I Bribed My Children With LEGO So I Could Read This Book (and a GIVEAWAY so you can read it, too!)

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Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fuwiler

I’ve never pre-ordered a book. But when Jen Fulwiler’s spiritual memoir Something Other Than God was available for pre-order on Amazon, I went for it. I’ve been a devoted reader of Jen’s blog Conversion Diary for years and I’ve followed her process of writing and re-writing and then teaming up with an amazing publisher (Ignatius Press!) to release this story.

But when my copy finally arrived, I wondered….can this book really stand up to the hype? What if turns into one of those horribly awkward situations when someone you really like creates something disappointing and I all I can say is, “Wow, Jen, you certainly wrote a book! It’s got chapters and pages! Lots of words in there! Good solid weight, too!”

I had to wonder for about 5 minutes, because by then I was completely engrossed. But I also had three tiny humans expecting me to feed, clothe, and keep them from life-threatening situations for several hours until Daniel came home from work. Why, oh, why did I start this book on a weekday morning?!

So, I acquiesced to the 2-year-old’s request to “wash the dishes.” Imagine dish soap and water splashing wildly all over the kitchen counter. I preemptively placed towels everywhere. She started singing a little original song that become our soundtrack for the rest of the day, “Gotta scwub des dishes….gotta scwub des dishes.” Then I brought out the Star Wars LEGO set I had been saving to entertain the 5-year-old and sat down at the kitchen table next to him with my book so I could read while keeping an eye on the Rogue Dish Washer and the toddling infant playing on the floor.

I read over a hundred pages in between LEGO crises and diaper changes and sandwich-making and I finished the book the following day. I wish I could afford to buy a copy for everyone I know, but at least I can send a copy to one of you. We’ll chat giveaway at the end of the post. Let’s talk about the book:

The subtitle to the memoir is: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It. And the title, Something Other Than God, comes from a C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity:
“All that we call human history…[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
The plot of this clever memoir follows Jen’s spiritual journey from Atheism to Catholicism. It’s laugh out loud funny, poignant, and beautifully crafted. But here’s what struck me: it’s a little window into how God’s grace is woven through our lives. That’s what this book is about–God’s grace–seen through the lens of one soul’s journey to find Him. Or perhaps more accurately, one soul being found by Him.

I love Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. One of my favorite passages comes when one character, Cordelia, recalls an evening she spent reading G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories with her family. The line she remembers is “I caught him (the thief) with an unseen hook and an invisible line which is long enough to let him wander to the ends of the world and still to bring him back with a twitch upon the thread.” Cordelia explains that her spiritually lost family members will be drawn back to God by his grace. Their wandering isn’t hopeless because they belong to Him and his grace will bring them home.

When you read Jen’s memoir, God’s grace is woven through every page. And I imagine that a careful examination of all of our stories would reveal the subtle and grand gestures of a God in pursuit of us because against all odds, He loves us. And he will never stop seeking to draw our hearts to Him, though we may “wander to the ends of the world.” 

If you’re looking for a book that makes you want to ignore your responsibilities and drop everything, pick up a copy of Something Other Than God. And lucky you, I have an extra copy to give away, so check out the rafflecopter widget below (if you’re reading this post in a feed reader, you may need to click over to the actual site to see the giveaway widget) and enter! I’ll mail the book to the winner (only U.S. residents, please.) Giveaway ends Thursday night at midnight EST (May 23).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this review. I bought my own copy and loved it and wanted to share. I requested a giveaway copy for my readers which was complimentary from Carmel Communications. 

 

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Comments

  1. Mary D says

    Time for God by Fr. Jacques Philippe. It is the most gentle introduction to the importance and difficulty of a daily prayer life. I’ve been reading it for months and haven’t even finished it yet, I just read and reread paragraphs at a time.

  2. Emily Jacobs says

    Entering the giveaway! I’m currently reading “The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood” and I think this may end up as the book that’s had the greatest impact on my spiritual life…. It’s awesome!

  3. Amy M says

    I know this seems like the “easy answer” but the book that comes to mind is the Bible. :) I’ve read many other books, novels, saint stories…but they all have the Bible in common.

  4. Ashley says

    I am so excited to read this book. I just have to……… get a copy. I grew up a cradle Catholic and I’m at the age where most of my friends are either clinging to the faith or eschewing it. For the later (well, and the former) I’ve been recommending this book like crazy – and I feel a little weird doing so without having read it myself. Here’s hoping!

  5. elizabeth joy hooker says

    i really look forward to reading this book! esp after your review and our conversation!

  6. Elizabeth says

    I can’t wait to read this book! So many great books have impacted my spiritual life. I read a lot of Catholic apologetics in junior high that were a huge help when I entered public school and was confronted about my faith by many of my protestant friends… It’s hard to find time to finish books these days, but I’m currently in the middle of The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn.

  7. Martha says

    True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Monfort. And the Diary of St Faustina.
    There are so many books that I have come to love and have changed my lofe but these two are the ones I go to the most and are the first ones to pop in my head :)

  8. Danielle Laird says

    JPII’s Theology of the Body. Ended our days of contraception and opened us up to a life of loving fully, open to God’s will and grace!

  9. Katie says

    I am dying to read her book – and as an avid reader of the Conversion Diary since the first draft of this now beautiful book was ‘sent back for review’ – I cannot wait!

  10. Alison says

    One of the most influential spiritual books I’ve read is A Mother’s Rule of Life. Excited to enter the giveaway!

  11. Karen says

    I read this through our library (and made them order it as well, ha!), but I would love a copy to own or to lend to a friend. When Jen talked about reading Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis, I got a huge jolt, because that’s the same book that brought me deeper into my faith when I was doubting whether I should remain Christian, let alone Catholic. I found it in a bookstore, one I had never been to before, and bought it on a whim.

  12. Julia Mooney says

    Augustine’s Confessions and CS Lewis’ Til We Have Faces have both affected me profoundly in different ways. Augustine’s search for wisdom and discovery of Christ taught me as an undergrad that all truth is God’s truth. Til We Have Faces had a big hand in showing me what beauty as a companion to goodness and truth looks like in narrative. I love Lewis’ explanation of the gospels as a “true myth.” This novel of his made that real to me and gave me a newfound appreciation for narrative truths in addition to simple propositions.

    Anyway, I am so looking forward to reading Jennifer’s book and I would love a copy of my own! I love conversion stories.

  13. Kathy Biallas says

    The entire Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. That did it for me. Also, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.

  14. Da Schon says

    I am in the middle of “33 Days to Morning Glory,” which has helped me grow spiritually by leaps and bounds. i can’t wait to finish!

  15. Rebecca says

    Sounds so good! I’m protestant (though hubby and I are very “Catholic” in our beliefs about the family and contraception) but in college, I loved Frederica Mathewes-Green’s memoir, Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy. The liturgy and tradition drew me in, especially coming from a contemporary Christian church complete with drums, guitars and powerpoints. It was like discovering a brand new (ancient) world. In fact, now I just want to go pick it up again!

  16. Erin says

    I would have to say either Kristin Lavransdatter OR A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Of course, Flannery always has a way of intertwining the existence of grace in the smallest and sometimes ugliest parts of life. However, the above two books are able to show that in one person’s life. Kristin is just a woman, who spiritually matures through her entire life and she is admirable, infuriating and humbling all at the same time. She changes so much and God’s grace is so evident in the story (especially in the end!). A Tree Grows in Brooklyn shows God’s grace on a much smaller scale, but it is just in a tidbit of a girl’s life and it is a wonderful story. I am definitely in need of one of those types of books– right now I am in one of those lulls where I can’t seem to find anything to get me into reading…

  17. Laura says

    I have two brothers who are struggling right now with their faith, one of whom shared a very deep conversation with me about Grace the other day. Regardless of whether I win the book or not, I will have to read a copy at some point (though…I hope I do win :D) so I can share this story with one or both of them.

  18. Sarah says

    I recently finished “33 Days to Morning Glory.” So Good. I would love to win a copy of this book!

  19. says

    I recently read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, and I’ve kept a few quotes in mind as I journey through mothering 2 little ones, looking for God – *seeing* God – in the most mundane, even the dishes, as Brother Lawrence did.

  20. Andrea S says

    “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. As a cradle Catholic reading this when my husband was joining the church I was surprised by how much I did not know. And “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis…..

  21. Annie V says

    The Return of the Produgal Son by Henri Nouwen. I actually love most of his writing, including With Open Hands (which I can’t find!!).

  22. April says

    No Turning Back by Father Donald Calloway is a great read. It’s his conversion story. Would love to win Jennifer’s book! :-)

  23. Jamie Landry says

    “Stories of God” by John O’ Shea. It’s a little heavy but full of incredible ideas and images that truly moved me and opened my mind. I have read it twice to try and absorb it and will probably read it again. Also, anything by Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB.

  24. Chris says

    I can’t wait to read this book! Though we’ve never met, I just live a few miles away from Jennifer, so it’s great to see a story so close to home.

  25. Vanessa says

    I’d love to enter the giveaway! Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux is a great read that really made me look at the more simple ways God calls me towards him in my everyday life.

  26. Kelly says

    Love the C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity: “All that we call human history…[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
    Maybe I need to read more CS Lewis other than the Chronicles of Narnia

  27. says

    I read Chris Stefanick’s book recently (‘Absolute Relativism’) and that really helped me reaffirm my beliefs and help me know that I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

  28. Molly says

    “Life of Christ” by Fulton Sheen. It’s actually affected my life twice over – first by my reading and loving it, and then when I dropped the name to a handsome RCIA student online, it made him stop and take notice because of his attachment to Archbishop Sheen. Long story short, he decided NOT to become a missionary, he flew out to Ohio to meet me, then moved here to marry me. We’ve been married almost five years now and have two awesome little girls.

  29. Ali says

    I found Jen’s blog last spring right after signing up for RCIA. Her story of having an atheist father reminded me of my childhood and I loved reading her story on the blog. I can’t wait to read the book!

    • Ali says

      Oops! I forgot to add my book… I’m slightly red-faced to admit that the book that changed my spiritual journey was…Catholicism for Dummies.
      Aack…it is silly even to type! I read it after my husband said that if we weren’t going to be Episcopalian, then he wanted to return to the faith of his childhood – Catholicism. That book and a few lighthouse media CD’s, including The 4th Cup and the Second Greatest Story ever told convinced me of the truth of the Church and the Eucharist.
      My current faves are Brandt Pitre’s Jewish Roots of the Eucharist and The Diary of St. Faustina.

  30. Caroline Davis says

    I have entered the giveaway! :) oh how I would love to win a copy of this book! First time entering…. Fingers crossed!!

  31. says

    I would have to say that everything by C.S. Lewis that I’ve ever read has has an impact on the way I see myself in relation to God; the one I love the best is one of his least well-known, Till We Have Faces. I love his notion of the soul and how our lives can either be grace-filled or terribly evil through what seem like insignificant actions and motives. Thanks for the opportunity to win Jen’s book!

  32. Sarah says

    I’ve really been wanting to read this book! I’ve already told my Mom and sisters about it so I should probably start reading it before they do so we can chat about it together- as I was the one who told them about it and all

  33. says

    I love CS Lewis oh so very much. My mom read all the Chronicles of Narnia to/with me when I was a kid- such pleasant, cozy memories- and then I re-read them in college. And cried through them all. Because really? REALLY? Those profound themes in a book usually reserved for kids? I caught none of them as a kid, and sobbed over them as an adult.

    • Stephanie says

      And, I just saw that we are supposed to comment on a spiritual book. The book that really changed the way I view God and made me feel really hopeful was St. Faustina’s diary, “Divine Mercy In My Soul.” Fits right in with the “twitch upon the thread” theme. And I cannot wait for the Brideshead book discussion – one of my all-time favorites!

  34. Mary Christine says

    Well, I probably should say the Bible, right? :) But as far as other books go, Timothy Keller’s Reason for God was definitely life-changing.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. christen says

    the book that impacted my faith hugely has been the voyage of the dawn treader. Eustace’s plot line about becoming a dragon and then being transformed back brings tears each time i read it.

  36. says

    I think the spiritual book that has affected me the most is I Believe in Love by Fr. Elbee. Thanks for doing a giveaway for Jen’s book, our little book club is going to read it and I’d love to win a copy!

  37. says

    The book that affected me most spiritually besides the Bible is Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, it is spectacular! Also, I can’t wait to read this book, whether I win or buy it, it is definitely on my list!

  38. Patricia Korenko says

    Deeper than Words, Living the Apostles Creed was the latest book that had a huge impact.

  39. Ann says

    Two books that had a profound effect on me where: No Price Too High by Jones and Hanson; and My Life on the Rock by Cavins.

    Would LOVE to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity/giveaway!

  40. Katherine says

    I have read so many books it’s hard to pick just one. I really enjoyed The Handbook for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey and of course Rome Sweet Home by the Hahns. I am dying to read this book and would LOVE to win it! :)

  41. Haley Cadena says

    I think reading, in general, is what opened me up to a deeper walk with Christ…reading invited me into Goodness, Truth, & Beauty. This surely primed my heart for a personal encounter with Jesus, instead of mere cultural Catholicism.

  42. Shannon says

    Lots of C.S. Lewis and also Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz (worlds apart I suppose, but both came at the right times!)

  43. says

    I love that line from GK Chesterton! What a perfect image that sentence inspires.
    I think the book which has most significantly affected my spiritual life is St. Therese’s Story of a Soul. Typical, I know, but its popularity is well-earned. St. Therese’s words are like a nap or a green juice: I come away from her thoughts feeling refreshed and ready to face the day, filled with the desire to be as graceful and compassionate as possible.

  44. says

    Having a hard time coming up with a specific book that really affected my spirituality. I know I read a book last year by Christopher West on the Theology of the Body which was pretty amazing, but I’m totally drawing a blank as to what it was called (if I remember I’ll reply to the comment with the name ;) )
    Would love to read this book!
    ~Ruth Anne

  45. Amy says

    I am always looking for a good book. And, being a convert myself – it would be cool to see someone else’s journey.

  46. Michaela W says

    I can’t wait to read this book. I’ve been feeling a real need in my heart for a book like this recently and it reminds me of how full my heart was after I read Rome Sweet Home as my first conversion exploration story.

  47. Kate says

    Hm, that is a very thought-provoking question!! “The Reed of God” by Caryll Houselander is one of my favorites. Every time I read it, I gain a new perspective.

    Thanks for doing this give-a-way!!

  48. says

    Maybe In His Steps by Charles Sheldon…or The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp? Really hoping I win this book!

  49. says

    Hmm…no way can I narrow this down to just one. LOL! Story of a Soul, the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken, and I am currently reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – oh so good, and thought provoking. Oh, and how could I forget The Great Divorce, also by C.S. Lewis. Thanks for the giveaway!

  50. says

    Well, I just recently finished Catholic Controversy by St. Francis de Sales, and since there’s a real possibility I will be joining the Catholic Church sort of as a result of having stumbled upon it, I’d say it probably qualifies.

  51. says

    I’ve so been wanting to read this book and it’s great to get a review from you and reassurance that it’s everything it’s said to be!

  52. Amy says

    Many of the books written by CS Lewis and also the books written by Scott Hahn have impacted me at different points in my life.

  53. Sarah says

    I love the “In Conversation with God” series. I try to read them throughout the liturgical year…encouraging and challenging!

  54. says

    I would LOVE to win a copy of this book.. it is on my wish list but our budget is impossibly tight at the moment, so no fun book splurges for me, more’s the pity.. One of the most spiritually influential books in my life is actually a work of fiction, written by Rumer Godden – “In This House of Brede.” It’s strange, but somehow the inner workings of a fictional group of Benedictine nuns really resonates with my experience as a humble housewife and mom of littles… oh, and (if I can add a second one), Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle”. I love C.S. Lewis and Chesterton and a whole raft of other religious writers, but if I have to narrow it down to just one or two, those would (at least currently) receive the top spots.

  55. Sherry says

    I would have to say Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly was my life-changing book…the story in the introduction completely changed how I viewed Christianity.

  56. says

    The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard has had a profound impact on my spiritual life. When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Affliction by Edith Schaeffer also provided comfort during great tragedy. I’m enjoying seeing others’ favorites as well, especially because I’m an intrigued-by-Catholicism Protestant!

  57. says

    I read a book about Mother err, Saint Teresa’ s ministry in India that I found incredibly uplifting. I wish I remembered the name but I am currently nursing my baby and will probably forget to enter later if I don’t enter now.

  58. Shaina says

    A Biblical Defense of Catholicism
    by Dave Armstrong

    Hands down, proved me right back into the bag of which I was trying to prove myself out.

  59. says

    “Christ, the Life of the Soul” by Abbot Columba Marmion, OSB, is a rare book that touches the heart and mind about God in a way both deep and accessible. It is adapted, I believe, from retreat talks given by the Irishman and Benedictine, and is recommended by more than one pope.

  60. Maggie says

    I have truly loved reading Catholic and Christian. I keep picking it up, reading portions, and saying, “Yes! That’s it!” It’s been my go-to for a few years, after a random yard sale find.

  61. Leah says

    Hmm how to choose… The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky is up there, as is Encounters with Silence by Karl Rahner (his book on spirituality is much more accessible than a lot of his more academic stuff).

    This book sounds lovely – can’t wait to check it out!

  62. Joanne B. says

    Probably Fr. Gaitley’s Consoling the Heart of Jesus. I know that it wasn’t a favorite of Haley’s but I’ve found great insight in it, especially in the Appendix. Understanding consolation and desolation have been very beneficial to my spiritual life.

  63. Julie says

    I’ve been reading great things about this book all over the place. If I don’t win I’ll probably buy a copy :)

  64. Sarah says

    I heard Jen do an interview on Kresta in the Afternoon about this book. Sounds interesting because I have not known many atheists and would like to hear what drew her to the Church.

  65. Geri B says

    My understanding of Purgatory changed when I read the book, “Purgatory, Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints”. I always believed in Purgatory as a real place, and it IS mentioned in the Bible (even though many believe it is not). For example, even after Moses was forgiven by God, he was still punished for his sin. (2Kg. or 2 Sam. 12:13-14). Also, the Bible distinguishes between those who go straight to heaven and those who enter after undergoing a purgation, calling them “the spirits of the just made perfect.” (Heb. 12:23). Or in Corinthians, a place where lesser sins are purged away and the soul is saved “yet as so by fire.” (Cor. 3:15) Also, the second book of Maccabees says, “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosened from sins.” (2 Mach. 12:46). Ancient Christian tomb inscriptions from the second and third centuries often appeal for prayers for the dead, and many still do this today. If there was no place like Purgatory, the prayers would be meaningless. A soul condemned to hell would not be helped by man’s heavenly requests to God. Prayers for the dead were customary for fifteen centuries, until the Protestant Reformation. The Bible also states that “there shall not enter into it (the new Jerusalem, Heaven) anything defiled.” (Apoc. or Rev. 21:27).

    The book explains these according to the lives and experiences of the Saints. It is eye-opening and every Catholic should have a copy. The belief in Purgatory is AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN a belief by the Church.

  66. Gizelle says

    While I have read (and currently can not think of a single title) many spiritual books, the Bible has to be the most important. This book from Jen looks to be one I should read soon though. Without going into details my family is going through some tumultuous times, and as a result my 12 year old son is asking questions such as “why is God doing this to us?’ Perhaps since Jen’s spiritual journey went from Atheism to Catholicism this book can help me guide my son through this time in our lives (not to mention laugh out loud funny sounds really appealing right now).

  67. says

    I would love to win a copy of the book. I just had to put a book in the cupboard so that I would do house work. BY THE WAY – you should read it. It’s called “The Atonement Child” and it’s a pro-life masterpiece. Enjoy!

  68. Yvonne says

    Gosh, how to pick just one? Maybe The Ballad of the White Horse, or anything by Tolkien… Or Lewis… Or Chesterton…. In any case, I’d love to enter the giveaway!

  69. says

    The book that had the most profound effect on my spiritual life is definitely St. Louis de Montfort’s The Secret of the Rosary. I read it at a time when I was struggling with the “whys” of Marian devotion and this book is largely the reason I’m Catholic today.

    I’ve heard nothing but incredible reviews of Jen’s book all over the Catholic blogverse and am really looking forward to reading it!

  70. Richard Speidel says

    What book most significantly affected my spiritual life? There are so many to choose from: Rome Sweet Home, San Juan Catholic Seminar’s Beginning Apologetics series, and so many more that I can’t even think of. I guess if I had to choose one book, it would have to be the one Book from which all the other books were made possible by, the Bible. Without the Bible, what would we be reading at Mass on Sundays? What would the authors of so many wonderful books have used to inspire them to write their books without the Bible?

  71. says

    It is hard to pick just one. But, I think I’ll pick Rome Sweet Home by the Hahns. It is the book that tipped the scales and convinced me that converting to Catholicism was the right path for me. And, I’ve never looked back :)

  72. Jennifer says

    Abandonment to Divine Providence…still trying to put it into practice, but it helped me see God’s hand in life.

  73. Lisa says

    Mere Christianity was the first book I read that in any way approached theology rather than just Christian Self-Help.

  74. Becky says

    Rome Sweet Home had a huge impact on me, especially when I first read it during my time of conversion!

  75. Corina says

    Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. He opened up each character of the story in a way I had never thought of before. Loved it.

  76. Erin says

    Looking for Mary by Beverly Dionofrio it was my gateway book to being a revert to Catholicism
    On my way into a bookstore one day a thought came into my head that I would by a religious book and upon this though I laughed at its ridiculousness. And sure enough, I didn’t go looking for a ‘spiritual’ book but but I was called to it spiritually and literally.

  77. Erica says

    Hi Haley,
    Big fan, almost daily reader, never commented before though. Im a “lapsed catholic” who spent some very important time in a quaker meeting before coming home to catholicism. during that time Mere Christianity, Anna Karennina, and a little quaker devotional called Quaker Paths to Simplicity were all working in my brain to bring me home. Have to say that it was the Bible that solidified my return the catholic church. I LOVE these comments, by the way. When I have more time i’ll be reading through them to add some more to my already impossibly long reading list.

  78. Katelyn says

    I love reading, so lots of books have impacted me! I think Time for God is a classic on prayer, and This Tremendous Lover is my current favorite-every chapter reiterating that Jesus Christ is a tremendous lover, and our lives are all about union with Christ. Looking forward to reading Something Other Than God when I get a chance!

  79. Kim says

    So many good books! I really want to read this one and will likely buy it, but why not try to win it! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! All of C.S. Lewis’ work have greatly impacted me as well as Beth Moore’s fresh perspective and Bible insights.

  80. M. E. says

    Let’s see…book(s) that have affected my spiritual life? Well, being a cradle Catholic I’ve read so many great books over my life, but here are some that stand out: In high school & college, I was blown away by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and read them to my children as soon as they were able to take all that in!), C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, which I also read to my children, and G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, which was another mind-blower for me.

    Slowly, slowly, over time I have come to appreciate, love and now almost adore, St. Therese of Lisieux. I don’t know why, but for the longest time, I just didn’t “get” her. But she never gave up on me, she kept tapping me on the shoulder and making me look her way over the years. Now she is one of my primary patron saints – my husband and I were married on her feast day – and I consider her absolutely essential to growing in my spiritual life.

    Anyhow, I still read all of these authors and never, ever tire of them. Thank you for hosting this giveaway, Haley, I would love to own a copy of Jen’s memoir, because some of my favorite reads these days are conversion stories.

    People who have converted come to the Faith with great love and zeal and they can help reinvigorate the faith of us cradle Catholics, who run the risk of taking the Treasure of Catholicism, sadly, for granted (uh, guilty, as charged – blushing now!).

    Blessings to you and your family.

    • M. E. says

      Oh, I just noticed that someone mentioned in an earlier post the book by Sheldon VanAucken, A Severe Mercy. That book is AH-MAZING! Love that one too and I second that nomination as one everyone should read sometime. Happy weekend and happy Memorial Day Holiday to all!

  81. Ellen V says

    I read a book called Consuming Religion, by Vincent J Miller, for a theology class in college. It was the first time I realized I could think critically about religion and religious behaviors while still striving to be a disciple of Christ.

  82. Jess K says

    I recently read “My Sisters the Saints” by Colleen Carroll Campbell. It moved me beyond words and inspired me to try a few new prayers.

  83. says

    Oh, to choose only one book would be very difficult. But “This Momentary Marriage” by John Piper was one of the most Gospel- and God-centered books on marriage I’ve ever read. It was inspiring and so encouraging to hear someone talk about marriage from the perspective of how it is intended to glorify God, and be a picture of the love between Christ and the Church. It was so much more than another “this is how to have a happy marriage”, “this is how to be a good wife or good husband”.

    Can I mention one more?

    The Journals of Jim Elliot was another book that was very convicting, inspiring, and caused me to want to go back to the Bible to grow in my relationship with the God who inspired such love, devotion, passion, and reckless obedience in one of His sons.

  84. Rachel says

    I love Rome sweet home and born fundamentalist, born again catholic. Those were key in my conversion. I also loved a book by mother Angelica and “something beautiful for God”, which was about Mother Theresa. This book by Jen sounds fantastic, I love a good conversion story!

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