In The Hot Seat

I’m living the life of one of those 60-year-old “ladies who lunch.”

Seriously. All I need is a red hat, and false teeth and I’ll be ripe for initiation into bridge club. Or bunko.


Juuuust kidding.

But it’s true though. In addition to the speech therapy and one-on-one work, one of the things my mom is doing to help her recovery from her stroke is to have lunch/coffee with a different girlfriend every day. Get her conversing in new situations with different people.

And guess who gets to accompany her on all said coffee dates….


Haha. I actually don’t mind at all.

I will say this though…I’m gathering enough intel to pen an exposé on the housewives of suburban Ohio after all this.


Haha….in another life.

But I’m also accompanying my mom to all her bible studies and book clubs.

Like I said…I’m turning in to a Red Hat Society inductee.

But at one of the small groups, everyone was talking about the decline of “oomph” in the church. Attendance is down, enthusiasm is redlining. And all these “empty nester” moms are all lamenting about how their millennial sons and daughters are no longer practicing their faith anymore.

And before I know it, the conversation has turned to me, and I’m getting thrown question after question after question because I’m a millennial who **GASP** believes in God and **DOUBLE GASP** goes to church every Sunday.


And let me interject here – none of these women knew about this blog.

But these moms all wanted to know the secret. How did I survive college and live in NYC and not lose my faith? How did I keep God in my life?

And I’m not gonna lie – I was so uncomfortable being in the center of that conversation, like I was some amaaaaazing model-Christian that is some sort of saint in the making.

No ma’am. I mean, I can swear like a sailor and think some pretty terrible and judgmental things. #WorkInProgress

But to be honest, I have never really thought about that question, cut and dry like that before. I mean, walking away from God has just never been something that has crossed my mind. Or been an option. How have I kept God in my life? Well…

After really considering the question for a minute, the answer was as clear as day.

And I don’t really know how to relate this, so I’ll just tell you exactly what I said to these women.

I’ll leave out the part where I start out by saying, “Well, actually I have really incredible parents…” and the whole room bursts out laughing at the fact that I just inadvertently and accidentally basically just told this mother that the reason her kids don’t believe in God anymore is because they don’t have great parents….


Yeah. Bone head move. Not my intention.

But I said,

“You know, I’ve actually had a lot of pretty life altering things happen to me in my short time around the sun so far.”

Looking around the room, I saw the faces of many of the “church ladies” who back during my anorexia, would give such judgmental looks and would offer their prayers in a way that felt more like a cast of judgment than sincerity. But I digress.

“As many of you probably remember, I battled a severe case of anorexia when I was in high school. Followed by an 11 month stint of bed rest from my Ulcerative Colitis back in 2012, I’ve had some pretty humbling and horrific things to deal with. And I learned from a very early age, that I can’t do this on my own. When you are at rock bottom, you learn very quickly that God is all you have and there’s no other option – you have to depend on Him. Fully. Why is God in my life? Because I wouldn’t be able to survive without Him.”

There were no further questions after that.


I’m not some scholar on millennial church attendance. Nor am I some God-send Jesus whisperer to the masses. Heck no. All I have is my experience.

And what I’ve learned is that in order for God to have a real presence in your life, He has to change you. And for me, I had to go through some pretty deep shit in order to for that to happen. In order to abandon the pride and the vanity that was beginning to control my life, even in high school.

God is in my life because He’s saved it, not once, but twice. And I don’t have to be a brainiac to understand the importance of having Him by my side.

ulcerative colitis flare ’12

At the end of the day, everyone is on their own journey. No parent is going to be able to make the decision for their kid, or vice versa.

I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I have this blog. To be in contact with such incredible people who all generously share their journeys so that I can learn and listen and grow. Because if truth be told, my faith still needs a lot a work.

So maybe this is me sitting across the table at a small group meeting asking you that question?

How do you keep God in your life? 

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363 thoughts on “In The Hot Seat

  1. Honey if I did not have God in my life I would not be here. I know no other way. Nature is my church. And my camera is a means of capturing God in my images. My heart is God’s. I too have gone through several health crises in which I learned not to lean on man but only God. I still do today. 💖

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi AmyRose, thanks so much for this thoughtful response. I love finding God in nature too. There’s something about seeing the beautiful sunsets or hearing the birds or seeing the flowers that makes me feel really close to God. I’m so glad you’re doing well and that you know that love personally 🙂 big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I want you to know how highly I think of you and and that if I had more time I would read more of what you write. I think you are a phenomenal person and writer. My life is so packed I don’t know how I do what I do as it is. It is such a Gift for me when I can get here. Bless you! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg, I just love reading your journey. You are such a gift to this world, to your mom, to everyone whom you get to meet. Flares are no fun; I have several autoimmune disorders myself. That you never despaired or turned your back on God is amazing. This will help your mom plow through her residuals more than anything else. I’m so glad I just saw you post that you had this, over on IG. ❤ Lori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lori. What a kind note of encouragement. It really means a lot. I’m sorry you can personally relate to the AI issues. Hang in there. i’ll definitely keep you in my prayers! And amen to that — God is good! Thanks for stopping by, Lori! hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow you are one amazing lady. In this one post I learned you are a loving daughter, great blogger, tougher than nails, funny as all get out, and can swear like a sailer (A necessary skill in my book)

    We don’t share beliefs in the all mighty, but I will never try to talk you out of yours. Great answer to the ladies, and I believe your parents did an excellent job. And, I firmly believe that if we don’t say something to embarrass ourselves at least occasionally, we are just not having enough fun!

    Clicking the follow button!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That feels like so much more of a difficult question than people realize. I feel like answering, “I didn’t keep myself faithful to God. He kept Himself in my life. He was faithful to me.” But I wonder if your answer is part of it: God needs to break us before we’ll rely on Him…. or maybe allow us to break. Idk. I guess I feel like the question doesn’t have any good answer. Why did the Jews constantly disobey God in the OT? Wasn’t He the greatest parent ever? Why did Adam and Eve eat the fruit? All you can do is be as faithful as you can be as a parent or friend, and leave the rest to God. I would be heartbroken – truly heartbroken – if my kids grew up and left the faith. But that darn free will….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You know, I think there’s a lot of truth in that…I do think that God needs to break us…I don’t think it’s in a malicious way, but He does want to be wanted and needed. I don’t pretend to know or understand the mysterious ways of the Father, but I do know that what you wrote made a lot of sense. Thanks again for stopping by! big hugs xox


  5. I love reading your blogs. In my opinion you are a special kind of girl. I guess that’s the way God makes all his girls if they will let him. Thanks, dear, for your openness relating to your troubles and your victories. Me – the red had lady! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I almost laughed out loud there. Before I got to the part where you write about having great parents, I already thought of that. It took me a little bit to realize that it means the other parents aren’t great. Hahaha! As much as I feel [and act] young, I’m one of those [older] parents who wonder why kids these days don’t believe in God or do not practice the faith. As some point, I also stopped “being” a Catholic. Experimenting, I guess. I think “great” isn’t the accurate word to use but it has definitely something to do with parents – it’s determination, consistency and strictness (?). My kids are not like I was when I was in my early 20’s. I am not like how my mother was. I’m too lenient and “cool”. So yeah, coupled with how the world is, poor kids are worse off…. sadly. I made that mistake with my almost-21-year old son. Hubby and I am going to make sure our toddler goes to Sunday school/Catechism as soon as she can as we both did. I just hope we’re not too late as we didn’t start with prayers while she was small. The other day, she asked me what it means to pray. I was appalled. Parents’ fault. 🙂
    Don’t get too old too quickly. Learn from the older ladies but don’t forget you’re young and must have fun while being a good child of God.
    Much love to you and your mom. Prayers and hugs, my dear friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Anne. You’re right, I have a lot to learn from these older ladies, and I feel really blessed to be able to be in the position to do so. Thanks for your continued prayers and for reading my posts this afternoon! It sounds like you and your husband are amazing parents and your kids are lucky to have you both as their mom and dad 🙂 hugs to you xox

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Great thing about life is we can keep working on getting good or better at whatever we need to do. 😉 And I’m sure you’re building some love, patience and understanding muscles ☺ Always my pleasure to read your posts. You express yourself well and I love how you write and communicate your message. Take care. God bless always. 💖🤗


  7. We love because He first loved us. I don’t think we keep God in our lives, I think He is faithful to remain in them. I guess it’s kind of like a cycle. God shows us His love, we are drawn to Him by that love and as we grow closer to Him, we understand His love more and so it continues… It’s an amazing thing to think that the Creator of the universe bent down to save me. It is a love that I will forever be trying to wrap my head around.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful reflection Sharae. That’s a really great point. So true – I am humbled and filled with gratitude when I remember He died to save me. Thanks for that powerful reminder. Hugs and love xox


  8. Unselfish giving Caralyn, it’s good to see you sharing stories with the ladies…… that young people do go to church, that given enough encouragement and support young people can come back and make a real difference, just like you Caralyn. I encourage you to keep going and keep praying for miracles.<3

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “At the end of the day, everyone is on their own journey.” Yes indeed – if you set yourself on fire, they will surely come to watch you burn…cept…being on fire for God…does not melt the flesh, but it melts hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

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