Being thankful for: my faith

Week #7 of the 15-week gratitude challenge and the topic is thanking someone who helped you find God. I grew up going to Catholic school. As a young child I seem to remember that our Mass attendance was a given. As a teen we didn’t go to church as a family and I know I didn’t go on a regular basis. As a college student I found myself going fairly regularly on my own. Once I was married we had a routine of going to Mass on Saturday night and then going out to dinner. I started to become active in our church as a young, married adult.

I grew up with God as a part of my life, and can certainly thank my parents for that, but I can’t think of an epiphany where someone “helped me find God.” However, I can think of someone who modeled a family life of faith that I knew I wanted for my family someday. A life that I work hard to instill in the lives of my children…

Who helped me find my faith?

My godmother.

My Aunt Mary Lou is the mother of four children. If there was one impression I had of their lives when we were all growing up it was “they do a lot of church.” They went to Mass every week even when they were visiting for the summer. Mass on vacation just didn’t make sense at all to me at the time – though when we went to visit them, I remember going to church with them. All of my cousins were altar servers and active in their church. I barely volunteered at church and remember sketchily attending any sort of church functions. Even though I went to Catholic school, just like they did, they seemed much more closely tied to their church community.

I don’t remember making a conscious decision to model my family’s faith life after my Aunt’s family, but I can see now that her influence is strong. Going to Mass isn’t a question of “if” around here, it’s “when.” We go to Mass on vacation, even when I’m on a vacation with just my husband, we always find a church and go to Mass. My children are all active in our church. The rule in our house is that your church gives you a lot, you have to find at least one way to give back to your church. Our church community knows each of us by name and we know a lot of people in our church community. We pray as a family and I’ve worked hard to instill faith traditions into our lives outside of Mass.

Looking at my family I realize… we do a lot of church. It is a foundation of faith that I wanted to give my children. I have my Aunt to thank for that.

Thank you, Aunt Mary Lou for giving me a model of faith to follow.

15 weeks, 15 letters, 15 minutes. To kick off 2015. Read about the gratitude challenge here.


7 thoughts on “Being thankful for: my faith

    1. Thanks Angela 🙂 When I saw this week’s question she was the first person that came to mind. She’s had a big influence on how I’ve chosen to life my faith.

  1. Barb, I have read your posts in the past, but this one was quite enjoyable for me to read. It’s funny to read observations about one’s family from the outside. I don’t think I realized that we “did a lot of church” at the time. But, like you, we definitely model our family on that example, and the influence of both my parents is strong in our household. I think what has been most enjoyable for me is watching my parents continue to grow in their faith. They are now a model for me to continue spiritually challenging myself and my family! Good bless you, cuz.

    1. They are a model for me as well. A wonderful example of how our faith can be part of our life in so many ways. God’s blessings for you & yours.

  2. Whenever we’re on vacation Amara is so excited to find the nearest church and take a picture to send to our priest (who we have a great relationship with). We don’t always get to mass when we’re on vacation (although we did this past week and it was so interesting to experience the differences between our church and the Florida church we found ourselves in), but we’ve got pictures of Catholic churches all along our travels!

  3. Hi, Barb!

    Happy 4th of July! I hope you are doing well. I don’t think I have your usual email address, but I am hoping that if I reply to your blog, you will get it.

    Before Michael heads off to college in a little over a year, I would love to go on a big road trip like your family has done a few times (although, with 10 children, one of whom will not yet be 2, we probably will not be able to be as ambitious as you! : ) ). I know you are a planner* par excellence*, and I would love to hear any advice or suggestions you might have. My family went to Yellowstone when we were young, so I often think of going there. But I have never seen the Grand Canyon, and I see that it is only a few hours’ driving difference. Would you recommend one trip over the other? Michael (my husband) is wondering why it needs to be so far west – and maybe it would be too much – so if you have any thoughts on places and things to see that are not so far, we would be open to that, too.

    Thank you so much, Barb! I miss seeing relatives like we used to do when we were little! It has been nice “keeping in touch” with you reading your blog. : )

    Love, Angela

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