Ephesians 4:22-24

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.   Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Cooking was a HUGE trigger for me for the first few months of sobriety.  My love for cooking began around the same time I started bringing wine into my home.  Before then I only had alcohol in the house if we were entertaining or for a holiday so pouring a glass of wine on a random Tuesday night just didn’t happen……until.

 I began watching cooking shows and experimenting with fun recipes.  I soon found that I really enjoyed cooking……a lot!  The chefs on TV often had a glass of wine beside them and I thought, why not!  It seemed fancy and cool.  It started very innocently cooking, soft jazz, a glass of wine- but as most drinking stories the amounts of wine increased as well as the number of evenings and viola….it became an every night thing.

In the early days of my sobriety I knew the 5:00p hour was going to be tricky.  I still had a family to feed so I had to get creative.  I found a few ways to avoid the kitchen/cooking/wine time that I found to be helpful .

  • I started using my crockpot.  A whole meal, one pot and you can start earlier in the day.
  • I made dinner at lunchtime.
  • We ate out more.
  • I would prep everything in the morning so it would be quick to throw together.
  • I drank a diet gingerale.  I would only drink it at that time so it was a treat and the fizz helped.
  • I watched my favorite show while cooking instead of the music.  The show was distracting and funny so it helped make the time go by quicker.
  • We ate dinner early and did other things in the evenings like watch tv, play a game, read, etc.

It was basically just learning new habits.  The old had to go away and the new had to begin to settle in and be the “new normal”, and it did.  I  don’t even think about that glass of wine while I’m cooking anymore!!!




Why did this time work?

Second to “why did you quit” is always “how did you quit“.  Why, when I chose to quit drinking over a year ago, did it stick?  Why was this time different than the last time or the time before or ALL the times before??!!

Well, I have a couple ideas on that.  I think before it could finally click a few things had to happen first.

I needed to fail.  I had to crash and burn a few times on the moderation train.  I had to try moderation in several ways (only drink on weekends, only drink when we go out, only drink 2 drinks, etc.) and FAIL at all of them so I would not be able to have a few months under my belt and think all is good, because I did that once.  I had two sober months and convinced myself one afternoon that if I was truly alcoholic I wouldn’t be able to stop at all, never mind two months!!  That evening I drank a bottle of wine.  I needed that experience, it wasn’t fun, but I needed it.

I needed a plan.  By this point I had read several books, followed many blogs and started listening to a podcast that helped me beyond measure, The Bubble Hour (  The Bubble Hour concept is all about having a plan, more like a comfort plan, for the early days/weeks of sobriety.  Picture in your mind a big virtual bubble that you go into with all of your favorite things to hide from the boozy world!   My bubble included my favorite warm blanket, ice cream, sobriety books, mindless TV, sappy movies, peanut M&Ms, diet gingerale, fuzzy pajamas, etc.  Even now, a year later, I find myself coming home from a stressful day and gathering all my bubble items!  It is a little bit about learning how to be comfortable and content again without the numbing of wine.  I am still so shocked at how happy I am with the simplest things now!

I needed support.  My husband has been beyond supportive.  He is my biggest fan and celebrates every sober milestone I achieve.  I also have great support from my family and a few trusted friends.  The support also serves as accountability.  I don’t want to let myself down and I for sure don’t want to let them down.  Telling a few people who I know love me, want the best for me and are committed to  pray for me is life changing.

These are the three biggest impacts that helped me get sober and stay sober.  I still need the memories of failure, the support of loved ones and the peace of structure and comfort to get me through every day.  Looking back I can see that my God devised a way to bring me back to him.  Every time I failed and got back up he gave me a new tool to use until it finally worked!

But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.

2 Samuel 14:14b


Day 1

Job  33:28

He redeemed my soul from going to the pit, and my life shall see light. 

My Day 1 was 372 days ago.  I had a few true heart felt Day 1 attempts under my belt over about a 12 month period.  All of which came after a heavy nights of drinking (which was becoming more and more often).  This Day 1 had come after 2 of these recent “heart felt” attempts and I knew I was losing the moderation battle.

I woke up at 4am with paralyzing anxiety.  I felt incredibly shameful because I had gone a few weeks without drinking and thought I was doing so good.  It scared me quite a bit that I had “slipped up” again after being so confident that I was for sure done!

I say “slipped up”, but was it really?!  I mean I drove myself to the store, picked out the wine, stood in line to purchase the wine……you get the point!  There was a lot of time to change my mind.  It didn’t happen by accident.  Especially when you consider the 4-5 hours I spent arguing with myself before I even left for the store!!

Should I get some wine tonight, no I shouldn’t, well I haven’t had any in 2 weeks so I don’t really have a problem” and on an on!!  Now I do this with ice cream : )

Clearly now I can see that it was the Holy Spirit working over time to protect me from yet another bad night, another day of horrible anxiety, another day(s) of feeling worthless and shameful.    Honestly, the fact that I was even at the point that I was counting the days I didn’t drink was a huge red flag and 372 days ago I saw that flag and it got my attention.

I am certain that because I have such an amazing support in my husband that I was able to ditch the wine time for good!  It was very rocky at the beginning.  I literally began this journey 3 weeks before the holiday season.  Cooking Thanksgiving dinner without wine sounded absurd, BUT I DID IT!!!  I will do it again next week too.  I can honestly say that we had one of the BEST holiday seasons ever last year.  Alcohol, in my opinion now, is a TOTAL fun sucker!!  It ultimately makes you tired, sloppy and numb…..nobody is immune to these effects, even “normal” drinkers!!  So I will take my alcohol free, non-tired, non-sloppy, non-numb self into this holiday season again and will be very thankful that my Savior rescued me when He did!!!

My Why

Psalms 107:13-15
“Lord, help”!  They cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.  Let them praise the Lord for this great love and the wonderful things He has done for them.”

For me, the answer to “why did you stop drinking” is simple.  I got to the point where continuing to drink and feel absolutely miserable about myself was harder than facing life without alcohol forever.  I was done.

This was years in the making.  I suffered horrible anxiety and while the wine did help for a bit while drinking it, the anxiety was so much worse the next day.  I was on an absolutely vicious cycle.

Until I had a few months of sobriety behind me I didn’t even realize how sad my life had become.  I was completely self-absorbed in my own head.  I was just simply existing.  What a joy was I?!  Actually, I did a fairly good job hiding this mess from the world.  Most people have NO CLUE that I was drinking a bottle of wine (or more..ugh!) per night.  I was killing myself trying to over compensate for my behavior, especially in the Mom department.  I volunteered, drove carpool, was room Mom and team Mom, attended bible study and sat in church like a good Christian girl should, but in the middle of the night my two worlds would collide and I was tortured, literally tortured.  I would feel so convicted.  Shame would come over me like a dark wave and I would feel a very deep and terrifying sadness.


For the longest time I thought God was the one torturing me.  I just knew He was angry and disappointed and that was my punishment.  I was so wrong.  I was doing this to myself.  In fact, as soon as I stopped drinking this nightly wake up routine ended….immediately.  I was giving Satan open access to my life.  I do believe the Lord was able to use my tortured mind to help me once and for all stop, but not because He was mad.  How sad He must have been to see me, his beloved child, so scared and unhappy.  I went for years waking up at 3am feeling like this.  It was insanity.  My reward now (one of MANY rewards), for being sober, I sleep like a baby.  I mean good, deep, healing sleep.

He broke my chains and literally led me out of the darkness!


One Year!

Today I celebrate one year of living alcohol free!  I am so grateful every day that the Lord was so persistent in bringing me to the realization that there was a problem with my daily wine habit and that it was certain to get worse if I didn’t do something about it.

It wasn’t an overnight realization, unfortunately, I wish so badly I could say it was! This went on over the course of 8 years. It started with a small voice in my head thinking “do I like to drink more than other people” and ended with “yes, you for sure not only like to drink more than other people but you do drink more than other people”!

About a year before I finally decided I was done with alcohol forever I was reading a small devotion. It included the verse:

“Restore in me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.” Psalm 51:12

I remember I stopped reading and was very much focused on the word “joy”.  I realized that I hadn’t felt joy in a long time and I knew exactly why, I wasn’t willing to obey.  I knew- that I knew-that I knew that the Lord had been pressing on my heart to make this change in my life and because I knew but wasn’t doing anything about it I was disobeying him, thus NO JOY.  Actually, no joy, no peace, no rest, no self worth, no confidence, no energy, no hope…the list goes on.  I was absolutely spiritually and emotionally depleted. That day, after reading the devotion, I decided to quit drinking…..again (believe me, Satan was quick to remind me that it was AGAIN too!). That attempt lasted 6 weeks.  Yes, it was another failure, but it was actually the beginning of something.  It was the seed I needed and God started working in me, preparing me for a journey that has been completely life changing.

So today, a year later from the last day I drank and almost 2 years from the day when God shared his “secret” to true joy with me I can honestly say that He has restored me in so many ways. I have peace, joy and contentment that I haven’t had in years…if ever actually. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I know that there is much more to be healed, learned and shared.

Tonight I will celebrate with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that my amazing, supportive and very handsome husband gave to me and I will go have a wonderful dinner with my family. When God answers prayer we CELEBRATE!!! Thank you Lord for restoring the JOY of your salvation!