Posted by: Kate | August 12, 2009

I’ve Misplaced my Religion; Can I Borrow Yours?

It’s patently obvious to me, looking at the Madhouse calendar of topics, that it was thrown together long before I had any idea of the amount of chaos about to descend over the summer. I’m barely able to help Jacob pick out the right days-of-the-week socks, much less plan out posts on specified topics.

So, here I am, after 9:00 on a Wednesday evening, just now remembering – and that only because I was deliberately reminded – that is is Wednesday, and therefore time for another carnival entry. Religion, this week. Heavy stuff, no matter what time of year, and I’d likely have a hard time coming up with something that is both on-topic and not previously discussed even if I wasn’t surrounded by little bursts of chaos.

But this week, as it happens, the concept of religion has been somewhat on my mind.  Well, not religion, exactly; more like faith.  I still don’t find myself drawn to the idea of a personlike God, with conditions for membership and fees and specified locations for worship.  I don’t have anything against it, and often envy those who can draw comfort or community from their religious affiliation.  It’s just not the way I roll.

Instead, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the idea of trust, and faith, and accepting that what is supposed to happen, will happen.  I can’t believe that everything happens for a reason, but I can get on board with the idea that there’s a larger scheme of things, a flow of karma or grace or just something, and that the best I can do is, well, do my best, and then let go a little and just hope.

I’m not a huge fan of this “just let go” idea; I much prefer a sense that if I just follow the right steps, then I’ll get the outcome I want.  Like in school, or work, or organizing an interstate move, or any of those other areas of life in which we have some semblance of control.  But sometimes, we can’t even pretend to be in control.

Like now.

Because I’m pregnant.

Yes, really.

Only a tiny little bit, so far.  Far enough along for a home pregnancy test, taken on a hunch at 5:30 in the morning the day the movers were due to arrive, to come out not only positive, but darkly and enthusiastically positive.  Far enough along for blood tests to be positive, with the magical hCG level increasing quite nicely, as it’s meant to do.  Far enough to have very seriously rattled my poor little brain quite enthusiastically around inside my skull.

But not far enough along to be able to see anything, conclusively, on an ultrasound.  The gestational sac is there, but nothing heartbeatlike or bloblike.  That was yesterday, and it took the wind out of my sails a bit.  I was so upbeat, so serenely positive that, since I was quite dutifully experiencing all of the requisite early pregnancy symptoms, including an ability to fall asleep mid-sentence and a low-grade nausea that spikes to high-grade with very little warning, the ultrasound would show me a little cursor-blink of a heartbeat and I could start shopping for maternity clothes.  Instead I got a firm “We’re not sure,” and a follow-up ultrasound scheduled for next week.  There are no reasons to believe that anything is going wrong – it really is just very early in the process – but no conclusive, visual indications of perfection, either.

I’m still feeling fairly optimistic, and just spent a rousing, epiphany-like experience, worshiping at the porcelain altar in my bathroom. (Which, ironically enough, and only fitting for this post, has a brand name of “Church.”  You just can’t make this stuff up.)  As unpleasant a symptom as that may be, I’m delighted to have any symptoms at all, at this point.  I know that many – maybe even most – women prefer to wait a while, perhaps to the end of the first trimester, or at least until they’ve had a firmly successful ultrasound, before going public with their news, but my feeling is, this has dominated every waking thought for the past week and will continue to do so, so I might as well write about it.  If things go as hoped, then I can be pleased that I shared the good news early and perhaps brought a smile to a few faces… and if not, then I’ve rallied the troops in advance, and the necessary shoulders will be all lined up, ready to be leaned upon.

I’ll learn more next Thursday.  And in the meantime, the fact that I don’t have a personal God at my own disposal has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the spiritual guides you have at yours.  So if you have a spare vibe, thought, prayer, hope, or bit of faith to swing my way, I’d appreciate it.  A lot.

It is, indeed, Madhouse Wednesday here – as opposed to the ridiculous quantities of sanity with which we surround ourselves on the rest of the week – and is worth the clicks to go see who else might have played along this week…



  1. Prayers answered, however secular and vague, however disguised as core-deep hopes for the future, are a perfect post for a Religion theme.

    Wow! I hope it’s true and all goes well!

  2. Congratulations on your pregnancy! By your article it is apparent to me that you are happy and excited about the result of your test! In regards to the issue of a personal God, you said to offer anything we could “swing” your way! Thought I might take a shot! Understand that in college I was pretty much a functioning atheist, never outright or even openly admitted, but certainly functioning! The idea or concept of a personal God obviously mystified me, or went over my head (whichever sounds more poetic). Nonetheless, the issue of God and His relationship to us was a real concern of mine, one I felt I must seek resolution to, not based on personal tastes, preferences, or feelings, but based on what I could tangibly know, as well as learn from others on the subject (only my approach, obviously others will be different). There were certain experiences in my life that opened my eyes to certain “truthes” that existed in the world. One truth was the application of unconditional love and its consequences. Was unconditional love possible, and if applied, how would that impact the whole of matter, time, space and/or creation? Came to the conclusion that real love is something that always has a result or outcome. (I’ll have to skip over why I believe in God, as that issue is a completely different issue with a great deal lengthy explanation, needless to say, after many years of searching, I do not merely have faith in God’s existence, I BELIEVE in God like I believe in trees). Anyhow, if I believe in real, concrete, unconditional love, than this love has a source, or designer or creator or whatever. This Source must also be love (though not limited to) and whatever He does must be impacted by that same love as well. If God is love (something I have come to terms with based on my own analysis via logic..sorry no visitations or revelations on this one), then God’s love must have movement and result. We are here, I cannot delve into Quantum Physics and “what might be,” I can only make decisions based on what I can reasonably quantify. I quantify that you are real, I know you, and so am I. We are creation, we exist, the world exists, of all this, I am certain says my senses, and since I only know my own senses, I must make decisions based on those senses, not the possibility that my senses aren’t real, cuz my quantum mechanics buddies can’t prove that I’m not here, only theorize that I’m not. Anyway, (sorry about the “veering”) it seems reasonable to me that God is love, His love creates and produces, as does all true love, and we have what we perceive now, creation and matter. To go real fast w/out the previous mumbo-jumbo if God exists, and is love, then His love must produce, as does all real love. If we are the product of His love, it makes no sense to me that He would abandon and alienate the actual products of His love, the contrary of this is an intellectual impossibility for me. What He does and how he interacts or involves Himself with those whom He has created, that’s another discussion altogether. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble, hope you didn’t find the dialogue a complete waste of your time! Many best wishes and prayers for a healthy pregnancy and delivery!
    Michael Ellis

  3. Once again mazel tov! I was wondering how the ultrasound had gone but I didn’t want to ask, just in case so I’m glad you posted. Sticky thoughts going your way from me! 🙂

  4. I am keeping all fingers and toes crossed for you! What wonderful news.

  5. Oh my holy lord! Congratulations!

    The other day I found myself praying to God, all alone in my room with nobody even around to see me. And I thought, “I must believe in this?” So if it happens again I will be praying for you. 🙂

  6. Wow! Congratulations!

  7. Hooray! Keeping this to myself was SO hard. Harder than my own pregnancy, even, perhaps.

    I am so delighted for you, and you’ve got every spare prayer, vibration, thought, wish, and hope I can muster. No one deserves this more than you.

  8. I SWEAR. I was thinking of you this morning, since my own monthly visitor showed up. I was thinking of you, and I thought, “I bet, with all the good news of the job for Willem, and the distraction of moving, that Kate might end up pregnant.”

    Yay!! I’m so happy for you! And while I, too, have no higher being at my disposal, I can cross everything I have and hope the very best for you and your little bean. 🙂

  9. Holy snap! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  10. Forgot to mention that as a liberal-leaning Christian smack-dab in the middle of the Bible Belt, I will be praying for you!! I can’t wait to hear about your appt. next Thursday, and I admire your calm until then!!

  11. All of the “spare vibe, thought, prayer, hope, or bit of faith” is coming your way. {{{HUGS}}} I knew it would come, I guess you just needed to sell all of the old baby stuff first. 😉

  12. Congratulations! And yay!

    (I almost got a little teary reading your post. Fr. Michael’s reply ended that bit of emotion.)

    Something similar happened with my dad and his wife. I’m so happy for you. I have my fingers/toes/etc. crossed that all continues to go well.

  13. So this will be 521.3?

  14. That is just amazing news. I’m sending all the positive thoughts I can your way.

  15. YAY! Congratulations!

  16. So this is weird, because for some reason I’m not surprised. I was just thinking about these things this weekend as I visited a few sites. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy for you, however!

    That song has done us quite a disservice. “Que será, será” does not necessarily mean what they sing. It can also be translated to, as I prefer, “whatever must be, will be.” While I don’t want to buy into predestination [“It’s our choices, Harry, that make us who we are…” ~Dumbledore], I also have found life to be funny. Afterall, if I am the sum-total of all of my experiences; then to want to change any would mean I don’t like myself. And I do!

    I like the rituals with which I was raised and feel comfort revisiting them. I just don’t so much lately as I do not like religion in my politics nor politics in my religion. There being much too much of both, I’ve chosen to stay away and try to rechannel my faith. It is something I do not want to taint with disappointment and disappointment has lingered even after the election.

    But your news? truly tickles me =D

  17. Woohoo! Very excited, and sending many many positive thoughts your way!

  18. Congrats!!! this is wonderful…sending mucho positive vibes your way. Regarding your blog title, I once read a statement: Losing my religion, finding my faith…
    that might help –

  19. Well I don’t believe in God but I do believe in the art of distraction when trying to fall pregnant so good luck to you hunny although when your average child costs $150,000 to raise to age 21 The question has to be asked – WHY? Vibes definitely coming your way.

  20. Yay, and yippee!!!

  21. Kate!!! Awesome!!! the world works in mysterious ways…

  22. Very quiet yahoos coming your way. Also white light, sticky vibes, prayers, chakras, crossed fingers and a little concoction with eye of newt sipped twice daily.

    No harm in covering all the bases, though animal and human sacrifice will have to be someone else’s responsibility.


    I will cross my fingers, say a prayer and send some positive energy your way.

  24. I am sending lots of hopeful vibes your way and quietly cheering you on from my corner on NY!

  25. I do not comment very often but I wanted to congratulate you, that is so exciting!!! I am crossing my fingers for you.


  27. Congratulations!!

  28. **sending much happy, healthy baby energy your way!**

    I knew once you let go and found something else to occupy your thoughts, the little one would decide it was time to make a go of it.

  29. Oh, HELL YES!!!!! Congratulations, Kate. Congratulations. I’m so happy for you!

  30. And I’m being preemptively happy because I am sending every positive outcome vibe I possess your way. And yes, shoulder is armed (no pun intended) and at the ready should there be a need. But I’m hoping it’ll only be for happy tears.
    Let’s stick with that for now.

  31. Man! I started from the top of your blog and worked my way down…thinking, “No, it couldn’t be…Wait? What? SHE IS?!”

    HOOOOOOORAY! (Hear me screaming down here in Boston???)

    So excited for you!

  32. […] Then… I saw two pink lines. […]

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