I grew up in a very religious household. Every Sunday we went to church. Mom was in the choir. Both Mom and Dad held various positions on the various committees, including Deacons and Treasurer. It didn’t matter whether use kids wanted to go or not – it simply wasn’t an option. We were to go every Sunday, all year long.
I’m not sure when exactly I started questioning religion, as probably most of us do at some point in our lives. I do remember being somewhat scared to question it though. What if I was stuck down?!? What if I was punished for doubting?!? What if I didn’t agree with my parents religious views?!?
It wasn’t until I was away at college that I stopped attending. Mom couldn’t ‘make’ me anymore. Nothing happened. Then I returned home for summer. My summer job was working at restaurant. Often on Saturday nights. Until 3ish in the morning. I didn’t make it to church much that summer. Despite my Mom’s obvious displeasure, nothing once again happened.
After I was convinced it was ok to not attend church, say the Lord’s Prayer each day and other religious traditions I was grew up expected to do daily or weekly, I started really thinking about religion. What it meant. What it meant to my family. And most of all, what it meant to me. As Sociology major I chose to take Sociology of Religion as an elective. I also babysat for a Hasidic Rabbi’s family all thru college, as well as several of the families in that community.
What I learned was that it was ok not to have the same exact religious views as my parents. It is OK if I am not as religious as them, just as it would be OK if I was more religious than them.
Sometimes realizing that the values and thoughts that we were raised on are OK to alter is a scaring and daunting task. In fact, it is even OK to alter them completly!
This is exactly what Marianna Sommers is going through in Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer. Questioning how her parents have raised her in her Amish community. Questioning her feelings towards what she thought she was expected to do when she grew up against possibly changing those plans and the outcome it may bring to her, her childhood crush, a new potential for a husband, and her family.
A huge fan of Amish fiction, it was easy for me to relate to Marianna’s dilemma. Goyer's writing style is easy to read and a perfect summer book to keep in your pool bag. This is one book you definitely want to add to your reading list, whether you are a fan of Amish fiction or not. I’ll be checking the book stores for the sequel to this book to see what Marianna decides to do!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the Beside Still Waters Campaign and received a copy of the book and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Posted by Robin at 10:21 PM