Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lord, Help Us Merge!

I was raised Catholic, but I am no longer a good, Catholic girl. I think I am still kindof a good girl (or at least, I try to be), and I have a strong Christian faith, but the Catholic church is a place that I walked away from a long time ago. Don't get me wrong, I do not hate the Catholic church, and I am very thankful to my mother and grandparents for their efforts to make sure that I was raised in the way I should be. But somewhere around the time I should have made my confirmation (I am pretty sure I was 13 or 14), I realized that I needed to find my own way. I was not confirmed, and I stopped going to church, which made my parents and grandparents very nervous. Still, I looked for God in the everyday, and I found him.

Between then and now, I got married, had a couple kids, and life moved right along. Somewhere in my late-twenties, as I realized I was still looking for God, I started to attend a Christian church with some friends. Eventually, I accepted Christ and was baptized into Him, completing the conversion that I had abandoned over a decade earlier. I do not discount my parents' decision to have me baptized as an infant, and to then do their best to bring me up through my First Holy Communion and all the other sacraments...I just needed the decision to be mine, rather than theirs. I suppose I was a little Miss Independent, way before Kelly Clarkson was an American Idol!

These days, my faith is strong. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and He is my Lord and Savior. And even though I am not a practicing Catholic, I fall back to some of the words and traditions I was raised on in weekly mass, often without thinking about it. When communion is passed at my church each week, I silently repeat in my head, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed." When I shake hands with friends and newcomers, often at the request of the man with the microphone up front, I hear, "Peace be with you!," in my brain as I smile and say, "Good morning!" (Side note: Once in a while, Neal will ask us to say something specific as we greet one another...so occasionally I smile and say, "Purple is my favorite color!," or, "I love sweet potatoes!," or something like that.) 

Sometimes, I catch myself using a familiar cadence in a daily prayer, even though the words are different. For instance, when I have to drive on the highway (which is one of my least favorite things to do) I usually say out loud, as I accelerate through the on-ramp, "Lord, help us merge!" This is not quite the same as answering back, "Lord, hear our prayers," after the priest lifts a request followed by, "We pray to the Lord...," but that comforting cadence is there. "Lord, help us merge," I say for every car on the entrance ramp with me, as we approach the place where any driver on the highway may choose to block that outside lane and make the merging difficult for those of us just starting out. Lord, help us merge so we can get to work! 

I was telling a friend about my "Lord, help us merge!" prayer the other day, and she said that this sounds like a pretty good life motto. You know what? She's right. Lord, help us merge our pasts and our present selves each day, so that our futures can be full of new opportunities, rather than regrets. Lord, help us merge our families in such ways that newlyweds feel only love from parents and in-laws alike, so they can pass that love onto future generations. Lord, help us merge our family and work in such a way that each member of the family is taken care of physically, financially and emotionally. Lord, help us merge our ideals and ideologies in such a way that we can be more loving to the people around us, whether we agree with their opinions or not. Lord, help us merge our spiritual selves into this concrete world, employing worldly tools to build up and care for delicate souls and hearts. Lord, help us merge. You're right, Kim. Pretty good life motto!

Oh! I've got one more...Lord, help us merge our knitting and our free time, so that we are not neglecting loved ones in the room for loved ones not even born yet! lol! Exhibit A: Baby Sweater for a baby nowhere near ready to be born yet...but I just could not. stop. knitting! Had to finish, because GAH! The cute!

So, there. Now I've merged opinion and knitting into my blogging, too! It's an all-in-one kind of rainy day here in my neck of Blogland. I hope you that are finding some sunshine and merging well, in all areas of your life!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

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