Some Personal Stuff

This post is a bit different in scope and topic in that it’s a bit more “personal.” Yet I ask a question at the end that might trigger some discussion.

We are seriously contemplating moving. I (my other-half joined me after retirement about four years ago) have lived in this home for nearly 13 years.  It’s an older home (1979) with almost 1800 square feet. The bedrooms are very large,  something you don’t find in newer homes, and it also has a walk-in pantry  — another feature pretty much non-existent in today’s homes. The lot is just a bit over 1/3 acre.

It doesn’t have a lot of the fancier trimmings (hardwood floors, granite countertops, etc.), and while we’ve made several improvements, it won’t stand up against newer homes. However, one thing it has going for it is location. It’s situated among the pines and is at the end of a cul-de-sac with only two other homes (very quiet). The neighborhood in general is appealing and the people (for the most part) keep up their yards (considering it’s a rural area).

(No, I’m not trying to sell the home to any of you. Just providing some background. 😉 )

The reasons we want to move are many and varied, but suffice it to say the area just isn’t working for us anymore. We actually put the house on the market a year ago but removed it when we couldn’t find a replacement home that fit our needs.

Now here is the reason for my post. We’ve found a home in another city that we’re very interested in. It’s most definitely pushing our budget, but it has the features that we want/need. If I were still a Christian, I’d most likely be on my knees every night and also be in constant “conversation” with God, asking “Him” to make everything “work” for us to buy this home (which, of course, involves selling our current home and getting the price we need).

But I’m not a Christian. And I don’t believe in God or prayer.

And this got me to thinking.

What do you do when you really, really want something in your life? The question is primarily directed to ex-Christians since you’re the ones who in a past life (like me) probably asked/begged God to make things “work” … to make everything “come together” and grant the desires of your heart.

But even if you’re someone who has never turned to a god with requests — what do you do when there’s something in your life that you ardently desire?

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44 thoughts on “Some Personal Stuff

  1. IMHO, having deconverted makes this much easier. Like you, I’d have been on my knees begging for “favor”. If whatever it was didn’t happen then I’d assume the answer was no from some invisible being who obviously gave a patoot about what I wanted. If it did happen I’d assume the same thing except the invisible being decided that whatever I was asking for was “His will”. Exhausting. *sigh*

    If there’s something in my life that I want now, I assess my current situation and come up with a plan to get from A to B. If A to B isn’t doable then I have my answer. And if that isn’t doable then I reassess and decide if it’s something I can wait a bit for or if I have to adjust my wants. Then I can decide for myself if I want to “settle” for something less than the first thing I set my mind on. If it is doable then I have no question marks in my head about whether it’s okay to proceed or whether it’s “God’s will” that I have this thing.

    That’s the beauty in the freedom from religious dogma. There’s no right or wrong as regards personal decisions like what kind of car to drive, what kind of house to live in, etc. There’s only good, better, best.

    Liked by 5 people

    • In the final analysis I find that this is really how Christians do it, too. Only they don’t realize it because they ascribe everything to their God. But if anyone has anything they want it’s because they made a plan to get it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I was taught to be goal oriented. The instructions were as follows:

    Think honestly. Where you are. Where you want to be. Each step necessary to get from here to there. Implement. Work. Reevaluate. Adjust. Repeat as necessary.

    But sometimes there are unknowns that can stop you from undertaking the risk.

    So here’s my personal advice:

    Take your hat, throw it over the fence, and then you have to go get it…. understanding that misfortune and setbacks and unforeseen problems are what makes the decision so interesting and turns life into an adventure. Only when things go wrong does adventure take place and I love a good adventure! And we did this kind of move into the unknown but without any dwelling or job at the other end and, when things have to work out, they usually do.

    So, if you’re like my spouse, you choose the latter but try to incorporate the former. So far, so good…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. When I have a decision to make, like yours about moving, I guess I just start lining up pros and cons, as a way of helping myself think it through. Sometimes I’ll write it down, too, it just helps me to sort things out.

    When it’s about something I really want these days, if there’s something holding me back it’s probably money. So then I’d first need my spouse on board, because if he’s not enthused, or the money is just out of the question, then I need to rethink for myself how much I really want this thing. If he’s OK with it, then we have to plan together for how much we want the thing, how long we are willing to wait for it, how much saving and paying off of other debts do we need to do before we can justify

    And sometimes you just have to be ready to pounce on opportunities when they come your way. God isn’t sending them, but statistically, they happen from time to time, and you need to be brave enough to grab them when you can. (Which is why I’m now driving a purple car!)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Now that I’m deconverted, I see prayer just as an extra unnecessary step in between pursuing my goals. Ask yourself what you used to do after you got done praying, and that would be your answer to take the next step. When I prayed for guidance, all it did was put me in a mindset where I’d notice avenues leading towards and away from the goals I wanted to achieve.

    Do you like lists? Do you like living impulsively on the edge of chaos? Do you prefer a mix of the two? Try looking for new houses and see if a better one strikes your fancy. If you can’t find one, maybe that means you could try doing something to spruce up the old one. I’m sure there are more options out there.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. When you were a Christian…”What [did] you do when you really, really wanted something in your life?

    Great question Nan. 🙂

    From 1983 through 1992 when I was a seriously devout seminary-attending Fundamentalist Xian, I would indeed pray. I’d pray at least 3-4 times daily, more if circumstances warranted — that is, my own IMMEDIATE surrounding circumstances. During those 9-years my home church and my seminary taught and endorsed ‘the power of prayer’ and they being “answered” — as long as it was biblically sound in Xian principles (Holy Spirit not withstanding) — in His own time and way. If not, then it wasn’t His will. If they were answered in a mostly self-pleasing way, then my wishes correlated with God’s wishes! Wooohoooo!!! 😉 However, if they were partly answered, then parts which were not answered may not have been inline with God’s biblical principles… OR the Holy Spirit intervened, superceding the Holy Scriptures (for the time being?). Those who Spoke in Tongues might tangibly verbalize God’s reasons to me/us. You also needed an additional Believer that could TRANSLATE the ‘Godly language’. Nevertheless, no matter the outcome(s), most of the time (say 80% to 95%) answers to prayer were based on sound comprehensive biblical principles. Period. The Holy Spirit very rarely contradicted Holy Scriptures.

    Therefore Nan, as you might surmise by my answer, with so many possible variances — slight or large — Scripture was the mainstay and the unpredictable MIGHT be the Holy Spirit, but in all circumstances FAITH was required for outcomes or “To Be Determined” outcomes, or for human-perceived absurdities.

    Of course, in hindsight and with my current world-life-view now ALL of my thinking, reasoning, explanations, theories, feelings, self-perception, HUMAN relationships, peace-of-mind/heart, and most important of all… the unknowns, are nothing at all close or similar to what they were those 9-years. In fact, in a word UNrecognizable! Today, I am physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually a totally different happier man! To borrow a familiar phrase: reborn a third time! Hahahahaha! 😉 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mrs. McM — I said this on “Daddy’s” blog (and you read it) — I am NOT an atheist. And I don’t have to explain why that title doesn’t fit. Nevertheless, if curiosity gets the best of you, read my book. The last chapter explains it all. 🙂

    Just for the record, “former Christian” is a good description, as is “non-believer,” so why not just leave it at that? Hmmm? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I legitimately forgot that you don’t call yourself an Atheist.

      But, no offense, I’m not going to fix it. Nobody will ever care about the nuances of your self-identification as much as you do.

      I promise, my readers won’t notice, and are not going to buy your book either way.

      Like

      • @mrsmcmommy. Why are you so nasty? Are you that unhappy in your life? You were given no insult yet you lashed out in what appears to be an attempt to make yourself sound superior. To tell the truth your comment doesn’t prove anything bad about Nan, but it sure shows a lot about you. A lot of negatives I would say. From different blogs I have read I get the idea you are religious, believing in some sort of deity that may or may not be affiliated with the christian faith. If so your actions do not show christians in a good light. I can not see you recruiting many to your faith when you show you are more unfriendly than the non-believers you insult. Be well. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wasn’t trying to lash out. I’m telling Nan what I was told growing up–and it’s true. Most people are their own favorite topic, but no one is as interested in my life story as I am…

          Nobody cares what I believe as much as I do.

          That’s why that wasn’t what my post was about. (And it wasn’t about whether Nan was an “Atheist” or a “Former-Christian” either.) I’ve had the “What do you believe” conversation with dozens of people, and it gets more boring with every go-round.

          I quoted Nan to say I agreed with her comments about Christianity. And instead of appreciating the common ground, she (of course) focused on two little words, that really weren’t the point.

          That’s a shame.

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        • Well you may not have wanted to lash out, but as someone who read your comment it did come across as less about your post and more about a personal grudge between you and Nan. The only reason I mention this is that if your attempt was to show a positive side to having a religious belief it did not come across that way at all. I am not sure what the conversation about what you believe should be boring unless you don’t find what you believe to be interesting. Maybe I just like to talk about myself but I love to discuss with people what I think about things. The “best” Christians I knew really told more about their faith by their treatment of others and their real interest in the lives of others, and they would tell you about what they felt was real as long as you wanted to listen. Well I am going over to your blog to read the post. Be well. Hugs

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        • I’ve heard this caution from Atheists (or whatever the acceptable term is) many times, and I find it odd. You’re giving me public relations tips, eh? You think I’m trying to “recruit” people?

          I know you probably haven’t considered what you’re really saying, but–practically–it amounts to dangling YOURSELVES like carrots in front of me, as if I’m supposed to dance for your affections or something. So, let me be clear: I am not trying to sell my religion to anyone.

          You’re not a prize for me to win, even though many Christian churches have made you think you are. (Again–that’s the fault of Christians, constantly polling non-believers to ask how they can make them more comfortable.)

          The way I see it, if you don’t want what God has to offer, then leave it. But I’m not going to kiss any asses to try and change minds.

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        • Well, you certainly won’t bring many people to church talking like that and having that attitude towards fellowship. However you are right about one thing, it is not my place to tell you how to act or behave as a religious person of your faith. However when I was a member of the church, we were often told of how we were ambassadors of God’s message. How we were to be his living examples of what he hoped for us. We were to live in a way to never be a stumbling block to any others trying to come to the lord, to strengthen their relationship with God. Had anyone of us acted in a chat as you have, we would have been been spoken to be the elders and the Pastor. The one thing we were not to do was to live or act in a way to drive anyone from wanting a relationship with the lord. That is one reason I left the church. I was told I was now an adult and so I had to act in a way not to cause younger people to stumble in their faith. My being gay was a big problem for the church, still is I think. Strange I felt the worst thing I could do was claim to be a member of the church and cast a bad light on the teachings of the holy books by my lifestyle. Now I have that same view but not about casting any holy books in a bad light , but by causing harm to any being. Be well. Hugs

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        • All of that teaching turns church into a business, competing for customers. I’m just being honest when I say I’m not interested. Especially since so many of the “non-believers” are former-Christians, who really love the idea that they can be competed FOR. 🙂 (“You know, if you really want me to come to church, you should not talk like that.” That’s your message.)

          And I’m treating others the way I want to be treated. I don’t want my butt kissed either.

          As I’ve been honest, I think it would be nice if you did the same: you’re not interested in Christianity either way.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I really had no deep message for you, except to let you know how your comment to Nan sounded to me. Regardless of your religious beliefs you sounded as an unpleasant arrogant person. As for me being honest, you must have seen my comments on Ark’s and others in that group blogs. I have a love of honesty. I have no reason not to be. The fact is while I am not into believing in any Gods, I am very interested in the way God believers of any faith act. The reason is a lot of them take actions that directly affect me and my life. That really gets me interested. The other reason I am interested is while I had no real religious conversion and so leaving the church was not a big deal for me, I have learned through the people here , who I care deeply for, the harm christian teachings and their fellow church members have caused and done to them. I care. I am a secular humanist. I am an atheist. I also am a pagan and I believe life is special. I believe that what we do in the world comes back to us many times over. I hope this helps you understand. I know it is hard for people to see themselves as others see them. It is however a great eye opener and a practice one should try regularly. Be well. Hugs

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        • I haven’t read over your other comments. It must have been a coincidence.

          At the end of the day, your relationship with God has nothing to do with me, and it has become a convenient excuse for Atheists. (“Well, those Christians are nasty, and that’s why no one wants to join their group.”) But, at the end of the day, if you’re only coming to church because Christians are sweet-talking you, that’s a bad reason.

          You’ve made a choice about what’s most important in your life. All of us have to decide: glorify ourselves or glorify God. Sometimes rich men love their money more than God. Sometimes beautiful women love their own looks more than God. Sometimes gay men love their sexual attractions more than God. But we all have to choose.

          You can try telling my elders or my parents or God himself that I haven’t been a good enough ambassador for Christ. But, really, your decision is yours. That’s all I’m trying to say!

          (Oh, except, there’s a post coming up at the Comedy Sojourn tomorrow morning which addresses the idea that Atheists have been negatively affected by Christianity… if you thought my comment was nasty, you’ll REALLY hate it.) 🙂

          Like

        • Sorry but I have no interest in either this conversation nor your posts. You really missed all the points I was trying to make as you are so set on your preconceived notions. Just to one point, I know people in several different Christian churches who believe their deity if quite fine with the sexuality of all the children he created. Not everyone believes the same as you and in my view their belief in God is as valid as yours. Even though you did not ask my opinion I will volunteer it. As I feel very comfortable that no Gods or deities have any evidence of being real, they are all just made up myths. So whatever you want your made up invisible all powerful space friend to be is your choice. It is all made up anyway. Well enough fun conversation for tonight. Hugs

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        • I’ve never heard of a religion where someone can love sex MORE than God, though. Talk about missing all the points! 🙂

          I didn’t say what I believe about homosexuality. But, you seem aaaaawfully defensive.

          Seek truth, and goodnight!

          Like

        • Hello mrsmcmommy. Nice projection of your own ideas and feelings on others. You know full well I did not say that and I was not defencive. You brought up the subject and I responded to you with information. As for a deity that loves sex more than worship, any God worth their salt should. 🙂 infact many of the old time gods did prefer sex and were said to really enjoy watching others have sex. Of course that is because like all gods they were made up by men and had the same emotions and desires as the people who made them up. Hugs

          Like

  7. Hello Nan. Boy I wish I could give you stories that would help or tell you how I analyze things, but well that is not me. See Ron and I have moved a lot in our years together. Ron had a terrible wander need. He would build up energy until it seemed we had to move or he would explode. So we sort of fell into the mode where we used who we are to make sure the move was right for us. We are planning a move now. It is in the planning stage so far, we have picked the state and a possible area, we picked the type of place we want for the things we wish to do.

    Here is how we face these things. We use our strengths. I am very imaginative. I can dream with the best of them. Ron is good at looking at what we want to do versus what we can afford to do. I look at the possibilities and Ron figures if they are possible , realistic , or simply not something we can accomplish. Some how when you put my daydreaming next to his practical wishes, it seems to work. There is a small part of just stepping out to do it, a large part of making it work no matter where or how we landed. I guess it never mattered where we were going, or what we were going to as we always had each other. Oh and I was always the nervous one freaking out when we started the moves, and Ron is very calm, just making sure it all gets done as it has to be done. So I guess I am saying is the most important thing is to follow your dreams while using who and what you are at heart to shape what will happen. No matter what happens it is how you deal with it, how you react to it that makes it a good or bad thing really.

    Hope this helps, best wishes and lots of hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am not a christian, I am a catholic. My wife of 40 years is a Methodist minister. We are both recently retired. About a year ago we relocated from the southeast to the northwest. This was not just a climate change but a drastic change in our known world. Our two daughters had both moved to this area and are busy establishing their lives. They do not live in the state but close enough to maintain a meaningful extended family relationship. Retirement was a significant change, relocating was a drastic change. We do not regret the move because there are many positives. The negatives concern missing long time friends, not working creates a concern for personal worth and your known world, stores, restaurants etc. change. Fortunately we can return periodically and also travel some. I have throughout my life prayed for “things” but I do pick and choose. My wife does better at that than me or perhaps worse depending on your perspective. My suggestion would be to consider what is important to you and your family. Either bloom where you are planted or move on because I really don’t think GOD gives a shit about where we live.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good question Nan,

    I chill. Not having to stress about whether or not I’ve asked god in the right way is one of the wonderful liberations that ditching faith brings. Mrs limey still believes and she finds life way more stressful than I do.

    If it is something that is down to me, like when the family limey relocated five years ago, then I enjoy the journey. If it is something for which I am dependent on others, then I do what I can but if they decide they don’t want to hire me, or whatever else it is, then they’ve made their decision and there is no point stressing. Move on to the next target.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is a strange. liberating comfort in not having to pray about anything, although, like you I often wonder what to do.

    I just kinda go with it, whatever IT is and think about the serenity prayer, without the God stuff:)

    Liked by 3 people

    • So far, I like your answer the best, Alice. 🙂

      The point I was trying to make is that after so many years of turning to God when facing a major decision or especially wanting something to come to pass, it almost feels weird to have to depend on myself. Yes, I know. MY own efforts are far more reliable than God’s ever were, but it’s that thought of having “someone out there” that (supposedly) will help make things come to pass.

      Essentially, this only happens when it involves a major decision. Most of the time I function just fine, thank you very much. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  11. “Ask if your wish fits into God’s Divine Plan.
    If it does, prayer is futile
    If it does not, prayer it is useless.
    Conclusion:
    Prayer does not make any sense”

    Perhaps I have posted this reasoning in another ‘Thought’, I apologize; still I think it’s fun to read it more than once.- and then feel Alice’s “liberating comfort”. – Not so strange to me!

    Be well, Nan.
    .-

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oops! I see that a long twitter conversation was embedded on your blog. That certainly was not my intention, please excuse that mistake, can it be made undone? I didn’t know it worked that way!

    .-

    Like

  13. Sounds like you have a great location. I’d think long and hard before I gave that up.

    I recommend you go to where this new place is, and get a feel for the neighborhood. A feel for where the house lies too. Is it at the top of a hill or the bottom? Bottom land collects more water, encouraging mosquitos and other insects. Make sure there isn’t a railroad a half block down the street. (I conjured an image from the “My Cousin Vinny” movie) Is there a gear head hot rodder close by? A motorcycle gang member maybe, with the weekend gatherings at his place? There are a lot of things to be on the lookout for.

    In other words spend a day in the area. You might find something that all of a sudden doesn’t seem like such a good idea to move there. Investigate.

    If your investigation turns out well and the move seems like a great idea, then knuckle down and find a way to make it work. No gods required.

    Like

    • Shelldigger, thank you for your sane and sensible advice. ❤

      The home is about two hours away and we drove up there today to check it out. It's in a VERY nice neighborhood (no railroad, no hot rodders or motorcylists nearby 🙂 ) and is on level ground. We're fairly familiar with the area as we've visited there several times, as well as I've done my due diligence online, so we're not going in blind. I've also visited with a banker so we know our "limits."

      In other words, I feel we've done all the "stuff" that needs to be done. You know, like Ruth said, we've "come up with a plan to get from A to B "

      Now the pièce de résistance .. we put in an offer. We're waiting to hear the response so essentially, it’s in the care of the universe.

      P.S. This is not our first foray into house-hunting/moving. We’ve been looking for over two years and have been unsuccessful in finding anything that would work for us. This home has everything we want and need. Nevertheless, if Plan A goes kaput, well, I guess we’ll have to move on to Plan B.

      Thanks to everyone for their input. I’ll keep you posted.

      Liked by 2 people

    • What’s the “well done” for? That I gave him fodder to ridicule? If writing posts like this is his best effort, he’s truly lacking in imagination and his humor-making which he so proudly promotes is non-existent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When one becomes the focus for a John Branyan evangelical wingnut rant, one becomes a member of a select group that, in my opinion, is made up rather esteemed company. Hence, the well done and welcome!

        As for the ridicule, it’s water off a duck’s back. It’s like being criticized for writing by an illiterate. He doesn’t get just how stupid and pathetic his own words make him look.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. Well, it’s not quite like your scenario, but I think it relates to your question..

    During the first year after deconverting I faced an awful lot of uncertainty. However, I felt relief to no longer feel that obligation of praying, Bible reading and church attendance. All of those things made me anxious for many years. Yet, as someone tapping into my new logical atheist brain, I realized I needed secular therapy. It was essential to detox my mind, body and emotions of all the damage Jesus belief caused me. It took me three years of persistence to find such mental help. I know I drove all of you nuts about it. My poor hubs heard about it all of the time. I contacted individuals and businesses through phone calls and emails searching for that right person for me and I finally found her.

    I was reminded of something about my former faith throughout my search, prayer never worked for me. Truthfully, I knew this even as a Christian. I’d pray without ceasing as I worked hard to make things happen for myself and others. I always knew that I wasn’t important to god. Even as a little girl, I knew that Christianity is one sided, the human does all the work. I think knowing that tidbit has actually made my deepest wants and most desperate needs seem more attainable now that I leave the middle man (god) out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It never worked for me either, Charity. But I did it because, well, that’s what Christians do. Right?

      After leaving the church, for the first year or so, I remember times when I would find myself “asking god” to work things in my favor. I’m sure it was out of habit because down deep, I knew if I wanted anything, it was up to me. But old habits die hard. As does indoctrination.

      To me, it’s things like this that make believing in a god so harmful. Too many Christians forget their own capabilities and talents and instead rely on some unseen, mute, guy-in-the-sky to do things for them (or, in some cases, for others). Quite frankly, one could even view it as a sign of laziness. Perhaps that’s partly why it’s so difficult to overcome. We discover we have to do things ourselves. *gasp*

      Like

  15. UPDATE: For anyone interested … we put in a contingent offer on the house and it was accepted. In my “past life,” I would be saying “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!”

    In my current life, I think it’s pretty cool things are working in our favor. Still have to sell our current home but Plan A is coming together very nicely.

    😀

    Liked by 3 people

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