The Hope Diary: Step Twelve: Helping Others

We have now arrived at the twelfth and final step of the recovery program. Congratulations! Give yourself a huge hug and relish how far you have come to reach this point. Your recovery is the cornerstone of the success for the rest of your life.

Step twelve touches on what is single-handedly the most important part of daily recovery. Although all of the steps are essential for a healthy soul, mind and body, the twelfth step is crucial because it instills the importance of giving away what you have been given. After all, where would we be if recovery, support, and guidance had not been given to us by others all along the way?

Helping other people get their life back on track by sharing our experience, strength and hope can be done in the form of sponsoring up to the level of your recovery or by being an accountability partner.  Just being kind to others and allowing positivity and love to flow through your personality to the world around you enables all kinds of continual healing to take place. When we don’t pass on the knowledge that we have received, we run the assured risk of falling back on our own recovery and becoming selfish and proud.

The steps need to be repeated for the rest of our lives. We never become “too good” for program; rather, our success in life is dependant upon our daily surrender to God and being willing to work on ourselves. Recovery is a beautiful thing; how will you pass it on today?

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Our Mission
Isaiah 61:1-3

1. How have I passed through the pain and despair of enslavement to addiction and moved into healing and freedom?

2. Having had a “spiritual awakening” after being set free from my addiction, am I excited or hesitant to share my experience, strength, and hope with others who are struggling with addiction? Why?

Our Story
Mark 16:14-18

Describe the story of your spiritual awakening and how the first eleven steps have brought spiritual principals, truth, and healing into your life. Describe what you were like, what happened, and what you are like now.

Sharing Together
John 15:5-15

1. Am I connected to the vine? How do the Twelve Steps help me to “remain” in him?

2. Is my recovery attractive to other addictive/compulsive people because I am becoming more loving rather than condemning those who need my help?

3. What am I doing to reach out with Jesus’ love?

Listening First
Acts 8:26-40

1. What is my attitude about sharing my story of recovery? Am I reluctant to tell my story, or am I the type that wants to share too much, too soon, with too many people?

2. From either extreme, am I willing to wait for God’s timing for sharing recovery?

3. Do I see my story as valuable to God’s plan? Describe how.

Talking the Walk
1 Timothy 4:14-16

1. Paul encourages Timothy to “throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.” What changes in my life can others observe since I have been sober and working the Twelve Steps?

2. Paul wanted Timothy not only to teach others, but to be an example. When I share my story with others, am I preaching, or sharing my experience, strength, and hope.

3. Am I able to let the other person make his or her own decision by relinquishing control and letting God do his work?

Never Forget
Titus 3:1-5

What do I remember about my last drink or my last binge? Describe that last time, including actions, feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that led up to it and followed it:

The Narrow Road
1 Peter 4:1-4

1. Peter pointed out: “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy-their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties” (1 Peter 4:1-2) the pains of recovery.

2. Does the approval or judgement of others keep me from sharing recovery? Do I fear negative rumors?

3. How can I work the Twelve Steps on this fear?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Eleven: God’s Will be Done

Step eleven of the twelve step program teaches us that recovery is a daily renewal of our minds, bodies and souls. Without surrendering to God’s Will for our lives it is impossible to have a successful and abstinent day. I tried to live my life in recovery my way for a long time until I finally became exhausted because I kept ending up in the same place: failure! I just said “Ok God You win I give up! Your Will be done not mine!” Now whenever I feel myself getting frustrated it is a warning sign that I am trying to live life on my terms, and so I have to 1. Stop and 2. Simply ask God for His help. Man what humble pie tastes like going down! But the rewards of humility and surrender surely are sweeter than trying to do things alone.
Prayer does not have to be fancy. God wants us to come simply as we are. I often pray “Father, your will be done, not my own. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.” God is a God of hearts.

What is your Step 11 Prayer that you can use throughout the day?

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook for the following questions.

A New Hiding Place
2 Samuel 22:1-33

1. How was addiction a hiding place from life for me? Compare this with having God as a hiding place.

2. Describe how I experience “conscious contact” with God:

Thirst for God:
Psalm 27: 1-6

1. What do I most seek from God?

2. What is difficult about trusting God with my requests?

Joy in God’s Presence
Psalm 65:1-4

1. What keeps me from accepting God’s forgiveness?

2. What scares me about knowledge of God’s will for me?

Finding God
Psalm 105:1-9

1. Is my life changing daily? Am I noticing when I am resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid today? Identify ways that I am changing:

2. Am I aware of others’ feelings, needs, and rights? What have I noticed today?

Powerful Secrets
Psalm 119: 1-11

1. What am I hiding in my heart–secrets of old behaviors and issues, or God’s Word?

2. List what I can thank God for today:

Patient Waiting
Isaiah 40: 28-31

1. How does impatience show itself in my attitude and behaviors?

2. Am I impatient about my progress in recovery? Do I expect myself to “get it” the first time? Do I expect perfection?

3. Why is it hard to “trust in the Lord”?

Friends of the Light
John 3:18-21

1. In what areas of my life am I still afraid to seek God’s will?

2. When I think I am hearing God’s will, whose power do I act on? Am I tempted to do God’s will in my own power?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

The Hope Diary: Step Ten: Taking Daily Inventory

Step ten is the first step that I take daily in order to keep myself in check. When I find that my character or food plan might be getting a bit sloppy, I try to immediately surrender myself to God and ask for His help to renew my mind In Him and take account for exactly where I am going wrong. In doing so, I am able to get back on track much faster and have a fruitful day. In the past before I found strong recovery I just kind of floundered around mercilessly inside and felt very lost. My mind was weak because I had let the eating disorder and other problems control it for many years. Thank God for His Grace and the twelve steps of recovery to bring daily help in every single situation that can arise.

Thank you to The Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop for the following questions.

Personal Boundaries
Genesis 31:45-55

1. In order to restore trust in relationships, what particular weaknesses do I need to set boundaries around?

2. Is there a trusted person to whom I can clearly define my commitments? Who? What commitments am I willing to make?

Repeated Forgiveness
Romans 5:3-5

1. Do certain behaviors and character defects that show up in my Step Ten inventory point to a pattern? Which ones? What is being revealed to me?

2. Am I having trouble admitting these promptly and forgiving myself?

3. Do I give myself grace? Why or why not?

Dealing with Anger
Ephesians 4:26-27

1. What is my first response when I am angry? Lashing out? Stuffing down? Avoidance and covering up?

2. How was anger dealt with in my family? How did my mother deal with anger? My father? Which pattern do I follow?

3. When I am angry, can I promptly admit it? Why or why not?

4. Do I have support people who can help me learn to deal with anger more appropriately? Am I willing to ask for assistance with this issue?

Spiritual Exercises
1 Timothy 4:7-8

1. As this continual inventory is important for spiritual fitness, where in my daily routine can I set aside time to make myself self-assessment part of every day?

2. Do I have any resistance to evaluating my defects daily? What are my objections? What do I fear?

3. An example of a simple, daily, personal inventory:

Where have I been selfish, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, or proud?

What have I done right today?

What do I need God's help with tomorrow?

What am I grateful for today?

Perseverance
2 Timothy 2:1-8

1. How do I see my recovery as a war against addiction and as a fight for my soul?

2. How do I see myself as an athlete in training for the marathon journey of recovery and serenity?

3. Am I working in every season and situation? planting seeds of recovery by applying the Twelve Steps to my life?

4. Where do I lose heart in fighting, training, and working through the Twelve Steps?

Looking in the Mirror
James 1:21-25

1. Have I been quick to recognize but not take action in a particular area of my life or defect of character? If so, I can take action without self-criticism by going back through Steps Six and Seven, then Eight and Nine on that particular area or defect.

2. On what area or defect do I need to take action today? This week? This month?

Recurrent Sins
1 John 1:!-10

1. Have I hoped for immediate release from my defects as I may have had from my addiction? Have I perhaps unknowingly hoped that by doing all this step work I could attain perfection? Write any thoughts and feelings that arise from reading this meditation:

2. Am I clear that I still need inventories to continue my spiritual growth? In other words, have I developed enough humility to accept that inventories will be a regular part of my journey?
Explain:

3. Am I sensing that my conscience is returning or developing so that I more easily recognize my faults? Am I humble enough to admit them more readily? Record any progress you've noticed in your conscience:

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

Dont Wallow in the Spilled Milk: Forgive!

One of my sponsees asked how she could be free of all of the people and situations that had hurt her in her past.
This is a common question and something we all have to go through again and again for the rest of our lives. Unless we learn to forgive every time someone offends us we run the risk of holding onto unhealthy resentments that do nothing but hold us hostage in our addictions and keep us from receiving God’s Best Plan.
Let’s say for example you are holding onto resentments from a past relationship.
1. Past Relationship: The fact that you are Aware that you are resentful of your childhood bullies is the first step because it allows you to Accept you have those feelings and then be able to take the spiritual Action you need to be free of it…
3 A’s of Recovery
AWARENESS
ACCEPTANCE
ACTION

Ask yourself “Can I forgive this person/these people”..
If you find yourself saying “No! they hurt ME! I am still messed up inside and hurting because of them”… then just remember this…
When Jesus died for US He payed the ultimate price. He was and is Perfect and Blameless and took ALL of OUR sins and Never ever complained. In fact He did it out of the Purest and Highest Love and Loves us Unconditionally all of the Time. He Forgives us over and over again when we ask Him to sincerely and He is always waiting for us with open and Loving Arms; never judging. Surely we can forgive others just as God Forgives us.
If you still have a hard time feeling like you can forgive remember that you ARE SO MUCH MORE than your feelings and then ask God to help you forgive them. Pray and repent and get down on your knees. Write it out and pour your heart out to Him or maybe say a simple prayer. If you need to ask God to help you forgive them because you know that apart from Him you can do nothing then by all means do it.
But remember that forgiveness is not for the other person it is for YOU. You do not want to waste your life over broken memories and not receive God’s Promises. You do not want to be living off “spilled milk” and find yourself in your eighties one day still bent out of shape because of all of the injustices the world caused you.
After all what have you done to hurt others consciously and unconsciously knowing it…
Ponder that and write it down.

One Year Later: Remembering Nana

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel read me 2013 Nana January 31

One year ago today, Nana passed away while I was shooting in the Dominican Republic with a very sweet crew. I never thought that in just a few months I would lose my mom and my mom’s mom. I have all the Faith in God that His Ways are Higher and that they are in a better place. We love and miss you Nana and Mommy. Here are some photos I took the day Nana passed away when I was in Punta Cana. She was one of the most influential people in my life and her passing has greatly affected me. She will forever live in my heart and soul. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

January 31 4 Nikki DuBose thenikkidubose.com Nana Punta Cana Nikki DuBose supermodel writer editor in chief SQUA.RE SQUARE LUXURY

Nikki DuBose thenikkidubose.com Nana read me Punta Cana Janurary 31 3

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose nana 7

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel read me Nana Punta Cana 2

thenikkidubose.com Nikki DuBose supermodel writer editor in chief SQUA.RE SQUARE LUXURY Nikki DuBose nana

The Hope Diary: Step Three: Turning my life and will over to God.

Oh boy. You mean as if this recovery process wasn’t hard enough, I now had to turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understood Him? For me, God was always taught as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior when I was in the second grade. I went out into the hallway with my sweet, devoted teacher Mrs. Hammock and right there and then I gave my life to Christ. However, if I had become saved and supposedly received some sort of Holy “immunity” against all evils and afflictions, why the heck had I developed a chronic and serious eating disorder that same year? Wasn’t God supposed to shield me from that?

In fact, come to think of it, about that time is when I remember starting to encounter all sorts of terrible abuses, issues, traumas, deaths, and they never stopped. If God was with me, He sure as heck didn’t care to give me an all access pass to life, liberty and the right to happiness. No, I wallowed for a long time in my own self pity and that my dear friends, is what kept me in my own unhappiness and addictions.

Once I really hit rock bottom in 2010 emotionally and decided to recommit my life to Christ, seek professional therapy for my past, and get help for my eating disorder, for the first time in my life, then I saw what God could do for me. But I had to turn my life over to Him every day. I have a disease of addiction that tells me that I don’t have a disease. It’s a constant release of pride, selfishness, jealousy and fantasy in exchange for living in the now moment, humility, powerlessness and realism. It’s understanding that truly only God can restore me to sanity and without turning over my addiction and those tempting moments over to Him, I will forever be living in denial and relapse; a deadly fantasy.

So, for today’s recovery on Step three, here are some very thought provoking questions for you to meditate on. I encourage you to take the time every day to go over these and answer honestly, it’s one of the best ways you can love yourself into wholeness. These questions are reprinted from the Life Recovery Workbook by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop, pages 25-28.

Trusting God
Numbers 23:18-24

1. What in my life has taught me not to trust God?

2. What have I done to cause others not to trust me?

3. What keeps me from surrendering to God?

Free to Choose
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
1.What is it about my understanding of God that blocks me from deciding to turn my life and my will over to His care?

2. How does fear affect my choices?

Giving up control
Psalm 61:1-8

1. Where did I get the illusion that I can control other people or my circumstances, job or life?

2. What stops me from giving up my life, so that I can find the life God intends for me?

Redeeming the Past
Isaiah 54:4-8

1. How do I hold God the Redeemer at arm’s length? Why?

2. What fears have the most power in my life?

3. How is shame connected to fear in me?

Submission and Rest
Matthew 11:27-30

1. Why do I think that I am able to handle my addictions/dependencies on my own with no help from outside myself?

2. How ready am I to be taught?

3. What characteristics interfere with my being taught by Jesus or another person?

Discovering God
Acts 17:22-28

1. How does my life reflect my image of God at any given moment?

2. How do I define the word surrender?

3. What is the difference between “my will” and “my life”?

Single-Minded Devotion
James 4:7-10

1. What does resistance look like in my life?

2. What do I have to face in myself when I draw close to God?

3. How is addiction connected to my resistance to God’s direction in my life?

God Bless,

Nikki DuBose

“Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You” by Karla Downing

Christian Relationship Help: Six Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You by Karla Downing

“Forgiveness is a commandment for Christians (Matthew 6:14-15); yet, there is a lot of misunderstanding on how to forgive. This Christian relationship help gives you six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you:

1. Understand that it is a process.The first step is to commit to that process. Some people erroneously suggest that someone should forgive right away when they find out about a major offense. This isn’t possible. Before you can forgive, you have to know what you are forgiving. It takes time to figure out what has happened and how it has affected your life.

2. Reflect on the facts of the situation, your reactions, and how it is affecting you. You have to count the cost in order to forgive by first recognizing how you have been affected by the offense. This way you know what you are forgiving.

3. Understand what the offender did and why it was done.This is putting yourself into the shoes of the other person. It gives you a perspective that can help you to be empathetic. Hurt people hurt people. This doesn’t mean you excuse the wrong or not hold the person appropriately accountable; it only means that you try to understand the problems the other person had that would have caused him/her to do what was done.

4. Choose to let go of the right to get revenge.You turn the person over to God and allow him to judge in his way and time (Romans 12:19). This can include allowing the person to face the legal, relational, financial and situational consequences of his/her actions; however, you need to let go of your bitterness and resentment and not take pleasure in the person’s pain and demise.

5. Treat the person with dignity and respect.You want to love your enemies and offer them a cup of cold water, as Jesus suggested (Romans 12:20); yet, you can still set boundaries to protect yourself. This requires that you take a step of faith and treat the person well. When you do it, it will help you to maintain the forgiveness and allow God to work in the person’s life.

6. Choose to no longer be defined by the offense.This is where you integrate the offense into your life as another thing that has happened that you have walked through that God has used to shape and mold you. Your identity is not: “The spouse who was abandoned,” The parent who lost his child,” or “The unloved child.” You have a different perspective that involves acceptance, forgiveness, and faith and a self-image that includes how you have been refined through your life experiences and how God is using it for good.

This Christian relationship help offers you these six tips on how to forgive someone who has hurt you. These tips will enable you to move on from the offense in a way that sets you free and pleases God.”

God Bless,
Nikki