Small Steps as the Foundation for an Integrated Catholic Life: An Interview with Elizabeth Foss

small-steps-for-catholic-momsI remember eight years ago, when my oldest daughter was still a surprise human being in my home, alarming me and delighting me in equal measure. Nothing, nothing, prepared me for motherhood.

As I explored the blogosphere and tapped into the wisdom of other Catholic moms, I found myself drawn to two women, women who, while they were “big names” online, seemed like they were sitting across from me with cups of tea as they offered me wisdom and faith and encouragement.

Two of these women, Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss, put together a book that’s remarkable for its simplicity and brilliant for its loveliness. It’s called Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act. And that’s exactly what you get: one small step for every day of the year.

So often, in our lives, we focus on the big things: the sacramental milestones, the huge opportunities, the big problems. We forget to appreciate what’s in front of us: the beauty of the everyday and the life that’s in the present moment.

This book is one that every Catholic mom I know deserves. It’s a gift to her, an acknowledgement of her sacrifices and a seed of grace that will blossom throughout the day.

It’s designed to take moments a day. And, really, that’s a small step we should all be taking.

Elizabeth Foss

Elizabeth Foss

Elizabeth Foss is with us today to share a bit more about the book.

Elizabeth, you have been such a blessing in my life and Small Steps for Catholic Moms is a book I’ve enjoyed through the years. For those of our readers who may not have snagged it the first time around, tell us what inspired you and Danielle Bean to collaborate on this project.

It began as a joint project on our blogs. We had noticed that in the early days of the Catholic Mom Blogosphere, the tendency to compare and despair was very evident. We wrote a series of Lenten prompts encouraging moms to be who they are. They were well received and several people suggested we publish a booklet. As we pondered the idea, we thought, “Why not a whole year’s worth?”

How can using Small Steps be a foundation for living an integrated Catholic life for moms?

The book is well suited to the morning. The quotes give you a focus for the day. The prayer establishes what we hope will be a running conversation with Jesus all day long. And most of the prompts are easily accomplished sometime during your day if you keep them in mind as you go about your daily round. Just those few moments can ground you and carry you through the day.

Each month in Small Steps has a different theme, and I love that. I find myself putting it down sometimes for long stretches of time and then picking it back up just when, suddenly (and not accidentally, I’m sure) it’s most applicable to me. How did you and Danielle come up with that listing?

We have an easy, comfortable friendship. Our conversations are personal and heartfelt long before they are professional. All of the ideas for this book grew out of that friendship and those genuine conversations between two moms who have 17 children between them and intimately understand the places a woman struggles.

What’s your favorite part of the book, Elizabeth? Is there a part that particularly speaks to you or that inspired you as you were writing?

I think I might like January best. People are sometimes surprised by joy, I think. The quotes in January are often light and even funny. As St. Teresa of Avila reminds us there is little room for silly devotions and sour faced saints. I’d like to think our book has none of that.

When it comes to juggling and balancing, you have been someone who has inspired me again and again. How can Small Steps be a way to live a more integrated Catholic life?

Its simplicity is the key to integrating it into your daily life, and so, to integrating faith. This requires very little time commitment but it packs a big punch. Particularly if you can think/pray/act every day, those small steps over the course of a year are likely to be a very fruitful journey.

To celebrate the release of Small Steps as the newest of the CatholicMom.com Books, we’re hosting a blog tour over at CatholicMom.com from October 1-12. Be sure to join us and enter the “Five Minutes Alone” contest for a chance to win a signed set of the complete CatholicMom.com series.


Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she’s not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at http://sarahreinhard.com/writing/my-books/.

Visit Sarah’s website: http://sarahreinhard.com/


If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family using the Share and Recommend buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors

Print this entry

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *