I’m 36 years old, have been married for ten years, and live in Austin, TX with my husband and five children, ages eight, six, five, four, and one (with baby number six due in Spring 2013). When I’m not busy with my job managing the chaos of our busy household, I do freelance writing and am working on a memoir about my conversion. I am also a blogger for the National Catholic Register.
WRITING & MEDIA
My writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Washington Post, The National Review Online, National Lampoon, Inside Catholic, and Our Sunday Visitor. I have contributed to a variety of books, which you can read about here. I’ve appeared on the TV shows Fox and Friends, Huffington Post Live, The Journey Home, Life on the Rock, and The Choices We Face, and I’m a regular guest on the EWTN Radio and Relevant Radio networks. I’m writing a memoir about my conversion and am represented by Ted Weinstein Literary Management. I can also be talked into speaking engagements occasionally; contact me if you’re interested.
I grew up atheist. As far back as I can remember, it seemed simply obvious to me that neither God nor any kind of spiritual realm existed. As I got older I explored my worldview further, and became a staunch defender of atheistic materialism. I eventually distanced myself from Christian friends and acquaintances because I was so baffled by their insistence on clinging to their silly fairy tale beliefs. I viewed belief in God and Jesus as no different than belief in Santa or the Easter Bunny
The first crack in my worldview came when I met my husband. After we began dating I found out he believed in God. He was clearly very smart (like, “grew up poor, raised by a single mother, and ended up with degrees from Yale and Columbia and Stanford” smart), and I couldn’t reconcile his intelligence with his beliefs. I didn’t think his theistic worldview was correct, but I did wonder how such a reasonable person could hold these views that seemed so irrational. So, I started asking questions. Then our first child was born, and I started asking questions with humility.
Research led me to the shocking conclusion that God exists, and the more shocking conclusion that he became man in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. While trying to figure out what Christian denomination to join, my husband and I both agreed that we’d consider anything but the Catholic Church: he said it was corrupt and not Biblically-based. I said it was oppressive, anti-woman and archaic. We were both surprised, then, when months of research led us to the one place we said we wouldn’t go: we both joyfully entered the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil in 2007, and are orthodox, practicing Catholics today.
(I know that I’m glossing over a lot here. My book will share all the gory details, and you can find out more by perusing the Category and Archive links on the left sidebar.)
Blogging and other new media played a big part in my conversion. Back in August of 2005, I had a lot of questions about religion, but had so effectively distanced myself from anyone remotely religious that I knew few people to whom I could talk about faith. Also, I felt incredibly embarrassed to be asking questions about God — and the “fairy tale” religion of Christianity, no less! — after defining myself as an atheist all my life. That’s where blogging entered the picture. I started an anonymous blog called The Reluctant Atheist and recruited Christians to come comment on my posts and explain their belief to me. You can read my first post here.
In my Christian commenters, I was surprised to find a group of people who could defend their faith with strong, reasonable arguments. Through discussions and book recommendations, they helped me see Christianity in an entirely new light, and walked alongside me through the bumpy road of the conversion process (which included long spiritual dry spells, pregnancy complications, difficulty reconciling medical decision with my newfound faith, and a very untimely pregnancy).
Though the name has changed a couple of times (from The Reluctant Atheist to Et Tu? to Conversion Diary), I’ve kept this same blog from the beginning; you can see my entire story in the archives. These days I write about what it’s like to be part of an orthodox faith after a life of atheism, and discussions with readers of my blog continue to play a big role as my spiritual journey continues.
Now that you’ve heard all about me, I’d love for you to take a moment to tell me about yourself! Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you’re here.
Photo by Ziem the Austin Wedding Photographer