Hello friends! I’m so happy to be back with you today after a week of travelling. I was in another country for a dear friend of mine’s wedding. While we were gone, my husband and I had time to reflect upon many things in our lives.
One of the more notable mentions is the fact that we weren’t 100% ready for a wedding/party type atmosphere. We were in a country in South America where the liquor and beer flows freely during any kind of celebration. My friend’s family in particular likes indulging in drinks just as much as any American family.
We didn’t even think (or I guess I should say I didn’t think) about the rehearsal dinner and the reception being that much of an issue. But then they brought out the serving trays of beer and shots that kept rounding our noses every few minutes. (I mean, the waitresses were really doing their jobs in making totally sure we really didn’t want any.)
We tried to find the just the right amount of time between staying at the party and not being rude by leaving too early. Finally, we had all of the water our bladders could handle and enough temptation to feel like we’re playing with fire.
We left the party early as well as the wedding reception because we had served our purpose. We were there to celebrate our friend’s wedding, meet the people important to her, and enjoy the party. We were not meant to linger around tempting fate to see how long we could really stay before one of us accidentally drank the champagne sitting right next to our water glass.
We made it! We did it! We grow stronger every time we venture out to another uncomfortable social atmosphere and I’m proud of us. My husband even salsa danced with me…SOBER! I feel more in love with him at that very moment!
Unfortunately, we have a member of our family whose health is declining. There’s no immediate need to jump to any conclusions, but their health is definitely concerning. It’s times like these when I find myself searching for more ways to counteract my need to try to “control.” Control the situation. Control the outcome. Control people involved.
But I can’t control anyone other than myself. So what do I do?
First, I try to recognize when I’m trying to take charge in the first place. Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious (to myself and others) when I’m trying to take over and control everything. Other times, it’s a like a ninja move my brain is trying to do without me even knowing what’s going on. I have to be diligent in recognizing when I slip back into these old habits and stopping the madness before it gets outs of control.
Secondly, I have to decide what I can do to help the situation. This is really tough too because sometimes there’s nothing we can do. Maybe you can be a friend to someone that needs an empathetic ear. Maybe you can give someone a ride who needs a meeting. Maybe you can be extra nice to the lady at the super market who cut you off with her oversized cart full of kids and an obnoxious amount of fruit snacks. Maybe you can’t do anything but show up.
My point is that we have to be intentional every day. Not just go through life on auto-pilot then wake up one day saying, “How did I get here?”
Be intentional. Be intentional. Be intentional.
If you’re from the USA, then you know NOLA as one of the biggest party cities in America. (Maybe people are aware of that outside of the US as well.)
You also know there’s this little celebration called Mardi Gras right around the corner. “Why is this relevant?” you ask. My husband is by NOLA right now on business. He is surrounded by lots of people ramping up for the big celebration, and that makes me a little nervous.
I’m not nervous that my husband will drink, I’m worried that he’s being led into one of the world’s biggest temptation for an alcoholic and if he’s not mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared, he may slip. Do you send a recovering addicted gambler to a conference in Vegas and not worry? I don’t think so…
But it all goes back to purpose. What is his purpose? He’s there on business. He’s there to do his job. He’s not there to go out with the guys he works for happy hour. He’s not there “just to check out what’s going on down there on Bourbon Street.” He’s there for a specific purpose.
I asked him how it felt being there and being surrounded by these temptations. He said, “Honestly, it doesn’t even phase me. I’ve been there and done that in my life.”
I feel better knowing he’s in a good place right now. I, on the other hand, would probably have to be locked up in my hotel room. Not because I’m tempted to drink, but because I still cringe when I see drunk people being stupid. I think to myself, “That used to be me…”