Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Five Favorites: Summer Activities with Kids at Lake Tahoe

Revolution of Love - Favorite summer activities with kids at Lake Tahoe (tahoe_logo)

Growing up, I always pictured Lake Tahoe as a winter destination. Being a native Californian, I had no desire to spend any length of time in Tahoe’s snow. However, after Brian and I got married his parents bought a time share at Lake Tahoe and invited us to join them for a summer trip.

Revolution of Love - Enjoying Lake Tahoe with kids (fam_tahoe_2002W)We were newly married and Bella had just turned a year old and we  had a lot of fun! My in-laws can no longer make the trips so they passed on the time share to Brian.

Revolution of Love - tahoe_driveThirteen  years and four kids later, it has become a much anticipated yearly trip, minus the couple of years we were busy giving birth to babies and such. Since we aren’t winter sports people, we have found activities to do with the kids during the summer months. Here are our five favorite things to do at Lake Tahoe with kids.

 

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Taylor Creek Visitor Center

© Revolution of Love Blog - Lake Tahoe 69x2We first found the Taylor Creek Visitor Center when we were looking for an easy trail where grandparents, toddlers and strollers were welcome. Since then, it has been an annual excursion. It is located in South Lake Tahoe off Hwy 89. They have a visitor center and four trails but we always go on the Rainbow Trail.

revolution of love - tahoe_walkThe kids enjoy reading the signs and seeing the different areas…

Revolution of Love - Lake Tahoe ff_tahoe_2Such as meadows and marshes.

© Revolution of Love Blog - Taylor Creek (tahoe_creek)Some years the water was flowing.

revolution of love - tahoe_walk3The stream had a lot less water this year but it was still pretty.

revolution of love - tahoe_walk2Mount Tallac

Revolution of Love - Lake Tahoe (tahoe_taylor_2)At the half way point of the trail, there is the Stream Profile Center, a small museum like room where glass walls give you a look at the creek below the surface.

Revolution of Love - Taylor Creek, Tahoe (tahoe_taylor_1)In summer the trout are juvenile but in the fall you can see the salmon run.

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Tallac Historic Site and Kiva Picnic Area

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After we finish walking the Rainbow Trail, we drive to the next door Tallac Historic Site and Kiva Picnic area. We enjoy our picnic lunch at the picnic area.

revolution of love - tahoe_conesWe haven’t gone on the official tour but we enjoy the scenery…

© Revolution of Love Blog - South Lake Tahoe, bw_tree_3…and walking the trail.

© revolution of love.com - Lake Tahoe with Kids (tahoe_water_3W)There is also access to Lake Tahoe, if you prefer to picnic and swim there.

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Magic Carpet Mini-Golf

We don’t have any traditional mini-golf courses here in Monterey so when the kids saw Magic Carpet Golf in Lake Tahoe, they were eager to go there.

Revolution of Love - tahoe_golf_2WThere are three courses.

Revolution of Love (tahoe_golf_3W)Last year we tried the Dinosaur one, which the boys loved!

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_golf_1EWThis year we tried the Storybook course and it was fun.

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_golf_1WNext year we will try the Castle course.

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Tahoe Paradise Park

Last year we were looking for a park that had a playground for the kids to play and we found Tahoe Paradise Park.

revolution of love - tahoe_park_swingIt is tucked away in a residential area and feels secluded, which is nice since it’s never been overcrowded.

revolution of love - tahoe_ajm_jpn_15aAt first I wondered if it was in a “safe” area but there were a number of other moms and dads with little kids there so we were put at ease.

revolution of love - tahoe_park1WOnce you go through the gates, if you pass the lake and tennis courts and head to the back parking lot to the right, you will find the playground, picnic areas and fields.

revolution of love - tahoe_park2WThis year we packed a lunch and grilled BBQ sliders.

tahoe_park_1WThis was the view from the picnic tables. The only negative thing was that there was only a port-a-potty. Needless to say, we held it until we got home. ;-) © revolution of love.com - tahoe_park4WIf you go beyond the trees you will find the banks of the Upper Truckee River. The kids weren’t interested in going through the brush to find it but I was able to get this shot. Again, the water was lower this year but still pretty.

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Pope Beach

Saving the best for last, our favorite Tahoe activity is, of course, playing in the gorgeous blue water of Lake Tahoe!revolution of love - tahoe_beach_2There are numerous spots were you can gain access to the lake but our hands down favorite is Pope Beach off of Hwy 89 in South Lake Tahoe. Most years, it has not been very crowded, although this year it was really busy with the heat wave, but not to the point where it lessened out fun.

revolution of love.com - tahoe_beach_1We usually get there early and find a picnic area with a grill so we can make hotdogs and smores.

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_beach_6We set up our tables them park our beach chairs farther down, closer to the water. There the kids can splash or build sand castles with Brian.

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_beach_5Unlike the ocean, that freaks me out with it’s strong waves and drop offs, the shore of the lake is shallow and calm.

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_beach_3The kids loved it, except for my one sand-phobic boy (cough…JP) who takes after his dad. ;-)

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_sunset_6We had so many fond memories at Lake Tahoe and it is fun to look at the photos and watch our family grow over the years. Recently we started inviting my parents to join us so the kids still have a set of grandparents (and sometimes an aunt and uncle) join us. I look forward to many more years to enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe as a family. :-)

Where do you like to vacation during summer?

A big thanks to Jenna for hosting Five Favorites. :-)

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads Letterboxd, Spotify or Instagram. ;-)
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Online Daybook: Lake Tahoe 2015 Edition

Revolution of Love - logo_daybook_4

I have a little free time to post today because I am on vacation at beautiful Lake Tahoe. We’ve had a full day and now we are back a the hotel relaxing and trying to cool down. (We are used to temps in the 60’s, not 90’s.)

 

© revolution of love.com - tahoe_park1W

Grateful…

  • For a safe trip to Lake Tahoe.
  • That my mom and dad could join us for the trip.
  • That I spent Father’s Day with two of my fave dads – Brian and my own daddy.
  • For vacations in general. I need this recharge!

Praying for…

  • The tired, the weary and the overworked.
  • For the safety of all travelers.
  • For those suffering from hatred and injustice.
  • Some special intentions.

Pondering…

revolution of love - od_bv_6_24I’m pondering just how much I love this man. There’s nothing like a vacation to slow you down and help you to realize what matters most in life. This morning I woke up and stumbled out of bed looking like I’ve been living out in the wild for weeks, yet Brian treats me like I’m the prettiest woman in the world. That’s just crazy. Love has a way of seeing beyond the exterior and allows you to see the beauty that others don’t always see. I’m blessed, so blessed to be the love if this man’s life. I don’t know a better man or better best friend. Happy (late) Father’s Day to my sweetheart and my own Daddy that I am blessed to be with this week! :-)

 

revolution of love.com - tahoe_logo_vacation

Around the Hotel…

My home this week is a hotel suite and I’ve been trying to keep it orderly.

tahoe_hotel_1My mom walked into the room and said, this can’t be the Rol family’s room. All the jackets are hung up and the shoes are lined up neatly. I know, right! (Just don’t don’t go in the bathroom. You could then tell who was living here.) ;-)

 

Family Chit Chat…tahoe_driveRoad Trip: Lake Tahoe

I have to stop posting to make dinner so Bella said she would fill you in on the family chit chat. Take it away Bella…

Hello! Right now the Rol family is at Lake Tahoe, along with our Grandma and Grandpa. One day we went on a nice walk and had a picnic. My mom took some nice pictures from our walk, so you will probably see them sometime soon.  (Bobbi’s note: I added some in.) :-)

revolution of love - tahoe_walk2

revolution of love - tahoe_walk3

revolution of love - tahoe_walk

It’s actually going to be pretty hot this week. The highest is 90 degrees! Hopefully we will be able to get some ice cream this week. :-)

revolution of love - tahoe_sunAnother day we went to a park in the forest. My brothers played on the playground then my mom and I went searching for a little stream behind the trees. Afterwards my Grandma and Grandpa made BBQ sliders. It was delicious.

revolution of love - tahoe_park_swing

 

revolution of love - tahoe_ajm_jpn_15a

revolution of love - tahoe_lake_4I’m having a really great time!

revolution of love - tahoe_conesMy brothers enjoyed kicking the HUGE pine cones that were around on one of the trails.

revolution of love.com - brm_ajm_opa_09jpgBella and Andrew with Opa in 2009

The pine cones reminded me of my Opa because whenever I came over to his house when I was little we always had a pine cone throwing contest to see who could throw the pine cone the farthest. Right now we are resting in our hotel room.

Maybe I should tell you a little bit about myself. Here are a few of my favorite things. Colors –  blue and pink. Book series – Divergent, Hunger Games and Dork Diaries. Social Media Apps – Instagram and Twitter. Movie – Divergent. Musicals – Aladdin on Broadway, Newsies, Sound of Music, and Wicked. Seasons – Fall (only because its my birthday) and Winter. These are just a few of my favorite things, but I would probably take up a whole page typing everything! I hope you enjoyed my post. Hopefully my Mom will let me have a blog someday! May God bless you! (Bobbi’s note: Bella just did a happy dance when I told her I would help her set up her own blog. Like mother, like daughter.)  ;-)

 

revolution of love.com - tahoe_logo_kitchen

In the Kitchen…

Thankfully our hotel has a good sized kitchen so we’ve been able to cook our meals. However, the fridge is getting full so it’s leftovers night – chicken, spaghetti and meatballs or sliders with a green salad and chocolate chip cookies and mint ice cream for dessert. Yum!

 

revolution of love.com - tahoe_logo_sights

 Watching…

tv_gilmore_girls

(On Netflix) Brian and I are still watching Daredevil. We love it except for the violence. I don’t mind seeing a zombie on the The Walking Dead get slaughtered since it is not human but I don’t want to see the portrayal of a person getting literally slaughtered. I am very visual so I turn away from the more violent scenes. It doesn’t gross me out or anything, I just don’t want it to desensitize me.

Did I also mention that I am binge watching Gilmore Girls. How have I never seen this before?? Actually I think it first came on when Brian and I were nearly married and didn’t have cable yet. Well, I’ve made up for lost time and have gone through the first six seasons. Now I am trying to slow down and savor the last season. I love binge watching until I get to the end of my show! Grr.

(At the Movies)

Last week I saw San Andreas, which forced me to face the a Californian’s worse nightmare. To be honest with you even more than the earthquake, I am more scared of the tsunamis that follow, especially since I live in a tsunami zone. Anyway, I was really reluctant to go see it because I usually dislike the cliched disaster movies that are so over the top and predicable, it hurts to watch. (I’m looking at you 2012.) However, a number of people told me it was worth watching (including my mom) so I gave it a try. They were right. It is not Academy Award material, but as a summer popcorn flick, it is perfect. There is plenty of action but it is not completely overblown. There is just enough chessiness in the disaster related dialogue to make it a guilty pleasure but there is also a heart warming family story that digs deeper that most action flicks. My only complaint was the way they made one of the characters do a 180 in personality. He started out fine and then out of the blue, he is an idiot. (I was thinking a different word but I’ll keep it clean.)  Perhaps it was supposed to show how pressure situations bring out the real character of a person. Secondly, I wished they had ended the show with the main character getting back to work and saving people other than his immediate family but there are enough positive moments so even those points can be overlooked. (Parent note: Lots of peril and people being killed, although nothing graphic. Some language.)

Next on the movie list, Brian and I have a date night on Friday to watch Jurassic Park. I hope it is as good as everyone has been telling me! :-)

Listening to …

I have been listening to Florence + The Machine’s new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

 

Reading…

book_mr_knightly

I finished reading Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel. I am trying to figure out what I feel about it. At first it was a little weird since it was written as a series of letters from an young adult (dealing with a difficult past)addressed to the benefactor that is paying for her schooling and giving her a chance at a better life. The main character, Samantha, avoids the harsh reality of her life by escaping into books. Her conversation is filled with quotes from beloved novels by authors such as Austen and Bronte. At times the habit is endearing but eventually you want to see her speak her own mind and not just imitate the words of another. As she grows and matures, she learns how to do this. As I continued to read, the story became more interesting and I couldn’t put it down. However, the ending left a bad taste in my mouth. At a pivotal moment, Samantha reverted back to her quoting persona and then we are expected to forgive a main character for a terrible decision he made. Part of me was willing to forgive and the other part of me was thinking – hell to the no. However, 99% of the time I root for a happy ending… I just wish it was obtained in a different manner. That being said, I still enjoyed it and will be looking at other titles by this author. I rate the book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

 The next book on my list…

Death Comes to Pemberley

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 You still have until the end of the month to join the RoL Pinterest Party & Link-up. The link-up is open for new or old posts. :-)

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Here are some Instagrams I’ve taken these past two weeks.

revolution of love - cwa_collage_6_24_151. #projectblessed – Sunset. It’s almost sunset at Lake Tahoe.

2. #projectblessed – Starts with M. Me & Matthew, 3 monkeys in bed and Mount Tallac near Lake Tahoe. #laketahoesummertrip2015

3. The morning was filled with chaos and stress and an airplane seat would be spacious compared to all the suitcases surrounding us in the van but the egg and bacon burritos are ready to kick off our #laketahoesummertrip2015

4. I’m in love with this package from @bigwhitefarmhouse and I haven’t even opened it up yet!

5.#projectblessed – Doodle. I’m sorting through the kids paper doodles and artwork. This one is in the keep pile.

6. #projectblessed – Home. Be it ever so messy (and weird) there’s no place like home. #angrybirdstarwarslegos

7. Time for Sacred Heart sundaes.

8. #projectblessed – Begins with F. The sick bug has caught up with me and I finally have a chance to sit and rest. Today’s photo prompt immediately reminded me of Sense & Sensibility and Mrs Jennings trying to figure out who is the famous Mr F.

9. #projectblessed – Shadows & Cross.

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Will you be doing any traveling? Do share.

Have a great weekend!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads Letterboxd, Spotify or Instagram. ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.

 


A New Creation: An Interview with Chastity Speaker Crystalina Padilla-Evert

(This post was originally posted on the old Revolution of Love website. The interview was done in 2003 but over a decade later it still gets numerous hits and yesterday I got a request to put it back online. This one is for you V. )  ;-)

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Revolution of Love - An Interview with Crystalina Evertl (logo_crystalina)

When I found out that Crystalina Padilla was engaged (update: now married with children) to Jason Evert, I was curious to find out more about her since I knew she had to be someone special to capture his heart. Now I can see that she is the perfect match for him…a beautiful young lady inside and out. Although she had made mistakes in her past, Crystalina is a living witness of the power of God’s mercy and love. As a chastity speaker she is inspiring numerous girls and young women to strive to be the true women of God they are called to be. I hope her interview touches your heart as it touched mine. -Bobbi

RoL: Hi, Crystalina. I’m so happy to have this opportunity to get to know you a little better. Why don’t you start off by giving us a little background about your life. Were you always a practicing Catholic or was there a definitive point in your life when you made a change of direction?

Crystalina: I was a cradle Catholic. I’ve been a Catholic all my life but I didn’t always follow the ways of Catholicism. When I was about fifteen I was pretty wild just doing my own thing and I became very sexually active. I lost my virginity and from that point on – and it lasted for about three years – I was in and out of sexually active relationships. It just all went downhill from that point on. At the end of those three years I went to a retreat my mother had forced me to go to and there was a young man there, who was not too far from my age, who got up and just laid it out for me. He talked about all of the girls, all of the pornography, all the sex, all of the partying…everything he had been into. I felt like he had grabbed my hand out of the audience and he walked through my life. As if he could see the things that I was most ashamed of and hiding. He put them right in front of my face.

I thought to myself, what is the difference between this guy and me? What’s the difference there? I just watched him for awhile. He had this peace and this joy and this confidence that he carried about himself. I didn’t see that in my friends. I didn’t see that in the places I went to and I definitely didn’t see that in the guys I was dating. I noticed one thing in this guy that I couldn’t find in anyone else, something that he had above all of them. It was that he wasn’t ashamed of himself. I sat in my seat at that retreat trying to find one day that I actually hadn’t been ashamed of myself, but I couldn’t find one. So I think from that point on I really just turned my life around.

I devoted my life to chastity and purity and I think I just got this overwhelming rage, in a sense. As the years went on, I was really preaching this message of chastity and trying to help all of the young girls that were living that lifestyle I was once living. I was trying to get them out of it and tell them, “Look it’s okay…you can turn your life around. You can stop living this way.” I think half the time these girls that are living this lifestyle just need to hear that…”You can stop living this way and you can turn your life around. It is never too late.” They are never really hearing that.

RoL: What do you do to maintain and deepen your own relationship with Christ?

Crystalina: Well, every day Jason and I do an hour of Adoration, the rosary, Mass, confession every two weeks and honestly just trying to always maintain and keep Christ at the center of my life…the center of everything I do. That is really my strength in that it keeps me pure and keeps me living this lifestyle out. I think I tried so many things to stop living that horrible lifestyle I was in and nothing seemed to work. But the minute I did it with God, that was when my 180 happened. Honestly, I tell people if they really want to live this lifestyle out, they’ve got to do it with God or they’re just not going to do it at all. They are fooling themselves and they are going to fall on their faces just like I did. So if they really want to live it out, they’ve got to do it with God.

RoL: I read that you were involved with a program called “Challenge”. What it is and how did you get involved?

Crystalina: The Challenge Task Force on Chastity that I attended was a conference they were having in the Bahamas, where I met Jason. It was for young people who wanted to live out chastity and preach it in their own archdiocese around their homes and start a ministry or learn to become speakers. I think it was my starting point of really getting involved with chastity. I was doing some work at home but I think I more or less got really involved with it when I went to the Bahamas and met Jason.

RoL: There are a number of Catholics who have fallen into the trap of thinking that they can be sexually active in areas other then actual intercourse and still consider themselves virgins or at least “not as bad” as those who go “all the way”. How would you respond to someone who thinks this way?

Crystalina: Well, I actually met a lot of girls who think this way and live this lifestyle out but when it comes down to chastity and purity you’ve got to either pick “yea” or “nay”. It’s one or the other. You can’t always try to push the envelope because eventually you just go to far. I was always pushing the envelope and sin took me further than I ever wanted to go or ever expected to go. When those that live this way do approach me, I try to point out how they are lying to themselves and how much they are hurting themselves. Purity is a way of life. It is a way of thinking. It is how you act, how you dress, what music you listen to, and the way you carry yourself around the opposite sex. If you think you can push the envelope and that you’re still being pure, it’s a joke. Either you pick the lifestyle of chastity and embrace it or you just don’t. It’s that simple. There’s no in-between.

RoL: What would you say to a person reading this interview who has already been sexually active but wants to make a clean break and start living a chaste life. What would they need to do?

Crystalina: The first and foremost…the starting point is confession. If you’re Catholic, go to confession. Make a very good confession. I avoided confession like it was the plague. I wouldn’t even do a confession; I would lie in there. It was just terrible. When I really turned my life around I sat down and made a list of all my sins because I knew once I got in line or was there in front of the priest, I’d be freaking out and I wouldn’t want to go through with it. But the fact that I had this list really showed me how bad I was living this lifestyle and how much I didn’t want to go back to it. Then when I was in there I wouldn’t get nervous and forget these things. So I took this list in there, which came to five pages front and back. But it was so beautiful the peace and the joy I had leaving that confessional. I hadn’t experienced that in years and it was just awesome. It was only through the grace and power of God that I became who I am today. So the starting point is confession.

Another thing, every morning say a simple Hail Mary or even a rosary every single day. And if you are in a sexually active relationship, take the sex out and see what your relationship is based upon. If there is no sex then you can really step back and say, “Okay, is this love or is this lust? Do they love me? Are they using me? What’s truly going on?” It really gives you that clarity of mind to see what your relationship is about and what it’s truly based upon. And from that point on, keep the sexual element out of the relationship. Know that sex is something that is meant for marriage and the gifts of marriage are to stay in marriage. You will be rewarded for that. You can’t get the peace and joy that comes with chastity in random sexual relationships. It just doesn’t happen. Chastity is so freeing. So go to confession as a starting point, say a Hail Mary every morning or even a rosary, spend time in Adoration and keep the physical out of the relationships. And know that it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done or if you have fallen, you can start over. God can make you a new creation like He has me.

RoL: Working with so many young women, what would you say is the main thing they wish guys would understand about girls and relationships?

Crystalina: Well, I think girls are always saying, “respect”. Why don’t guys respect us? Respect, respect, respect. Girls just want so much respect from these guys and for them to really understand their feelings. But the thing is… when I was younger I wasn’t acting much like a lady so the guys didn’t feel the need to rise up and act like a gentleman around me. The problem with girls these days is that they don’t act like ladies, therefore they are not getting the gentlemen they would like to have around them. Girls need to rise up if they want to get that respect. The way you act and the way you dress is the way you will be treated. Honestly, there is so little respect for a woman these days… for her body and for what she does. It’s very hard but I think the way a woman carries herself demands respect, to an extent. So she needs to really check herself… how she dresses and how she acts. Yes, women have the power to turn a guy’s head but we also have the power to turn a guy’s heart. I think it is mainly up to us how a guy treats us by how we dress and act. So yes, I always here that girls want respect from guys but the girls have to learn to earn it in the same sense too.

jason-crystalinaCrystalina and Jason (Photo Credit)

RoL: Lastly, I want to congratulate you on your engagement with Jason. I’m so happy for you both!

Crystalina: Thank you very much.

RoL: Tell me, what did you think of Jason when you first met him? How did you know he was the one for you?

Crystalina: When I first met Jason I knew that I was going to marry him. When he walked in that door it was the strangest thing. My stomach just dropped and I knew there was going to be something so far and beyond that day and that trip. It has been beautiful because we’ve been friends for a year and then we courted for a year and now we have a nine-month engagement and on June 7th we’re going to be married. It was just amazing that we both had the same passion [for chastity] and we’re living it out and we’re going out to help all these teenage kids. It is so fulfilling…how God has worked through both of us to do this. Actually, living and having a relationship with purity it just awesome. I’ve been on both sides of the tracks and there is just no comparison to chastity and purity.

RoL: That’s beautiful. Any last comments?

Crystalina: One last comment is to those who have made past mistakes. If you’ve “been there and done that”, you can stop and you can turn your life around. You can become a new creation of God just like I did.

RoL: Thank you so much, Crystalina. It was wonderful to get to know you better. I know you and Jason will have a wonderful future together! Our prayers are with you both!

Crystalina: God bless you and thank you!

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For more information about Crystalina, visit The Chastity Project and Women Made New.com. Find Jason Evert’s interview here. For other posts about dating and the single life, browse here.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads Letterboxd, Spotify or Instagram. ;-)

 


Living As A Man of God: An Interview with Jason Evert

(This post was originally posted on the old Revolution of Love website. The interview was done in 2003 but over a decade later it still gets numerous hits every week. It’s new home is here.)

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Revolution of Love - An Interview with Jason Evert(logo_jason)

Back in late 1998, I had the great privilege of working at Catholic Answers in San Diego, CA. While there, I became acquainted with one of their apologist Jason Evert. Jason made an incredible impression on me – this (then) twenty-something guy was personable, funny, sweet and handsome, as well as devoutly Catholic and in love with his faith. He didn’t just preach it; he lived it! I haven’t talked to Jason since I left in ’99 to get married so it is an honor to interview him and his (equally sweet) wife Crystalina Padilla. I hope you enjoy getting to know Jason through this interview and if you ever have a chance to see him live, do so! You won’t regret it! -Bobbi

RoL: Hi, Jason. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us. Why don’t you start off by giving us a little background about your life. Were you always a practicing Catholic or was there a definitive point in your life when you made a change of direction?

Jason: I was raised Catholic. My family would always go to Sunday Mass and say grace before meals but that was pretty much the extent of our spirituality. I began to dig a little deeper probably my junior or senior year in high school when I went through Confirmation. I had a very solid priest and solid youth minister who were both very devoted to Our Lady, to the Pope, and to the Eucharist – those three, in my estimation, are pretty much a grand slam. Because of their spirituality I was greatly influenced to start looking more into why I was Catholic and why I was not some other faith. I started to ask some tough questions and found some answers. I began to fall in love with the faith. So it wasn’t an overnight “St. Paul conversion” experience. It was definitely something gradual that began with the faith and the fervor of this priest and youth minister.

RoL: How did you get involved with Catholic Answers? What’s your main role there?

Jason: I landed an internship with Catholic Answers after I finished my undergraduate work at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I flew to California and did that for about three months and they invited me to stay on board. I said I’d love to but I wanted to finish up my Masters. So I went back to school, did my Masters in about ten months and then came back to California. I have been employed by Catholic Answers for about four years now. My role is an apologist, which means any number of things, but basically it’s explaining and defending the faith. My main task in doing this is traveling around with my fiancé Crystalina to different high schools around the country speaking on chastity. I also write for Catholic Answers. A couple books I’ve done is Pure Love, a booklet on chastity and Answering Jehovah Witnesses, which is pretty self-explanatory. A new one coming out is called If You Really Love Me. After that will be Love, Sex, & Babies, which is a little book about NFP. So I write for Catholic Answers, do radio shows, and I speak on chastity.

RoL: With your work as an apologist, how important is it that a person knows their faith well? If someone wanted to learn more about their faith or be able to explain it to others better, where should they start?

Jason: I would say that it is imperative that a person knows their faith. St. Peter tells us in his first letter that we should be prepared to give an explanation, or even a defense, for the hope that is within us. So we need to have reasons for why we believe and not just blindly accept these doctrines that have been passed down from our parents and spoon-fed to us but to really know… why am I not Episcopalian, why am I not Buddhist. Fundamentally, there is only one reason to be Catholic and that’s because it is true. If it is not true then life is too short to be spent on believing pious little fairy tales but if it is true, then the whole world should kneel beside us. So it should be a lifelong endeavor to learn our faith and spread it. If you want to learn your faith a little better I’d say to start off with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Start reading that. Visit such web sites as Catholic.com or Jimmy Akin.com is another great site. Just start to study up about the questions you might have.

RoL: What do you do to maintain and deepen your relationship with Christ?

Jason: A couple of things… one of them would be morning prayer time, ten minutes in the morning just to be with Christ and talk with Him about the day and give the day to Him. Secondly, I make sure to go to Mass every day of the week. I try to get to the Sacrament of Reconciliation every two weeks and I try to do an hour of Eucharistic Adoration each day. I think those are really the pillars of faith, especially the rosary every day as well. I think if you have your life imbedded in the Sacraments and, as the Pope says, have an intensely Eucharistic life and are devoted to Our Lady then you’ll always stay close to Our Lord.

RoL: As a chastity speaker I know that you work with a lot of teens and people may associate you more with relating to high schoolers. Yet I believe that your message is just as relevant, if not more so, to single Catholics trying to live a chaste life, whether you’re eighteen, twenty-five or thirty-five years old. Any thoughts on that?

Jason: I would say, certainly. The virtue of chastity is not simply for single people. It’s a virtue that must be practiced by the married and by religious because chastity is essentially the proper use of God’s plan for the gift of sex. Because chastity is a virtue, it applies to all of us no matter what age you are or what vocation you are. We are all called to make this total gift of ourselves.

RoL: When I first heard that statement I found it particularly interesting – the concept that chastity doesn’t mean to simply “not have sex”. You’ve said that it’s more than what you can or cannot do; rather, it is what you can do and can have.

Jason: Definitely. Abstinence basically means no sex. Chastity, as I explained is a virtue that frees us from the selfish attitude of using other people as objects thus making us capable of authentic human love. It is not a negation of our sexuality. It is not repressing our hormones. It’s basically taking love and overpowering the lust so that we can be truly free. If we can’t say ‘no’ to sex, then what is our ‘yes’ even worth?

RoL: An excellent point…but everything in our society – from TV, movies, magazines, etc – seems to tell us that a normal, single, young adult is sexually active. A handsome, intelligent guy in his 20’s or 30’s is almost never portrayed as an emotionally balanced virgin. Yet you are a living example of true manhood…are you blushing yet?

Jason: Yes!

RoL: What words would you share with other guys out there – for I think a male virgin is more ridiculed than a female one – who may feel uncertain or even embarrassed about being a virgin?

Jason: Chastity needs to be rehabilitated nowadays but the fortunate thing is that the tide is turning. The majority of high school students now are virgins. It’s no longer a four-letter word. In fact a lot of high school students are very proud of the fact that they’re virgins. It used to be that if you were having sex and you were sleeping around it was “wow, you’ re bad, you’re living on the edge.” Now it’s almost boring because it’s so common place. I think women, and even men, long for a better kind of love. We are saturated by sex, we’re not satisfied by much, and sometimes we don’t know what the problem is but virginity is not a curse. It is not a stigma. It’s a gift and we need to return to that sense of virginity being a gift of yourself. There is no greater gift that you could possibly give than that total gift of your body to another.

Baby photographyJason and wife Crystalina.

(Photo Credit)

RoL: I know a couple years back you were struggling with finding the right spouse and knowing where God was leading you. I was so excited to hear that you’re now engaged to Crystalina.

Jason: Thank you.

RoL: What was it that most attracted you to Crystalina and how did you know that she was the one God had chosen for you?

Jason: When I first saw her she offered me a piece of pizza so I knew she was a keeper because she’d feed me well. (Laughter.) Actually no, we met in the Bahamas at a chastity conference and we immediately hit it off. We both had a passion to spread the message of chastity and she really was pure. She was living a sacramental life. It wasn’t one of those relationships where you have to hope and pray that you could fix the other person and bring them into the faith and convert them and make a project out of them. It was one where God had really prepared us for each other. She, and I, had taken a break from dating for years before we met, just to sort of sit still and say, “Lord what is it that you have in mind for me?” We wanted to do His work unreservedly; instead of jumping from relationship to relationship. I think once we really did that, that is when He brought us to each other.

RoL: My sister went to a chastity talk you and Crystalina were giving awhile back and she was telling me some amazing Catholic love stories. Would you mind sharing some of them with us?

Jason: One is of a fourteen year old girl that I know of who fell out of bed in the middle of the night and freaked out and said, “Oh, I really need to pray for my future husband.” So she got on the floor and prayed for her future husband. Ten years later me the guy, fell in love, got married, and said to him, “Honey, I prayed for you one night.” He said, “Well thanks.” But she wanted to figure out when it was so she opened her diary and found the exact day and said, “Look there it is. That is the night I prayed for you.” He opened up his journal and flipped to the exact same day, because he had kept a record of his life back them as well. He was a veteran and had fought in the war. He said to her, “Honey, that was the night when the enemy troops came across our lines. They slaughtered almost every man in my platoon but they spared me. So thank you for your prayers.” That is a little love story about the power of prayer.

RoL: Do you have any last comments about your new book or do you want to give us your two cents about your favorite things in life?

Jason: My new book will be out in March. It’s called If You Really Love Me. It is the 100 top questions teens have on dating, relationships and sexual purity. And two cents on my favorite things in life… I love living down here in San Diego and surfing in my free time, whenever I do get that, and that’s about that. But my last comment would be – the peace and joy that comes form chastity is worth more than all of the pleasures of the world.

RoL: Thanks so much for your time. It’s great to hear from you again, Jason. Our prayers are with you and Crystalina and your work!

Jason: Thank you. God bless you and what you’re doing!

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To find out more about Jason Evert and his work visit The Chastity Project.

Jason’s other books include: Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves and How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul.

You can read Crystalina’s interview here. For other posts about dating and the single life, browse here.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads Letterboxd, Spotify or Instagram. ;-)

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Summer Goals 2015

Revolution of Love -  Summer goals to grow as a wife, mom and daughter of God.logo_summer_goals.

Last year, I started to get into the habit of making goals. Along the way, I purchased Lara Casey’s powersheets. I’ll be honest and tell you there were months I really took the effort to sit down and answer the questions on the worksheets and I narrowed down my goals. And then there were months when they just sat on my desk gathering dust. (I’m looking at you, holiday season.) Despite the off months, I found the sheets really useful in learning more about myself, what I wanted in life and how I could make my goals a reality.© Revolution of Love.com - goal_summer_15_a3

The powersheets run for the course of six months. I am happy with the progress I’ve made but there are still many areas I want to work on more. I ordered the 2015 Powersheets so I could continue my progress over another six months. It was interesting to look back when I started and compare my answers then to my answers now. My main goals did not change but I learned what worked and what needed tweaking. It was encouraging to see how I’ve grown as well see the areas I still need work. So here is a summary of my progress and my main and mini goals for the summer.

 

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I Am A Daughter of God

Main Goal #1: To always have God at the center of my life and to deepen my love for Him. I want his will to be my will and motivation.REVOLUTION OF LOVE - goal_summer_15_a

Progress Made…

I’ve done a better job at incorporating the liturgical year into our daily life. I have also gotten into the habit of monthly confession.

Summer Mini-Goals

I don’t know about you but whenever I am on vacation I always tend to let pray slip, as if that were on vacation too. Now that summer is here and my schedules has relaxed, there is no excuse not to fit formal prayer time into my day.

  • 15 minutes of prayer/ journaling in the morn.
  • Turn my mind to God through the day, even if only for a brief moment.
  • Memorize the “Come Holy Spirit” Prayer

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I Am A Wife

Main Goal #2: To be a loving and holy wife to Brian and to work at keeping our marriage strong. To do what can to hep him relax and feel like his home is a haven from the world.REVOLUTION OF LOVE -goal_summer_15_b

 

Progress Made…

I feel closer to Brian now than I have in our 15 years of marriage. I think the struggle with his cancer brought us closer together and made us realize how much we rely on each other. It has stretched us and brought out our strengths.

I’ve also learned to accept that despite my physical flaws, Brian loves me and thinks I am beautiful. That has allowed me to be open and vulnerable to him physically and emotionally, which has naturally brought us closer.

Summer Mini- Goals

Now that Bella is 13 (almost 14) I am able to leave her alone for an hour or so with the boys. This means that Brian and I can go out for a walk or grab a quick lunch even if our regular babysitter is unavailable.

  • Plan weekly at home date night  or an hour long outing on the weekend.
  • Once a month, plan a longer date with a babysitter.
  • Have the kids do a quick clean up before Brian comes home so the place doesn’t look like a war zone when he comes home.
  • Bite my tongue and let Brian come home to a kiss from his wife instead of a tirade of all the drama he missed while he was away at work.

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I Am A MomREVOLUTION OF LOVE - goal_summer_15_c

Main Goal #3: To be a good mother that loves her kids and spends time with them and is not always “too busy.” I want to teach them about their faith and how to love and serve God in their young lives.

Progress Made…

I finally made the kids updated chore charts and gave them jobs that I had always done myself. My sister has always been great at expecting her children to do a lot and they actually do it. I don’t want my kids to grown up messy and lazy so I have been cracking down on chores. I knew the effort was worth it when one school morning I walked to the lunch box shelf and instead of yelling at kids, “Where are all the darn lunch boxes?!” they were there on the shelf, cleaned out and ready to go. Priceless. Some of the kids have really surprised me at just how capable they are. Others still need a lot of direction but that is good for me to learn patience as well. ;-)

Summer Mini- Goals

  • Plan a daily time for the kids to read and work on a little school work so they don’t forget everything they learned.
  • Have screen-free times during the day when the kids must be outside playing or doing something constructive (ie Legos, puzzles etc). No iPhones, iPads, tablets or computers allowed. (Mom included! Gasp!))
  • Weekly outings – beach day, picnic, library, aquarium etc.

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I Am A HomemakerREVOLUTION OF LOVE - goal_summer_15_d

Main Goal #4: To bring order into our home so I am not stressed out by the mess and chaos. When things are organized our family life runs smoother and there is more peace.

Progress Made…

There is not nearly as much progress as I’d like. There are few areas I have tackled but countless messy areas that overshadow them.

Summer Goals

  • Make a master TO DO list broken down by each room in the house. I have a tendency to work on too many projects at once and I don’t complete any of them. This way I can pick one item on the list, get it done and mark it off.
  • Update my freezer and pantry inventory and plan my weekly meals around the items that will be expiring soon.
  • My menu planing has grown stale so this past month I have been trying one new recipe a week. (Preferably using my about to expire food.) So far it has worked out well.

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I Am A WomanREVOLUTION OF LOVE - goal_summer_15_e

Main Goal #5 – To take care of myself physically, spiritually and mentally so I can be a happy and healthy wife, mother and friend. Taking care of myself mentally also means challenging myself to come out of my comfort zone and facing my fears.

Progress Made…

There is so much to ponder in this area, it could be a post in itself. Six months ago I wanted to come out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to get to know other moms at school or locally. I volunteered to be a room mom, which gave me ample opportunity to  spend more time one on one with other adults and to step up instead of hiding in the back ground.

Blogging has given me an outlet to share myself with others and attending the CWBNCA conference was huge in helping me grow as a woman and conquering my fears.

For years I have thought of myself in negative terms – overweight, unfit, messy, shy, unintelligent compared to others, etc. I’m starting to realize that these things are not the essence of who I truly am. As I lost a few pounds and got down a dress size I see that I can lose weight and strengthen my body. As I step out of my comfort zone, I realize that the friendly, outgoing (and a little crazy) girl that my family and close friends know can also be known to other people if I let her out more often. Although I am messy and unorganized, I crave order and am delighted when I get something organized. I am seeing that there is an ordered girl trapped in a messy girl’s body and she wants to come out.

My progress comes in recognizing these things and taking the first steps to making it happen.

Summer Mini- Goals

  • Daily hydrate, take vitamins and walk for 20-30 min. Use my Fitbit to keep track.
  • Track my eating otherwise I keep underestimating how much I’m eating each day.
  • Plan a blogging schedule that allows me time to enjoy what I love each day without going to extremes – spending no time on the blog or getting sucked into a posting rabbit hole.
  • Plan some girls day out with local mom friends.
  • Buckle down on my Goodreads’ 2015 Reading Challenge. I pledged 12 books this year. I am in month six but only on book 3. Time for summer reading!

It may all seem a bit lofty but working on these smaller steps will keep me headed in the right direction.

What about you? What is the one thing that you really want to work on this summer?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads Letterboxd, Spotify or Instagram. ;-)

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