Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Since I’m catching up here, I must share Lilah’s Confirmation which she shared with her cousin Courtney.

Back in September 2015, when I was the volunteer coordinator of the religious education program, Courtney asked if she could be confirmed at our church with her cousin.  Since she lives out of state, she was able to complete the curriculum, Decision Point at home using a free phone app and a journal.  She met several times with the Priest and emailed photos of her completed work.  

In some ways it was a long year.  Lilah was never connected with her class.  She homeschooled religious ed for 7th grade after a cell phone incident involving a picture happened and her teacher would not assist in helping her resolve it with the students and parents.  She lost trust, but thankfully did not lose faith.  She returned for 8th grade but it never got any better.  There was a huge disconnect between what the students were learning in class and how they lived their daily lives.  Just one example -- during the Living Stations of the Cross there were selfies taken on the alter.   Truly unbelievable behavior from teens about to experience a mature sacrament.    Anyway, Lilah learned a lesson about perseverance and judgement and patience and working with others whom you might not like very much.  

Her journal was a shared effort.  We worked on it together.  It became a scrapbook of the year, with every event included (like Living Stations, the Christmas Event at Knight’s of Columbus Musuem, Hashim Garret’s presentation at The Peabody Museum and the many Christian movies we watched).  Because we encountered so much sickness last year, we watched many movies and rather than watch mindless movies, I decided to explore the genre of Christian movies.  Our list grew and grew and still grows.  It includes:
  • Saving Christmas
  • Grace Unplugged
  • War Room
  • Finding Normal
  • Touched By Grace
  • When the Game Stands Tall
  • Brother White
  • Once I was A Beehive
  • Miracles From Heaven
  • God’s Not Dead
  • Is Heaven for Real

We decided to throw a party for Courtney and Lilah.  Invitations were printed and mailed.  Cakes were ordered, both regular and gluten free!  Presents were purchased.  Names were chosen.

Lilah chose the name Olive.  It may be legend, but Saint Olive is known to be a 13 year old Italian girl who was kidnaped and taken to Tunesia by invading Muslims.  When she was found to perform miracles she was imprisoned and tortured.  While imprisoned, she converted many of her captors before she was beheaded.  Her sprit rose from her body in the shape of a dove.  I happen to have a necklace of my Grandmother’s of a dove stamped on a disc of silver.  Lilah wore that necklace during Confirmation and it warmed my heart.  

Courtney chose the name Shiphrah, an Old Testament name of a midwife who helped prevent the genocide of Hebrew children by the Egyptians.  She wanted a bold name and I am honored to have helped her find this one.  I am also honored to have been her sponsor and hope to continue to lead her to a deeper relationship with Christ.  My gift to her was a screwdriver, a very cool screwdriver made by Snap On Tools with multiple heads for various jobs.  My Dad gave me one years ago and I use it often.  In her card I wrote a specific verse and told her while the screwdriver is a tool, the real tool for life is her Bible.  I love the decal I purchased from SaltyBiscut’s Etsy site to customize her Bible. 

While our paths in religion may be changing, our faith is stronger than ever.  I am so proud of these two young women and hope they use their faith to guide them as they mature and hope that they are defined not by what they do, but by who they are, daughters of the Lord.


Theresa B said...

Those Snap-On screwdrivers are the bomb! We have one and I always reach for it and I never use all the other screwdrivers we own. It is such a useful tool and I love the parallel you drew with the Bible.

What you described regarding Lilah's religious ed class sounds very similar to Allie's experience with both religious ed and youth group in our church and Piper's experience with church choir. In our case, the incidents involved children from the same family. An affluent family with multiple generations involved who have their hands in EVERY aspect of the church so our church leaders felt their hands were tied and they couldn't upset this family by disciplining the children, whose behavior our church leaders found inappropriate and most un-Christlike. It was a frustrating time. We were so disappointed because the girls wanted to participate in mission trips since they were small, but we were concerned about the behavior of these children/this family even if Jason and I were also on the mission trips. It's a bad situation and we have learned that several families have left the church because of some members of this family. We searched for a new church home, but as the girls were raised in this church, nothing compares for them. We are still searching.

LJS said...

My Dad is a Snap-On Dealer so he gets us the best gadgets!

I could list behavior after behavior in this one particular class and because it was never stopped, it snowballed. Greg and I allowed Lilah to skip many days of class and several events that she was supposed to go to. We never would have allowed her to go on a retreat with this group so I understand your concerns totally. It is just a shame that the desire is in their heart but the church did not honor that and meet their needs. The new church we are at has such an active teen group. Over 200 kids went to the winter retreat. Grace is going to her first retreat ever at the end of the summer. It is much smaller, at 50 kids and the focus is on student leadership (and fun in Jesus' name!). I hope you find what your family needs soon Theresa. It has changed our entire family for the better.

It's so nice chatting with you here. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It encourages me to get back to blogging!

Theresa B said...

Absolutely! I am happy you feel encouraged. I have always felt inspired and encouraged by your writing and your family's story as it unfolds.

I am so glad that Grace is finding positive youth to connect with!

We are still looking for a church...I still have several friends in our old church who always comment about this one particular family that causes so many issues. I do miss that weekly message that made me feel so understood and inspired to keep going.

LJS said...

Have you considered a non-denominational Christian church? I had no idea we had churches like this so close to us. While I love and respect some of the Catholic traditions, my soul is soaking up the community and the Word that I am receiving at our new church. There is an upcoming (April 2017) event called Unshaken - a regional gathering for the group Moms In Prayer being held at our church. You should come! The states represented are VA to ME. My co-chair for publicity is from Princeton, NJ.

Theresa B said...

Really? Princeton is not far. Do you know what church she attends? One of my friends also recommended non-denominational. Oddly, the only real exposure I have to that is a particular small church near us that does not allow dancing (like Footloose) that some of my cousins joined and over the years have completely drifted away from our family because the church is the only family they need. That gave me a bad taste for non-denominational, but one of my friends said that not all non-denominational churches are like that. She was/is Seventh Day Adventist but had some bad experiences in her church and like our family, is searching for a new church (she is a homeschool mom in NJ but lives over an hour away so we are not really looking in the same location) and from what she has shared some of the non-denominational churches sound like they may be a good fit for us.

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