Sober Mercies and hula hoops

A few weeks ago, I noticed a post on Rachel Held Even’s blog: Ask a Recovering Alcoholic (and here is the Response post), which was enough to get me started poking around on Heather Kopp’s blog, specifically this post, “Do Something Dorky”. I admit that I was sorta skimming when I read:


In recovery, we tell each other to imagine yourself inside a hula-hoop—and then remember that nothing outside that hoop is any of your business.

This is especially hard for moms like me. Plus, I was at a party last year where a bunch of adults were having dorky fun with hula-hoops–and I noticed how big they actually are. I could fit any of my kids inside here with me just fine! :)   (from, “Do Something Dorky”, 23 May 2013)


At which point I opened a new tab in Safari, navigated to Amazon (lie: my home page is Amazon because I love it so), and ordered her book, Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk.

Sober Mercies

I won’t/don’t want to/am not ready to “review” this book for a few reasons:

  1. I’m still letting it soak in while I re-read
  2. It’s a memoir, it’s well-written, and if you fall into addictive patterns of thinking it’s well worth the read, but I’m not sure that I can articulate why right now…
  3. …because I have an infant who doesn’t want to be set down…
  4. …and it’s hard to write meaningful, coherent things while typing with one hand and balancing a wiggly baby in the other…
  5. …and I feel like if I succeed in the above I’ll be ripping off a bandaid that I’m not quite ready to rip off…
  6. …because right now figuring out what’s for dinner is about all the challenge I can handle right now.
  7. Dinner: it’s the next right thing.

But I did want to share this book because it’s powerful yet peaceful, it give tangible descriptions of life wet (part I), life dry (part II), and life sober and joy-filled (part III) that I think are helpful, and because Heather writes things like:

Deep in my heart, I knew God wasn’t calling me away from  my faith to recovery, or away from recovery to my faith. Instead, I sensed I was being invited to walk forward in the sometimes scary tension between the two.

My path in recovery and my path as a Christ follower didn’t have to be in conflict. They could illuminate and inform one another. Like street lamps lining both sides of the street, they could light my way back to God. (Sober Mercies, p 143)

Heather writes hope in a real way.  I’m glad I got this book in a hard copy, as I have it marked up already, and will be re-reading and sharing this book.


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