Thursday, May 2, 2013


Heads up kids, this is about religion. Kinda.  Maybe not really.  But it’s also about an experience I recently had. I’d love for you to sit back and read. Maybe you can relate. Maybe not. But I’d certainly enjoy some company in this little anecdote.

I would never consider myself a religious person. Sure, I’d go to church…as often (okay, maybe not) as I could.

But I never really listened. I never heard a message. I never had a relationship with God.

I’d go because I wanted to be able to say “I went to church”. I also wanted to keep my dad happy. He was so into church, so into God…and I wanted to make sure he was content with his daughter’s religious doings.

A few years ago, my father casually mentioned a word to me and gave me a 30 second commercial about it. The word was Cursillo. Much like many things my dad talked about when it related to church or religion, I listened for about a millisecond, came up with some sort of answer or excuse on why that just wasn’t for me and turned the conversation to the weather.

And then he wouldn’t bring it up again for a few months.

For years, this was a never-ending cycle with my father. Cursillo. “Jesse, I really think you’d like it”. “Sure, dad—but I’ve got so much going on with work, with my mom—it’s just not good timing”.

I still had no clue what Cursillo was. But I was totally against it.

I did this just now—never before did I even look up the definition of this word:
What is Cursillo?? The cursillo focuses on showing Christian lay people how to become effective Christian leaders over the course of a 3-day weekend. Definition: Short course of Christianity.

As you may know, my husband and I had some “troubles” last year. After a rocky moment or three, we talked, we figured everything out and are happier than we have ever been.

And in early 2013, dad asked us both about Cursillo.

“Ugh, dad”…I thought. “Not again”.

But Jesse had a different outlook. “Why don’t we go?” he said.

Hmmm….I actually never really thought of going. Ever. And now my husband—the pretty non-religious chap I married is suggesting it? Hmmmm…..

So we talked about it, figured out the logistics and if we could get away for a weekend and sat my dad and step-mother down and told them we were going to Cursillo.

And I couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces.

The decision to go was made in January. Cursillo was in April. We had plenty of time to research it, to figure out what this thing was, to come up with a reason to not go….

But the time came. We filled out our applications. We wrote a check.

We were going.

We understood that my dad and step-mom would be our “sponsors”. We had no clue what that meant, other than that my dad would be driving us to the place they would hold Cursillo (a camp in Waupaca, WI) on Thursday afternoon and pick us up on Sunday afternoon.

Besides a “packing list” for the weekend, we received nothing about Cursillo. No agenda. No list of who would be there. We were blind going into it.

So, Thursday afternoon rolled around. Jesse and I packed our bags and within hours we were chauffeured (via mini-van) to Spencer Lake Christian Camp with my father, 2 hours away from home.

He dropped us off and we walked through double doors headed into the unknown.

The very unknown.

I am not going to go through the details on what we actually did at Cursillo. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it….I do. But I can’t do it justice. There’s only so much that can go into words on a computer screen. I can’t relay what I felt. I can’t relay what I experienced. Not on paper, not in person.

There were some down times. I will admit that. There were times I wanted to leave. Jesse too.

But we stuck through it.

And on Saturday, I had a life change. Jesse will tell you he did too.

I can’t describe it. I can’t explain it. Just know that as I type this and think about it, I get tears in my eyes. Good tears.

Today as I type this, it’s the Thursday after Cursillo.

And I feel amazing.

My life is just as it was before this past weekend. I still sell vision insurance, I still love pasta and wine, my feet still hurt in certain shoes and I still need to go on a diet.

But I’m different.

I’m different because of Cursillo. I’m different because Christ knocked on the door to my heart and I let him in.  

I see things differently. I think about things differently.

I am better. And very, very happy.


  1. I LOVE this post.. I am so happy for you and your Jesse... I have never heard of Cursillo, but it sounds amazing!!

  2. I love this post too. I'm so happy for you both. Marriage is so hard, and wonderful, but hard! We've been in a bumpy patch for the past two months, after a couple years pretty smooth sailing. We'll get the kinks worked out, again, but the bumps are frustrating at times! :) I'm so glad you feel like you have you feet back on the ground again and thankful for your renewed faith! Good luck on your race!

  3. I would love to hear more about it.

  4. Jesse, I love these words you typed:

    I’m different because of Cursillo. I’m different because Christ knocked on the door to my heart and I let him in.

    I am so happy for you and your family. Your post brought tears to my eyes. When I completed Apha, I was hoping to get God back into my life, but I found out he never left it, I just had to open my heart to feel him. So powerful. Marilynn

  5. Long time lurker and fellow surrogate here. I just wanted to tell you congrats and it sounds like it was awesome!