Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Of wanting More

I think I touched briefly on this in my previous post, but I really would like to explain my decision to study and turn to God. My very first post was sort of a rambling jumble since I had so much to say and not enough web space (it seemed) to say it in. So now I'm going to break it down and explain a little better...

When I was little, I had no formal Christian teachings, like, at all. Technically I was baptised a Lutheran, though now that I'm grown, I know it was to please my half-sister's (whom I love) grandparents (who I hardly know and don't really like.) But there was a short time in my life where we were actually going to The Light of the Valley Lutheran Church in Valley Center, CA along with my half-grandparents(?) and it was a novelty to me. Church was something people went to on TV. I specifically remember putting on my matching sunday dress and thinking I was going to see nuns (and I was excited about that), because all the churches on TV had nuns, therefore all churches in reality had nuns too. I just had no idea what church was, or why I was going.

So when we were free of our obligation to go to church when my mom and my sister's dad split, we never ever went again. So I spent my childhood looking for something fun to believe in. Now I've come to the realization that I was actually yearning for some religion. I really do think it's important for children to have something to believe in. Whether it's Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc... I think it stems from children actually wanting and needing discipline in their behavior, only a belief and a religion is like a psychic discipline. We know (at least I did) that there is More out there. You have that innocent , untarnished trust that there has to be. So my very best childhood friend and I scoured her book of goddesses and chose our favorites. I always chose the prettiest, nicest, most whimsical one I could find and she always chose the strongest and wisest one. We ran around the avocado groves of Valley Center in costume pretending to be our favorites.

Then as I got a little older (like early middle school), we dabbled in Wicca and spells and witchcraft and whatnot... Now, before you judge me on that keep in mind I'm being as open and honest as I can, and am holding nothing back. So in a sense I'm showing you my scars and if you judge me negatively that's only like cutting them open again. So get over it. Yes, I wanted to believe in magic so badly. I just really wanted that particular boy in class to like me (that was mostly why I was interested in spells. Boys. I just couldn't get them to like me!) And needless to say, my sad little spells never worked. So I gave up on that, and basically quit searching in general. I supposed that this is all there is - though I did know that there had to be SOMETHING after life on Earth, and I figured I'd just worry about it when the time came. Ah, procrastination at its best and most dangerous...

Then I met Zack. We fell in love, we got married. We'd go to church with his dad and step-mom sometimes, and I'd go and enjoy the normalcy and the community of it. I'd hear the pastor's words and think "hey, isn't that wise!", and go home and never remember what he said. I didn't feel it. I agreed that we need to be on our best behavior, but hey, I'm pretty much well-behaved all the time. No problem, I got this.

Then we got pregnant and had Greyson last summer and isn't just like a baby to make you rethink your life? Suddenly I have this amazing awesome gift and not only am I blessed with this little boy, but I'm also responsible for him. Crap! What do I do?! We attempted to go to church again for the sake of our son, but we just weren't feeling it. I blamed it on not finding the "right" church. We just didn't click with these people. So we quit going once more.

Then due to personal problems, we attempted church again and failed yet again.

We since haven't gone back to church, but now I know why I haven't been able to "get it". It's because I didn't GET IT. I didn't actually believe in a God. I believed Jesus was a cool dude who lived once and who died a terrible death, but did I believe that God Almighty morphed himself into a baby to become a man and perform miracles and die in a crucial, appalling way to save us from our sins?? No. I didn't.

Don't get me wrong. I wanted to believe it. But I always ended up shooting myself down. How could there even be a God?? How is it possible? You know what the kicker is? I never ever had a hard time believing in the devil or demons. I won't even watch possession movies or shows or read about demons for fear that my very thinking of them will invite them into my life. Weird how I readily believe in ultimate evil and not in ultimate Good. But there can't be an evil without Good, so that's more proof that there has to be ultimate Good.

As I said in my first post, I picked up Mere Christianity from the library after a recommendation from a school friend off of Facebook, and I read it. And it clicked for me. I'm getting it. And even though my Christian Trail is short so far, my thinking and my actions have changed. I catch myself honestly praying throughout the day. I check myself when I start to cuss at some terrible driver on the road. I'm more understanding and patient with my husband. I wouldn't say I have a full sense of peace quite yet, but I'm gaining peace.

So. That's it. I'm finding the More that I've wanted.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God and stuff

Just as a warning, most of my close friends and family are going to be all "What??" when you read this post because this is not "Me" as you know me... Also, to my followers, I promise not everything I post will be religious and Christian, but it will sneak its way into my writing now and again, and also it will sometimes delibrately be put there. But just know that this is all new to me and I'm hardly going to start beating you over the head with my pink bible, ok?

For my friends who are joining me from facebook and beyond, I probably never seemed like much of a "Christian." You know, the ones who regularly post about praying, the ones who say "PTL!" etc in every post that delivers good news. And you know, you'd be right. I would always say that I believed in Something. I new that this couldn't be it. Our lives on Earth are shorter than a blink of an eye when compared to the Universe. We talk about the Purpose of Life like it's a huge mystery, but I always thought that the Purpose of Life was to be a genuinely good person so that you could "move on" when you died. But you'd never catching me admitting or claiming to be a Christian.

So a couple weeks ago, a good acquantance from high school posted on facebook about a book called Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, and about how he was "blowing her mind". This intrigued me. I wanted to believe in Christianity, but my logical mind always shot it down once I started thinking about how unlikely it all is. I wanted to belive in the whimsical, beautiful, peaceful kingdom that is heaven. I wanted to believe in a doting and heavenly father. I wanted to believe in beautiful, fearsome angels. But how in the world does that work?? So I made a trip to the library, picked up Mere Christianity, and dove in. After a few chapters, it was apparent I wasn't going to give up on my Quest for Belief, so finished the whole thing. I suppose it's safe to say that I devoured it. And during my literary gluttony, I came to a realization.

Good behaviour + good intentions + belief in Something More + belief in some kind of beautiful afterlife = the basics of Christianity withoug realizing it. That's exactly what I've been saying I just didn't know what it was called!

Thomas Jefferson, I am a Christian! Or at least I've found that I want to be. I consider myself in training. And I really have Leah (my facebook friend) and CS Lewis to thank. He just made sense to me. I've found that I believe it. And I'm shocked to be saying that. I spent my whole childhood lookng for the most magical and beautiful "religion" to follow. As a tween, I was all about goddesses and fairies. Then once I was too grown up for that I started just sort f shrugging my shoulders when someone would ask what I beleiev in. "I don't know, something" was my reply.

Our family never went to church. We were more of a sleep-all-weekend-and-watch-cartoons kind of family. And when your the daughter of an catholic-turned-evangelist-turned-hippie-turned-sannyasin (look it up) and a daughter of a high-school-drop-out-just-looking-for-love-sannyasin, you're brought up in what's called a Free Thinking Environment. (which don't get me wrong, I LOVE free thinking. It's progress, you know?) But all I'm saying is that growing up, I was ever introduced to traditional Jesus and traditional God. I never had the teaching. I was home schooled in that aspect. I was taught that Jesus and God were everywhere and everything, which I suppose is still correct but it was more like how you knew that air is everywhere. Yeah, great. It's air. I need it, I like it, but I never think about it.

Anyway, I've started this new blogging project to document my adventure into God. It's incredibly theological of me, I know. But I've found that I'm interested, and I want this. And I've finally learned that I wasn't ready before. It's true when they say that people can only change if they want to. If you're a drunk you have to WANT sobriety to be sober, you have to want to quit. It doesn't matter how much someone else wants you to change, you have to want to change yourself. And the same applies here to me.

So the next book I'm reading is The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. So I'll be posting as I feel so inclined about that. :)


Also, I've been visiting this blog called God and Stuff, so if you're interested, check it out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good Thing #25: Learning to talk

We all know that my 30 Day Photo Challenge bit the dust, so let's just squash that right now.

In other news, Greyson has a small vocabulary! He says, "Ball", "Night Night", "Bye", "Hi", "Hello", "No", "Nose", "Eyes", and variations of the sort. Though he seems to think "Night Night" means "Boobs", but that's my own fault. But it is so fun when he says something new, and imitates the sounds you make. Which brings me to another point, that I seriously need to watch what I say! I'm not a cusser - as far as anyone knows. I suppose I'm a closet-sailormouth. Which is a problem because when your baby is small you don't think about what you say, and you get used to that. But now, I have to really watch it. Greyson's probably heard me swear more than anyone on the planet. So that's something I have to work on.

He is SO close to walking. Actually today he was standing on his own and sort of rocked back and forth from one foot to the other! So we did a little celebratory crazy-shake and squealed (oh yes, he's going to have that embarrassingly giddy mom at the awards assemblies).

Have you checked out Renegade Mothering yet? I think it's my favorite blog by far. So here's the link (click here) Janelle is her name, and she's effing hilarious, and edgy, and will say everything you're thinking outloud. I like her! Actually while connecting that link, I got sidetracked reading this post :D