That is probably the biggest part of my religion I struggle with? You go to church and you sit next to the family who looks perfect on the outside. They are put together. They just left bible study where their kids did their required reading and mom and dad just made and cleaned up the perfect breakfast at home.
Then you sit next to my family. I can assure you that my house is still messy from that breakfast. And that breakfast possibly looked a little more like pop tarts or sometimes even a left over cupcake wrapper. You may have accidentally heard me mutter the “s” word in church. I didn’t mean to, but I realized # 3 brought my nail polish to church and it spilled all over my purse including my cell phone. My guy and I were probably not talking in the car because he rushed me with my eyeliner and my # 1 is really mad she had to get up so early at 10 o’clock.
See folks I live in the reality. The reality is that that messy kitchen carries with it a lot of giggles and cuddles between all of us. Or that nail polish is reminiscent of our girls night away trip and I was in a rush and #3 stuck it in my purse. Or that I truly believe God loves me for me even if I did accidentally say the “s” word in church. That is the faith I live in.
I am not perfect. My family isn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. What you see on the outside isn’t always what is on the inside. In fact, the inside is chaotic and imperfect. But imperfect is how God expects me to be. I have explained here so many times….I grew up in many different faiths. A grandmother who took me to her church, a catholic father, a converted catholic mother both of whom practiced off and on. A non-denomination christian best friend who took me to church with her. A very impact full Buddhist teacher. Several groups of non-denomination friends and a church and a baptism later. Neighbors, distant family members and friends all had a hand in my religious upbringing. One thing was common in all of them.
Faith. Grace. Forgiveness and Love. That is my faith. That is my religion. It isn’t my job to say you aren’t raising your kids right. It isn’t my job to judge your marriage. It isn’t my job to tell you the best life to live. It is my job to be faithful to my beliefs, raise my kids as I believe God would want me to and practice my faith, grace, forgiveness and love as best I can daily. And I try.
And I understand that fellowship is a huge part of religion and I guess see parts of fellowship different because of the way I was raised with varying beliefs and varying personalities. When my relationships are based on my four pillars of faith I do see and feel fellowship because I know I am in the company of like minded people who believe about the world the way I do and that is everyone matters and has value and all the labels in the world don’t change their value.
I think we just like to complicate it and in those moments when I feel myself trying to make it more complicated or not follow my own beliefs about faith I try and surround myself with people who aren’t afraid to remind me or people who I know will get me through till I figure it out. Those the faithful. I just hope I can and do return the favor.
Till next time. -MR