Thursday, November 17, 2005

Moving in and stumbling over some of the boxes

It is strange starting over. I have so much to learn in my new job -- policies, procedures, rules, laws, licensures. I had to initial every page of a half inch thick policy manual to provide proof that I had been informed. I have homework in the evenings. I'm used to long and unusual hours, so that is not a problem. It's just shifting gears. My daughter was home sick today and called me at the office. She thought I was mad, but I was just in professional, stay on task mode, keep my concentration where it's supposed to be mode. Working from my home office, I could switch gears in a second, and I want to be able to keep that. Wearing pantyhose and makeup every day shouldn't change my personality, and I need to remember that.
I've been extremely ill tempered the last two evenings, and I'm going to have to make transition time between work and home a big priority, because my family and I both deserve better. I'm hoping though that once I get past the training stage, my days will develop into a more comfortable rhythm. The downside of this change is seeing where the time for me will come, and I can't give that up. I'm surprised that I'm really not feeling guilty about this. I know that my irritability has sprung from wanting that me time when the family wanted my time. I've behaved badly, and I do feel bad about that, but I don't feel bad about the reason.
For sometime now, I've been searching for a new church, and I've had to think long and hard about what I really want in a church, how I feel about church in general, and how church has affected me over the years. I want to be in a community of believers who are open minded to the little differences among us. There are certain theological agreements I need between me and the doctrine of a church. I can't go back to a literalism interpretation of the Bible, and I need my church to recognize that the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit holds as much authority as written scripture. I need a church to recognize that the contemplative spiritual life holds as much value as the outgoing evangelistic life. I need my church to back firmly away from party politics. I'm hoping to find a middle ground between ritual and expressiveness. I'll never be comfortable waving my hands in the air during prayer or song, but I don't mind if other people are. I would never fit in a church where speaking in tongues or faith healing was a big part of the church life. I want order and I want freedom in my religious life, and I don't know where to find it. I know that church cannot be a place where I feel regularly misunderstood, excluded and judged and still feel like a member.
It's been hard coming to a point where I could handle the dissatisfactions I have with church as not being dissatisfactions with my choice of religion. I am not a Christian by default, because I was raised in the religion and never looked beyond its borders. I looked and I made my choice. I struggle with my faith. Sometimes it feels so weak. Sometimes it feels like it's all I have. I struggle to understand my scriptures, but despite the struggle, Jesus resonates within me. I hunger to understand my Creator with greater depth, knowledge and wisdom. My yearning for grace is inarticulate in its longing. I know that I am heard, but I want to hear more, and I want to hear at least part of it in a church. In looking for a new church, I'm mixing the spiritual with the religious again, and I have to accept that this transition will have its rough spots as well.
So, here I am with this new blog, a new job and maybe a new church. I'm stumbling through all three right now. I feel like my writing ability has gone out the window, but I know when my comfort level increases, my verbal polish will as well. In the meantime, I'm going to post some of the poetry from Sorting the pieces here. It's kind of like hanging my pictures on the brand new walls.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I've come to believe that there is no such thing as a church that speaks to every spiritual need of every member. It's one of the reasons I LEFT organized religion...left all religion, actually. If you find such an all-inclusive place to worship, let me know. I'd be tempted to jump on a plane to check it out... But I think the only "house of worship" that speaks to anyone's individual spirit/relationship to the Creator is inside her own heart... Lisa :-]

November 18, 2005 2:14 PM  

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