Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Without Faith, It's Impossible

I don't often talk about my faith or my faith journey.  To be honest, I feel so new to it and have felt I needed to learn more, connect more, find a deeper spirituality before I could feel like I had some knowledge.

That's not to say that I don't believe in God, because I do.  It is just that my faith didn't start growing until I was in college.  Yes, I went to church growing up.  But after confirmation sports and school life took over, faith kind of took a back seat.  A seat at the dinner table when we said grace or in church on Christmas and Easter.

I didn't get it.  Why the connection?  Why did we need it?  In fact (which I hate to admit) I even chuckled a little at those who had to get up early and head to church.  It wasn't until Freshman year of college that I began to feel something missing and a pull towards developing my faith more.

As I started this journey, my boyfriend (now my hubby) told me how happy he was to have me going back to church and building my faith.  He wasn't sure how he would answer the kids one day when they asked "how come mommy doesn't go to church?"

Yes, I know that faith and believing God goes beyond the church.  But the church can be a good foundational step on which things can be built.

I began attending church, when I was back home.  Though I tried while at school, I just couldn't find the right fit or didn't quite feel comfortable.  But I did remember back to church camp how much I enjoyed evening vespers.  Sitting by the fire, reading scripture, answering questions, singing songs and occasionally being near the lake and hearing the waves on the shore as the sun began to set.

To be honest, that sounds like the best way to go about church.  Though, when it's -15 below out in the middle of Winter in Minnesota...well I probably won't be sitting out by the fire and by a lake singing songs anytime soon with weather like that.

What I did find while in college was the Newman Center.  Even better, was that it was located right across the street from my dorm room.  Every Wednesday found me there in the company of other college students, working through scripture, singing songs, reflecting, asking and answering questions, and more.

With time I knew my faith began to deepen.  I have face some rough waters over the years, but God has been there and looking back, good has come out of it all.  But somehow, my spirituality moved to autopilot.

It wasn't until recently that I began to rise early with a purpose.  That purpose was to spend some quiet time with God.  Through devotions, journaling that is based on bible verses, and prayer I began to refuel my spiritual tank.  Adding in a gratitude journal and some other journaling at night, along with reading books (especially ones that connected God, faith, motherhood) and prayers as I lay in bed have rounded out my day.

My oldest has had a growing interest in God and bible stories, always asking questions.  And for a 4 year, he can ask some pretty tough questions.  But we work through them together, even surprising myself that I am able to answer sometimes.

He now has a devotional we use in the morning to help guide him through the day.  And we have some really good books from the God Gave Us series that we pull from throughout the day.  He and his brother have been listening to Music Machine the car anytime we are driving somewhere.  It is their request and while sometimes I wouldn't mind the change (as we have been listening to them solidly since Summer) the lessons in the songs are important ones to learn.

I tell you all this because recently I had an aha moment.  A connection made during my morning quiet time.  You see, for the past couple weeks I have been reading the book "Brave Moms, Brave Kids" by Lee Nienhuis.  When I got the book, it came with a few freebies.  One of the freebies were bookmarks.  Brave bookmarks.  5 individual bookmarks that are the essence of the book: Believe in God, Reflect, Ask Forgiveness, Vigilantly Pray, Equip Them.  On one side is a bible verse, the other a prayer.

I made the decision that I would use one bookmark each week as a part of my morning quiet time.  Right now I am using the Believe bookmark as my focus.  I have been using it longer than a week, but that was because it didn't feel right to move to the next one yet.

The verse is from Hebrews 11:6 "Without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek"

Strong verse.  But it didn't hit me until I read it the other morning and after the umpteenth time of listening to music machine that I had an aha moment.  There is a song on one of the Cd's simply titled "Faith".  It starts out with the words "Without faith it's impossible...".

That is when it all seemed to connect as I began to play the song in my head. Yes, without faith things do seem impossible.  But if we continue to have faith, to believe God, to grow our spirit the rewards are endless.  That is not to say that it will all be easy, it just means that even through the hard times, God is there and our faith can remain strong.

If we refuel our spirit, we can help our kids to do the same.  When they are younger, we answer their questions as they come up and show them through us and our believing how to do the same.

Here are the lyrics to the song:


From Music Machine - The Fruit of the Spirit (Available with full CD)

Without faith it's impossible, it's impossible
It's impossible to please God
He who comes to God must believe that He is
And He rewards those who seek Him

All things are possible, all things are possible
All things are possible. Just believe
God will do everything that He says He will do
And He rewards those who seek Him

Without faith it's impossible, it's impossible
It's impossible to please God
He who comes to God must believe that He is
And He rewards those who seek Him

Sung by Frank Hernandez
Written by Frank Hernandez & Sherry Saunders Powell
©Copyright 1977 Sparrow Song (a div. of EMI Christian Music Publishing)|(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing) Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)|(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing) Candle Company Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)|(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing)

And if you want to listen to it, and it does actually have a catchy tune, you can listen here:

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