Tag Archives: Easter

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

blueprintI was the single parent of a first-grader when I decided to have an addition put on my house. I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I only knew I needed more space and an upstairs bathroom in this tiny Cape Cod.

I’ll never forget the Saturday morning my little daughter came into my room to tell me, “Mommy, there are some men at the door to work on our house. I think they’re speaking Italian.” I told her I’d be right there to let them in, to which she responded, “Oh, I already did.”

Thankfully, they were the plumbers my general contractor had sent, not some nefarious scam artists prowling the neighborhood. By the time I got into the kitchen they were unloading their tools and already (presumably) discussing their strategy for upgrading my ancient pipes to accommodate the new plumbing – in Polish, not Italian, by the way.

The remodeling project went on for months. And truthfully? I thought I would lose my mind. I hadn’t realized the disruption it would cause. I never expected to have to make so many decisions about things I knew nothing about. And frankly, I had no idea how much it was going to end up costing by the end.

Yep, I was pretty naive to take that project on.

In the end I was glad I had done it, but I’ll be honest with you: If I had known what I was getting myself into, I seriously doubt I would have attempted it.  

As I was walking my dog in the neighborhood recently, I was reflecting on that experience and the whole if I had it to do over again part. Then a sobering thought came to me, Continue reading If I Knew Then What I Know Now

The Critical Importance of Sunsets, Easter Bonnets, and Pie


Have you thought about how you came to have (or not have) faith?  Where and how your traditions and the things you believe about God were formed?  What formed the basis for your personal beliefs as an adult?

Many of my friends come from faith backgrounds very different from mine and I am always fascinated to hear how they came to embrace the beliefs they now have.  Sadly, some have specifically rejected the idea of “religion” altogether and have gone their own way.  Theirs are interesting, if wrenching, stories, too.

For me faith took root in my family, specifically the Christian upbringing I was afforded by my parents.  Generations before me believed in God and in the divinity and sacrifice of Jesus to redeem humanity from sin.  Those beliefs were incorporated into our daily routine and the rhythm of life in general.

We prayed before meals.  It seemed we went to church every time the doors were opened (my Dad was – and still is – a pastor, at the age of 89).  Everyone in our family had their own Bible (the King James Version, naturally!)  We studied and memorized Scripture passages, many of which come to mind now when I need them most.

Our family’s social life revolved around the church.  Fellowships, potluck dinners (we called them “dinner on the grounds” – a very confusing concept to me as a child), Wednesday night “suppers”.  We were Baptists, so we enjoyed pie and coffee at church members’ homes, never a cocktail or a game of cards.

Of course, we always got new clothes to wear on Easter – maybe even a “bonnet” – usually from the Sears catalog!

We acknowledged God in the beauty of creation.  Growing up in Key West meant we were constantly reminded of His presence all around us.  I specifically remember my mother looking at a breathtaking sunset one evening as we sat on lawn chairs in the front yard after dinner, and saying, “How can anyone say there is no God?”  I was about 8 at the time but to this day, when I look at a sunset I remember the awe and sincerity in her voice and I am grateful to the One responsible.

When we visited relatives in North Florida and South Carolina, we practiced the same traditions and shared an understanding and acceptance of the same truths.  Faith in God, faith in Christ, these were indisputable and foundational.

When my mother succumbed to cancer in 1997, the assurance of her eternal destiny and the certainty that I would be reunited with her in Heaven were what got me through – and continue to comfort me now.

Faith.  I personally don’t believe it can be inherited from your parents nor can you “vaccinate” your own children with it.  But it certainly can be modeled – with consistency and depth.  How fortunate and thankful I am for my parents, for those who came before them, and for our church community, all of whom brought their faith to me in tangible and memorable ways and helped me make it my own.

Did your family traditions help you form your personal faith?  What values were modeled to you through the rhythms and routines of your young life?  What are some of your most significant memories?