faith, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Take the Actions and Leave the Results to God. (And Other Things I’ve Learned On My Faith Journey.)

vv

The sign in the foyer at my church. I had just added a faux brick wall to my office.

Odd or God? I say the second.

It’s Pride month, and being part of an open and progressive church, it didn’t surprise me that Pastor Craig swapped out his traditional stole for a beautifully stitched patchwork design with a cornucopia of rainbow colors.

That said, I was completely taken off guard by the hand bell choir who strutted on stage with feather boas and primary colored hats, accompanied by the hand bell director replete with a top hat and skinny tea shirt. (The star studded crucifix gave it some added bling.)

sss

The hand bell choir is comprised mostly of traditional matrons who deflected from more conservative houses of worship, plus one male who is married to the hand bell director.

Side note:  At the end of coffee hour, the lone hand bell male rushed into the parking lot with the words, “Gotta run! I’m not gay, but my husband is!”

Going back to the performance, what struck me about this scene was something I might not have anticipated when I was still knee deep in the quagmire of “Should I leave my conservative church or not?” I admit that I had lots of feelings of worry and guilt. But mostly (and I hate to admit this) I had some prejudice.

By “prejudice,” to be fair, I never had a problem with gay people – hence my guilt for ‘hiding’ in an 3000 person evangelical congregation. I was guilty big time, however, of an expression I often use with my teenagers that hails from my 12-step group. That guilt? Contempt prior to investigation.

I had subconsciously decided, long before I stepped foot into this amazing faith community, that anything other than what I had learned in my tight knit Bible study groups was wrong. I could question… I could doubt… but there was always one answer and one answer alone… one that I never felt in alignment with. That feeling of… what’s the word… freedom that I longed for… that desire that tickled my soul? It was something to be pushed away. Why? It was outside the mold of “true” Christianity.

And yet with enough quiet with God… enough prayer… enough peacocks and enough spiritual experiences, I was driven to put aside my preconceived notions. I was driven to take actions and leave the results up to God. It was in just moving forward that I found, little by little, the treasure I had searched for along. It was there the whole time – in the church of my youth.

In the same church that gave me my love of musical theater.

In the same church that allowed me to dance in the sanctuary and use my voice as a young girl.

In the same church that was quick to allow my school friends to also join the choir.

In the same church that was kind to my father when he was struggling with personal illness.

Bottom line: Some of the best experiences are counter intuitive in that more thinking does not change our minds, but action does.

Today, watching this hand bell choir create music and dance, I was struck that this kind of joy simply cannot be wrong. There was such laughter and applause and happiness… such God given/Holy Spirit approved holy abandon… I could have stayed there forever.

But doughnuts and coffee were being served. So, well, that ended that.

For those of you who are struggling with your belief structure, I urge you to take time and pray to the God of your understanding. Read your holy books, but ask God to show you in a way that you can understand where he would have you be. And, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll land at a joint where there’s a rainbow feathered hand bell choir ready to rock your world.

  • Acclaimed faith writer, Sarah Bessey, has a lovely article on her journey from a conservative to a liberal Christian belief structure. Like me, she was surprised that such a transformation did not unhinge her. Instead, she was pinned with the reckless love of Jesus more strongly than she had ever been before.

Any of you out there loving your house of worship? Why? Leave a Comment!

Happily Ticked Off Tip #57: Consider trying the motto “No contempt prior to investigation.” You might be shocked that what you thought was the dark side is actually the light of a new way of thinking that God just might approve of more than you know.

My book is available on Amazon. (Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. )

(Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. 

books

 

 

Advertisements
self improvement, shameless saturday, Uncategorized, writing

Shameless Saturday

sss

As promised, I bring you… Shameless Saturday! It’s our chance to celebrate something, from the smallest (I have kept my office clean, ya’ll!) to the biggest (I sold a feature to LA Parent Magazine on Friday! (Proud of this because I sent the editors the pitch while on my conference period for a particularly tough school on Tuesday. Hey, if I’m going to teach P.E., I’m thrilled to make a little cash writing about the real life of a substitute teacher.)

sss

Here are 3 of my past features. I might offer an online how to pitch magazines writing class this summer again. I’ve done over 10 of these and sold over 2000 articles so think about it if you want to jump on board!

https://www.laparent.com/your-child-has-what-navigating-the-challenges-of-a-rare-medical-diagnosis/

https://www.laparent.com/budget-beach-getaways-near-l-a/

https://www.laparent.com/the-battle-against-bullying/

I suppose what makes me happiest about these two things – the writing and the office – is that it would have been easy for me to feel blue about being a sub. STILL. But I am learning that by making things a habit… sitting down and writing when I don’t feel like it… putting items in my office away… I have a clean space for myself both mentally and physically.

I am always happiest when chirping on all cylinders. That meant today getting up a bit early and dragging my kids to a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense event this morning. It was a small turn out, but our local assemblyman showed up. Tuskany came as well. This particular park had meaning for me since it’s right down the way from where I teach many days during the year. With 100 people dying every day from gun violence, I can’t turn a blind eye anymore to where our world is headed.

ddd

For tonight, I can turn out the light in my clean office, and dream of more writing gigs, knowing that maybe… just by doing my part… we can have a better place for our children to grow up in. (Like our bloggy friend, Michy, who advocates for our LGBTQ Community in her post today. Happy Pride Month to you all! I stand with you!)

So… what about you? What do you want to shamelessly plug. I really want to hear! And let me know if you would be interested in a class down the road. I will bring it up again in July.

Comment below!

Happily Ticked Off Tip #56:  Celebrate the little to the big wins. You earned them!

My book is available on Amazon. (Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. 

(Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. 

books