Big Announcement: I’m Writing a Book!

Big Announcement: I’m Writing a Book!

Holy moly, y’all–I’m writing a book!

Although I’ve penned columns, blog posts, articles, reflections, devotions, studies, retreat and conference talks, fables, countless unpublished short stories and plays, academic papers, haphazard grocery and overflowing to-do lists (those count for something, right?!), an award-winning poem (when I was 9 years old, LOL) and even a chapter in this book, I’ve never written my very own, real life book.

Until now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you to meet the little book that could: It’s called…wait for it…Death By Minivan. It arrives in the Fall of 2018 from the superlative and very brave folks at Our Sunday Visitor (please pray for them all, especially my long-suffering editor), and I! Am! So! Excited!

I’ll provide information about pre-ordering the book as well as some pre-order freebie goodness (‘cuz y’all know I LOVE me a good giveaway) in this space soon (see the end of this post to sign up!).

But for now, Death By Minivan, a book by me (!!!)–is on its way.

It’s not a memoir. It’s not even a “how to.” It’s for you Real Catholic Moms out there who have good days and dark days. Some days you’re on top of your game, and some days you drag yourself out of bed. But most days, you stop whatever you’re doing to clean bottoms and make lunches and say prayers even when you don’t feel like it. Because, as the Chief Minister of Interruptions for your household, that’s just what you do.

Death By Minivan is for you road warriors who drive the minivan (or any other vehicle) day after day after day to run errands, go to work, drop off one child for sports practice, pick up another child from religious education, and try to get everyone together for dinner at least, because this is what your path to holiness looks like, petrified french fries on the floor be darned.

Death By Minivan acknowledges the (sometimes ridiculous) sacrifices the vocation of motherhood entails, yet encourages you to cultivate and celebrate the many amazing fruits that come from offering yourself with love to your children–your very own “least of these.”

Death By Minivan is a book that, I hope and pray, will encourage, inspire, and uplift all you sweet Mamas who don’t always have it all together but are giving everything you have to live the life that God has given you. Because, my dear sister in Christ, like me, you may not win any “Mom of the Year” awards. But. You are worthy. You are enough. You are loved.

Please sign up for my email list to get the latest and greatest about the book (and so much more) delivered directly to your inbox!

 

Until next time; God bless y’all.

 

 

 

P.S. A huge shout-out to my dear sister from another mister Christy Stephens, the genius behind the minivan drawing. She will be providing illustrations for this project, and I am so excited to see what her pen produces!

P.P.S. Would you please pray for me during the writing process? May God’s will be done in this work. Thank you so very much!!

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All the light we think we can see

All the light we think we can see

It’s been quite different having only one small child tagging along with me this past schoolyear. Young Sir K has been my shadow, my sidekick, and my adventure buddy. We’ve spent countless hours running errands, reading aloud, chatting about Legos and Paw Patrol and bugs. Simply enjoying each another’s presence has been so refreshing as I work on embracing a more measured pace of life.

I’ve found that, during this time of less doing and more being, God speaks to my heart in ways I couldn’t hear amidst the cacophany of constant noise and motion.

For example, something interesting happened during a routine trek to the grocery store the other day that compelled me to ponder perception, reality, and waiting on the LORD.

Small red basket overflowing, Sir K and I headed toward the check-out lanes. Since the self-serve stations were occupied, we high-tailed to the nearest open lane. What a blessing! I thought. There’s no one else in line! I figured we’d be out of there in no time flat.

Read the rest here.

photo credit: Josh Boot with permission via unsplash
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Praise His Name | Blessed is She

Praise His Name | Blessed is She

Happy Sunday, Friends! Today, I’m over at Blessed is She talking about one of my favorite things – praising God. Here’s a sneak peek:

During an endless day of chasing numerous children in myriad directions where the breakfast was burned, the coffee was cold, the toilet overflowed, the homework was lost, the van was iced over, the dinner wouldn’t cook, the husband had a late meeting, the important deadline was missed . . . there may be noises coming out of my mouth, but I can pretty much guarantee that none of them are joyful!

And yet, Scripture doesn’t say, “Make a joyful noise when life is perfect.” It doesn’t say, “Praise the Lord when you’re sufficiently caffeinated and everyone is calm and your house is pin-worthy.”

Read more here, and when you’re done, pick up a copy of the BiS Lenten Journal before they’re all gone!

May God abundantly bless you this week.

In Him,

Heather

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The day Love showed up

The day Love showed up

Today was just going to be one of those days. I’m sure you know the sort.

The baby crawled into bed with me at way-too-early o’clock and proceeded to kick me like he was auditioning for The Rockettes for the next hour.

My back let me know in no uncertain terms while I was changing said baby that it would go out on me without any provocation WHATsoever.

There was no coffee in the house – zilchnot even instant (and exactly how was I supposed to manage my domestic church, let alone fight the zombie apocalypse, without any caffeine???)

The cute new toaster burned my toast and, adding insult to injury, somehow managed to indiscriminately catapult the aforementioned charred slice into the dust bunny village on the floor between the refrigerator and the counter. Woof.

The dishwasher, in complete and utter disregard for my wishes to the contrary, flatly refused to load itself (what was its damage, anyway??).

Everyone wanted my snack (despite the fact that they’d already been fed, and I’d finally managed to scrape the last 1/16 cup of vanilla yogurt into a bowl for myself).

And, to top it off, my attempt to pleasantly yet firmly instruct the children to sort, fold, and put away their freshly-laundered clothing was apparently akin to torture that sent at least half of the beleaguered tykes into an ongoing screeching ritual so cacophonous that even a howler monkey would have grabbed his earplugs and headed for the hills.

But wait – there’s more! Other songs on this broken record included: Who Was Staring at Whom, She Smashed My Finger, Spilled Milk Dripping on the Hardwood Floor, and The Inconsiderate Booger Wiping Incident.

Then …

Something happened.

Somehow my desperate prayers (half-hissed through clenched teeth ranging in content from “help me bear this gracefully,” to “get me the heck out of here!“) were answered in an unexpectedly precious way.

Towards the latter part of my craptastic afternoon, I heard a quiet knock upon my bedroom door. Standing there, wearing who-knows-what ensemble undoubtedly inspired by the movie The Croods, was my first-born son. “Mommy?” he queried. “Yes,” I responded, half-listening as I smoothed the comforter down over the foot of my bed. “This is for you,” he said, as he handed me a slightly wrinkled piece of paper.

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Ohhh …”  I breathed, half whispering to this sweet, precious boy, who has long been an effective balm for his mama’s weary heart, and half addressing The One Who knew exactly what I needed at exactly this moment in time. “Thank you so, so, so much. I love you, too.

I hugged my son for longer than was probably comfortable for him, but if he was bothered by it, he mercifully didn’t let on.

Because of this precious moment with my little man – one fleeting piece of kairos in an otherwise jumbled-up mess of a chronos sort of day – I realized that perhaps it was not just one of those days after all; maybe it was something much, much better …

… a day when Love showed up.

 

“This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad.”

-Psalm 118:24

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The Donkey in the Well

The Donkey in the Well

Our Pastor incorporated the following story into his homily last week. Although I’m not sure where he got it or who the original author is, I’m happy to share it with you. No matter what, keep shakin’!!

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well, and was astonished at what he saw. As every shovel of dirt hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off, pack it down, and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed, as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.

The Moral:
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1.Free your heart from hatred.
2.Free your mind from worries.
3.Live simply.
4.Give more.
5.Expect less.

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