The greatest disease: Gratefulness

comments 6
the post-God side

Gratefulness is contagious guys.  Make it part of you, and it will change your life!!  DO IT!

bottle-92418_1280When I first started writing my list of 27 great things about the past year, it was difficult for my to think of any more than just a few.  Discouraging at first, I racked my brain for what good things could come from such a hard year.  But once my brain ignited the engine of gratefulness, it hasn’t stopped.  I encourage you to do the same.  Here are a few more that have been swimming in my thoughts since my last blog:

28. We’ve become more involved in community events.  We’ve attended several outdoor concerts this summer.  And my husband has danced with our baby at every single one.

29. My girl LOVES music.  She dances and shakes her head whenever she hears a beat of any kind.

30. I discovered my favorite wine and beer.

30. I ordered wine at a restaurant with dinner for the first time in my life.

31. Our time overseas has increased my appreciation and humility for having simple pleasures and a comfortable life.

32.  I’ve renewed my passion for photography and am mastering the balance between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

33. I started painting again.

34. I learned how to make a delicious and healthy pumpkin spice latte.

35. I am more willing to admit my weaknesses.  No, not just admit them, but I am no longer afraid of them.  My weaknesses show my humanity and security.

36.  Despite having no god, I still have compassion on the hurting.  I feared this would leave along with my Christianity.

37.  I am learning what freedom really means.

38. I am becoming more confident in standing up for myself and am learning to fear confrontation less.

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The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.

6 Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    I want to tell you how fascinated I am with your journey. I don’t even recall how I stumbled on your blog, but I keep returning to see what discoveries you have made. I feel drawn to your story because in my own life I have experienced a break-up with a Religion that I found to be abusive and just plain mean. I get how you have a need to totally clear the slate, and I am interested to see where it all leads you.

    The conclusions I have come to are different than yours, and I sometimes wonder why, but I haven’t let go of my belief in God. I think its because I can’t convince myself that the Bible isn’t true, and when I read the Bible, I find that I love Jesus. I am drawn to his life and message. For me, I want what he offers, and I am sorting through what religion has distorted from his message.

    For you, I hope that you find peace in the path you have chosen. I can see from your writing that it is not an easy road, but it has its rewards. I think freedom from religion is a wonderful thing and it seems you are sorting that out as well. I wish you the best.

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    • Wow,thank you so much for your encouragement!!! I’m sorry this took a few days to get back to you. I would love to hear more about your journey. Thank you for following mine — it HAS been a crazy road, and I’m grateful for the peace you wish me 🙂 I wish I could still believe in God. And although I don’t believe, there’s some part of me that hasn’t let go of it completely. Somewhere in my heart I still think that maybe there could be. But it feels more like wishful thinking or a need for hope than something driven from what makes sense to me.

      What caused you to “break-up” with Religion?

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  2. Stephanie says

    I lot of things made me want to “break-up with religion”. Mostly I don’t want to be part of a religion that puts pressure on people to measure up to what they think God wants, and then encourages people to give up being who they are. Lots of people who are religious tend to look down on those who don’t agree with them, or maybe even just those who interpret things differently. I think that in choosing to be an atheist you probably no longer believe the Bible to be true, but hopefully you can still appreciate some of the lessons within it. I wasn’t looking for a verse to add to this comment, but I’ve been thinking how to respond to your question, and I came across Galations 5 which kind of sums up how religion makes me feel. Especially verse 6 (in the message translation) which says: “Neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.”

    I think that you are finding freedom from religion and I’m glad. I’m sorry that it has been such a painful road, but it sounds like you are rediscovering who you are, and I think that is a really great thing. If there is a God, I think he would rather have you live a life that is authentic, compassionate and grateful then be someone that is following all the rules because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Thanks again for sharing your story. You’ve challenged me to think and I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this. Your response is just perfect and I wish I could display it for every religious person/Christian in my life. I life that you say “If there is a God, I think he would rather have you live a life that is authentic, compassionate and grateful then be someone that is following all the rules because that’s what you’re supposed to do,” because I TOTALLY agree. I’ve tried to explain to others that I feel closer to God now than before, and for them not to worry, but I’m speaking to deaf ears because they can only think of my hell-bound-ness.

      I love the verse you shared. It is perfect.
      What is faith to you?

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  3. Stephanie says

    I have been thinking how to answer your question for a while, and I still don’t really know what to say. I don’t want to just repeat some trite words that don’t mean crap, because what would be the point?
    I guess for me it is a feeling–knowing?–believing that there is a God out there and believing that Jesus is real. I look at history and he existed, and contrary to what I learned in church, I look at his story and he wasn’t about making rules and manipulating people–he didn’t love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of himself to us. (that’s from Ephesians 5)
    So faith to me is that I CHOOSE to trust that God exists, and that I matter to Him. I choose to believe that Jesus is real and that his life and message are about loving people period. My choice is based on experience, observation, emotion, hope, and I suppose some stubbornness.
    I am truly sorry that you have been made to feel like God and Jesus are controlling, demanding, and hurtful. I think for you to step away and not let them be a part of your life is a pretty good idea for now.
    Life is messy and can be tragic and I don’t know why babies die and why people are so blind to reality sometimes. These things suck. Life is also beautiful and rewarding and babies are born and love makes a difference and there is good in the world. Having faith should never take away grief or sadness or even joy for that matter, but it ought to be a place to find peace and hope in that quiet place inside of you, where you just want to know that there is a point to all of it, and in the end, that you matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything you said sounds just beautiful 🙂 You are quite poetic. I hope you’re right. I truly do.

      Thank you for putting all of that into words for me. I really, really appreciate it.

      Like

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