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REVIEW: Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories

Yes, God!

I have been waiting FOREVER to read Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories! No, seriously. It arrived late last week, but with my in-laws visiting I didn’t even check the mail until Sunday. It was their last full day. I couldn’t just open that book up and ignore them! So, I stared at it – saw friend Lisa Hendey’s review snippet on the cover of the book – opened it up and read the foreword. THEN I remembered one of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist {only my ALL. TIME. FAVORITE order – can I give them some daughters, please?!} was interviewed for this book. I still remember Susie’s Facebook PM asking me if I knew of any nuns or sisters for her to interview. I immediately inboxed Sister Elizabeth Ann, but found out shortly thereafter that the Order had already given a story for the book – SCORE! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to read a book!

So, I enjoyed the last day with my in-laws visiting in town – we rounded out the visit with a total slaughterfest of Euchre, followed by a close-but-still-a-win game of Skip-Bo. The next day, we said our goodbyes and I set the book next to my homeschool grading stuffs. I will read this once the kids have like 75.35% of their schoolwork done for the day. And that book stared at me, and I it.

I can’t wait to read you. 

Yes, I know. I can’t wait to be read. ::smug little book look::

Then, durn if I had to clean the house. The NOIVE! ::shaking fist:: Laundry had to be dealt with, dishes needed warshin’, kids needed feeding…and round and round we went.

I GIVE UP!!!

Then, it was bedtime. And, it was good. And then I realized it was Monday night and I had nowhere to be. And, it was good. And THEN I realized it was Monday Night Football. And it was SO good, friends, lemme just tell ya! Guilt free reading and hanging out in the same room as husbie. SCORE.

Since I knew a little bit about the book ahead of time, I knew it would be an easy read. I love love LOVE stories of people’s lives. It totally fits into what we do at Catholic Sistas, too! Stories, witnesses, testimonies are what connect people to each other, while drawing them to a closer, deeper relationship with Christ.

The range of stories and backgrounds of those who shared is also indicative of how unique and, yet, vast the culture of our Church really is, and while the aim of the book is to take a peek inside families whose children have heard God’s call to the religious life and see what the family life really entailed, Susie points out to me that this is not a book about fostering religious vocations but rather about raising great Catholic kids who will answer God’s call.

This theme especially resonated with me because I remember asking our then parish priest, Father Jonathan Raia, what his parents did to encourage him in his walk with the Lord. Really, what I was asking but fumbling with words was

WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS DO SO THAT I CAN COPY THAT AND MAKE SURE MY JONATHAN BECOMES A PRIEST, TOO?

The truth was, I wasn’t looking for specific ways to encourage religious vocations…necessarily. I became intrigued when he mentioned what his family did growing up. And ya know what? It was inspiring.

When I read Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories, it took me back to that conversation with Father Jonathan. The stories come from a variety of nuns, sisters and priests and talk about each one’s childhood and how their parents raised them – what worked, what didn’t, how the family responded to adversity and fostered that love for Christ and His Church. Though their backgrounds are all different, there is a common thread in each…

..the parents are real, everyday folks like you and me and there is a genuine love of Faith. I found this RIDICULOUSLY encouraging. I need to know that I don’t have to break myself in order to rear kidlets who love the Faith. I mean, I will break myself in other ways along the path to ::hopefully, fingers crossed:: sainthood. BUT, what this book offers is an element of simplistic joy…an element that is all-too-often overlooked in our pursuit of holiness.

The stories in the book offered me hope, encouragement and validation. 

As a parent, I know I am guilty of thinking too big picture. I want to know how this story is going to end. I forget that it’s the little things, the daily things, the sitting down and enjoying the mundane and the chaotic mess of the domestic Church that are the things that really matter in the long run.

If you’ve enjoyed Susie’s other books, Bless Me Father for I Have Kids or Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water!, you will enjoy her down-to-earth tell it like it is writing style in Yes, God!

So, buy a copy for yourself, but buy a copy for friends, too.

Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments!

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About Martina Kreitzer

Martina is a cradle Catholic, wife to Neil, and mother to seven kiddos here {and three in heaven}– 4/96-1/17. She decided to homeschool the kiddos in 2010 after many years in public schools and is currently transitioning out of homeschooling. She is the creator of Catholic Sistas which focuses on a feminine perspective of the Catholic Faith. The website was the result of an existing camaraderie by the contributors in a Catholic women’s group she created. She is also a Seal of Approval evaluator for the Catholic Writers Guild. Lest you think she spends all her time online, Martina has enjoyed getting out into the community by serving on the Pastoral Council from 2010-2013. She is constantly on the lookout to make her parish as welcoming as the small town she grew up in East Texas. This task is not easy given that St. William is the largest parish in the Austin diocese, serving well over twenty thousand parishioners. She loves Jesus, coffee, bacon, chocolate, photography, more bacon, evangelizing, and the company of those unafraid to use their sense of humor.