BOGO offer for CatholicMom.com Readers!

cm_logo_final_vertical-copy_300Thanks to Lisa Hendey and Barb Szyskiewicz for helping to spread the word about “The 40 Day Challenge” over at CatholicMom.com!

As a special “thanks” to CM.com readers, I’m offering a special deal on Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

BOGO! That’s right … Just sign up to receive my #40DayChallenge reflections, then  order one copy of Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta for $15 (postage paid), get a copy of the Advent book . . . free!

Just send a check payable to Heidi Saxton at 10350 Royal Oak Court, Osceola IN 46561. Limit one free book per customer.

God bless you!

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Waiting… and Fuming

Sarah 2005Have you ever wondered what a speaker does in the hour or so before she gives her presentation? I don’t know about Pat Gohn or Lisa Hendey or Kelly Wahlquist . . . but I can tell you what I was doing last night.

Fuming. Because I couldn’t find a lipstick. Real spiritual, right?

I wear makeup about 12 times a year, usually a swipe of mascara and a dab of lipstick. My husband thinks I’m a natural beauty, so why mess with it? But like any gal, when it’s time to stand and deliver, I like to get a bit gussied up.

Only this time, my child-who-shall-be-nameless had swiped all THREE of my lipsticks along with a few other items. And frankly, it was the last boundary-related straw that week. I’ll draw a veil of privacy over the discussion that ensued (for both our sakes), but suffice it to say that I arrived at church feeling rather depleted. What made me think that I had anything worth sharing with these women, when I could barely get myself to the church without strangling my daughter?

I was happy to see another writer friend, Jeannie Ewing, in the audience. Several other special-needs moms as well. And as I shared my Lipstick Story with them, I heard warm and appreciative laughter. I guess I wasn’t the only mom in the room who ever had to put her makeup under lock and key.

Later, one of the women took me aside and told me the story of her struggles with her own teenager. She spoke of her anxiety in waiting, in wondering what the future would look like for her daughter. This, I understood. All of it. And in that moment, I was reminded of something: That being a speaker or teacher — or a parent — is not about handing out dazzling perfection from a pedestal on high. It’s about bearing witness to the mercy of God in my own life, despite (and sometimes because of) its imperfections, and helping others to see that same Providence at work in theirs.

Where is God calling you to witness?

Are you waiting and fuming, or waiting and worrying, this Advent? “Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you,” said St. Teresa of Avila. “All things pass away, but God never changes. Patience obtains all things, and those who possess God want for nothing. God alone suffices.”

It’s not too late to pick up a copy ofAdvent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta on Franciscan Media or Amazon.com.  Happy Advent!

Dealing with Writer’s Block

writers-block“The other day on Facebook, on of my friends (*ahem, Lisa Hendey*) suggested I recommend some tips for overcoming writer’s block. Being a Catholic editor and all, my first thought was to swipe the advice of St. Benedict: “Ora et labora” (pray and work).

Then I thought I’d do what I SAID I’d be doing here, which is to open it up to the wisdom of other writers. With that in mind, I’d like to connect you with this article from “Fire Your Mentor: Top 15 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block.”

“Pressure, fear, stress, trauma, anxiety, the beginning or ending of a particular project….the list goes on, can cause that crippling feeling of frustration and fear,” writes Munmi Sarma. “Fortunately there are as many techniques to combat writer’s block as there are causes.” He goes on to list 15 of them, most of which can be divided into three categories:

* Environmental diversions. (electronics, other deadlines and demands, unattended bodily needs

* Internal distractions. (stress, negative self-talk, and lack of focus)

* Lack of inspiration.

It’s this third category, it seems, that most writers associate with “writer’s block,” though to be honest the first two are the most likely culprits. Writing is both an art and a discipline. And while writing exercises, “artist’s dates” (courtesy of Julia Cameron) and writer’s retreats are all wonderful in their time and place, for most of us writing is 20% inspiration and 80% perspiration!

I’ve heard more than one author compare writing a book to childbirth. I’d say it’s also like parenting: a lot of it is just showing up. Setting goals, and dividing them into manageable tasks. Priming the pump with solid source material. And just showing up at the appointed time, and not getting up until you’ve reached your goal.

What are some of the ways YOU have dealt with the empty page?

For more tips and information for Catholic writers, head on over to my NEW blog, “Ask a Catholic Editor.”

Lunch with Fiat #GraceofYes

When I picked up an advance copy of Lisa Hendey’s new book The Grace of Yes, the goldfish (“Fiat,” or “Yes”) whispered to me … “Say, I’ve never been on a walking tour of Notre Dame before. How about it?”

And so, to celebrate with the rest of Lisa’s MANY fans in and out of cyberspace, Fiat and I hit the Grotto, where we introduced Fiat to Bernadette, lit a candle, and took a selfie with OLoL (who had already gotten her advance copy, and enjoyed it very much.)

Fiat and Bernadette Fight lights a candle Heidi and Fiat

Congratulations, Lisa! Looking forward to your launch on the 18th!

Wee Read Wednesday: “Handbook for Catholic Moms”

Happy Ash Wednesday!  Are you a bit late picking up your Lenten reading?  Here’s an idea for you …

CatholicMom.com creator and podcasting dynamo Lisa Hendey is a consummate networker, forging partnerships and making connections between women (and a few lucky men) with charm and grace. Using the most cutting-edge “new media,” including multiple blogs and podcasts, she has become a force to be reckoned with … and yet a kinder, gentler soul you could never hope to meet.

Her latest contribution to the media is a book entitled The Handbook for Catholic Moms, a dip-in-and-set-aside, mom-friendly offering that brings to min the kind of connections that were for centuries part-and-parcel of the womanly experience … dispensing and gleaning nuggets of feminine around the village well, quilting frame, or (more recently) the comment sections of  e-zines such as “Faith and Family Online.”

This book, then, is vintage Hendey. Drawing from the collective wisdom of dozens of faith-filled women, Hendey edits and expertly arranges each offering into readily accessible form, with sections dedicated to healthy hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.  Checklists, quotes, online resource, and snippets of advice are intermingled with the wisdom of saints and prayer starters on topics ranging from health maintenance to character formation to friendship and intimacy.

Pick up a copy to savor the next time you need a relaxing read!