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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Fighting Faith

I've always thought that some people are just born faithful. Others are not. Do you know what I mean? There are those people that by our modern standards have nothing, and without ever reading a Bible, they have this faith. This unwavering foundation that IS what they have. They don't question, they just... Believe.

My husband is that way. I won't say he's never questioned, never faltered but he just has it. It's inspiring. It's one of the things that drew me to him. This confident security, like he just knows. He says part of it is that he doesn't have a father, he does-his mom remarried and "dad" is amazing and loving, and in the years before, David's Grandfather stepped in and filled that role. But without a "real" Dad, he has felt that quite literally God is his father- his Daddy.

And then there is me. I have this overwhelming yearning to believe, but it has ALWAYS been difficult. I fight it every step of the way. I often look back to the early days to try to figure out why. My family was one that proclaimed Christianity, when it was convenient. Like, we believe in God by default, and definitely don't want to think we just hole up in the ground when we die. But it was never much talked about. Definitely not something my parents thought enough of to actually take the doctrine to heart, you know - the sanctity of marriage, loving others, mmm not important.

I don't know why things were this way, well actually I do, both of my parents choose to live their lives as something of a revolt, a rebellion. My dad's mother immigrated here from Greece as a child, and while we don't hear much of our heritage, I've learned through past Christmas and Easter gathering that while some of the family upholds the Greek Orthodox faith our little branch seems to have broke off. My grandparents on my Moms side are strict church going, prayer saying Christians. My Grandpa is a Freemason, my mom and her siblings raised actively in the church. But they were strict and so my mother turned away.

And so my foundation. Christianity became akin to mythology. Christians hypocrites. Definitely not something I wanted for my life. And yet as I got older, began coming into my own (ok so there were also definitely drugs involved) I needed answers. Purpose. And I began searching. Studying. After a few years I settled somewhat on Buddhism. I won't say I agreed with everything, but the core principles, the values, the happiness were appealing. I was content. But still, questioning.

I felt a need for creator. Enter David. Our long open discussions. He allowed me to pick apart his faith without judgment. And didn't force anything on me. He was patient. And little by little I began to see that I didn't have to like Christians to believe in their Lord. That it was about love and acceptance, not guilt and disdain. And wow! I was rocked with change, priorities, values shifted, I was on fire. And happy.

Inevitably, the fire began to smolder, but I stoked it and kept alive. Study, prayer, this thing called faith. But still I falter, it seems sooo foreign. I was never so certain there was a creator than when Xavier was born. To see a life spring from me left NO doubt in my mind. And this faith and trust carried me through those first weeks when our boy was so sick, when we needed him to make it, but had no guarantee he would.

Fast forward 18 months or so. I've been on this roller coaster of belief and question. I go through the motions. I have promised to help raise our son in the Lord, but there are times I feel I'm pretending. I try to remind myself that God is love. THAT is my purpose. That I believe in. Yet I question.

And then two days ago I'm pulling out of the garage with Xavier strapped in back and he gasps and exclaims "Mama!" pointing to the corner of the garage "Mama! SEE JESUS!". What? and again again, he tells me, "There Mama, See JESUS!"

I'm speechless.

He has it.

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  • Blogger Heaven Sent says so:
    3:01 PM  

    I totally just got the chills. I am honestly not just saying that.

    The gift of a child and their ability to blindly love is faith in its truest form. It strengthens me daily. And to hear them say things like Jesus just makes my heart sing.

    My pride got in the way of me believing for many years, until I slowly accepted what I could not explain. There wasn't a "moment," but it finally settled in my heart and gave me a peace I never had before.

    It is a daily struggle to stay "on fire" -- especially for a busy mom -- but I've found that's when I need to rely on my faith the most.

    I think honestly is the key to true faith, and God knows we question. We are human. As long as we talk to Him about what we are feeling -- and are honest with ourselves -- we DON"T end up going through the motions, but instead, we end up even stronger. And believing more than ever. top

  • Blogger JoynerFam says so:
    4:14 PM  

    How amazing is that. You always have signs to let you know everything is alright, but this one is a sign with all the blinking lights and arrows pointing to it. What a beautiful moment, and a memory you will have forever to remind you to just have faith.
    Love you guys
    Amanda top

  • Anonymous To Think is to Create says so:
    6:05 PM  

    With my third baby being so expressive with his love, I finally get a glimpse into the amazing way God made babies to be so giving of their love, straight from the womb (maybe even from within the womb). Its purely supernatural, because something so tiny and new shouldn't be able to feel and express such a profound emotion.

    I do believe that faith is a spiritual gift-some people have it, and faith comes easy. Others don't, and they need to constantly commit to their faith. I think its a choice we make in each moment of each day. Especially the hard days. top

  • Blogger Nikki Z says so:
    8:29 PM  

    I struggle with the same questioning on a daily basis. I was raised Catholic, my husband Baptist and we have finally settled on a non-demoninational church, but it is so bizzare compared to my Catholic upbringing. Every day is a challenge and I currently searching for my own faith...it is not an easy concept for me to grasp. Truely a work in progess...thank you for your post. top

  • Blogger Staci says so:
    10:46 AM  

    I think the beautiful, and wonderful thing about our Lord is his grace.

    You don't have to be born into any certain family or religion, go to any certain type of church, get baptized, say some special prayer, or DO ANYTHING.

    Jesus Christ did it all for us. What WE DO is not what gets us into heaven. The bible says that all we have to do is BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED. That's it, too easy. Then rely on the Lord to mold you into what he wants you to be, his will for your life will emerge.

    It is easy to be happy, and content once you have Jesus Christ in your heart. The first step is accepting him.

    I think you are such a good mama, and will teach Xavier well.


    Staci top

  • Anonymous O Mama Mia says so:
    6:22 PM  

    Oh tears! Children really do get it & it is so amazing to see the pure faith from their eyes.
    Daily fire can truly be such a struggle, but daily faith & peace is easy in His rest.
    "With faith like a child..." top

  • Blogger Glass Half Full says so:
    6:54 PM  

    Somtimes I wish I had the mind of child for times like this.

    Lori top

  • Blogger Heidi says so:
    10:08 AM  

    I too got the chills! I too had a very parallel experience. I was raise Catholic and my Dad used to point out the hypocracy right there after Church in the parking lot. "Be careful not to get run over by everyone speeding away after church." So crazy. I found faith - which constantly wavers - when my son was born as well. There's no way a wonderful person like this is created by accident I thought.

    It's so wonderful how their little minds take to God and faith. top

  • Anonymous Mama C-ta says so:
    7:52 PM  

    I'm not surprised X has it, not one bit. But I appreciate your honesty and hearing how much of a struggle it is for you because I can relate to you on so many levels, especially this one. Although I'm still waiting for something to hit me and show me what it's all about. top

  • Blogger My Wonderful Men... says so:
    1:25 PM  

    Funny how something so simple as Faith, a child can get and we adults can make so difficult.
    I'm so thankful for such a loving and understanding God in times like these. That was an amazing post. top