There was a time when I considered the seven deadly sins to be something that, well, other people should concern themselves with. I mean, I’m a busy woman and it’s unlikely that I have time to commit them, much less to learn about them. Julie over at Happy Catholic brought them to my attention with a series she did on the seven deadly sins and their corresponding virtues, but I’m not proud to admit that after reading it, I put them right out of my mind.

So when I heard about the premise behind Heidi Hess Saxton’s book Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments, I was curious. Just how could the seven deadly sins relate to mothers? How did she make this practical and easy to implement? Would I be able to understand it without a degree in theology?

The answers to those questions were delightful to answer as I read – no, devoured – the book. Those seven deadly sins that I thought I was too busy to commit? Um, yeah. Guilty. Of like eight of them.

“In His wisdom, God orchestrates the events of motherhood (or so it seems) to cultivate a bumper crop of humility in most of us,” Heidi writes in the beginning of the book. “And so, I am writing this to you not as a woman who has perfected the art of mothering, or one who has arrived near the pinnacle of sainthood. Ask my husband – I have a long way to go. However, I have had the opportunity to study from the “best of the blessed,” and have noticed practical streams of thought that can shore our defenses against the darts the enemy uses to assault homes and families. I offer some of those thoughts here, in hopes that they will encourage you to take a closer look at the tricks of the evil one – and how you can better stand on guard against them.”

Heidi goes on to lay out the book in ten quickly-read chapters. The first two chapters introduce you to the premise of the book, and the next seven cover the sins, along with the corresponding virtues that will help you battle the sins. The last chapter, my favorite, helps you put a plan together. Now don’t get scared at that – I’m a big planner-in-theory, but this chapter made me take action.

I haven’t been able to get this book out of my mind. Though I zipped through it, it’s designed to be read slowly, one chapter at a time over a period of time. Each chapter has a “for reflection and discussion” box, and this would make for great discussion. In fact, it’s part of the Women of Grace Life Guide series, so there is (or will be – I don’t know if it’s done yet) a study guide that goes with it. But if, like me, you don’t have a group of women to read it with, pick it up for yourself.

Interested but find that you’re not a mommy? Well, never fear! That does NOT disqualify you from reading it. My mom emailed me last week to tell me that, having heard me rave about this book and my anticipation about how great it would be (this was right before I picked it up), she bought a copy, devoured it, and has since lent it out – to someone who is NOT a mommy. She said to me, “I love, love, love it. And I’m going to loan it to a girl here at work, who does not have any children. The book is not just for moms – it’s for any person, in any relationship really. I really like the way she gives a Virtuous Antidote to each of the Traps. And Heidi even autographed it – what a sweetie.”

Yeah, I agree. Heidi is a sweetie. The front of mine read “For Sarah – who makes me smile.”

You can order your copy, and Heidi will autograph it for you too. And after you read – or devour – it, let me know what you think.