In which I interview the fabulous Sarah Reinhard

When I started blogging three years ago, one of the very first people I connected with was Sarah Reinhard.   And I have to say, there are few people in the blogosphere who are more supportive than this talented gal.  Over the years, she’s been a great source of techie advice, spiritual inspiration, and online friendship.  Read on for information about her new book, her life in the country, and her [well-justified]  distaste for a certain winged creature.

You’re a writer with many, many irons in the fire!  Tell us a bit about your projects.

My first writing love is my blog, It’s where I got started and where I keep my writer self rejuvinated, because it’s all fun.

I’ve been working on a number of book projects in the last year, and the first of these is Welcome Baby Jesus: Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families. It’s available through Liguori or on Amazon. Parishes receive special discount and quantity pricing. It’s designed to help families EASILY observe the Advent season, with the goal of welcoming Baby Jesus at Christmas with a new wonder and appreciation for the Incarnation.

What are three things that people should know about you?  (any three!).

1.  I’m a big Catholic geek. This means that yes, I have read the Catechism for fun and yes, I know what “transsubstantiation” means.

2.  I love horses (and so do my husband and kids). Of course, if you’ve followed me on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that. 🙂

3.  I hate wasps. Lucky for me, God sent us a new house and I can cross “finding wasps in the house on a daily basis” off of my “things to pray about” list.

I’ve lived in urban or suburban places all my life.  You live in a farmhouse,  which to me sounds wonderfully evocative. Am I right to think that living “out in nature” is good for one’s spiritual life? 

Well, Ginny, the good news for me is that I no longer live in that old farmhouse that inspired so many of my, ahem, less joyful moments. (Ah, having to find a new topic for writing…but it’s worth it!) We only moved across the road, and we still own our farm property, so it’s been the best of all worlds for me.

I find God so close to me in the cornfields that surround me and the animals grazing in pastures. I see him in the brilliant sunsets across the vista and in the bright colors of the changing seasons. I find myself growing close to Mary as I consider, while I hang out my clothes in the backyard, how she must have had a very hands-on life so many thousands of years ago.

For me, the space of living in a rural area is refreshing. It gives me room to stretch my mental muscles. Incidentally, I also find that I have had to teach my kids that they have three voices: inside voices, outside-in-town voices, and outside-not-in-town voices.

I’m not sure if I addressed your question or if I recreated it to suit myself, but you should come visit sometime. We’ll let the kids run in the backyard and sip some lemonade on my back porch. Then you can tell me what you think! 🙂

I met you through the blogosphere because we are both Big Mary Fans.  What are some key words or images that you associate with her?

Mama. That’s the biggest one. In that affectionate term, I find myself reminded that she was–and is–HUMAN, every bit as human as I am. She was a wife and mom who faced challenges. When my kids call ME “Mama,” I think of her, and I think of how, even as imperfect as I am, I can always look to her to help me, guide me, and love me.

What is one thing busy moms can do to enrich their spiritual lives?

As you do that which you hate the most, say a Hail Mary. Don’t stop what you’re doing, but imagine yourself standing beside Mama Mary, working alongside her as you would a favorite aunt or a good girlfriend. Have a conversation in the context of that prayer, and let her lead you closer to her Son.

And then smile. Because there’s something spiritually enriching about smiling.

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