I’ve been watching a tv series on netflix while I sew lately, The Good Wife.
I began watching it because I really liked the lead actress from when she played in ER. I always loved ER, still do, my hubby got the full set for me as a gift one year. I plan to rewatch the series every few years. ūüėČ

Anywho… I like the Good Wife well enough. Some parts don’t really coincide with my belief system but one thing I find interesting is the way ‘religion’ is tossed in throughout the show. Some of it good, some bad, but a lot¬†of it is rather thought provoking. For atheists, or those struggling whether they believe in a God or not, I’m sure it interests them, or does not interest them, differently than it does for me.
For me, because I am a strong believer in God, it is interesting to see the ‘other side’. The main character, Alicia- the good wife, considers herself an atheist. Her daughter begins searching out faith in Jesus. Bits of this are shown throughout the seasons. It reminds me that how I live my life, my personal belief system, may seem quite foreign to some.

It’s odd for me to think of others as viewing my belief system as odd.
How’s that for a ¬†profound statement?¬†(not…yet kind of is, kind of like sorry/notsorry?)

I realized that some may not even know how faith plays out in a ‘believers’ daily life. So I wondered if perhaps I should/could offer glimpses into my own faith and how it plays out in my daily life, through my blogging?
Or perhaps my faith is already evident on my facebook pages and the blog? I know I have shared that I have faith, that I believe, but does that even open a window to show what that really means? To someone who has never had faith lived out before them, does my blog and fb pages even give any type of a real hint as to what MY faith looks like?

What about you? Do you believe? Do you have faith? If you do, is your faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as it is for me?
Or are you an atheist? If you are, what does faith mean to you? If it’s not in your own life, what do you believe it ‘is’ to people who have faith?
Maybe you are none of those, and something completely different? What does that look like in your life?

Perhaps my thoughts are confusing¬†and not making sense? Maybe you wonder why am I even asking this, or why I’m pondering it?
Well, I like to learn about other cultures. I feel that opening our eyes to what other people experience opens our minds past our own little ‘bubbles’, for lack of a better word.
To me, having faith and not having faith are like two very different cultures. I have no desire to live a life without faith, but I do have a desire to understand how one could even live without faith?
In my own life, that type of living just seems impossible.

For those who are atheists, I wonder if the opposite is true. Do they feel living a life with faith would be impossible?
If so, why?

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As for my daily life and¬† how living out my faith looks…
The main difference would most likely be my morning routine and how I begin my days. I really enjoy having my morning coffee with some quiet time doing my daily ‘devotions’. Some may ask, “What is that? What does that mean?”
For me, it means getting up before anyone else in the home, and reading my Bible. I usually also read some study books to help me understand the Bible deeper and to make sure that what I’m getting out of the Bible is in line with truth, and not just what I’d like to think the Bible says. After I read my Bible and a devotional/study book of some sort, I write in my prayer journal. I’ve been writing in a prayer journal almost daily for years now. Since Alesia and Joshua, our first two children, were very young. They are 25 and 23 now! I have many journals on my big bookshelf in my sewing ‘studio’ filled with pages and pages of prayers.

If someone were to open up the pages of my prayer journals they would find many prayers written very similar to one another. I always start out praising and thanking God for all He has done for me and for my family. I believe thankfulness, whether you’re thanking God or simply being thankful, is very important. It puts our mind in the right frame of mind for the day. To remember all we have, rather than what we don’t have. My morning devotions and prayer time are like coffee for my soul. It wakes up my mind and spirit as coffee wakes up my body.
Socks

Even if I am having a hard time, which does happen – as idyllic as some may view our life – I try my very best to still start out ¬†my day with prayers and¬†a thankful heart. No matter what is going on in my life at the time, the fact that I am alive¬†and able to write in my journal is proof that I should be thankful. It means that¬†I woke up to a brand new day, and I’ve been blessed with yet another opportunity¬†to be even better than I was before, and to have an even better day than I had the day before.

You may read that and think, “Easy for you to say” but let me preface all that by saying, I’ve been through stuff. I’ve been to ‘hell’ and back several times in my life and I know hard times, physically, mentally, financially, and even spiritually. I’ve been through darkness. I wake up each morning and¬†choose to thank God for all I have because unless a day comes in my life where I suffer as Jesus Christ suffered on a cross, I will count myself as blessed. That very thought process is what has helped me to get THROUGH¬†those tough times. For that, I also thank God everyday, for the strength that He gives me to keep on keeping on.

That may sound almost ‘harsh’ but I’ve had too many times in my life where I’ve shared my faith and my thankfulness, and people often reply with “But…it’s different for you.”

One time at a home group Bible study (a small gathering of church friends who do a Bible study together in one person’s home) we broke off into even smaller groups to pray for each other. The topic that night was marriage. One of the women in my little group of 4 mentioned that she needed prayer for her marriage. I offered some advice as one who had been married about 15 years at that time to hang in there and trust that God could, and would, help her and her husband if they both kept on keeping on and working together towards a better marriage. Her response, “But it’s easy for you, you have such a great husband!”

The first 7 years of my married life was a living hell for the many parts. On the outside, things always looked pretty good but on the inside, it was a whole other story. My husband was an alcoholic. He was not a man of faith. I lived through many drunken nights. I won’t go into it further as that story is not just my own to tell, it is my husbands and even my children’s story. Suffice it to say, her reply was almost¬†laughable to me. I tried to share with her that sure, my husband was a much better man¬†now but that it wasn’t always that way and we had to work VERY¬†hard to get where we were! AND, we were still having to work hard! But she wouldn’t hear of it. She had decided that her marriage was too hard because her husband wasn’t as good as he should be. There was no convincing her otherwise.

A while later they were divorced.

I do my best to remain thankful, every single morning, because being thankful helps me to keep from being the opposite.
It helps me to fight off self-pity. It keeps away negative thoughts, and helps me to start my day with a positive and thankful attitude.

The rest of my prayers are filled with many different topics. Areas of my life in which I’m in need of help. Prayers for my children, my husband, other family members, friends, acquaintances, in sickness, health, good times and bad. LOTS of prayers asking God to help me! To help me grow to be a better person. To give me wisdom for difficult situations. To help me LEARN daily! To show me how to make it through tough days. During our 21 years of homeschooling and years of lots of little ones, there were lots of prayers for patience and guidance in teaching my children. Lots and lots and LOTS of prayers asking for forgiveness…

But every single prayer begins with thankfulness.

Throughout my¬†days, with a homestead full of all these animals (sick and/or dead animals aren’t fun, pets or livestock- we love them all!), a business to run (ever have difficult customers? Fast approaching deadlines? Emails and messages coming at you from fb, several email accounts, etsy, hyenacart, blah blah blah… Who hasn’t been there and done that with work pressures?!) and all else that goes along with a business, 8 family members (all with their very different personalities, and all very stubborn (that’s a good thing right?!), including one needing extra ‘special’ care – we won’t even begin to go there right now), and regular day to day life ups and downs (BOTH of¬†our vehicles broken down currently – one parked, one limping along!), enough difficulties come up to knock me down, stomp on me, chew me up and spit me out, that I surely don’t need to be starting off my day with negative thinking!

So that’s why I begin my day with my coffee, my devotions and my prayers. ūüôā

And even when life gets really hard, if I look hard enough, there’s still always something to be thankful for.
Like this double rainbow I saw the day I was driving home from visiting a good friend who was dying. It was dark and raining, a truly miserable day, but amidst it all I had to pull over and snap a crappy photo because it was too beautiful not to remember that in the midst of hard times, there are always reminders to be thankful.

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With that, I’ll stop here. I’d like to share more about my faith in future. That’s one little snippet of me living out my faith in one small way each morning.

I ask again here at the end of my post;
What about you? Do you believe? Do you have faith? If you do, is your faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as it is for me?
Or are you an atheist? If you are, what does faith mean to you? If it’s not in your own life, what do you believe it ‘is’ to people who have faith?
If you are neither one with faith, or one who is an atheist, what do you believe, or not believe?
I’d love to hear from you. No debates, no negativity, I’m not looking to start anything like that. I’m wanting to hear¬†simply so that I can learn better how to listen. ūüôā