Religion Feed

My son and God

IMG_0357I just found a post on here that I had started writing (but never finished) back in November. I swear I don't remember writing it.  That last month or so after Hurricane Sandy was a serious blur.  I don't recall the specifics of most days from that time period.  The one thing I do recall though is talking to God a lot.  That's what that unfinished post was about: my conversations with God.  

Funny, but that's kind of the reason why I signed on today.  I was planning on writing about the little things I've been overhearing lately when listening in on my son's converations with God.  I've been catching him talk every once in a while to an unseen source.  He seems to ask questions and get answers.  It's very cool.

He's 4.  He comes to church with us and basically uses the pews and the fold-down kneelers as a place to drive his Matchbox cars.  He dreads the hour we have to sit there because it does not involve video games or bubble gum.  He's like most 4 year-olds.

So it surprised me when he suddenly started chiming in with night time prayers and having these one-on-one talks with the Big Man.  The other day when he wasn't feeling well he asked, "God? Why am I breathing this way?"...pause..."Oh, OK.  Thanks."

Of course, I inquired about the conversation.  He said God told him he might have to take some medicine.

Yesterday as he sat watching TV, I saw him raise his hand up and say something under his breath.  He looked at me and said, "I was just telling God that it was the TV, not me that just said 'Oh my God'.  I didn't want him to think I was calling him or anything."

Now, I know everyone has their own relationship with God.  And I know that it takes time to find it.  It took me 37 years.  I also know that relationships change over time and that they ebb and flow like the tides.  I am just happy that my son is heavy into it right now.  

Maybe the silver lining of Hurricane Sandy for me is that it helped my son get closer in his relationship with God..? Because of all the talking he overheard from my lips...all the questions and answers...all the love...  

Yes, that's definitely it.  

Oh, and it's super cute when he prays, too.  He thinks the word Amen is actually Eight Pens.  


Use whatever works to get through...

486302_4585283077667_755225964_n

I'm dazed.  For almost two weeks now life has not been normal.  I have been sitting in this bubble next to all these homes demolished by hurricane Sandy.  Nothing happened to my home or family, so I am eternally grateful for that.  But I am sad.  I don't understand it all.  I keep pushing that thought back because I don't really think I would ever want to know the reasoning behind all that has happened.  It has happened.  That is enough.

I have been getting mad a lot lately, too.  I don't normally get mad.  But I have been lately.  I have been focusing my anger on this chair I see on the side of the road.  This chair has been sitting there for a few days now.  It looks like someone threw it out for special pick-up.  On normal days, it would be an average sight.  But now, the mere thought of it is making me cringe.  It's a beautiful recliner.  It looks almost new.  

If you were to go across town, you could probably find the same recliner on the side of the road, but it would be soaked in bay water from the massive flooding along with every other ounce of its home's contents.  That twin recliner would have been thrown out because it had to be, not because someone just didn't want it.  This one over here was probably replaced by an even newer recliner in a nice warm house.

How silly is that?  I'm getting mad at a chair?  I don't even know WHY it was thrown out.  Maybe it has a pee stain.  Maybe it IS broken.  Yet, I'm still mad.  There it sat through a rain/snow storm.  There it still sits...  if I had the ability I would bring it across town myself.  

But anyway... I don't know what to write.  I thought writing about the tragedy would make me feel better.  But the truth is, I'm not ready to feel better.  People need help.  Standing beside them and helping to get them back to normal is the only way to go.  Getting mad at a chair and helping in any way I can is whatever works for me.  Use whatever works for you to get through it.

I made up this Facebook page for people to check if they want to help in any way.  I hope you can check it out.  

Hurricane Sandy Support Page- South Jersey

If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated.  In the very least, please say a prayer for everyone.  I believe it works.

Thank you.


Mirror mirror...

102_6561

 

This morning, my son said to me, "When you spin around, the world stops spinning!" as he whirled around the kitchen. 

I can understand that logic.  If you move at the same speed as everything around you, it doesn't seem like you're moving at all.  It might SEEM like it's stopping the world, but it's not.  It's just tiring you out.  When you look down at your feet you'll see them trying their hardest to keep up. 

I feel like I've been spinning lately.

At church this weekend, the subject of the sermon was basically about following in God's footsteps.  Doing things that He would do and not sinning.  And if you sin, talk to God about it and say you're sorry.  It sounds simple enough.  But it's not.

I've been struggling with the priest's words all week.  I know right from wrong in most cases, but I have been getting caught up in that vague middle ground.  I'm in that place where those two mini versions of me sit on my shoulders whispering in both ears.  The one on the left tells me what I'm doing is fine with her slithery snake tongue, while the one on the right doesn't say much except she loves me. 

I've been reading a lot of news and making it more than it needs to be.  I've posted comments on articles I don't really care about.  I've given my opinion when no one asked for it.  I've instigated arguments. I've wasted valuable time. 

Those things don't matter to me.  Yes, Whitney Houston died.  Yes, we're still at war and probably will be for a long, long time.  Yes, someone had a heart attack while eating at a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill.  Those things still happen whether I state my opinion on them or not.

I feel like the mini-me on my right shoulder is right.  I see her sitting up there when I look in the mirror.  The look she gives me isn't accusatory; it's forgiving.  She knows I don't feel good. She knows I don't like the way I've been acting.  I am much happier when I connect with positivity, not controversy.  She knows, so now I know.

Flash back to my son spinning around the kitchen - in his little red jammies with his hair all messed up.  He knows to stop when it gets to be too much.  Lesson learned, son.  I think I'll stop, too. 


Lightening the heavy

102_6576This year my daughter will be making two of her most holy sacraments in church: Reconciliation and Communion.  To Catholics, this is standard and much celebrated.  To me, it's worth major celebration, but nowhere near standard to the way I grew up.  I'm a Christian - baptised in a Methodist church, attended a Presbyterian church, went to Sunday School and learned all the bible stories imaginable.  I went through the motions, but never really got it right.  We didn't make a big deal over communion, and I don't really even know if we HAVE reconciliation in the Presbyterian church.  Shows how much I paid attention.  Watching my daughter's love of God shine through her makes me want to give it another go.

When I was younger, going to church frightened me. I always got this overwhelming crushing feeling on my chest.  I cried every time.  When I was a child the crying was, well, childlike: sobbing, gasping for breath, feeling small, scared.  I begged every Sunday to stay home in my jammies instead of going across town to church.  When I got older the crying got more subdued, but the feeling of breathlessness remained intact.  I felt heavy and immobile. Going to weddings made me uncomfortable and I always had to hold someone's hand.

I remember taking a trip to NYC and stopping at St. Patrick's Cathedral a while back.  I was scared to enter the building.  I was with my boyfriend (my husband now) and his mom and two sisters. They all walked in with no problems.  I stayed in the back - petrified.  I felt cold sweat on my forehead and then felt the warm tears flush my cheeks.  I tried to remain calm and not seem like a lunatic to my boyfriend's family.  Finally, I excused myself and walked out the door.

I mistook that unknown feeling as fear.  Now that I watch my daughter as happy as a clam, running to CCD class, saying her prayers, thanking God for all He does, teaching me...I now know that it wasn't fear the whole time.  It was just something bigger than me that I couldn't explain.  It was God trying to get me to see him. I still can't explain it, but now that feeling feels GOOD. 

Knowing that there is something bigger helps me.  The weight of the world isn't on me alone.  My beautiful daughter taught me that lesson by taking my hand and pulling me up.  I can see the brightness now that the heavy feeling has been replaced with light.

I'd like to take another trip to St. Patrick's Cathedral with my daughter.  I'd love to see her experience that same immense feeling I did, but with her happy outlook.  I'm sure I'll cry again, but I'll stay in the building this time.  And pray.  And smile.

 


I feel very strongly about the fact that I don't feel strongly about anything

Downsized_0126121558I'm wishy-washy.  I always have been.  Now that I have kids, I'm standing strong in my wishy-washiness unless you can convince me otherwise...which you probably will.  There are debates all around me about very important things, but I will calmly walk past them like I would a store front at Christmastime drinking my travel mug of tea.  I like to watch them from afar so as not to be confused with being sympathetic to one side or the other.  Unless the debate involves Hellman's Mayo vs. Miracle Whip, I don't prefer to take sides. 

No, I don't know which is better:  To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?  Let the kids ride the bus or don't?  Red meat or veganism?  Organized religion or individual spirituality?  Paid preschool or public preschool?  Santa or no Santa?  Stay at home or go back to work?  Democrat or Republican?  Regular or decaf?  Paper or plastic?  Credit or debit?  Sugar or sugar substitute?

How the heck would I know?  All I do know is how I feel at the end of the day.  Usually tired and usually sitting on a pile of unfolded laundry.  But content all the same.  Happy with the choices I made for the day.

Those choices come up more than once, might I add.  Every time they come up, I seem to have a different outlook.  One day it's OK for the kids to have a snack at 3PM.  Other days, it might spoil their dinner.  One day we eat all organic.  The next it's three straight meals of McDonalds.  One day the house is spotless.  Then next it's total tornado aftermath.

It works for me.  Or maybe it doesn't, but I'm pretty sure it does.  If life weren't at least a little bit wacky, how fun would it be?  I used to hold onto these ideas that I felt were so important: Don't like mainstream music.  It's not cool.  Don't let the kids have sugar because too much is bad.  Don't talk to that person because so-and-so said she's not nice.  Boycott that product because they did this or that to the environment. Blah blah blah...

Now I just take it day by day.  It's easier and makes me more happy.  It slows me down to better take it all in.  Today, I'm making a craft for my daughter's class.  I didn't check to see if the materials were organic.  I'm doing it while drinking tea with sugar and listening to LMFAO on the radio.  I might go for a run later, but I also might order a pizza.

Have fun.  That is all.