As a child I would stand tippy toed on the edge of the hard wooden pew to smell my Daddy’s breathe when he returned from communion. “Daddy, what did you drink? It smells so good!” As I aged at St. Bernard I remember vividly measuring myself against the pew; being able to see over it without using the kneeler, growing taller than it and knowing that someday I would get Jesus too. I went to school and received every sacrament of my life with the exception of marriage there. I married the love of my life at his church; St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Germantown where we were members as newlyweds. Before the birth of my first of four children we rejoined St. Bernard. My view changed from being that child in the pew to raising four children in the church as well as the school. The view became much different as a parent than as a child or a young adult. Instead of watching the church I found myself teaching the ways of God to my children through prayers, presence and example.
After my second child was born my husband suggested that we become more involved in our parish life. However, I was resistant, as a young mom working part time and caring for two children under the age of 3 it did not sound like an appealing proposition. But I listened to him and we became involved. Little did my husband realize what that push would bring? It changed my life, not over night, but over the course of a decade. I became involved in our stewardship committee and then coordinated a service learning program called Step by Step Student Stewardship for our entire school. I led that ministry for 9 years. My involvement led to a deeper faith life and attending and leading retreats within our parish. I started listening more intently to the Holy Spirit and created a website called Faithfilledmom.com which I have written a daily blog for 4 years. I became a motivational speaker for God, created and led over 20 retreats at different parishes in Louisville and Indiana. Now the Holy Spirit has led me to teaching. With a catechist certificate and an admission to Loyola University’s Master’s Degree program in Religious Education I will start teaching theology at Holy Cross this fall.
My view from the pew has changed from a view to my life immersed in God’s will and I have taken my family for the ride of a lifetime. It all started as a child in that pew with my parents. Parents need to know their influence on their children’s spirituality rests almost entirely on the view they choose to provide or neglect for their children from that pew. My view constantly shifts, changes and becomes deeper as I surrender myself to the will of God and my life becomes more challenging yet rewarding with every shift. I pray that God continues to use my life as an example for my children and others to see God from more than a pew.
Copyright 2013 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp