I try to expose my children to the same kind of faith I was while growing up. I was raised in a couple of really, really good United Methodist churches. They were open, friendly, supportive, non-judgemental, fun, loving, etc. We were taught the fundamentals of Christianity but we were also taught so much more. To be honest, I was shocked as I got older and realized that all religions and all churches were not so welcoming of everyone and anyone because that wasn't what I had been taught. I am thankful for those churches of my childhood because I have now grown into an adult who is secure in my faith yet respectful of others who share my faith differently, more, less or not at all. I will gladly tell others about my personal walk if they desire however I do not expect others to have that desire and feel everyone is entitled to their own beliefs or non-beliefs. I do however like to read of others' walks in faith so there are a couple of blogs I follow that do a great job of sharing.
My point in all of that is that I want the same for my children. I want them to have a strong foundation of faith that they can choose what to do with as they grow. I have started and stopped attending a few local churches in the past several years trying to find the right match for us all so I haven't done the best job so far of making sure they are learning the fundamentals. I do make Christmas and Easter big teaching moments and on Christmas morning we sing happy birthday to baby Jesus before we open any presents (that Santa delivered on Jesus' behalf for us to enjoy). Reagan has always been a sponge and lately she has started asking me more and more questions about Jesus.
Of late she has repeatedly asked for the crucifixion story and seems to really hone in and enjoy the absolution aspect. She will often stop me throughout to question and repeat why Jesus walked the earth and why He was crucified and what that did for all of us. When we get to the resurrection portion of the story she likes to talk about all the places Jesus is. She told me once that He was even on roller coasters and I had to laugh and say you know, I think He must ride A LOT of roller coasters as people call out for Him from there.
The other night as we were saying prayers she informed me that Jesus lives at Grandma's house. I said oh He does? She then went on to tell me, in a very matter-of-fact-you-mean-you-don't-know way, that yeah, he lives in that cookie jar at Grandma's house. Now the cookie jar is actually a decorative urn that holds the ashes of my step-father, Papa Joe, who died well before she was born but she has heard us mention that Papa Joe is in there. Apparently Jesus lives in there with him when He's not out riding roller coasters and all. While telling my mother this story today we both remembered that I had declared a similar type "truth" around the same age as Reagan is now.
As a small child I knew God and I knew Jesus but I was apparently more focused on the God aspect of things. I think because of the plaque that was above the sanctuary doors of my first church. The plaque said - This is God's house. Well looking around I didn't see God standing around, or His bed or personal things so maybe He didn't really "live" there. But He had to live somewhere - I mean, we all do and with how busy He was taking care of everyone in the world and listening and answering prayers then He must have someplace where He rests His head. So, one day while driving on the roads in Baltimore with my parents, I saw it! I saw God's house! Of course that is where He lives. It didn't look like any other building I had ever seen - it was different and special and from where we were on the road, seemingly inaccessible. He would need that kind of privacy. From then on whenever we drove past I would excitedly exclaim THERE IS GOD'S HOUSE!!!!! In truth, it is the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum but to this day we all still refer to it as God's house. And Jesus lives in the cookie jar on Grandma's counter.
April 25, 2017
6 hours ago