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Roxane Salonen, Published January 04 2013

Living faith: Ready to share joys, challenges of faith journey

On New Year’s Day 2008, The Forum’s Tuesday “Parenting Perspectives” launched with my column as the first to be featured. In it, I shared thoughts on combatting depression in a way I hoped would uplift readers.

For the next four and a half years, I continued to add my voice to the slate of contributors, lamenting everything from mismatched socks to flood evacuation and sharing many of the joys – albeit sometimes through gritted teeth – of parenting five lively youngsters whose ages span a decade.

Now, following a six-month absence to pursue another opportunity, I’m privileged to be back among you, this time with a new focus: faith.

From June to November, I served as the communications director and editor for the Diocese of Fargo, collecting and writing news stories for a faith readership and keeping in touch with the press as needed.

I loved my work, but soon learned that no matter how well-fitting a job may seem, if it’s not well-timed, no amount of fulfillment can keep things in balance. When the near-tipping point came, I turned toward home, ready to go back into the depths of mothering, and grateful for what felt like a second chance.

Whenever we leave home, we always return changed somehow. In this past year I’ve gained new experience and wisdom, along with the inescapable knowledge that writing is as indelible a part of me as mothering.

And so I return to these pages with enthusiasm over the prospect of sharing my look at life through eyes of faith.

When news of a school shooting claiming a good-sized batch of sweet, young lives erupts, how do we, as people of faith, respond, and does our response set us apart in a good way?

What questions about life in general perplex us and how can viewing them through a faith lens lead to answers?

Where do we find common ground with those of different faith affiliations?

Is faith even relevant anymore?

To me, living a life of faith means living a life of questions and seeking answers in earnest, not just with evidence that can only be obtained by material means, but through knocking on the door of the soul.

I’m looking forward to sharing my observations, questions and discoveries pertaining to the faith life here, both through a weekly column and twice-monthly faith articles.

If you’ve observed faith in action, know of someone particularly inspiring or simply have a nagging question about faith, I’d love to hear from you. My hope is for this “conversation” to be varied and engaging.

Near my work space I’ve pinned a clipping of a quote shared by a fellow faith friend: “Vivir con miedo es como vivir en medias,” or, “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”

Similarly, I would say, a life lived without faith is a life half-lived.

Excited as I am, I’ll also admit to feeling a bit like Bilbo Baggins about now. I’m not exactly sure what will unfold in this forthcoming adventure, but I’m certain it’s going to be interesting, and hopefully it will be a meaningful exploration – not only of this world, but the amazing one beyond that which eye can see.

Roxane Salonen is a freelance writer who lives in Fargo with her husband and five children. If you have a story of faith to share with her, email roxanebsalonen@gmail.com