When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you’re saying that what you have isn’t good enough. That’s such negative energy. We could take all of that energy— if we understood our bodies and weren’t confused by them — and if we just felt like, ‘I’m not worried about losing that 10 pounds that I can’t seem to lose because I have a different relationship with my body. I have the best, healthiest body that I can have, [so] I don’t need to compare myself.’Cameron Diaz
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.Paulo Coelho
Your story is part of The Great Adventure. It was written by The Author of Romance. The Creator of Beauty. The King of Redemption.
It’s meant to be a wild adventure, never dull or boring. It is a love story, overflowing with passion and romance. It’s going to be more beautiful than you could possibly imagine. And whatever it is that has died in and around you—unrealized dreams, lost hope, broken relationships, wounded faith (in God, people, yourself, love)—will be brought back to life. That is The Great Author’s promise. And no matter how far you wander or how hard you fight to run away from it, there is no escaping the goodness He has for you. Because He chose YOU for this story. And He can’t finish writing it with anyone else.
What do you want me to do? I’ll start at the bottom. Just give me a chance.John Cale, White House Down
"Bitterness only consumes the vessel that carries it. Choose kindness."
Heard that quote on the tail end of an NPR interview this morning. I don’t know who said it but it’s stuck with me all day. It’s easy to be bitter but it takes strong character to choose a higher road. I don’t think anyone who’s reading this has a reason to be bitter. You know who does? The kids I met in Uganda who were taken from their families and forced to be child soldiers. You know what? Those kids have the most positive outlook out of anyone I’ve ever met. Bitterness is for the weak. Choose to be stronger than that.Ryan Carter
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Someone asked the other day if I was ready to go home, and I had to think really hard about how to answer because while I am excited to be home, I don’t know if I’m ready to leave. I don’t really know how to explain why, but I have a story to share that might help, and it’s a perfect day to share it because this chapter of the story started exactly 1 year ago today.
Brad is one of the men in Hope Mission’s Breakout, a one-year addiction recovery program. Today is his 1-year anniversary of sobriety. I met Brad January eleventh of this year, the second day I was here, when I ate my first meal with him and the rest of the breakout guys. After many shared meals, conversations, and laughs over the last three months, there are a handful of the guys who I’ve really gotten to know, and Brad is one of them. I can share Brad’s story because he gave me a written copy just before telling his story to 800 guests at the annual Spring Banquet two weeks ago. When I asked him if I could post it, he said yes. He said he gave it to me because he trusted me to use it. He realizes that in telling his own story of hope, someone else might find hope, too.
My name is Brad and I’m an alcoholic/addict, firm believer in God and Jesus Christ and a grateful member of the Breakout Community. For myself, it wasn’t hard to get started drinking as a child. We were allowed to have a drink on special occasions such as Christmas and anniversaries. I remember I would feel like I was a grown up when I was given a drink and it changed the way I felt. Both of my parents drank and I remember when I would be in bed, my mom would come in my room and sit on the side of it and cry. She would tell me about how much she loved me and that she wasn’t ever going to let anything bad happen to me and then she would tell me that she didn’t want to lose me either. You see, there would have been 7 children all together but I had a brother who hung himself just before I was born at the age of 11 and another brother shot himself at the age of 13 when I was only 4.
I remember I would sneak beers from my parents so I would fall asleep faster. That way, I wouldn’t have to listen to my mom sobbing. By the time I was 12 years old, I hung around other kids whose parents also drank. Every weekend we would either be getting drunk or high by smoking pot or sniffing glue or gasoline. I didn’t know then that was the beginning of my addiction.
My drinking carried on through the years with me never thinking it was out of control. When I was 27 years old, I prayed to God and asked Him for a relationship and a family. Two years later I met someone, and year later I was a father. I told God that I would be the best father and not let any harm come to my son. I spent almost every weekend with my son Wade with no awareness that my addiction was getting worse. After one weekend visit, when Wade was 11 years old, I took him back home like I always did on Sunday. Wade asked if I was going to pick him up the next weekend but I told him I wouldn’t be able to spend enough time with him because of it being Halloween. That next day after school, my 11-year-old son hung himself.
The next 5 years, I was on a self-destructive course. I drank every day, wanting to die. Eventually, I found myself at the doors of the Herb Jamieson Centre. I had hit my rock bottom with no hope, faith, or belief in anything. One evening, I attended chapel and Krista Pinksen was ministering and singing with her daughter Alexis and I was so moved by what I heard that I went up to thank them. When I approached them, I was so overtaken with emotion that I took off. Krista sent her daughter Alexis after me and when she asked me what was wrong and why did I leave, I told her she wouldn’t understand. She said she wanted to talk so I told her about losing my son and how I was living with the grief, guilt, and shame from it. Alexis looked at me and said that she knew exactly how I felt because she had lost her biological father the same way. Alexis said she wanted to give me a Bible that had passages underlined that helped her through her grief. I thought it weird that a girl so young would be able to relate to something I went through but that just showed me how God works through others to reach us sometimes.
I had known about the Breakout program so I talked to the guys in the program and decided it was something I needed. Since entering the community, I have found so many things through God and Jesus Christ. I have hope, faith, and belief along with courage and strength to live a clean and sober life. I want to share this new hope with others who would like to overcome their addictions. I thank God every day for my life and leading me to Breakout which has led me back to HIM.
It wasn’t exactly been culture shock moving from Arkansas to Alberta. Both places are on the same side of the world, both are developed, and both speak English. Aside from the climate change, the only differences are just small, mostly insignificant things. However, a lot of the little differences are amusing so I’ve made a list.
Boston Pizza: the best pizza restaurant chain in Canada
Cinnamon buns: cinnamon rolls
Cold: [what Arkansas would consider extremely, painfully, horribly frigid]
College: a place to get a 2-year degree; trade school; vocational school; community college
Eh (pronounced either ay or hay): what to say at the end of a sentence to make it a question. For example, “You’re new here, eh?”
Gong-show: a chaotic or disorganized situation; often a result of poor planning
Kraft Dinner (a.k.a. KD): macaroni and cheese from a box
Perogies: a Ukranian food; a pocket of dough commonly filled with potatoes, topped with sour cream, onions, and/or bacon
Pop: carbonated beverages
Poutine: french fries covered with a brown gravy and cheese curds (warm chunks of white cheese?)
Rockets: candy rolls that are called Smarties in America
Runners: sneakers; tennis shoes
Smarties: candy-coated chocolate pieces, very similar to (but not as good as) M&Ms
Thanksgiving: a holiday for giving thanks celebrated on the 2nd Monday in October
Tim Horton’s: a cheap, extremely popular coffee chain, well known for Ice Capps and Timbits
Toque: toboggan; beanie
University: a place to get a 4-year degree
The concept of biscuits and gravy doesn’t exist here. They certainly don’t know what chocolate gravy is.
You can’t buy Rotel in Canada. They don’t eat Velveeta-based cheese dip. They eat much less Mexican food than we do in the States, in general.
Canadians don’t say “ya’ll” much.
Money: They do not use the motto “in God we trust”, pennies, or $1 bills. Dollar amounts are rounded to the nearest nickel. They have loonies ($1 coins), which are gold. And they have toonies ($2 coins) which have a silver ring around a gold middle. Their bills are made of plastic instead of paper, and they feature the Queen’s face.
Process and progress are pronounced with long Os. For example, it’s pro-sess and pro-gress instead of prah-sess and prah-gress.