Time to delurk!

January 10, 2007 | Uncategorized | 38 comments

Word on the street is that it’s delurking week again. In my 3+ years of having various blogs I’ve never done this, but I recently came across a couple comments on other sites written by people who said they read my site but have never commented.

It made me realize that I get so involved with the comments and my regular commenters that I tend to fall into the mentality that I “know” all my readers and have a good feel for who reads this site. But, based on the stats, only a small percentage of those who read leave comments.

So I would love to ask all of you who come across this post to leave a comment, even anonymously. Just saying hello is fine, although I would love to know a) a little bit about you, b) why you read, and c) what your religious background is.

But, again, just a quick hello is fine too. 🙂

38 Comments

  1. 4andcounting

    I commented on your last post, but I read way more than I comment, so I am probably a lurker. I am RC too, and also a young mother (4 kids). I enjoy reading about your journey to the church and all that it entails. I’m a cradle Catholic and love learning about my faith through the eyes of a convert.

  2. Stephanie

    Wow, what amazing timing for this post, lol. I have read your entire blog (the old one included) top to bottom in the past 2 days, ha! I’m a Catholic convert, and I run into a lot of atheists online because for some reason, many people who leave the church of my youth (the Church of Christ) become atheist. (I think it has to do with a big emphasis in the CoC on demanding biblical “proof” for every last little thing. When the idea that the Bible wasn’t dropped from the sky hits them, they seem to lose all faith in God.) I’ve found some wonderful gems here that have helped me understand some things better.

    Anyway, great blog, I’m going to add you to the list of links on my own!

    God Bless!

  3. Lucy

    Hi. I’m Lucy. I find religion fascinating. I am a cradle Catholic who is married to a cradle Catholic. We are pretty boring.

  4. Lucy

    Hi. I’m Lucy. I find religion fascinating. I am a cradle Catholic who is married to a cradle Catholic. We are pretty boring.

  5. Peony Moss

    Hi. I lurk. I read your blog using a feed. Your story is amazing, your take on things is interesting, and you link to all kinds of neat stuff I don’t see on other blogs.

  6. lyrl

    I’m not really a lurker since I’ve posted several times now. But since you asked for information about readers, I thought I’d respond. Sorry if this is somewhat long.

    Both of my parents are religious, but neither one attached to any particular religion. My mother played the organ for various churches while I grew up, so we went to church regularly. Presbyterian and Disciples of Christ were the places we spent the most time in.

    I’m now married to a Reform Jewish man and we attend services and bible study at our local synagogue. I’m agnostic but get so much out of participating in a religious community I can’t imagine giving it up.

    I practice fertility awareness and, while researching the method, learned alot about (and found fascinating) the Catholic Church’s position on natural family planning. I found your blog a couple of weeks ago searching for something related to NFP. I found that post (about abstinence) so interesting I clicked on your current post (“a truce”) and found it equally thought-provoking. Now I check for new posts regularly!

  7. Anna

    I’m definitely a lurker. I found your blog through my sister Kate’s blogroll. Being a cradle Catholic I find conversion stories interesting and inspiring. I also enjoy your writing style. Keep up the good work.

  8. kal

    i’m probably one of the lurkers as well, though i posted once on your blog i believe.

    though i was raised nominally presbyterian (on my mother’s side) my dad is, as far as i can tell, agnostic, perhaps even atheist, so those two together made the ‘nominal’ in my above description the largest part. a thin coating, shall we say. for instance, i’m still unbaptised at this point, technically making me a pagan i suppose. how the world works, huh?

    i used to be something of a militant atheist myself, or militant closet atheist that is–I.E, in my head i’d always be spewing anti-religious screeds, ‘oh those stupid christians, look at them all getting their pants in a twirl over nothing!’ that sort of thing. i was, i think, a very surly fellow for most of my life, or maybe sullen is a better term.

    i can remember, for example, thinking about suicide numerous times in my middle school and even highschool years. even in high school, when it wasn’t so bad, i can recall a time when i was feeling pretty hopeless, and started playing with my pencil, holding the tip down against my chest where i thought my heart is, and vaguely thinking about stabbing myself the way samurai do in their ritual suicides. i think at that point i had been reading some about buddhism, and thinking how very convenient it would be to reach Nirvana or the Void at that point in my life. i couldn’t quite rid myself of the notion that taking one’s own life was an act of cowardice however, and i just couldn’t bring myself to be quite that much of a coward, not to mention i had the paradoxical problem of not being brave enough to do so as well. turbulent years, the teenage ones! ; )

    after i’d been in that particular rut for a while, a personal problem with self-control of mine led me to an interest in hinduism. i was lured, oddly enough, by the supposed magical powers one was supposed to gain by practicing the total abstinence of a yogi. i thought i could turn back my years-old sexual habits and practice total abstinence, but when it actually came time to keep my pants on, so to speak, i was wrong. in an instant i found that i was not in any way my own god, as i’d told myself many a time. i was fighting and losing badly against my own former habit, which became the more i struggled with it a sort of curse.

    and out of this struggle i finally came to the idea that… perhaps there was something to that concept known as ‘sin’. though i hadn’t realized it while i was in the thick of it, in my earlier years i’d become depraved. evil, even. sometimes i worried i’d turn into a monster, because my fantasies in the sexual realm had already become quite monstrous, and i dimly worried if the day might come when the fantasy was not enough and i needed to act them out in real life.

    it’s a marvelous testament to the quality of our education system, i think. i was certianly free to practice being a sultry, forlorn teenager who had a few moments of sympathy with the columbine shooters most days.

    to make a long story a bit shorter… all these struggles of mine have led me to a strong sympathy with Catholicism… i followed Chesterton’s description of it. i actually tried to be fair to the Church and to Christianity, because i had found it to be correct on the subject of one thing in my life and wanted to see if it might be otherwise… and now here i find myself rather liking what the Church teaches. i have not yet become a Catholic, but i certainly must be becoming one. a teacher of mine scolded me for letting my ‘being a Catholic’ bias my paper, which was on St. Thomas Aquinas.

    so, that’s my religious background. sorry for the length of it though!

  9. Kiwi Nomad 2006

    I would comment more except I often find there are new blogger- old blogger issues these days, and sometimes I simply cannot comment!
    KiwiNomad06

    AHHhhh I think you are now on new blogger… so this comment might go through after all!!!

  10. Justine

    I came across your blog fairly recently from links on other Catholic blogs. I’m a post Vatican II cradle Catholic who got a lousy religious education (even in Catholic school) and have been filling in the gaps by reading many great Catholic blogs. Your story is very interesting and the comments are always terrific – and so civil! I am really enjoying hearing your perspective.

  11. Tim

    I don’t think I qualify as a lurker, so I’m not going to post anything (well, technically I already am saying something), but I just wanted to give you all props for unlurking(?), especially Kal for that awesomely candid and vulnerable post.
    Peace.

  12. marymargaret

    Jen, Delurking here. I have read your entire blog(s). I am, I guess, a Catholic revert (or, as my younger daughter calls it–a born-again Catholic). Even as a revert, I often wondered why anyone would become Catholic of their own free will. I always believed that the Catholic church was the true Church, not that that stopped me from walking away from my faith when things got difficult in my teens. By reading your blog, and many others’ who are converts to the faith, I am learning the answer. Truly, I am greatly inspired by you and the many others who are coming to Catholicism. Welcome home, Jen. We are blessed to have you entering the church!

  13. Russell

    I’m delurking, as commanded. I’m Rusty, and I’m in RCIA, hoping to convert to the Catholic Church. I’m from Mississippi, raised Pentecostal, college atheist, and almost Orthodox . . . . I read because we’re on similar journeys. God bless.

  14. entropy

    I really enjoy reading your journey of conversion. I’ve shared many of your views even as a cradle Catholic (such as distaste for Christians etc.).
    I’m a devout Christian and mediocre Catholic. I *still* struggle with some teachings of the Church but I’m working on it! Keep up the good work.

  15. Renee

    Commented before. With my own blog I began to realize that my audience wasn’t exactly who I thought it would be either. People who start blogs never know exactly how they will turn out a year later.

    Poorly educated Catholic…. turned into a very involved one.

  16. dustytome

    I’m an old lurker from the UK briefly crawling out of the woodwork to say hello 🙂

    I’m a Catholic, though I haven’t actually been to church for 20 odd years. This doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my faith in God however, just that I haven’t been to Church in 20 odd years.

    Anyway enough about me…I’m going to crawl back into the woodwork again now…probably won’t post again 🙂

  17. Melody

    I discovered your blog a few months ago and have gone back and read it from the beginning. I am also a convert (Easter Vigil 2000) and am on the RCIA team at my church. Your story and the way you express yourself are so touching that I have even recommended your blog to our RCIAers. You have struggled through so many of the issues that I know they will or have faced and have come to such wonderful resolutions, that you inspire me anew.

    By the way, I’m still waiting to read how Christmas was for you.

  18. Elisabeth

    Yes, I lurk…I hope you don’t mind. I personally was raised Lutheran but now don’t consider mayself anything, although I am searching.

    Faith in the triune God is still center in my life, I just don’t identify with a “religion” due to the fact that I have a hard time with the politics of pointing fingers that I have found so often in the church. I just fell out of a long relationship with a Catholic, so I am sort-of soured on your religion for the time being due to his huge guilt complex that was often difficult to deal with. But on a whole the reason I lurk is that I agree with Catholic bloggers on moral issues and love to have your viewpoints in my life (commonly in day to day “real life” people aren’t willing to voice conservative beliefs and I like to have spritual things to consider, therefore I am exposed to ideas through blogs).

    I really enjoy reading your blog because I feel that what you believe is from your heart and mind, you aren’t just saying things because you were born and raised in the faith and that is all you know.

  19. Mike Silva

    Hi, I ran across your blog some months ago and have been checking in fairly regularly. I’m a cradle Catholic who chucked it all in my high school years and was only brought back to the truth of God and His Church 30 years later (picture God gently but firmly pulling me by the ear away from the edge of the abyss). Now I can’t get enough of the reality behind the reality!

  20. eileen

    Hi, Jennifer. I am a housewife with four children who has been reading your blog since you switched over from the old one to this present one.

    Although I was baptised and confirmed in Protestant churches and currently attend one, I have been interested in Catholicsm for quite a while and even more so recently. I am now trying to figure out why religion and spiritual life have not “clicked” for me as they have for others. I am asking myself how much does it have to do with the churches I have attended and how much is of it is me.

    I have found that blogs like yours, as well as books by Catholics, have helped me far more than the writings of fellow Protestants. What initially drew me to Catholic blogs was the depth and breadth of the respect for life that I found there. You cover so many other interesting topics too and in a way that invites intelligent response and questions from your readers. Also, your responses when discussions get heated are exemplary.

  21. Eric

    I’ve commented a few times but: cradle catholic, fell away, looked many places, found agnosticism, found emptiness and subsequently anger, realized I was empty, struggled back toward the Church, began to walk in the Neocatechumenal itinerary, discovered/am discovering that God loves me and what that means. I’m in my early 30s and married with 6 kids (5 external, 1 internal due in the summer)

    I read because much of your struggles with unbelief remind me of my own, which I still face today. Though I think you judge the motives of others a bit too quickly, you’re still mostly fair minded and don’t go into the usual ’empty arguments’ I’ve seen from Christians to attack atheism or atheists.

  22. Teresa

    Hi Jennifer –

    I started reading your blog because some of your thought processes so eerily reminded me of my own journey from agnosticism to Catholicism.

    I keep reading it because you’re interesting. And I love conversion stories!

    I’m a homeschooling mother of 3 in Dripping Springs, Texas. I was received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil two years ago. I think I got here originally via the Darwins’ blog.

    I lurk because I almost never have one hand free to type. (This baby won’t keep nursing if I type … too distracting.) But I greatly enjoy reading your blog, and sometimes think comments or questions at the screen. 🙂

    In another season of my life, I may have time to comment. Back to lurking!

  23. Jim McCullough

    Jen–I’m Jim McCullough, convert in 1969 (before RCIA!) DRE since 1974, the past 26 years at Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro, NC. We usually have around 30 adults in RCIA, and I like to read blogs by people considering conversion, or by those who have recently come into full communion (or returned) and are learning to respond to questions and difficulties in living the faith. You often have interesting and thoughtful things to say–I find it helpful in my many conversations with our adults. Keep up the good work!
    PS: Stephanie–I keep up with La Vie Catholique, too.

  24. Big Tex

    Ok, ok, ok… I shall delurk. However, I commented on another post today. Does that count?

    I found ya through the Darwins’ blog, (good friends and former neighbors). I live in the Seattle area now with my wife and three children.

    Been lurking for a few months now, and some posts have brought me to the brink of posting, but I can never find the right way of saying what’s on my mind (at least not in the limited time I have as bread winner, husband and father).

    Cradle Catholic myself, as is my wife. I grew up rather ignorant of the Faith (via poor catechesis). My journey to learning my faith more completely was started by my desire to meet some Catholic girls (my folks always said it would be easiest if I married a Catholic), so I went on a retreat where the ratio was around 2-1 girls to guys. That didn’t work like I had planned, but made some good friends that helped me learn more about the Church etc… and eventually one of them introduced me to my wife.

    My wife was homeschooled and knew her faith quite well when she got to college. I figure she’d have had nothing to do with me if I hadn’t latched on to the Catholic faith in college.

    I’ll continue to pop in and read up, but I make no promises on posting. We’ll see what I can do.

    Know that you are in our prayers as you continue on this journey to Catholicism.

  25. Sarah

    Hi Jen! I think you know me – just another day of Catholic pondering – I’m a regular reader and a convert. I love your insight and your questions and the conversations that get going here (though I do not often get involved). I was raised “flavor of the month” (quite a background) religion, and am lovin’ being Catholic. Keep up the good work!

  26. Radical Catholic Mom

    I love your blog.

    I am a stay @ home mom of one. I am a Catholic convert. My whole family entered the Church when I was 9. But my real conversion to the Church came when I met two women who showed me how to live the Church’s teachings in day to day life.

    I find you have a different take on the same faith we share & I appreciate your own journey. It helps my continued journey of faith.

    While I get very frustrated with my priests and bishops, I LOVE that Christ is present in the Church. The Eucharist is Who centers me & it is the reason I keep coming back for more!

    God Bless

  27. antonia

    Hello, I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks.

    God Bless!

    -x-

  28. Nancy C. Brown

    Hi. I found your blog due to an interest in your past and your opinion on Harry Potter. I put you on bloglines, and check in daily.

  29. Ouiz

    I found your blog through Happy Catholic.

    I am a 39 yr old homeschooling mom to 6 little ones.

    Raised Catholic, left to attend an evangelical (PCA) church for 10 years, and then came back to the Catholic Church.

    I absolutely LOVE hearing how God brings people into the Church, and I’ve really enjoyed your blog!

  30. majellamom

    I don’t know if I’m a lurker or not…it’s been a while since I posted anything (of course, my 2 month old who wants to be held ALL the time isn’t helping in terms of responding!)

    I just enjoy your blog because of some similarities between us (former atheists, around the same age, kids around the same age). I also love the discussions that happen!

  31. cjmr

    Hi, Jen. I don’t remember at what point I started reading your blog last year or whose blog linked me to it, but I’m a regular reader and do comment occasionally. I’m an adult convert from the Lutheran church (ELCA), I was received into the Church at Easter 2006.

    cheri

  32. ARAD

    I’m a lurker. I found you through another blog, and enjoy reading you site, when I make time 🙂

    I also enjoy this site, because you’re a convert to Catholicism, a Faith into which I was born, an in which I’m fairly active.

    As a 3rd comment, I enjoy your style of posting!

    I’m a 32 year old in the Raleigh, NC area. I’m involved with a wonderful charity, HEC (Handicap Encounter Christ), and am getting married to a great lady in April. You can find updates about that at my blog. 🙂

    I also enjoy discussing religous topics with those inside the Church, and those whom I hope (everyone else) come inside. Recently a nondenominationalist told me that he now believes in the Eucharist. I was floored. And happy. Now I’m Trusting in God to help from here.

  33. Dennis

    I’m Dennis, a seminarian for the Diocese of Memphis, and I’ve commented before, and I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I have taken some of the discussions here to my brother seminarians, and we’ve enjoyed arguing about them.

  34. Kevin

    Well, I guess I’m not really a lurker, because I’ve left a couple of comments… but this is as good a place as any to introduce myself.

    I just found your blog last week, and am impressed. I’ve been reading all your posts and trying to get caught up.

    I’m a cradle Catholic who has had some seminary training and graduate degree in liturgy.

    Kevin

  35. Otepoti

    Challenged to delurk? Here goes: I’ve been reading around some Catholic blogs lately because I sometimes worry away at the “denominational question”, i.e., why the Holy Spirit leads sincere Christians in such different directions.

    I’ve been archive-reading today because it’s fun to re-live a year in the past. The day you posted this, I was on summer holiday in Marlborough, New Zealand, and spent the afternoon writing a letter to my third child, who had just left home for NZ army officer training.

    Nga mihi ki a koutou ko tou whanau katoa no Aoteoroa, greetings to you and your family from New Zealand

  36. Jennifer F.

    Otepoti – great to hear from you! I LOOOVE New Zealand — I once spent a month on the North Island. It’s my favorite place in the world. Thanks for delurking!

  37. טובה גראי

    Hi. I actually have sent you an email to thank you for what you write, but I’ll say more I guess.

    I’m Mormon. I’ve been Mormon for almost three years and I absolutely love it. I nearly became Catholic; in fact that was the closest form of Christianity I could find to what I was looking for, until finding my church. So the Catholic church has a special place in my heart.

    I was atheist for a while too, and what a lonely time that was. I grew up in an abusive home and eventually came to the point where I could not stand not believing in God anymore. After that, I tried a ton of different religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, Wicca. The only two major ones I didn’t try were Judaism (I had been raised an Orthodox Jew and knew I wanted none of that anymore) and Islam (my mother was Muslim, and I don’t know, I just wasn’t interested in it). I finally joined the Mormon Church in 2006, got disowned by my parents, and am happier than ever.

    That was a long response to a little question, but there it is. I am reading your blog from the beginning. Is that creepy? I really feel like I can relate to you and it’s almost like reading something a wiser, more mature me from the future would write. It’s uncanny. I love it. God bless you.

  38. Leah

    Ok this is WAY late but I started reading through your blog because my youth group leader recommended it. I am very impressed with some of your insights, and it's great having them in a public forum that people from all over can read them and apply them to their walk with God. I am a Christian (nondenominational) and have been for almost 5 years.

    Anyway, thanks for the time you take (took?) to write down your journey.

    God bless!

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