Quitting Smoking. I didn't begin smoking until maybe my mid-late 20's, when the addiction began to kick in. It kind of went with the territory. When I had quit drinking, I was still smoking. Quit one thing at a time, and give it time, in-between. Well after a few months, I just didn't care for it, anymore, but I still continued to smoke. It was somewhat social for me, and also habit. I remembered lighting up as soon as I got in the car to go to work. I'd smoke outside of meetings, work, or just with a crowd that was outside smoking in whatever setting we were. I began to hate it, and was disgusted with myself for still smoking. I'd stop buying them, but end up mootching some. Then I'd buy a pack and say I'd "only smoke [so many]" that day. It was quite a cycle. After I had quit drinking, I'd listen to Joyce Meyer every night at 10pm. I am not sure of the exact message, but I remembered that she was talking about how she was smoking, and she said how once you love Jesus more than "that thing" you are trying to quit, you'll be able to quit. Even if they weren't her exact words, it may be what the Spirit wanted me to hear. And it worked. I remembered having two cigarettes left in my pack that night. I smoked those two because they were there, and I was done. That morning, instead of lighting up when I got in the car, I got on the phone to begin to break the habit I had formed. I'd do other things instead of lighting up- changed my routine a bit, etc. I tried to replace those times I'd smoke, with something more positive. I'd pray about it, and lean on God. I'd lean on people. But once I had it in my head, just like the drinking, it wasn't too, too bad. I wanted to quit more than I wanted to continue, so I did whatever I had to do, to achieve that. Just for each day. I didn't have to worry about what I'd do the next day, because it wasn't here. I was reminded to pick up a cigarette before I picked up a drink, if the urge came. I was fortunate in that the urge didn't come. I began to cough a bit when I quit, as my system cleaned itself out. The time added up, and it was 8 years this past January, that I heard those words I needed to hear, at the exact moment that I was meant to hear them. Over 8 years now, that I had my last cigarette. I was able to hike without becoming so winded, the coughing stopped after maybe a year, and I felt and feel so much better about myself, how I smell, and how I feel physically and mentally. And no more bad taste! Bella doesn't have to breathe it in, and even though I'd try to open the windows in the car or in the house before I started to smoke outside, I know she still caught some of it. It saddens me, that I put her through that, and so much more, but I'm so grateful beyond words that I was able to do better for her. It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's me doing the work, and God meeting me there, and doing the rest. Bella had a great day. She got out, saw her grammie, and trotted her little heart out on our evening walkie. I'm headed to bed soon, after I relax for a bit. We hope you have a most enjoyable and restful night, relaxing in the arms of our Father, who's got you tight. The photo is from Old Orchard Beach, Maine, back in January of 2017. It was a very cold morning, and when the sun rose, sea smoke rose from the water. It was such a beautiful sight to see. Please contact me for prints or for use of the photo. Feel free to share, and enjoy!