Welcome to CR@MRCC!

Welcome! Join us each Friday evening at MRCC in Fellowship Central. Dinner starts at 6:00 and worship starts at 7:00. We look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Going The Speed Limit

I have a confession to share. It's one of the many reasons I attend Celebrate Recovery and just about every week I need a new blue chip for it. Hi, my name is Gabby, I'm a grateful believer in Jesus and I struggle with impatiently driving behind old ladies in the fast lane and navigating through a school zone while running behind.

Yes, I like to pretend that I am Jeff Gordon while on the road, so sue me. Just kidding, please don't, unless I accidentally sideswiped your car, then I'm sorry. I'm only saying that when I am unable to go the speed that I WANT to go I get upset.

If the German Autobahn allows people to go as fast as they like, then why should I have to slow down? Captain Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean best summarizes speed limits when he described the Pirate’s Code, "They're more like guidelines anyway." Daily I like to believe that I can go as fast as I please, but with the Lord and Celebrate Recovery I am reminded that sometimes I need to slow down.

I remember when I first started coming to Celebrate Recovery; I had just ended an addicting and abusive relationship and needed some guidance. Immediately I joined a step study and began to work the steps of recovery. I knew that step studies took over nine months to complete but by month two I was wondering why I wasn't "healing" and "letting go" of my past hurts sooner.

Recently I have been reflecting on the importance of having an accountability team and have found what huge role they play in my own recovery. My support team is like the speed limit signs that are found on the streets. With assistance from my sponsor and accountability partner, I was able to adapt to my own pace and make progress within my recovery.

Whenever I'm trying to speed down the recovery highway, my sponsor will pull me over and remind me that there is not a quick fix. When I am drifting away, paralyzed from fear, or just stagnant in my recovery, my accountability partner will come up and honk her horn (in a loving way, not the mean tailgating nonsense) reminding me that I need to pick up the pace. Either way, having a support team is essential for me to continue taking one step at a time.

Grateful Believer,


Thursday, August 27, 2015


One of my least favorite activities is moving. For some odd reason, going to a place that I have never been before does not sound exciting. In fact, for a control freak such as myself who thrives off of consistency, predictability and structure, it is terrifying.

I remember when my mother first decided to move my sisters and me to Oklahoma the summer before my senior year of high school. For a bunch of city folk from Chicago, moving to Oklahoma brought on culture shock.. I thought my mother had lost her mind.

In Chicago, I felt safe. I lived in an area where gunshots and drugs were not uncommon. Profanity, premarital sex, and other various compulsions were normal but in my mind that was my normal. After living there for 17 years, it was another part of the modern day culture that I expected to remain a part of my life.

After the move, I felt like a fish out of water and I soon began to realize that my idea of normal was not really normal. I learned that the hurts that I felt, the habits that I had developed, and my hang ups were not originally what God wanted for me. Obviously with the decision to move, my mom had not lost her mind, but in fact was being used by God to try and renew my mind.

I truly believe that God moved my family to help me become the person that I am today. I didn’t realize how hurt and broken I was, because in my previous environment, I felt as though that was all that I knew. Now I see that God purposely moved me from one environment to another to save and protect me.

At the time I could not see it, but the move brought me closer to Christ and introduced me to Celebrate Recovery. With God’s help through CR I was able to overcome a destructive habit and finally walk away from addictive and abusive relationships. By being pulled out of my safe zone, I was able I was able to step out into the unknown and become the person that I am today: happy, healed, and made whole.

Have been pulled out of a situation in which you felt comfortable? Is God pulling on your heart strings, trying to help you grow into the person he would like for you to be by changing your current environment? My advice is simple, seek God.

Give it up to Him and he will guide you exactly where he wants you to go. Jeremiah 29:11 reads,  ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

Grateful Believer,


Friday, August 7, 2015

Breathe Easy

For the past three months, on my morning commute to work, I have been hitting the same wall over and over again. Do not worry, my car has survived the trip every day with ease. However, my poor nose has taken a beating day after day.
Every morning Monday through Friday I travel on I-40 East towards Midwest City and every morning my poor car hits a “wall” of a very fragrant aroma. The first couple of trips I assumed my car had somehow come across the carcass of a skunk or some other small animal and the smell would soon dissipate. And the smell would go away for a while, but every morning it would come back again.
After the first couple of weeks of these smelly episodes, I was starting to become annoyed because I thought someone needed to do something about the decaying body that was causing this potent tang. The next couple of months I figured there had to be a nearby landfill or factory of some sort because the stench only penetrated my car after the first seven to ten minutes of my drive. The weird thing is that the smell always seemed to be around the same part of the city near the Agnew exit.
Finally I called my husband one morning after cruising with my windows down and I began to waft in the all too familiar stench. I asked him what it could possibly be. “Stockyard City,” he told me.
All along I had been driving right next to a very large cattle-trading arena and did not realize it until someone else brought it to my attention. My “denial” of the issue, trying to ignore it and make excuses as to what could be causing, prevented me from reaching out sooner to discover the root cause.
I will be honest: it was almost a year after my first visit to Celebrate Recovery before I decided to truly face my denial and seek help for my addictions. The constant rationalization of behaviors and inability to acknowledge faults prevented me to seek help when the “stench” of my compulsions continued to hit me in the face.. It wasn’t until I fully committed myself to God and to my recovery that I was able to reach out and ask for help.
With the help of my sponsor and accountability partners, I was able to acknowledge my own denial and accept that if I continued to take that same path of denial then I would continue to drive into the same wall of cologne. Instead of aimlessly driving into the fragrant aroma of denial, with God and my forever family, I can roll up the windows in the car, turn on the A/C, and breathe easy.

Grateful Believer,


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Don't Feed the Cat

From the moment my family and I moved into our new home in Bethany, I knew that there would be some changes and challenges that we would have to deal with. One of the biggest challenges we've had to face is not being able to have a pet in the home. From the time I was a young girl, my family always had pets; dogs, cats, hamsters, even bunnies in the backyard.

Now having children of my own, I hope to continue on this legacy of pets. I like to believe that I have a deep love for animals while others may believe it could be a borderline obsession. Who cares? Potato, tomato, right?

Like all very determined animal lovers, I tried to figure out a way to "abide by the rules" but still fulfill my own desire for a furry companion. This soon became a very easy task. With the help of my children, we were able to identify all five of the stray cats in our neighborhood within a few days.

One cat in particular was very fond of the kids and me. She was probably the only one who didn't run away when we reached out our hands chiming, "Here kitty, kitty." We adopted "Torie," as the kids agreed to call it, as our "outside cat" since we weren't allowed to have pets inside the home. Not to mention both my mom and mother-in-law are deathly allergic to cats, so we could NOT have any cat hair inside in case they stopped by.

In my mind, as long as I could have a pet without "breaking the rules," I was satisfied. Daily I fed the cat and made sure it had plenty of food and water. It even invited its other kitty friends over and shared its meal.

Our backyard was slowly starting to become a cat hangout. My husband must have been thinking, "I did not just marry an undercover cat lady, did I?" Only his love and very stern "No!" prevented me from completely going overboard and bringing the cat inside our home to live.

Thank goodness for his voice of reason because I truly could've gotten us into some serious trouble. In one of my cat lady shopping frenzies, I bought the cat a flea collar and put it around its neck. The next morning, the cat stopped by as usual but my collar had been replaced by a shiny black collar with a bell on it.

That two-timing kitty had a home all along and was only playing on my heart strings. My overwhelming desire for a fuzzy friend allowed me to overlook the fact that this cat already had a home and he, who I found out is named "Bear," was only dealing with me because I laid out food for it to eat for the past few weeks.

By my feeding that selfish desire, I could've have hurt many people. What if my mothers had come over and I had the cat in the house? What would have happened if my landlord had stopped by? How much more time and money would I have wasted if I had continued to feed this feline?

It's so easy for me to allow my addictions and compulsions to completely blur my rational thinking. When I am focused on satisfying my selfish desires, I allow myself to compromise my morals. I try to "abide by the rules" without technically breaking them and as a result I can end up potentially hurting my friends and family.

That's why I am so grateful for Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery allows me to acknowledge my compulsions and addictions in a safe place. I can admit my wrongs; how I have hurt others; and how they have hurt me in a nonjudgmental environment.

Most important, I am able to see that with God, all things are possible. With His help and love, I am made whole and I can "stop feeding the cat" in my life. I am able to exchange my sins for forgiveness and adopt a forever family who has my back and will remind me to leave the cat outside.

Grateful believer,


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Unclogged Pores

I’ve struggled with oily skin my whole life but lately I’ve felt like my face has been obnoxiously oily. Why this happens, I do not understand. I do know that on a hot day I literally have enough oil on my face to lotion my entire body. Can you say, “Not cool?” As a result, I sought help in the form of a dermatologist. He had a few recommendations for me, which I’ve felt I have been following through with pretty well.

First, he recommended that I try to drink plenty of water, at least eight cups a day minimum. On a good day, I’ll drink a whole 16oz bottle. Some days I may even drink three bottles if it has the sweet flavor packets stirred in. Flavored water is better water, just saying.

He also encouraged me to take two prescribed medications, one oral medication twice a day and one nightly face cream. Let’s just say that pill isn’t the easiest thing to swallow. For my nursing friends who understand, I only take it prn, meaning as needed, really meaning, when I remember I may choke it down. As for that face cream, it’s more like one night every two weeks I’ll rub it on.
But, for some odd reason my face just continues to oil up and I cannot get it under control!

Finally I decided to take action into my own hands and went out on a limb. I decided to try Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. They are these thin strips that a person would put over their nose, wait 10-15min for it to stiffen and then pull off. Naturally I waited about 7-8 minutes and then pulled the strip off my nose. To say it hurt was an understatement. I literally had to wipe tears from my eyes and I was left with a bright red Rudolph nose.

What was I thinking? Not to say that any of the above treatments were failures, but because of my lack to completely commit to the instruction provided to me, I’m sure I did more harm to my face than good. This situation reminds me of Principle 5, “Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask him to remove my character defects.” Too many times I have allowed myself to half commit to the necessary changes that I have needed to make in my life.

The oil reminds me of the daily temptation that I face. With my constant denial of the need to change, the more the sin, or “oil”, has the opportunity to be produced. Even when given the proper tools to deal with my struggles, sometimes I continue to do the things I know I shouldn’t do or only do what I need to do half-heartedly.

As a result, this leads to me try to deal with the issue on my own and possibly ending in tears because of my inability to fix it. God loves me for who I am, where I am and wants to help me change. However, I have to be willing to submit to every change that HE wants to make and commit to the process whole-heartedly.

The Grateful Believer,


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Restoring the Nest

Amy W
This past Saturday, we sold my kids backyard play-set. As this nice family was packing up to leave, the father asked me what I wanted him to do with my little girl's birdhouse. I had totally forgotten that two years ago, we had attached this hand-painted birdhouse to the very top of the swing set. Without much thought, I just told the man to leave the house on the edge of the fence.

Little did I know that there was a little family of birds living inside of that birdhouse.
A couple of hours later, I walked out into the backyard to enjoy a little sunshine. No more had I stepped onto the back porch, than this Momma and Daddy bird opened up a full-on attack. They were both flying at me from different directions, making it very clear that they were quite unhappy.

Through my dodging of these "angry birds" I saw something hop along the back fence line.  It was a baby bird. I quickly ran out and scooped up the bird and returned it to the bird house, all the while being dive-bombed by the the adult birds. This scene was repeated again and again, as I walked the fence line and found a total of 4 baby birds that had been displaced from their happy home.

I gave myself a little pat on the back for my good deed and fully expected to get a little expression of gratitude from these little birds. But strangely enough, these birds continued to attack me even after I had returned their little home to it's former state! Honestly, I was a little irritated that my efforts had not been more appreciated.

It didn't take me long to appreciate the life/recovery parallel of this situation. You see, I was the person who wrecked my own family's home. I physically and mentally left my family in the chaos of my addiction. When I returned home from treatment, I felt like a new person; one that could restore my family. 

I thought that I could come home and immediately be recognized for the amazing person I thought that I had become. I assumed that everyone would automatically forget the person I used to be, and extend their full trust without hesitation. But I failed to recognize the scars that I had left behind.  I had found healing, but I forgot that there was still so much healing left to do.
After a couple of days, the birds are peaceful in their new location. They are no longer attacking me when I walk outside. They now seem to recognize that I am not a threat to them. Gaining my family's trust and confidence back took TIME. It took REPETITION. It took PERSISTENCE. But slowly and surely, that trust started being restored.

I realize now, the truth that addiction is a family disease. It is not just the individual that suffers. And just as the consequences of addiction do not happen overnight, nor do the blessings of recovery. But God does promise His plans to prosper us and not harm us, if we choose to follow him. I had to be willing to face all of those hurts again as I returned home. It was painful, but I had to be willing to face that pain in order for healing to begin, and full restoration to be possible. 

I can now honestly say, that my family and household are at peace again. I am no longer seen as a threat. The walls have come down, and we are fully enjoying the new life that we have built. I am no longer hurting them, and they are no longer living in fear of being hurt. And everyday, I thank God that through recovery, this new life has been made possible.
Grateful Believer, 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From Being Hurt to Being Hugged

Five years ago when I first walked into Celebrate Recovery, I was blown away at the friendliness of the folks participating in this group. They would hug total strangers! I was unable to accept a hug back then, partly from my severe depression and partly because I have been hurt by others in the past. My ability to trust was nonexistent, but over time I learned that there were a lot of people that care about me at Celebrate Recovery.  We were created to be in relationships with other people, but for me, I was too hurt to let anyone in. I was accepted where I was without pressure, and I am so thankful for that.

It seemed pretty foreign, but as I learned to trust some people I started allowing a few of them to give me a hug every once in a while. What happened next really amazed me, but I started to want, no NEED hugs! I found myself searching for my safe folks and getting my hugs. It was only about 6 months ago that I realized that I went from someone who might throw a punch if you touched me to actually asking for a hug!  God is changing me.  My journey has not been a quick one, and I certainly haven’t arrived. You still won’t see me as an official hugger on Friday nights during recovery recognition, but I am in total shock at where I am today. I am taking the scenic route to a destination set forth before I was born, and I am excited to be on that road.

Ephesians 3:20— Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think, to Him be the glory!
Grateful Believer,