November Is National Gratitude Month

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Hi Everybody, 

November is National Gratitude Month. For a handful of years, I have always tried to keep November as full of gratitude and some of those years were very difficult, but it has worked. 

November does seem the test of my gratitude. Remembering what I have and the people surrounding me. 

I love November for more than the holiday of Thanksgiving, it is remembering to give thanks through all kinds of different times. It is usually a time I remember for the sacredness of each evening and especially the weekends. 

I am hoping I do better at contacting my mom this month. She has been a great support all of my life. Even when she may not have been so happy with my choices, she answered the phone and had an I love you. 

My true friends are the same way. Some of them I am gathering with tomorrow evening for a bonfire. I was telling one it’s going to be like home coming. I am grateful for times like these and get all excited like a kid at Christmas or some other fun fest. 

Yesterday I was grateful for a ride out to the deep country with my friend. Though I was asleep most of the way there, it was just a chance to hang out. 

Tonight, my sacred time is in writing this blog entry. I am grateful for it. It makes me grateful too because in the middle of it I had four different conversations going about the bonfire, and finding I had friends helping from every angle, for a ride for me to get there. 

We thought we had it worked out but plans changed slightly for a few of us and needed to reassess the situation. It’s all working out. I am grateful for that and grateful someone could answer yes. 

Today was visiting a friend in the hospital and I am grateful she is being released tomorrow. It’s not just about celebrating and being grateful for things in my life; also, it is celebrating and being grateful for things in others’ lives. 

Gratitude changes us and gets us out of our own head. 

I am no saint. I still get moody, roll my eyes, and say things maybe not so nice. However, when I practice gratitude it all gets better. I get better. We don’t have to stay dark and gloomy. Just for today. 

  • I am grateful for my mom. 
  • I am grateful for friends. 
  • I am grateful for gratitude. 
  • I am grateful I can change. 
  • I am grateful for the wonderful things happening in others’ lives. 
  • I am grateful for bonfires. 
  • I am grateful for others that they pitch in and help. 
  • I am grateful for the grey skies and sunny skies both. 
  • I am grateful for rides to the country to fall asleep in the car. 
  • I am grateful for smiles and caring. 

Thank you for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by BoxcarMike over and out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Drunk Dreams, Nightmares, and Feelings, You’re Okay

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Hi Everyone,  

While I made some grammar errors yesterday, I am just glad to have made an entry.  

In recovery at times when feelings come up you have to recognize them as just that, feelings. They are real and there is a valid reason for them but they don’t have to dictate your recovery or life. 

I got shook to my core again yesterday when I learned someone dear to me had to pick up a drink again. I realized I was no different given any other day. 

Without help and hope, I too could pick up again with no check in place. Consequently, when I deal with the real the feelings come up. The inventory I have been taking is bringing up past memories again and I was hoping I was over it. 

It is less fearful for me in this process than in the past. But drink dreams and nightmares are happening and it’s okay. It’s such a relief to wake up and know it’s not real.  

But here again I have to go back and realize I have not had regular spiritual maintenance in some time. Sure, maybe I have said some prayers, do therapy, and attended some meetings. However, it’s not enough without taking action in my life and truly facing the truth. 

I am so grateful I get told I will get through this. This is dealing with the feelings and learning to put them in check. This is dealing with the untreated alcoholism somewhere in my path. 

I can do this and I am okay. That’s the best part I have a chance to stay in recovery. We say, if we knew better, we’d do better. Well here’s my chance to prove it in my life. I can do better today. 

If I am willing to take direction then I have a chance be sober today and not have to throw up every single feeling in a meeting. I did enough throw up for a life time, when I was a wet drunk. 

Today one day at a time in recovery I can pack something of substance in the stream of life if I am honest open minded and willing. 

Feelings are just feelings; they are not necessarily real or fictional. Drunk dreams are not real. Nightmares are not real. Isn’t it just a relief to know we are better than what we have dreamed or felt? 

I’s all a process. 

  • I am grateful for life today and want the best I can have. 
  • I am grateful many have recovered and made it through this process. 
  • I am grateful I am willing to recover today and not just sit on the side lines staying sick and getting sicker. 
  • I am grateful others share their stories with me and Iam not so different. 
  • I am grateful I can share my story today too and I am getting stronger with each step.   
  • I am grateful for friends I get to have in my life today.  
  • I am grateful nightmares and drunk dreams are not real. 
  • Iam grateful I don’t have to be a nightmare in someone else’s life today. 
  • I am grateful there’s power in numbers today. 
  • I am grateful when I feel weak, I have someone strong encouraging me to pick myself up. I can do it and together we can. 

Thank you for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike over and out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Just When You Think It’s A Blah Day!

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I Some days are easier than others. There’s no rhyme or reason for what just is. Not every day is so super spiritual or feels so gratifying. It’s putting one foot in front of the other going through the motions. 

It does help to review a gratitude list and pray and ask for help. Especially if you have a few days of these type string together as I have had. Anger will pop up if we are not careful. 

I have found this to be true for me and not even know why. Sometimes, truthfully, I don’t care why or even want to trace my steps back to find out why. 

I am finding emotions popping up as I finish this this fourth step. Things are coming out in conversations I never intended to even explain to people.  

That really bothers me because I wanted to wait until I say everything at once with a closed mouth friend. I am finding out though, I am not even in charge of how things go.  

It so seems, when I asked God to help me, he took that request serious and I have no control of the outcomes.  

Everything is making me question whether we can really take credit for growth if God can even use our worse defects for his own plan. I’d have to say I can’t take any credit for any growth.  

I feel more annoyed with the lack of enthusiasm in this particular blog post entry. Oh well! I promised to be transparent with this journey. 

I stepped away for a few hours and now I am armed with more information about my day. I am grateful I woke up today and that I am sober. 

My heart hurts for others really having a bad time of it. I am learning I can pray and don’t have to stay sad. 

When friends go back out it can be hard maybe because of our own egos. I am not sure. 

But it’s like this: we didn’t get them sober and we can’t get them drunk. I have to believe God exists and Iam not Him. There’s something divine and mysterious both at work, when prayer happens. Let’s not forget Thy will not mine be done. 

I am not the judge of anyone. I can’t be. Life is hard and we have no idea what each other are going through. Let’s just handle each other with the loving care we have been show.  

Patience and tolerance are not my suit by nature but just for today may I show it just the same as I’ve been shown. 

  • Iam grateful for the loving God in my life today. 
  • Iam grateful because people have never given up on me (the real ones). 
  • I am grateful because Iam trusted to show love and tolerance even when I have failed miserably at it. 
  • I am grateful I can pause sometimes. 
  • I am grateful others are there when I need them most. 
  • Iam grateful grace has been there even when I had nothing but vulgar words to say and people don’t stop encouraging me. 
  • I am grateful some amends I make are more prompt than they used to be. 
  • I am grateful for the smiles and they aren’t fake ones today. 
  • I am grateful I can remind others they are important and matter to my sobriety today. 
  • I am grateful my day can change. 

Thank you for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike over and out! 

God Bless Y’all  Everybody! 

Making a Sacred Space and Having Gratitude

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Hi Everyone, 

I wanted to share more about the upcoming posts. It’s still a daily struggle to try to keep up with my writing. That’s probably because it’s a daily struggle to keep a healthy perspective and my too high of expectations. 

I have a desire to keep moving forward and to be able to live up to my recovery findings. 

In the past and my plans for the present, is to continue in gratitude and making a sacred space that’s safe and healthy.  

I truly believe working the steps of the program and sharing with a closed mouthed friend, God, and admissions to myself, is what will cultivate the sacredness and gratitude. 

I think so much of making something sacred is being honest and worshipping in truth.  

You cannot change without making changes. It takes a lot of work and sincerity. 

In the meantime, I am working actively on the steps and trying to organize to have a regular schedule for writing and having the time for the sacred space I speak of.  

Sacred space for everyone is as different as their worship or what they worship. I am not here to shove down your throat. I can only share my experience strength and hope.  

I will also share my hopes and excitement.  

The personal growth through my blog posts first started some years back after a high school reunion. I shared about my dreams and goals. I have had a few friends help support me through my changes and some people I didn’t even know.  

If I tried to list the m all I would undoubtedly hurt someone unintentionally. So, it’s best not to list anyone, because my memory for names is not always good. 

I have also had new friends come in and help support and reinforce what others have continued to do over the years. I am truly grateful for you all. 

While my progress has been back and forth, as well as all over the place I finally feel some peace. I do feel like I am headed for steady focus and the best is yet to come. 

This does not mean doing anything perfectly, just doing the best of my ability each day and truly being accountable to myself, others, and God. 

It has taken every bit of strength today to just come this far in the twenty-four hours of today. 

  • I am grateful for the chance at new life today. 
  • I am grateful to celebrate friends today. 
  • I am grateful friends have not given up on me even in my most unlovable moments. 
  • I am grateful for my own Mom’s support along my whole journey even when I have been doing it wrong. 
  • I am grateful to share with others that there is a way out from the bitter morass of self-pity which I have walked in my whole life. 
  • I am grateful today for the chance to be free from the bondage of self. 
  • I am grateful for the fact we do not have to do this alone. 
  • I am grateful that whatever I choose matters today and I matter. 

This has been another blog post entry of Boxcar Mike Over and out! 

Thank you for reading. 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

My Thoughts On Step 4 and The Columns

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Hi Everyone,  

I just have a lot going on keeping me busy and going through illness and a weakened body. It’s just facts. Believe me, I wish I could just write all the time than deal with some of the things I am having to deal with. 

What I am realizing is, it is having to deal with all the crap I don’t want to deal with. This is what makes the journey possible.  

“We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” 

My journey in this has been to start with column one where underneath I put each person principle situation or whatever I resent. I have been taught and learned that I only deal with this column alone.  

It is suggested the memories will flood back in. However, I just deal with one column at a time, in its entirety before going to the next column, of said resentment.  

When I start thinking about whole situation it’s time to stop, until I can again return to my column and finish only that column. 

Taking this direction has stopped me from living in yester-year while doing this process. It is important for me to only do the process and not make myself sick over it. 

I was asked the question of how I ground myself. Ultimately, I don’t. But sometimes, I am able to stop and say this is not happening right now.  

I currently am finishing up the second column in my fourth step, the causes. In my first column I have had to go by the rule if even Iam agitated, I had to list it. 

The bottom line in doing this, is that I am helping myself in this process. While somethings may appear as if it’s a right to resent. I still played a part somewhere. I get to own that and move forward is the goal. 

I am not doing this to live up to anyone else’s expectations. The point is to look at myself square in the eye and rise above it all.  

It does not do any good to be wallowing in all the crap that was and has happened. This is what makes us miserable and that’s no kind of life. 

Also, it’s important to realize just because we have gone through stuff isn’t about our guilt or innocence, it’s about seeing our side of the street. 

This is where, to thine own self be true really counts. 

I am sure I will have more to share on the fiiyrth step before I have moved on to the next step. 

  • I am grateful for the chance to be real today. 
  • I am grateful for friends and family. 
  • I am grateful for the direction in our program. 
  • I am grateful for simplicity. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to be perfect, to just do the best of my ability today. 
  • I am grateful I can listen today. 
  • I am grateful for peaceful times. 
  • I am grateful for noticing life outside my four walls. 
  • I am grateful I do make a difference and it’s not to please anyone. 

This is a heads-up for my readers: I usually take November and December for gratitude months as well as time to reflect over my one word for the year I had chosen for 2019.  

Sometime, in December I will choose a new one word for the year 2020! I will share more along these lines in upcoming posts. 

Thank you all for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike over and out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

All To Thee I Surrender All

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Hi Everyone, 

I am catching up again, because of physical issues it’s been hard to stay up to date. 

Life is often a mixed bag. One is never without struggles and they are also never without many things to be grateful for, at least in my life this is true. 

I am learning to be more of service as a chairman or facilitator of meetings and answering the call when someone asks for help. Maybe it’s just listening to others and getting out of my own head for a while. 

I am having to ask for help from others today and that’s very humbling. 

Things that have always been true but refreshers are always needed are: 

I realize tonight for me, that alcohol and anger really are one in the same for me. Neither serve me very well. I am tired, the anger has worn me down. 

  • We can’t lie and recover. 
  • We can’t hold onto anger and recover. 
  • It doesn’t matter what was done to you. What matters is what you are doing to others and if you are taking responsibility today. 
  • I am willing to be alone today rather than have someone take my joy and peace. 
  • I don’t have the right to judge you today. 
  • We all have choices choose them wisely. 
  • Our greatest message is how we live and not what we say. 
  • Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we can’t come to an understanding. 
  • Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. 
  • What we sow is what we will reap. 
  •  People will fail me at some point and I will them too. That’s a promise. No one’s perfect. 
  •  It’s okay to let go I don’t have to try to control everything. It’s not my job. 

I think back to the church hymns while growing up and I was very young, about 10 years old.  “All to Thee My Blessed Savior, I surrender all. I surrender all, I surrender all!” The minister would ask in the middle of that hymn do you really, people? Do you surrender all? 

Each of us have that same question to answer for ourselves and how we choose, will determine the rest. 

Not only do my decisions affect me today. They affect others as well. Especially, those around me. I am not my own person today. I am a part of a we thing. 

  • I am grateful for help today. 
  • I am grateful for the truth. 
  • I am grateful to be able to surrender. 
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to others today. 
  • I am grateful I can choose today. 
  • I am grateful for the care and the transparency of others. It teaches me to do the same, to the best of my ability. 
  • I am grateful I picked 4pm, it will keep me accountable. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to make excuses today. 
  • I am grateful I get to stay in contact today and stay connected. 

This has been another blog post entry of Boxcar Mike and I thank you for reading! Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Step Three Relieve Me of The Bondage of Self

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Hi Everybody! 

This is the second part to step three. My will power is useless because I want to try and control situations and people with it. Therefore, it is improperly used and foolishly burned up. 

My dependence has to be up on God. I have not always been able to do this perfectly and I still don’t. It is a lot of zig zags, ups, and downs.  

I don’t have it all together. Maybe I need to realize I have tried to say that I have had it all together; and Iam telling you now that is in error.  

I just have some days that are better than others. I am hoping to be more steady and grow more along this journey.  

To figure out Gods intention for me seems a deep mystery. I do know there is a plan and a solution even when I don’t think so. 

Taken from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Book of AA on pages 40 and 41 :  

“In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Thy Will, not mine, be done.” 

I have often said it without the thought of thy will not mine be done. This at first may have been because it was it was shorter. Now I know a lot of times instead I was forcing my own will and not allowing God to be God. 

Today I know I really do want to rightly relate myself to God. I did at first in recovery is the group as God. That worked for a while but then I let go to dependence on one or two people and I became unhealthy. 

When those failed, I realized I had a deeper need and sometimes today it is still hard but I am trying to let God be God to the best of my ability. 

If you are anything like me you get in your own way a lot.  

Heck, sometimes I have even blocked help that was readily available but my heart and attitude was not always right, to receive that help. 

The biggest reveal to me in this journey is that I have often put myself in sticky situations. It has been hard to accept responsibility for the mess I have created; at times I still want to blame others or situations. 

I really want to mean this today each time I read or say this other simple prayer known as Third Step Prayer:  

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.” 

  • I am grateful that I have prayers to rely upon 
  • I am grateful for strength, when I feel weak. 
  • I am grateful for rides to the gatherings around the tables. 
  • I am grateful to be included today. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to stay bitter. 
  • I am grateful for prayers of others. 
  • I am grateful I have people who love and care about me. 
  • I am grateful life doesn’t have to be as hard as I make it out to be sometimes. 
  • I am grateful someone can point the way for me to get out of my own way. 
  • I am grateful for the stillness I can ask for when I remember to and the peace that affords. 

Thanks for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Step Two Sanity Can Be Restored

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Hi Everybody! 

Part Two of Step Two, is being restored to sanity. It takes starting the root of Step Two to work through all of the rest of the steps in order to rightly relate ourselves to God.

It means clearing out all the junk so the Grace of God can fully enter us.  

I had many times both drunk and dry where the living room furniture was flapped over or someone was seriously hurt due to the anger and rage, I was showing. 

It’s been an insane way to live. What’s even crazier is while one may stay dry this is what is happening in the mind as a person white knuckle it. You’re miserable and the damage is still being done until true recovery begins. 

Recovery can’t begin or at least it couldn’t until I decided who or what I was coming to believe in and being restored couldn’t happen until I rightly relate myself to God. 

As I am picking up these steps and setting right the foundation, this is where I can learn to rightly relate myself to God. I can’t do it alone; however, it does take my own decision alone.  

With the decision in place, I can begin action with direction.  

Sometimes I think it’s easier to call ourselves crazy, but hard to accept we are in fact mentally ill. We have deemed crazy as fun and more of a daredevil inside us as harmless. 

Let’s not be mistaken, our illness has taken us beyond harmless and in put us in some precarious and harmful positions. It’s not just us this has affected. 

Unfortunately, our actions and decisions affected everyone around us. 

Today I know I must change. In order to change means being willing to believe in a power greater than myself (God) can and will restore me to sanity. 

For me personally, I have been signed into many hospitals, a few times willingly and few times not so willingly I have tried many of the medications out there. 

Perhaps now is the time, taking the steps and taking direction means I have a fighting chance to stay sober and grow.  

It’s all about getting honest and cleaning up the junk so that we may find the freedom we crave. This hardly even the beginning its just scratching the surface and part of an outline.  

This decision finally starts with a prayer as we begin Step Three. This will be in the next couple of entries I write. I may write more on something else before I write on Step Three. 

I don’t want to promise the very next entry yet. I usually become a liar by making a promise. But Maybe I will I have no idea. Each time I write it really feels like I am directed outside my wants. 

  • I am grateful for Step Two  
  • Iam grateful for a loving God as He may express Himself in and through my life if and when I allow Him to. 
  • I am grateful for the chance to get better each day. 
  • I am grateful for sharing with others and getting to listen to others. 
  • I am grateful for people who tell me the truth today. 
  • I am grateful to get to be of service especially when I have no clue. It keeps my head at the right size. 
  • I am grateful I can ask others for help. 
  • I am grateful I am not a doormat today. I can be assertive. 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike Thanks for reading! Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Staying in My Hula Hoop Keeping it Simple

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Good Morning Everybody! 

I am taking time before I move on to the second part of Step Two to talk about keeping it simple. 

Half of our time can be dedicated to stomping out fires or adding fuel to a fire, if we are not careful. I have had enough practice at this to know.  

Man, sometimes that gossip is too juicy to lay down and not repeat. But I am telling you, when I have participated it has only caused me misery. It’s not worth my peace of mind or sanity to participate. 

Several years ago, I was at a gathering in North County of St Louis. I sat around a table with these big truck driving-biker guys. While Iam big myself I felt small compared to them. 

One of them mentioned how someone shared with him all he was responsible for was inside his hula hoop. Oh yes, you can imagine the comments and stares.(doing the hila hoop is a lot harder than you might think.) 

The point being whatever is inside that hula hoop was all he had to worry about. Everything outside the hula hoop was not of his concern. 

Today it works the same for me as it did the man who shared this. I know whatever is inside my hula hoop I am responsible for. Whatever is outside my hula hoops is none of my concern.  

I have to recognize the boundaries I have today. As it is impractical to walk around every day with a physical hula hoop. 

People will try to drag you into arguments and debates that are none of your concern. It’s always a choice to participate or not.

Today, I do know what you think of me or my actions is none of my concern. The only thing that matters is I am keeping my side of the street clean. 

Keeping it simple is best for me today. The other stuff that makes life drag out and a drag just complicates and inflates my ego. I can’t afford that life today.  

It’s not worth it to make my life complicated and it will only block the son light of the spirit to continue on a prideful life. I want so much more for me and something that sustains me.

If I do all the suggestions and work for it, I deserve the simple life as opposed to all the chaos. 

Again, all of it is a choice. I know I will be happier, if I just stay in my hula hoop. What’s your choice going to be? Only you can decide.  It doesn’t have to be complicated today. 

  • I am grateful for a new morning. 
  • I am grateful for a hula hoop. 
  • I am grateful for simplicity. 
  • I am grateful for the big guts that showed me a different way one day. 
  • I am grateful to pass on what was shared with me. 
  • I am grateful I am still teachable in some areas of my life.  
  • I am grateful for help today. 
  • I am grateful calmness 
  • I am grateful I can be of service to others today. 
  • I am grateful for choices today. 

This is Boxcar Mike thanking you for reading! Over and  Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

I am Responsible When Anyone, Anywhere, Reaches Out!

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Hi Everybody, Welcome back! 

Now I last started on step one and what that meant.  

Today in light of a few things you learn really quick how important thew message is to everyone suffering in and out of recovery  

No one knows what each other goes through, though we may have a general idea our walk is as different as are people.

There’s a saying in something similar that whenever anyone, anywhere, reaches out for another hand, I always want that available as well for me and for that Iam responsible 

We all need the message of hope and it is my responsibility to carry that to others. Today I know I I need to hear others to get out of my own head. That is part of doing the deal. However, it’s just part of the deal. 

As I mentioned the steps before you see we have to do the steps and practice them in our lives so that we might live out our recovery.

Then we truly have the whole message; if we have cleaned our side of the street and saw to it, that our own house is in order. 

Nothing is as effective as working with another person, to keep away from the first drink. It also means we can let go of our selfish thoughts and humble ourselves to listen to another person. It gets us out of our own heads. 

The time we take to listen may mean the difference between life and death. There’s nothing wrong with inconveniencing ourselves and putting on several pot of coffee, to listen to someone else until the wee hours of the morning. 

Countless others have done it for me. There is no reason why I cannot do it for others. 

It is like we are on The Titanic, if we don’t take the time to help our brothers and sisters along this journey. We will all drown if we don’t take the hand of one reaching out for help.

For if we stop accepting another’s hand, what’s to stop another from stopping. Soon we will have no one listening to anyone and then recovery stops. 

We all at some point or other need to be heard and we all need to be listening to another. It’s one of the gifts and miracles of the program. We cannot afford to rest. 

It’s part of our daily insurance and helps us with our daily reprieve. That is only contingent on our spiritual condition. 

I know what it is to be left alone and I know what it is to leave someone alone. I never want either to be repeated in my life time. Therefore, I am responsible today when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help. 

Please come back tomorrow as I explain what I have learned in Step 2 of the 12 Steps. In conclusion is my Daily Gratitude List: 

  • I am grateful that others listen to me.  
  • I am grateful I can listen to others and get out of my own head. 
  • I am grateful that just for today I have another reprieve and that Iam not alone. 
  • I am grateful for the ability to learn along this journey and that I don’t have to have all of the answers. 
  • I am grateful that in letting go I can find joy today. 
  • I am grateful that I can take responsibility just for today. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to fake it until I make it today.  
  • I am grateful I made the choice to continue changing my story and I don’t have to be ashamed of that. 
  • I am grateful for the unconditional love of God as I understand Him and don’t understand Him today. 

This has been another blog post entry of BoxCar Mike! Thanks for reading! Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody