Saturday, October 23, 2004

a family altar

it's been brewing for some time now. i've been wrestling with my own beliefs and practices and know that i long to pass that on to pink and buck. i am starting from scratch here though to do anything different or new than what i've always been taught or had modeled to me.

instituting new practice or spiritual discipline is something i take seriously because i HATE to fail. i spend a lot of time working myself toward a discipline or commitment because i truly want to build a realistic goal, practice and formation into my life. i know that i am dropping the ball spiritually for my children. not in the evangelical sense of the word, i know. we do the standard 'christian family' practices, but i long to awaken or instill or inspire within them (or replace if it's been lost, i'm not sure yet) that mystery the church strips out of our spiritual lives.

i long for them to have questions, to keep asking, to have joy and mystery, hope and faith that is tangible and to experience god for themselves in the ways that i have learned, and eventually teach me ways that they will learn that are head and shoulders above mine.

the biggest detriment to this plan is that my father lives with us. he's like a scared (scarred??) rabbit because of his spiritual heritage. the most real time of spiritual growth my father holds dear was during the time it was silencing his wife (bobbie) and his daughters. my father loves jesus, i know he does, he's just so trapped in that small box he's stuffed god into.

creating a family altar, practicing the hours and doing the examin daily will make him very uncomfortable. but i'm sure i can't put this off any further.

i remember hearing a dumb sermon illustration about aliens looking into the windows of your home and by observing you they will see what you worship and value. every time i am tempted to set aside my desire for a family altar i remember those stupid aliens. right now they would think we worship screens, both tv and computer. i know that is a really remedial perspective and motivation. but my deep desire is to build into our lives a place where worship can happen daily in our home.

rachelle's, anj's and lilly's examples of touching those places deep within their children has been such light to me. that is the kind of mother i long to be.

metaphor is the tool god is using to restore my soul. i know that my altar will be rich with metaphor. engaging my chilren in the metaphor of their own journey excites and inspires me. i long to have them awaken to those deep places within their souls instead of the shallowness of easy answers and methodology i see offered to my children at school and church. i'm glad they are getting good basic foundational structure, but i want to build so much more on that, and touch the places in their soul that seem to go ignored in most children in today's christian culture.

i hope my fears about my father's reactions are unfounded, or that he is too uncomfortable to voice a reaction (usually his way of coping...), but it would be my heart's desire to somehow help him restore the joy of his salvation. to help him open the box and see so much more of what god has instore for him, even in his last years.

any advice or suggestions would really be appreciated as i launch into this project. i'm excited and really want it to become the cornerstone of our home.

No comments: