Introducing… A Domestic Goddess

It’s true, Life Sans God has been on a hiatus… but now, I introduce my new (and soon to be improved) blog. Please check out this first blog post and follow along on my new journey ūüôā

Dreaming In Earth Tones

Vanessa - Individual, Wife, Mom, Friend Vanessa ‚Äď Individual, Wife, Mom, Friend‚Ķ

Introducing…

Greetings! I‚Äôm Vanessa, a 30-something ‚ÄúDomestic Goddess‚ÄĚ (a.k.a. Stay at Home Mom). I think I‚Äôm a pretty awesome person (though sometimes I forget). Most likely, you are a pretty rad human being as well. I find something gratifying in the fact that we are all connected as humans and we all want to be loved. Connection to others is something that I crave deeply so I seek community in the many things I do: fitness (running, yoga, Ultimate Frisbee), parenting, nutrition, and blogging (to name a few).

Why This Blog?

I began a topical blog last summer and discovered that I find satisfaction in writing, telling stories, expressing my views, and getting feedback from a community of people. After much thought, I decided to transition away from the topical blog to this new blog. I chose the fairly generic blog name Dreaming in Earth Tones, allowing me the…

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Dear Sister Christian

I went on a two-month mission trip in college and one of the leaders began calling me “Sister Christian”. This leader was a great lady and she often came up with little sayings that were endearing and/or humorous. As a Christian, I thought there was something satisfying in the idea that we were all connected as a family. We were a family that knew the truth of Christ’s love and salvation. So, I began using this new expression, sister Christian, since I preferred it to the more awkward-sounding “Sister (or Brother) in Christ”.

As you likely know,¬†I am no longer a¬†believer in any god and therefore no one can¬†accurately¬†call me sister Christian any longer.¬†But¬†in the letter below, the “feeler” in me chose to address my Christian friends and family¬†in this former way¬†because I like expressing affection. And I am truly grateful that, as human-beings, we are all connected in a familial way, despite our many differences in opinion and belief. (Note: this letter isn’t to anyone in particular, it’s a summation of my feelings and thoughts toward my religious family and friends).

Despite my desire to communicate, sometimes saying what I feel is the last thing I want to do...Here goes!

Communicating what I really feel can be so fun… here goes nothing!

Dear Sister (and Brother) Christian,

I miss you. I miss how things used to be. I miss our conversations. I miss the peace and harmony I felt when hanging out with you. Sadly, I am not sure we can have that back. It seems that you have taken a step back from our relationship. I get it…¬†change can be hard. Especially the unexpected “rock the core beliefs” kind of change that happened to me.

It has been pretty exhausting… the process of:

  • doubting and questioning the faith I have had since I was¬†young
  • seeking the truth despite what I grew up believing and despite what my loved-ones believe
  • realizing that I simply don’t believe anymore
  • sharing this news with¬†people as it seems appropriate (examples here and here)
  • experiencing changes in many relationships
  • deciding how to handle all the changes
  • attempting to treat my friends and family with compassion and understanding
  • figuring out how to raise my children morally, without guidance from a god (examples here and here)
  • figuring out how to have community without church
  • observing you sharing about god at your convenience
  • holding my tongue so as not to offend people
  • and finally starting this blog so I can¬†have a voice.

It is very possible that you are exhausted too and that many of your¬†thoughts¬†and prayers have been spent on my behalf. Maybe you fear for my eternal soul¬†or what may happen to me in this life. Or perhaps, you don’t think about this change in my life at all. Maybe¬†it just doesn’t bother you that much. Or maybe you’re somewhere in between. How do you feel about this change in my life? Well, either way, I felt it necessary to¬†express my thoughts and feelings because while I am at peace with the realization that I’m an atheist, I am not at peace with my relationship with you.

Here are some things I think you should know about me:

  • I am still the same person I used to be
    • I love people and building relationships
    • I love my family A LOT
    • I enjoy being outdoors and staying active
    • I’m caring, honest, genuine, fun and enthusiastic
    • Like most people, I want¬†happiness for myself and my loved-ones
  • I didn’t suddenly become immoral
    • I strive for the things that are in the best interest of myself, my family, my friends and my community
    • I don’t want to steal, lie, cheat, or harm anyone
  • I am not convinced there is a¬†god because I haven’t found¬†sufficient evidence
    • I didn’t lose faith because I wanted an excuse to sin
    • I am not a heathen because I felt harmed by god or his followers
    • While I am open to hearing your evidence, I would advise that you not treat me like a potential convert, I think that will only hurt our relationship
  • I don’t generally feel the need to talk about religion
    • I don’t care what you believe as long as you’re not hurting anyone
    • I enjoy the fact that I don’t need to be an evangelist anymore
    • While I do want you to think critically about your own viewpoint, I don’t want to spend time trying to convince you¬†to agree with me
    • That said, I am open to talking about god and our existence and generally enjoy such conversations

_________________________________________________________________________

If I could have an ideal conversation with you about beliefs it would go something like this:

You: I believe ________ and this is why _________.

Me: OK, I don’t believe ________ and this is why __________.

You: Alright.

(We decide to mutually respect each other’s right to believe or not believe whatever we want as long as it’s not hurting anyone)

Me: Alright, well, that’s enough about religion.

You: Yeah, let’s have fun and enjoy each other’s company and not let religion get in the way.

_________________________________________________________________________

I realize life isn’t so simple, it’s not possible to have it exactly the way we want sometimes. And that’s OK.

I want you to know I am happy. I used to worry so much about what god might be saying to me or how he was leading my life. Now, I feel empowered to make my own choices and take responsibility for my life. I feel free. I feel at peace. I am doing well.

Lastly, I invite you to share anything about yourself that you would like me to know. I welcome your response to this letter if you feel compelled.

With much love,

Vanessa

 

My Beautiful Child-Self

I bring my beautiful child-self outside to play. We…

go to the beach

stick our feet in the wet sandKids at the beach

wiggle our toes in the sand and water

build a huge castle with a moat

hop and run in the shallow water

dive underneath the crashing waves

hop with the waves as they repeatedly hit us in the chest

body surf

                         toss balls and Frisbees

join beach games

                                        flop on our towels to bask in the sun

drink yummy fruity drinks

eat pizza

                                                 dance like crazy to the loud music

Beach Sunsetsing shamelessly till our voices are gone

head home as the sun starts setting

fall asleep as soon as our heads hit our pillows

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I was prompted to write on this topic because I am participating in Women Who Write Rock, a writing retreat spearheaded by Helene Rose. Find out more about this amazing woman and the services she offers at her website Be Brilliant Network.

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Allowing myself to say “what if…”

What if…

  • We accepted others exactly how they are and for exactly who they are?
  • We gave that same gift of acceptance to ourselves?
  • We moved past stereotypes, hate, judgments?
  • We showed much compassion and care to those we encountered?
  • We didn’t feel the need to prove ourselves?
  • We let go of our fears?
  • We treated our mistakes and failures, not as deficiencies or inadequacies, but as tools for growth?
  • We simply chose to live our own free, empowered, beautiful lives?

Yeah…what if…?

I would…

  • Stop feeling anxious about any supposed incompetencies.
  • Ask for help when I need it.
  • Stop caring what other people think about my parenting skills and choices.
  • Stop caring about the negative things I think people are thinking about me. Period.
  • Share my own thoughts more openly even when my ideas differ from those around me.
  • Generously hand out genuine compliments and try to express compassion whenever possible.
  • Say ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ to things I’m not interested in and ‚Äúyes‚ÄĚ to things that I REALLY want to do.
  • Try more things and take more risks.
  • Embrace my mistakes and failures by learning from them instead of feeling down because of them.
  • Love fully, without fear of rejection.
  • Stop trying to be perfect.
  • Run free, or walk or roam or wander, and not feel guilty about wanting to go at my own pace.
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Me running freely up a mountain in the rain

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I was prompted to write on this topic because I am participating in Women Who Write Rock, a writing retreat spearheaded by Helene Rose. Find out more about this amazing woman and the services she offers at her website Be Brilliant Network.

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Ring of Fire

About twelve years ago, right after high school, was one of the hardest times in my life. Before this, I used to write poetry often as a way to express myself and process. Well, today, I wrote my first poem in over 12 years, wahoo!

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Ring of fire
Pit of despair
Perpetual darkness
Life unfair

abstract ring of fireAs of late
I‚Äôm not ‚Äúme‚ÄĚ
Destructive acts
Not living free

Desperation
Wounds and pain
Feeling helpless
Is it all in vain?

Strength and courage
I search and pray
Grant me the will
Or die, I may
Rescue Squad SignGod is it you?
Did you hear me shout
Do you care enough
To pull me out?

Suddenly climbing
I can see the light
My body emerges
By my own mightPit of DespairFree and empowered
No matter the cause
I’m certainly grateful
Can I get some applause?Applause

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I was prompted to write on this topic because I just joined Women Who Write Rock, a writing retreat spearheaded by Helene Rose. Find out more about this amazing woman and the services she offers at her website Be Brilliant Network.

Zero to Hero Challenge

I have recently started blogging again and I am really enjoying myself. I came across a challenge called Zero to Hero: 30 days to a Better Blog. In the spirit of the new year and wanting to improve my writing and blogging skills I thought, why not give this a try? So, today I will begin this 30 day challenge, wish me luck!

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Back to Blogging?

No Outlet Sign

Not only do I crave a writing outlet, I feel as if I will go crazy if I don’t express myself through writing

It has been quite some time since I sat down to blog. The crazy thing is that I started this blog at one of the busiest times in my life. Then, when I quit my job to stay at home with my kids (almost 5 months ago) I did not find myself with a ton of spare time and energy to blog. But lately I find myself craving a writing outlet whether it be in a journal, poem, letter, or blog. For some reason I am drawn more to blogging than the other forms of writing and I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps it feels more invigorating to know that someone might read my words and actually care or be encouraged by what I have to say.

When the possibility of blogging is right in front of me I struggle with the process of sitting down to communicate what’s going on in my life. In particular, I struggle with:

  • Time – I have two very distracting boys that keep me very busy, should I set aside my spare moments of down time to blog?
  • Competency – I question my writing skills. I find myself wanting to nit-pick every little thing in order to have the perfect blog post. The idea of attaining perfection feels necessary, largely impossible and stressful all at the same time. I would much rather sit down, communicate what I want to communicate, and be done with it. But that requires me letting go of my need for perfection.
  • Content – Oh, the question of what to write about. Do I need to have a blog theme and have all my writing tie into the theme in some way? If I don’t choose a theme, will my blog be too broad and lack a goal to give me direction?
  • Significance – ¬†Why blog? Does anyone even care what I have to say? Even if no one cares what I have to say, should I blog anyway as a sort of therapy for myself?

Despite all the barriers and worries about blogging I feel the need to challenge myself to at least give blogging another try. My goal is to make regular time to blog and not worry so much about themes, perfect writing, or whether anyone cares what I have to say. I care what I have to say as well as the process of communicating my thoughts and that is what is important.

Flying

I plan to spread my wings and see where the wind takes me

I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.
‚Äē¬†C. JoyBell C.

Your Turn

What struggles do you have when writing a blog? What barriers do you encounter when trying to express yourself through writing?