It was and still is a great way to make usually idle drive time into something a little more productive than listening to bubble gum music or the pontifications of opinionated radio hosts and gave me a deeper understanding of what my faith was all about after an almost 30 year hiatus.
One of my favorite speakers, and I'll admit I have many, maybe as many as I have favorite songs my teenage daughter would argue, was a former Baptist pastor turned Catholic apologist and author named Ken Hensley (No not the rock-n-roll legend!).
Using humor and anecdotes, Hensley talked about his conversion, family and fatherhood (not to mention, a great three-part series on Atheism, which I particularly like) and, during his talks, he often spoke about his kids, including a then teenage daughter named Blythe, who was very involved in her Protestant church youth group. Blythe had a tough time adapting to her family's conversion at first, which, as often happens with converts, cost them his career, family and friends.
Immediately the name, Blythe, caught my attention because of the CD's I had listened to and, wanting to know more about her, I watched a video on You Tube, and discovered she was the daughter of a former Baptist minister, who had converted to Catholicism. (No way!)
It turns out Blythe is Ken Henley's daughter, who eventually entered the Church, along with her husband Kirby, whom she met in the same youth group. (Yes, way!)
The young mom is now all grown up (31) and passionate about her Catholic faith. She says doubts in the divisions among Christian denominations is what led her and her husband to start searching and reading, which ultimately led them into the Catholic Church.
In the video, she says, "To us it didn't seem to speak of the nature of God that is One and unified. I think there's over forty thousand denominations since the Protestant Reformation... So, we just went back. We started going back through history and what we found is Catholicism and so we made that leap."
When asked about having so many children at so young an age and if she was going to stop at five, Blythe answered, "Part of the fundamental teaching of the Church is that God is Love. And, that love is generous and it sacrifices. And, so, as practicing Catholics, we believe that our love and our marriage should mimic that generosity and that sacrifice. So, we're open to what God wants to do. We're trusting Him that it will all work out. And, so far it has. So, I don't feel afraid what the future holds for us. Life is certainly crazy and it's loud but it's so good and it's really nourished our marriage in a very intense and powerful way and I would never trade that sort of bonding intense love."
She and her kids were featured in a fun and lighthearted episode of Soul Pancake's "Have a Little Faith" series, where she talks about her conversion, NFP (aka Natural Family Planning), homeschooling and her homeschool community, Confession and who God is. Check it out: