I think Christianity looks really weird to the outside world sometimes.
Most of the time, it is probably a perception that is dead-on.
That is because many people/churches either come across as over-the-top circus shows...
Or, even worse, super-duper-uber religious.
Jesus isn't there.
He isn't a weird guy.
He is loving and compassionate-- but if "loving and compassionate" is where your understanding of Jesus starts and ends, then oh, are you missing out. That is a very watered-down version of the most amazing person that ever walked the earth.
My King is beautiful and good and extravagantly generous.
He is playful and funny.
He is purposeful and true.
I have been a christian since I was like 6.
I spent most of that "christian life" either trying to behave perfectly~ earn my place under Christ... Or, I just pushed him away in my failure. Because a person will quickly understand that they cannot earn their place in God's kingdom. That, my friend, is a holy and gracious gift. It was a back and forth struggle. Earn. Fail. Push him away. My understanding of Christ was highly religious. I thought he loved me because he had to. He stuck his foot in his mouth 2000 years ago and said he loved all his children~ so BABAM. I'm included. By default. But, if he had a choice, he would ditch this screw-up.
But this year, I met my Lord.
The problem for me was that I had spent my *whole life* in church and a christian school~ so I already knew all the stories. I knew theology and doctrine. I thought I had Christ pegged. But I was so far off, it was like meeting Jesus for the first time when I realized who he really is.
He comes into my day.
Loves me graciously.
Those "weird" stories of Jesus in the Bible took on a new life when I understood them in the context of a funny, playful, generous, true friend who came to restore humanity. He saved my heart all over again. Except this time, I feel excited to walk with him instead of hesitant to believe in his love.
And because I'm a parent, not only am I learning in my own walk with Christ, but I am simultaneously teaching my kids the same things... You do not get down time there:). We try and show Jesus to our kids every day. Make him real to them, because he is. He is in our living room at night watching the Yankees with us. He is in our car in the mornings when we say a prayer of protection for the school day. He is outside with us, running in the sunshine or reading a book on a blanket. In my own small steps this year, I am trying my best to give that new knowledge to Niamh and Philly... but, my natural tendency is to worry that I am coming up short. Focus a little more than I should on my sinful failures. Allow the enemy to condemn me over and over in my heart...so I am feeling unworthy of Jesus' friendship all over again. I worry that my kids will grow up keeping Christ at arms length.
Jesus knows when I need a little encouragement.
He is a sweet friend.
And knows well how to get my attention.
Niamh's class had a bunch of caterpillars-turned-butterflies this spring. They all had one and named it (Niamh named hers 'Bobby Salami':). But, when they all hatched out of their cocoons, there was no way to tell whose butterfly was whose. They did a class activity outside recently, where they each let one butterfly go... Niamh came home that day and was so excited to tell us about letting 20+ butterflies go on the playground.
And she added at the end, "Jesus told me that we each got to let our own butterfly go."
I was like whhhhhhaaaaaattttt?
She said, "Not like he talked into a mic or something~ like 'testing, testing, 1,2,3...' but he let me know."
Jesus is alive in our house.
And in our hearts.
He is invited into our every moment.
Even on the playground.
Which is pretty darn awesome to say the least.
Niamh's dress and Philly's pants (my favorite pair of pants on him right now) are from Joules. It is a Great Britain-based clothing company that celebrates the colorful life of the countryside.--->Hello. I want to work for them. What a wonderful source of inspiration!!<---They do ship to the US. I am grabbing another piece or two (decisions, decisions;). Kids clothes don't come any cuter. Like their Facebook here. OR follow their gorgeous photos on Instagram @joulesclothing.
Also, do a little shopping:).