A Bit of Religion (God, Church, Christmas)

READ FIRST: These are all of MY thoughts, views and opinions. Please do not leave negative comments regarding my post because it is MY views and opinion, and I’m already taking a leap to get something like this into words. I know it’s a touchy subject, but again, it’s just MY thoughts. Thanks!

There is so much going on in the world. Egypt crumbling, Syria with God-only-knows (chemical stuff way too advanced for me), Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning), and let’s not forget the daily shootings in the STL. But, aside from all of that, Christmas is less than four months away! Yay!

If you don’t know me, let me fill you in: I LOVE Christmas. Love, love, love, love it! The songs, the movies, the decorations, and the TRUE meaning… Christ.

I am not an overly religious person. I’d like to be. I am not Catholic, but I thought long and hard at one point about giving up everything to become a nun. No joke. However, I don’t go to church, I don’t watch religious shows/channels, I don’t even talk about religion. Why? It makes me uncomfortable.

I want to explain that last sentence. You see, growing up, Church wasn’t a big deal. My Mom was Lutheran but hadn’t gone to church since childhood (I think). My Dad drank the weekends away (when I was super little) and one day saw the devil and decided that he would change his ways and he started toting me off to a Baptist church. I liked it; Sunday school, adult services, the whole nine yards. My Mom didn't go, but she seemed okay with that. My Dad even read the family Bible to me at home. But, for some reason we quit going. I don’t know why.

In middle school I befriended a girl names Cayla. Her Dad was a pastor at a non-denominational church. I started going faithfully; Wednesday night, Saturday night (sometimes), and Sunday morning and night. I graduated from the STARS program there. I went to church camp. I loved it, but I still never felt comfortable. Well, three years later, I met a boy and it didn’t seem like he was big on it all, so I quit going there too.

I met Gene my senior year of high school and we became serious and eventually got married. His family is Catholic and there was a lot of negativity about him marrying a non-Catholic girl. Shocked the heck out of me! We talked about finding a church of our own to go to, but we could never decide what type and Gene never seemed too interested so I dropped the subject. Then when I got pregnant, we talked about it again. I looked online for churches in our area, but it’s too hard to decide online. Forgive me if I explain this wrong, but here is what I’m looking for: an equally mixed diversity of race and gender, minimal singing, 1 hour or less sermons with a possibility of attending a more lengthy one once Emma is a bit older, and a family-type environment. Almost impossible, right?

Back to the issue. I don’t feel comfortable talking religion or worshiping God with anyone I know. Omg, sounds shady, right? Here’s my thing…Religion is so diverse. People take it to heart in different ways. People view what is “okay” to be different things. People worship in different ways. People sometimes shun others if they don’t meet their religious standards. People even mix religion and politics! Oy. Two things that should never be mixed because there are billions of people in the world and yes, there are Christians, and Catholics, and Jesuits (are they the same as Catholics?), and Methodists, and even atheists in both democratic and republican parties (forgive me if I didn’t mention your religion or political preference, they were just examples).

Anyway, I can’t talk about my faith because it pushes my buttons when people say that I’m wrong about MY faith. MY beliefs. MY views. When did people become so one-sided? When did who I vote for become stomping grounds for deciding my level of faith? When did it become okay for people to say “Oh, you’re Democrat? You must be an Athiest.”? I feel like gay men and women deserve to be treated like anyone else at church; how many others will say the same? I don’t want someone to tell me that I’m wrong. I’m not wrong. It is how I feel; what I believe. God judges. Not you. Not me. He loves us all.

Whoa. That got away from me.

Moving forward, I don’t feel comfortable praying or worshiping around my husband. Lol. It sounds funny to admit that. The church I went to on my own, without my parents, was a Christian church. They spoke in tongues, and they raised their hands and jumped around to sing. Hey, if that’s your way to praise, that’s great! But, I once heard my husband poke fun at the thought of that. He is judgmental in his own innocent way (he doesn’t realize it at all). But, that comment is burned into my brain, so I will never feel comfortable going back to those roots with him. I also noticed that he doesn’t like to talk about religion at all (I even asked him once if he still had faith because I wasn’t sure). So, when I pray, I pray silently. When I’m alone, I pray aloud, but when I’m home, it’s all in my head. I assume that God and Jesus can hear my thoughts… I hope I’m right otherwise they will be wondering why I prayed so little. In case you were wondering just now, I pray only about once or twice a day, but I talk to Jesus A LOT. For those of you that know me, would you have guessed that?

About loving Christmas… I can’t get enough of it! I constantly count down the months, weeks, days until Black Friday because that’s when it begins! No, it’s not about the gift… it’s about the whole picture. God. Jesus. Mary and Joseph. I love the religious aspect of it all. I’m not sure that Gene even realizes that fact. I think I keep a lot of it to myself because my Dad takes it too far. I guess I don’t want Gene thinking that I’m exactly the same (but I’m close). Why does my Dad take it too far? Three reasons:

One. Some of you already know this, but since I was in Kindergarten or so, I knew there was no Santa. Why? Because my Dad felt like he was lying to me. I’m pretty sure I told a bunch of kids and he got called to the school. I get it, I totally get it. Then, he decided later on down the road, that it’s sacrilegious to have anything with Santa on it in the house. I get that too, in a way. “Rearrange the letters in Santa and it spells Satan.” Well, for a long time, I forced Gene to abide by the same rules. No Santa, at all. It makes sense in a way, right? Well, now that Emma is here I’m faced with a dilemma. How will she make it through her childhood without telling all the other kids that Santa isn’t real? How will she have the same joys of sitting on Santa’s lap like the rest of her friends? I have some thoughts in my mind about how to handle the explanation of the true meaning of Christmas AND allow Santa, but in order to do so I’ll have to have the support of my parents because she spends the majority of her time with them.  That’ll be hard.

Two. My Dad has my Mom make or buy a cake (that she shouldn’t eat because of her gluten intolerance) so that we can light a candle and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Then after the song we must all eat a piece so that it will bless us for the next year. While I love the touching thought, and loved it even more at a younger age, I now feel that he takes it a bit too far. Lecturing us as to why we should partake and the repercussions if we do not. Again, I love the thought and gesture behind it, but to me it’s pointless. Maybe pointless isn’t the right word. Silly fits better because nothing for Jesus is pointless. But, it’s silly to me. It’s not really His birthday (did you know that?). He wants us to love Him and sing His praises, not sing Happy Birthday to Him. A cake, even if it is for Jesus, is not a blessing in my eyes. What is a blessing is having the opportunity to teach Emma about Him and let her grow to love Him in her own way. I’m trying to pick my battles though. But, the whole family-singing-thing so early in the morning is not in my comfort zone. Whatever. It makes my Dad happy, so I will continue to go along with the uncomfortable Christmas morning ritual.

Three. We all know the reason for the season right? “Jesus is the reason for the season!” Well, my Dad gives us a guilt trip for buying presents. I am almost 30 years old and I get told about ten times each year not to buy any gifts because it takes away from the true meaning. No. It doesn’t. Not for me. We are celebrating the season. We are having a celebration circled completely around the reason (Jesus). He wants us to give to one another. To love one another. Isn’t that what Christmas does? It almost forces us to love each other; to say Merry Christmas and God Bless. All of the hatred and anger in the world seems to calm a bit with Christmas. It’s magical. And it’s only magical because it is all for Him (whether you see that or not).

Now that I’ve told you all of that, please don’t think of my Dad or my family differently. Like I said at the beginning of the post, everyone views religion in a different light. He loves his Lord and Savior, he just does it in a different way than I do. The hardest part for him I think, is letting me go to worship and and follow in my own way and with my family. I was just simply trying to explain how and why I feel uncomfortable with religion in public and family settings.

With all of that being said, I now still face the battle of finding a suitable church for all of our needs. I want to find a church family to be a part of. I want Emma to go to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and eventually maybe even Church Camp. I want her to ask questions about Jesus and why we are here. About Noah and the dove. About the woman who turned into a pile of salt. And I want to share my favorite scriptures with her. The Bible can answer so many questions, and I’d love to be able to explain it all to her. But, I want to learn more myself. I feel like I’ve forgotten so much.

I just struggle with the thought of Gene and I going to church together. If a church has lots of music, will I have the nerve to raise my hands? Will he? Will he care that I can’t carry a tune? He’s my husband, so I shouldn’t care, but I do. I want the entire experience to me comfortable for both me and him. Is that too much to ask?

I could talk for days about this topic. But for now, I’ll stop here. Please send good thoughts and prayers our way for finding a Church that suits us, and I’ll continue to do the same. J

Do you have any suggestions for us?


  1. I think religion is a very personal thing. It's great if you can find a group of people who believe the exact same things you do, but it is hard. My husband and I don't talk about it much, but when we do, we're on the same page, so that's good. But the rest of our families? Not as much. So I prefer not to talk about it with them.

    If you WANT, I think there's a way to have both the Santa aspect and still not lose the real reason for the season. My niece and nephew are 8 and 10 and they totally get the real meaning, but still believe in Santa (or so they say). There's a way to have both, if that's what you want. We'll be doing both, though I still have a couple of years to figure out exactly HOW. ;)

    We've talked about trying to find a church home, now that we have a child. Something to do as a family that instills good morals. If we find one, I'll let you know!

    I know there will be times when I don't completely agree with the sermon or with fellow members. But I'll just have to avoid any and all politics and not engage in debate. Also, it's weird how I can sit in a church, next to my husband, and still feel like I'm having an entirely personal experience. If you've never been to church with Gene, you may be surprised at how easy it is to get wrapped up in the service.

  2. Jeff and I grew up very differently. I was southern baptist and like traditional church. He didn't really go to church. We decided a few years ago to list the things we wanted from church, and then went church shopping. He looooves the praise bands, and I'm learning to like it, but I knew I had to give up some of my traditions to go to church at all. Idk if Gene would be willing to consider a non-catholic option? At the end of the day, we wanted our kids to have spirituality, and it doesn't matter how they get it.