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Habits

Can’t Shake That Craving?

 
shakecravingHi, friends!
 
 
Have you ever wanted something so badly but when you got it, you weren’t as satisfied as you thought you would be? The high, the exhilaration, the joy you thought you’d feel turned out to be a downer, blah, anticlimactic.
 
 
It could be a…

  • Job
  • Relationship
  • Car
  • Vacation
  • Cute dress
  • Addiction
  • Anything

 
 
 
We long for so many things, most of which aren’t necessarily wrong. But many times, we become so fixed on them as the thing that will make everything right in our lives–at least, for a little while.
 
 

If I had X, then I would be happy.

 
 
Something to consider… The cravings we can’t seem to shake? The ones we try to fill with a variety of things? Those aren’t what we truly long for. We might not realize it, but at our very core, we crave Jesus.
 

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)
 

 
We crave the One who created us, the One whom nothing or no one can replace.
 

All things are tiresome. They are more tiresome than anyone can say. But our eyes never see enough of anything. Our ears never hear enough. (Ecclesiastes 1:8)
 
A man lived all by himself. He didn’t have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn’t happy with what he had. “Who am I working so hard for?” he asked. “Why don’t I get the things I enjoy?” That doesn’t have any meaning either. In fact, it’s a very bad deal! (Ecclesiastes 4:8)
 
You also committed shameful acts with the people of Assyria. Nothing ever seemed to satisfy you. You could never get enough. Then you offered yourself to the people of Babylonia. But that did not satisfy you either. (Ezekiel 16:28-29)
 

 
When the lure of earthly things comes up lacking, Jesus promises to satisfy our longings.
 

 
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst – not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (John 4:13-14)
 
Then Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty. (John 6:35)
 
You will have plenty to eat. It will satisfy you completely. Then you will praise me. I am the LORD your God. (Joel 2:26)
 
I will always guide you. I will satisfy your needs in a land that is baked by the sun. I will make you stronger. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water. You will be like a spring whose water never runs dry. (Isaiah 58:11)
 

 
No one and nothing else can deliver on their promises. Only Jesus. Our Lord knows what we want. When we look for Him above all else, we enjoy the peacefulness of a satisfied life both morning and night (Psalm 90:14).
 
 
Today, I invite you: Come to Him and drink (John 7:37). Come and take His gift of life (Revelation 22:17). He gives it freely (Isaiah 55:1).
 
 

 
 
Come alongside… What have you been craving? What are you hoping will satisfy those cravings? Do you agree or disagree that Jesus is really what we crave? What other verses would you add to this list? Please share with us in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Include your name or comment anonymously.
 
 
 
 
 


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Relapse Ain’t Got Nothin’ on My Recovery Group

 
Hi, friends!
 
RelapsenothinrevLet’s talk recovery. More specifically, relapse.
 
We see it over and over again on the news, mainly with celebrities whose relapse into addictions and unhealthy behaviors results in death. Singer Whitney Houston comes to mind. Just this week, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died after being clean more than two decades. He relapsed last year.
 
This isn’t just about celebrities. We see relapse more and more in the lives of those around us—family, friends, acquaintances, even people at church. We might be the ones in relapse.
 

I’ve relapsed.

 
This past year has been incredibly difficult for me: Emotional stress, financial issues, and tense relationships. Like others in recovery, I’ve had a hard time not falling back into old habits when I face triggers. I’ve had some missteps–even skidding back to square one in several areas. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t practicing what I wrote two years ago about preventing and reversing relapse:
 

  • Reflect
  • Expose your triggers and plan your escape strategies
  • Look up and re-learn scripture passages
  • Activate your accountability partners
  • Pray, pray, pray
  • Share your story
  • Evaluate regularly

 
(You can find more detailed explanations about each of these tips in part one and part two from 2012.)
 
One thing has been important for me to step back onto–and stay on–my recovery path:
 
 

I started attending weekly recovery group meetings again.

 
 
Recovery groups aren’t just for people who struggle with drugs or alcohol. Recovery groups are for people who struggle with anger, codependency, food addictions, workaholism, pornography addictions, fear and worry, trust, and so much more. People like me and possibly you.
 
I made a lot of progress when I was attending group, so I didn’t see the need to keep going once I was “better.” Now I remember why it’s important to attend my recovery group regularly. I have people who hold me accountable. They don’t judge me, criticize me, or look at me any differently when I make a bad choice. They listen, understand, and love me no matter what. My recovery group keeps me from relapsing. They are my family.
 
 
Attending weekly also helps me to live consistently, my word for this year.
 
 
I don’t know why I ever stopped attending. 😉
 
 
LastRecoveryGrouprev
 
 
Today, I encourage you: If you’re struggling to stay on your recovery path–or if you’re already on an unhealthy and destructive path, find a recovery group in your area. Celebrate Recovery is a great place to get connected. You’ll meet with others who will walk with you, encourage you, and love you.
 
 

Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do. Suppose someone falls down. Then his friend can help him up. But suppose the man who falls down doesn’t have anyone to help him up. Then feel sorry for him! Or suppose two people lie down together. Then they’ll keep warm. But how can one person keep warm alone? One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
 

 
 
Don’t go it alone. Relapse ain’t got nothin’ on recovery groups!*
 
 
Come alongside… Are you staying on track in your recovery? Have you taken steps back? What can you do to get back on the right path? Share with us in the comments below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 
*Note: I don’t mean to minimize addiction by saying it’s easy to recover by solely attending recovery groups. Other resources and treatments might be necessary to address recovery. Recovery groups are just one component to address recovery, relapse, and addictive behaviors.


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Roll it away!

 
Hi, friends!
 
How are your bowling skills? Are you in the 300 club? In the “gutter?” Or somewhere in between?
 
I’m in the gutter club. Well, maybe a little bit higher than that. 😉 Seriously, though, I’m not that great at it. I don’t practice; I don’t make it a priority. Even my grade-school children are better at it than I am.
 
rollitawayblogpost1rev
 
How are your bowling skills in life? Do you hang on to the ball?
 

  • Worries
  • Career
  • Family
  • Illness
  • Plans

 
Do you run after them down the lane? Or do you roll them away and let them go?
 
Listen to this verse from the Bible:
 

 
Commit to the LORD everything you do. Then your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3 NIrV)
 

 
What does that verse have to do with bowling? Everything.
 
When we commit our lives to God—our hurts; our circumstances; the things that stress us out; our plans, we roll them away to Him, literally. That’s what the Bible says in its original wording.
 
Here are other translations of the same verse:
 

 
“Roll unto Jehovah thy works, And established are thy purposes” (YLT).
 
“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed” (AMP).
 

 
Can you visualize it? Can you feel the heaviness of the ball? Can you feel your body lifting as you let it go? Can you see God waiting for it at the end of the lane, cheering you on?
 
 

You can do it! Roll it to me! I’ll take care of it!

 
 
Today, I want to encourage you: Roll it away to Him—all your cares, plans, pursuits. You might wobble a bit as you let the ball go. It might go straight, or it might veer to the left or to the right. It doesn’t matter, as long as you roll it to Him. As you watch it roll away down the lane, your mind and heart will become fixed on Him, immovable, established, calm, at peace.
 
He will take it from there. Just roll it away!
 
 
 
Come alongside… What do you need to roll away today? What is keeping you from rolling it away? What steps can you take? Who can help you along the way? Share with us in the comments below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 
 
 


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S.T.E.P. away from bad habits

Do you have an unhealthy habit? You know… The one that makes you say, “Ugh. I did it again!”

 

  • I ate the things I told myself I would not eat.
  • I acted out in anger when I vowed I wouldn’t.
  • I stayed inside all day when I told myself I would—at the very least—take a walk around the block.

 

Those are some of mine. What are yours?

 

Listen to Paul—a great man of faith:

 

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.

 

I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong…

 

But I can’t help myself….

 

When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. (Romans 7:15-19)

 

 

Talk about frustration and disappointment.

 

Sometimes, the mere idea of changing an unhealthy habit seems daunting, doesn’t it? After all, I can’t throw away all my food and start all over. And I can’t keep silent all day so I won’t spout out in anger. And walk around the block? That’s just too much effort right now.

 

 

So how can we tackle our unhealthy habits, then?

 

S.T.E.P. away.

 

Swap it out.

Many times, we pick up our unhealthy habits again because we didn’t replace them with a healthier habit. And when we do give in, the Bible says it’s usually worse (Matthew 12:43-45). For me, that means replacing processed foods with more wholesome, natural foods. That way, when I get a craving for something sweet, I have a natural alternative that I can turn to—not empty calories that I’ll later regret. What can you swap?

 

 

Thank your supporters in advance.

Sometimes telling our closest friends or family members what we’re trying to do and thanking them in advance for their support can help us change our unhealthy habits. When our loved ones see we’re trying to improve ourselves, they can be our biggest cheerleaders. That might not always be the case, so it’s important to choose our cheerleaders carefully. For me, that could mean sharing with my family that I’m trying to work on my anger and I would appreciate any support they can give me. Who can you recruit as a cheerleader?

 

 

Easy does it.

It’s difficult to make drastic changes to our ingrained habits. So it’s best to start small. In my example, instead of saying I’m going to walk around the block, I can break that down by focusing on the things that need to happen before I can walk around the block. I could say, “Today, I will simply put on my shoes.” It might not be a big deal to some, but for people who struggle with depression, putting on our shoes can be that step in the right direction to get us outside and then to walk around the block and beyond. Celebrate these small victories. Remember Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” What is your small beginning?

 

 

Pray, pray, pray.

Unhealthy habits are bigger than we are or else we would have already given them up. But thanks be to God that He is bigger than anything we could face—including our bad habits. The key is continuous communication with our Higher Power, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible. Without Him, we are powerless.

 

 

It won’t be easy, but when you S.T.E.P. away from your bad habits, you’ll soon change your “Ugh, I did it again” to “Yes, God did it again!”

 

STEP away from bad habits

 

 

Come alongside…. Do you have an unhealthy habit you would like to change? What is it? Which S.T.E.P. can you focus on today? Remember, you can comment anonymously.

 
 


 

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Kissing my bad habits goodbye

Thank you to everyone who replied to my latest poll, “Can you really get rid of bad habits?” We had a lot of discussion and great comments.

 

Overall, you said that most habits can die. And I agree! In fact, I believe that all bad habits can die.

 

I don’t have scientific evidence to support that–but I don’t need it. That’s why I have faith–faith in the all-powerful God who has freed me from my bad habits:

 

  • Addictions.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Workaholism.
  • People-pleasing.
  • And more.

 

When I have laid these habits at the cross of Jesus–without taking them back again, He supernaturally erases those desires and tendencies so I can live in joyous freedom.

 

 

Some bad habits are so strong that I keep taking them back again and again. Part of my problem is that I put myself in situations that make it easier for my bad habits to resurface.

 

  • Relationships.
  • Friendships.
  • Even the computer.

 

Truth is: I can feed my bad habits, or I can starve them. I can go back to the same routines, or I can replace them with better habits–habits that give life–not death. Every time I fail to create healthy habits, I put myself at risk.

 

When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place (Matthew 12:43-45).

 

I don’t have to put myself at risk. When I’m tempted, I can call upon God. He will help me day-by-day, and many times, even moment-by-moment.

 

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

In the end, I will be free, and whom God sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

 

Goodbye, bad habits!

 

Come alongside: How about you? Do you relate? Which bad habits have you replaced with good habits? With whom can you share this good news today?
 


 

Recovery Resources

 
 

 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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