Taking Time to … Breathe

This morning when the phone rang, I wished very hardthat I had been able to find my Daytimer yesterday. That way I wouldn’t have been so surprised when my friend Pat Gohn (left) asked me if I was ready to interview for her podcast “Among Women.”

I wasn’t, not exactly. My husband was conducting business in the living room, and when I moved to the bedroom to conduct the interview he started moving around, getting ready for work. If I’d remembered, I have shoveled out my office enough to talk to Pat in peace and quiet. As it was, all I could do was … breathe.

Do you ever get like this? Feel like you’re going through life in auto-pilot mode, one step ahead of the lions? With kids to feed, home to clean, posters to make, meetings to attend, columns to write, e-mails to answer, books to read, and much else to do … Taking a moment to breathe seems like inexcusable luxury.

But that is exactly what we need to do sometimes. Breathe, so we have the resources to keep running.

Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhew!

Today at AnnArbor.com, I’ve posted a little article about another important way to keep perspective, at least at our house. It’s the family rules: 30 minutes of together time every single day. No computers. No agenda. Just … together. Talking. Singing. Even grumping. It’s all good.

In the interview with Pat about “My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories,” I talked about how we can never hope to have a relationship with God if we don’t spend timein His presence. It would be like running into Grandma’s house, shouting at her from the door, “Hi-Grandma-how-are-you-I’m-fine!” and running back to the car. That’s not the way to build a relationship.

So, c’mon. Breathe with me now.

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here.
Make me aware of your presence, right here and now.
As close and as warm as the air I breathe.
Fill me, calm me, and strengthen me. Amen!

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Weeeeee… Ash Wednesday!

It was lovely, having dinner as a WHOLE FAMILY tonight! (We just got back from our trip to see my parents.) This week we’ve been talking about how we’ll observe Lent this year, and have come up with the following:

Dad:  No ice cream or chocolate.

He:  “Both? Do I really need to do both?”
Me:  “I will if you will.”
He:  *sigh* “Okay, then.”
Me:  “That’s the spirit!”

Me:  No ice cream or chocolate. Plus my “Forty-Day House Re-Treat”

Christopher.  Will not smack his sister. Oh, and the candy thing.

Sarah.  Will not yell at mom. Since brother can’t smack, may yell at brother instead. 😉

As a family:  Read together one story from my new book, “My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories.”  (Give you any ideas?! 🙂

My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories: Let The Reviews Begin!

I’m so happy that reviews of “My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories” are already floating in from cyberspace!  Thank you so much for spreading the word about my latest book!

Sarah at “Catholic Pondering” writes: 

My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories is a treasury for every age.  Whether you’re looking for a gift for a family in your life or searching, as I did, for a Bible story book that includes those wonderful deuterocanonical stories of Tobit and Maccabees (and the others!), consider this book.  It’s topping my list of gifts to give in the coming years.”

Esther at “Catholic Mom in Hawaii” was impressed that the book contains an imprimatur from the Archbishop of Nashville … and regretted that her son (now in college) was too old to read to any more! (Sorry, Esther. But save it for your grandchildren!!!)

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur (at CatholicMedia.com and SpiritualWoman.com) writes: “The beautiful illustrations by Natalie Carabetta only add to the experience. This is a book that children will greatly enjoy looking at and sharing with their parents. It is primarily targeted to the 7 – 12 age range, although children younger and older could certainly benefit from it. I heartily recommend “My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories” to any Catholic family searching for a kid-friendly Bible. Perhaps the best endorsement is how much my two boys (ages seven and eight) enjoyed looking through this book. They said it was much better than the kids’ Bible that they currently have!”

This book is available through Amazon and B&N, as well as though Liturgical Press, Thomas Nelson, and will soon be available through my website (as well as your local bookstore). (If you would like to be notified when it’s available through my site, drop me a note at hsaxton@christianword.com.)  (Christian Books ran an interview with me here.)