It was a special occasion. One where we ate cake for breakfast and washed it down with hot cocoa. We were full of sugar and needed replenishing so we ventured down the road for burgers and fries. There was no way we could swing lunch and make it to church on time. With it being the first weekend of the new year, I didn’t want to miss a chance for faith and inspiration. So there we were, sitting at a local restaurant, watching the live stream of Sunday church service.

We sat in the restaurant eating, conversing, and engaging with God. It wasn’t traditional. It wasn’t something we’d done before. But it didn’t matter. No matter where we were, we found a way to connect with Him. And right there in that booth, with my children watching my phone for the weekly sermon, I realized exactly what was important in teaching my children about our faith.

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I want them to know they can find God and Jesus anywhere.

They don’t need to be sitting in a church pew to find their love, wisdom, and guidance. I want them to know that being a believer is much more than a one-hour commitment on Sunday mornings.

I want them to know believing can look different for each person, and religion is complex and unique and beautiful. I want them to know the church they call home might change with each chapter of life.

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I want them to believe, not just because I want them to, but because they feel the desire deep within their soul. I want them to enjoy religion, church, and spirituality. And if they find themselves lacking joy and comfort in their beliefs, they can re-evaluate what’s missing and change their approach.

I want them to know their relationship with God will grow, transform, evolve, and experience turmoil, like all other relationships do.

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I want them to know it’s OK to turn away and question their faith. And if they do, I’d pray they keep finding their way back. I want them to know the title of their faith doesn’t matter. It’s the feeling in their hearts and the trust in their soul.

Ultimately, I want them to know that no matter what they believe, I believe in them.

Previously published on the author’s blog

Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. She has a deep love of teaching and has always enjoyed helping inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. She decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made. Website: www.hopeandharshrealities.com Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities