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Author Archive for Heidi Hess Saxton

Heidi Saxton is an author of several books and columns. She and her husband Craig are adoptive parents of two children. Her "Extraordinary Moms Network" has special relevance to families of adopted, foster, or special-needs children. Heidi is currently writing her thesis for a Masters in Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

The Book Whisperer: The Art of Spiritual Writing
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The Book Whisperer: The Art of Spiritual Writing

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At Ave Maria Press, I enjoy working closely with authors to help them “develop their craft.” Rewriting and platform-building are two of the most challenging tasks for any writer, so I am always looking for helpful resources. Vinita’s new book, The Art of Spiritual Writing, is one I highly recommend for those new to the spiritual […]

The Book Whisperer: Two Special Books on Adoption
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The Book Whisperer: Two Special Books on Adoption

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To kick off my first “Book Whisperer” column, I thought I would share some wonderful adoption resources. If you have other recommendations, why not send me a note? My first favorite is Ten Days and Nine Nights by Yumi Heo (Random), for families with older children who are awaiting the adoption of a younger sibling (in this case, […]

Working Mom’s Survival Kit
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Working Mom’s Survival Kit

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Today is my first “normal” day back at work (from my home office) since Chris came home. Now, under ideal circumstances (everyone but me — including the dog — out of the house for an eight-hour stretch, the house clean and crock pot simmering), I enjoy working from home. However, since “ideal circumstances” seldom present themselves […]

A Risk Worth Taking?
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A Risk Worth Taking?

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“Say you were walking along a boardwalk with your dog, and a stranger fell into the water. Your dog jumps in after him. You only have time to save one. Which would you save?” My office mate Mike and I sometimes get into these wonderful philosophical or theological discussions; it gives us a welcome break […]

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

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Have you ever looked yourself in the mirror and wondered why you have four “frown lines” for every laugh line? When was the last time you gut-laughed? Do you slip into your daughter’s room late at night, and wish you’d spent as much time enjoying her as you did lecturing her? Do you ever wonder […]

Labor of Love: Suffering and the Motherly Vocation
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Labor of Love: Suffering and the Motherly Vocation

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This week I happened across this YouTube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVUZzgswJaY) in which two strapping young Dutch men experience the joy of childbirth … well, two hours of simulated labor pains. That’s almost the same thing, right? Sure. In his classic work Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen acknowledges that the mystery of suffering will remain […]

The "Balanced" Virtue of Temperance
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The “Balanced” Virtue of Temperance

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What comes to mind when you think of “temperance”?  Designated drivers downing pints of O’Douls or virgin daiquiris? The thrill of moral victory from leaving that last bite of chocolate cake on the plate? Lent? The other day I came across an article by MaryEllen Tribby (Founder and CEO of WorkingMoms.com) entitled “The Success Indicator,” […]

The Pewsitter's Guide to Parish Renewal
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The Pewsitter’s Guide to Parish Renewal

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Recently on Facebook, I came across a rather heated discussion about Vacation Bible School (VBS), summertime faith formation programs hosted by many parishes across the United States. These parishes are taking a cue from other Christian communities by offering this kind of special outreach – and at times are even using programs produced by evangelical […]

Where Love Shines: An Epiphany
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Where Love Shines: An Epiphany

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Love can take many forms. A gentle hand on a feverish brow. A knowing smile across a crowded room. A deep breath that swallows a word best left unsaid. And once, in all of human history, love took the form of a star. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded […]

The Holy Innocents
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The Holy Innocents

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With nothing but the angel’s words as confirmation of her condition, she hastened toward her cousin’s house to see if the impossible had indeed come to pass. It had. Amazingly, inexplicably, the devout old woman positively glowed as she regarded her much younger kin, at once gratified and awestruck at the hidden miracles that rested, […]

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For Those Who Suffer at Christmas

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As we begin the Christmas season, we contemplate in earnest that manger scene. The One who was all light emerged from the darkness of the womb. He who was perfect Love entered a world in which, in just a few short months, his parents had to flee their home in order to keep him from […]

The Red Palm of Motherhood
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The Red Palm of Motherhood

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A few weeks ago, on All Soul’s Day, Father Kean – a exuberant young priest at our parish – preached from the daily reading from Revelation 7: After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and […]

Advent Cake: A Rose Sunday Tradition
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Advent Cake: A Rose Sunday Tradition

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As I head out for a weekend in Georgia, to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary, I wanted to leave with you a recipe I usually make for a small group of friends the third weekend of each Advent, for Rose Sunday. For so many of us, Advent is merely a time to get ready for […]

The Tender Touch of God
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The Tender Touch of God

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This week Tripp Curtis, the recently bereaved husband of “Mommy Life” blogger and author Barbara Curtis, posted a short article about his wife that read in part: Barbara told how “seeing my children experience a happy childhood was the next best thing to having one myself.” She wished to “receive that kind of love.… Is […]

Comforting the Emotionally Challenged Child
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Comforting the Emotionally Challenged Child

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From the time they were very young, my kids have been drawn to soft fabrics. Christopher wears his footie pajamas on the hottest summer nights. Sarah’s retinue of stuffed animals requires so much space I often find her hanging off the bed at night. (Getting her to sleep under the covers is a chore because, […]

A Feast for Royalty: Thankful All Year Long
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A Feast for Royalty: Thankful All Year Long

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Determined to have a real Thanksgiving this year (the thought of cooking a full turkey dinner for three people depressed me), I invited a couple of families to join us. Eagerly I began planning the menu and polishing the silver, and began looking around the home with a critical eye, making mental note of all […]

A Mother’s Second Sight
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A Mother’s Second Sight

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“You know what I’m most scared of, Mom?” Last week, Christopher snuggled up to me as we savored our all-too-short time together. “The riots. The kids at school said there’s going to be rioting if Obama doesn’t win.” I considered this a moment. My first instinct was to reassure him, to tell him it was […]

A Saint in the Making
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A Saint in the Making

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This week I’ve been reading about the “back stories” of the saints. It can be easy, sometimes, to think of holy people in two-dimensional, sanitized terms. Earthbound angels who floated through life, never contradicting, never offending . . . warm and appealing and endlessly agreeable. Yet “niceness” is not a theological virtue, and those who […]

Sleepless in the Night
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Sleepless in the Night

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I’m entering a new phase of my life . . . the “hot” zone.  One minute, minding my own business, typing or reading or just hanging with family — the next, the heater kicks in and my face has little rivulets of sweat. One minute I’m sound asleep, cuddled in my fuzzy armed sleeper, the […]

Passing the Mother Test
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Passing the Mother Test

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I first became a mother at the age of 38 when my husband and I became foster parents to three children under the age of five. Three frightened, angry, fragile kids who spent every waking minute – which, between them, constituted pretty much 24/7 that first year – thinking of creative ways to destroy the […]

Womanly Wisdom
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Womanly Wisdom

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For the past few months, the image followed me. At work, I shuddered as I came across it in one of our study workbooks. This week again at a TOB seminar, there it was in its full, blazing glory: Caravaggio’s depiction of “Doubting Thomas” sticking his probing finger into the glorified wound of the Risen […]

A Year of Faith . . . for Parents of All Children
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A Year of Faith . . . for Parents of All Children

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In this week’s Gospel, Mark paints a touching portrait that is familiar to most of us, of the Christ who loves all children: And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come […]

Mommy Millstones
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Mommy Millstones

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The Gospel reading this weekend has one verse in particular that always makes me consider very carefully my responsibility as a mother, and assess just how well I’m doing in my vocation. Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, It would be better for him if a […]

Unearthing Hidden Treasures: An Historical Case for Foster Parenting
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Unearthing Hidden Treasures: An Historical Case for Foster Parenting

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“They had been discussing among themselves . . . who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.’ “Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst, and putting his […]

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