TO CELEBRATE THE OCTOBER RELEASE OF MY BOOK THRASHING ABOUT WITH GOD, AND TO EXPAND THE CONVERSATION BEYOND MYSELF, I HAVE ASKED 31 BRAVE PEOPLE TO SHARE A GUEST POST WITH THE THEME OF #IAMTHRASHING. THESE ARE PEOPLE I HAVE PERSONALLY DIALOGUED WITH, PEOPLE WHO I KNOW HAVE RISKED A LOT TO WRESTLE WITH THE HARD STUFF THAT COMES WITH SPIRITUALITY. OUR FAITH MAY NOT LOOK LIKE YOURS, BUT WE WELCOME YOU TO THE DISCUSSION.
Some ask me with a puzzled look in their eye “Deb, what religion are you?”
They are confused by the images on my wall of Our Lady of Guadalupe placed next to the Ganesh and Prison Art Crucifix.
My personal altar holds a miniature Prayer Flag, Mexican relics, a Tibetan singing bowl, The Egyptian Ankh and several Asian elephant totems.
There are bundles of sage, sticks of incense, crystals, altar candles, collected rocks, seashells and feathers.
The various religious icons of Marys, Saints, Buddhas, Angels and Crosses are gathered to build my personal community of Spirituality.
There are bits of paper with handwritten intentions, wishes, visions, dreams and hopes.
This is my answer.
No title, no label, no scheduled church service.
I keep this shrine in the main room of my home.
Simply a daily, constant reminder to be aware of something, so much greater than myself.
It causes me to pause. Slow down. Reflect. Breathe.
You see, I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church.
Daddy was a Deacon. Mom was Sunday School Teacher.
I sang soprano in the Youth Choir.
I surrendered to peer pressure to walk the aisle to get baptized.
I gave up my virginity to the boy I met at church.
My friends got mad at me when I quit attending.
They just did not understand when I explained that I felt so much closer to God, in His World, at the lake camping rather than being dressed up on a wooden pew singing “Just As I Am”
Fast forward to my life right now, 40 years later.
I practice yoga.
I breathe deeper.
I light candles every morning.
I walk the beach.
I sit still.
I open my heart.
I speak my truth.
And when I heard this by Willie Nelson for the first time, I dropped to my knees.
Deb is a passionate photographer and blogger at What's Deb Doing.
She resides near the beach in Merritt Island, Florida.
Known as a peace-seeker, full-moon dancer, red-wine lover and daytime-dreamer.
She also expresses her creativity inside the pages of her art journal, including mixed media and fabric arts.
She hosts and teaches local workshops, as well as her own Mish Mash e-course.
You can find her here: