Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finding my Enthusiasm

I have had a hard time with my faith recently. There have been a lot of bumps and bruises, and I love GOD, but I’m having a hard time being “in” to GOD right now. It’s been a real struggle being in between weird stages with our church, and trying to deal with life’s biggest issues all at the same time. It’s so much easier to sleep in on Sunday morning, and it’s so much easier to read a book that doesn’t require you to examine yourself while doing so. I go through peaks and valleys in my relationship with GOD, and I guess I’m just in a very long valley right now.

Every so often a “aha” moment comes along and smacks me back where I need to be, and though this post isn’t THAT type of moment, it’s a moment that makes me tear up and feeds my heart a little bit of what I need.

A little background of the author of what I’m about to share before you read it, Karen Russell is a photographer in Oregon. She has a blended family of Her, Her Husband Josh Downs, His daughter Courtney, Her Son’s Ross and Coley and their daughter Annie. The “Cali” you hear referred to is Karen’s son Ross’ girlfriend. Karen has been an ongoing inspiration to me in my photography development and she’s a pretty inspiring lady…. She wrote this post, this morning, and if you’d like to see the iphone picture she refers to you’ll have to click the link, I am not about to go steal other photographer’s photos…even if it is an iphone shot.

"A few months back, I found myself home alone on a Saturday night with nothing to do so I decided to check out the Saturday night service at a church we don't normally go to. (I had been there before but not since my early 20's.)

I was one of the oldest people there (The Saturday night service is geared towards people much younger and much hipper than me.) but I loved it. The music was amazing (but too loud) and the message was phenomenal (even though the pastor looked pre-pubertal.)

As I stood there, taking it all in, I realized that this was the kind of stuff that kept pre-teens, teenagers and early twenty-somethings close to God...because God made it relatable and 'cool'.
So I decided I wanted to start taking the kids to some of the Saturday night services while still attending our regular church on Sundays. (Beause my loyal husband would never agree to change churches.)

So a few Saturdays later, I found myself home with just the girls and decided to head out there again. Courtney wanted to go to Kids Church (which they only have through 3rd grade - once you hit 4th grade, they want you to attend the adult service which I think is a great idea) and Annie wanted to come with me. They both loved it.

And again this last Saturday, I found myself home with just Cole & Annie and decided to go to the Saturday night service. (Courtney Lee wanted to go too so we swung by her mom's house to grab her, Cali decided to meet us there and so did my good friend Coral and her family.)

The message was about how easily we choose to believe the lie that there's 'no hurry' in life; that we've got plenty of time to start living our life the way we know we should be living it; and Cole was engrossed.

Towards the end of the service, the pastor started asking people to stand up if they wanted to meet outside after the service to be baptized. Cole and I had talked about baptism a few weeks earlier and the whole time the pastor was talking, Cole was literally on the edge of his seat.

In line with the message, the pastor went on to say that if anyone was feeling called to be baptized that they should know the truth...that there IS a hurry. That they should start living the life they were called to live NOW. That it doesn't matter what you're wearing, if it's cold outside or if your mom doesn't have her camera. (Blasphemy!)

And as people were standing to their feet one by one, making a commitment to be saved, Coley looked over at me and said, "I want to but I'm scared." And I just said, "Don't worry, you'll get another chance." because apparently, I had missed the entire point of the sermon. (In my defense, I didn't want Coley to get baptized without Josh being there...and I didn't have my camera.)

As the service ended, Cali said she'd stay with Cole & Annie while I went to get Courtney from Kids Church.

As I started to walk off, she told me she'd meet me out by the baptism pool.

So I rounded up Courtney Lee and met up with Cali and the kids, noticing that again, Coley was engrossed.

After the last person was baptized, the pastor began praying and my mind started wandering, thinking about how unfortunate it was that the gal photographing the baptisms was using a built-in flash and how beautiful the scene would be without it and about how I was going to start slipping my camera into my purse each Saturday night so that when Coley did decide to get baptized, I'd be ready.

And just as the pastor said, "Amen", Coley took off his sweatshirt, threw it on the ground and hollered, "I'm going Mom!"

I just stood there, completely caught of guard as I watched Coley running towards the pastor, taking the quickest route he could find; a narrow path with a fire-pit to his left and a row of lit torches to his right, wondering whether Cole was going to be baptized or was going to the E.R. with 3rd degree burns.

And then he stood right in front of the pastor and told him he wanted to be baptized if it wasn't too late.

Seconds later, Coley and the pastor were inside the baptism pool.

I immediately started looking around for the girl with the built in flash, hoping she hadn't left (because in my desperation, I was willing to take back every single bad thing I had ever said about built-in flash) but she was nowhere to be found.

So I did what I had to do...

I asked Cali for her iPhone.

On the drive home, Cole called his Dad, then his Brother, then his Paka and talked non-stop about what he learned from the message and how God had done amazing things in Ben (the pre-pubertal pastor.)

And when we got home, Cole wanted to lay in bed with me and talk and read the bible and his devotional book and as I fell asleep, he was writing an account of the night so he'd never forget.
Sometime during the night, I woke up with the light still on and Coley sound asleep next to me, holding my hand and felt a rush of contentment flood over me.

Realy, genuine, overwhelming contentment.
Congratulations Coley. "

Thanks for the message Karen, someday I will regain the enthusiasm that's deep inside of me for GOD, and run to him just like Coley did...

Love, Me.

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