“The seed you plant and the time of the planting determine the harvest.”
I found this quote today in the First Presidency message at LDS.org, an article called God’s Harvest. I thought it was fitting for recovery: if I want to maintain recovery and continue progressing, I have to feed my spirit the appropriate things – scripture study, personal prayer, journal writing, working the steps or recovery, reading from other good books, talking with Beck, and serving others.
The Apostle Paul talks about this too:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:7–9).
This reminds me of the contrast between the carnal and spiritual. If I let carnal things into my mind (looking on others from the chin down, browsing the internet, letting negative thoughts stay in my mind, etc.), I’m “sowing to the flesh” and I “shall of the flesh reap corruption”.
We cannot put our religion on a shelf and expect to harvest spiritual blessings. But if we plant and nurture gospel standards in the daily life of our family, there is a high probability that our children will grow up to produce spiritual fruit of great value to them and to future generations.
This is all about casualness – putting my religion and beliefs on the shelf and expecting to be protected from temptation by doing nothing, or actually by focusing my time mostly on things of the flesh, things of the world.
I thought this statement was interesting as well:
God’s answers to our prayers do not always come immediately—sometimes they do not appear to come at all—but God knows what is best for His children. Assuredly, one day we will see more clearly; and on that day we will recognize the goodness and generosity of heaven.
What questions do I have for God today?
What do I want to know from Him?
In Becky’s sharing with me yesterday, she asked me a couple more questions that I could consider:
What makes me feel lonely? What makes me not feel lonely?
Here are the other questions her counselor presented:
- What is this “fear of being alone” about? How are you going to answer this?
- How is this time going to be different? I need to have faith in the process. My future is riding on your choices.
- What have you learned from this experience? What signs will tell you if you are starting to get too comfortable?
Other questions I have:
- What can I do to keep the burning within me to stay recovered?
- How can I serve others and have this be a help in recovery?
- Is “keeping the chin up” a valid way to maintain recovery and avoid lust or is there more I can do?
- Is it Heavenly Father’s will that I grow MM and add employees?
- What are the best things I can be doing to help my family have the most happiness today?
I want to tackle the “How is this time going to be different?” question right now (since I shared about this in the meeting on Thursday). This is what I wrote down:
What’s going to be different this time in recovery?
– talk with wife each night about AEIOUYs (Abstinence, Exercise, What I did for me today, What I did for others today, Unresolved Feelings, Yay’s for today)
– no late nights by myself
– no social media (especially Facebook, Youtube, Instagram)
– letting others know about my addiction (parents, close friends, family)
– keeping track of recovery – # of days in recovery
– Talking with friends has helped
– Being aware that others know and still love and accept me helps
– No secrets
– I’ve nearly lost the most important things to me (wife, kids)
Are there other things that are different about this time?
- I’ve felt how much pain I’ve caused Becky and the kids.
- I’ve read more books about recovery.
- I’m meeting with a professional counselor who specializes in pornography addiction.
- Becky’s Boundaries
- I’m reading the scriptures personally.
- I’m striving to say my personal prayers each day (and in the moment of temptation)
- Effective blocks on computer
- Nightly scripture study with Beck
- Sharing journal entries (and vulnerabilities) with Beck
I think the main thing that’s different about this time than any other time I’ve tried to “recover” is that I realize what I could lose if this continues, I realize who I’m hurting besides just myself, and it’s really not just about me.
If I continue to view pornography, my “Carnal Nate” attitude will come back in full force – probably worse than ever before. If I continue to view pornography, I’m basically telling Becky and the kids that porn is more important to me than they are. If I continue to view pornography, I’m “willfully rebelling against God” and setting aside all the things I’ve felt, learned and hoped for spiritually in my life.
Some scriptures about “reaping what we sow”:
18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. (Proverbs 11:18)
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Suggestion: Review previous goals and set new goals to achieve righteous outcomes. Develop a plan to act consistently in order to reach their long-term purpose.
Another thing I’d like to be different about this time – getting in a very scheduled morning routine.
If I could have the perfect morning it would go like this:
- Wake up at 5:30 a.m.
- Say a personal prayer on my knees out loud
- Study the gospel – scriptures, spiritual book, articles from LDS.org, etc.
- Write in my journal and share some or all with Becky
- Say a personal prayer again and submit my will to God’s
This would take about 30-45 minutes.
- Exercise from 6:15 – 7:30
- Shower at 7:45
- Eat breakfast with the kids at around 8:00 or 8:10
- Be ready for the day by 8:30 or 8:45
I also think writing at the end of the day would be helpful, especially focusing on things that I’ve been grateful for throughout the day. For example, this is what I was grateful for yesterday:
- We were able to go as a family to pick up Gini and June
- We worked so hard together to clean up the house (vacuum, dust, put things away)
- Caleb went with me to paint the condo and get it ready for new tenants
- We ate good food
- Even though the kids were CRAZY on the way to pick up Gini, I didn’t lose it or yell too bad at them
- When we were at the mall, I was aware of all the temptations around me and said a prayer multiple time to keep my chin up
- When Becky asked me about it that night, I was able to be honest and say that it was difficult but that being aware and saying personal prayers was helpful
- Reading scriptures with Becky at night
I hope that today can be a good day in recovery, especially from how I choose to act (and re-act) to Caleb and the kids. I want to love them and be patient with them. I want to help them learn and grow and be obedient.