Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanks, But No Thanks

Last night I cancelled piano lessons for my son and myself. Rushing home from work, with the boys in tow, getting dinner cooked and eaten, and then inviting a stranger into my home for an hour starting at 5:30 was proving too stressful. I also work 2 evenings a week, and was having difficulty getting in piano practice time and homework, and all the other joys of daily living. All in all I just wasn't coping. I've come to terms with that, and am happy about my decision to cancel the classes. My son is only 7, there will be many more opportunities to expose him to music lessons.

I sent the piano teacher an e-mail, explaining that I was cancelling the lessons because I was having trouble making it all work. She e-mailed back saying that was fine, and that she was aware I was having trouble. Everything is fine, all parties are good.

Until this morning....

That would be when a new e-mail arrived from her in my inbox. In this e-mail she shared her experience of being a single mother, as well as other HEARTBREAKING experiences she has been dealt. She also stated that she had noticed how "stressed" I have been over the past few months of our lessons. She also offered her support should I need it. THEN....she also invited me to her community church, explaining that she would not have made it through her experiences had she not had the support of her church and God. That her relationship with God continues to be the only thing that gets her through her day to day life. Basically, that perhaps I would be less stressed and have a better perspective on life if I attended church and had a relationship with God.

I responded in a very diplomatic way, offering appreciation for her invitation but that I had a church that I grew up attending in the area and that should I choose to attend church I already have a community available.

However, Inside I was a little ticked. She does not know if I am already part of a church, however assumes since I am stressed out in my first year of being a single Mom I must not have a relationship with God. I'm still trying to figure out how having a relationship with God instantly makes everything better.

I was raised in a Christian family. Most Sundays I dressed in my pretty dress and tights and sat in the pew with my Mother and Sister. I sang in the children's choir, I went to Sunday School, I even read scripture when invited to during the Advent or Lent services. I even had the minister that I grew up listening to marry me 9 years ago. After all that I still have never felt a connection with God. Church for me has never been much more than a community looking for guidance from an invisible element that was created in a very long winded work of fiction long ago. I always enjoyed the "ceremony" of it all, and have fond memories of church growing up. I didn't hate it, I just didn't find any solace, strength, inspiration, or support from God.

In my pre-teens I started exploring spirituality. I have to be honest and say that I didn't go any further than neo-paganism, specifically Wicca.. However, I don't have a really strong need to settle with one organized religion. I find my spirituality in everything around me, I feel plenty supported, and even find guidance in my own way. I find comfort in celebrating the changes in the seasons. I find it stabilizing to look in the sky and be able to measure the progression of time by the size of the moon. I constantly receive guidance from the universe by paying attention to patterns that crop up in my day to day life. I find strength in seeing the resilience of nature, how plants and animals survive hash conditions and continue to grow and flourish. I get support from my large family and my great circle of friends. To me, this is what spirituality is, I don't need to congregate weekly to feel all these things.


  1. I was also raised in a Christian family, and have chosen not to attend now as an adult. I have to say, though, I'm not sure why this was so offensive. Isn't the invitation similar to someone inviting me out to an exercise class with them to blow off some steam, or to a pub night with a group of friends who are all single moms? People use a lot of different types of support, and churches (and other religious institutions) can be helpful to many.

  2. Thanks for the comment, as well as the question regarding my offense. I can see your side of the equation and I can admit that I sometimes can be critical of Christians. I guess I was mostly thrown because I don't feel that this woman and I have a relationship that is close enough that I would feel it was appropriate to discuss religion. I also have personal issues with this particular church, so I can admit that this caused a harsher response.