Dear readers, the title of this book intrigued me when I first saw it. I had to introduce you to this author and her book.
Bio: Betsy Singleton Snyder, author of Stepping on Cheerios, is a pastor, a former missionary to the arts community, writer, and blogger. She and her husband, Dr. Vic Snyder who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, live in
with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).
Find out more about Betsy Singleton at https://www.womenadestand.com.
Welcome, Betsy. It’s interesting to me that you live in
I spent my first 20 years there. What would you like for our readers to know
about you personally? Arkansas
I came to motherhood late in life and knee-deep. After being a pastor in the
for almost 20
years, I had my first, and then three more babies, at age 44 and 47. United Methodist
Tell us about your family.
I’m married to a former Marine, physician, lawyer, and Congressman. We met later in life and wanted children, never expecting we’d have four in less than three years. Our boys are now 11 and 8. We have two dogs, two cats, fish, and a nice array of milkweed butterfly plants. We are into saving monarch butterflies in our little corner of the world.
Have you written other nonfiction books?
Stepping on Cheerios: Finding God in the Chaos and Clutter of Life is my first non-fiction book.
Do you have any other books in the works right now?
My website, WomenadeStand.com, is a place for me to work on ideas I have for future projects. The blog, Womenade, takes up topics from parenthood, the history of women, family life, vocation, culture, and Christianity. I’ve made an outline for a book that charts “women trouble,” the complicating factors in our network of difficult relationships that bring us both joy and sorrow.
What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
We’ve got a nice little cabin up in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas a couple hours from where we live. When possible, we spend time up there hiking, fishing, and porch-sitting. It’s a fantastic retreat in winter, with nice, warm fires and cocoa, or a beautiful place to be outside in spring and fall. In summer, we can hang out by the water or go check out some local caves, with ancient formations. If we’re at home, our family spends a great deal of time reading books, watching movies, and building anything that young boys find fascinating, from Legos to booby-traps. One of my growing interests is in creating Therapy Dog ministries, where people and dogs can serve. My dog has listened to children reading in schools and visited folks in nursing care facilities. It’s a fantastic way to share ministry with your animal who is also a family member.
Why did you write the featured book?
I came to parenthood late. Prior to having children, I’d become a pastor, worked as an urban arts missionary in our city, and traveled to far-flung places like Russia doing prison ministry. Yet, when I had triplets, my second pregnancy, I found my life unrecognizable. I was forty-seven and suddenly had heart failure days after their birth. I found myself in the midst of an identity crisis, of domestic chaos, and survival mode. A month later, my husband returned to his weekly commute to
, where he served in Congress.
As these events unfolded, I tried to maintain a home with the help of family
and friends. Kind people showed up at my home to help me literally hold my
babies and feed them. Because I was unable to hop in the car and drive to the
church and connect with God through the ways I’d always done, I started
noticing the mundane and the sacred, the pots and pans, the Cheerios on the
floor, the humor in the chaos, growth in the hardships. I decided to write a
book that would tell my crazy story and how I learned to better nurture myself,
accept myself, deal with my own identity challenges, and, frankly, help me
remember that God is with us moms, no matter how crazy and messy life gets. Washington,
What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I recently watched a mom on FaceBook get more and more stressed. I could see her doubts unfolding as she put expectations on herself about using particular products like cloth diapers or practicing co-sleeping. I think every parent should make decisions best for them and for their children, but the more this mom said should to herself, the more uncertain she became. My hope for any mom who puts that kind of pressure on herself is that she begin to look at who she is first because God loves her and is not interested in her ruining her mental, physical, or spiritual health because she is a mom. I want the reader to say, “My heavens, this mom stuff really isn’t easy, and it’s okay to say it’s not easy, and to ask for help. It’s okay I’m not reaching the bar that I’ve created, a bar that may not even be helpful for me or my child.”
Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
Laugh and be silly, especially when life isn’t going the way you think it ought to. I’m a rather serious person, but I grew up in a family that gave me a great sense of humor. When I get too intense about my role as a parent, I’ve learned that seeing the humor can cut tension like a knife. Get creative with problems.
About Stepping on Cheerios
Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!
Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family.”
Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.
Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.
Please give us a peek inside the book.
A Hail Mary
Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just a you have said.” Then the angel left her.” —Luke 1:38
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
—“Let it Be,” The Beatles
I love football because it’s so unpredictable. The weirdest things can happen, right? Such as lateral trick plays in which the chaos of the moment unfolds and the way a running back’s smooth dodge can suddenly bring a team ahead on the scoreboard in the final minutes of a game. And there’s that famous last-ditch effort when the quarterback drops back, his offensive line holds, and he launches that oblong ball spiraling through the air in a lovely, long arc. Wait for it; wait for it as it becomes clear. The ball is finally caught by a young man whose body is hanging in midair. It is a moment worthy of the ballet, when his feet touch down in the end zone. It is a Hail Mary. It appears both crazy and divine.
I’ve met divinely crazy. I caught a Hail Mary and then three more—ahem—quite late in life. I became a mother of four boys, including triplets, in two and a half years when I was forty-sevenish. I didn’t dare drop the extras God had so gloriously and unpredictably thrown my way. I had expected ordinary, and I got extraordinary. Isn’t that just like God and the insanity of football? You may not know what’s coming in life, but it wouldn’t be any fun if you did. Plus, you might refuse to participate because what if you got hurt or couldn’t control most of life, which you can’t. So let’s face it. Authentic, no-holds-barred living creates risk, and there’s no decent spiritual growth without these untamed ingredients. No one grows into mommyhood without her complimentary set of bruises and a strong need for a good age-defying hair-care regimen.
If we bracket the football motif, there are other reasons I’m not your typical mommy, as if any woman’s story is cut out like a cookie. No, we women must have a few flashy sprinkles on top of our own lives. Still my story is, at times, one of biblical proportions. Genesis unplugged, if you will. Thank you, Jesus, for the drama, truly.
Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
My website, WomenadeStand.com, is a place for me to work on ideas for future projects. The blog, Womenade, takes up topics from parenthood, the history of women, family life, vocation, culture, and Christianity. I”m also at Twitter, FB and Instagram @ womenadestand.
Thank you, Betsy, for sharing your life and this book with us.
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