Please join me in welcoming Betsy Singleton Snyder to the blog today!
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 Arkansas with their four sons, Penn (10), and triplets Wyatt, Sullivan, and Aubrey (8).
Find out more at https://www.womenadestand.com
Her new book, Stepping on Cheerios, is about finding God in the chaos and clutter of life.
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.
Hi! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Betsy: I’ll have to go with apples. I’ve got delicious memories of eating apples and popcorn with my mom while watching movies or playing Chinese checkers.
Carrie: Oh that sounds delightful!
Betsy: While I love baking in winter and a roaring fire, summer’s got the edge. We’ve got a small cabin in the mountains near some superb, cool streams. We also make an annual pilgrimage to the Gulf where I can get my Anne Lindbergh on.
Carrie: If I could live in the mountains, I wouldn’t mind summer so much lol
Betsy: Though we have dogs and cats, I am a secret Golden Retriever. I love water, and we spend a lot of time in our back yard by the pool. I also work with a dear friend to develop Therapy Dog (TDI) Teams within local churches. Therapy Dogs are certified to work in varieties of ministries, from tutoring to physical rehab. It’s a wonderful way to serve in ministry with your family pet.
Carrie: What a fabulous ministry!
Betsy: I prefer coffee, but I take it iced and with milk. For some reason, after my last pregnancy, I could no longer drink coffee without milk. My grandmother drank iced-coffee all the time, so perhaps genetics?
Carrie: She drank iced-coffee before it was cool 🙂
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Betsy: I call writing “sweet torture” and that love may be my superpower, but I suspect my superpower is my ability to cast a vision in my ministry settings, as well as help others grasp the big picture and where we’re headed through writing, preaching, and goal-casting.
Carrie: That is definitely an important superpower to have!
Tell me some good books you’ve read lately.
Betsy: I couldn’t put down Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. At the same time, I stretched it out. I found myself going back to previous chapters and rereading some sections. Clearly, Whitehead used a great deal of historical documentation to amplify one woman’s long, harrowing journey. It’s also the story of America because our stories are all bound together.
I’ve also recently completed Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. It’s interesting to read these two back-to-back. I love the way Saunders has used historical documents and the voices of the dead in the graveyard to capture the state of grief. There’s a hint of “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder, but, the particularity of grief in this story is the death of Willie Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln’s young son. What does it mean when a leader is grieving? What does it mean in the context of a nation’s divided future? How do we move forward?
Carrie: The Underground Railroad has been on my TBR list since I first heard about it!
Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Betsy: At the back of our house, we’ve got a full-blown library. We’ve actually got built-ins for books in every room in the house. In “my” library-office, I have a cream couch, a beautiful blue print ottoman, and a lovely desk that I never use, except to stack piles of interesting reads. My favorite place to write is with my feet on the ottoman by the couch and my iced coffee on one of the end tables. My computer sits on my lap. On the top tier of the desk, there is a blue, genie-shaped, glass lamp that gives me the best light and makes me happy.
Carrie: That sounds absolutely delightful 🙂
Why write about finding God in the chaos and clutter of life? Why is that subject important to you?
Betsy: 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, domestic chaos, and survival mode. A month later, my husband returned to his weekly commute trips to Washington DC 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.
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.
Carrie: These are things that a lot of women experience on some level, I think.
What surprised you while researching Stepping on Cheerios?
Betsy: Because Stepping on Cheerios is my story, there wasn’t so much research as my own experience, and, I hope, a bit of each woman’s story. We all have fears, doubts, and questions, about how we’re doing this life thing, not only as women raising children, but as people living in the world. I particularly wanted to encourage women to embrace themselves. The chapter titled, “Selfie” gives us permission to love ourselves. If we can see ourselves in the picture, we might do a better job of caring for ourselves and others.
Carrie: ‘a bit of each woman’s story’ – i love that!
What do you most want readers to take away from Stepping on Cheerios?
Betsy: I’d like women to come away feeling less stressed and more self-love. We’re not going to get marriage, parenting, work, ministry, and the other million and one commitments in our lives perfect, nor should we. Rather, sit with the clutter, let go of instructions that others push your way, and listen to the Spirit.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Betsy: Summer and more book events. I’m hoping for a spot in several upcoming, regional book festivals. I continue to publish blogs on my website, www.WomenadeStand.com and upcoming magazine articles, events and interviews.
Being a mother can be a crazy life, but it’s a gift filled with grace. Read Betsy Singleton Snyder’s comical story in Stepping on Cheerios. 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.
Join Betsy in celebrating a crazy life of motherhood and her new book by entering to win a $75 Visa cash card!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Stepping on Cheerios
- A $75 Visa cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 27. The winner will be announced June 28 on Betsy’s blog.
What about you? What are you most likely to step on at your house? 🙂