Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can learn about Parenting Today's Vocation Stories

     Yes, God!  At long last there’s another book to add to your shelf by award-winning author, Catholic wife and homeschooling mother of seven, Susie Lloyd.  I was feeling a bit deprived after quickly devouring and being very amused by her two humor books: Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water and Forgive Me, Father, For I Have Kids.  Now the wait is over, and the fans rejoiced with a hardy “yes, God!”
     My husband and I met Susie Lloyd back in August 2009 at the Catholic Marketing Network Tradeshow.  She and one of her daughters were at a booth with books.  I could tell from our brief exchange with Susie that she has a great sense of humor.  We ended up buying both of her books after flipping through them, reading a bit and checking out the amusing cartoon drawings included.  
     Our train-ride back home was significantly more enjoyable than the one up, because I shared stories from the first book with Kevin, so we were both laughing much of the way.      
     I was excited to read on Facebook that Susie was coming out with another book, knowing that whatever it was about, I’d want to read it.  Interestingly enough, the topic is one with which Kevin and I have become even more familiar in recent years as two of our best friends/siblings in Christ have taken the next step in discerning religious vocations: one to the priesthood and the other to become a cloistered nun. 
     Yes, God!  What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories takes a look at the families of ten different men and women who have discerned a call to the religious life.  Each chapter focuses on one aspect of saying yes to God that was particularly important in that individual’s family through some in-depth interviews and conversations.  
    The people chosen for this book are those who have learned to say yes to: duty, affection, strength, spiritual poverty, inheritance, the Greatest Commandment, generosity, humility, and patience.  They learned how to carry out these important aspects of their vocations from their families.  Susie explains how each way of saying yes to God has played out in these people’s lives as well as in her own life, faith, and family using her characteristic sense of humor and parenting wisdom, some of which was learned the hard way. 
     Is there an ideal method and/or model for preparing your children for religious vocations?  Not really.  The men and women in this book have come from a variety of circumstances, socioeconomic backgrounds, and even levels of involvement in the Catholic faith.  The common string among these stories is that each person, when it came right down to it answered yes when God called them to a religious vocation. 
     The message is one of hope, that you don’t have to have or be perfect parents to encourage your kids to say yes to the Lord.  By living out Biblical values and being true to whom God made them to be, the families of these five priests and five nuns (two of whom are biological sisters) helped prepare them for a life-long service to the Lord and His people. 
     Whether you come from or are part of a family in which the Catechism was drilled into your brain at an early age and you prayed Hail Mary’s until the cows came home (or in one family, at least settled down) or if you tried to learn something of Catholicism’s draw by actually drinking some holy water or playing a trick on your blind teacher, you’ll get something from these stories that will help you say yes to God in your own life and help others encourage the same submissiveness to the Lord in theirs.

    For more information and/or to order your own download or hard copy of Yes, God! click here.  (If you know a father of young girls who has said he plans on bypassing any vocation issues by telling his two youngest that they can start dating when the oldest is married, after which he will make the oldest enter a convent then you should probably just go ahead and give him a copy of this book.) 
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