NOTES FROM THE CHURCH LADY
I’ve never really thought of myself as a religious person, but, I guess you can call it fate, somehow recently my friends are loving referring to me as “The Church Lady” (a reference to Dana Carvey/SNL, which if unfamiliar to you, please look it up now- it’s hysterical!).
It started off slowly, I joined a church to make my children’s grandparents happy and have my kids baptized. As my kids got a little older, on those rare occasions where we actually had a free Sunday, we would try to make it to church. I felt as a parent it was important to expose them to the idea of religion, but in no way was it a priority in our increasingly busy schedule.
I, myself, grew up in a family with a father who is Catholic and a mother who is Episcopalian. They got divorced when I was young, my mother then married a Jewish man, and my dad had a long-time girlfriend (10+ years) who was Muslim. I was lucky that all of these adults were incredibly loving and active participants in my upbringing. I was also fortunate to be exposed to multiple different religions and traditions and grew up with a very open mind about the whole idea of religion in general.
This church that we joined didn’t have many young families and on the rare occasion where we did show up, they always made us feel welcome. I found myself sitting in on the Sunday school lessons, thanks to my very clingy daughter who wouldn’t let me go! Which then led to me helping with the Sunday school and eventually we started attending some of the other church activities as well. Before I knew it, one day I received a call asking if I would consider being on the vestry (essentially “the board” for an Episcopalian church).
I don’t think “shock” is a strong enough word to describe what I was feeling. In no way did I foresee this in my future. I mean, I’ve always felt there was more to this world and life, a higher power of sorts, but never really felt a connection with church, and now I’m being asked to sit on a church board- shocked!
At a recent Vestry meeting, a member made a comment about how they think it’s harder for people to feel connected to church and God nowadays because we’re not exposed to all the miracles we read about in the Bible. We all discussed this for a few minutes and then went on to tackle the meeting’s agenda for the night.
I didn’t put much thought into it again until my husband and I were discussing Christmas and Santa a few days later. My children are now 8 and 10 and starting to have questions about Christmas (if you know what I mean-wink, wink). My husband and I were exchanging stories about this and made a connection to a “miracle” that many of us take for granted.
I think we can all agree that we’re living in turbulent times. There seems to be an extra amount of anger and arguing in the air. Yet, somehow, all around the world, generation after generation, year after year, we put aside our differences, unite as adults, and allow the “miracle” of Santa to work his magic. To me “Santa” represents the idea of giving for the sake of giving, without expecting anything in return. A wonderful representation of Christ and a perfect way to celebrate his birthday.
Maybe if we put aside our differences and all work together with God in our hearts, we can experience Christmas joy and modern miracles more than just this time of year. Until then, allowing God into my heart and making a connection with a Church has been a personal miracle for me. There’s something special about coming together with a group of people that is centered around God.
I highly encourage putting down our devices, getting out of our houses, finding this connection (in your own way), and allowing miracles into your own life.
Just a little advice from a modern-day church lady.