An un-tampered faith


Yesterday, I read a really good article on how becoming a mother gives us way to review or discover our own faith composition.   I quote her in saying, ‘when babies start growing up, you begin thinking about everything you believe—how it matters, how it transfers, how the responsibility of passing things on suddenly bears weight.’  There have been several times where I find myself feeling guilty, knowing I probably haven’t yet set a good foundation needed for Jonah to learn about God. Yes, I've bought books, we pray every night, and I try to constantly remind him how much Jesus loves him.  I worry I have let my own frustrations about church and my own doubts get in the way of allowing him the opportunities to discover who Jesus is-- where the trees come from, hear the stories, sing songs,  and recite bible verses that I reviewed so many times while growing up in various church activities, camps, and Sunday school.  

I am drawn to reminisce in the memories of my own childhood, and review a pride I have let slip.  I remember accepting Jesus as my Savior at the age of three and memorizing bible verses for AWANA , singing on Sundays, and attending camps.  In later years, my weekends consisted of church activities, small groups, and daily devotions.  I had an overwhelming support system of mentors and friends who gave way to my personal growth with Christ, and what I believe helped keep me out of trouble for at least a few years of my adolescence.  I give much credit to my mother in the earlier years, who despite any financial or economic circumstances she faced as a single mother, made God a constant priority in her life, transferring what matters, passing on her own beliefs, and teaching me what she knew was right and true.  That desire to learn, dive into faith, and develop a relationship with Christ was so strong.  I was eager. I tend to become sad as I reminisce the days of my childhood where my faith was so prominent in my life--Sad, knowing that today my faith is nowhere near the level it once resided.

In those teen years, I was young and like any teenager, held a desire to fit in with those around me.  Competition, self-discovery, and temptation all sat within a bird’s eye view.  But I think those life lessons all encompass what it means to ‘grow up’.   This ‘growing up’ could have coincided with the alternative, had I not chosen the narrow option. I rather enjoy the fact that I wasn't involved in much trouble young teens indulge in at that age.  Discovering myself and what my faith consisted of in an environment lacking any drugs, sex, or immorality presents a pride in itself. 

This pride, both derived from my mother and choosing the narrow has seemingly slipped into a blind spot. Masked by the doubts centered around faith, and frustrations later years have brought.  I quote the author in feeling  ‘For a long time, I viewed my faith issues much like I view my house when it gets too messy—I stand back, take it all in, and conclude the mess is too overwhelming, so I make a cup of coffee and walk away.’ It becomes a fear to really sit down and muster through the unknown. Many excuses and reasons have been given in hopes that it will be put on the back burner for a little while longer.  I guess this article has not only forced myself to accept the need to understand my own beliefs, but it validates the importance of them--For in order to diminish any doubts regarding Jonah’s personal growth in Christ, I must strengthen my own.   

Noting this, I have prayed asking to desensitize any fear.   Digging deep into the doubts I hold, may bring forth new doubts, may confront the reality that my faith is nowhere near the level I state. That truth is scary. A couple of weeks ago, Patrick and I watched “The Passion of the Christ.” Every time I see that movie, it brings me to tears.  Weeping more is a word to describe the nature. Amongst the reminders given of what I know true, I always get a sense of guilt and the doubt I hold resurfaces.  The definition of faith is perplexing; a belief in the unseen.   Jealousy surfaces and I question why the followers of Jesus and those living among him so many years ago had the privilege of seeing Him.  Why must I live in a world where just believing is the means of salvation? Why can’t I touch His nail struck hands, or see Him walk on water?  And even if I was present in that day and age, would I have believed in Him had I seen?  I do believe I would have, for I know I believe in Him without such vision..but it just always leaves me with a ‘what-if’ mentality and makes me question my own faith foundation.

And to note the familiar question--one I am sure is present with the disastrous event in Boston-- why must we live in such a world of destruction?  Reading of all the turmoil taking place in our country and those foreign makes me ask why? Is it evil? Why must evil be present and occur in the lives of the innocent? Why so vividly must it lie in the time I live in—the time my children live in? And if I don’t know the answer to that—how am I to answer to a child with similar wonder? Unprecedentedly, I've grown to know these frustrations give root to an arrogance towards those who lack any such doubts.  Claims of growth and validity of one’s faith tend to frustrate me further--Most likely crediting to the lack of answers in my own faith.

With this prayer for a deeper understanding into the doubts I've let live within me, I have also prayed for a validation of the things that I do know.  If I stood back and took into account the things that I do know and have learned in younger years more often enough—various verses, life lessons, bible passages--I think I would surprise myself.   I think it would allow me to move forward and re-open the truth of what I've learned.  It would give me the means to put forth a stronger effort and probably diminish some of the guilt I feel in not setting that stronger example of faith. The example I desire to set for my children.

What I do know is that my God is love. He is the definition of it. He gave His son for us and died for us.   The author validated the same—in that she wants her children to know the limitless love of God.  If what I pass down to my children is God’s love, and showing them that loving one another is what matters, I know He will work in their lives in a deeper way imaginable. For I know the faith I held in younger years was a result of knowing the love God holds. My parents may have had doubts in their own faith, but never allowed their own issues to get in the way of teaching me about our loving Savior. 

It’s evident, as I mentally process this post that I must face these doubts head on.  I must focus on mending my inner struggles and faith issues within.  I ask that a continuous prayer be made on my behalf for the courage to do so.  To parallel that, however, I vow to reaffirm what I do know, and take the more simplistic approach that endorses the innocent faith God asks us to have. Jonah is noticeably in the stage where he will believe most everything, we as parents, tell him. My hope is that God’s limitless love is seen in my actions, words, and heart as a mother. Thus resulting in a childlike, un-tampered faith. A strong faith that can one day withstand adulthood.   An assured one…and coincidentally one less complicated. 

A paint party!!


This year's birthday party was so much fun to plan.  Knowing that Jonah loves painting and crafts of any sort, the moment I found a fun pottery studio that offered painting parties for kids I called and booked the date for the birthday boy.  We invited 8 of his friends (and 11 adults) to come and paint with us--they all had a blast, as they were given a chance to paint one ceramic figurine in as many colors desired, eat pizza, devour cupcakes and overall have a merry good time celebrating Jonah!  

The 'painters' at work!
It was so fun watching Jonah.  A thought of disbelief that my son is three has been a constant one the past couple of days.  Just remembering his birth story, and reminiscing over how much joy he has brought our family has brought my emotions to new levels. (As if being pregnant doesn't heighten them already!)  Here's to a beautiful baby boy, born three years ago--we cannot imagine our lives without you! 

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jonah!
The adults clearly had fun, too! :)

You give this mom a themed party--I am on it!  I had so much fun finding the perfect items to go in the 'paint can' favors.  From the invitations to the cupcakes, 'paint' seeped into everything I put my crafty hands on!

That said, I must give credit, where credit is due--

Invites/favor tags/paper cupcake toppers: Little Mavens paper studio
Party banner: Bella & Teo boutique
Edible paint palette cupcake toppers: Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe

Party favors:
paint can containers/stickers:
paint chip notebooks: Ivy Lane designs
art class crayon roll ups: Artisticsoul Designs
paint brush Rice Krispies Treats: Sweet Bites MS
watercolors/sidewalk chalk/paint pots: Michaels
foam paint rollers: Amazon

Jonah is THREE


Today my baby turned three.  It's so fun looking at all the photos of the day he was born and looking at him now, seeing what a bright, smart, funny little boy he has become.  Today we celebrated his birthday by going bowling.  My parents came up for the day to celebrate with us.  It brought me so much joy watching him bowl and interact with my parents. He loved each and every turn he took, and did quite well! (my pride was comically hit a little when he outscored me on a game...) We came home and had a chance to sing 'Happy Birthday' and cut into the yummy chocolate 'Lightening McQueen' cake he has been asking for for quite some time.  Happy Birthday to my sweet boy--you have brought us so much joy..