"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coming Out...

Of the religious closet, so to speak.
What has brought on this topic? My almost 4 year old daughter, and a not-so-proud parenting moment.
Driving to Seattle, I had to climb in the back seat to nurse the babies (yes, I did this while Aaron was driving, don't call CPS, I don't do it regularly, we were just running late after stupid Hot Donna wouldn't start and we had to repack the other car). Visiting with Annie, we pass a beautiful church. Cathedrals, bells, brick, a huge Catholic church. Annie says to me " MOM! What's that??" I say " Oh, it's a church honey, isn't it beautiful?" Annie says " What's a church?" (Wait, it gets better) I say "A church is where people go to talk to God." Annie says (ready for this?)
"What's God?"
Nice. I do believe that we have dropped the ball on the chapter in the Parenting 101 book that says to make sure to teach your child all you know. I'm also pretty sure that the only time she has heard about God is when I thank Him under my breath or use His name in vain (more not -so-proud moments)
So, in a sense it was that conversation that led me to this post. I'm "coming out". For a long time I assumed that I believed in God because I had to. I was raised Catholic. I won't even go into details, but church was not fun. It was not meant for kids. I grew up promising myself that I would NEVER make my kids go to church and dress up EVERY Sunday. Nor on Christmas, Easter or any other obligated church related holiday. And I've kept that promise. We don't go. Ever. I joke and say I'm a recovering Catholic. Ok, maybe not so funny, but whatever.
Little things in life make me believe one day and not the next. When things go good, I thank God. I reference Him when speaking of certain things. I probably reference Him more than
I ought to given my stance on things, but oh well, right? Isn't that what people do? When horrible things happen, I question His existence. Now, maybe that's normal, maybe not, I don't know, but I do it. I have a friend who once told me that horrible things happen so that you know just how good the good things are. I have a hard time with that one. Why would God want murder, child molestation, rape, drugs, abortion, abuse and all the bad in this world. Now you could say that God gave us free will to do as we choose and that people choose to do these things. That one is really hard for me too. I know. Hypocritical. I thank Him when all is good and turn my back when it's not. I realize that it sounds off, but I can't help the way I feel.
One thing that has stayed consistent in my beliefs is that I DO believe that God created all of us and all the beautiful things Earth has to offer. I also believe that the belief in God is inside of us. In our souls, our being.
Which has led me to believe more in worshipping outside of a building. Worshipping within nature. Not in a man made building that people go to surrounded by a bunch of strangers, to listen to someone talk about what HE believes in. What HIS interpretation of God is. And your supposed to listen and believe. Why?
Why can I not go into my backyard, and be surrounded by all the beautiful things that God created. The trees, the flowers, the rocks, the grass and the sky, and sit and think about God, my life, and what is inside of ME. The God that I believe in. The one inside of my soul.
Religion does not need labels. Whether it be Catholic, Druidism, Native Americans, Vampyres, Lutheran, Apostolic, Penecostal, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Zen, Wiccan, Paganism, Mormon, whatever it is you choose to call your belief in God. Each of these "religions" has very valid beliefs and rituals. Who is to say that just one is right?
Spirituality only needs to be what you find inside of you. I DO believe in God. But I believe that God created the Earth and all the things in it for me to love and cherish. I can thank God for the good in my life and be angry at Him for the bad. That is MY choice, it doesn't mean I don't believe in Him.
So the next time I feel the need to talk to God, you will probably find me outside, in the backyard. In jeans, or pajamas or sweats even. God doesn't care what you look like, just that you are you and that you are the best you that you can be.
And this is the lesson that I will continue to teach to my children. That God is inside of them. They won't fear Him, they will grow to have a true relationship with Him and all that he has created.
Trees and flowers and whales and babies and dirt and birds and bugs and giraffes and dogs and fields and cats and rain and everything this Earth has to offer. And I will also teach them to cherish this Earth that we live in as God gave it to US. We need to take care of it.
They will learn of the Solstice Celebrations and of Alters for the Seasons. They will learn of Goddesses and of God. They will learn about Jesus and Noah's Ark and Moses. Are they all just stories that have been told throughout the years or are they truths? How does one know? I will teach them of those stories and show them how they can worship what we can see, the beauty God created within us and around us.
They will be taught that they can believe in whatever they want to believe in and they will be loved.
This is my goal in teaching my children of
"What's God"


  1. Thank you for this. We struggle with it as well, and have started occasionally attending a Unitarian Universalist church to try to help us with answers we don't have...I strive to do as you have posted, but don't even know where to start sometimes (my four kids have me overwhelmed, dare I admit to YOU?). :)

    (akmoose at tbw)

  2. Well said.

    My son was about 4 when started referring to the "building with the plus sign on top" that we passed regularly. Yeah, that would be a church with a cross on the steeple. LOL. Since he's being raised by an escaped Catholic mom and vehemently anti-organized-religion dad (child of fundamentalist Baptists), this road will only get more interesting.

    It's nice to hear how other parents are navigating the terrain.

    (mrw0110 at tbw)

  3. My thoughts and feelings are identical to yours!