Because yes, it is a pee-my-pants-excitement moment for the fangirl Jack Russell in me.
You see, my friends, today I welcome Elizabeth Foss—THE Elizabeth Foss—to my little corner of cyberspace. She’s here to share some words of wisdom about the re-release of Small Steps for Catholic Moms (which I’ve reviewed over at CatholicMom.com).
Pour yourself a cuppa (or a shotta, if you’ve had one of *those* days) and cozy up around my kitchen table. (Sorry about those crumbs.) (Oh, yeah. The dog. Just push her away.) (And um? Was that a PUDDLE? ‘Scuse me, I’ll wipe that up…)
Elizabeth, I’ve been a HUGE FAN of yours for years, and it’s an honor to have you here. I remember when Small Steps came out in its first edition a number of years ago. I was a huge fan now, but as I see the new updated edition, I have to tell you: I’m loving it even more. Tell us about this project and bringing it “back to life,” so to speak.
First, thank you for such kind words; I’m delighted to be here. The book was the unfortunate victim of the demise of its publishing house. The publisher folded just as the book was released, so it never really had its day in the sun because we were never certain we’d be able to offer it for a sustained length of time. We are incredibly grateful to Ave Maria Press and to CatholicMom.com for recognizing its value and breathing new life into the project. The newer version is brighter and the pages are really pretty. It’s slightly larger, though the same number of pages—these pages are easier to read on better quality paper. But the price hasn’t changed at all.
If there was one section/month/day of Small Steps that you would like to have every mom read, what would it be?
I love the introduction, the opportunity to assure women that there is no “wrong” way to do this and absolutely no way to fail. I think my favorite small action is the one where we suggest moving your wedding band from its usual spot to another finger in order to remind you to pray for your husband throughout the day. That visual cue is very effective and this is a technique I’ve used often throughout the years.
You’re a big proponent of taking small steps to achieve big goals, which is part of what’s behind this book. How do you put that into play in your life as you juggle things that look impossible to others (like me) and yet keep you in tune with your vocation of wife and mother?
I’m a big believer in the here and now. I think it’s my experience with cancer early in my mothering life. I just don’t assume tomorrow. So, when I get up in the morning, my challenge is the day at hand. Once we’ve narrowed it to only the waking hours, it’s fairly easy to see that the day is comprised of small steps. I like to make lists, to be very intentional, and I’m naturally disciplined and diligent, so all this works together for a daily plan, every day. From there I beg for the strength and grace to get it done.
What’s been the greatest blessing for you in all of this? I can’t help but see this project as a huge part of the New Evangelization: at the end of the day, what do you consider your greatest success with Small Steps?
My greatest personal success in all of this was an incredible journey into friendship with the saints. I gathered most of the quotes while on pregnancy bedrest five years ago, anticipating a potentially life-threatening delivery. My king-sized bed was covered with volumes of writings of the saints. Every day, I pored through the wisdom of holiness. Those saints sustained me. This book was an enormous gift to me long before Danielle and I even added our words to it. When you’re blessed that way, you want to tell about it!
And finally, because I can’t resist asking, what books are you reading and excited about lately? (No, it has nothing to do with your book. But I can’t help it. I’m behind on blog reading by about six months and I have the chance to ask…)
I just finished an advanced copy of Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I loved it because the whole idea of intentional, undistracted motherhood is very near and dear to my heart. And I’m pretty enthused about 10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child—very thought provoking.
Now, go and buy a copy of Small Steps for Catholic Moms for yourself and a copy for your best friend. Because you DESERVE IT!