Why a show about meth dealers made me feel closer to God

I mentioned the TV show Breaking Bad in yesterday’s post, and it made me a little nervous when a few upstanding Christian ladies said that they’d never heard of it but might check it out on my recommendation. It immediately triggered one of my Dominican Sisters nightmares: I pictured one of the sweet nuns checking in on my blog, seeing my recommendation for the show, and assuming that its title must be short for something like Breaking Bad Habits! She pulls it up during recreation time, and the other sisters walk in to see dead drug... Read More

My life changing diapers

Now that I’m visibly pregnant, I get asked more and more often for a detailed plan of how many more children I’ll have and when I’ll be “done.” Much of the time, “Congratulations” is swiftly followed by one of the following questions: “So, is this the last one?” “How many more are you going to have?!” “When are you going to be done?” These are usually well-intended statements, expressed out of a concern for me. An old friend whose youngest just started kindergarten said... Read More

Your answers: “What is the religious climate in your country?”

Since so many of you told me that you were fascinated by the comments to the post from last week but didn’t have time to read them all, I did the hard work for you! Below is a distillation of the 100+ comments that I received from readers all over the world: What is church attendance like in your area? Are there many churches? Do they seem to have active memberships? Ciska in Belgium: The part where I live is probably the most Catholic part of the country…Most people consider themselves Catholic, but they don’t attend church…We... Read More

What is the religious climate in your country?

UPDATE: Check out the summary of responses I posted here! Back in 2008 I asked readers from outside the United States to tell us about the religious climates in their countries. It ended up being one of the most fascinating discussions we’ve had here on the blog, and so I wanted to bring it up again: If you live (or have recently lived) outside the U.S., we want to hear from you! Some questions: Where do you live? (Or, if you’re not currently living there, what part of the world is it that you’re familiar with?) What is church... Read More

Observations from the Walk for Life

I’m excited to report that I was able to make it to the West Coast Walk for Life while I was in San Francisco this weekend. I came really close to confining myself to the comfort of my hotel, but I’m so glad I went. Some pictures and observations: I’ve never seen so many people in one place. I couldn’t make a rough estimate of how many people were there, because I could never see them all at once. Even when I found higher ground, the crowd stretched over one horizon to another. This video is the closest I could come to capturing... Read More

My answer to “Do you want more children?”

When people see me out and about with my four young children, one of the most common questions I get is, “Do you want more?” (Or, more accurately, “DO YOU WANT MORE?!?!?!?!“) I’m never sure what to say. “Yes” doesn’t sound quite right. Our fourth baby in four-and-a-half years is only eighteen months old, so I can’t say that I’ve spent a lot of time yearning for another baby lately. In fact, I’ve never really been a baby person. I’ve never had that moment other women talk about... Read More

How I went from lifelong atheism to orthodox Catholicism (Audio)

My story + 7 lessons I learned about conversion Thursday night I was honored to be asked to share my conversion story with the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) group at St. Elizabeth’s parish here in central Texas. I wanted listeners to be able to take something away that they could apply to their own lives, so I wove in seven lessons I learned about the conversion process. Click here to view the handout I gave to attendees (PDF). It includes a list of my seven lessons, as well as a page of recommended reading. You can listen... Read More

Five years later

Five years ago last Saturday, my husband and I got married. In many ways, that night was the apex of our worldly life: our wedding took place in a rented theater, I wore a dark purple dress, we wrote our own vows, our officiant came in second in a stripping contest at a gay club the night before, and the afterparty lasted until eleven o’clock the next morning. Shoot, we weren’t even technically married at our wedding. The piece of paper from the state meant little to us, so we just got that out of the way the day before. Here’s... Read More

Contraception and a woman’s self-image

On the rare occasions that I used to think about the prospect of having a large family before my conversion, one of the first things that would come to mind is, “Just think of what my abs would look like! And years and years of nursing babies wouldn’t exactly leave me looking like a Victoria’s Secret model!” and with a shudder I’d perish the thought. There were other reasons that the prospect of having many children didn’t appeal to me. But the issue of what my body would start to look like somewhere around baby... Read More

Calling all Catholic hematologists

An update on the Coumadin/contraception issue… I had the big visit with the hematologist this morning (if you don’t know the story behind that, I first wrote about it here and here). It’s the follow-up visit I was waiting on to decide whether or not to switch doctors. And we have a verdict on that one. He was in a big hurry, as usual, and as he was walking out the door I asked him how serious the whole Coumadin/pregnancy issue is in the case of an unexpected pregnancy. He nonchalantly replied as he took another step out the door,... Read More