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Kimberly Van Der Beek’s Blog: Raising a Spiritual Family

06/08/2012 at 04:24 PM ET
Reading with Olivia and Joshua — Courtesy Kimberly Van Der Beek

Thanks for welcoming our blogger Kimberly Van Der Beek!

Born and raised in Washington, she married actor James Van Der Beek in August 2010 and is mother to their two children — daughter Olivia, 20 months, and son Joshua, 3 months.

A proponent of healthy living, Kimberly, 30, advocates consciousness for the Earth and serves as co-chair of Baby Buggy‘s Los Angeles committee.

Husband James’s new sitcomDon’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, just wrapped its first season on ABC and has been renewed for a second.

You can find her on Facebook and @KimberlilyVDB on Twitter.

This month, she shares her tips on spiritual parenting.

For me, spirituality is not so much about what you believe, but how you behave. It’s the system of cause and effect that acknowledges the metaphysical world. And while the inner path we take to reveal our highest self is important, it’s what we do with it that really matters.

“Children are incredibly intuitive: they know the difference between your saying something and your living it.” – Michal Berg, President and CEO of Spirituality for Kids

Everyone has their own truth. In order to live any spiritual practice in your daily life, it has to make practical sense to you. I grew up enjoying the teachings of my Christian church. As I got older, I found myself wanting something that I didn’t get from religion. I knew the morals I desired, but lacked the tools to get there. Years, research, books and several conversations later, I found the spiritual path that worked for me: Kabbalah.

As my family will tell you, I am far from being the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa … I’m simply a work in progress that has been lucky enough to come across some universal concepts that, regardless of what church you grew up in (or didn’t), may be of use to you.

1. Take a pause.

How many times do we tell our children not to react to things? “It’s not the end of the world!” And how often do we take that advice ourselves? When somebody cuts us off in traffic, our kids color on the walls, the dishwasher isn’t emptied, and the hot water is gone … we’re quick to react! Now how are we supposed to ask our kids to behave differently than we do?

The next time somebody ticks you off and you feel that rush of adrenaline, try forcing yourself to take a pause. Ask yourself, “Two weeks from now, am I really going to care this much about what just happened?” This will usually allow you deal with your situation from a more grounded perspective.

2. Do things happen TO you or FOR you?

This is a tricky one, but maybe the most important. I obviously don’t mean to diminish anyone’s pain or suffering, and I’m certainly not saying that we should judge anyone who’s reeling from unfortunate circumstances. But one of the cornerstones of what I believe is that our greatest enemy in any challenging situation is our own reaction.

We can either be victims or we can be transcendent — there isn’t room for both. Some of the world’s most accomplished people (Oprah comes to mind) have become so after suffering great tragedies. If we can shift our frame of mind on even the littlest things, we show our children how to transcend our physical world and find happiness.

3. Judge not … because you don’t really know.

The most important thing when dealing with others is to treat them with human dignity. Judging them is the opposite of that. Obviously we need to use discernment, and I’m not suggesting we go around making excuses for people who do bad things, but I believe the less we judge them, the more effectively we can confront them.

We can tell a child exactly what they need to hear, and we can be right, but if we’re doing it from a reactive, angry, judgmental place, that’s all they’ll get from us. How do we make the shift? Give them the benefit of the doubt. We can never know someone’s whole truth. Their situation, intentions, feelings, insecurities and doubts are often concealed.

So the next time you confront somebody — child or adult — kick in some compassion and give them the benefit of the doubt and you can handle the situation with love instead of anger. More often then not, your words will be well-received.

I hope some of these methods allow you to break up the robotic tendencies that we all have, and reveal happiness in your life. If you want to go beyond being an example for your children, there is a non-profit dear to me called Spirituality for Kids.

They just launched a free game-based website that teaches 7-12 year olds how to listen to that good voice whispering in their ear, transcend life’s circumstances and find peace and happiness. It’s really cute (and cool!). I hope they enjoy!

Before you go about your daily life, if you have a spiritual tip that works for you and your family, please leave it below! I’d love to read and perhaps implement them into my life.

Love,

– Kimberly Van Der Beek

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Showing 104 comments

Elisa on

“Everyone has their own truth”, sorry but that’s not how it really is… the truth is one and only one, if you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean the truth will change (a chair is a chair even if you call it table)…

She has all the freedom to chose whatever she wants to, but the right will always be the right… Of course it’s better to have some faith than no faith at all, but even better to have faith put in the right place…

Sus on

“The Truth” is only found in Jesus Christ. I hope Kimberley will find her way out of this celebrity fad and find her way back to a more meaningful Christian church.

Maggie on

Elisa and Sus, I have to disagree. And point out that your posts directly contradict #3! Kimberly’s blog was more about spirituality than religion.

Let’s leave the judgment out of this – Jesus is not the be all end all; in fact, Jews do not even believe in Jesus.

Personally I was raised LDS (Mormon) and although I left the church during college, many of the moral tenets I was taught are still dear to my heart. Although I do not agree with many of the church’s teachings, I still consider myself to be a spiritual person, albeit in my own way. You have to take what works for you, in your own life and in your own situation. That may be many things or nothing at all, and that’s the beauty of it.

Kimberly, thanks for another thought-provoking and insightful blog.

angie on

Cute kids!

Indira on

Spirituality is such a vague term. I’ve always just thought that people who use it just don’t want to commit to any set of beliefs.

Melissa on

Well for me, I consider myself spiritual but not religious. I live by a set of guiding principles, enjoy meditation and do believe in a higher power, but I don’t follow any set religion. I tried a number throughout my 20s but none really “fit”. I understand what works for me may not work for you. I really hate to see people judge others regarding something so personal.

Heather on

Jesus is the be all, end all.

You will see for yourself one day.

B.J. (the girl) on

I enjoyed this blog very much, but the first two comments had to go and ruin it! Not everyone is a Christian, nor should we all have to subscribe to the same faith. I was raised in the church but as I matured, I realize it just wasn’t something I could go on believing.

Now, my religion is in nature. My church is the outdoors. Without the earth, where would we be? Without a god to judge me, I am doing just fine and I am happy. Everyone has their own truth, and mine isn’t found in an old book of fairy tales that has been mistranslated throughout its history.

Emily on

Great blog Kimberly, thank you for sharing. I enjoy reading what you have to say each month.

I find it interesting and sad that some can’t seem to see past the end of their own nose…

This is an entry about spirituality, not religion.

Elisa on

sorry if you guys think it’s rude (btw, her kids are very cute!) but like she said it’s the truth and it’s not always pleasant… it’s just that people who says what she did are those who choose in believing only in the parts they want because it’s comfortable…

faith is not a supermarket in which you take the parts you want, forget the rest and say “you’re spritualized”… you’re not, you’re just lying to yourself… that’s an excuse for those who don’t want to embrance the whole thing… of course not all parts are easy to live but if you say you believe in God then you have to believe in what He says…

when people start with the “I don’t agree with that” then you’re not having faith as a whole, just a little…and it can be worse than not having it all because the person is not open to believe…

Kristen on

I agree with Kimberly. There is nothing wrong or even incorrect about what she is saying. But after reading through the comments it’s great to see the openmindedness of people. If her belief doesn’t work for you then follow your own path.

But seriously Elisa you want to condemn people for picking and choosing what to believe in and what not. I can’t think of any set of supposed followers doing that more than those who cherry pick which parts of the Bible apply to them- or worse- should apply to others. Are you going to tell us that you subscribe to all of what is written in that book? Is this as you are eating shrimp, wearing polyester, and selling rape victims to their attackers?

No, you pull from the parts that apply to you and you are willing to abide by.

Aimee on

My relationship with God is my own. I don’t need anyone telling me what is right or what is wrong.

houseofleaves on

I think her views are wonderful. I myself don’t believe there is a god. However, her outlook on spirituality and the way she intends to raise her children is sure to make them kind, warm people, who are accepting of ALL viewpoints and ALL types of people, without judgement. And that’s what is truly important.

stacey on

Cannot relate to this blog at all. Jesus has nothing to do with religion, it’s about a relationship. All He asks of us is “Do I have your heart”.

Jillian on

Maggie, thanks for pointing out number three! I was thinking the same thing.

I really enjoyed this, as I do all of her blogs.

Heather,
It is a shame you can’t have your beliefs and be respectful. I have no problems with proletariat having strong religious beliefs, but those that speak that way casting judgement and speaking nasty leave a sour taste in my mouth! I am fortunate those around me and my children don’t behave like you.

Mary

Ivy. on

This is quite an interesting post. I like it. The comment that has stuck most with me is Elisa’s.

A chair is only a chair because that’s what we’ve learned to call it. If I was raised calling what most people know as a chair, a table, then I would call it a table without knowing any different. It wouldn’t be until I was exposed to what other members of society knew my so-called table as, that I would learn it has another name. Even then, because it has been so ingrained in me to call it a table, I would still find it being called a chair unusual.

The same goes for religion. It’s semantics. Call it what you want but everyone grew up believing something, or chose to change their beliefs based on life experiences. It doesn’t make them wrong or immoral in any way.

I’m not religious. I respect others right to have their own beliefs and I consider myself a moral person. I don’t kill, I’m not vengeful, I live my life as best I can without interfering in others’ rights, and if the fact that I may not believe in any “truth” means that I will be damned in the eyes of those that do, then they are the ones who will have to live with that burden. My family and I are thriving in the present, and that’s what’s important to me.

Kudos to Mrs. Van Der Beek to raising her children as beneficial members of society with a positive moral compass.

Ivy. on

I forgot to mention. Those kids are so cute!! I thought Joshua was one of Oliva’s dolls for a second. Precious.

Hea on

I’m an atheist. I draw my power from the universe and from being kind and gentle. The content way some of you feel when you’re in church or in prayer with your God, I feel when I walk through my forest at home or swim in my ocean and I completely respect her choices and her spiritual need.

Not all of us believes in or wants a God or a Jesus in our lives. That does not mean our lives are not full and happy. Please, try to respect that we’re all different. You don’t have to fully understand or even like it but respect it and move on from it.

JM on

I can’t stand this airy fairy nonsense. be a good person, be responsible, be kind to others and yourself. There is nothing ‘sprititual’ about that it’s just common sense. Why do people have to make themselves sound like airheads when they are really just stating the bleeding obvious?

Jesus, God, the easter bunny, the flying spaghetti monster etc etc, whatever you want to call it, they are all supernatural beings.

Focus on reality and on being a good person, you don’t have to be a christian or a new age hippie to figure that out.

sk on

the one truth is that there are many truths.

Catca on

In the spirit of Kimberly’s blog, #3 says “judge not…because you don’t really know”. That includes not judging Elisa and Sus even though they immediately cast judgment on Kimberly and others. Just because they did it doesn’t mean we need to do it as well.

Even if you disagree with their perspective on faith, it is their faith and I think we should let me them be with what they believe in and follow our own paths. Engaging in tit for tats on this blog will not change anyone’s faith or beliefs, so why bother?

Anonymous on

This is a beautiful set of beliefs, as they’re all about self reflection. Take a pause, think, then react and don’t be so quick to judge. The world would be a much better place if everyone would do just that.

Elisa on

Kristen, I do understand what you say, and it’s not like that… People nowadays just go to the easy way by chosing only the parts they want to believe and it’s wrong, that’s what I’m saying.

I may be wrong but feels like many celebrities just go with the flow… when I hear of Kabalah the first person I recall is Madonna… for instance, isn’t that just a way she found to keep having the kind of life she has? not saying that Kimberly is like that, but to change dramatically of faith (like stop believing in Jesus as God) is something that makes wonder: whay? what happened? how can people just be ok with it and think “good for her”? specially those who still believe in all those things… I’m not here to condemn anybody, please try to understand that…

I do agree with teaching kids into believing something greater than themselves… My 4 year old cousin was praying the Hail Mary’s right after start talking and it’s really beautiful to see how pure they are and how strong their faith can be even for small children… My mom taught us faith ever since we were little and even with our faults (we’re not perfect) we can say we turned out fine…

Alli on

I’m a Christian, and most of these comments make me sad. What did she say in this blog that’s so wrong? Teaching our kids not to be reactionary, not to live as a victim, and not to judge other people by modeling those behaviors are things that all parents should do.

Everyone has the right to choose their own spiritual path. This “I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story,” attitude that I see in many Christians is one of the reasons that so many are turned off of our religion. Why is it not enough to have faith in what we believe and treat people with dignity, no matter what their beliefs are? To me that’s a big part of living a Christian life.

Meg Max on

I totally agree with B.J. (the girl) I was raised Roman Catholic but was completely turned off by the time I went into high school. My mother who took us to church has converted and is now a Wiccan. No spell casting but a true belief in nature, kindness and being aware of herself and others. Maybe pagan practices seem weird to some but to me it seems more concrete in some ways than Christianity because all the dates and deeds of J.C. were done several times over before the big guy even existed. Look it up.

Elisa on

oh God… I just pointed something, did not condemn anyone that’s up to someone above me… did I say anyone was going to hell? I don’t remember doing so…

the thing about truth having its own nature is that wether you believe or not it won’t change. Like God: even if atheists don’t believe He exists, He does. It’s simple. People are free to believe whatever they want to, doesn’t mean they’re right… The truth is not a point of view… most people spend all their lives searching for what fits better of what they want to live instead of changing themselves for the better… can you understand the difference? that’s what I have been trying to say!

Kristen, have you heard of something called New Testment? the jews had cold hearts that’s why their laws were they way they were (I’m not saying jews are bad people, Jesus was jewish!)… there’s a reason why we believe in Jesus…the guy just changed the entire history, was He just an ordinary man?

We’re all called for something higher than just be “good”… even the bad ones can be good to the ones they like… I’m not perfect and so far I’m far from being the saint I should be, but at least I’m trying, fighting every day’s fight and not giving up…

emily on

Elisa…there is no “fact” that God exists. It’s not an undeniable truth like you say. That’s where you are wrong. It’s simply a belief.

Shannon on

LOL What is this woman talking about? Her children are barely out of her uterus. How does she know this is the way to raise a spiritual family? Wait 20 or 30 years when your children have actually gone through something and had their beliefs tested; then you’ll know whether you raised them right.

Elisa on

a simply belief? it’s very possible to “find” God logically, because believing on His existence is the only way to explain somethings. For instance: some people say that evolution is how we started to exist, but mathematically it’s impossible for such complex beings (like us, humans) to become what they are from random chemical reactions (like Oparin’s theory of the how molecules were mixed together after the big bang)… Things in the human body work so perfectly and in such order that would have taken more than just 14 billion of years to become what we are… if evolution like that really happened, then why did the human being stopped evolving? we’re the same since like 15.000 years ago…

meghan on

Good grief, Elisa. Start a blog.

theatergirl on

I loved this blog. Spirituality and religion can be a tough concept to navigate. @Meghan, hilarious response to Elisa. Hahaha!

coconuttymonkey on

Elisa, can we agree to disagree and behave like kind and compassionate children of what some call God and others their Higher Power, Universe, Sun, Buddha or Muhammad?

Robin on

All of her blogs seem a little self righteous to me…she is my least favorite blogger…

mskrista on

After reading some of these comments I was rather disappointed because I thought this blog entry was great.

I don’t have kids yet myself but watch how my friends parent and think about the way I was raised a lot. Kids pick up on so much of what we do rather than what we say and that is why I loved it.

My favorite part of her blog was the quote she put in from the CEO of Spirituality for Kids “Children are incredibly intuitive: they know the difference between your saying something and your living it.”

I think no matter what you believe in, if take the right actions in your life to be the person your higher power would want you to be (& live by example to our children) that’s all that matters.

What a beautiful thing believing in something bigger than ourselves is.

Thank you to Kimberly for a great post about how to show that to our kids and raise a generation of compassionate human beings.

Edie on

Jesus IS the great I AM. Believe it!

Catca on

Kimberly,

Thanks for linking to “Spirituality for Kids”. It’s an org that I had not heard of before but after reading your blog I went to their site and it really is a wonderful org. I can see why it is near and dear to your heart.

This really was a wonderful blog entry and I wish I could leave you a spirituality tip in my comment, but alas, I think you summed up what I also try to do quite well. I really don’t have anything to add.

Sarah K. on

Alli, perfectly said.

Elisa, we have not stopped evolving. Evolution is a very slow process. Please read up on it. As for the rest of your posts, all I have to say is that you are not acting very Christian…

KMH86 on

Elisa: “the thing about truth having its own nature is that wether you believe or not it won’t change. Like God: even if atheists don’t believe He exists, He does. It’s simple. People are free to believe whatever they want to, doesn’t mean they’re right…’

I’m sorry dear but that is very hypocritical of you. You’re right though, people are free to believe whatever they want and no it doesn’t mean they’re right. What you also have to realize that that same sentiment applies to you. You have the right to your beliefs but you have to right to inflict and enforce them on other people.

Jane on

great response, Alli! i am writing from a similar position.

love this blog post, Kimberly, and I agree wholeheartedly. it is so important to take a step back sometimes. i know i have felt some relief in recent months as i finally feel that i can articulate what kind of parent i want to be & become. in the chaotic moments, however, it is so easy to find myself breaking from that! (moments when i need to “take a pause”) To truly embody your parenting ideals and principles in your actions is a great standard to set for yourself – divisions between words & actions are indeed palpable & confusing to kids.

Sad to see so many negative posts, but they are mostly from those who should take a lesson from both “take a pause” & “judge not”

Marilia on

Elisa was just stating her opinion. If anyone has a problem with that it’s their business. She was in no way forcing anyone to agree with her. We want honesty and freedom of press but then we have a problem when someone simply expresses their opinion. Who are the hypocrites really?

MollyF on

I’m not a religious person, myself, but I have several friends who are Christian. They don’t judge me because I don’t believe in organized religion.

I don’t like talking about religion, because it’s a personal thing and people get so passionate that some choose to judge, which is sad.

Kimberly, your son and daughter are great and I respect your beliefs. People need to be more respectful to others religious (or non religious) beliefs and stop judging each other.

Ashley on

Robin I agree with you..least favorite blogger. Seems a little too good for her own britches.

Tara on

Seriously Elisa ” the jews had cold hearts that’s why their laws were they way they were” – that ignorant statement pretty much tells me everything there is to know about you. If you are what a “good Christian” is then I feel pity for the future of the religion. You know nothing.

Lalalalala on

Oh Elisa,

You crack me up. I love when christians attempt to explain evolution. When one has a specific belief, they see the world through that belief. One cannot look objectively at something when they are wearing goggles.

Who is to say one religious view point is correct over another. There are religions that are older than christianity. Gasp! I know, hard to swallow but true. I assume those people believe christians have it all wrong.

I believe what Kimberly is saying is very beneficial and I would hope we all would use this advice in our daily lives, especially when dealing with our children, no matter what religious or non religious view point.

Missy on

Truth is absolute. No matter what your opinion is, the truth does not change. You can dress something up, call it what you want, say you make your own rules/truths, say you don’t believe, etc. but it absolutely, positively does not change the truth. Many people choose not to believe the truth because it’s not what they want to hear, it doesn’t allow them to keep doing hedonistic things and they get mad at “religion” because, quite simply, they put “self” above all and don’t want anything to change that. There is only one Truth, one Way and one Life.

Indira on

“Elisa…there is no “fact” that God exists. It’s not an undeniable truth like you say. That’s where you are wrong. It’s simply a belief”.

Belief is far from simple. What people believe in can destroy but it can also move mountains and change lives or the better. I think we live in a world where fact trumps belief but that’s a mistake in my eyes. Belief has carried humanity a lot longer than fact.

I don’t understand atheists who are so anti-christian. Every other religion is just as opposing to your own beliefs so I fail to see why Christians seem to be the main target. Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Animists and Sikhs all profess their belief in god too. P.S there are Christians that believe in evolution, christians that know that we have ties to pagan holidays, just because one is a believer doesn’t mean they’re uninformed.

Philosophers have asked what truth is for thousands of years across cultures. I find it so funny that a bunch of posters swear the answer is so painfully obvious. Facts are true but not all truths are facts. Do they not teach Kant, Socrates or Nietzsche in school anymore? Jebus.

Hea on

“Like God: even if atheists don’t believe He exists, He does. It’s simple. People are free to believe whatever they want to, doesn’t mean they’re right…”

Um…wow! I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this statement? I wish you could see how utterly hypocritical you are being by saying that, Elisa.

You have your truth, I respect that, but your truth is not my truth. There is no absolute truth applicable on all humans.

Jennifer on

Wow, great post Mrs. Van Der Beek! The world would be a much better place if we all followed this advice. Very wise words. Sounds like you are a fantastic, patient, loving and kind mother.

Sarah K. on

Marilia, freedom of speech is a tricky thing. You absolutely have the right to say whatever you want. But conversely, other people have the right to disagree and respond. So, no one is being hypocritical for merely disagreeing or responding to Elisa.

Elisa on

I honestly don’t see where is the hypocrisy people are talking about. First, Jesus told the jewish from His time that they had cold hearts and I believe he knows the subject a lot better than me…

Second, to believe in God is not a blind faith… I don’t believe in Him because someone told me to. If people start asking simple questions, like the ones about evolution, He’s the only answer… ok, we keep evolving: so why are we the same as we were 10.000 years ago? why didn’t the monkeys evolved too? why is it that the being is is the only one free to decide what to do while other animals are forced to live by instinct? it’s simple questions that you have not the answer… if you do, then I’d love to hear how did only 20 aminoacids joined together to form so many different proteins… you call me silly and blind but you’re the ones closing your eyes and ignoring the truth…

what drove me to write here was not only Kimberly (who does the same many others do) chosing to change everything else but themselves! most of times the problem isn’t that religion doesn’t explain it all, is that you don’t want to really find it all…

Indira on

Elisa evolution happens on a scale of millions of years not thousands and actually we are different from 10,000 years ago. We are taller and we have less hair. Boom.

Elisa on

I’m not saying we don’t change through time, but you call being taller and with less hair evolution? I’m talking about major changes… you put some math on to see how it’s just impossible for beings to exist from nothing just by chance… have you ever studied the human body and its complexity? I’m in 4th year of med school and can’t get over how perfect things work with the human body… even to pee is such a complex mechanism (I’ve got an urology test this week)! science only made me believe even more in the existence of God, which I’m not alone… Pauster, Newton and so many others think that way as well…

KatR on

I was totally expecting to see Christians getting their panties in a wad, but the “Jews have cold hearts” stuff makes me wonder if there is any comment that PEOPLE will find offensive enough to delete.

Elisa on

millions of years? do you know how old the Homo sapiens is? trust me it has a lot less than 1.000.000 of years…it has actually less than 100.000…again, being taller and with less hair doesn’t say much… my mom is very small like many people (see the Asians, for instance) and there are same men with a lot of body hair… by the way, if I remember correctly Homo sapiens hasn’t had drastic changes… the skull has basically the same size, the proportions are the same… is that your “boom”?? if we’re pretty much the same ever since we started to exist, then where’s evolution? so far nothing has proven for real that the other “Homos” they found were us…

Hea on

Elisa – In what way is the human body more complex than any other mammal’s?

Indira on

Everything on earth evolves. I don’t know of any multi-cell organism that has remained unchanged.

Yes, I call getting taller and less hairy evolution. I call walking on all fours to standing upright evolution. I call decreasing level of pigmentation in europeans compared to their African ancestors evolution/adaptation.

That’s exactly what evolution is a slow propagation of traits through several generations that eventually are seen throughout the entire population through natural selection.

I have studied the human body, I’m getting my PhD and my focus is change from quadrupedal movement to bipedal thru the evolutionary process. I’m sorry that you don’t think you can accept evolution and have faith at the same time. I am a researcher and I do not feel that conflict. I believe in god and the theory of evolution. Boom.

Sarah K. on

Being taller and having less hair is evolution. The point of evolution is that it’s a slow process consisting of tiny changes over a long period of time. A 4th year med student should know that.

And no, I’m sorry – God’s existence (or lack thereof) does not explain every occurrence. Even Christians have not figured out all of life’s mysteries. I’m surprised you don’t know that. Stop acting like people who believe in Jesus have figured out life in ways others haven’t.

And what about other religions and their theories on how humans came to be. Why are you so quick to discredit them? Aren’t their theories just as valid as the Christian theory?

We may never know for sure how we came into existence, because not one of us can go back in time to see how it happened. You simply have a belief. You cannot prove it any more than other people can prove their beliefs.

meghan on

Robin, I agree with you. It’s SO pretentious to be concerned about your children eating a healthy diet and giving their lives a spiritual basis! I mean how dare she not let her kids eat healthy food and what nerve to care about the values they are raised with!

Robin, exactly what do you think parenting is? Shaping character and giving your kids the best jumping off point into adulthood that you can. Spirituality and healthy living are an aspect of that. If you want to raise your kids to not consider the bigger picture and become obese and lacking values, have at it.

Erin on

Elisa, you went from merely judgmental to outright nutty. Humans are NOT the only animals to evolve, love. Hit the books. And not just the ones approved by fundamentalists. Bottom line, worry about your own soul. If non-believers or Jews or Muslims, etc. are wrong, then that would be for God to deal with, right? Move on.

B.J. (the girl) on

If God is real, may he strike me down right now! Seriously! Come and get me, if you’re up there in the clouds!

I’ve said this countless of times aloud to prove a point, and guess what? I’m still alive, healthy, and content with my heathenism.

You can’t prove God is real, but my personal truth is that I have proven he’s not. The angry, vengeful God of the Bible was all about smiting those who refused to believe in him. So where is he now? Why has a blasphemer and sinner like me been allowed to live such a full, rewarding life?

Just saying.

Daniella on

Elisa, as a veterinary student myself, I’m really trying to figure out how you even passed your Evolutionary Biology exams (a course that’s required for any accredited medical, veterinary, or dental school in North America) with the knowledge you seem to have on the subject. If I stated such things on my essays or exams, I’d have flunked at least a half-dozen or more of my required classes.

I’m not going to get into the whole religious debate, but I know for a fact that no accredited medical school in North America would teach their students such unscientific explanations. And as a veterinary student who has very extensively studied evolution in BOTH humans & other orders of animals (including monkeys, I’ve had whole classes on primatology, mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, etc.), all of these animals have been evolving right alongside us. A good class on paleozoology will show you this for a fact.

However, aside from that, I must say that I like Kimberly’s approach on this particular subject. Her children will be much more open-minded & willing to tolerate the beliefs of others because of it.

Robin on

Wow Meghan…Just where did I imply that it was okay to obese children lacking in character? I just said she wasn’t my favorite blogger…its called and opinion and everyone had a right to have one. Kimberly has her opinion, you have yours and I have mine. Don’t put words in peoples mouths that are not there…

meghan on

Robin, she’s written two blogs, one on healthy food, one on spirituality. You say that in “all her posts” she comes across as self righteous. Forgive me for assuming that you were criticizing both her posts.

KRS on

I’m with you BJ! I think the believers of the world would reply that “you’ll get what’s coming to you on Judgement Day” or something like that, but I don’t buy it. Like you, I also live a full, rewarding and moral life WITHOUT faith in any of the countless gods that there are to choose from. Who do the theists think is more moral anyway? The one who only lives morally out of fear of hell/promise of salvation, or the one who lives morally because they know it’s the right thing to do?

BTW Elisa, you’ve made your point about evolution’s limitations (for you), but how in the world do you jump from those questions to just filling in the blanks with god, without any explanations? It’s completely baffling to me.

Kimberly Van Der Beek on

Hello, it’s Kimberly Van Der Beek here.

Thank you for all of your comments.

Some of you have, however, really missed the point of this blog. This is not a debate on religion. This is not about which religion is superior or right. This is about spirituality. This is about how to become the best version of yourself so that you can model to your children how to do the same.

In church I learned about values, morals, etc… Some people think that is all you need. I would like to challenge those people to take it one step further. I would like them to consider to not only have their faith- but to work on the little things everyday to be their best self- while keeping in mind that their children are watching, seeing, absorbing.

Am I the moral authority on this? No. But we all have things that we can learn from each other. Some of you have made eloquent points that jog my mind. And I like that.

I hope that this comment encourages people to have a healthy discussion about spirituality. Talk about transformational experiences, things you need help/advice with, tools you use to strive to be a better person everyday, what inspires you, who inspires you, what great reads/articles you recommend….

Here are some wonderful people that inspire me on twitter:
@unclerush (Russell Simmons- business man, vegan, thought leader)
@DalaiLama (Dalai Lama- we all know him)
@yehudaberg (Spiritual Teacher, Best-selling author, Co-Director of the Kabbalah Centre)
@monicaberg74 (Spiritual Teacher, gives lectures worldwide ).

We can’t lose focus and forget that being a good person also counts for something towards the energy we put in this world. If nothing else, let this blog be a reminder of that.

I hope you are all able to “pause” and take out some of your judgment before replying to people on this comment section, even the ones that doesn’t seem to understand what it is that I am trying to relay.

Lots of love to you all.

xo,
Kimberly

tore on

One of the reasons I stopped reading the plethora of comments on blogs is because it becomes a war of the words, and minds when there is someone that offers an opinion different from that of the writer, or other commenters.

Believer, non-believer

Christian, non-Christian

God spoke, big-bang

Whatever your category may be.

One of the many reasons this world is so screwed up these days is because everybody feels the need to be right, and they are going to argue until THEY ARE RIGHT.

I don’t believe in kabbalah, I don’t believe in nature being a source of spirituality, I don’t believe in praying to Mother Mary or any other saint, I don’t believe Joseph Smith saw God or an angel, or whatever it was, and I don’t believe in the THEORY of evolution or the big bang THEORY, I don’t believe we came from monkeys, or chimpanzee’s or whatever it is they tell us we came from, I don’t believe in reincarnation, I don’t believe in pergatory, I don’t believe dogs go to heaven, and I don’t believe that aliens exist (although some people act like they are from other planets).

I could go on forever, but I won’t.

I believe in God, I believe in the Bible, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe God’s promises are true, everyday. I believe God has blessed my life with a wonderful husband and son. I believe that He provides for my every need. I believe in His promise to never leave me or forsake me. I believe that God has called me to share His love with those around me, especially those hurting in addictions.

I choose to believe the best about people, and to love people regardless of their beliefs. I will love others like Christ did. I will tell others of His redeeming blood, that is what God requires.

I will not argue or debate, I will not engage in meaningless banter, and I will not disrespect others who don’t believe what I do.

Period…♥

Ashley on

Kimberly-
I applaud you for clearing things up. :)

AmandaK on

To the people saying we can all believe what we want to … Do you realize just how STUPID that sounds. We can’t all be right. It’s not possible to have a God, a buddha, a Jesus etc. no matter how bad you want 2 + 2 = 7 it’s not going to

Only one group is right. Personally my allegiances lie with Jesus. The only way to ever know is when the end times come or when you die. Your either going to be praising the King or burning forever.

I will say though i you truly believe in your religion then I would convert people as much as I can. Why would you want to condemn someone to hell because of ignorance?

denise on

Moral relativity is corrupting our world. Read Peter Kreeft to best understand this concept. In a civilized society, we must discern what is right and wrong. That is why we have laws but moral laws dictated by various religious faiths conflict with many laws. Many people would agree that cannibalism is not acceptable in the US. Slavery was horrific and thankfully Abraham Lincoln abolished this horrible practice of our forefathers, many of whom were religious or spiritual men. All beings from moment of conception to natural death deserve respect and understanding but when actions are cruel and evil, one must have the courage to tell the other”You are wrong.” This starts when a child is a baby. Children can not go around biting other children,parents must step in and discipline. There must be a judgment and a punishment, two separate actions. I say to the child” It is wrong to bite.” Your punishment is a time-out, a mother may state. I am so tired of uneducated celebrities espousing their narrow views. Read the Bible, the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, the Koran, the Torah,etc. There is a Creator of all life in this world and one day, at death, this Creator will make the final judgment. And for me, I call him God, the Father, God the Son and God, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Trinity.

Janna on

@denise

I read the Qur’an, the unaltered and the final revelation of God. I believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. I believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets.

So what?

jen on

So sad. no need to argue For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’
Romans 14:11

jen on

Love your comment Tore, couldn’t agree more!!

Jillian on

- AmandaK on June 12th, 2012

Wow! You sure just talked in a circle. And at the end, tried to tell everyone your belief is the right one and if we don’t follow yours we will burn forever! Thanks for the comic relief. You clearly did not comprehend the blog or her follow up post, as religion has nothing to do with this. Also, clearly you don’t understand what beliefs mean because comparing it to a math equation makes about as much sense as someone burning for not believing your god…none! It’s amazing to me how so many who feel, god is the only way, can only express themselves with ignorance and speak demeaning. It’s so disgusting. I am sad for you. God wouldnt want you to be so hateful.

Mary

Mary

tango on

I think she is confused and she means philosophy. Everyone has their own inner set of values and and lives by their own honour code and personal truth. This is not spirituality as spirituality is really about something else other than ourselves. Spirituality for Kids is also a Kabbalah organisation.

Tiffany on

“Jesus is the be all end all”…agreed Heather.

B.J. (the girl) on

God is as real as the Tooth Fairy and unicorns.

cofo314 on

i started reading this blog and found parts helpful and parts not so helpful. i was saddened by the comments.

kimberly’s post is a matter of opinion. like she mentioned in her response to the rude comments is she is not the authority on anything for other people, just what works for her and her kids.

if you like what she said fine, if not do not use it and dont read her post anymore. its that simple. to think grown women are sitting in front of their computers saying hurtful and down-right dumb things proves you have nothing better to do with your life. in fact like someone posted it does make you a bully.

if you believe in god that your choice to do so, but to impose your “he is the end all be all’ to other people is not right. we have have opinions like we have butt holes and im sure you would want your butt hole respected, right.. so use the same respect with other people opinions!

i normally do not respond to blog post but I really had to say something as this was just tooo much….

Anonymous on

I know that not everyone will agree with what I’m about to say, and while I’m sad about that, I have to move on.

I think a couple things need to be cleared up: Like Kimberly herself said, this wasn’t about Religion, it was about Spirituality. So I feel (operative word there that feel,) that it was inappropriate to have to bring up religion. However, it was inevitable.

Secondly, I applaud Elisa. She has stood up for what she believes, and I think she deserves your respect. Some of you have said you respect other peoples opinions and beliefs, but then have called her out and criticized her beliefs.

Freedom of speech is one thing. You can disagree with someone, you can state your own opinion. But it’s just, wrong, mean and silly in fact, to have to argue with someone else.

The thing that sets Christianity apart from other religions and beliefs is love. Now we don’t always show love, which is because we’re human, just like you. It’s not fair of you to expect us to be perfect, because while we’re trying, we’re never going to succeed without Gods help, which we are getting daily.

I think the fact that it is basically the most hated (persecuted, misunderstood etc.) religion, it is a testimony about how Christianity is real. People see what they want to see. Doesn’t mean it’s true, or right, or wrong. My mom has a saying, Well you thought wrong, that she uses all the time. “but mom, I thought….” “Well you thought wrong dear.” Thinking, and seeing, those two things are perspective.

I’m not sure how good of an example this is, but people thought the world was long for the longest time. Because it looks flat, and when you walk, it seems flat. It makes sense while you are on earth. But one you step away from earth and you see things from space, you understand you were only seeing what you were allowed to see from your limited perspective. You know understand that the world IS round, and that’s the truth, no matter how much those people see, or think,or feel the world is flat.

People will ways find a way around something they don’t want to believe. In the end everyone will see the truth. If you don’t see it yet, then it’s not the end.

KB on

@Anonymous

Point #1- How sad that you don’t think you can succeed and love without an imaginary friend.

Point #2- I wasn’t aware that Buddhists, Jews, and atheists couldn’t love because they aren’t Christians.

Point #3- The reason Christianity is persecuted is because they are the only ones willing to tell people how to live when it doesn’t coincide with their own beliefs, be it by knocking on their doors or walking up to them in a store.

I was in Kroger the other day, and I had Dos Equis in my cart. A perfect stranger comes up to me, and tells me, “you don’t need that stuff.” Now, mind you, I am a CRNA who pulls down 200K per year, hubby is a pharmacist, we are atheists, taxpayers, good parents and law-abiding citizens who don’t need to be coerced by imaginary friends to do good things and be good people. This lady was morbidly obese; I could have easily pointed out a few things she didn’t need in her cart, but guess what? I don’t give a shit what’s in her cart, and it’s not my business to tell her what she needs or doesn’t need to buy.

The moral of this story is…live your life the way you choose, and as long as others aren’t hurting you or anyone else, allow them to do the same. Why is that so difficult a concept for you people?

Carol on

Tore, you need to have your own blog!! You speak the truth about the one true God. AMEN.

Brittanie on

I was raise Christian but no longer feel that it is the answer. Looking at it logically, I can’t accept God just because I have been told by parents and a book that it is the truth. I was scared into believing this faith and was scared when I started to fall out of it that I would go to hell. I prayed that I could just stay Christian and not guess it, but it wasn’t right to me. But I realized I can’t just have faith in a God that is this judgmental without some strong proof that he is out there. Unless there is satisfying first-hand proof that he is the one true God, I hold human values to be the same as how God should be and I tell ya, he doesn’t fit. A God who created all people should love all his children no matter what they believe, because a lot of us are honestly trying hard to make sense of our lives. Just as a mother or father should love all their children unconditionally, no matter the choices they make. I can’t accept the Christian conditional God. I remember as a child having a Jewish friend and feeling like she was inferior to me and that she would go to hell because she didn’t believe what I believed. It really hurt me. I remember being so closed minded. I also am aware that not all Christians are so judgmental, but judgment is a huge part of faith. Maybe I just had a bad experience but I try to focus on this life and not afterlife because this is what we are living with now. And the main thought that I had on this topic in response to Elisa is that I’m not picking and choosing what I want instead of accepting it as a faith. I’m not accepting it as a faith because to me, it doesn’t have the right answers. I just can’t find faith in it. Though I appreciate the morals, they are only that; morals. You don’t have to be Christian to have them. I am a less judgmental and more accepting person as a non-Christian, and that is what works for me. And I hope that you don’t ever lose faith in Christianity if that is what works for you and gets you through life. It is all about finding your inner strength with what ever tools you need to find it. We are all on this world together, so why try so hard to make others believe what you believe? World religious movements require too much energy that can better be allocated to help fixing the dire and real issues that we have on our planet right now. I may seem wrong to some, but that is the beauty of life. If one person was completely right, then everyone else would be wrong because no two natural humans are completely identical.

Emily on

Suffering with cause is not something anyone else should tell someone to overcome. Strength is everyone’s own perogative. I found this off putting.

Molly on

I love when people love spirituality and hate religion. It’s the new it thing. Reject the practice, embrace the “speak”.

Glojean on

I really enjoyed Kimberly’s blog. She and James will raise kind, non judgmental kids. I couldn’t have children, but have nieces and nephews that spend a lot of time with me (range 2 months to 21 years old).My household is different than theirs. I have nieces and nephews that call me for advice. Some of them don’t believe in God. Although, it is hard for me to understand not believing, I respect their choice.

As a Christian, it is not my religion people see, but my spirituality. Some people have said that Christians are the most judgemental. Sadly, I would have to agree!

Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, etc, etc are religions, but each believe something different in their practice. It is when we hear of something we don’t understand, such as Kabbalah,
That we can be judgemental or say “That’s a celebrity religion!”

I goggled Kabbalah and found it has been around since the 12th century. It is not a religion, but a ‘school of thought”. I am sure Kimberley can explain it better than Me!

Olivia and Joshua are beautiful children who will grow up in a loving house!

We need to love one another and quit being judgemental because someone is different than us.

Mallory on

I really like your blog, Kimberly! Unfortunately, no matter what you believe, you will get flack for it from some readers. Don’t change to suit us – just keep writing your truth. As long as your children are raised in a home that teaches them respect, compassion and manners, they will turn out great.

Rhonda on

I don’t believe in all that mumbo jumbo. She better go back to her roots and accept Jesus Christ as her savior. That is the only truth! Anything else will buy you a one-way ticket to Hell.

Luci on

HOLY COW. I was so pleased when I started reading this blog, as it is so on point with how I think. I had read SOME of the comments a few days ago and am only now taking a closer look at them.

Wow. So many of you are SO HATEFUL and VICIOUS! I certainly know if ANY place of worship was filled with carbon copies of most of you ladies, I’d avoid it like the plague!!

It WAS nice to read the comment by cofo314.

I do not know why I am so shocked at all the negativity. It’s always the ones with the bad marriages giving marriage advice, the ones with the unruly kids giving parenting tips, and the ones who are the most ‘devout to their faith’ that are the most unholy, judgmental, and mean spirited individuals. And still, none of you ladies see the irony in your actions.

I’m far more a ‘live and let live’ kind of girl. If I don’t like a place, I don’t keep going back just so I can bitch about it. If you don’t like her, move on. Time is the most valuable thing there is and I’ve always felt hate is ironically equal to love because it means you care enough for someone to be on your mind.

The ONLY humorous part of all of this is that all of you who have blasted her, did so by TAKING time from your families, TAKING time from yourself, THROWING AWAY moments you could have with your husband, to hop online and type furiously because Kimberly MUST KNOW what YOU think about her!!!

It’s HI-LARIOUS!!!! So keep punching that keyboard girlfriends, that babes diaper can WAIT- telling Kimberly how wrong she is can NOT! HAHAHAHAhahahaha

Type away godly mamas, you’ll make her FAMOUS.

Anonymous on

Jesus said “I am the TRUTH and the LIGHT.” No other “spiritual diety” professes that.

Kim on

SO glad to be an atheist.

Luci on

Kim, you’re so precious, you lil atheist :)

carolyn on

“For since the ceation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are WITHOUT EXCUSE.” -Romans 1:20

One day EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The bible is the living, breathing, infallible word of God. Praying you all would bow your knees and confess that Jesus is Lord on this side of eternity. There are no second chances…

Logan on

Luci, you’re the best!!!!

Kristi on

Kimberly,
I for one have never been religious but I enjoy your thoughts on spirituality and how they are not necessarily one and the same with religion. I think the most important thing is to try and lead a productive and positive life and pass that along to your children. Happiness is key to all things in life and most of it is remaining positive and making the best of sometimes impossible situations. Thank you for you thoughts, I’ll look forward to your next blog!
Kristi

Tiffany on

Everyone has the right to believe, or not to. People should not force their beliefs on others.

Anonymous on

Kimberly Van Der Beek’s is trying to organize in the way she like and don’t need to say you agree/disagree just listen and take what you guys wanted. don’t judge, don’t be self defensive, she never said anything about Jesus or about religion or spiritual reality, she just a normal person with a hope, dreams, and trying to define her life with those adorable beautiful kids and make efforts to share her feeling and ideas to the people around it a good thing .She is trying to communicate with the people around That’s it. But i heard / read Jesus said to be polite, lovable with kind heart and well behave , is that true guys .

Mags on

@JM, the flying spagetti monster!! OMG I freaking love it! That made my night. I’m sooo stealing that one! Thanks for the chuckles!

Brooke on

Ghandi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

I am Christian and see nothing wrong with anything this blog said. Raising a grounded, morally conscious family is more important to me than what faith that family practices. I want my family to know how to treat all people regardless of race, class, sexuality, etc.

I am saddened by what “christians” will say to someone with differing beliefs. How do we know that ours is the right religion anyway?

returnofthetribes on

This article made me sad. I can’t image my life without God or raising my kids with the emptiness that either. I have always wondered how people cannot see God’s wonderful hand in everything.

God is loving and he loves all of us. He will always welcome us back if we desire to return. We just need to come to him with an open heart.

God bless to all of you and have a great day.

Kim on

Kabalah, please. “Thou shalt not have any Gods before me” Jesus Christ is and always was and always will be. Madonna is Kabalah’s spokesperson, please isn’t that a cross she always wears around her neck. Actions speak louder than words.

kendrajoi on

Good God (no pun intended), Elisa is so ignorant it’s staggering. She should really stop taling about things she’s a complete ignoramus about, PLEASE, for her own good.

Elisa on

Kendra I don’t pretend to know it all and I never acted like it… it’s just that if I believe in what believe I can’t just pretend I don’t and act like otherwise… if one person believes in God and that He created it all, how could that same person agree with an atheist? they have all the right to believe in what they believe, I just can’t agree with it saying it’s ok,because if I did, then I’d certainly be a hypocrite….

the whole point here is that no one who was a true Christian would taken that back and say it doesn’t fill “the needs”… sorry but I’ve been there… I grew up Christian but for many years it was my parents’t beliefs not mine… and that shouldn’t happen… true happiness can be only achieved with God… people will throw stones in me for saying it, but sorry folks it’s the truth… atheists you can call me hypocrit for speaking about the truth like that, but one thing is certain: when we die one of us will be right and I ask you what would be better: me being wrong about God’s existence and having nothing after death or you being wrong and having to face God? for real, what do you “lose” for believing in God? I wonder why people can be so resistent to take that leap of faith…

God indeed love us all, that is unquestionable… and if He wants the best for us all why would I feel different? like someone said a mother loves all her kids no matter what they do, but if you act in a good way you would make her happier than if you were not so nice, right? I don’t feel myself better than the people who do not share my faith… I have lots of faults and knowing what I know (God and what comes along) only gives me even more resposibility because I won’t be able to say “ops I didn’t know” when God asks why wasn’t I a better person…

Nicole on

In his letter to Christians living in Rome, the apostle Paul addressed the issue of ignorance or lack of understanding. When people were ignorant of God’s righteousness, they made up their own (Rom. 10:3). When we live according to our own standards of right and wrong, we might feel good about ourselves, but that doesn’t make us spiritually healthy. Only when we are measured by God’s standard of righteousness (Jesus) do we know the condition of our spiritual health.

Ursula on

The difference between religion and spirituality is this: religion tells you what to think; spirituality asks YOU to think for yourself. There is no right or wrong, only what works and doesn’t work for YOU. Therefore, it does not work for you to judge someone else. Do not judge WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW! For those of you who think you have values and morals, do you not realize that those values and morals change constantly because you grow and evolve constantly. You never stop c h a n g i n g! Therefore, your morals and values have changed over the years, like lines change in the sand every day. There is no hell, only the kind you create in your mind. Heaven is not a place, but a state of being. Jesus was one example of the fact that you are NOT your body, and that mind can triumph over matter (physicality). Are you aware of the scripture where Jesus says: “I tell you the truth. Ye are all gods. For you shall do greater things than these.” (That’s a scripture that the church avoids talking about on Sundays.)

You and I and every human being and living thing are GOD in the physical. God is experiencing itself, herself, and himself in and through us every moment of every day. We are ONE being, individuated into the many. What you do to others, you do to yourself. What you do for others, you do for yourself. And what you do to yourself, you do to all of US.

And, yes, life IS eternal, so eternal that you shall never die; in fact, you have always lived and shall live forever. And you have had and shall have many more lives. Life is a game that never ends, and you are on a road called Forever, and there is no DEAD END! A great book to read is Neale Donald Walsch’s trilogy called “Conversations With God” (Book 1,2,3).

Gigs on

At least, for Hollywood standards at least Kimberly admits that discernment IS necessary, and that we shouldn’t go around praising people for wrong actions. I guess for Hollywood standards, that’s already an accomplishment.

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