Finding Faith

Now that the Christmas decorations have all been packed away and the house is in some sort of order {don’t laugh}, I find myself reflecting back on some of the highlights of the holiday season. One moment, in particular, really steps out in my mind. And it’s not necessarily a positive.

We were in the car with both boys coming home from one of our various outings. And then the question came.

“Mom, why do we have Benny’s manger out?”

“Because it’s for Christmas.”

“Mom, the manger has nothing to do with Christmas.”

finding faith-1


The fact is we don’t really talk to the boys, well Ethan really, about religion. We are holiday Catholics. You know, the people who only attend church for Christmas and Easter. We may go once over the summer when visiting family in Pittsburgh. And throw in the random weddings, baptisms, and funerals that may come up. Before attending Christmas mass recently, I honestly couldn’t even tell you when the last time I went to church was. Sad.

Growing up, I attended Catholic school for 12 years, first through 12th grade. In that time period, I went through the normal ebb and flow of a Catholic School kid. Really loving Jesus to only going to church when Mom made you to questioning everything, including your faith.

I don’t think I ever got out of that last phase which has led to my lack of faith and participation. Of course, we followed tradition and were married in a Catholic Church {which I kinda didn’t want but did to make people happy} and baptized the boys {another thing I did just to keep the peace}.

Don’t get me wrong. I want my boys to have faith. To look to a higher being.

I just don’t know where mine is. But I do have this twinge inside that is trying to find something.

It reminds me of a line from “Rosanne”.

We need to stop praying in dark corners and start praying like we fight, out loud and in public where everybody can see us.

Like many others, I will look to God and my faith in times for heartbreak {usually with rage and anger} or in times struggle {with pleading and praying}. I know in my heart that is not enough. It needs to be present all the time. I just don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to show that to my children.

Confusion? I have it.

And to think, this whole internal dialogue came to be all because of a plastic Baby Jesus.

finding faith-2

I’m Pouring My Heart Out with Things I Can’t Say.

Similar Posts


  1. This is a great post for many reasons. I think a lot of parents struggle with faith on their own and trying to figure out how to present and teach subjects to our kids that we aren’t 100% sure of on our own is simply difficult.

    You are not alone.

    1. It really is! I know in about a year we are going to have decide on CCD and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Parenting is hard!

  2. I can relate all too much to this post. Just know, you are not alone. Something I’m resolving to change in the new year…we shall see.

  3. This is one of the most difficult situations that we encounter as a parent. It’s hard to teach something to your kids especially if you don’t quite know those things as well. But since you’ve said that you have that “twinge” inside, why not rekindle your relationship with the Lord? Maybe that’s the “something” that you are trying to find. God bless you and your kids. 🙂

  4. I struggled for a long time – my whole life, in fact – until my daughter started showing an interest in it. Now I see it all through her eyes and have realize more and more about faith every day. It’s definitely not something that hit me all at once, but I’m getting there…
    Great post. xoxo

  5. From a cultural perspective, black people love ourselves some Jesus. He is in every phrase and exclamation – “Lawd Jesus I am tired” or “Thank Jesus we are home”. My boys grew up saying the Lord’s Prayer and still say it enroute to school and before bed as a part of their prayers. My eldest loved turning the onion pages of my husband’s nightstand Bible, something that I too loved to do as a child. We (the collective “we”) are a sum of the experiences that we have. This includes religion. Don’t get caught up in the “religiosity” of it all and work on just the “relationship”. Don’t do it for anyone else, but yourself.

    1. Thank you the reminder! Another thing I need to think about. Make it more about the relationship!

  6. It took my nearly 20 years to find the faith that I now call my own, with the messiness of kids thrown in! Look and seek for yourself. Be honest with your kids at the level they can understand, but you can’t help them with their faith until you actively seek your own. Also, I just want to say, that even though now I’m a baptized Christian, faith is a continuing JOURNEY not a destination. When that sinks in, you realize that you have to show your kids where you are at, not where you expect to end up. I NEVER expected to end up here! Peace & good luck, gina

  7. I’ve struggled for so long with this. I was raised Catholic and walked away from it as soon as I had a say. I have a hard time with religion but at the same time want my kid to have faith.

    Great post, it helps to see other who struggle with the same things and it’s good to know my kids aren’t the only ones who have no idea why that plastic baby Jesus is there. I have that exact same set by the way.

  8. Truth.. Faith isn’t found in stained glass room filled with people. It is found in the homeless man who still keeps his dog, knowing that they will make a way to survive. It is in the mother who gives birth to a child an ultrasound told her would be ‘special’ and perhaps she should end the pregnancy rather than bother with raising them. It is found in the beat of your child’s heart in that moment when you lay your head upon their tiny chest and just listen to it’s staccato rhythm and imagine that is what they heard when they were under your chest listening from the womb. It is in those silent moments between life and death when the room is quiet and the dying can hear music that no one else can. It is in knowing that you know who Jesus was and what he came to do and you are doing your best to live like him. Not in a temple, though he often visited them per Jewish tradition, his real ministry happened with those outside of the walls. Who felt they were missing something in the walls. Faith is the knowledge that we are blessed, even when the world says we are not.

  9. What a wonderful and important post! Thank you so much for opening yourself up and sharing. I too am on a spiritual journey that I fully expect will last my entire life, and I like it that way. I’ve learned a lot over the years about what doesn’t work for me, what doesn’t feel right, and those lessons have helped me find my way to what sings to my soul, what feels sacred to me. We have a wide range of beliefs in our family, and our daughter has that all around her. Whatever her path will be, we focus on raising a daughter who is compassionate, kind, respectful, thoughtful and questioning. One who is a seeker in knowledge and will know how to have an open heart and an open mind.

  10. Great post! As so many others have said before, what you’re going through is totally normal and it’s wonderful that you’re willing to expose the feelings so many have. I would encourage you to find a place where you feel comfortable. I don’t mean this in any way as a diss to Catholics, but I have a number of friends who grew up Catholic and went through the same thing because they felt it was more about the “motion” and checking a box, than actually building a relationship with Jesus (their words). Try lots of churches and take baby steps! If the Catholic faith speaks to you, stick with it! But if not, don’t be afraid to explore other options! It’s wonderful that you want to explore not only for yourself but also for your children. Faith is something much more than “religion”. Blessings to you and your family!

  11. I love that quote!

    We went to church on Christmas Eve and it was the first time since summer- before that, we had been going on a regular basis, but I had a bad experience that had me not wanting to go back- and then it became a habit. One I need to break.

  12. I am one who has questioned and studied this quite a bit, and came to the conclusion that I just can’t believe in a higher power. I don’t know how else to explain it, when people ask, but that’s all there is to it. I’ve tried, I just don’t/can’t believe, and I don’t foresee me ever changing my mind. In fact, in times of great despair (and there have been several) I become even a more intense non-believer, because I cannot believe that if there is a great creator, that he would allow some of the things to happen on this planet that do happen. That being said, this year I realized that there is a pop-culture aspect to Christianity, and that I have to at least teach my kids some of the stories. Several times while driving around, B asked me “Why is the baby sleeping in a barn?” Good luck to you in your journey.

  13. Such a great thought-provoking post – know that you are not alone. We’re going through the same struggle – I grew up in a non-denominational Christian home, the hubby did not. We both believe in God, but don’t like the ‘organized religion’ aspect so many churches seem to be in – their concern more about the bottom dollar than people forming personal relationships with God. I’m proud to be a Christian, but I’m not a Bible-thumper – not even to my kids… though they do get the Bible-thumping experience from my dad and my older sister. 🙂

  14. My kid goes to a Catholic school and I find myself questioning everything from the school to where we stand in the world and all things in between.
    It is tough to figure it out!
    You are certainly not alone and its good to start somewhere.

  15. So glad you wrote this post. I loved reading it AND the comments above. This is something that I struggle with big time. I feel like I am in exactly the same boat as you. As the kids get older, I just feel more and more pressure to “figure it out”. Just trying to take it day by day…

  16. Ok, I know this is going to sound nuts considering we went to the same Catholic school and was raised traditional Catholic too. Up until 3 years ago I struggled with the whole religion thing. In fact after my stepdad died right after high school I was like forget this whole mess. IF there was a God why did he let such a great man die? It took 10 years (oh I just aged myself) of drugs and drinking to find God. When Michael and I first started dating I hadn’t stepped foot inside of a church but agreed to go with him to church. I go every chance I get now. There’s a lot of great Christian churches out there to go to. Ones that will teach Ethan and Ben a lot just through play. And it’s not that whole sit, stand, kneel, sit, roll, over, beg routine. Our church deals with a lot of great issues that get you thinking. You need to find a church like that. Ok. Stepping off my soap box now.

  17. I’m co-hosting the Mom’s Monday Mingle and wanted to thank you for linking up. This post feels like your in my head. For the past year I am questioning why I’m catholic if I don’t really go to church and get anything out of it. Yet I feel like if we switched religions our families would be disappointed with us. Thanks for posting this!!

Comments are closed.