Sunday, July 3, 2011

Journey Down a Spiritual Path

I am so ashamed!  I started this blog about taking "small steps daily" to reflect on what was important to me and all the big goals I want to accomplish.  It is truly overwhelming, so "small steps" in each area really is pretty much all I can do.  My first post on this blog was earlier this week and I listed what I thought were my big areas of concern in my life such as my family and career.  Heck, I even listed my house!

What I forgot to mention, however, was my spirituality.  How could I overlook it!  Spirituality is definitely an area of improvement for me.  Although I grew up going to church weekly, I never felt I connected with the Southern Baptist beliefs.  As a result, I grew away from the church and felt like I was "losing my religion."  <-- nod to REM. :)

After my undergraduate days were over and I got married, my husband and I continued going to the church where I grew up although we both knew it wasn't helping us grow spiritually.  We tried a Presbyterian church for a few months but that particular tight-knit congregation didn't seem to welcome newcomers even though we were involved from the start.  For example, I took off a day from work to help lay sod when they opened up a new building on the campus.  My husband joined their men's softball team only to be ignored and barely see any playing time although he had played softball/baseball all his life growing up as a kid.

Eventually, we discovered a wonderful, quaint Episcopal church that we really liked a few years later.  We were very active in that church and loved the diverse congregation.  I helped tend a section of their flower garden, worked with the youth group and was also a drama teacher for them, and acted in some of the adult productions.  I was the famous Shepherd #5 in the Christmas Pageant once!  LOL  Our quest for a good church home had ended.  Or so we thought.  Alas, all good things must come to an end, and so it did with this church.  A falling out occurred between the rector (who we really really liked) and a very good friend of ours who was probably the most active member of the church.  This happened so long ago that I don't remember all the details, but it involved such conflict of ideology that we left the church.

We felt like the Episcopal church was definitely the denomination of our choice, so we started attending another one on and off.  It was nice but after having our daughter, we just kinda stopped attending.  Then came our little boy and . . . you get the picture.

Now that our children have gotten older, we really felt the need to bring church life back into our family.    My brother suggested an Episcopal church in Atlanta.  We went and LOVED it!  It's quite a haul for us each Sunday since we live OTP (outside the perimeter -- I-285), but the 30-mile trek via a congested interstate (albeit not on Sunday morning) is so worth it!  The music program is amazing there, and our children are both involved in their respective children's choirs.  Additionally, my daughter is in the junior handbell choir.  They LOVE it and do not mind making the trip up there in rush hour traffic each Wednesday afternoon -- and neither do I!   :)

The inside of our church.

My daughter during a hand bell performance.

So . . . I feel my really long spiritual drought is over as we have found our perfect church home.  The congregation is warm and friendly, the rectors are wonderful and caring.  In fact, the head rector called me when he received word that my grandmother passed away -- and we're relatively new there.  It's a HUGE congregation, but I definitely feel I am not just a number there.  We love this church and are home at last.

Oh, and I edited my first post by adding "My Spirituality" to my listing of areas I am focusing on in my life!  It's about time!  :-)

This blog post is totally about me and my feelings and no one else.  
It is not meant to guide anyone toward any one particular religious denomination 
or criticize any one particular denomination.  
It is strictly an overview of my particular spiritual journey.