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Episode 12: A Tale of Two Faiths

0:00:13 - Allison
Hello everyone and welcome to the season one finale of Can't Believe it.

0:00:20 - Cyndi
I can't believe there's been a season already.

0:00:22 - Allison
I know like it went by too fast. Where did the time go and how did we get here so fast? It seems like we just started the season.

0:00:30 - Cyndi
That's what we said happened, though, when we stopped recording. It went by fast, and we didn't realize that much time had gone by. So now's the reverse.

0:00:38 - Allison
Yes, but I have really enjoyed getting back to recording and, just like you know, having these conversations. I think it's been fun.

0:00:45 - Cyndi
Me too. I enjoyed it too. We've always been having the conversations, but it's just fun to be sharing them again, and some of the feet that we've gotten has been so encouraging. So thank you, thank you, thank you guys.

0:00:57 - Allison
Yes, as we get ready to go full-fledged into holiday mode and into the holiday season and into the new year pretty soon. We just want to take a minute to thank you guys so much for your support this year as we relaunched and kind of re-found our voices in this podcasting space. It's been a lot of fun and like we literally could not do it without you know, your support, and so we thank you guys for welcoming us back into your headphones or car speakers or whatever it is.

0:01:30 - Cyndi
And for listening and just again giving us your feedback. You know, asking us questions and just making us a part of your family. I'm your mom now too, yep.

0:01:41 - Allison
If you guys want to give us a Christmas gift, what we really would love is for you guys to subscribe to the podcast. If you are already, rate and review and share it with a friend. That is the best Christmas gift you guys could honestly give us. So if you're looking to gift us anything, that's what we want, agreed. So we've been talking a lot, obviously, about Christmas.

In our last episode we had so much fun talking just about all the holiday things and the holiday traditions and those that we like and those that we don't like, and over on our Patreon we started a conversation about how to incorporate Christ into Christmas. We had some pretty cute ideas and some ideas that I am going to be implementing this holiday season just to kind of incorporate Christ into the Christmas season with my kids. But you know, like having that conversation got us thinking about religion and Christianity and we were like, wow, we haven't really talked about that on the podcast and so we thought that we would end this season, you know, talking about our faith journeys. So, mom, what was religion like for you as a kid?

0:02:54 - Cyndi
In my household we didn't go to church every Sunday. Religion was not really talked about. You know, that was that white picture, that big picture of Christ, that I think the white picture that everybody you know you had that picture. The white Jesus yeah, the white Jesus and Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Those were the staples in the life household.

But really the only time we went to church was during the summer, of course, when it's hot, is all get out the weekly revival at somebody's church, and that was a huge, huge production. You know you have to eat dinner early and get dressed at your Sunday best, on Monday, tuesday, wednesday, the whole week and go to this church service. And for me, though, because we didn't go to church any other time, basically it was kind of traumatic because during this time, you know, usually you would have these traveling creatures or whatever, and talking about. You know you're going to hell and fire and brimstone and all this stuff. And you know the older women, and some of the younger ones too, if they want to get close to some of the deacons or some of the pastors that were attractive, they're, you know, speaking in tongues and they're falling out Probably because they're hot Right and they're flailing and you know.

But as a kid you're like what the heck is this? So you know it was. Sometimes it could be a little bit entertaining but it was kind of traumatic. So, like I said, we did not talk about religion in my house growing up and it was just those revivals that you know, that week long of get all your religion now because you got to wait till next summer to get some more.

0:04:35 - Allison
You know that surprises me. I don't know why I thought that you, like, went to church every week growing up. Did your mom go to church? No, she didn't start going to church until, I want to say, maybe 10, 20s years ago, maybe okay, so she didn't really go to church when you guys are growing up, or make you guys go to church, except for Right, exactly, and I'm not even sure if she Even went to all the revivals with us.

0:05:00 - Cyndi
I go to grandmother, I cannot remember. I just remember you was in there I just remember being in there, being hot and scared.

0:05:08 - Allison
So how do you feel like you found your faith.

0:05:12 - Cyndi
I think just for me it was. You know, I can remember, and I don't know how old I was though, just you know, picking up a Bible and and starting to read and I was an advent, advent reader anyway and just starting to read and it's like, oh, this is interesting. And then hearing you know my friends who Fathers, were, deacons, and they were, you know, busy in church, and just kind of hearing things about them. And then you know the television evangelist back then it was Reverend Ike and, and this main, roosevelt Franklin, just here, like some of the television preachers and stuff.

And then, just for me, as a means of survival, I was like this gotta be some Person who is watching over me because of all the things I'm going through and all the things I've gone through. So, just you know, kind of praying to Whoever I felt that this supreme being was just to keep watch over me and just to guide me and to give me strength to Deal with what I had to deal with, so that when I became, you know, a Teenager or a young adult, I could get the heck out of there and manage my own life.

0:06:25 - Allison
When do you think if you can pinpoint that you kind of either like joined a church or like became a, a Christian?

0:06:37 - Cyndi
I guess on paper, like you know what I'm saying, yeah, I remember, after your dad and I started dating, we did used to go to church, but his home church was in Macon. We would go to their church, was first Baptist. We would go to that church, sometimes on Sunday. Me and him and his mom Would go to that church on Sundays and then, you know, have Sunday dinner afterwards. But then, a few years later, he and I started going to new fellowship Baptist Church in Macon and, really, the people there just really really accepted us and, or me Just really made me feel at home and that, and I guess you were a little yeah, I remember going, yeah, you know, under maybe a year, two years old or whatever.

And it was at that time, though, that I kind of formed my relationship with, with God and ended up joining New fellowship, was actually baptized at new fellowship, and I remember your dad, I'm assuming, had been baptized as a kid, because I think he did go to church as a kid. But you know everyone asking me then, you know well, you know, are you gonna back have your daughter baptized? And I was like, no, that's something that I want her to do on her own when she knows the meaning of it. So you know, I did my whole white thing and you know, got baptized and you know had my own, had and still have my own relationship with God. You know I don't go to church now but that's just for my own personal reasons and Because of some of the churches that I was attending, or the church I was attending Left the bad taste in my mouth, which we can talk about that a little bit later.

0:08:14 - Allison
Yeah, look into that for some of the new churches.

0:08:17 - Cyndi
I'm just not really feeling this new musical thing they got going on.

0:08:23 - Allison
You know, like you said, mom, you know, as a kid you did not baptize me and I remember being like asked, you know, at certain points in life, like if I have been baptized and all that, and I was like no, like not not yet. And as a kid I couldn't really understand so much, like why I hadn't been baptized or why I hadn't had like a what they call it a christening, or whatever, do you know what that meant, though?

0:08:45 - Cyndi
at the time when they were being, they were asking you yes and no.

0:08:48 - Allison
It just felt like I was like well, you go into the water and that's when you like, say that you love God. I'm like you know. No, you didn't know the true meaning behind it, yeah. But however, as an adult I really have come to appreciate the fact that, like you did not make that decision for me and you know you, let me make it for myself. Growing up, I remember going to church Often, like we didn't necessarily go every single Sundays, but I feel like up until I was probably about 15-ish, we went most Sunday. You know what I'm saying. Once I got to be a teenager, you and daddy were kind of like we're going, are you going or not? And at that point I would be tired or maybe wouldn't want to go Teenager things.

Sometimes I would go, sometimes I wouldn't, but I was never forced like once I was old enough to stay home by myself. I was never forced to go to church. It was always like I could choose if I wanted to go to church or not. And so you know, I feel like I've always kind of had an understanding for God, had an understanding for Jesus and considered myself a Christian growing up, even when I got to college. You know, I did like at one point in college like find a church in Miami and like me and DJ when we were dating, would go to church on most Sundays. So I've always even though I like religion was never forced on me, I feel like it's always been kind of a part of my life and I've always considered myself a Christian. But it wasn't until probably it was right after my brain tumor, so that was in 2018, I believe, or 2019, one of those years 2018. It wasn't until 2018 that I actually got baptized, and so that was a decision that I made after kind of like a lifelong walk with Christ and like journey through Christianity. I was a decision that I made on my own as an adult, with like a full understanding of it and after going through multiple ups and downs, like when it came to Christianity, and so I have made the decision, even now that you know, I decided not to baptize my kids because I do feel like you allowing me to explore and allowing me to form my own relationship with God like went a long way into the relationship that I have with God now and how I view religion now, and so, you know, I hope that they know Jesus and know God. We talk about Jesus, we pray. They do go to church. You know, when Me and Dee did go to church, the kids also go to church and all of that stuff, and it's important for me to know it. However, I also want them to make those types of decisions on their own. So I feel like at this point, I'm trying to model Christianity for them and teach them about it, but still allow them to, you know, explore and come to their own decisions. Do you think it?

0:11:45 - Cyndi
was good or bad, me not necessarily forcing religion down your throat or making you come to church or whatever.

0:11:53 - Allison
I think it was good, you know, I think that it really allowed me to make up my own mind and, like now, I stand confidently in my beliefs, because it's not something that I believe just because I was told I had to. It's something that I believe because I honestly do believe it. You know, I think a lot of times for a lot of people like they're Christian because they've always been Christian and Christianity is all they know and that's just In a grandma, we went to the Baptist church, and so it's the whole cycle.

Yeah, exactly, and so I guess I wanted for my kids to be how it was for me, where, like, no, like they really want to know Jesus because they genuinely do and not because you have to. You know what I'm saying and, like I said, I mean I do model it in our home because it's what I believe, and so I would hope that they're picking up on that, but I'm not forcing them to.

0:12:51 - Cyndi
You want them to, like I did with you. I wanted you to know what it meant in your spirit, in your soul, not just because I told you this.

0:13:00 - Allison
Exactly exactly. I know that's an unpopular opinion, especially, like you know, in the Christian circle. Like you know, a lot of Christians like do kind of force their kids. You know to do it and that works for some people, but I don't know for me. I think that the way that you did it really really worked well and it's something that I would like to replicate with my kids.

0:13:23 - Cyndi
Thank you. I just feel like if you don't understand, then what's the point in this? That's like going to school and not knowing how to you know and the teacher's speaking a different language. If you don't understand, then you're not getting anything from it basically yeah, yeah.

0:13:38 - Allison
So at this point, mom, what do you do in your home in terms of faith and in terms of church, and why?

0:13:46 - Cyndi
We go to church occasionally, but not nearly as much as we want to. We've talked about trying to find a church family that we both are comfortable with, but we just have not been able to find one yet. So you know we pray individually. You know we don't necessarily pray together. We always pray together before we eat. But as far as you know nighttime and any other prayer, you know we do that separately. But I think for both of us and we both have had our different experiences with churches it's very personal and somewhat private for the both of us. So we just kind of tend to in that respect, you know, have our separate prayers and whatever. But we do. We have talked about, you know, as a married couple we would generally love to find a church home that we're both comfortable in.

0:14:40 - Allison
Yeah, and you said that you don't really like these. Like new churches? Yes, why not?

0:14:46 - Cyndi
Just to hold the one thing I do love. I do love, lord, I love is 45 minutes an hour. You do that, whereas in the black churches, you know you, if two hours is an early service.

0:15:03 - Allison
Yeah, you're staying there for three hours.

0:15:04 - Cyndi
All day, like three, four hours. But I am. I love the old, heartfelt Negro spirituals. To me I can listen to one of those and not even have to hear a sermon. If I've got like a good singer or the choir is singing, I don't even necessarily have to hear a sermon.

0:15:23 - Allison
So you love that old, like Baptist church gospel music.

0:15:26 - Cyndi
Yes yes, I do the whole guitar thing now and the flowers blooming and the rainbows and lollipops, I just, it just doesn't work for me.

0:15:37 - Allison
So I also love, you know, the old school Baptist choir and gospel music, because that is like what I grew up on in church. However, like I like the alternative, you know Christian music too, like the newer Christian music.

0:15:51 - Cyndi
Rainbows and lollipops.

0:15:53 - Allison
I don't know, it's not all rainbows and lollipops, but I do really enjoy it, and like the church that we go to when I say we, I mean like me and my little family unit is like a newer church. You know, I'll come as you are our long service. There's a band and all that stuff, and my mom seems to not like the tunes. I think that the tunes are great For us. In our household, though, church is like a very seasonal thing, and that's only because our life kind of revolves around basketball season, and typically, when we are abroad, we don't go to church, just because it has been hard for us to find a church that is in English and that is close to where we are and a church.

0:16:36 - Cyndi
They have organized religion.

0:16:37 - Allison
in most places that you've been they have organized religion but like okay, like we're headed to the UAE this season. Obviously that is predominantly Muslim, Like we're not. There are, I'm sure, some Christian churches, but you're not gonna find a ton of them. So typically when we are abroad, we don't go to church. I do participate in Bible study with a group called Bibles and Basketball, which is basically a group of other basketball wives and basketball families who have come together to, you know, talk about God, talk about religion, pray, all of that stuff, and so I will meet with them for Bible study once a week usually and I will like watch church or listen to a like religious podcast, Like sometimes. I won't say I do it every Sunday, but you know, some Sundays DJ and I will be like, oh, let's watch church, you know we'll, we'll put it on. However, when we are home in the summer, we do go to church most Sundays, Like when we're in town. We really love our church and it's a bigger church, but we've still felt very welcome there and our kids have enjoyed going to the children's church and like learning, you know, about Jesus in a way that it's age appropriate for them and we really love it.

And outside of church, what faith kind of looks like in our home is that we do pray before meals, we pay before bed. I pray in front of the kids. Sometimes if I move to pray and they are there, sometimes I'll go ahead and pray in front of them just because something that I think it's good for them to see, Like oh, mom's praying Like oh, and Harper will be like who are you talking to? And I'm like, oh God, I should be like, well, where is he? You know, and we'll. It'll open up dialogue and I don't read my Bible as much as I should, but when I do the Bible studies with Bibles and basketball, you know, I will read the Bible with them. And Harper has a Bible that I really love. It's the Children's Storybook Bible and sometimes she will ask to read stories out of there, which I love when she asks and I will read her, you know, biblical stories out of there. So that's kind of what faith looks like in our, you know, home at this point.

0:18:52 - Cyndi
Everything is different, you know. You have to change with the times. I suppose.

0:18:55 - Allison
Yeah, and I think that it's important that faith, you know, and religion is not one size fits all. You know everyone has different beliefs, everyone has different things that work for them and their family. In terms of what you know your religious beliefs are and then, even if it's the same belief system, how you practice that within your family, I think there's no right or wrong answer and there's no one way to do it. I know one thing that has been really fun for me to watch is to watch like Harper's understanding of you know, religion start to develop. Like I think I told you this mom the other day she she often asked about my dad and about like, okay, he's in heaven. But then she was like, well, how did he get to heaven? And so, you know, we kind of talked about it and so I told her that she was in heaven with God and she was like, oh, like, did God come pick him up? That's too cute.

So you know she's kind of creating this own idea about like God and Jesus, and then even sometimes when she has a bad dream, she'll say but you know, god is going to take care of me and God is not going to let anything bad happen to me, because Jesus loves me and I'm like that's right, you're right, baby. So just to see her start to form, that has been has been good.

0:20:09 - Cyndi
you know, right, right, you know again. I think religious religion I'm sorry is a very personal thing individually and as a family, so, but you definitely have to find something that works for you and that everybody is comfortable with. But I don't believe in like forcing my beliefs or religion, doubt anyone's throat.

0:20:31 - Allison
Mm, hmm, I agree and, like I said, I think that you not forcing it down my throat allowed me to figure it out on my own and you know, get to know who God was and what that meant for me on my own. And I remember, like you know, I remember the day that I decided I was going to get baptized and I remember getting baptized and I think the fact that I remember those days and they didn't happen when I was, you know, three, four years old also, it's really important to me. I know a lot of people will get re baptized as an adult, even if they were baptized as children. But I don't know. I like that. I made that decision myself, like fully knowing what it entailed, and, of course, that's not the only way to do it, but it works for me and I think I'm going to pass the torch.

0:21:17 - Cyndi
Yeah, I'm glad I did that with you Because, again, I was a full adult, you know, new mother, when I, you know, form my formal relationship with God, although I had always believed and, you know, felt the spirit. But just to, you know, have that, I guess, almost epiphany one day, and just to feel that awakening in you and make that decision, that that's what you want to do, and to make it for yourself again, knowing full well what it entails, what it means, and engulfing all of that within yourself, I think that's very special.

0:21:50 - Allison
Yeah, I agree, I agree. So you know, we like to always leave our listeners with a little something extra to walk away with after each episode. And it is still the holiday season. We are, you know, approaching Christmas, and so I thought it would be fun for us to create like another mini gift guide, and this one is full of faith-based things for kids that you know can kind of help you to introduce or, you know, if your children already know about God and about Jesus, to kind of like further that understanding. And so this gift guide is perfect because it is approaching Christmas but it can be used anytime of year.

That Jesus story of the Bible that I mentioned will definitely be on there. And then we also came up with some questions to start asking your kids about faith, just to get the conversation rolling, because at the end of the day, I think with kids, the best way to kind of get them to understand is to talk with them and have conversations with them and allow them to ask questions. And so we came up with some kind of discussion props that you can have with your family, with your kids of all ages around the dinner table, just to kind of see what they know, what they think, what things they have questions about and just get the conversations going about.

0:23:03 - Cyndi
Christ, yeah, I think that's a great idea. You know, conversation opens up the windows of the mind.

0:23:08 - Allison
so, yes, I think that's great Well, Merry Christmas from us to you guys again. We want to thank you so so much for your support this season and we will see you guys very soon for season two.

0:23:22 - Cyndi
Yes, see you next season, guys. Thanks for listening so much. Happy New Year.

Kintsugi Conversations Season 1, Episode 12: A Tale of Two Faiths

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