Well I planned to write this post after church this morning but here I am at home because one of the kids has a fever, so here we go.
Those of you who knew me as a child and now as an adult know that I enjoy going to church. Now don't get me wrong, I am frequently tempted to sleep in or just stay in my pajamas all day, due to the often hectic weeks we have. At times we miss church due to illness, events,or travel. Also, I am sure that we could be more involved in the congregation yet, for now, it is a part of our regular routine on Sundays.
I have no intention on giving a sermon about what I believe or why I believe it. Nor do I plan to tell you what you should do or believe. There are much more skilled and wise people for that. All I know is that I go to church for a number of reasons, both spiritual and practical. First of all, I am a Christian and I feel like I want and need to know more to support my faith and enjoy celebrating the many blessings in my life. Second of all, I like to have my kids exposed to, God, not just from me because, frankly, they rarely think I know what I am talking about. But on a more practical note, while my children are learning and having fun, I am able to sit with my husband and recharge and refocus on bettering myself and our life together. Also, we like that our church has lots of opportunities for community service and kids programs. We only wish that we took better advantage of some of the opportunities available. Thinking back, it actually was our church bulletin, 8 years ago, that got us talking about and pursuing adoption, therefore, leading us to our littlest blessing, "JJ."
First hand, I have experienced my faith helping me through some tough times in my life. I know that it works for me and I want it to work for my family. I do not go to church because I feel like I am better than others when I do. I do not go because I think that attendance at church, alone, is the way to Heaven. I do not go because I worry what the other people in my life or at my church are thinking of me. I simply am a very flawed person and I need all the help that I can get!
We live in a world where millions of dollars are spent every year on very reputable counseling and self-help books and seminars with different ways to improve the individual. This is my self-help and has been for many others throughout history. It is tried and true. Basically, most people have goals that they want to achieve, want to be good people and to make a positive impact, want to love and be loved, and like me, make a lot of mistakes. I know that it will come as a surprise (ha ha) but I am not perfect. I love a crude joke, can be quick to anger with the ones I love most, and can be self-centered... just to state a few of my flaws. I find it helpful to be around others that are seeking some of the same things. Some people do better out in nature or at home in meditation to get closer to understanding, God. I say, to each his own.
People criticize Christians because they have observed behaviors contrary to the teachings. I get it. We all are hypocrites at times. I just want to try to improve and to be more thankful. After all, church isn't for the perfect it is for the sinner. So the next time you see me doing or hear me saying something that is contrary to my beliefs, like yelling at the kids to "HURRY UP! I MEAN IT!! WE ARE LATE FOR CHURCH!!" Please forgive me. I am a work in progress.