This month marks one year that I have been a regular church goer. This is a big thing for me. While I have always considered myself a Christian and a spiritual person church is not something that comes easy to me. Sadly I still feel a certain level of anxiety before I go, but I like Epic Church enough to keep going back. This is a great thing for me because having faith is a huge facilitator to Chasing Joy. Believing in something bigger than yourself (for me that is God) allows us to believe that things can change and get better. Faith allows us to have hope. Faith based practices like attending church, reading scripture or devotionals, and prayer reinforce our faith and therefore our hope. Attending Church also helps with that building the community you need thing that I was talking about a couple weeks ago.
Search Results for: label/Epic Tales
Would you like to hear an Epic Tale? No I’m not talking about a fantastical story of fiction. I’m talking about a blog post inspired by something I learned or experienced at my church, Epic.
This weekend I spent some quality time with one of my nieces. She asked me did I go to church. It felt really good to be able to tell her yes and explain that I go to Epic. I have not been a church gooer since childhood until visiting Epic last fall. Since then I’ve become a regular attendee. I’ve written about my church experience a few times before. From now on I will refer to life lessons picked up from church as Epic Tails. Cute right?
The last four weeks at church have covered a series called choices. The idea is that we can have a happier life if we make better choices. But how do we do that? The pastors provided 4 questions that we should start asking ourselves when its time to make decisions. Before I share the four questions I have to say, what I like about them is that they are very practical. It wasn’t just pray about it, but an actual filter through whitch to pour our choices through.
|My cell phone notes from Church.|
Questions 2 and 3 have already been a part of my decision making process. I have learned not to ignore red flags. My decision to use a sperm donor instead of just “going out and getting pregnant” was largely based on the story I’d have to one day tell my child. Questions 1 and 4, however, need to become part of the process.
I guess I can start now. Am I being honest with myself when I say these pizza rolls I’m about to eat won’t hurt my get healthy plans?? Not really.
What do you think of the questions? How do you make important and not so important decisions?
Let me start by saying that I think church is a great place and in general I think people should go. That being said it took my years to get back to going to church and to find one where I feel comfortable. I’ve now been going to Epic church pretty regularly for over a year and a half now. But yesterday I chose to skip church. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook than you probably think that I missed church by accident. You saw this picture of my the night before at the #SilentPhilly party (that was fun by the way) and then this before and after picture talking about how being super tired impacted my workout. It was no accident and I didn’t skip because I was tired. I chose to skip church because yesterday was Father’s Day.
Last year I wrote about how it was the first Father’s Day since I lost my dad where I was not consumed with grief. That is still true this year. Overall it was a good day and I was not sad. However, I know myself, and while the day is no longer as awful as it once was it is still a sensitive day. It is a day where I’d rather not be in a room, any room, including church, filled with dad’s being honored. As a matter of fact I avoided Facebook a little too. It can be painful to spend a specific amount of time reflecting on the huge whole left in my life by my dad’s absence. So I’d rather not do that, especially not on Father’s day, a day that was fun for him and me when we shared it together.
So I skipped church as a way to protect my heart and my emotions. I skipped church so that I could have a joyful day instead of one shadowed by a cloud of grief. I chose to skip church as an act of self love and self care. Now I did not completely ignore the day. I did look for and post a picture of my dad on Facebook that I’d not previously shared. I also sent Happy Father’s Day text to a couple of friends who are also dad’s. So don’t mistake my skipping church as a way for me to be in denial about the holiday. I simply need to do what was best for me to stay joyful and not go to a dark place.
P. S the services are recorded so I will be checking out the message later this week.
So what do you think? Was I wrong for skipping church? Have you ever intentionally skipped church? Have you ever skipped on Father’s or Mother’s Day?
I am not even sure what I want to say to you. I had very high expectations for you. Now as we prepare to say goodbye in 48 hours I feel that you let me down. You really dropped the ball right at the end when you were in position to leave me on a high note, to leave me as a winner. 2015 you were supposed to be the real MVP but then you fumbled on the 5 yard line. SMH. Perhaps I am judging you to harshly as the last few weeks, with the exception of Christmas Day have been particularly hard. Let’s look back on our time together, a 2015 recap, least I judge you inaccurately.
We started out strong in January with plans to make me a mom this year. A Single Mother By Choice actually. Things started out good with good results on all of my fertility tests in the first quarter of the year. Followed by less than good news on midyear fertility tests where a thyroid issue and pre-diabetes were detected. This news sucked! However 2015, I would be remiss, if I did not thank you for alerting me to this issues before they caused me any ill feelings or side-effects. Back to baby making: several IUI’s and 9 months of being focused on becoming a mom and 2015 you are leaving me still very much not-pregnant.
2015, I admit the not being pregnant thing has left a bad taste in my mouth. However, although no life has been created within me our year has not been void of creation. The Chasing Joy Inspirational T-shirt line was created this year. 2015 you get a gold star for this one as this has been the significant milestone in the transition from Chasing Joy personal blog to Chasing Joy happiness and inspirational lifestyle brand.
2015 you did a pretty good job in the memory making department this year. The quality time spent with my mom has been great. Weekend trips to AC, overnight in Baltimore and the Poconos, The PA Ballet, The Nutcracker, the Lion King, birthdays and Christmas were all highlights of our time together.
2015 you taught me a very important lesson on how to be strong in my beliefs and techniques for carving out a joyful life for myself. You showed me the bizarre ways Chasing Joy can cause others to lash out when your pursuit of happiness challenges their views of how you fit into their life. You brought me closer to some people and protected me through distance from others.
My relationship with God has been more at ease this year. Not that it was ever bad or distant, but 2015, you took me to church more frequently than ever in my entire life. Dare I say I am a regular church goer now with many Epic Tales to share. This is a blessing 2015.
I have witnessed several friends struggle this year. It seems that I have not been the only one you have treated harshly at times this year, 2015. But in those moments you have also allowed me to extend my friendship in meaningful ways and for that,2015, I am grateful. On the flip side you have treated other friends quite well. There was a wedding and an adoption was finalized. It especially gave me Joy when my friend’s daughter’s adoption was finalized as I know the yearning of motherhood and that it does not always come easy.
2015 you did keep things interesting by introducing me to a few new things. Bowling challenged me to stick to something that I was not good at. Church Life Groups taught me how to let something go when it is not a good fit. Acupuncture has taught me how far I am willing to go for my future bundle of joy.
On the business side, you have laid a pretty good foundation for me 2015. At the day job I have played an important role in providing a supportive team structure with a whole new group of people. With Chasing Joy you have given me hope, a business coach, and even a blueprint for turning my passion into real income.
Well, the 2015 recap shows you weren’t that bad. I did set the standard pretty high and you did let me down on the motherhood front. But all in all you gave me much to be grateful for like family, friends, faith, optimism about my future, focus related to my blog, and an overall feeling that things will get better.
It has definitely been real 2015. Goodbye.
What would you write in your goodbye letter to 2015? Was this a good year for you or was it challenging?