Monday, May 16, 2011

As far as the East is from the West

Last night, after I tucked the kids into bed, I went into the bathroom to get myself ready for bed.

It had been a long day and I was ready for the relief that sleep would provide.

As I laid in the warm (almost hot) water of the bathtub, I thought of how easily I could drift off to sleep.

In the total relaxation I expected to find silence within my mind, but instead my thoughts sped up.

I am not sure what sent my mental wheels spinning in the direction they did, but they were spinning all the same.  I would hate to speculate what happened in between me finishing the final chapter in "Don't Make Me Come Up There" and sinking into the waters of the tub, but my thoughts turned to me, my blog, the blogs that I read and the idea others may have formed about me.

Now I know I have all of two readers and that I am not making any shock waves nor has anyone lost any sleep over me and anything I have written on this blog. However, my personality has always been one of full disclosure, (my close friends can attest to this) and I want to emphasize that I realize that at times I make references to God, His gifts, and His word, and I certainly believe in all three, but I worry that I am unintentionally making myself look better than I am. 

(I don't know that better is the right word.  I am not sure what the right word is. More Holy? More knowledgeable? Pick one....because any of them I most definitely am not.)

I was raised Catholic.  Where I live, I was/am in the minority.

I remember going through school and feeling like an outsider as my friends would recite the books in the Bible..... in order..... and fast.

Some could go backwards too.

Not me.

I also remember friends knowing Bible verses by heart.

Not me.

Oh sure, I knew the ones that were the most used. Those printed on doilies or plaques. Those on signs held up at ball games. Those stitched into a quilt sampler.

Those I knew by heart.

But the other verses?


I remember going to Bible School at a Baptist church when I was young.  They always played Bible trivia.

Can you guess who NEVER won?

Yeah.  That's me.

In fact (gasp) I have never read the Bible.

Now, you see, I have picked it up, thumbed through it, and read verses here and there.  I have, at times, started reading with purpose and found myself either confused, or anxious.

Because, really, there are a lot of confusing and anxiety inducing things in the Bible if you aren't sure what exactly you are reading.  (And sometimes even if you do.)

Now, although I haven't read the Bible, it doesn't mean I haven't heard His word.

At Mass, which is what Catholics call our church service, each Sunday there are readings from the Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, the Gospel and then the priest "preaches" and gives us ways to apply God's teachings in our everyday life.

But as you probably know, Catholics are also very ritualistic.

There are things that are repeated every Sunday.

And there is a certain amount of reserve executed during Mass.

This is probably why I still feel a little bit like an outsider as I read some other blogs and feel the passion and fervor they exhibit and why I wanted to clarify what you read on mine. 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I read on other blogs.

I have been inspired in ways that were totally unexpected and ways that changed me...and the person I want to be.

I have found a desire to understand more than I do.

To know more than I do.

To feel more than I do.

But I am still human....and still "in the dark" compared to many others.

But I am trying. 

I am not perfect. 

Not even close.

Not even close to close.

However, thanks to google, I am able to broaden my Bible verse knowledge when I feel compelled to find something in God's word to help express my inner feelings.

No, I still don't know them by heart.

And thanks to the children's easy reader Bible I bought my daughter, I am now able to read -and understand- more than ever.

(Who knew that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old?  Not me! I knew he was old, but 969!  Wow!)

(And it took about 100 years to build the ark? )

(Bring on the Bible trivia!!!!)

(Just kidding!  I'm not ready just yet!)

I hope to make a point to read this with my children every night- to add this to our nighttime ritual.  I feel that we have grown together with something as small as bedtime devotions and after days like I had last feels like a good way to end the day when sometimes they don't start off so great. 

However, I can't even trick myself into believing that this will be done without fail.

As I said, I'm not perfect.

But kids love when  you read to them.  And I want them to feel familiar with their faith; for it to be second nature to them.  I want to educate them about the I know it will educate me in the process. 

Because I want those things for me, too.

And I hope that I can do this more times than not.

So, when you read -if you read- my blog, please don't look at it, or me, and think that I have it all together.  Because those people I mentioned before?  The ones who know me well?  Well, they know that I definitely don't. 

(Maybe they gathered that when I was singing some questionable hip-hop song to them.)

Also don't look at my references to God and my Bible verses used and think that I am trying to pretend to be someone other than I am.....

Because I am not pretending.

I am trying to be better than I am.

Because, really, in some way, aren't we all?


The Next Phase said...

Great blog today! I was one of those kids who could say every book in the Bible and quote verses but you have a much better relationship with God than I do....I'm sure of it. We all have things to learn about God and the Bible and it can definitely be very confusing (and anxiety inducing!). I'm so inspired by your desire to learn more by teaching your children!!! I can only hope to be half the parent you are.

Manda said...

YOU CATHOLICS were the cool kids..! coming to school with the ashes on your forehead, getting to do lent, etc..LOL! and yes, those baptists love to quote the bible. therefore, im a bad little baptist cuz ive never read the bible either. ;)