As I continue to look into my past I realize where a lot of my beliefs really began to shift. The moment I became a mother for the first time everything that I thought I knew seemed to change. I knew or at least I thought I would be a great mother. I became a teacher pretty young and always thought I was a pretty good teacher so motherhood seemed to fit well with me.
As my first son began to grow I remember my husband really beginning to ask questions or at least question what he was taught for his entire life. In those early years when our oldest was small my husband and I had quite a few fights and I shed quite a few tears. My husband was on a quest a spiritual quest and frankly I wanted no part of that. For crying aloud, we fell in love in Kenya on a missions trip preaching to others. Now my husband was starting to change. Our lives were not turning into what we thought we were “Called” to be. I began going to church on my own with our son. I remember one day my husband saying “As a dad now, I can’t imagine sending my son to hell because they don’t believe the exactly how they are supposed to believe. I just can’t believe that God would create a universe of people and damn eighty or more to hell.” This is when he began to slowly move away from organized religion. I on the other hand will never forget that conversation. But those words did not settle lightly in my heart.
As a mother my ideas began to change about homosexuality. As a parent now how could I turn away my child if they were gay. So I guess slowly as I became I mother is when I truly started to question my religion, my church and my beliefs. It did not happen over night but how can you not reflect on how you were raised when you have kids. You take the good and bad and mold yourself into the parent you desire to be.
Soon we had two more boys and it turned out a little business I started to help with the bills while Forrest was out of work turned out to be more than a little business. Soon Forrest found a great job and we were not on a path of starving missionaries. Now we did try to be missionaries but it just didn’t happen. I never thought we would have what we have, never in a million years. I whole heartedly believe God told me to be poor, with lots of kids and living in some far off country.
As our family grew and as we watched our business take off we saw how our positive attitude, goal setting and hard work was really paying off. I was raised to believe it doesn’t matter what we do, that God was in control and our destiny was already written. So I think some may interpret that as they can just sit back and chill because it is all gonna happen just as God wants it. But we worked hard, we set goals and we were determined to build a future for our family.
One day my husband and I saw a show about the secret. About people creating their own destiny. So we started researching it. Which led us to learn about Wayne Dyer and to study millionaires and how they got there. Not that we were looking to be rich, but we wanted to know how they got to that place. Could our lives be determined by us not God. Do we truly have free choice. I have evolved as a parent and spiritually. We still took our kids to church and talked about God in our home. It is hard to reject the religion you were raised in. Just recently my husband said we are socially Christian. Raised Christian, family is Christian it is what we identify with. I am not sure yet about this. But over the past I guess eleven years we have changed or shifted. We have studying other religions, questioned the religion we were raised in and learned how to live in the moment and teach our children to live in the moment. We teach our kids to love one another for who they truly are and not what they are not.
I don’t want my kids to be raised with a fear of being perfect or a fear if they sin today that they may go to hell. I want my kids to not judge others by what they believe or not believe. I don’t want my kids to feel as they are on a pedestal because they are chosen because we believe just the right way. When I had cancer I was faced with death like never before in my life. I have written a novel about death. During that time of writing I realizing that no one truly knows what happens when we breath our last breath. Even if you are religious or not. Have you died and gone somewhere? This is only believed by your faith but not by proof or evidence. It is much easier to believe by faith, believe me I struggled with this for quite some time as I shifted in my beliefs. I is much more satisfying to know when you die you have mansion in heaven or seven brides in heaven or that when you die you go to heaven. Oh that makes things so much simpler really and not so scary. But when you are faced with the real possibility of dying to ask yourself do I truly know what comes next. If you can truly be honest with yourself, I mean truly hones then the answer is of course… NO.
In Thailand I came to the realization that I have been focused on finding out more answers to what I believe. But something struck me in the temple. Does it truly matter? I find I may be missing out of today if I am always searching for more answers. I am finding that I just want to learn to be in the moment, grateful for this minute, this second and really be aware and pressent.
Life is such a gift and I am enjoying it all! Today I am no longer living in fear, I feel more alive and awake then I have in my entire life. I have peace every day and joy! Because right now all that matters most to me is my family!