I didn't come from a particularly "religious" family. We didn't attend church. My mother, a nonpracticing Catholic and I'm not even sure about my dad. They always taught us that there was a God and I knew that Jesus was born on Christmas and died on Easter. That was about the extent of my religious "knowledge" until about 4 years ago.
Once my husband and I got married I decided that I wanted to start going to church because I wanted to raise our children with an understanding of religion and I wanted to explore Jesus and God for myself. I knew children had a lot of questions and I wanted to be able to answer those questions in an educational and informative (not preachy) way. My new husband was reluctant. He grew up with religion and had kinda decided he had enough hell, fire and brim stone to last a life time. I asked him to go to a couple of churches with me to figure out where I belonged.
Turns out I only had to visit one. How I got there will be reserved for a future post because it's a long story and I'm just getting started.
We settled in nicely to Saint Margaret's Episcopal Church. Our first day was father's day 2006 and it was a bit confusing with all the kneeling, standing and praying, but after a few visits we seemed to get the hang of it. We took an Episcopal 101 class and learned of the history and current issues facing the church in the fall of that year and so my formalized spiritual journey began.
Our rector, Hazel, is always talking about finding God in everyday situations (hence the name of the blog) and "thin" places. I want to close my mouth, open my ears and eyes and discover all that is being shown to me. It's not easy and sometimes I forget, or I just ignore it all together.
I have been wanting to start a journal and write down all the times I see, hear, taste or feel God's presence, but I'm lazy and keep putting it off, promising that the next time I'm in Target I'll buy a journal, but I never do. So, I decided to start a blog mostly for myself and if others enjoy it as well so be it.
I had a very profound experience a couple of weeks ago and I just can't get it out of my mind. So, here goes my first blog post about witnessing God in everyday life.
My grandmother (mom's mom) died when I was 5. I had so many fond memories of her and I cherish the little time I got to spend with her. I used to spend the night at her house every weekend and get completely spoiled rotten. If I wanted a pony, i got a pony. If I wanted some chicken, I got some chickens. I even had my very own rabbit and goat. She lived in the country and I have very vivid memories of turtles at her house. It seemed like every weekend I would find a turtle. I would put in a box to keep it as a pet. When I would wake in the morning to go check on him, the turtle would be gone. I would ask about him and my grandmother would simply say, "I guess he got out." I know realize she would free the poor turtle after I went to sleep. A couple of Saturday's ago I had the urge to just get in the car and drive. I packed up my son and husband and started driving. Before I knew it, I was almost to my grandmother's old house. I hadn't been there in YEARS, but I was curious to see it again. I pulled onto the dirt road, I drove slowly by it, looked and remembered. I pulled to the end of the dead end dirt road turned around and just as I got back to the house, a HUGE turtle was right in the middle of the road. I was speechless. I felt like that was God's way of telling me, "I'm here, she's here and you're going to be alright"
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."