Saturday, April 21, 2012

WHY I DON'T DRINK....

I felt led today to share with you the reasons I don't drink.  I suppose it took me many years to understand the answers to this question and how to share them without being offensive.

In the early years of my life, I never saw anyone drinking alcohol.  My parents abstained and that is the way I was taught.  Our faith and denomination forbade it and we followed.  That was my childhood view.  When I was a teen, I was often offered alcoholic beverages. In college, you were considered "corny" and a "freak" if you didn't participate.  But it didn't matter to me.  I didn't want it and to this day, I've never tasted it.

When I was a young mom, I continued this train of thought concerning alcohol.  The Bible doesn't speak of drinking beer or wine as being sinful at all....it only says to not become drunk.  Even so, I simply did as my parents did and we never had those products in the fridge and we didn't order them on trips to the beach. Even on those few occasions when we were celebrating and no one else was around....even then there was never any question.  We didn't drink.

There became a time when I began to move from neutrality into hatred of alcohol.  I heard stories of those who were giving alcohol to minors...even their own children.  They would allow their high school children to have friends over and they would supply them with drinks.  It bothered me very much and at times, made me angry.  I learned there were adults that would purchase it for kids who were underage and hanging out in the parking lot of the store...and the adults would do it for free or just to get one of the beers from the case. Hard to imagine.

My feelings about alcohol continued to sour into rage when I discovered my own son had an addiction problem.  I questioned everything I had believed during that time.  Not only was he dependent on drinking, but also on drugs.  There simply are no words to describe the pain of those years.  Of course, it didn't help that this was a very public battle. I had a neighbor tell me that she didn't want her kids to be at church too much, cause kids who are in church too much get "all messed up."  Yes....I wondered if perhaps she was right and I felt awash with new guilt and angst.  Guilt for doing what I thought was the right thing for my family.

Now that the years have passed and I have faced many struggles of various kinds since then, I stand firm.  I can look back and say that my children knew how I felt.  They were brought up in a loving Christian home...not perfect, but Christ's presence was known.  We held firm to our values. We still do.  If our children choose another way, then that is between them and the Lord.  My values are mine.  I have shared my values with them.  Now they can choose their own.

I am still surprised by the number of adults who try to make "kicking back with a cold one" look cool.  That is certainly their right and I can't judge them.  But I do feel a twinge of pain.  Who is watching them?
Who is reading that post?  Will that influence bring them down?

I can't tell you everything that addiction takes away from one's life but I can name a few: Relationships are ruined, families are broken, hearts are ripped, nights are restless, money is wasted.....the accidents, the affairs, the nights in jail, the hopelessness....and the influence.

We always talked openly about alcohol and drugs to our children.  We said, "If you never try it, you will never have to worry if you are an addict or not."  But the world says, "Look, this is cool...look, this is so grown-up and sexy."  Why, I have even heard of ministers drinking beers with their parishioners and making everything look cozy.  But that's just not for me.  I can't take that chance.

I hate alcohol.  It broke my heart and robbed 9 years of my precious son's life and his relationship with our family.  We can never get that back. I hate it.
And that's why I don't drink.


Monday, April 16, 2012

EMERGENCY/DISASTER PREPAREDNESS


I'm sorry it has been so long since I last blogged! Just before Easter, while shopping for a dress, I took a fall in the department store. I don't know exactly how it happened but I jumped up from among the clothes racks and looked all around to see if anyone had seen me tumble like a clown. My left wrist was in terrible pain but I tried to shake it off. About that time, my husband came around from the men's section to check on what I had found. I had found nothing except the carpet...close up! He convinced me that a trip to the Urgent Care was necessary and after x-rays, no one there was sure if the wrist was broken or just badly sprained. Fortunately, a radiologist later saw it was badly sprained and needed to be kept in a brace for a couple weeks. During my recuperation, I decided to take a little time off from blogging. Typing is a lot tougher with just one working hand!

Speaking of accidents, I thought I would share my recent project. A friend of mine got me to thinking about Emergency/Disaster Preparedness. What would happen if there was no electricity, no medical care, no grocery shopping for a week? How about if there were none of these for 2 weeks? Its hard to imagine, but after the events of 9/11, we all can think of a scenario where some type of sickness or disaster could impede our day-to-day lives.

My friend, Myra, printed a copy of the LDS Preparedness Manual and gave it to me. While I am not LDS, this manual contains very useful and helpful information to help any individual or family make preparations for emergencies of every kind. I took the pages and placed them into plastic sheet protectors and inserted them into a large binder. The book has 222 pages and may only be sold at cost and is not offered for resale. The following are titles of some of the chapters in the manual:
Food Storage
Basic Food List
Storage Containers
Water
Surviving in the City
Emergency Heating and Coooking
Emergency Sanitation
Preparing for a Pandemic
Protecting Yourself from Terrorism

As you can see by this list, the manual is extremely thorough. I don't have nearly enough food, water and other items to be prepared but at least this book has given me some great ideas to get me started.

Myra also hosts a "Preparedness Group" that meets throughout the year. This group contains men and women who help each other learn information such as how you can grow and store your own food, how to grow and use herbs for health and nutrition, how to generate electricity and other resources and where to go if you have certain needs during emergency situations.

How prepared are you to face disaster? How are you and your family getting ready to take care of your needs during unexpected emergencies? I would highly recommend the LDS Preparedness Manual for your family library. Its a wonderful resource tool!