The house is so quiet.
Both boys are fast asleep and Joel is at work.
All I can hear are the hands of the clock.
I should be cleaning since we're hosting Easter for Joel's side of the family tomorrow night. I should be prepping the Easter baskets and making the little Easter bags of goodies for nieces and nephews.
But I'm not. I'm sitting down to breath and to write.
My body aches from the wedding I photographed today. My hand that focuses my lens aches and the muscles in my legs ache. Being a wedding photographer, you do a lot of squats and sometimes I even sit on the floor to get the shot I want. My dress code is all black for this very reason.
I just want to curl up in bed with a good book, and when my eyes get heavy... drift off to sleep.
It's funny, of all the things I talk to my boys about... I haven't talked about the true meaning of Easter.
Jesus nailed to a cross for all the bad things you've ever done or are going to do... what a horrible thing to tell a child. And then he died and rose.
We pray every night, but we are not religious. We believe in God, we believe God is love and we believe in all paths to God.
I grew up in a home where I was forced to go to church every Sunday. Forced to wear a dress (later after much fighting- dress pants, I was a tomboy).
I grew up and accepted my religion.
Then my brother overdosed on drugs one night and everything I thought I knew about the world changed.
We'd drive three hours to a mental institute to visit him and hear him ramble on about nothing while he was so doped up on thorazine he could barely walk. Did I mention he believed himself to be Jesus during this time?
His eyes looked dead and I cried the whole three hour car ride home the first time I visited him.
I was 16.
To me he was dead. Sitting in front of me talking, but dead. I even told a stranger my brother had died. It didn't feel wrong at the time. I didn't know where he was and in my mind he was never coming back.
During those years, I remember going to church and not wanting to be there... I called my Dad (who doesn't attend church and never did with us) to come pick me up.
I felt like it was all wrong. It felt forced for me, and even fake.
He drove me home in silence and the only thing he said was... "You might want to go back someday, and I just want you to know that's okay. You're going through a lot right now."
I love him so much for that.
I was angry for a long time.
And I could never find God in church.
But then I started to see him all around me and then within.
In the night's sky, in the miracle of a plant growing, holding a newborn baby... laughing so hard your stomach hurts.
This was God, and realizing that freed me.
He knows my heart.
And just because I don't go to church, doesn't mean I'm a lost soul... (yes I get the look occasionally).
Tomorrow as you spend time with loved ones or drive to church... look up at the sky, take a deep breath in... one that reaches all the the most intimate places within your body- this is God too.
And if you completely disagree with me, that's fine too. You have a right to believe whatever you want, and I respect that.
Well it's getting late, guess I should go wash some dishes now :)