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# 5 (And It’s Not Chanel)

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Item #5 on my Bucket List Growing in Faith

This is one of my ongoing goals, and probably the one in which I am lacking at the most.  If you have read my post titled “Measuring Up” you know about my recent struggle to capture my progress on a few of my endeavors.  These fall into a category I have called perennial or ongoing.  I guess you could say these are qualitative items rather than quantitative.   Well, through some comments left by my readers it dawned on me that I need to break down such goals in a way that will make it easier to track my progress.  So here’s where I start.

I am a Christian, and congregate at a very warm Non-Denominational Christian church.  The group of people who go to this church is much more diverse that in mostly every other  congregation around this area.  I truly appreciate that.  It is a very welcoming and committed group of believers.  The pastor is very down to Earth and  non-judgemental. 

I didn’t grow up as a Christian.  Actually, my spiritual upbringing was very unstable and confusing.  I was raised by my mother and maternal grandmother.  Mami (my mom) is a non-believer.  My grandmother on the other hand was a true fanatic of the Jehovah Witnesses faith.  I can remember as far as being 4 years old or so and  going out with her knocking on strangers’ doors every Saturday to bring them the Word.  All of my cousins and I took Bible study with grandma.  She was pretty strict about it too.  My mom always wanted to give me the best education she could afford; that was very important to her.  Therefore, she sent me to a few private schools through my elementary, middle and highschool years, including one Catholic school ran by nuns, and an Evangelical school. Needless to say, I was confused.

For many years I became a non-believer as well.  It was about 5 years ago that, through good friends and family members, I found my way back to faith.  My first congregation was very warm, and very much on fire about the Lord, but very legalistic.  This turned me away as I want to bring my kids to a church where they feel welcomed, not judged, and where they are thought about the love of God and his Word, not about religion.  I’ve found a good place at my current congregation; my kids like it and are enthusiastic about attending “kids church”.  Most importantly they are getting to know God and his Word in an active way, not through endless sermons.

My challenge is remaining consistent (I have the same challenge in other areas of my life as well).  This one can be especially trying though.  In my defense, I am a single, working mom.  It’s not easy.  I feel like I’m constantly juggling and there are always a couple of balls that end up on the floor.  That said, I would like to grow in my spiritual life, as well as to guide my kids in their spiritual paths.  I’ve identified 3 basic steps I would like to take in order to begin the pursuit of this goal:

  1. Pray once a day: I usually pray with my kids.  My reference here is to praying on my own.
  2. Get to church once a week: I go through stages where I want to get there at least twice a week and be involved in different ministries, but I only end up burning myself up and dropping everything, then I don’t go at all.  It’s just too much on top of all the responsibilities I have.  So I finally decided to give myself permission to go once a week, and that will be ok for now.
  3. Read the Bible more: I just don’t do much of this one lately; which is absurd since when I do, it provides me with extra strength and wisdom for everyday life.

I know, this post is getting too long.  Sorry 😦  Now, as you might have already noticed, I tend to drive myself nuts with small details.  My thoughts at the moment are:  Should I be keeping track of these activities on a calendar or log or would that be too much and perhaps cause me more stress?  Any thoughts on this? Suggestions greatly appreciated!!!

P.S. Thank you for reading to the end 🙂

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About Carola

I am, simply put, a work in progress...

13 responses »

  1. Excellent post. Just 3 weeks ago, I decided to read the Bible more often. I grew up in the church (Dad is a minister), but I still don’t feel like I study the Bible as much as I should. It’s very easy to get caught up in our daily troubles and completely forget about where our strength comes from. Thanks for sharing this. It was very inspiring.

    Reply
    • You are so right Phil; it’s so easy to get so involved in the day to day stuff that we forget to refuel for it by going to the major source of energy, God and His Word. Blessings to you and lets keep reading that wonderful book.

      Reply
  2. It’s also on my 40 before I’m 40 to reconnect with my faith. I was brought up in the church but just kinda got out of the habit when I went away to college. My church also changed and I wasn’t too excited about going anymore but there is a new preacher now (actually a guy I went to High school with) and he’s breathed a lot of life into my church, which was, for a very long time, very stagnant and mostly older folks. Now there are a lot of young couples and kids and programs and it’s exciting and vibrant.

    Reply
    • Yes, the congregation makes a big difference when it comes to attending church on a regular basis. I am glad that yours has gotten revived and that your pastors is in tune with today’s generation and needs. Blessings.

      Reply
  3. You sound alot like me!!!! You are correct God gave us the responsibility to guide our childen in His path. I can so relate to getting overwhelmed ad then feeling sooooo guilty feeling at times hopeless (not a good wife, mom or christian) so what do i do sign up for anything and everything burning myself out and then resenting or dreading what I signed up to do. I felt in my heart to let go of alot of the things I was doing, I was a teacher in our homeschool coop teaching spanish HA how funny is that! I was also a teacher for a childrens dance ministry from my church as well as being in an adult Dance ministry with my kids takingacting classes and them being in most of our church’s production for easter and christmas I was constanting away from home(too many practices) so of course feeling like a terrible wife and then stressed so now i feel like a terrible mom and of course then feeling like a terrible husband. I decided to let go of those ministries after reading an awesome book called “Victory over Darkness: Finding our true identity in Christ” by Neil Anderson then I read after”Bondage Breaker” also by Neil Anderson and now I know who I am in christ and I dont let the enemy whisper to me how I am failing everyone including God I stopped all the ministries without feeling bad and now (its still a BIG work in progress) I’m trying to do daily what is needed so I say day take it day by day! Love you and miss ou guys!!!

    Reply
    • whoops i meant to write “feeling like a terrible christian” not husband HA!! I need to get more sleep!

      Reply
    • I admire you so much. You are such a great mother always keeping your kids involved in church on top of homeshcooling them. God bless you! Your words are very reassuring. You and your family were very instrumental in helping me find my way to Christ; and learning that even you have similar struggles and have allowed yourself to let go of certain responsibilities help me feel better about my own battles with this matter. We miss you as well.

      Reply
  4. Rocina Precious

    I would say that you are moving in the right direction. God will give you the desires of your heart. It is evident that you want to grow in your faith and I believe that God will give you the tools, resources and time needed to do so. As a Christian it is important to embark upon a personal journey with God and not feel like it is a task or chore. You summed it up nicely when you said “when I do[Read the Bible], it provides me with extra strength and wisdom for everyday life.” Just like our body needs food to strive on a daily basis, so does our Holy Spirit, that lives within us. We have to feed it everyday in order for us to grow spiritually. John 6:35 (King James Version)”And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” If we read and believe in his word, the Holy Bible, along with praying and fellowshipping with one another, we will become spiritually nourished. Just like we eat everyday we should strive to read the bible everyday. Furthermore, In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” As Christians we hunger and thirst for righteousness. God has laid out the greatest feast and multi-course meal that is available to us at anytime and that is the Holy Bible and Prayer.

    I’ll tell you about something that helps me. It is called “Quiet Time”. This is a time that you consistently devote to God. Preferably in the morning when you wake up for about 3o minutes. As this behavior becomes consistent that 30 minutes will turn into an hour and will keep increasing. Some people may use a devotional which gives you a scripture and a story to go along with it. Others may just use the Bible and read the first scripture that it may open to. At this time you pray and read the Bible. Meditate throughout the day on the scripture that is presented to you in the morning. Always. always pray.

    It is very beautiful that you pray with you kids an are teaching them about God. They may not be old enough to understand but trust that you are planting seed with in them that God is nourishing so that their desire to serve him will increase as they get older.

    You are truly blessed!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your suggestions Rocina. I once had a better established routine for devotional time in the morning which was great. However, routines and structures seem to go out the window as events out of my control (such as my kids getting sick and me loosing sleep overnight) happen. However, I want to start dedicating some time in the morning to my personal relationship with God. One thing I know is that my devotional time won’t be as long as yours. I wish I could do this for over one hour a day, but aspiring to that at this point in my life would not be realistic I think.

      Reply
  5. Madeline Dominguez

    Why are you stressing yourself about this sweety? The Lord expect you in house once a week which is the first day of the week, known as Sunday. Don’t burn yourself out trying to juggle everything at once. The Lord knows and sees everything, and believe me the doors of heaven aren’t going to open up faster because you go more than once a week. The bible does not speak about any other faith other than the Christian faith, so you are in the right path. Sunday is the day you and I and everyone else need to be in church to receive the Lord’s Supper. Always in your prayer ask for guidance, and have complete faith in the Lord. I do bible studies online with Emilio’s daughter Emilce. We get our study guide from http://www.fishersofmen.net.
    Look into that, is a better way of studying God’s word. I hope I was helpful.

    Reply
    • Thanks Madeline. You are right, I do tend to stress and overwhelm myself. I am glad to learn that your spiritual life is blossoming 🙂

      Reply
    • I also feel I should add that I am not getting to church on Sundays. I go on Wednesday nights because it’s family night and that’s when they have “Kids Church” while the grownups get a Bible study guided by the Pastor. Unfortunately on Sundays they don’t have “Kids Church” and my kids aren’t as interested, they get anxious and distracted sitting and listening to the sermon. I know in time they will get acclimated to the “grownups” service, but for me is more important now to keep them interested and engaged in the path of the Lord and I feel Wednesday nights’ programs are doing exactly that. I believe if I went on Sunday mornings and they got bored and uninterested it would be contra productive and a disservice to them. As I see it, the biggest responsibility that God has put on my hands is to guide my children in His path.

      Reply

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