This morning, I awoke and performed the same routine as most Sunday mornings. I ate some breakfast, read the newspaper, and went to church. This has been my Sunday mornings for as long as I can remember. It’s as comfortable to me as slipping on my favorite pair of running shoes. I have my parents to thank; they raised me this way. Every Sunday, like clockwork. Get up, eat my Cheerios, brush my teeth, throw on my Sunday best, and out the door we went.

My parents both come from strict religious upbringings. My Dad was raised in a very strict Netherlands Reformed Church; my mom, Catholic. My parents met halfway, and decided on a Christian Reformed Church as their home to raise my brother and me in. For many years, my Dad was an infrequent attender with us. He was burned out from the Church from years of over bearing rules. Gradually, he started attending more and more. After my brother was born, I only remember him missing church due to work or illness.

As I grew, I became curious like most kids do. I knew what I believed in, but I knew there were other religious and spiritual groups outside of my church. I knew that I liked the idea of going to church; it felt like food for my soul. Every week a new message; a lesson to help build me spiritually. I had many questions though; I wanted to know what other people did to meet their spiritual needs.

When it came time for me to leave home and attend college, I choose a school in Massachusetts; quite a ways from my small community in Michigan. The city was much bigger, school was tough, and I had to make new friends. But one thing still remained, I still had this spiritual drive inside me. So, like I did back home, every Sunday I continued my tradition. I had to find a new church though, Christian Reformed was hard to come by in Boston. One year I settled on an upbeat multi-denominational student led church group. The next year, I attended a small Methodist church with some friends. When it became tough to find rides to leave campus, I walked across the street and attended Catholic masses each Sunday. I also took my required core classes of Philosophy and Theology at school. Through the diverse churches and messages I came across, I always was able to walk away feeling “full”. Not one church or religion I encountered felt better than another. They all had wonderful things to contribute to my spirituality.

Today, my husband and I attend a rather large, traditional Christian church. We both feel comfortable there, which is important to me, because he comes from a non-religious upbringing. When we are away from the church, I find other ways to engage my spiritual center. I pray, or run and enjoy my surroundings, or strike a few yoga poses, or read the Bible. To me, religion is more than just going through the motions of attending church, it is finding those things that strengthen us at our core.

Today’s simplest pleasures:

1.) Find your way to feed your spiritual needs be it attending a church, traveling to holy lands, striking yoga poses, meditating, or studying theology or philosophy in school. It will help strengthen your entire being and enrich your experiences while here on earth.

2.) Share your spiritual progress with others; it may help awaken the eyes of someone who has been asleep but didn’t know it.

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