A Door Hanger Changed My Life

Ever wonder how one small decision can change your entire life?

One decision, it really is that simple.

I am not talking about whether to say yes to a marriage proposal or to buy the house or the condo. Not the big decisions, but the little ones. The small choices along the way that end up changing the course of your life into something that you never saw coming.

Buying an antique desk on Kijiji and meeting a person who becomes a great treasure hunting friend and maybe even later your business partner in an Antique store. Moments like that, ones that at the time seem so incredibly small and inconsequential but as you look back on that one decision you realise that it created an entire life change.

I was driving home from one of my many road trips for products and I realised that 10 years ago a Marketing door hanger completely changed the course of my life.

If you follow this blog or have read much of my stuff you know that I live a pretty spiritual life. Where I fall on the whole religion category is something of a mix of many beliefs that have formed over the years. However, I do attend a church, not only do I attend, myself and my family are very large part of the church that we attend….but it wasn’t always that way.

NO this is not a born again Christian story where you find me attempting to recruit you into my life and lifestyle.

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It is life in the small moments..

This is a story about the small moments, a story of life in the small moments, a life lesson and a reminder, for me, really. All of those small moments make up the life that we have. As much as we make big plans, it is the yes and the no to the small things that actually forms our life.

I had grown up in the church, my mother went faithfully every Sunday and us as children went right along with her. Me and 2 of my other sisters became Sunday school teachers. I was an integral part of the entertainment of the church, part of the junior choir, Messengers, even becoming a CGIT (Canadian girl in training). I remember a particular monologue I delivered that was talked about for years. However, besides the old family bible  I never once saw my mother read the bible except at church, there were no bible verses spoken in our home. But our entire life was about “Love thy neighbour”, “Do unto others” and “There but by the grace fo God go I. ” I was raised to love everyone, but there was NO religious dogma in my house at all. What there was, was music, the old hymnal my mom had as a little girl sat at our piano. For my mom, religion was in the music, actually, for her,  God was in the music. To this day, the song “Mother’s of Salem” is still a song I will find myself singing like an earworm. I went to church, but was never raised to believe that my life or my spiritually or my journey as a human was in that building nor was it in that book.

As a young single mother I chose not to attend church, my son wasn’t raised in a church, except when he attended with his Aunt. I instead went on a spiritual quest, exploring different traditions and practices.  I hated the dogma of religion I hated the hypocritical nature of many “Christians” who were in my life. What happened to love thy neighbour?My motto for much of my life became what would Jesus do, not what would a Christian do, because I truly thought they were not the same thing. That was a firm belief that the 25 year old me, I have softened a little as I have aged.

I did however, attend church every Christmas Eve, no matter what city I lived in, I found my way to the Christmas Eve service of the United Church in the area. I’m not sure why that service was the one that mattered, but it was.

Then one Christmas Eve 10 years ago I went back to my home church. When I say home church I mean it, it was my home as a child. I knew every nook and cranny in that building, around every corner there was a memory for me. I was there at least 3 times a week besides Sunday, it was my home. Anyway, we had moved back to my hometown and I decided that I would go to the Christmas Eve service there. OMGooodness, it was the WORST service I had ever been to, solemn, droll and dictatorial. I vowed the moment we walked out the door that I would NEVER dawn the doorstep of that building ever again. I was done with religion, I wasn’t a Christian anyway, I believed in love and doing for my neighbour and the church and me were just not a good fit.

Then one day in early January I took a door hanger from my front door, a door hanger that said…Early Morning service, Contemporary Band, All welcome. I’m sure I’m paraphrasing.

I loved contemporary Christian music.  So we went.

And there it was, that was our small moment, that marketing door hanger, changed the course of our lives. Our lives that were destined to be Christmas Eve service moments only changed into a life that I could never have planned.

The contemporary band was amazing. However, we soon came to realise that we might be better suited to the later service because the Sunday School was larger.  My daughter ended up joining the cherubs choir and befriending the minister’s little girl. In 10 years my daughter and that little girl have become lifelong friends and singing partners. They have travelled together, sang together and consider themselves sisters much more than they ever consider themselves friends. My husband lead groups of youth at the Vacation Bible Camp, I lead the Green Team our daughter now actually sings in that early service band that originally brought us to the church.

The church is our home, my daughter now has a home church like I did years ago. She is surrounded by people who love her and “know” her. People who have watched her grow from a 3-year-old little princess to a confident young pre-teen. My daughter and I are both part of the choir, my husband teaches Sunday school when he can. We are all involved in all of the entertainment that the church provides, it is very much a huge part of our lives. Our lives are richer and deeper and blessed by the lives and the friendships that we have made at the church.

All because we said yes to a door hanger.

Our lives are made up of our small yeses and our small nos. Tiny decisions that we make every day, course corrections that we make, people that enter and people that leave. It is all this beautiful tapestry of a life sewn together with small tiny stitches, and it is in those tiny stitches that we find our greatness.

Never give up the opportunity to say yes to the small things …just imagine where it can lead.

Never underestimate the power of your “yes” in someone else’s life

I heard news today of the death of a man that meant a lot to me as a child. His moments of love and caring for me I believe changed the course of who I am. He truly made me see and believe that it was in my crazy quirkiness that I would find my true self. Not something I really understood at the age of 12, but it is something I completely understand now. The moment he said yes to spending a bit of time with me was the life changing moment that this fatherless child realised she was worthy.