filby_julieEditor's Note:  Today we welcome new contributor Julie Filby to our family of writers.  Julie will join us monthy and is a reporter for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper.  She enjoys blogging at A Mother’s Musings.

I think from the day I was picked for eighth grade yearbook staff, my career path was laid out. I loved to research, write and organize (and still do). That journey continued with more yearbooks and school newspapers, a degree in journalism, and a magazine contribution here and there.

After college, strict journalism took a back seat and I spent the next 15 years in communications for an investment firm. It was valuable experience, I learned a lot—but that desire to be a journalist never went away.

I see parallels in my faith journey. I’m a cradle Catholic, born and raised close to the faith, literally. I grew up a half-block from our parish in small town Kansas so the church, rectory, convent and school weren’t just places I visited from time to time; they were my ‘hood.

I went to Catholic grade school, enjoyed CYO and went to Sunday morning CCD classes. As a young adult, with no one to lovingly nudge me to go to Mass ("Get up. You’re going. No jeans."), my faith took a back seat. While I never doubted my relationship with God or stopped going to Mass altogether, I didn’t give my spiritual health the attention it deserved. It was valuable experience, I learned a lot—and that desire to be a faithful Catholic never went away.

Things started to change when our kids were born. In addition to the obvious changes (sleepless nights, 60 pounds to lose, no free time), when I became a mom I realized I was not only responsible for two little lives—but for two little souls. It was my job to help get my kids to heaven!

I have a wonderful husband of 9 years, Matt, who I’m collaborating with on Project Pearly Gates. Our children, son Quinn (6) and daughter Vaughn (3), are a constant source of both joy and frustration—a rewarding gift from God we’re grateful for every day (even when we’re putting them in time out or cleaning up… well, stuff no one wants to clean up).

So thanks Quinn and Vaughn: I’m taking better care of my spiritual health—discovering, re-discovering and appreciating the riches and blessings of the Church that I neglected for too long.

This journey of renewal led me to reconsider my career path. Through a series of fortunate events, I had the opportunity to combine my love for Christ and his Church, with my journalism education and experience. Two years ago I began working for the Archdiocese of Denver writing for the Denver Catholic Register.

My job is an opportunity to learn and grow, where I strive to serve God and others. In addition to writing for work, blogging offers an outlet to reflect on the wonderful people and experiences that impact and influence me on my journey—and a chance to share with other moms as we rejoice together in the joys and worries of raising children.

Copyright 2010 Julie Filby