Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

My Journey to God (Part 2): Me? A Nun?

This is Day 7 of Jen’s 7 Posts in 7 Days Challenge.

Part 1 of this story is here: My Journey to God (Part I) – From Darkness to Light

* * *

The summer of my 26th year had been a long and hard struggle. It began when my mom uttered the alarming words, “God may be calling you to the religious life.” My heart sank. As a renewed Catholic who just experienced a reversion to the faith, I had great admiration for nuns but did not want to be one myself. But the idea intensified when I prayed. I couldn’t shake the feeling that God might be calling me to surrender myself in this special way…as a nun. I tried to suppress these thoughts and ignore God, but I knew what life was like when I tried to ignore God. I realized that I needed to spend some time alone with God to get closer to Him and to re-evaluate where my life was going.

I stopped publishing “handmaid” and stepped away from the normal routine of my life. I explained to my friends (mostly non-Catholics) that they wouldn’t be seeing or hearing from me for awhile because I was thinking about the religious life. The reactions ranged from teary-eyed encouragement to gasps of horror at the realization that I was Catholic. The former gave their support and the latter turned their backs because they saw Catholicism more akin to a cult than Christianity. However, this “confession” of mine opened doors for people who were curious about Catholicism because they knew nothing about it or had a skewed version of it.

Photo credit: My bro Jacob

Meanwhile, I was still praying for discernment regarding a religious vocation. I spend almost a year living my own desert experience. I went without “fun”, without TV, radio, phone conversations, and the like. I had quit my job and was working for my parents who were thanking God that I was trying to discern God’s will. (Their motto is to give God and His Church the first shot as your spouse.) My brother Rob was going through a similar discernment process and had entered the seminary to discern a vocation.

I still had mixed feelings about the whole thing – one day I’d have romantic notions of me working as a missionary or penning spiritual diaries and then the next day I’d be filled with dread wondering, what the heck am I thinking? I decided to give it a try by “living the life” of a religious. I found out about a summer long retreat for women discerning a religious vocation that was run by a group of lay consecrated women. I prayed about it and signed up. I hate to admit that my mind was already stubbornly made up that I was not called but I figured once the retreat was over, I could return home with a clean conscience saying I had “tried”.

Life with the consecrated was not what I expected. It was a time of active missionary work and deep prayer – I think it was the prayer that got to me. I wasn’t one of those who loved to spend countless hours praying before the tabernacle. I didn’t like the quiet and being still. It made me think too much. I would struggle with my thoughts. I wondered if I could give up certain things to became a nun, particularly in the guy department. All my life there was always a guy I liked or a guy I was pursuing. The chase was like a drug. As a nun, there would be no more chasing. Could I live life as a celibate? And could I completely accept God’s will in the tiniest detail – go where I was told and do what I was told without question? I didn’t know.

However, praying in common with the others girls and especially spending time alone with Our Lord in the tabernacle melted my cynical and selfish heart. I realized how much God had given me. I thought about what kind of dark life I had been living before and how he rescued me. I slowly began to love the religious life and saw the beauty that outweighed the sacrifice. I wanted to embrace it wholeheartedly. I knelt in the chapel and begged God to forgive me for being so selfish and self-centered and for looking on a religious vocation with disdain, rather than with joy to be chosen as a bride of Christ. I surrendered my whole being and gave to God my life to do with as He willed.

Photo credit: My bro Jacob

Later I opened up my heart to my confessor and spiritual director, revealing all that I was going through. I knew that they were the tools God would use to guide me. I thought I was ready to join the novitiate of the consecrated women but surprisingly, they felt it was not certain that I had a vocation. I was to go back into the world for one more year and if at the end of the year I still felt called, then I was to return. I walked back to the chapel and sobbed. I couldn’t believe it. First I wanted nothing to do with living the life of a nun but God called me. Then I wanted nothing more than to live that kind of life and God said no.

I couldn’t help but feel betrayed until I slowly began to realize just what happened to me during those summer weeks. There had been a definite change in my spiritual life; it gained depth that had not been there previously. I thought about all the classes on spirituality I had taken – particularly the class on the Sacrament of Marriage. I was intrigued to learn how a wife and husband are called to sanctity within their vocation, just as a religious. Therefore a single woman called to marriage should be looking for a spouse that would help her reach heaven. I marveled at the idea! Looking back now, it’s rather funny that God had to put me on the path of a consecrated soul in order to show me the kind of man I should be seeking if I was called to married life. I guess God uses what it takes to teach us our lessons.

I realized the summer retreat was all a part of God’s divine plan and in the long run it would serve its purpose. My heart was filled with peace and joy, knowing that God was in control and that I had finally learned to let go and let God. My life no longer revolved around finding a man. For now, God was the only one I was supposed to pursue. As for the future, I would just have to wait to see what God had in store for me.

Many, many months later (I remember the day well) I was in church praying before Our Lord. It had been nearly a year since I tried the religious life and after a lot of prayer and spiritual direction I finally knew with certainty that God was calling me to be a wife and mother. I believe God had been testing me. By embracing the religious life with love, I had surrendered my life to God and only then could He reveal the true direction of my vocation.

I would love to say that shortly after figuring out my vocation I succeeded in the monumental task of finding a holy spouse that cared deeply about the same things I did and who saw our future marriage as our path to heaven. The reality is that it would take another looong two years. Although I was truly trying to accept God’s will and timing, it was an acute struggle to feel called to a vocation so strongly, yet not be able to “participate” in that vocation without the right partner. I had to learn how to stay focused on growing more mature and spiritually rooted, as well as trying to be patient, trusting that God would answer my prayers in His time. Like the lilies of the field, God was taking care of me.

Months went by and a friend gave me a novena* (see below) to Blessed Anna Marie Taigi, a holy Catholic wife and mother, that her sister prayed with the specific intention of finding the right husband. After the novena she soon met her future husband on the internet in a Catholic chatroom. I had already been praying to St. Anne, my patron saint, but I thought extra prayers to another holy Anne couldn’t hurt and decided to make the novena. The following week I attended my young adults’ meetings with renewed vigor – I was ready for Mr. Right to walk in the door any minute. By the end of the meeting I sighed and resigned, “Okay, okay, Lord. It’s obvious that it’s not time yet. I’ll be patient!” And again, I waited….

Part 3: Journey to God (Part 3): Our How-We-Met/Engagement Story

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram (bobbi_rol). 😉

PPS – Here is the novena to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi that I prayed.

O Blessed Anna Marie Taigi, by that humble submission with which you believed in and adored the august mystery of the One True God in Three Persons, obtain for me from the Most Holy Trinity the favor which I confidently implore…(fill in your petition**.)

Glory be the Father… (three times)

O Blessed Anna Marie Taigi, by the great love and tender pity with which you honored the mysteries in the life of Jesus, obtain for me from Him the favor which I earnestly implore… (fill in your petition.)

Glory be the Father… (three times)

O Blessed Anna Marie Taigi, through your filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin, obtain for me from Her the favor which I humbly implore… (fill in your petition.)

Glory be the Father… (three times) Amen.

You can fill in your own petition. For an example, I said the following:

Petition 1 – That I may find the man God has chosen to be my spouse.
Petition 2- That he and I will both grow in the virtues needed to be a holy spouse and parent.
Petition 3 – That I may know God’s will and follow it with love and patience.

Five Favorites & Five Things & Liebster Award

NOTE: This is my second post today. If you are looking for a substitute for your Google Reader check out this post – The Pros and Cons of Feedly and Bloglovin’.


Everyone has been playing the “5 Things about Me Game” and Jessica tagged me next.  Fun! Then Rebekah (with the cool new blog banner) nominated me for a Liebster Award. (”Liebster” is a German word meaning “sweetheart, beloved person, darling.” The award is passed on from blogger to blogger to smaller blogs with less than 200 followers.) Yay! I’d love to make 3 separate posts with 5 Faves, 5 Things & Liebster but mama ain’t got no time for dat so you are getting the combo deal.

Here are 5 Favorites that I haven’t already shared on my about me page.

~~ 1 ~~

My Favorite Flowers

I’m not a soft pink and delicate flowers girl. I love red gerber daisies and other bold red and yellow flowers that make you smile. 🙂

~~ 2 ~~

Favorite Icons in My Home (We have quite a few.)

It’s a tie between this icon of Our Lady that has been with me during all the birth of my children…

Or this Divine Mercy icon Brian and I bought on our honeymoon.

~~ 3 ~~

Favorite Retro TV Show


Hands down I Love Lucy. It reminds me of home since we watched it all the time growing up. Whenever I am missing my mom I just pop in the DVD and feel like she’d here laughing with me. (We still quote lines to each other when we talk on the phone.) 🙂

~~ 4 ~~

My Favorite Book

 As much as I love Jane Austen, my all time favorite novel is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. When I was younger I was intrigued by the drama and mystery. However, I was more touched that Jane endured a broken heart and forsake the only man that ever loved her because she would not break God’s commandment. It made a deep impression on me.

~~ 5 ~~

My Favorite Childhood Memory to Relive with My Kids

Source: My sis JC

If you don’t count going on nature walks or going for a drive then going to Disneyland!

If you are short on time or prone to boredom, stop here.

So you’re still with me? All right,  chica! Poor yourself another coffee/juice/wine and enjoy.

Next is the Liebster Awards. Now the official rules are –

  • Thank/link the person that nominated you (Thanks, Rebekah!)
  • Tell 11 things about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked of you
  • Make 11 questions for your own 11 nominees.
  • Link to those 11 nominees, and tell them about it at their blogs.

11 Things about Me

(I actually did a meme like this last year but I’ll only repeat 1 or 2.)

  1. “Bobbi” is not a nickname but my actual name. I love my name and I’m happy that the first born child was going to be named after my dad, boy or girl. (Thanks for not naming me Roberta, mom and dad.)
  2. I’ve never had a professional manicure or pedicure. (But considering that I had my first professional haircut just two years ago,  there may still be hope.)
  3. I am impatient, nosey, messy (close to hoarder territory) and I’m always late. (Although I admit that I’m working on those faults.)
  4. On the other hand, I am caring,  a good listener and I love doing little things to brighten a person’s day.
  5. I’m not a pet person. If it can’t wear a diaper or go in the toilet, I don’t want it in the house. (Although I finally let the kids get two fish. But again, I am stuck cleaning the poop.)
  6. My mom often told me I was a drama queen. (Sooo exaggerated.)
  7. I’m a sucker for guys in jeans, white tees, high hair and  horn rimmed glasses. (Sweetie, guess what you are wearing for Easter? ;-))
  8. I have two weird driving fears. One is when I’m under a tunnel I fear we will have a big earthquake and I’ll be crushed to death. The second is when I’m driving behind a truck with long objects in the bed of the truck (like planks of wood) I’m afraid the driver will get into an accident, the long objects will come loose, crash through my windshield and decapitate me. (Aren’t you glad you don’t live in my head? And now that I think about it, maybe #6 wasn’t so wrong.)
  9. I sometimes watch Disney shows like “Good Luck, Charlie” and “Austin & Ally” even when the kids aren’t home. (omg, did I just admit that out loud?)
  10. If I could eat any convenience store junk food without worry I’d have chili cheese fritos and an orange crush. (I’m so hungry right now.)
  11. I can easily be moved to tears – both happy and sad.

Questions from Rebekah

1. What is your very first memory, even one people deny you can actually remember? My most vivid early memories are riding in the back seat of my dad’s Chevelle and scooting to the edge of my seat and leaning my head on his head rest and feeling the wind blow on my face. This was before the days of mandatory seat belts!

2. What is a talent of yours you feel others underestimate? I don’t know if I’d call it a talent but people don’t know I can be  funny until they get to know me. I remember when I switched departments at work before I got pregnant, my new boss told me that she always thought I was quiet and reserved but after she got to know me she realized what a funny cheek I could be. I am still reserved with new people to this day. I feel better expressing myself writing. (Is that a blogging prerequisite?)

3. What fictional character would you like to spend an afternoon with? Mary Poppins. I’d love her to clean my house and tame my kids. 😉

4. Kirk or Picard? Han Solo, baby.

5. What song can you not stop listening to right now?

Hmmm…if the kids are in the room I’d say TobyMac’s Eye on It. when I am cooking dinner I usually turn on the radio and the boys (Andrew is particular) love to come and “break dance” while I sing along. This is their current fave.

But if I’m alone and in a mellow mood I am still in love with this song from The Lumineers.

6. What day in your past would you like to relive?  My wedding day. It was hands down the best day of my life and I’d love to relive all those memories again.

7. When you were little, what did you enjoy telling people that you wanted to be when you grew up? I planned to be a mother, a teacher and an author. In school I wanted to be a psychologist but worried that I wouldn’t be able to stay emotionally detached from someone’s pain.

8. What advice would you give yourself as a first time mother? Take a deep breath and stop worrying. You are more capable than you think. Trust your gut. And when you can’t take one more day of sleepless nights, crying fits (the baby’s, not yours) and not showering for days, just keep repeating to yourself, “And this too shall pass.”

9. What is your most looked forward to moment of the day? When I kiss the kids goodnight and I receive their hugs and “I love yous” and then I get to snuggle on the couch with Brian and watch a movie (provided Matthew is asleep and didn’t take a late nap.)

10. Who would play you in a movie about your life? many short, plus-sized comedic actresses are there? I don’t know! But since I did mention “Austin and Ally” above , if you take the actress that plays Trish and cut her hair into a dried out frizzy bush, then heck, you’ve got me as a kid!

Now I’m supposed to tag 5 bloggers for Five Things about Me and 11 bloggers for the Liebster but I’m just tagging 5 people. You can do The 5 Thingy or The Liebster or Both. (Or none, if you poop out at parties.) Have fun! 😉

Oh, and if you’ve already been tagged. Sorry. You can skip it too.

I would like to tag Hallie but being in the pregnant state that she is in, I will leave that to her discretion. In the meantime, I tag my sis EML, Andrea, Missy, Colleen, and Kelly.

Here are the questions:

1. Where were you on 3/13/13 when you saw the white smoke or heard that we have a pope?

2. If you had a whole day to yourself (without your kids or hubby) what would you do?

3. What was your favorite childhood cartoon?

4. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

5. What is your favorite prayer or devotion?

6. What is your favorite “go to” outfit to wear?

7. What is something that not many people know about you?

8. Are you a Downton Abbey fan or a “what’s all the fuss about” girl?

9. How did you meet your hubby?

10. What was your favorite song/album/band/artist growing up?

11. What is a lesson you’ve learned that you want to pass on to your children.

That was fun! I hope you enjoyed it too. 🙂

7 Quick Takes (3/9/12): Random but True Facts Edition

Hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.

– 1 –

As I mentioned yesterday, it has been a busy week. On Wednesday, I eagerly went to the dentist for my teeth cleaning because it meant 20 uninterrupted minutes of sitting back in a chair and resting. The hygienist couldn’t stop laughing when I told her this was the closest I would get to a spa day.

– 2 –

For yesterday’s {pretty, happy, funny, real} I should have posted a photo of the pile of mail on the table. I haven’t looked at a single item all week and the pile is about to topple. Even worse, I have two packages I haven’t opened yet. One is my Pampered Chef order and the other is from Amazon and I believe it is Hailey’s new book. As soon and I finish this I’ll open them up and check it out. Yay!

3 –

When I get time to read over some blogs I always check my sister’s blog first. I’m in CA and she is in VA and I hate that we are so far apart. Reading about her daily life helps me feel closer to her and her family. This morning she had me laughing so hard I was crying, which I actually feel bad about since she was describing her uber fear of mice. I was not laughing at her so much but the mental picture was hilarious. (I’m praying you catch that little pest, EL!) Go read it for yourself.

– 4 –

There has been a meme going around many blogs about posting 10 true facts about yourself. I remember doing something like that on facebook a year or two back but we had to do 25 things about ourselves. So for Quick Take 5 – 7 I’ll repost that list for those who aren’t on my facebook page because I know you just don’t have enough useless information in your head right now.

– 5, 6 & 7 –


25 Useless but True Facts about Me

1. “Bobbi” is not a nickname but my actual name. I love my name and I’m happy I was named after my dad. (Thanks for not naming me Roberta, mom and dad.)
2. When I was in preschool my finger got caught in wheel spokes and as a result I have a crooked right pinky with a broken nail.
3. As a kid, I loved desk items and school supplies and always wanted to be a writer. (Office supply stores still make me giddy.)
4. As a kid, I loved playing school, bank, store and carnival with my brothers and sisters. (Now I avoid going to schools & banks and live in a carnival-like house of four kids. Unfortunately for my pocketbook, I never outgrow the love of shopping.)
5. I am the oldest of nine kids. (So having four kids is really only a medium sized family.)

blue_skatesjpgPhoto Source

6. I used to have a pair of cool blue tennis shoes-roller skates.
7. My mom often told me I was a drama queen. (Sooo exaggerated.)
8. In school I was always the peacemaker who tried to bring arguing friends together. (I believe in the Rodney King mantra, “Can’t we all just get along.”)
9. I have no affection for cats whatsoever. (I just heard a unison of gasps. Sorry.)
10. I once dated a guy who turned into a stalker-crazy boyfriend.

converse_Photo Source

11. I loved my converse and doc martin shoes. (I traded in my docs for flats but I still have some brown converse.)
12. For a time, I was a sucker for guys with bald heads, tattoos and eyebrow rings yet I fell in love with a guy as clean cut as they come.
13. When I am stressed out I play a game of spider solitaire and listen to New Order.
14. I am incredibly nosey and always have to know what’s going on.

15. When I was younger I thought it was pathetic when people in their 30’s & 40’s went to concerts of bands from their youth. I have officially become pathetic because if there was a reunion tour in my town of the cure, the smiths, new order, depeche mode or psychedelic furs, I’d be running out the door I’d consider going.
16. I can’t sew a stitch. When I was younger, I once hemmed my pants with duct tape. (And I vaguely remember “sewing” a dress for my doll with a stapler.)
17. I was seriously discerning a religious vocation two years before meeting my spouse.
18. My husband discerned he wasn’t called to the priesthood. The day he left the seminary he started a novena to find a wife. On the last day of the novena he “met” me online. (Funny that Brian’s prayers were answered immediately while I had to wait years.)ba_bv_wed_2W
19. I feel absolutely and completely blessed to be married to the best man I have ever known. He has a certain look that can still make my heart skip a beat. (Swoon.)
20. My greatest treasures are my four kids – Bella, Andrew, John-Paul & Matthew. (Sometimes I just need a break in order to appreciate that fact!)
21. I have made a lot of incredibly stupid mistakes in my life but God has used them all to teach me a lesson and make me stronger and more understanding of other people’s weaknesses.
22. I can easily be moved to tears – both happy and sad. Hankie_2

Phot0 source (Isn’t that pretty!)

23. When I laugh my eyes water and I always bring a handkerchief to the movies when I see a funny movie…or sad one. (A real handkerchief. It is very Downton Abbey of me.)
24. I hate being mad at someone and I am eager to make up.
25. The three things I am most grateful for are my life, my family, and God’s love & mercy.
That’s it for today. Have a wonderful weekend!!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. 😉

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.