Tag Archives: Church

Find Your Church

You know the phrase: Don’t talk about religion or politics are the dinner table. Well, I enjoy challenging rules and this technically isn’t 1) a dinner table or 2) a post solely about religion.

I’m sure most of us have experienced how the word religion and the word church can be triggers for people. I know when I say I’m Catholic and attend Mass regularly, I get a range of interesting reactions. Shock, amazement, admiration and disgust are a few I’ve seen on people’s faces recently. It’s a personal topic for sure, but if we don’t talk to each other about it, how will we really know what we each believe? I’d argue that organized religion is one form of church.

In the last three years or so, I’ve reconnected with my Catholic faith. The catalyst for this was my sister’s Confirmation as I was her sponsor. I’m grateful that opportunity arose so I could examine my belief system. Yes, I go to church most Sundays, I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent and I get ashes on Ash Wednesday. Does it mean I believe everything the Catholic Church preaches? Nope, not one bit.

One size does not fit all when it comes to church. I got to Mass on Sundays as a form of meditation and to express gratitude for the beautiful life I’ve been given. It’s not the only form of church I participate in. Listening to Jen Hatmaker earlier in the Fall and similarly, listening to Michelle Obama last night, I felt connected to something bigger than myself. That, to me, is going to church. It’s about connecting to a higher power and having your faith restored in some capacity.

Becoming

Faith, hope, love and peace are somewhat abstract concepts. Yet, when I go to church, whichever kind it is, I can feel and even embody those words. I am repented, I am renewed and I am ready. It’s a part of my spiritual well-being that must be replenished so I can show up each day at 100%. It also helps to build my resilience muscle so when things do go wrong, I have a place where I can draw strength from. It’s powerful and necessary in my life.

No one should tell you what or who to believe in. AND there is something powerful and almost magically about faith. It gets you through the toughest situations and brings peace. Faith, much like church, can be found anywhere within anyone at anytime. You just need to be paying attention and open to receiving it as a gift.

Regardless of how you were raised, I encourage you to pause and reflect on your spiritual well-being. How do you renew in that space? What does going to church look like to you? It only matters what you think and where you find faith, hope, love and peace. Remember, there’s no right answer and it can be a combination of places, people or things.

Motivation Mondays: Love Never Fails

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

I am nowhere near religious, but I did grown up Catholic. From 7-12th grade, I went to Catholic school, attended church regularly and made all of my sacraments. While I should absolutely go to church more, I do believe in a higher power who has a plan for each of us. Recently, I was in church to witness my good friend’s wedding. It was not only beautiful but a moving experience.

Tori and I have been friends for three years now and I was honored to be a part of her special day. I was excited to help plan the wedding andeven more trilled to watch her marry her best friend. I have been to weddings before but for some reason, I felt completely different when this wedding was over. It moved me to tears and restored my faith in love and marriage.

Tori & I with another friend

Tori & I with another friend

I will be the first to admit that I’m a guarded person when it comes to relationships. It’s just my nature; I know I have to work on it. Having divorced parents also does not help the cause. Please note, I do not blame my parents in any way, shape or form. They have done a great job raising us and I would not have my life any other way. That being said, there are tons of psychological studies that show people with divorced parents are just wired differently. I must admit, it makes sense to me. When you don’t have a living, breathing example of marriage in front of you as a child, what are you supposed to think or feel?

Happy couple

Happy couple

However, watching two young adults profess their love for one another and promise to spend their lives together suddenly made a light bulb go off in my head. It should not matter what your circumstances were growing up. The fact is everyone is an adult and should make more of their situation, good or bad. One day, I’ll know when it will be right to get married and will have faith that it will last.

I am not going to say love never fails. People change, circumstances become different and life gets in the way. Everyone must give it their best shot. That’s the whole point of getting married anyway: to commit yourself to one person forever no matter what. That’s a pretty big deal. I am so lucky that I got to be a part of Tori and Byron’s wedding and know it made an impact on me. Sometimes with a little faith, one event can totally change your perspective. Let it!

 

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