I have one book that is always in my purse, in my car, or on my person. It is Heidi Hess Saxton’s Behold Your Mother. When I was recently editing Teresa Tomeo’s upcoming autobiography, Newsflash, there is a point where Teresa encourages her readers to make a habit of spending at least a few minutes a day with a book that provides inspiration and is scripturally sound. Behold Your Mother is exactly that book and is probably why I have such an affinity for it.
Heidi first introduces the reader to three personal Mary stories. Right away you feel that this book is unique among Marian books due to Heidi’s personal revelations about her conversion to Catholicism and her own admitted interest in keeping Mary at a distance. As we all know, honoring Mary is one of the great divides between Catholics and their Christian brothers- and sisters-in-Christ so to hear Heidi’s honest words, “The very idea of talking to Jesus’ mother held no appeal,” takes us behind that great divide. Heidi shares her pilgrimage into the heart of Mary and we are blessed by her journey.
Our own journeys continue to be affected by the essence of this beautiful prayer book as Heidi uses 48 different titles of Mary to offer Scripture, a meditation, and then a prayer. I have used Heidi’s book to quiet my mind while racing from one appointment to another and have also sat with her book at the Tabernacle. Each title seems to ring so true that I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite although “Bride of Heaven” and “Woman” are certainly stand-outs for me.
Since the release of her Marian book, Heidi has also started a “superblog” called the “Extraordinary Mom Network.” Patrice Fagnant MacArthur, herself a columnist at Catholic Exchange, designed the website and runs technical interference for Heidi. This network is a clear piece of Heidi’s own Marian journey that began with holding the Mother of Christ at a distance and has now come full circle by offering a dedicated blog addressing specific needs of today’s “extraordinary moms.” Beginning with the understanding of Mary as an extraordinary mom, Heidi’s own definition has grown under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Heidi now invites a multitude of extraordinary mothers to her newsletter and site.
The Extraordinary Mom Network (EMN) is an outreach to women who have embraced an extraordinary calling to motherhood (adoption or foster care as well as step-parenting and single parenting) and mothers who face extraordinary personal challenges (such as infertility, chronic illnesses, or difficult marriages), or who are raising children with extraordinary needs — physical, emotional, or mental.
For more information about Heidi’s book, Behold Your Mother, which is now available in Spanish, visit Heidi’s website at www.christianword.com or you can find it on Amazon. To read the extraordinary mom superblog, go to extraordinarymomsnetwork.wordpress.com. If you or someone you know would benefit from their monthly newsletter, or wish to join their network, contact Heidi Saxton at firstname.lastname@example.org.