1. Growing up.

So, my dears, I guess I will have to start at the very beginning.  I didn’t always have this deep seeded animosity towards the church, but I have been very skeptical about church people, well,  for a LONG time.

See, I grew up in a very strict SOUTHERN BAPTIST household.  Daddy was the man, and mommy did whatever he said.  You didn’t question his word, and I learned to just keep my mouth shut.  There was no discussion.  No openness of ideas.  No search for truth through understanding other belief systems or religions.  Everything else was just wrong.  And by wrong, I mean bad.

Catholics were going to hell. Presbyterians were going to hell.  Methodists were going to hell.  Episcopalians were going to hell. And, certainly, Muslims were going to hell.  Even other Baptists were bad if they weren’t Southern.

If you drank, you were certainly on the road to hell.  If you had premarital sex you were on the HIGHWAY to hell…If you were gay, then you were not only going to hell, you were bringing it to earth.  And if you were black?  Nope, not even going there…for now.

Now, I am not promoting premartial sex.  It’s emotional and creates massive problems.  You can get bad diseases. I know. From experience. {not the disease part, the emotional baggage part…but I was really lucky there}

Am I going to hell?  I bet some of you might think so…

And I drink.  I like to drink.  I like Margaritas and  I like Salty Dogs.

I like to dance.

 I like asking questions and hearing other people’s opinions.

I just didn’t grow up in a house with any of that.  It took leaving.  It took leaving and making HUGE mistakes.  It took making Huge mistakes and meeting all sorts of people.  It took years for me to learn how to think for myself.

My sister can’t make a decision to save her life.  Her husband makes them all for her.  She never even tried to have an original thought.

I swear my kids will grow up questioning, studying, and searching for truth.  I will not have them being told what to think.  Yes, we will shepherd them in our faith.  But we will have honest conversations about life outside of our little box.  We will teach them to have open minds and open hearts.  We will teach them to love and to serve.

That’s the plan and I’m sticking to it.