[00:00:00] Sophia Lebano: [00:00:00] Hello, you guys are so welcome back to another episode of Hear and Now Podcast I’m very excited to be chatting with Amanda Vernon today. She is so funny and I love her Instagram and she just has such an amazing personality. So Amanda, welcome to the show. Uh, thanks,
[00:00:16] Amanda Vernon: [00:00:16] and, uh, great to be talking to your listener as well. Yeah. So
[00:00:21] Sophia Lebano: [00:00:21] why don’t you just start off right off the bat. Um, introduce yourself to the audience. Sure.
[00:00:26] Amanda Vernon: [00:00:26] I’m a full-time recording artist. I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area with my husband and our four young children. And I, I love. Jesus. Is that a simple, is that too simplistic, but it’s everything so
[00:00:47] Sophia Lebano: [00:00:47] perfect.
[00:00:47] I love it- to me it’s all encompassing. So why not? Let’s go broad first. Yes, exactly. Honestly, I didn’t even know you had kids. There was no way. I was like, no way. That’s too good to not have kids. So
[00:01:04] Amanda Vernon: [00:01:04] that’s so funny. I love being a mom, but I also don’t want to just like. I don’t want to just like, have that be my only
[00:01:11] brand like I’m mom,
[00:01:14] I’m like, you know, variety.
[00:01:15] So thanks.
[00:01:19] Sophia Lebano: [00:01:19] No, that’s awesome. So Phoenix I’ve never been to Phoenix is how’s the weather. How’s it going over there now?
[00:01:25] Amanda Vernon: [00:01:25] Sunny. It’s bright. It’s always that way. My husband, you know, my husband’s family is originally middle Eastern and so they, I think it’s in his blood to just love the sunshine and the desert.
[00:01:41] We grew up in the Midwest. So, um, you know, well, you know, Ohio, right? So, you know, it’s like kind of a collision, like this cloud coverage thing going on. That’s like where we lived, we lived in Michigan, but then when we traveled out to like warm sunny places, say in the winter, my husband was just like, I think in touch with his ancestry in a new way.
[00:02:05] And he is just, he just is in his glory and. That makes me really happy also.
[00:02:13] Sophia Lebano: [00:02:13] I’m sure it was a drastic change though. Moving from up North to, you know, Arizona.
[00:02:18] Amanda Vernon: [00:02:18] Right? We did. Yeah. So we traveled together. I mentioned I’m a recording artist. So David and I, after we got married, we started working together full time.
[00:02:28] Him David, as my manager. And at one point we just hit the road and we traveled full-time for almost a year. So we were really able to see like other places of the country, how other people live, all these different kinds of houses and living situations. And we lived in California for a couple of years, even after that.
[00:02:46] And so. This has been like of all, these is like the ideal landing spot. So I highly, you know, I highly recommend it to anybody. Who’s like, what would sunshine be like, like come to Phoenix and see, [00:03:00] you’re invited.
[00:03:01] Sophia Lebano: [00:03:01] I know I need to, I need to get over there. Um, it just, I’ve heard so many good things about it and especially like, Being up North, like towards Pennsylvania, Ohio, and everything.
[00:03:11] Um, this humidity is what drives me the most. So, and having curly hair is not, yeah.
[00:03:19] Amanda Vernon: [00:03:19] It’s we’re in this together. No.
[00:03:23] Sophia Lebano: [00:03:23] So I think is it better when we have all of our problems solved? If we just move on,
[00:03:28] Amanda Vernon: [00:03:28] I want to say when it comes to curly hair and that whole situation. Yeah. I’m to say, yes,
[00:03:41] at least at least vacation. You know what I mean? You bring the half the hair products and come on down. Oh, my
[00:03:46] Sophia Lebano: [00:03:46] gosh, you want me to go to Florida? It’s just
[00:03:50] Amanda Vernon: [00:03:50] right. That’s when you just have to like work with it. Right. Cause I remember on tour, like Wisconsin is like that too. I’ll be on tour and I’m like, what is going on?
[00:03:56] Like, Oh yes. And then I just work with that. I just try to like, we’re go, we’re going beak.
[00:04:01] Sophia Lebano: [00:04:01] We meant to do this. Yes. I mean, we’re pretty resilient people. I’m not going to lie. That is
[00:04:08] Amanda Vernon: [00:04:08] it. That is it. And that is something that you cannot gain in as many places as little world as you can in the Midwest resilience.
[00:04:19] Sophia Lebano: [00:04:19] Well, I need to pick your brain about all the curly things. It’s not, it’s not always fun, but when it is, it is. Oh, totally.
[00:04:26] Amanda Vernon: [00:04:26] Yes. I agree. Because you know, it’s, it’s sort of like what you’re saying, like about the weather, you gotta like tough through it. And then with your curly hair too, sometimes you just have to tough through it, but that it’s worth it.
[00:04:36] You know, when you succeed, you’re just like, it’s a level that other people who don’t have that struggle. They’ll never know. They won’t.
[00:04:43] Sophia Lebano: [00:04:43] I know my sister she’s 13 and she came to me and she was like pinstraight hair. And she’s like, um, I want to have curly hair. I was like, Why? I want to have straight hair
[00:04:52] and she’s like jealous. I was like, what? My hair looks like a rat’s nest. And what are you talking to? And she’s like trying to scrunch it to make sure
[00:05:04] Amanda Vernon: [00:05:04] it’s like a curl
[00:05:06] curls awaken.
[00:05:07] Sophia Lebano: [00:05:07] Oh yeah. And they’re just like falls back. And I was just like, Oh honey, I’m so sorry, but that’s not how it works.
[00:05:15] So we’re trying, she’s probably gonna buy like fake curls off Amazon or something and make it work. But you have to earn your right to have curly hair. Yes. You have to work
[00:05:27] Amanda Vernon: [00:05:27] for this. We all do.
[00:05:28] Sophia Lebano: [00:05:28] Right. Absolutely. But yeah, no, that’s fun. And I definitely need to like, get recommendations for curly hair, but if you want share your secrets.
[00:05:39] Amanda Vernon: [00:05:39] I, my secret, okay. Two things. One. I’m so glad we’re talking about
[00:05:43] Sophia Lebano: [00:05:43] this, by the way I bought
[00:05:44] Amanda Vernon: [00:05:44] the domain curly catholic.com just in case, because I feel that’s a whole conversation just waiting to happen about like, you know, there’s theology of the body. Right. But like, what about theology of curly hair?
[00:05:56] Like what does their curly hair say about God? What does our curly hair say about who [00:06:00] God created us? B as curly haired women, you know, does the unpredictability of my curls say something about like the inner freedom that I desire as a woman? You know what I’m saying? I feel like there’s something there.
[00:06:13] So that’s the very thing that’s in the works like down the road. Okay. And then secondly, okay. My friend makes like body products, like lip volume, et cetera, lotions. And she gave me this body butter one time. She was like, this is like whipped goodness for your skin. She goes, you could also put it in your hair, but just a little bit, cause it’ll really moisturize it.
[00:06:37] And I’m telling you, I put some of that in my hair. And my hair said to me, like, not in words, but just expressed it. It was like, this is what we’ve been waiting for.
[00:06:50] And thinking like, maybe she, you know, I’m just saying, what if she makes it? And then I’m putting it on curly catholic.com and then. Hi, everyone’s hair can get the same wish or that my hair has been soaking up.
[00:07:00] Sophia Lebano: [00:07:00] Pretty Sylvia. Yeah, it looks so nice right now anyway, too. But like I stream it, so mine is maintained for right now.
[00:07:10] It’s so dry and it’s just like, you have to adapt.
[00:07:14] Amanda Vernon: [00:07:14] Yeah, exactly. Yep. So, but you know what? Okay, so this is tip like I did, even though my friend only makes. The body butter for me right now. It’s just like a private thing. I did try some other body butter from just like Etsy and it works like it’s, um, He just coated the curls in like moisture, like when it’s wet, right.
[00:07:39] Your hair is wet and you put the moisture in and it just locks it that anyway. Yeah. That’s what works for me.
[00:07:50] Sophia Lebano: [00:07:50] Yes. Yes. Ah, it so I switched to silk pillowcases. I am trying all these natural products, which silk pillowcases, you know, anyway, so good. Um,
[00:07:59] Amanda Vernon: [00:07:59] but do you recommend, because it’s on my list. So silk pillowcase with the question, Mark. Oh,
[00:08:04] Sophia Lebano: [00:08:04] definitely. I see, I see a very big change, not only in my hair, but my skin, which I like, it’s just not as dirty as like a cotton pillowcases.
[00:08:13] Um, but I I’ve worked with a couple of companies that make them and I definitely recommend, so what is it called? Um, Myk silk. So I’ll have to put a link or something there. Um,
[00:08:26] Amanda Vernon: [00:08:26] no.
[00:08:26] Sophia Lebano: [00:08:26] Yeah, I know, but it’s so comfortable and I, Oh gosh. As soon as I hit my pillow I go to sleep. So the station took a wild turn, but I love it so
[00:08:36] Amanda Vernon: [00:08:36] girly and I like it a lot.
[00:08:38] Sophia Lebano: [00:08:38] You know what? I don’t spend a lot of time talking about girly things on my podcast. I’m usually theology of the body and that kind of stuff. So theology of curls. I love it. We’re just going to go with, I see.
[00:08:49] Amanda Vernon: [00:08:49] Yeah. Okay. I wrote down the pillow case thing on back.
[00:08:54] Sophia Lebano: [00:08:54] Perfect. Um, yeah, no, totally recommend it. And I honestly, I want to say they gave me a coupon [00:09:00] code.
[00:09:00] Let’s see if I can find that they will share. I have to go back in my post and what not, but while I’m looking for that, why don’t you tell us a little bit about, about your career with singing and just, yeah. What’s it been like up to now?
[00:09:12] Amanda Vernon: [00:09:12] Yeah, thank you. Well, the time that we’re recording this, I feel like the world is turning a corner.
[00:09:20] I mean, some parts of the world more than sooner than others. Right. As far as the pandemic. And it does seem like, at least here in the States that there’s, um, this era of hope, as far as like, we can kind of see the horizon, like see of like the bright, shiny, like a new day is daunting. And so. It’s been, man, it’s been such a unique, um, that’s an overplayed word right now, but I don’t know what else to say about it.
[00:09:49] Like other than this time of my career has been unlike any other that I’ve been through where last year at, around this time or in March last year, um, Just all of my shows got canceled and that is my life tours were the number one way that we supported our family. So we don’t, I don’t have a different job.
[00:10:08] I don’t like sell makeup on the side, although I might sell hair products someday. Um, but I, you know, we don’t have like a side side hustle for our family. Like, it’s my, it’s my music. It’s my ministry. That is it. And so. All of the shows got canceled. I didn’t cancel any. It was like, I would still come to like, no, no, no, no, we’re not.
[00:10:29] And so before that I was touring all the time. I was touring 15 days of the month. So I was gone 15 days in the month. I would usually go on like blocks of five days each come home and do laundry cuddle with the kids. Um, you know, just like I was on retreat at home. Hi, everyone come close to me and then I would go again.
[00:10:53] And so my life is really extreme in that sense of like when I was home, we were all home together. When I was on the road, it was just fast paced on stage singing for like thousands of people at a time. And then in an airplane. And so this past year has been like, no show is online content. Praying to the good Lord that we can continue to fund the feed, the children projects.
[00:11:25] Those are my kids. And then just like, look here and be like, wow, we made it. Like the kids kept eating in that they grew.
[00:11:35] And like the Lord just provided. And I have, I’ll tell you what, like now I am getting ready to go back on tour again. Um, I’m.
[00:11:49] Let me just say that I, I recorded about eight studio albums and I have like 80 singles now that are out on Spotify and like, wow, very [00:12:00] prolific, um, recording experience. And so being on the road is like, what I’m used to doing and being in the studio is. Way of life because it started when I was in high school.
[00:12:12] So, um, but now it’s like for the first time I get to go back on the road when I am so comfortable at home as well. Whereas before it was like always since I was a little kid, like being on stage is where, that’s my element. That’s where I’m the most comfortable. That’s where I’m really shiny. But I feel like the Lord has given me this gift this past year where.
[00:12:37] I feel like that at home too, even more so, so it’s like just virtually blessed, um, and looking forward to getting back on the road from this place of greater stability than ever before. That’s
[00:12:52] Sophia Lebano: [00:12:52] amazing. So what is your plan for touring? If you can share, like, what are you? Yeah,
[00:12:57] Amanda Vernon: [00:12:57] I’m just going to be really super scrappy because honestly, My heart’s desire is to do ministry I’ve I’ve I’ve also worked in the secular entertainment industry, mostly in like colleges in that college circuit, you know, visiting colleges for their say, like their initiation events.
[00:13:16] Is it call it an initiation orientation. They probably have initiation events. It’s like sororities. Okay. But I would like to show up at their like coffee shop and see. You know, participate and buy some books afterwards. Cause I’m not an author as well, but, but my heart is really in talking about Jesus, through sharing my music.
[00:13:40] And so I really want to be at parishes and that’s where my main, my main focus has been. But right now parishes are like, Catholic parishes in the United States. They’re, they’re struggling. Like I laugh because it’s so sad. Why am I laughing? It’s funny though, because it’s so it’s so it’s so like, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to even say it out loud because I feel like everybody knows it, but it’s hard to even admit how.
[00:14:10] How much parishes are struggling. And like you think like millennials, are you millennial?
[00:14:17] Sophia Lebano: [00:14:17] I’m on the border. When it’s a good thing to be a millennial I’ll hang on that one. Like skinny jeans and side parts. That’s where I fall. So.
[00:14:33] I’ll just stay with
[00:14:34] Amanda Vernon: [00:14:34] that. My sister is born in 2000. She’s the same way. Yeah. She’s like, no, but I like to part my hair like this. Um, yeah, but like, thinking about my peers, like, especially like LOE, like young families, are they going back to mass?
[00:14:55] it was hard before. But now it’s like it’s dire [00:15:00] and I really want to push the issue. I want to say, like, look, I know you’re uncomfortable with getting people together. Um, but we also have to take care of people’s souls and not just their bodies, not just be cautious over their physical health, but we have to think about people’s spiritual.
[00:15:20] Health and the health of like their soul and their, um, what about like their joyfulness and how we can, we can foster that through community and like coming together. And so I just want to like show up at the doorstep of the parish and be like, well, let me hear this thing now
[00:15:38] and just see what happens and make that like my job.
[00:15:41] Sophia Lebano: [00:15:41] Yeah, that’s perfect. I mean, I love the, I love what you said about not just the bodies, because I talk about this a lot. Like the body is not just the physical body. It is the union of the body and the soul. So without one, you don’t have the other, um, And so the, the health of one relies on the other.
[00:16:01] Um, so if your soul is not healthy, your body’s not really healthy. You’re just not going to be in that good place. Spiritually
[00:16:06] Amanda Vernon: [00:16:06] that’s beautifully said yes.
[00:16:09] Sophia Lebano: [00:16:09] My theology background is coming into, there you go. Is coming into play
[00:16:19] there. It’s floating around somewhere. Um, But I mean, yeah, parishes are struggling and I have just have to, um, have this conversation. Well, actually I was writing my paper for my sociology class and the book. I don’t know if you’ve read it. It’s called children of men and it’s a different, shopian thriller novel that came out nineties she’s by PD James and, um, It set actually in 2021, which was really cool because I was like, we’re reading it in the year that it set.
[00:16:50] Like, I can’t believe this. Um, and so, you know, essentially not to spoil the plot or anything, but basically there is no for fertility at all. Anybody, nobody can have babies anymore. Um, and marriages. Basically zero, like there’s no marriages. Um, so people are baptizing like cats to try and fill that need for having children.
[00:17:13] And the churches are empty. Like there’s nobody there they’re having black masses are just really filling it with everything, but truth and goodness. Um, And the last line of my paper that I wrote is the church is not crying. It’s die. And I feel like we just need to get that spiritual revival back into people’s hearts.
[00:17:34] And it’s going to start through music. I mean, that’s how I feel the most connected God. And I’m sure you do tendons more than I do. I think I
[00:17:44] Amanda Vernon: [00:17:44] agree with you that, uh, that, that, um, When music speaks to you, like that’s the way into your heart, you know? And, and so I think that even though I’ve made it my profession, I really believe that some of us have that charism, [00:18:00] you know, that spiritual gift of music, and that is going to be the way that we at least from, um, you know, like an emotional and like spiritual level that we can like sense our.
[00:18:12] The presence of God. And then that leads into, you know, the rest of how we can see him as well. Um, so that’s really encouraging to hear, because I mean, I feel that so strongly, but even, even for me, sometimes I doubt that, like, it doesn’t really matter that much. And maybe people. You know, like maybe people would just start over, they don’t want music anymore.
[00:18:36] Sophia Lebano: [00:18:36] I feel like it’s the complete opposite. My, my really good friend. And I met through franciscan and I love her to death. And she was texting me one day and I was like, I really need to study. But she keeps sending me all these worship songs that I used to listen to. So instead of studying, I was listening to them.
[00:18:52] I was like, wow, this is actually such a great motivator. And like, I feel like I’m in a really good. The spot right now. Um, and I was in this seminar for 14 weeks and literally everybody in that group is like worship music is where I feel the most connected to God and 14 little college kids are saying that I’m sure, I think people are feeling the same way.
[00:19:14] It’s 1000% worth it. Um, I mean, some of the most pivotal moments of my faith journey have been when I’m at like a worship concert or something, um, We actually have this thing here, um, in Pennsylvania called Abby Fest. Oh yeah. Have you heard of it? Yeah, in fact,
[00:19:31] Amanda Vernon: [00:19:31] right before everything shut down, I was talking to them about coming up for that.
[00:19:34] And then I totally. Yes continue.
[00:19:38] Sophia Lebano: [00:19:38] Well, I may or may not know the director person see about that. So, so, Oh my gosh, it is just life changing and you know, we’re outside and it’s just like this big worship concert and there’s 4,000 and some thousands of people. Um, and they’re just all worshiping and, you know, Matt Maher was there.
[00:19:58] He’s been there for many years and father Rob Galea has come. Like, there’s just been so many amazing people, but the point that people come for is the concert, the music piece of it. They were just throwing their hands in the air. And I just, it is so beautiful to watch. Um, and last year we couldn’t have it.
[00:20:15] So we kind of had our own little makeshift one in the back yard, which was so cool too. Musician, friends play, um, And people were just like, the music is just what changes everything. Like, you know, when you’re in mass, like it’s just, you really connect with the music and the songs and everything. And that’s what I love about being Catholic is it’s just like, it doesn’t really feel like a production.
[00:20:37] It just is like inducing your faith. You know what I mean?
[00:20:40] Amanda Vernon: [00:20:40] Right. Yeah, definitely. In fact, I had a friend who she was baptized Catholic, but wasn’t raised to really be practicing. And so, but she’s an excellent musician and really vibrant personality and sign and ride it around tour. Cause I’m like, if she sees what it’s like [00:21:00] with the Catholics, who’s going to love it.
[00:21:02] Cause she loves to use us, but she’s going to this nondenominational church and I. And she told me beforehand, she’s like, when I really love is that I can. Like express my faith. Like, so, you know, outwardly, um, with others and like in pair and raising hands and stuff, I’m like, yeah, me too. But what I also have is like the depth of the traditions and the sacraments.
[00:21:26] And she was like, yeah, me too. I’m like, Oh really? And so I invited her to like come to sing like a praise and worship event that was also adoration. And it was her first time being an adoration. And what speaks to me about like, how you describe that is, is that afterward, like she told me that was so humbling because she’s like, we were to the
[00:21:48] and she’s like, and I just thought to myself, like
[00:21:50] this really isn’t about me.
[00:21:54] Jesus. And she laughed because like, that’s supposed to be the point of course, but, but when you
[00:22:01] have the physical.
[00:22:04] Presence I’m Christ body, blood, soul, and divinity in front of you. It’s like, Oh yeah, it’s kind of harder to deny. And so it’s a beautiful, yeah, it’s just so, Oh, you’re going to be so excited. I haven’t been able to talk about this in like a while, and I haven’t had those, you know, those experiences of like going into a parish and.
[00:22:29] Sophia Lebano: [00:22:29] No, you need to just be like, I mean, don’t find a heresy like Martin Luther, but you need to just stand and knock on the door and be like, this is what I need to do right now.
[00:22:37] Amanda Vernon: [00:22:37] I’ll stay, I’ll stay until they let me in. I want to just walk.
[00:22:41] Sophia Lebano: [00:22:41] That’s perfect. Um, but like, you know, I think of a lot of like sidewalk, um, missionaries, you know, I just, I dunno, I think so you’re doing that.
[00:22:48] Like just walking from church to church and being like .
[00:22:52] Amanda Vernon: [00:22:52] That is essentially what it’s like now. And I’ve done that in the past and it works and they’re kind of shocked that it does work because I’m like, look, I’m just going to be in the area. And they’re like, okay. Like when I’m like, Oh, I’m more or less, you know what I mean?
[00:23:05] Like, um, and so I’m just like, well, I’m going to be there anyways. Do you want me to not sing? Or they’re like, no. It’s fine. You can. And then, and then it works out and, and people buy. I still still see these, which is funny. People still buy CDs to support and family and to listen to, I think, um, and so the last CD, the via book and, um, and then God really multiplies.
[00:23:29] For us and has been taking care of us as a family. So that’s really what I still feel called to do. And I’m really excited that it seems like I’m going to be able to, to resume that relationship.
[00:23:41] Sophia Lebano: [00:23:41] Yeah. I mean, you just got a really good news alert today. Like restrictions are really starting to lift and I’m like, I’m so it’s just like so promising.
[00:23:49] I mean, I know it’s been such a roller coaster ride last year to say the least, but yeah. Um, everyday forward is another day of hope, you know, just like really doing that. Um, and [00:24:00] so it would be so cool to like, get you up here and like have just all my friends. And I think
[00:24:07] Amanda Vernon: [00:24:07] that I would love it. I can’t wait.
[00:24:10] Sophia Lebano: [00:24:10] You said that you have a book. So tell us a little bit about that. I mean, just.
[00:24:14] Amanda Vernon: [00:24:14] Thanks. My book is when God wrecks your romance. It’s a co-authored memoir with my dear friend, father Matt face, who is a priest of the congregation of Holy cross. So you’re familiar with Notre Dame, like the university of Notre Dame.
[00:24:27] Yeah. So the Holy cross founders or fathers founded Notre Dame and they have a couple other, um, universities that they’re at and in parishes throughout the United States and throughout the world. Just a really awesome, um, community, but I grew up with Matt, like at the time, not father Matt, and we’ve known each other since we were in junior high.
[00:24:51] And so we share our story of our friendship and, um, discerning our vocation. Side-by-side thinking at one point we both. Thought that maybe our vocations would be like the same task and then realizing like, Oh, God’s calling us in different directions. Um, but like, But in our story, we take turns sharing how it happened.
[00:25:18] So I’ll tell my side of the story. Like when we first met, this is what was going on with me, and then you see the same scene, but it’s from
[00:25:27] Matt’s perspective.
[00:25:28] Sophia Lebano: [00:25:28] That’s awesome.
[00:25:29] Amanda Vernon: [00:25:29] And so I tried to write it cinematically because I love movies that are like that you’re like back to the future or movies where you like, you see the same scene, but now you have more information as the viewer.
[00:25:39] It’s kind of like that with our book. And I think it also, because there was quite a bit of misunderstanding. We do the two of us, which is comical now, but, um, at the time was severely heartbreaking for both of us. And so to be able to, for one look back on it and laugh with joy, to see how God works through that.
[00:26:00] And even through our. Foolishness at the time, like brought the best out of it for us both. And then also I think it helps people to S to see like that when their own path looks really confusing in the moment that God knows the rest of the story and that he’s working, even, even when it feels like all is lost or everything is confusing, um, that.
[00:26:26] He’s the guy doing your, wherever you find yourself right now. And that one day you also will be able to look back and laugh with joy for what he’s done.
[00:26:34] Sophia Lebano: [00:26:34] That’s incredible. No, I think that’s such a cool perspective of having different perspectives, um, in the story. So what was your, I mean, without spoiling the whole buck, I guess, what was your vocation story and realizing that you were called somewhere different than he was sure.
[00:26:53] Amanda Vernon: [00:26:53] Well, let’s see without,
[00:26:55] without spoiling it. I know.
[00:27:00] [00:26:59] Okay. Let, I’ll tell you a story. I’ll tell you a little story that was not in that wasn’t that we don’t include in the book. So it’s not going to be giving anything away that’s written in those pages, but there was a point when I was. I was in Europe. I was starting my music career already.
[00:27:18] Um, I was there to lead music on a pilgrimage, so we were going to all these beautiful basilicas and shrines. And I found myself in Fatima and I was praying at this chapel and I, I had been waiting for this boy who then became a seminarian. For a lot of years, like seven years. And I hadn’t really prayed for him.
[00:27:43] And like, we always got together along so well, whenever we’re together, but like we had never dated. And I was like, um, when is he going to discern out and realize that it’s Cypress to get married or creaky? And so. For whatever reason though, I couldn’t move on. Like, he was still in my heart. My heart had like no room for any other relationship.
[00:28:03] And it was very frustrating because this is not like we were even dating. So I was like, okay Lord. And in that moment I took my rosary. I was like 21 at the time. And I took my rosary and I said, okay, This might sound fullest you Lord, but this is on my heart. And so I’m just going to ask you, and I said, all right, Lord, I would like you to show me who my future spouse will be by the end of this decade.
[00:28:30] Of the rosary
[00:28:35] you right. Moving along the beads. And, you know, I knew that he left seminary and boy was actually like, um, in there, like a study abroad program. And I was like, what if he just shows up? Like he might, it could happen. Seminarians love Fatima. So I’m like praying and I’m just like, please show me. So all of a sudden, like the chapel is filling up with other people and I’m like, Oh, it’s mass time.
[00:28:58] I got to go, like, let them have mass. So I like walk out onto this Piatsa, the sun shining. And I’m like full of grace. The Lord is with you, like looking around and I’m like, maybe it’s like a dark tall, handsome Italian stranger. That’s fine. Like sweep me off my feet. I’ll forget about the past for you. You know, I see like an elderly gentleman.
[00:29:16] I’m like, no, keep blocking. Holy Mary mother of God. Right? I finally get to that last beat. You pay for us sinners now that the outright debt and I look up and I see a man and he’s staring at me with this huge line and arms wide open, and it’s a statue of
[00:29:34] Sophia Lebano: [00:29:34] Jesus. And I’m like, Does this mean I’m supposed to be a nun,
[00:29:44] Amanda Vernon: [00:29:44] like smile back at me for awhile. And then I realized like, in that moment, like these pieces came together for me of what I had learned growing up, being raised in this faithful family and in the church that, that Jesus is the spouse of [00:30:00] the church. And I’m like, and I am. The church and which means my future spouse
[00:30:06] Sophia Lebano: [00:30:06] is Jesus.
[00:30:08] Amanda Vernon: [00:30:08] And it just took the pressure off. I was , Oh, I don’t need to find the perfect man. Like, here’s the perfect man. And like, whoever will be for me, if I’m meant to be married, will, will point me toward Jesus. Well, we’ll, we will image God’s love, but he’s supposed to be. He’s not going to be like the perfect person he’s going to be human.
[00:30:32] And I was like, and if God is calling me to be a sister religious sister, then I’ll get to enter into this ministry, like ahead of time. It’s like loophole. And I just felt so like relieved. And that was like that. I would say that was a framework that really opened my heart, um, to God’s plan for me versus.
[00:30:56] The only feature that I could ever imagine for myself up until then.
[00:31:00] Sophia Lebano: [00:31:00] Wow. That is incredible. Oh my gosh. You really like had me on the edge of my seat.
[00:31:09] honestly, yes. The struggle with liking and. Maybe falling in love with seminarians. It’s real hard. Um, and you know, I’m Cece and like Meg Wells and everybody, I don’t know if you know then, but, uh, yeah,
[00:31:23] Amanda Vernon: [00:31:23] I, I I’ve seen a lot of, they have a
[00:31:26] podcast, right?
[00:31:27] Sophia Lebano: [00:31:27] Yes. Yeah. So they did a whole episode. I of stories of people who, liked seminarians and.
[00:31:34] It was funny because I was listening to one of them and one of the girls, I was on the podcast, her husband now husband was in the seminary. He just turned out and they got married and turns out she went to my high school. I was like such a small world. Like this is crazy. Um, But the amount of people that have made fun of me for like liking seminaries, I was like, listen, God has something special for them because he they’re so in love with God.
[00:31:59] So it will be perfect if I married one of them, but of course they’re already married to the church. So I really can’t do anything about that. It’s been a struggle for the last couple of years. That’s the number one problem with being Catholic. Right? You have to know what somebody needs to sermon story.
[00:32:16] Yes. Ooh, you
[00:32:18] Amanda Vernon: [00:32:18] know, it, this is a big topic. This is a big topic. And I just, uh, I love this,
[00:32:24] honestly, this is a great podcast so far. I love
[00:32:27] talking to you. Um, I think that. There’s a couple, there’s like three things that come to mind as like an answer to this one is that it’s, it’s a unique story when, when you, for me, right.
[00:32:42] I, uh, the, I use air quotes, but it’s true. It just sounds sappy to say with that when we are kids. Right. And so he like, wasn’t, he wasn’t looking for. Um, and then he became a seminarian and I had to decide, I had to decide like, how am I [00:33:00] gonna. Respond like, am I going to give them space? And am I going to be like, excuse me, I have something to say about this.
[00:33:06] Like what, you know? And so that’s, that’s one scenario. That’s another scenario as well. Like when you meet somebody who is when you meet somebody for the first time who is in seminary, because he’s only discerning, like he has a committed his whole life. Right. And so that is another question too. Like what have you really hit it off with this person?
[00:33:23] Are you supposed to stay emotionally distant out of respect or would it be good for his future vocation? Whatever it is to get to know, you know,
[00:33:36] Sophia Lebano: [00:33:36] it’s like
[00:33:36] a struggle.
[00:33:38] Amanda Vernon: [00:33:38] Right. And so that’s, you know, that is a legitimate question to be asking. And then this, the third one is that there are some women who end up becoming really close friends with a priest once he’s already yeah.
[00:33:52] A priest. And that we’ve seen some beautiful examples of that. I mean, JP two anyone, anyone, um, it can be done. It’s just that it’s so
[00:34:04] Sophia Lebano: [00:34:04] it’s like, I wouldn’t say it’s heartbreaking, but it’s just like, It’s so not like feeling all the feels for that.
[00:34:11] Amanda Vernon: [00:34:11] It is. And it’s it’s so, um, I think it is heartbreaking. It’s it’s it’s heartbreaking too.
[00:34:21] Cause you can feel that sacrifice of celibacy. You’re
[00:34:24] like, I didn’t make all this eat right.
[00:34:26] Yet it affects you. Yeah, it does. And so I think it’s like so beautiful, but it’s, it’s almost like a lot of us don’t talk about it out loud, but like many people don’t talk about it because it’s because there’s so much reverence I think.
[00:34:41] And because it’s so such a tender. Um, subject matter, but it’s, it’s, it can be so beautiful. And so thanks for just being honest to that. And,
[00:34:51] and speaking to that, I mean, I can tell you the amount of guys that are like, okay, I liked you a lot, but you’re seminarians. So I really have to be careful . It’s a hard, it’s a hard thing to walk on right now.
[00:35:04] But thankfully like college, your scope is kind of just opened up a little bit. I was telling you about the vocation seminar. I was part of, and we spent 14 weeks going through this intensive thing of figuring out what is our vocation. You see this, see like this evolution of like how we’re all going into it.
[00:35:22] We’re like, I pretty sure I know what I’m supposed to do, but guys probably be like, heck no, you need to change it. So we’re all kind of like. Walking on Rocky waters and trying to figure this. But I was saying, okay, maybe he just loves to torture college students. And my, what is my vocation right now? So I feel like that’s the case for me.
[00:35:44] I was in one major when I started this. Vocation seminar. And now I’m in a different one. So if that’sdoesn’t say something, does, you know what I mean? Um, but I mean, it’s just funny when all the guys were like, okay, so before I say anything, are you discerning or not?
[00:36:02] [00:36:00] That is
[00:36:02] sweet though. That’s so that’s so it’s so awesome, right? Because it’s like, what are they saying? Do that? They’re saying like, I care about you as a person, or you’re saying it’s not just. Not just the physical, but spiritual and physical. And so like to say, like, I care about what’s going on to do inside and like what year.
[00:36:27] How the Lord is leading you, how you’re trying to hear him. I don’t want to be part of blocking that, you know, that makes me so happy to hear about those conversations, even though they’re like heart wrenching in the moment.
[00:36:37] Sophia Lebano: [00:36:37] But they’re funny though, we
[00:36:40] have a, we have a joke with somebody usually will come up to you and be like, Hey, what’s your vocation?
[00:36:45] We’re like, we’re a student. We’re not thinking about what our vocation is right now, where students, um, and they’re always like, it’s so traumatizing to think about that. Like so much pressure in the moment to answer that’s what I’m doing. I don’t know.
[00:37:02] I mean, so I just think your story is so fascinating and yeah. I mean, I’m sure there’s just a lot of like human, just emotion and trying to figure out what your vocation was when you’re being presented with this great friendship growing up. So what is it like for you guys now? So you have a podcast together, right?
[00:37:20] Amanda Vernon: [00:37:20] Right.
[00:37:20] So not only did we co-write our books, but we also have a podcast called We Shouldprey podcast where we discuss how prayer transforms tragedy into comedy. And my husband, David is our producer. So it’s actually the three of us. So usually father Matt and I are on screen. But then every once in a while, David turns the camera around and you see in the back of this headphones on like monitoring the levels.
[00:37:45] And so it’s, I would say very. Complex. That’s what it is. It’s like so many feelings, things, and so much history. And so, and, and really father Matt is my best friend. I, I. I mean, I would say my husband’s my best friend, but I put husband on like a higher level, like here’s friends and you can like, choose, like, this is my closest with my friends, but then husband’s like, like your own individual.
[00:38:12] Yes. And so, um, outside of, you know, my, my marriage father, Matt has also become my best friend. And so it’s. Oh, it’s art though, too. I mean, I’m an artist, I’m a full-time artist. So everything I do is all feelings. And if I don’t have all my feelings in it, then it’s fantastic. Yes. I’m making fun of myself.
[00:38:35] And so, but that’s like the only way I know how to do art. Right. And then here I have my husband and father matt who’s like godfather to one of her children now. Great friend, but also my colleague, but also the kid I fell in love with when I was 14. Like, please. Please, why are we put combining everything?
[00:38:55] So, and yet that’s just how the ones from leading us. So it’s like so tense [00:39:00] and it’s. So I think that’s, I think you can make some art with that. He was like
[00:39:05] Sophia Lebano: [00:39:05] one of the greatest Taylor Swift songs.
[00:39:11] Amanda Vernon: [00:39:11] I mean, maybe a movie.
[00:39:13] Sophia Lebano: [00:39:13] I mean, movie I’ve watched that I really was, um, watching that roller coaster ride. That’d be hilarious, but I love the part of tragedy into comedy. That is amazing. So what are some of the things before, you know, listening, give us a little sneak peek. Um, what are some of the things that you guys talk about in turning tragedy into comedy I’m interested?
[00:39:36] Amanda Vernon: [00:39:36] Oh,
[00:39:36] sure, sure. I mean, You know, part of what we do in our podcast is like we share from our personal experience. So we’re like, here’s a topic. Let’s say like the first one that comes to mind is like, we have this thing called, like don’t grieve the good right where you, some of us, sorry, I’m already laughing.
[00:39:56] I’m jumping ahead. Tragedy. First. Some of us. Um, it’s hard for us to be like really genuinely happy in the moment. Cause we, we always wanted to jump to the next thing. We’re like, okay, this is good next. Right. But part of it is that we’re like afraid that if something’s really good, maybe it’s not really good.
[00:40:13] Maybe something bad is about to happen. And so we’ll talk about that subject. We’ll say how can like prayer help to transform this for us? And so we address like it’s tragic to not be able to like. Enter into that goodness. Right. Um, and we’ll discuss what that’s like, but then we actually like pray in the podcast about it.
[00:40:33] We’re like help us to see how does this actually help there. And then, and then in some of how we’re able to, to see like the joy in it and like to realize like, one of my greatest problem is it’s like, I can’t just like. Be happy. Like I have to like look for issues and I’m like, that’s the problem. That’s a ridiculous problem that had like, that is a wonderful problem.
[00:40:59] know what I mean?
[00:41:02] Like that’s the thing, like, Lord, help me to just accept the
[00:41:05] joy. Yes. I sad. You
[00:41:11] know, and it’s just like, Uh, we are like, we did like a little segment in there about like trust falls, you know, and we’ll like show a little video about it and like apply it to the spiritual life. Um, and, and so it’s, it’s, it’s been awesome to be able to share like God’s joy in that way.
[00:41:33] Um, And to, to actively seek it in our friendship, not only in my marriage, but in my friendship with father Matt as well. And then to just be really honest about that with the fall, um, I’m hoping that it will invite them to like, Look for even like tragedy, not in a big scale necessarily, but just like the small, you know what you said?
[00:41:56] Like, I think it’s heartbreaking. Like, yeah, like there are things that we go through on [00:42:00] a daily basis that are little, like little deaths to ourselves and that God is waiting to. To bring this to a resurrection in those moments.
[00:42:09] Sophia Lebano: [00:42:09] Yeah. It’s funny you say that. Um, cause one of my friends is like memento. Mori is life.
[00:42:14] And I was like, that is really ironic statement. Say that, um, we’re always keeping that in mind and not necessarily on a big scale. Like we’re not always looking for like this big grand death at the end of our lives, but just everyday life. It’s a little sacrifice, you know what I mean? Like just having that mindset of memento Mori every day, I’ll do to die to myself, to die to Christ and give him that.
[00:42:39] Um, but I like how you said that little deaths, like just kind of experiencing life as it comes. Um, and we’re always, we were always talking about like, and so I’m happy to, but what’s next. Um, or I’ll be happy when or something like that. So making it conditional, um, And so I feel like it’s like a great Testament for you guys to have this podcast where it’s like, so we thought this is what I was going to be in.
[00:43:03] God just transformed it 10 times over. And I’m sure you guys are just happy in your vocations.
[00:43:09] Amanda Vernon: [00:43:09] Yeah, we really
[00:43:10] are because we really could only do this if we were right.
[00:43:19] Sophia Lebano: [00:43:19] Absolutely. I mean, yeah, you probably couldn’t. The comedy part would just be tragic, the tragedy. So.
[00:43:27] Amanda Vernon: [00:43:27] Hello, we’re here while I tell you my son’s story. Yeah right now, our greatest tragedy.
[00:43:37] haven’t shared this with anyone publicly, but our greatest tragedy in this like situation may seem like father Matt and like doing ministry with David and me is like, he loves his new parish so much.
[00:43:49] He’s like been there for a year. He loves it so much that he just doesn’t want to travel anywhere. He’s like, no, I can’t. How can I go to ministry? Other places. I love it here. No, no, it’s so silly. I’m like, but you have permission from your community. He’s like, I know, but I
[00:44:11] So it’s like, I think it’s so good that our primary struggle that you didn’t over the years, since we both done.
[00:44:17] Committed in our separate vocations is like, it’s kind of hard to take the time away from, for me to take the time away from my husband and kids spend time with him. And then for him not to take time away, it’s done with me. So I think that’s actually a good. A good thing. That’s the, that’s
[00:44:34] Sophia Lebano: [00:44:34] the exactly.
[00:44:37] And now you’re laughing about it too. So that’s the comedy part of stuff,
[00:44:45] Amanda Vernon: [00:44:45] such a cross to hang out with my best friend.
[00:44:51] Sophia Lebano: [00:44:51] I love it. I mean, this is just what life is about. It’s just like laughing at ourselves more than the amount of times in the day that I’m like making fun of myself. I’m like, [00:45:00] this is exactly what we need to deal with. Like hearted about things and just be like, yeah,
[00:45:09] there you go. So guys, so do you have any little things other than you say your tours that are coming up, any plans? For your ministry and music coming up soon that we can hear about.
[00:45:21] Amanda Vernon: [00:45:21] Yeah. People like to check out my website, especially my patron offering. They can go to Amanda vernon.com/patron. I’m really excited to build this up because we do have a community of patrons that support me directly.
[00:45:34] It’s not like through another platform or another website. They just go right to my website. And, um, that way we can stay in touch with them directly and everything that they, anything that they give each month goes directly to help our family and to build a ministry. And then. I’ve been releasing a new song every Sunday for a year.
[00:45:54] And so on. I send those out to patrons and we’re discerning about maybe switching into like a monthly, um, offering for music where I can actually build up those songs a little to little higher quality production. Like I’ve been singing a grand piano and like, it’s still. Professional, but I’m like, I’m missing the drums.
[00:46:14] I’m missing the violence. Where’s the orchestra. So now thinking like I’m really excited about like investing. More into each song. And so by the time that this podcast gets to people, I think I hope that we’ll have all of that kind of locked in with new rewards. So again, people can check that out and kind of be, become part of our ministry as well.
[00:46:36] By visiting Amanda vernon.com/patrons.
[00:46:39] Sophia Lebano: [00:46:39] That’s incredible. And do you have any social medias that, that taking connect with as well? Oh,
[00:46:43] Amanda Vernon: [00:46:43] yeah. All the social media is Instagram. Instagram is my current favorite. I would say Facebook. I’m just getting into Tik TOK. I see. The problem is that I love it so much.
[00:46:54] It’s so funny. It’s so funny. There’s so many talented singers on there and I’m like, I don’t even know if this needs anything it’s perfect already. And so honestly, I’m trying to just certainly what is God calling me to add to this? You know? Um, and so I’m thinking maybe like, relationship. Advice or relationship outlook, because I feel like that
[00:47:17] Sophia Lebano: [00:47:17] is kind of lacking.
[00:47:18] I think that’s lacking that. Yes.
[00:47:22] Amanda Vernon: [00:47:22] Yeah. And so, yeah. So what I’m thinking, what, what, I’m, what I’m I feel the Lord prompting me. He’s like, why don’t you just get on there and talk about like, Your experience of like relationships. Cause that’s not what’s happening on tic-tac
[00:47:36] Sophia Lebano: [00:47:36] no, you need to change that culture .
[00:47:39] Yeah. So,
[00:47:41] Amanda Vernon: [00:47:41] so Amanda Vernon music on any of those platforms and people can find
[00:47:45] Sophia Lebano: [00:47:45] me. That’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, your Instagram stories are always the best, so you can always check those out. I love . If you love this, you’ll love her stories, even why this is so, so good. I am so happy with the way that the host fare guided destruction, starting [00:48:00] with curly hair topics to discerning your vocation.
[00:48:03] We really hit everything. This is awesome. Gosh, all
[00:48:09] Amanda Vernon: [00:48:09] well-rounded like our curls. Oh
[00:48:12] Sophia Lebano: [00:48:12] Lord. That’s good. I like that. And I did find a code for that. Um, so pillow case. Yeah. I mean, I’m going to throw my own, um, Thing out there. HelloSophia 15 for 15% off your silk pillowcase needs,
[00:48:29] Amanda Vernon: [00:48:29] HelloSophia15 and which brand was that?
[00:48:32] Sophia Lebano: [00:48:32] That was for Myk silk. Um, there’s some
[00:48:38] like aesthetically pleasing their feed on Instagram too. So.
[00:48:42] Amanda Vernon: [00:48:42] I’ve had this on my, like, to buy list for like two years. This is the moment. This
[00:48:48] is Providence. Perfect. Yes. Thank you so much.
[00:48:51] I literally love this conversation so much. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard on a podcast. Thanks for that. Um, yeah.
[00:48:59] Thank you guys for tuning in to this week’s episode. If Hear and Now podcast, Amanda, thank you again.
[00:49:05] Uh, you’re
[00:49:05] welcome. Thanks so much for having me. It was
[00:49:07] Sophia Lebano: [00:49:07] great. Yeah, thank you. And we will see you next time on Hear and Now podcast. Bye .
It’s the 90th episode of Hear and Now Podcast! Thank you for joining me this week as I have Amanda Vernon on to discuss girly things: faith, curly hair, dating, and discernment.
Enjoy this unfiltered, unedited edition of Hear and Now Podcast!
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