Ten years ago, my husband and I were going to the wedding of two of his friends from Yale. As we pulled up to the church for the ceremony, he mentioned that both the bride and the groom had recently become Orthodox Christians. Neither of them had been religious before, he explained, but they’d researched their way into this religion.
I tried to stifle a laugh. “That makes no sense,” I said. “That would be like researching your way into believing in the Tooth Fairy.” Joe, a nominal (and very lukewarm) Christian at the time, said he didn’t understand it either.
As I watched the couple take their vows, I puzzled over their newfound faith. I had never believed in anything supernatural — not even as a child — and was certain that I never would. I couldn’t have imagined the turn my life was about to take.
Hi, I’m Jen. I grew up atheist. Now I’m Catholic. And this blog is the place where I tell my story.
To give you the short version of what happened between that wedding and now: After my first child was born, I noticed that the love I felt for my son seemed to come from somewhere external to myself. I began to think that non-material realities might exist. I set out on a search for truth, which involved reading so many books that I’m surprised Amazon.com didn’t give me a Customer of the Century award.
I was shocked when my research led me first to God and then to Jesus of Nazareth, and was fall-off-my-chair floored when I followed the evidence all the way to the doorstep of the Catholic Church. My husband, Joe, warned me about this corrupt and archaic institution…but then he started doing his own investigation and came to the same conclusions. We both became Catholic in 2007.
I wrote a book about all of this, which will be published by Ignatius Press in 2014. I have an awesome literary agent who made me slave over the manuscript for five long years until it was in great condition. Luckily, I handled the endless delays and revisions with grace and patience, and did NOT act like a big, huge, whiney drama queen.
A few other things that might make the craziness you read on this blog make a little more sense:
- Joe was raised by a single mother and grew up very poor. He ended up going to Yale, then getting a law degree from Columbia, and an MBA from Stanford. He studied artificial intelligence in the Computer Science graduate program while he was at Stanford, and recently became a CPA. Sometimes he dresses up like a banana.
- We had our own reality show, Minor Revisions. There’s a possibility of a second season, and I told them I’m all in if it’s called Minor Revisions: The Fulwilers in Tahiti.
- Joe and I met when we both worked at a high tech company. I was a PHP developer who designed web interfaces to work with databases. I’ve rarely encountered an activity that’s more of a natural fit for me than sitting in front of my computer and writing code for 16 hours at a time.
- We live in Austin.
- We have six kids under age 10.
- Our oldest and youngest are boys, and we have four very wild and girly girls in the middle. The first time we visited a monastery with our oldest, he thought it was the most amazing thing he’d ever seen that there’s a place where you can hang out with only other dudes in silence.
- Joe and I are both only children. Isn’t it crazy that our kids won’t have any cousins? Sometimes it makes me sad that I’ll never be an aunt.
- I think I might be the laziest homeschooler on the planet. Or maybe lots of other mothers consider Dora the Explorer to be their kindergarten math teacher.
- 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, which taught me that it is extremely important to have a professional blow-out if you’re going to be anywhere near television camera lights.
- I’m an INTP. If you’re not familiar with Myers-Briggs personality types, let me put it this way: I once saw a movie about a man who was a brain in a jar, and I thought, “What a great life.”
- Raising six children in a small-ish three-bedroom house when you’re an extreme introvert is…interesting. I am not above locking myself in my closet with my computer.
- My favorite genres of music are Gregorian chant and gangsta rap. I also never heard a dance remix I didn’t like, which is kind of tragic since a friend once described my dancing as “Gumby on quaaludes.”
. . .
Now, let’s talk about you. If you have a moment, leave a comment here to introduce yourself.
Nice to meet you!