and I’ve made it to Chapter Three: 

The Author of My Life

Ironically, the original post was published five years and four days ago… when I was just seven months sober.

Anyway, for those of you who already know me, I’m sure you also know that the author I’m always referring to here is God. Sometimes I wonder if that seems like an oxymoron to some people. You know… the fact that I say that He is the author of my life, yet day after day and year after year, here I am again… writing the script. 

I think a lot of people get confused about things like that. I read a book a few years back called Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung. He talks about how young Christians often live somewhat stagnant lives, waiting to hear that still small voice tell them what to do next; hoping to learn what God’s will is for them. I loved that book. Mainly because I was one of those people. Church, meetings, prayer… wait. Church, meetings, prayer… wait. That might work for some folks, especially those in their twenties, or even thirties, but for someone in their mid-fifties it’s a bit scary. Time is so precious!

The point that DeYoung makes is that you just need to do something. Anything (Well, almost anything). God isn’t worried so much about WHAT we become, He’s concerned about WHO we become. It’s not about whether or not I become a writer, or an artist, or a psychologist… or even if I decide to retire for that matter. God just wants my life to be lived right. To be good. To be full. It couldn’t get more perfect than that.   

So, as another old chapter of my life becomes history, another one lies ahead. Fresh, clean, crisp pages, full of anything and everything. A new chapter has begun… and it is just waiting to be written.

Amen to that.

On Another Note

One more thing. Since most of you now know me as “Janet,” I’m not sure this will even matter to you… but I’ve changed the name of my site. I am no longer Endless Rivers of Hope (although I do still swim in it!).

I thought long and hard about the writing (and rewriting) of my life story, and how it all started as my journey out of alcoholism. I had originally planned on calling it “A splash of mixer,” but after looking at all of the ingredients in my life, I knew exactly what it should be…

A Sprinkle of Faith.

That being said, I hope I’m still recognizable. It’s still me here. And welcome (back) to my newly (re)named site. I’m sure that many more changes are coming, but for now I’m going slow. There’s no rush here.

About the Image

I was rummaging through the internet and found some creatives who make art out of books. The featured image is my digital version of some of the pieces that I found. I think it’s an awesome idea—part image, part words—blended together to make a beautiful (extremely) short story. How cool is that?!

That’s about all for now. I hope you found something enjoyable here, something that made you laugh, or smile, or think positive. I’ll see you again soon…

Until then,
Peace & Love!

Finding Rest

I found the words this morning! So, I am going to go with it, with very little editing… so I hope this all makes sense. I guess the coolest thing I’ve found about studying the word trust is that it keeps leading me to new words.

This morning the word was REST.

First of all… here is what I’ve learned about what it means to trust God…

He is a place of refuge, and (in) Him we are surrounded by His protection and embraced by His compassion. Trusting Him means: to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to hold onto Him, to flee to Him for protection, to stay, to hope, to expect, to be patient, and to linger in expectation… and wait.

It also has a lot to do with being on the inside. Examples are:

to be firm (in), to confide (in), to have confidence (in), to be secure (in), to seek refuge (in), to feel safe (in), to have assurance (in), to abide (in) and to find rest (in).

This morning finding rest in Him was what I decided to focus on because it relates to surrender…

My struggles with surrender have very LITTLE to do with “lack of trust” in God, but have everything to do with what I am accustomed to; which is ME being in charge.

That’s my former way of life.

I spent DECADES as an unbeliever, so the fact of the matter is… I spent decades trying to play God. I was seated on the throne, and I remained there until my imaginary kingdom was in ruins, and I was as close as I ever want to be to… death from alcohol.

Anyway, I feel really good right now because I know it just takes time.

When I call myself an alcoholic it feels really weird. I don’t drink anymore, nor do I have any desire to. But… as they say… alcoholism is but a symptom. In truth, alcohol is just ONE of things that I’ve been addicted to, chased, followed or even worshiped. False gods.

My life was FULL of them; Alcohol, drugs, money, success, shopping, and the love of a man… to name a few.

I won’t say that I sat on this imaginary throne feeling all-powerful, because I had very LITTLE power. I just didn’t know any better. I lived a life run by self-will, and I sought anything and everything that I thought would fill that huge void, make me happy, and fix my life.

Page 62 of the A.A. big book states “…the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot” and that is truer and true. I ran rampant!

Not until I had no other options… and was completely and utterly hopeless, did I look to God. But, He did exactly what He promises to do. He was there for me, and He led me out of that dark pit. Even after decades of rebellion.

So… what does this have to do with today? Well… what I discovered recently was that although I have great passion for writing and photography, those are “extras”. They are His blessings, and I cannot REST in those things, nor can I look to them to be the source of my happiness and security.

This is something that I was feeling inside, so it might not be so obvious to anyone else. But the fact of the matter is, what is happening inside of us is THE most important thing.

I began pursuing something and… without really realizing it… I was leaving God behind. I put something else FIRST. I ended up feeling irritable, confused, a little lost… and depressed. I knew something was wrong. Everything was bugging me. My camera was not good enough. I couldn’t find the right things to take pictures of, I was tired of trees and birds, yada yada yada. That’s one reason I was so happy to go to my sister’s house for a week. I needed to regroup.

Anyway… I realized what was wrong, admitted my problem, took a U-turn, and there He was. Waiting for me to return so that He could shower me with His love and surround me with His grace. How sweet is that?!

Everything is just as it should be today. And I came across a great quote that I want to keep close to me from here on out:

Everywhere the King is King, there is the Kingdom.

That’s so easy to remember, and a great reminder for me to stay OFF of that throne.

I need to surrender daily, and simply allow the King to be King. In HIS kingdom is where I am content, loved and full of joy…

…and it is where I find my REST.

Today is a good day, and God is GREAT!!!

Success is not what I’ve done compared with what others have done. Success is what I’ve done compared with what God has called me to do. Lecrae Moore, Unashamed

This doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my art. No way!! I’ve just put it back into it’s proper place in my priorities.

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity!

Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3.

I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Can I relate to that?!? He pulled me from the PIT of alcoholism, made my steps secure, and put a new song in my mouth? Yes! Yes indeed. As I said… this word study started off with a beautiful bang. A great reminder of what He’s already done for me. I have a renewed sense of gratitude these days!

I SEE now- how easy it is to get distracted. Thinking TOO much about what’s next, and losing sight of what’s GREAT… TODAY, right NOW!!

Love always, laugh often, and enjoy every moment.