In observance of my Benedictine Monastic practices, on the last Friday of each month in 2019 we’re walking Saint Benedict’s 12 Steps of Humility. With each step we come closer to our spiritual transformation and the perfect love of God.


The tenth step of humility is that a monk is not quick to laughter.  ~ The Rule of Benedict

A fool raises their voice when they laugh. ~ Sirach 21:20


As Christian believers and Christ followers we should be cultivating an atmosphere where all people can feel safe. Much of today’s culture, media and entertainment is harsh and brutal, even bullying, when it comes to humor. Television and movies use sarcasm and vulgarity dressed up as humor that bring harm to various groups of people.

Words that harm others are not humorous.

Humor is about seeing the lighter side of life. It should be used to lift us up out of troubles and weaknesses, not beat us down into them.

Hiding behind hurtful words, the prideful will use negative words to lash out at others while trying to avoid their own internal pain. These arrogant vulgar jokes somehow make them feel better about themselves when they tear others down.

Saint Benedict taught his community of monks not to be quick or loud in their laughter. Step 10 of Humility invites us to take our humor seriously. We must guard our laughter, taking care not to use it in hurtful ways. When someone falls down or has taken a turn for the worse in their life, we mustn’t make light of or laugh at their troubles.

We mustn’t delight in or find humor in the pain of others.

Just like it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance, so too our kindness toward others can lead them to God. Let’s cultivate an atmosphere around us that invites others to Christ with our words and behavior.

Contemplate the kindness and love of God in your life with this beautiful song by Chris Tomlin.

Playing with Fire

Temptations are tricky. They sneak up on you when you least expect it. You’re going along, thinking you’ve got it all together and then…


A big fat temptation hits you!

Well, that’s not exactly true. We may be going along alright, but somehow, we’ve let an old thought or pattern creep back in. We become complacent or simply lazy with our boundaries.

Either way, it’s very dangerous.

In October my daily 12 Step devotional focuses on Step 10

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

So far the readings have hit home. Hard!

Check out these samples:

Dealing with Anger: Deal with short-term anger before it turns into long-term destruction.

Preventing Relapse: Only God’s Word will help us continue in recovery and avoid the devastation of relapse.

Dangerous Pride: Even the pride we feel in recovery can set us up for temptation and relapse.

Spiritual Exercises: Continued inventory will keep us spiritual fit and strong in the face of temptation.

Personal Boundaries: Honest inventories help us maintain boundaries important to recovery.

Positive Thoughts: What we keep in our mind and heart determines what we do and say.

Perseverance: We cannot win the race for recovery by going just part of the way.

No Shortcuts: On our journey toward recovery, shortcuts are only stepping stones to a relapse.

Daily Recovery: We will always be tempted by our old lives; but we need not always fall prey to them.

Needless to say, I’ve been doing some serious reflecting.

I don’t know about you, but an enticing temptation is not worth what it could cost me; all the ground I’ve gained in my marriage and my family, not to mention my health and my very life. More than anything, I don’t want to compromise the testimony I have today.

It’s time to reassess boundaries. Put back up the concrete barriers that can protect my heart, mind and soul.

Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. – Romans 13:14



The Road to Recovery



So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do’t fall! ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12


Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.


Principle 7 (Celebrate Recovery): Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. 

In Step 10 and Principle 7 we will begin to put into practice all the steps and principles we have learned thus far. We are beginning to live in reality vs. denial, we have made our amends and now we desire to grow in our relationships with God and others.
Principle 7 nicely complements Step 10. Taking our daily time with God for self-examination helps us prepare for our personal inventory. 
Something I learned about a couple of years ago was The Examen. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that helps us see God’s hand at work in our whole life experience. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day where we can detect God’s presence and discern his direction for our life. 

Here is how I like to work The Daily Examen:

1: Ask God to bring to your awareness the moment today for which you are most grateful.

  • If you could relive one moment, which one would it be?
  • When were you most able to give and receive love today?
  • Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so good.
  • Breathe in the gratitude you felt and receive life again from that moment.

2: Ask God to bring to your awareness the moment today for which you are least grateful.

  • When were you least able to give and receive love?
  •  Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so difficult.
  • Relive the feelings without trying to change or fix it in any way.
  • Take deep breaths and let God’s love fill you just as you are.

3: Give thanks for what you have experienced. If possible, share these two moments with a friend. 


The Examen is a different way of taking daily inventory, but I like how it combines my prayer time with God and a daily reflection. There are many ways to work The Examen I hope you will look into it further and consider trying it. I think you’ll find it a sweet time with God as you look back over your day.

Enjoy this brief video that will walk us through The Examen. If you can’t see the video screen below click here .



12 Principes of Recovery :: TRUST


Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.


How do I live not knowing outcomes?

As I write this column my husband’s youngest brother is fighting for his life in ICU. My husband is in job transition and we are looking for a new place to live.

If there was ever a season of uncertain outcomes it is now. 

Recovering addicts don’t like the unknown. We want to have a plan or at least something that resembles a plan. But most of life is handed to us on a blank sheet of paper. 

Seemingly we are left to find our own direction.

Without the help of God it would be very easy to curl up and stop caring. It takes determination to get out of bed, put each foot in front of the other and try to do the next right thing.

Principle Ten asks us to Trust. 

Can we trust ourselves to do the next right thing? 
Can we trust others to accept us even if we don’t?

Change has gotten easier with age. But today I’m struggling through the uncertainty. 

Image credit: : / 123RF Stock Photo

Working the Steps :: STEP 10

Step 10:  We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12

Life is a process of growing, changing and hopefully maintaining.  Step 10 is the beginning of our maintenance work, essentially reviewing Steps Four through Nine. Daily we examine our lives: the good and the not so good, admit our wrongs when necessary, and make amends promptly. But to do this properly we must be attentive to our words and actions at all times.

We can’t run on autopilot anymore. Self-awareness is critical.  It’s all too easy to numb out of reality. With overwhelming amounts of media at our fingertips, self-control and discipline are required to reel ourselves back in. While staying attentive to the present we measure our words and behavior not to the world’s standards but to God’s moral code.

Humility is key to recovery. We must take care to not become over confident. Our flaws and defects are healed only to the degree that we recognize them and submit them to God’s power. Aware of our weaknesses we walk gently through life, carefully planting seeds for our future with healthy behavior today. When we don’t tell lies today-we won’t have to lie tomorrow. By not taking advantage of people today-we won’t have to deal with anger tomorrow.

Step 10 alerts us to the pain we’ve caused others and urges us to apologize quickly. Admitting mistakes as we make them isn’t easy. However, because we have turned it all over to God, every step is accomplished with and through His strength and not our own. We can trust Him to give us the self-awareness to recognize mistakes and the humility that won’t protect our self-image when amends are required.

Some find it useful to have a chart of personal weaknesses and strengths to check off each day before bed. By mentally reviewing our day we can decide if an event caused uncomfortable feelings. Below is a helpful acronym to inventory our actions or words: 

T  Was it Thoughtful?
H  Was it Honest?
I   Was it Intelligent?
N  Was it Necessary?
K  Was it Kind?

What helps you to apply the steps when life gets tough? 

I hope you enjoy the theme song I’ve chosen for our journey: Step by Step by @Bryan_Duncan http://youtu.be/swNgb9ya6WM


Life Recovery Devotional
Life Recovery Bible
The Twelve Steps for Christians
Paths to Recovery-Al-Anon Steps, Traditions and Concepts
Recovery: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice 

Coming in October on Reaching Hurting Women!

Preview October’s Articles on Reaching Hurting Women!


Working the Steps :: STEP 10

With the first nine steps we got our house in order and changed some destructive habits. In Step 10 we begin the maintenance work of sustaining our accomplishments.


RELENTLESS: The Power You Need to Never Give Up

by John Bevere

Many Christians are not walking in the life-changing Grace of God available to them through Jesus Christ.  In Relentless John Bevere challenges us to take our faith to another level.

Virtues ~n~ Vices :: DETERMINATION

Do you have insurmountable obstacles in your path today? Are you trudging through life discouraged at every turn? Let’s study the ingredients of determination that can help us on our journey.

Healing Hurts :: INFERIORITY 

Are you constantly measuring yourself? Trying to be what you think others want you to be?  I have fought this battle most of my life. Let’s overcome the plague of inferiority together.

The Invisible Woman

Do you feel like no one sees or hears you? Everyone just looks right through you as if you weren’t there. How can we stop feeling invisible?

Look for a new article each Wednesday on Reaching Hurting Women!

Working the Steps: Step 10

As a part of my morning devotions I focus on a particular step as it relates to the month on the calendar.

October is Step 10…

 Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. 

Anyone who has planted a garden knows the work required to keep it healthy. We must remove rocks and weeds, nourish the soil, plant the seeds, water them and then guard them from bugs.  Most gardens once belonged to the weeds first before we began planting other flowers or vegetation. And those weeds want their space back and are willing to fight for it. Continuous care is needed to keep the garden free of weeds that will take over if allowed.

The life of recovery is much like that garden. Our lives were once ruled by weeds, our addictive habits and unhealthy behaviors. But Praise God, He has planted a new garden in our life. He pulled all the weeds and instead has planted some beautiful things in their place. He has used the 12 Steps as tools and has showed us how to do things differently. But we mustn’t let our guard down. As long as we live, we will have the weeds, our past behaviors, trying to creep back in. That is why Step 10 is critical. We must be diligent and continually take personal inventory to see if we have allowed any old habits to sneak back into our lives.*

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12

*Excerpts taken from The Twelve Steps for Christians.

Photo courtesy of 123RF Stock Photos