Monday, December 9, 2013


"Jesus was born in a nest," Wade stated matter-of-factly.  

"A nest?," I asked.

"Yes, a nest," he repeated.

Obviously, he is still trying to figure out parts of the whole baby Jesus Christmas story.  But I'll give it to him, in some nativity scenes the manger full of hay/straw does indeed look like a nest.

Aside from playing the role of Jesus when he was three months old in a Christmas pageant, Wade hasn't really been exposed to a lot of conversations about Jesus.  Even though he goes to church every week, his world revolves around the Goldfish crackers served for snack in the preschool room.

It surprises people sometimes when I tell them that we go to church every Sunday.  It surprises those people even more when I tell them I teach/run an adult Sunday school class.  Those people are usually the people that know I don't know a whole hell of a lot about the Bible.

I wasn't raised in a church or a religion.  My parents were Christian and we floated in and out of different churches from time to time.  I loved the idea of church, in the beginning.  But then you know, life got messy and complicated.  My parents divorced, my mom got sadder and sadder.  Everything got darker.  I didn't understand how church people accepted all the darkness and the complicated-ness and that God had something to do with it all.

Instead of seeking and questioning, I ran.  I felt judged and damned by the church people.  And you better believe I judged right back.  I not only ran, I closed doors and I hid.

I hid from the church people.  I hid from the questions, my questions. I hid from the fear. I hid from the unknown.  I hid from hypocrisy. I hid from doubt.  I hid from faith.

In my early twenties, I came out of hiding a bit.  I was living on my own and I was curious.  I visited several churches with an "okay, show me what you got" kind of attitude.  I was curious, but I wasn't really buying it.  I was still an outsider with all the church people.

Then I got older, more complicated-ness happened, more amazing-ness borderline miraculous happened.  Then I married a Catholic.  Then I started having babies.  Then I came out of hiding for real.

So now, I belong to a church and I teach Sunday school.  And I ask questions a lot.  I doubt a lot.  But I'm not afraid.  I'm not hiding. I'm seeking.  I'm learning. It's laughable to some of the other almost 40-year-olds in my class when I'm like "you guys! this is an ahhhhmazing story" while reading a part of the Bible.  Or when I loudly exclaim "so that's where that came from."  

My faith still probably looks a little different from a lot of church people.  I believe in God. I believe in people's right to choose what they want to do with their bodies and who they want to marry.  I believe there's no hell.  I believe in agreeing to disagree. I believe in love. I believe it takes a village. I believe in magic.  I believe in traditions. I believe in community. I believe in having a pretty gigantic sense of humor. I believe in serving and making a difference. I believe in being open to possibility and hope.  

A friend of mine spoke to my Sunday school class yesterday about how many of us have clogged receptors to God.  She said there are three factors that clog people: physiological, physical, environmental.  As she spoke I just nodded, I know what it feels like to have clogged God receptors...I spent a big part of my life clogged.

For the most part, now, my life is fairly unclogged.  I am open to hearing, seeing and feeling God in my life.  This time of year especially.  I mean come on, to me God is everywhere.

At the breakfast with Santa.

God everywhere from the completely messed up, but adorable tangles in Wade's hair to the sweet big sister getting down to his eye level to reassure him that Santa isn't too scary.

Lucy's like "see I told you, he's not that bad, you're doing great Wade." Wade's like "whatever, I'm not moving, but I guess it's okay, are we done yet?"

And then we proceeded to take up the rest of everyone's time explaining how it might be possible we'd end up on the naughty list.  Not sure if everyone else behind us in line was feeling God at that moment.

At Jesus' birthday party at church.  
Lucy played the role of intense, silent shepherd in the skit.

Little boys and their Jesus-y crafts.

Even with me when I push and push myself too much and end up in bed sick, having to miss a Christmas party. Resting and sleeping until I feel better.

At the Christmas parade with neighbors and friends.  

Especially when the marching band goes by and I turn and look beside me and my four children and my husband are with me, snowflakes start to fall and everything in that moment is perfect.

I want to give my kids the gift of being open, unclogged.  A homebase, or nest if you will, of faith.  I want them to ask their own questions about life, do their own seeking.
Um, I think it's working, look closely at this picture and you will see JT giving a slight tug to Santa's beard....just curious.

1 comment:

  1. I think Jesus really likes that Wade thinks he was born in a nest.