Go ahead, ask me anything!

January 31, 2008 | 22 comments

My mother-in-law is here to help out for the next few days. That either means that:

  1. I’ll be so busy getting things done that I won’t have time for blog posting;
  2. I’ll be such a productivity machine that I will get enough done that I can take some time for blog posting; or
  3. I will look at the list of things I hoped to get done while she was here, know somewhere in the back of my mind that I could not accomplish everything on this list if I made ten clones of myself and we all drank a gallon of coffee, but I will refuse to consciously acknowledge this fact and end up in a state of overwhelmed paralysis in which I end up posting to my blog all the time as an attempt to avoid reality*.

Because there is some chance that option A will actually happen, I’ll steal an idea from Toddler Dredge and do an open post where readers can ask me anything, because answering questions is a lot easier than coming up with blog post ideas on my own. (The one question I ask you to avoid is why my blog is invisible to Technorati, because every time I ask myself that question I end up banging my fist on my keyboard and using inappropriate language.)

I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer all questions, but I’ll try. So, go ahead. Ask me anything.

* Some of you may be thinking, “Weren’t you the one who wrote this post?” I know. And I’ve been great about incorporating that into my daily life. But for some reason I have yet to make the mental connection that that is not just true for every day but also for when I have help. My brain is still stuck in this mode where I convince myself that I would be capable of superhuman levels of productivity if only I had help with the kids, so when I do have help I bite off more than I can chew. Every time. Hopefully some pattern recognition will kick in here.


  1. Tausign

    Sometime ago you mentioned (on your link blog) an inspiration that caught your attention. Something to the effect of…’unhurriedness is one of God’s charecteristics’.

    I’ve been waiting to hear your thoughts…waiting very patiently, of course. 🙂

  2. Kimberly

    Ok, delurking to ask:
    How in the world do you have time to blog with all your kids? I only have one toddler, and I can’t come up with coherent sentences on comments, much less a blog of my own.

    I love to read your posts.

  3. Anonymous

    Is there anything you miss about being an atheist?

  4. Sarah L.

    Did you attend college and, if so, what was your field of study?

  5. Anonymous

    Do you find it easier to believe Catholic articles of faith than those of an athiest?

  6. Literacy-chic

    O.K., I’ve been wondering, being a convert myself, if there are any habits of mind that you find hard to break or find yourself slipping back into, only to notice it with a start and remind yourself that you don’t think that way anymore. I remember one occasion on which I found myself asking, “Why do I believe this?” and found the ready answer, “Oh yeah, because it’s true!” But I don’t think it’s always that simple to contradict ways of thinking that dominated 80% of our lives in just a few months or years. So its something I’ve been wanting you to discuss, if you wouldn’t mind… 🙂

  7. misadventuresofkellyandkelly

    My question – any advice on the Catholic view of marriage? I am a control freak (to put it lightly) and have a hard time allowing my husband to be the head of our family. I’d like to let go more.

  8. Adoro te Devote

    Is your MIL going to shake a scorpion in a cup at you in the morning?

    How’s your scorpion problem?

  9. Anonymous

    I am curious about your husband in all of this as well. I think you mentioned he also entered the church at the same time (last Easter). Did he research and read, like you did? Were you on a similar time line? I do love your blog. I think you are reaching so many. I saw how you have inspired others with the LOTH. How awesome!

  10. Rebekka

    How did your various doctors solve the dilemma of your blood clotting disorder vs. NFP?

  11. Sarahndipity

    What Kimberly said – you say you’re somewhat lazy, but to me you sure seem on the ball when it comes to blogging! How do you have time to blog almost every day with three small children?

    Also, how did you manage to get so many readers for your blog? Was it simply from commenting on other blogs and leaving a link to your blog? Did you make an active effort to get a lot of readers or did it just happen? Do you still actively try to get more readers or do you not have to do that anymore?

    One more question – you said your husband converted at the same time you did. (You are very lucky in that respect btw! So many people have spouses who don’t share their beliefs). How did you broach the subject of religion with him? Was it hard to convince him that Catholicism is true? Were you convinced before he was?

    Ok, I guess that’s several questions – sorry!

  12. Anne Marie

    How in the world do you find the stuff for your links blog, and how much time does that take?

  13. Anonymous

    Just in case Jen doesn’t have time to answer all the questions I will take a stab at answering the misasventuresofkellyandkelly. Being a control freak myself I may be of some help.

    When I first got married and had children, I set up my home up in true matriarchal fashion. My husband took care of making money, garbage, light bulbs and anything else I didn’t want to do. I took care of the home and raising the kids because after all I knew how to do it better (or so I thought.) This worked out okay until my oldest son was about 12. At the age when kids start pushing back, I went to my husband and asked for help. My wonderful husband would get up at 5 o’clock every morning and wash the floor for me before he went to work. How could I tell him that this was not what I meant by help. Over the years I had evolved into the iron fist (do your homework, make your bed, brush your teeth.) My husband became Mr. Fun in order to balance me out. The more he became Mr. Fun, the tighter my fist got. The tighter my fist got, the more he became Mr. Fun. You can’t love when your fists are clenched.

    I could never say to my kids “just wait until your father gets home.” My kids knew when Dad came home the fun began. He didn’t know how to use disipline with the kids because I always did it first. Anytime the boys fought he would either ignore it or walk away.

    Without going into detail… God opened my eyes to this problem and I discussed it with my husband. Slowly but surely we have gotten things back on track. The disipline of my oldest son is always handled by my husband. I have had to let go of alot (of course he doesn’t handle things the way I would) but in trusting my husband’s ability to be a father I have also increased my trust in God the father. My fists are no longer clenched and I am free to be a loving mother.

  14. Abigail

    Has you marriage changed much since you’ve both became Catholic?

  15. eliz

    I have several questions, too, but hopefully they’re part of a whole. This is a set of questions I thought about e-mailing you (and some other Catholic bloggers, too) anyway, hoping it would provide fodder for a blog post. So …

    When you decided atheism wasn’t tenable and you began your process (both your private, spiritual process and the RCIA/reading lots of books on Catholicism) of conversion, how and when did you know how much of the Catholic lifestyle (sorry, but I don’t know how else to say it) you wanted to take on? For example, turning your back on contraception is an easy one, since that’s a central teaching of the Church. But what about the things that aren’t exactly direct Church teachings, such as having as many children as God sees fit? Or homeschooling? Or living on one income so you can be the primary caregiver for your children? Or deferring to your husband as head of the household? What are some of the other lifestyle changes you’ve made as a result of your conversion?

    This is the point where I am now, trying to decide “how” Catholic to be. How much of my old life do I need to abandon? I have already changed my mind on most of the feminist, liberal, secular-driven ideas I used to hold dear, but I’m not sure how much I want/need my Catholicism to show outwardly.


  16. JimmyV

    What was your favorite cartoon (TV or newspapaer) as a kid?

  17. Literacy-chic

    Okay, everyone else is treating it as a given, but I’ve never seen anything explicit about “husband as head of household” here. Personally, I take a more equal view of things, and our marriage is a real partnership, with strengths, weaknesses, preferences, abilities and necessity dictating who does what. So here’s the question (but I like my first one better, if you have to choose!): Have you discussed “head of household” on the blog? Or is it just something that goes along with the stay-at-home-mom lifestyle? How do you interpret the “husband as head of household” role/belief/thing? (I’m not feeling particularly articulate tonight, sorry!) 🙂

  18. Martin

    If you could go on a religious pilgrimage with your family, what places or countries would you like to go?

  19. Anonymous

    OH, shallow and horrible me, but. . . WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE??

    You are obviously extremely intelligent and a gifted writer, so are you the nerd type or the Mensa blond?

    I picture you with strawberry blond hair and freckles.

  20. Robyn

    Your children are quite young; what do you expect from them religion-wise, and what effects do you see on them? Did you see any effect of your conversion on your oldest child? Since you were raised without religion, where do you find guidance for raising your children to be religious?

  21. Saila

    My question is quite vague:

    Any suggestions for observing Lent?

    This is my first time experiencing the Lent season within the Catholic Church (though I won’t actually join until May) and would appreciate any “tips” on how others observe this time. What are some of the things you do besides giving up something?

    Thank you for the insightful blog posts. They have been wonderful to read during my own conversion journey.

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