When I step back and take a look at my life, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by all I have that I've done nothing to deserve. In my real-life Prince Charming and two boys who could not be any more beautiful inside or out I find daily evidence of God's infinite grace and mercy, proof that on my own I could never be worthy of the blessings that flow freely from His hands.
And when those realizations come, they carry with them a reminder of how spiritually dry my life is right now.
Once upon a time we were part of a church community - one that was authentic, inspiring, and challenging. But the busier life got, the more commitment faded. Eventually Jackson became too talkative for the service and unable to be separated from me in the toddler room, and the final nail was in the coffin. It has now been about a year and a half since we've been back. And if feels like it.
Not that a weekly church service is a spiritual prerequisite, but without it, I've found it far too easy to let my other relationships and responsibilities crowd out my most important relationship - the one that, if at the center, elevates all the rest with it.
I feel more ready and open for connection with God than I've ever been thanks to all the other growth I've been undertaking. I think this is because spirituality permeates all aspects of life, and because the expansion of my worldview has stretched me in ways that allow me to see God in places I never knew He was before.
I'm sure some read posts on energy, unconditionality, the mind-body connection or intuition and think "New Age" (ahhhh, run for the hills, Christians!). But I see God's incredible physical and spiritual human design in these things. He made us energetically interactive beings, our intuition is a guiding gift from Him, it was He who interconnected our physical and emotional states, and the unconditionality of life only exists because of His sacrifice that allows us to experience freedom. What a shame to miss out on these dimensions of life that He intended for us to experience, utilize, and enjoy! If you gave someone a Swiss Army knife for Christmas, wouldn't you want them to use more than just the tiny, nearly-useless scissors?
So now that my eyes have been opened to the can opener, the screwdriver, the blades, and even the nail file, I find myself wandering alone in a spiritual desert. Those who share my foundational spiritual beliefs reject much of my philosophy and theology (which, by the way, are essential to my foundational spiritual beliefs!). And vice versa, those who share my philosophical beliefs often differ significantly in the spiritual realm. And in particular, a similar view of respectful, loving discipline is hard to find among Christian parents. (A post on that later!)
But I'm committed to finding my way back to center, back to the love that is the root and reason for it all. And to do that, I'll need to live in community with like-minded people. I'm a part of this amazing holistic parenting community that has been so instrumental in my mothering journey, and I need to dive back into a church community to foster the same growth in my spiritual life.
My hope is that the community we left behind is one that will embrace us again, new ideas and all. But whether we find our home in the familiar or new, I'm feeling ready and drawn to search. And this is reassurance that now is the right time. Not last year, not last month, but now. Acceptance and forward motion: two more blessings I couldn't live without!
Motherfriends are the hardest... or are they?
11 months ago