Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's Wrong with this Picture?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my previous post and some other posts that were quite “Catholicky” and how I was reluctant to post them here. It just didn’t feel right. I started this blog as an outlet for my writing as well as a place to post things that would encourage or help fellow moms. Likewise, I thought of it as an online journal where I could share both my milestones as a mom and my children’s milestones through photos and words. I started my other blog with some of the same intentions but also wanted to make it a faith journal of sorts – a place where I could perhaps, with the counsel of the Holy Spirit, draw closer to Christ through my reflections. Of course, I also decided I would include more mommy-centered musings. After all, my primary job and God-given vocation is being a mom.

But herein lies the problem: At my so-called Catholic blog, being a woman, a mom, and a Christian were all the same thing. I could not separate the three; they were what made up my identity and as much a part of me as my limbs, my blonde hair and my size 5 feet.

Yet, here I’ve always felt a little uneasy about posting things that were overtly religious. First off, I’ve included this Momopoly blog with my bio for articles that I’ve written for secular publications (while I include the Kate Wicker blog with articles that I write for faith-based markets) and I worried some editor would see my Christian leanings and not want to include the blog in my bio. Well, now that I’ve been thinking (and praying) about it, if someone did choose to omit my blog from his or her publication’s glossy pages in order to be "tolerant" and “open-minded,” then so be it. “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.” (Matthew 5:10). C'mon folks, how open-minded would that be? To not publish my blog because it mentions "Jesus"? And, really, why is it that media so often is tolerant of other religions but less receptive to ideas that are associated with Christianity? Ah, but I digress...

Above all, my reluctance to include faith-centric musings here boils down to this: I was afraid of offending someone. I was afraid of isolating potential subscribers to my blog. Sadly, I was afraid of openly admitting my allegiance to Christ.

So over there at my Catholic blog I was like Peter at the Last Supper, pledging my undying love to Christ. Peter assured Jesus he would rather die than deny him; yet, before the cock crowed that very night, he denied his Master three times.

While I haven’t openly claimed to not know Jesus as Peter did, am I any different?

Just a click away, here I was at this blog denying Jesus of the “coverage” he deserved. Maybe it had something to do with the times I’ve been approached by people of different Christian denominations here in the Bible Belt who have suggested I am on the pathway to hell (or maybe I just need a scapegoat to assuage my guilt???). This hasn’t happened often, but there have been a few occasions when I’ve been told that I must be saved if I want to earn a spot in heaven. Or, there was the time, I was at an evangelist church (to support a family member who was receiving an honor during the ceremony) and the preacher, who was a very talented orator, by the way, was talking about the evils of drinking alcohol and specifically spouted a statistic about the number of Catholics who drink. My younger brother, who ironically - you know, being Catholic and all - has never been a drinker, whispered, “I’m going to need a drink after this sermon.” We chuckled to ourselves, perhaps a bit disrespectfully, but I left the church with a bitter taste in my mouth that had nothing to do with downing a shot of liquor (something I don’t do, although I do enjoy an occasional glass of vino).

I knew that as a believer I didn’t want to condemn people the way I felt these probably very upright people inadvertently did to me. And I don’t have to do that here or anywhere else. However, I can’t “hide” the fact that I’m doing my best to lead a faithful Catholic life on this chunk of Cyberspace and then shout it off the blogosphere rooftop on my other blog.

Something is seriously wrong with that. Being Catholic is not something I do as so much as it's something I try to live. And it’s certainly not something I do just when it’s easy and doesn’t have the potential of offending others. Being Catholic is a part of who I am. To be a faithful follower, I must be faithful to God at all times. If I feel like writing about something pertaining to my faith, then I must do it and post it for all to see not just for my regular Catholic readers over yonder.

So where does that leave us, my loyal readers and friends? I haven’t decided yet. I need to pray about this more. What I’m going to do for the time being is to write about the kinds of things I’ve always written about – the joys and challenges of being a mom, breastfeeding, silly anecdotes, what I’ve learned from my children. But I’m also going to include the Catholic/Christian posts I’ve been excluding (I will label them accordingly) on this blog as well. I hope this won’t turn any readers off, but that’s a risk I must take. I do always welcome commentary and dialogue on all things, including religion. In fact, I love learning about other faiths – from Buddhism to Bahá'í. Christianity should never be divisive. I also don’t want to be so filled with puffed-up piety that I turn others away, so let me know if you think that a certain post was a bit on the high and mighty side. I am not “holier than thou.” (Clearly, considering I was afraid to post things pertaining to my faith on a mommy-friendly site. Shame on me.) Neither was Peter. Maybe that’s why Christ chose him to be the rock of the Church “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18) Jesus can use weak people to build his church. I pray he’ll use me.

Down the road, I may simply use this Momopoly blog as a spot for newsy kind of things pertaining to moms as well as photo album of my kiddos as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family. Or, I'll keep it as is; I just won't be afraid to include a post that revolves around my faith. Oh, and I do include more photos on this site because I don't want to bore people to tears (more personal rather than virtual friends stop by Momopoly).

Finally, I humble myself before Jesus as Peter did.

Lord, I’m going to keep trying, but no matter how badly I fail, please know that the desire of my heart is to love and serve you in with my words, with my role as wife and mom, and with my entire life. Amen.

Thanks for listening and for not judging. I hope you'll stay tuned...

1 comment:

Stina said...

Amen, Amen, AMEN!!!

I struggle with whom to share my blog with because of this exact reason! When I started, I only told my Catholic friends about it. Since then, I've told a few others, but I've pretty much kept it quiet because I'm scared of other people's reactions. Once again, you've written something that hit so close to home.

God Bless!