Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Shack and Baby Update

I've taken a break from TWILIGHT and am reading THE SHACK, which I've wanted to read for quite a while now. I highly recommend it. I believe that we have been taught to put God in a box and when we or at least when I tried to access Him from that place, He sometimes seemed very distant to me. For the past couple of years I've been doing a lot of spiritual work and the main thing that set me upon that journey was my own thinking that God was bigger and more available than what years of churchgoing had taught me. I've done a lot of reading in the past couple of years about God and spirituality. I've wanted very badly to discuss some of what I've come to believe here in my journal. I've not done that and I don't know why. I've decided though, that I'm going to do it off and on here. I do not mean to offend anyone. I believe that one's relationship to God is a very personal one and no one has the right to tell anyone that their way to God is the wrong way. I don't like the word religion. I was raised in a Christian home and was in church at least three times a week. My brother is a minister. We often disagree on theology. That's okay. Like I said there are many paths. I can only speak of my own. I feel closer to God now than I ever have in my life. I don't feel like a religious person. I do, however, feel like a very spiritual person. God is bigger than we give Him credit for. He loves me and I believe He has orchestrated the journey I've been on every step of the way. I trust that. I will be working on explaining how I've come to this place in my journey. It's hard to explain sometime and I so don't want to hinder anyone else on their path. Just as each of our children are different and have their own special needs, talents, and perceptions, all of us as God's children are different. He allows us our differences and I believe He delights in those differences. I didn't always feel that way. I was taught a more narrow view.

I would love to hear all of your opinions and views regarding God and the spiritual path. I'm not so interested in what religion you consider yourself, I want to hear how you view God and yourself in relation to Him.

The one thing that I've known about myself since I was very small is that I was born to be a mother. I didn't realize, however, that being a mother would give me the spiritual insight that it has given me. My role as mother has opened my eyes to how dearly God must love us. That, has made all the difference in my life. I am working on an entry to explain that further. If this topic doesn't interest you that's fine. Just skip those entries. I need to put into words for myself my journey thus far. I welcome hearing about yours as well.

(Mandevilla plant from my yard last year) I can't wait to see if it survived the winter in the basement. Stay tuned!

I went with Sarah and Bennie yesterday for her 20 week ultrasound. Oh my gosh! Brooks was sucking his thumb and putting his fingers in his ears! All looks perfect and he's growing exactly the way he's supposed to. Seeing him sucking his thumb and yawning makes him so much more real! There really is a baby in there and he's going to be coming into our family!!! I fall more in love with him everyday and can't wait to nuzzle that little sweet neck. Can you believe that she's half way through her pregnancy already? Twenty more weeks and he's here! I. Can't. Wait!!!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I suppose if you've read my blog that you know I have a very deep faith in God and I'm a member of the Catholic Church. I believe that there is nothing so great as the gift of Life that God has given us and try to make every day a celebration of it. With all the trials of everyday living, sometimes it's not easy to rejoice always, but that is what He wants us to do. I'm so happy to hear the baby and the new mom are doing well. That baby is a miracle in the works for sure. I did read the Shack and loved it. If you think about the things he was saying in the book it all makes so much since.
Religion and faith are so different for each of us, but the important thing is to believe. Churches are a bunch of believers trying to work together to worship God. What works for one doesn't for another so we have lots of different churches, each trying to define how to worship and honor God. We have a guide book that tells us what is needed - the Bible and I've been studying and devoting lots of time to gain wisdom and understanding. I don't know if I'll ever get it right, but I know our God loves us, each and everyone. 'On Ya'-ma

Monica said...

I'll have to look into that book. My daughter has tried repeatedly to get me to read Twilight and I simply have NO interest.

Like you, I don't consider myself a religious person however, I do consider myself a spiritual person and I believe that God embraces our differences just as we as parents embrace the differences of each of our own children. I look forward to hearing about your journey and if you ever want to talk by e-mail or phone I'd love that too! I don't have a particular religion to push. I think from past conversations we almost think alike in this area.


Beth said...

Everyone does indeed have their own path, and my religious views have been shaped by not just my churchgoing as a child, but from subsequent experiences. Although I know many people get great comfort and fellowship from it (including my parents), I frankly have no use for organized religion. Spirituality is a different matter.

I'll look forward to reading what you have to say, and I suspect there may be an email or two in our future. :)

Hugs, Beth

cw2smom said...

I absolutely LOVED The Shack! It touched me in so many ways. I have never been a religious person, but I have been on a spiritual path for most of my life. That book was just thought provoking and life-changing, especially the part about forgiveness. I keep it by my bedside and read certain sections over and over again. Enjoy! Blessings, Lisa

cw2smom said...

Ohhhh! I forgot to comment about your grandson! Isn't it incredible to see the thumbsucking going on! Amazing life in utero! I am so excited for you as I still remember the joy that becoming a grandma brought to me. It's so much better than being a mother! Lisa

Cindi said... absolutely great is this people talking about God, sharing, fellowship...worship even!!! I'm in awe....My story is similar to you & fortunate we have been, how lucky...I'll be looking into The Shack...ON to the baby...BROOKS...sucking his thumb, how cute is amazing how time flies...thx for sharing...;)

Carlene Noggle said...

I have just began to read THE SHACK and it has held my interest...I must say that it is one of those books that you donb't want to put down. I too have a relationship with the Heavenly Father...most times I feel I come short of pleasing HIM, but I keep trying.
love ya,

Paula said...

I will be interested in reading your opinion. I attend church almost every Sunday but that doesn't make me a better person then those who don't. I go because it gives me an inner peace and I love the people who attend the small historical country church. In spite of things that have happened to me I feel God has blessed me in many ways and I'm thankful.

Becky said...

I have seen THE SHACK in my Pastor's office and will have to steal it....

Extreme Home Renos said...

Interesting converstation Melissa. I'll most certainly join in.

I grew up in a very religious household however it was forced upon us as kids so I had issues with it.

During my adult years, I've remained intact with my beliefs, however didn't really practice them on a regular basis.

It wasn't until after my divorce, I felt like going to church. To simply bond with the environment. I wanted to find peace and I needed to see if a church atmosphere would help.

It didn't last long. The holding power of church going wasn't there. But going did reactivate my thoughts towards all things God once again.

It wasn't until the renos started on my home that I started to really understand the power of God. I was in a time of desperate need and my prayers were amazingly answered. I bonded with my new friends and we talked about our faith on occasion. And I tried the church that helped me this time.

That didn't last long either. There's something about going there that isn't working for me. HOWEVER, I feel my bond with God is stronger. I do put up notes here and there reminding me to think of Him and talk to him moreso. Sometimes he can be so quiet. :)

And other times, I can't stop talking to Him enough. I'm constantly giving thanks and asking for strength.

I think my greatest lessons to date are a couple things.

One, don't do things to simply please others. By all means, try new things others do if you are intriqued, but don't become codependent on what their expectations are of you. I felt this very much when I attended the church and it just never felt right for me. I'm finally starting to not feel guilt by not going. Silly, isn't it? But I felt I owed them so much and I knew this would be the ultimate thanks.

Two, learn to accept help and say thank-you. I'm a natural score keeper and I couldn't possibly thank all the members of the church that helped me in a financial way. All I could do was thank most of them. Pushing your pride aside was quite the hurdle to hop over!

I continue to try new things and read and learn as well. At this point, I'm not anxious to attend meetings and such at the church, however I do look for those types of environments for Cody, but in a fun way. Friday Night Basketball and Kid's Club are both christianity based. They teach, yet it's a kid friendly activity based environment. I had always wished I had that as a kid going to sunday school.

Not sure what my story can possibly do for others, but it's good to know I'm in like minded company when it comes to defining where we are in a spiritual sense.

Donna with
Funky Junk Interiors &
Extreme Home Renos

emmapeelDallas said...

I can't believe she's already at 20 weeks! That's GREAT! Oh, you are in for such joy, Melissa!

Rose said...

Baby love even before that is true love!! xox

Kathy said...

I remember seeing my two granddaughters in the ultrasounds and feeling just overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. Our first grandbaby sucked her thumb in the 20 week too. Isn't it just too wonderful?

I have not red the Shack but my daughter did and simply everyone I know who read it LOVED it. I intend to read it this summer.

I remember reading some of the things you've written in the past about the years of pain you went through with your daughter. Every mother's heart has to go out to you. But thank God she is safe now and your family is reunited!

Your spiritual question: I don't think it matters what church you attend or the name of the religion. What matters is a relationsip with God. I simply don't know how people get through the difficulties in life without a true, personal relationship with God! I think acceptance of what the Bible says about that kind of relationship is the answer to fulfillment.

Have a beuatiful weekend, Melissa!