My Journey Home episode, a welcome, and an impassioned defense of blow-outs

July 24, 2012 | 75 comments

A big thank you to everyone who has contacted me after seeing my appearance on The Journey Home last night! If you’re a new reader, you can get a feel for the kind of writing I do by checking out the “Most Popular Posts” on the left sidebar. To catch you up to speed, here’s what we’ve been talking about lately:

If you missed the episode, here it is:

We talked about why I was an atheist, what it was like to be an atheist as a mother, the first big moment that made me question that belief system, my husband’s conversion, and a bunch of other stuff!

I actually missed it too. I had my weekly raging sinus infection and wasn’t up for doing anything but lying in bed and thinking of analogies for what this pain was like (I settled on “a small bomb went off within my right cheek and someone stuck an ice pick in it”). Anyway, wild and unfounded speculation about what could be going on here is welcome. In general I’m in great health, I even got the random debilitating intestinal pain thing figured out, but my right sinus cavity just goes crazy on me with alarming frequency. I think there may be some connection to food, since I noticed that my sinuses would always be inflamed if I had a margarita with fresh-squeezed lime juice or white wine the night before. I’ve tried everything else, so it’s time for Diagnosis By Combox.

Okay, enough about trivial subjects like my health. Let’s talk about hair instead!

For the last few TV appearances I’ve done I decided to get a professional blow-out. I had heard that it could make a huge difference in how your hair looks, but I was skeptical. Why would someone else blow-drying my hair be any different than doing it myself? Behold the following pictures, with captions articulating what I seem to be saying for your amusement:

(The Choices We Face)

"As a token of my appreciation for inviting me on the show, allow me to present you with this invisible box."


(Fox News, Life on the Rock, and the Journey Home)

"WHOA! What are all these muppets doing in here?!"

"Shhh! I'm about to karate chop this table."

"There's a scary monster over there in the corner, but if I grab him like this, it should be fine."

I think you are now convinced, as I am, that blow-outs are an essential item in every woman’s life. I cannot currently afford to make this any kind of regular part of my routine, but am talking to my husband about possibly selling the TV or the car so that I can walk around with professionally blown out hair all the time.

Sorry for that tangent. I assure new readers that I don’t only talk about my hair and whine about sinus infections here on this blog — I talk about my wardrobe and whine about scorpions too.

Have a great rest of the week, everyone! See you Friday!


  1. LuAnne

    You are just too funny!

    Loved the show last night, and your hair looked great. Good luck on getting those professional blow-outs part of your daily routine!

  2. Kathleen

    My hair never looks as good as it does after a haircut as the lady blow dries it. You need more hands…

    In regards to sinus
    Infections have you tried buying a bag of
    Lemons and squeezing one into a glass of water every hour? I’m also a huge fan of Apple Cider Vinegar. Start taking a shot a day or more if sick. I seriously think it helps. Ps. It does not taste awesome.

  3. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    I don’t mean to sound like Snape, but I see no difference. It looks lovely and shiny each time to me.

    • Edward

      I don’t see the difference also. It might be a different prospective if we were face to face. Hair looks great regardless.

      With your interview with Hemant, did he contradict himself when he said,”’d better have good reason for it” when he mentioned, “justification”? Is good reason the same as justification?

      • Leah @ Unequally Yoked

        I think he was treating atheism as the default and then you’d need a good reason to switch to a different claim.

        • Edward

          Brilliant strategy,if that was really what he meant.

          Thank you. Peace.

  4. ex-new yorker

    I have read, well, mentions on the Web of studies finding that a huge percentage of self-diagnosed sinus headaches are actually migraines. I’ve definitely had several of the more typical, full-blown migraines in my life, so now I think of all my “sinus” stuff as being on the migraine spectrum or something. Seriously, look into this. Are you using the term “infection” to describe the pain alone, with no other symptoms or preceding cold?

    And I agree your hair looks pretty much the same to me before and after! I have always remembered you writing about the “flat iron” as essential to your hair’s sleek look… blow-out sounds kind of like the opposite to me. But you should see my hair. You wouldn’t want to know how to get yours to be like mine.

    • Pam H.

      I read that study, too, and disagreed with it. I think sinus problems (not “infections”) cause migraines, because whenever I come down with one (maybe monthly), if I use a Neti pot and take lots of sinus medications(Mucinex, etc.), I can keep from getting a migraine (which hurts so much you can’t roll over in bed without vomiting).

      Re the hair, except for the bangs, I think it looked better when you did it yourself. :o)

  5. Bernadette

    Enjoyed seeing you last night and found your journey so interesting. Thanks for sharing

  6. meredith

    there is a salon in our city which does blow outs only. I don`t know if it is the music industry or what, but you1re obviously not the only one who feels this way. I thought you looked great in both!

  7. elaine

    Hi, first time contacting you. Loved the show. I, too, was atheist and now I’ve embraced my Catholic Faith. Thanks for sharing. e.

  8. elaine

    Hi again,… forgot to add… try Simply Saline for sinus problems. Find it at Walmart in a red and white small canister. It’s just saline, no drugs and it works great!! I use it all the time.

    • Mary Kay

      I was going to mention sulfites as well. White wine almost always contains a lot of it and I suspect something in the margarita does too. It’s worth investigating.

      My daughter will have her hair blown out before her senior pictures next month, the appointment has already been made.

  9. John

    Hi Jennifer,
    I am a big fan of the Journey Home, it’s my favorite show on TV. I had a couple of “WOW THAT’S AMAZING” moments while watching the show. I work for The Fathers of Mercy in KY. I produce their videos and do maintenance for them, my wife, Liz, cooks. I’m going to tell them about you. God Bless you and your family.


  10. Tony de New York

    Great show, keep the good work.

  11. Bekah

    I’ll participate in the combox diagnosis game! I went off dairy last fall and noticed that my sinuses cleared, as well as my ears, headaches and general fatigue. Be aware that dairy is in foods you’d never suspect, so if you decide to do a food trial, you need to do a lot of label reading and include anything with casein/caseinate/lactate on the label. Yes, this includes “non-dairy” coffee creamer.

  12. Jen G

    Hey Jen…great job on Journey Home. For sinus infection, I recommend saline nasal rinses as soon as you suspect you may be getting abn infection. I also recommend using a Neti pot, but be sure to use bottled water to rinse your sinuses.

    • Kelley

      I can’t resist sharing a video I made a few years ago about the nasal rinse. Just a tip… read the directions beforehand so you don’t drowned yourself!

  13. Andrea

    My hair looks great once a quarter when I get it cut and blown out. I rock that look for two days before washing. Sigh. Why can’t I get my hair to look that good?

  14. Michael Smith

    Hi Jennifer,
    I just finished watching your interview on The Journey Home. I thought it was excellent. But the reason I am contacting you is while I was watching it, I became distracted by what appeared to be the shape of a Franciscan Tau cross below your face. It was formed by your neckline/hair and chin shadow throughout much of the interview. I’m a Secular Franciscan and I have a photograph taken of me and my family a year before my conversion in which a tau is evident above our heads. To me it was a confirmation from God that I would become a Franciscan (secular). When I was discerning, this picture gave me confidence that I was doing the right thing. Anyway, it may be nothing, but then again, it may mean everything. Have you studied St. Francis of Assisi at all? PS: You just have to type in Franciscan Tau Cross to Google Image to see what I’m talking about.

    You are doing great things for God. Thank you.


    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Wow, interesting! I hadn’t noticed that. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for pointing it out!

  15. kaitlin @ more like mary

    I second the onetime pot at the very first sign of a cold. I used to get them all the time and was infection free for four years with the sinus rinse. I just boil the water first.

    And I actually like your hair in the first shot the best! Ha!

  16. Brooke

    I’m an atheist, and I find your blog very interesting, but I was surprised at the Journey Home episode. Do you really think that people are atheists because they want to be seen as better or smarter than others? Is that why you were an atheist? I am an atheist because I don’t see any evidence of god. It doesn’t matter what I or others think of my intelligence, or whether I want or need a god, or whether his existence or a certain set of rules might inconvenience my life. If I knew there to be a god, I’m sure I would make changes and sacrifices in line with my religious beliefs. I’m not avoiding or rejecting a god I know to be there; I just don’t see one at all.

    • Loren

      Hi Brooke,

      It’s common for humanity to be inquisitive about the evidence of GOD. and That’s what sets Him apart from us mortals is that we can’t see him. I am NO different from you or any atheist for the matter of fact that I can’t feel, touch, or see GOD. Why is that? Simply because GOD is spirit. When you are in a good mood, your spirit is up to start a new day. Can you touch/see that spirit in you? Of course NOT, but you know that it’s there in you. Also, have you ever thought of GOD as everything that is good except evil? If you could just sit back and think about this for a moment, I promise you will see GOD in an instant. Do you think war, hatred, anger, jealousy, divorce, cheating, etc. as evidence of GOD? How about North Korea makes peace with South Korea or Palestine stops fighting with Israel, a husband loves his wife, a mother takes care of her children, a child listens to his/her parents and gets good grades in school, a neighbor holds a potluck dinner and invites everyone over because she just landed a good job, Jennifer’s conversion and cognitively convinced that her baby is more valuable than a pig, etc.? If you would be open and humbled enough to cognitively realize GOD’s evidence of existence in ALL that is GOOD, then I don’t know what else to tell ya. I’ll leave you with this note:
      “I would rather live my life as if there is a GOD and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.” – I will say a prayer for you.

    • Dan

      My impression is that Jennifer did not mean that all atheists want to be seen as smarter, but that the more vocal (“militant”?) atheists use the image of superior intelligence as a strategy to attract others to their viewpoint. I’ll have to look at the segment again, but that’s my impression, FWIW.

      I found the show very thoughtful. I also find Jennifer’s writing and her appearances (How does one “appear” on a radio?) on Sean Herriot’s Relevant Radio program interesting.

      God bless,

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks for your comment, Brooke. I think that there is definitely a “payoff” to self-identifying as an atheist, in that it is now associated with the intelligentsia in many circles. That doesn’t mean that that is *why* people are atheists, and it wasn’t my primary motivation either. Like you, I simply didn’t see evidence. But, at least in the circles I hung out in, it was a little painful to know that some friends would think I was an idiot for becoming Christian. πŸ™‚ Thanks for watching!

      • Therese Z

        As a now-devout and happy Catholic AND a member of Mensa, I agree wholeheartedly that the opinion of many tested-smart people is that they are too smart for religious faith. They’re searching for the eternal just like everyone else, but they have the mental gears to spend time spinning out new models and theories and reasons. I know, I did it too for quite awhile.

        There is a Catholic group within Mensa, we brought Fr. Spitzer to the Mensa Annual Gathering this year!

  17. Lisa Schmidt

    When I read “an impassioned defense of blow-outs,” I was all excited as I thought it would be some sort of rally cry for breastfed babies with loose bowels who frequently “blow out.”

    Boy oh boy was I wrong!

    The other kind of blow-out. Yes. Essential. ‘Nuf said. (But you DO look great with a little more bang in that first pic!)

  18. ElaineToo

    I haven’t watched JH in ages but exploring our recently rearranged cable offerings I ran across it last night. It was a wonderful episode. As i got in about half way through I plan to watch it from the beginning. (I added you reader.)

  19. Mark G.

    Hi Jennifer, I enjoy your writing immensely. The show was great, but the audio for me kept cutting in & out. Most frustrating. The parts I caught were fantastic. Sorry about the sinuses. Thanks for the great witness. God bless.

  20. Peg

    I agree with ex-New Yorker about the connection between sinus and migraines. Migraines are mostly on one side of the head for me. I have been taking Imitrex for migraine/sinus now for many years, and it gives me relief within an hour. Check with your doctor. People with high blood pressure are not usually given Imitrex or other triptans. My pain sounds so similar to yours.

    • nancyo

      I’ll agree with these commenters – you might in fact have migraines if the “infection” comes on suddenly and/or resolves completely on its own without treatment, especially if you don’t have fever or other symptoms of infection. You seem to have identified one trigger, and there might be others. Common ones are wine, aged cheese, and chocolate (definitely not fair!) but there are others that aren’t even food related. My migraines are on one side of my head and are essentially sinus pain.

  21. Cool Cats

    So, why were you sharing the screen with the Muppets? Please, tell me.

  22. Andrea

    I’ve read your blog for years, and I adore it! Great job on the program.

  23. Elizabeth

    I dvr’d the JH episode to watch in the a.m. I can’t wait! As for the sinus problems, I recommend you look into olive leaf extract. It’s an all natural antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic (good for a variety of ailments). Recent research shows that sinus infections are actually caused by fungi, so prescription antibiotics are not the best remedy (and they harm your gut flora). I also do agree with previous recommendations for saline rinses. Good luck!

  24. Just thinking out loud

    Hi Jennifer
    The only issue with your hair that bothered me in your interview with Marcus was your trying to keep it out of your eyes. God bless you for your witness to Jesus, THE ONLY TRUTH. PAX,

  25. Francisco Fuentes

    Hello Jenniffer
    At close to 2:00 AM last night, I saw you on the show My Journey Home and I was impressed with your inteligence and with the story you shared with us.
    I am a catholic, but in reality I am not, since I seldom attend church anymore. However, my ethical upbring in the catholic school I attended in my native Cuba, have remained with me for the 63 years of my life. Maybe this coincidence, of being up so late, and turning to the catholic channel, and hearing your ardous travel into your present faithfull life, would again revive my desire to insert myself into the church. For this I thank you. God bless you

  26. Jen G

    Oh, one more thing that may help your sinuses. I was told a long time ago that getting a pneumonia shot (only needed once every 5 yrs, I believe) would help prevent sinus infections. It seems to have done me some good because I used to get them all the time and no longer do!

  27. Matt

    Jennifer, this was really good! I went through my own time in the wilderness and could well relate to the journey back home along with the pitfalls once believing. It was great to hear your story laid out in such detail along with your rationale for joining the Catholic Church.

  28. Marcy K.

    My husband and I are like apostles of Sinus Rinse. It changed his life. Use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse bottle with the packets as opposed to the neti pot because it uses a bit of pressure to get the water up there and rinse stuff out. It has changed his life. Use distilled water too as tap is a big no no.

    Also, I recorded the Journey Home but have not had a chance to watch it yet. I too have had problems with my hair and after decades of having hair that only looked good the day I got it cut (and complaining about it for years) my hairdresser and I had a brief discussion about “sectioning.” He mentioned that the reason his blow dry looked good was because he sectioned the hair and dried it in parts. Now, of course, it is easier to have someone else blow it for you BUT for the first time I actually tried this, and WELLLLL – a miracle happened! It looks good! I’m so happy that I don’t mind taking 10 minutes instead of 5 to do my hair because I look SO much better. I was never one of those girls who played with hair so all this is a revelation.

    Here is the deal. Go to WalMart or wherever and buy some hair clips. For some ridiculously cheap price I bought a pack of 6 aluminum clips in the hairbrush section. I also bought a round hairbrush, Goody I think, that has some sort of core that holds heat in so I can curl the ends under. So after I wash my hair I comb it straight with a part in the middle, turn the ends under and make sure my bangs are combed down. I figured that out about a year ago and it helps a lot. I let it dry awhile, like 1/2 hour or so because I’m lazy, then I get out the clips.

    What you are doing is trying to get the top layer of hair up out of the way so you can dry the lower layers first then dry the rest in sections at a time. So I take my thumb and put it behind my left ear and grab the hair that is in that area around ear level, think 2-3 inches wide. Then I take that hair, twist it around to keep it all together, and then take it and clip it up with one of the clips high up on my head. Now you will see a bunch of hair left below it and that will be what you will eventually dry first. I then take the next section of hair, twist it and pin it up, and then do that all the way around my head. Make sure you don’t overlap the sections when you pin them up because you will need take them down one at a time. Using all six clips seems to be the way to go. If you take too much hair in a section it starts to exceed the width of the brush.

    Now, go down to the lower level and in sections use the brush to slowly dry the hair from the scalp (or as close as you are comfortable with) to the end. Because I’m trying to curl it, the brush goes underneath the section of hair and when I get near the end I roll it around the brush and blow it for a few seconds. Because the brush has some sort of stuff in the core you are supposed to wait a few seconds after you stop blowing the heat on it. I wait about 10-12 seconds and then pull the brush out of the hair and voila! a curl. I do that all the way around, which is to say about 3-4 sections of lower hair.

    Then starting with the first section I pulled up, I take the clip out, comb the twist out of it and then lay the hair on top of the brush and slowly pull the brush with the hair on it away from my scalp while blowing the section of hair from above. When I get near the end I wrap the hair around the brush, blow hot air on it for a few more seconds, remove the hot air and let sit for 10 seconds to let the magic brush do the work and then pull the brush out. I do that all the way around one section at a time. Because I like a side part I then part it on the side. This all takes about 10 minutes and I look SO MUCH BETTER. My hair is a bit wavy so this takes that out.

    I know this is probably a pretty stupid explanation for those with any hair styling knowledge but it was a revelation to me. I have always suffered with looking stupid hair-wise so I’m very happy to know I can do it by myself. It does not look exactly like when I come from the hairdresser, but I think I would need three hands to make it look like that.

    And I personally think you would look nice with a little curl on the end. I’m not one that cares for the perfectly straight look all the way down, but that is just me πŸ™‚ I’m still kind of partial to the old blog picture you had a few years ago where you were outside.

    I can’t wait to watch the Journey Home on my DVR. God Bless!

  29. Christopher Erdman

    This is total med student bait.

    Other evidence of an infection such as a fever? How long do they typically last? Anything make it better or worse? Any sneezing, watery eyes, or skin irritation?

    I’d actually like to highlight what Megan said about the sulfites, which was the first thing I ought of. For one, it is common for individuals with a certain food-related disease to have other coexisting food allergies.

    That being said, sulfite allergies aren’t terribly uncommon, and one could reasonably expect that allergic response would cause swelling in the sinus cavities, closing off one side, and providing the perfect environment for bacterial colonization. A similar mechanism can cause bacterial ear infections to follow viral ones.

    Now, this isn’t exclusive to sulfites, but based on the information provided thus far would be my first bet.

    I would recommend avoiding wine entirely for a little while (reds, while they taste better, still can have sulfites in them). If you go for a good while without having an infection, you can reasonably conclude it was the sulfite. Otherwise, try cutting the margaritas.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks Christopher, and the others who have chimed in about the sinus stuff! To answer your questions:
      – No fever
      – No itchy eyes, runny nose, etc.
      – When I have taken antibiotics, it *does* tend to go away rapidly (which makes me think it’s not classic migraines)
      – A doctor once notice that the membranes did seem swollen, thus supporting the theory that inflammation causes lack of airflow, which contributes to colonization

      Thanks for all the advice!

  30. RMH

    Oh Jen, I am totally on board with the blow outs! So was Nora Ephron, she had one on the day she died, and she looked MAHVALOUS! Have you looked into whether you have a deviated septum? I did and had the surgery twice(ugh) but rarely get sinus problems. That meant it was migraine, but like others mine improved when I quit alcohol, wheat, and dairy. There are a lot of allergens out there. Love your witness, I frequently forward your articles to me wayward friends and family! May Our Lady keep you under her mantle!

  31. Natasa

    It was a great episode of The Journey Home and I enjoyed every minute of it. Marcus asked some really good questions and your discussion was excellent. I wish he had more atheists on his show because I can identify with it, having grown up in a secular environment and so understand what converst from this belief system often go through. I’ve read your conversion story before but never realised that your husband identified as a Christian, I thought he was raised Baptist but was also an atheist.

    Well done!

  32. Shonmarie

    I saw you on The Journey Home for the first time on Monday night and actually taped the show so I could watch it again! Reading your post today, well, you started my day with a laugh and a prayer for your sinus infection. Your hair looks great, but I do hope you’re feeling better soon. I am a new subscriber and, well, just enjoying this site so much and learning a great deal. Thanks!

  33. CMerie

    Just watched it this morning. I was feeling a little low today, and a some intellegent thought was just what I needed to pull me out of myself a little bit. πŸ™‚ You have such a great story, thanks for sharing!

  34. Therese Z

    You needed another hour, maybe two, first to expand on your reaction upon coming into the church, your first Eucharist, etc, and then of course to tell Yaya and scorpion stories!

  35. Jeanmarie

    I’m going to watch your interview right now, but first I had to say that not only is this blog inspirational, it’s also hilarious. Thanks for writing!

  36. Smoochagator

    Oh my goodness, I am dyyyyyying over your photo captions. LOLZ.

    When you get a blow-out does the stylist also flat-iron your hair as well? Because I hate having my hair flat-ironed, so getting a professional blow-out would not appeal to me if there was a flat-iron involved. My hair is very fine so when it’s flat-ironed it becomes all silky and shiny… and totally limp and lifeless except for all the static-y flyaways. Which is why when I get my hair cut (and prepare to call me a Philistine – I get my hair professionally cut maaaaaaybe once a year) I immediately go home and wash it and style it myself. Which probably doesn’t look as good to everyone else, but it FEELS better to me.

    However, having someone else wash my hair? Is something I’d pay to do EVERY DAY if I could. Same with having someone wash & massage my feet. Hence why I get professional pedicures waaaaaay more often than I get my hair cut πŸ˜€

    I’m looking forward to getting a moment to myself this evening to watch the Journey Home episode!

  37. Potamiaena

    Well done, Jennifer! We are so glad to have you and Joe on our team! Your life is amazing, and to me, shows the power of cooperation with God’s grace. Keep on talking and blogging!

  38. Matthew

    I have heard that in Manhattan (where else, right) there is a store that just does morning blowouts for women who are on their way to work.

  39. Dana

    Finally watched your Journey Home interview. One of the BEST my husband and I have ever seen! Thank you!

  40. Tammy

    Loved the journey home…I still have the last 15 minutes unwatched as I had a mothering emergency and power outages that kept it from me last night. I am a convert too and I wished I could be on that show for a long time, but I think Im so extroverted that I would come across as a lunatic in that medium, so God has spared what little dignity I have left ; )

    I found that screaming children tends to make sinus infections hurt worse…good luck with that.

    I hate to go to hairstylists…I even did my own hair on my wedding day. I dont need much convincing to NOT get a blow out myself…you hair looked cute in both photos. I have had some hair stylists say and do such bizarre things that I nearly have to be drugged and dragged to a salon. You would think it would leave me looking ghastly, but my home regimen seems to keep me presentable.

    I have read your Register blog and your writing there seems more formal than here, I didn’t realize you had such a good sense of humor. Im amused.

    Im confused by the boxes under peoples comments with links to other blogs.

  41. andrea frazer

    I’ll be the lone ranger and say that I was wondering when, oh when, was that lovely man going to let YOU talk? I’ll have to watch the rest of the interview another time. But your hair? Stellar.

  42. andrea frazer

    And also, is it very anti-Catholic of me to say that every time someone says “Blow out” I giggle?

  43. DcnTK

    I’m glad I’m bald!! Great job as always, Jennifer. Keep it up!

  44. Peggy

    please read the call me 317-625-4060. I first heard about it on local Catholic Radio in Indianapolis. Welcome home.

  45. Helen

    Watching your story on You Tube right now. Thanks for sharing it. It’s a great story! No indication yet of the allergic reaction you had to something in the studio, and the outfit you agonised over looks great πŸ™‚

  46. Becky

    About sinus headaches vs migraines: I had migraines for years before I understood that they are migraines. I usually wake up with them, and I learned that if my husband will bring me my coffee before I get out of bed it helps a whole lot. No matter how many people say that caffeine is a trigger for migraines for me it is the only pain reliever that works.

    If you truly have a sinus irritation of some sort, look into unpasteurized dairy products. I have known many people who have had great improvement from allergies if they drink fresh unpasteurized milk every day.

  47. Francisco Fuentes

    Hello Jennifer;
    And thank you for your kind message.
    For more than a year, I have been receiving from an spanish catholic blog, the Daily Gospel each night, with commentaries from catholic priests and theologians, and I wonder if that idea could be instituted within EWTN, as part of the services it renders to its catholic aundience.

  48. B.

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I was very much looking forward to “your” JH episode. Unfortunately I think it was one of the weaker episodes.
    But that has nothing to do with you, but with Marcus Grodi. He is talking more than you do. In the very beginning he explains that he will step back and let you do the talking and then he interrupts you after one sentence.
    Then he is bringing a lot of politics (health care) into what should be a spiritual story.
    I have also noticed that when he has converts from other Christian denominations, he is always very respectful about those denominations, but with your atheistic background he gets very aggressive towards atheism, bashes atheists left and right and tries to make this episode into a warning about atheists taking control over society.
    I don’t know his reasons, but he certainly won’t attract converts from atheism that way. The difference between the Marcus Grodi from other Journey Home episodes and the Marcus Grodi in this episode was rather baffling.

    • elizabethe

      I did notice Grodi did seem really personally involved especially when he talked about Jen’s interactions with Protestants.

      I laughed out loud when he asked Jennifer “And no one came up to you and said “Do you know Jesus is your Lord and Savior?”” As though that would have been an effective or meaningful thing to say to an atheist.

      Jennifer’s answer was classic and exactly mirrors my own feelings when I was an Atheist/agnostic when Evangelicals or Fundamentalists would try to talk to me about Jesus while I was in college — the mindset of the Evangelical who actually thinks quoting Scripture or talking about Jesus will be effective for someone who doesn’t already take it as an authority is and has always been just stunning to me.

      I tend to think, based on what he said, that he genuinely has little to no experience with the Atheist mind set, and just really wanted to understand and interjected a lot of other questions because he was excited about understanding it and also wanted his audience to understand it, too.

  49. Fanoffoucauld

    I reserved the tv just so that I could see your interview. In a house of 5 men during baseball season that was an accomplishment. Great interview. I agree with a previuos post that we could have used another hour. God bless you on your journey!

  50. Joanna

    A Mayo clinic study has shown that over 90% of sinusitis is caused by mold, though food allergies can definitely contribute to congestion. I would suggest testing your home for mold, preferably gravity plate testing. I also suggest ALCAT testing for food sensitivities, which are a bit different than what we commonly think of as a food allergy. Good luck!

  51. Sheryl

    Watching you on TiVo right now. I think it’s the best interview I’ve seen on Marcus’ show. I just came into the church at Easter from the Protestant reformed faith (Presbyterian). Unfortunately my friends think I’m no longer a Christian, which is discouraging to say the least πŸ˜‰ Anyway, love your blog and the interview.

  52. Bella

    “the one eternal education [is] to be sure enough that something is true that you dare to tell it to a child.” GK Chesterton

  53. Sabrina

    You likely have a food sensitivity– the fact you notice it often happens after wine/citrus may be a clue. I would have guessed dairy as it often causes congestion type symptoms for people.

    Perhaps you just need different tools (hair dryer/brush/product) for your own blow outs. Through many years of trial and error I actually like how my hair comes out when I do it better than a professional one (until, like now, I desperately need a haircut and then it just looks terrible all the time). πŸ™‚

  54. Amanda

    I had to call over my DH just to laugh with someone else at the captions, I love that you made captions for your own video clips.

    And am I the only one who caught Marcus Grodi saying “it’s like you banging your sister” and giggled? Sorry, gutter mind today I suppose, haha!

  55. rosee

    I DID notice how good your hair looked on Journey Home. And I caught you on the other 2 shows on EWTN (not on Fox news though). I’m becoming a “Jen Junkie” (kidding – really, I don’t stalk all that often).

  56. slan21

    I’m an atheist (raised catholic) reading a few things here from time to time, in a general effort to understand others better though that’s the only catholic blog i read, except now from Unequally Yoked..). That was quite interesting, thanks.

    You seem to think that being atheist implies having some form of eugenics morality, which is quite a surprise to me. We don’t need to base our values on our cognitive abilities, and most of the atheist i know don’t do that (i’m in France, is that different in the US ?). Likewise, it isn’t because we’re the mere product of evolution that our goal is to “play the game of evolution” with eugenics. We don’t “owe” anything to evolution, which is just a fact.

    I laughed with you when you sayed that atheists’ arguments are “so weak” … “silly” and so on. Of course the internet is full of stupid trolls, and i don’t think the so-called “new atheists” are our best advocates, but there are many philosophers who wrote better stuff on atheism. Such pointless disdain amazed me.

    On suicide yes it’s pretty much “turning off the tv”, but most people still want to play the game to the real game over. There are many things to do down there and i think it’s always worth a try. Though i’m of course pro choice on the topic too.

    It’s normal if you don’t see a cohort of angels when trying to pray at first : okay next time i’ll try with LSD πŸ˜‰
    Then people following Ayn Rand are quite rare among atheist i think.
    And i really liked your last advice to talk and ask questions to the ones you’d like to convert, understanding the others is a key point and respectfull discussion is for everyone’s best.

  57. sillydoodah (dawn)

    I randomly saw the show! My husband and I were on vacation, turned on the hotel room TV, and the previous guest had been watching the catholic chanel. There you were. “I know her!” I yelled. Which, I don’t. I just read your blog. But still. I kept yelling. “That’s the scorpion lady! The one with the great flowchart!” We didn’t watch the whole episode, because we were at the ocean, and on our anniversary trip. But what I saw was good. So – de-lurking to say that I saw you. Yay.

  58. RosieB

    I actually HEARD this on my way back from Cleveland on Sunday (7/29) afternoon on the catholic radio station. I recognized your voice (isn’t that odd – even though I don’t know you!) and I was intrigued and hoping the signal would stay until the show ended (which it did!)
    You did a wonderful job!
    I’ve watched most of your interviews that you posted here – and I always seem to learn something new about your conversion.

  59. Warren P.

    I enjoyed watching you on TJH very much. I’m so jealous. I really want to be on this show.

    I became Catholic in 2002, after a long period of antipathy towards the Church. I’ve been Cat-lick for 10 years now. It’s so awesome to hear your story. My wife and I enjoy reading your blog here and on the N-C-R site.

    God bless!


  60. Leanne Shawler

    Hi Jennifer — I was delayed in watching this because I was off on a 6-day retreat at a monastery (Episcopal). So it was a really interesting watch. I read Henri Nouwen’s “Life of the Beloved” while there and how he didn’t have the right language to share with his friend about being loved by God.

    I’m very curious about the book you referred to in the interview that spoke about the faith in non-believer language. Could you share author/title?

    Also, I’ve never watched “Journey Home” … but does the host often come from a place of fear instead of love? I almost stopped watching at a couple of places, but continued to listen because I really wanted to hear what you had to say, and leaning in and listening reduces polarization…

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