A blog where families who love and live the Catholic Faith can share, encourage and support each other.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Big Hearted Excitement

Written by Sue Elvis

While my daughters and I were outside in the back garden the other morning, hanging clothes on the washing line in the bitterly cold wind, we were unaware that something exciting was happening at our front door. The mail man had arrived with a mysterious looking parcel. When we came back inside, rubbing our cold-numbed fingers together, there it was sitting on the kitchen bench. 

We were all eager to find out what the parcel contained. Sophie was quick to point out the ‘open’ tag to one side of the address label. I grabbed the tag and pulled and the cardboard unwound revealing another layer of wrappings. I pulled again and the parcel rolled over and over, and more cardboard came away.

“It’s like pass the parcel,” said Gemma-Rose with delight. “Loads and loads of wrappings. Do you think it’s all cardboard and nothing else?”

But by this time, I had an idea of what we’d find inside: “I bet it’s books.”

And it was. Multiple copies of a book, with a red and white cover, were finally revealed:

Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families by Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas.

About a year ago, I received an email from Patti:

Dear Sue,

My co-author, Theresa Thomas, and I are compiling a book titled Big Hearted Families, for Scepter Publishers.   We are looking for contributions that will entertain and inspire readers to grow their family's heart and soul…

And so I wrote a story, and Patti and Theresa very kindly included it in their new book. That book arrived on my doorstep last week.

I have quickly flipped through the book and discovered there are 22 stories in this volume. My own chapter is there close to the end of the book. It’s called Moving in the Spirit. Did Patti have to do much editing of my story?  Did it need many changes? Does it fit in with all the other contributions? So far I haven’t had the courage to reread it and find out.

It’s strange seeing one of my stories in someone else’s book. I never worry about my stories when I publish them on my blogs. But to see one in print in someone’s book…  that’s totally different. I hope it's good enough.

Fortunately my story is only one of many. Here’s the Amazon description of this book:

Big Hearted gives you an inside look into the triumphs, struggles, joys and sorrows of ordinary families with generous hearts. It invites you to witness extraordinary love in ordinary moments like the simple cooking of a meal or the hug between a teenaged brother and his baby sister. Just like your family, these families experience pain, setbacks, and challenges. And just like your family, they also experience love and immeasurable blessing through their commitment and care for each other.

In this book, you will learn the story of:

• A father of seven healthy boys who struggled to love his Down syndrome baby girl

• A mother of twelve who learned an important lesson about Christmas from her children

• A special relationship between a teenaged brother and his infant sister

• Two grandparents in their final days who inspired their grandchildren in simple ways

• Two orphan children from Kenya who prayed for adoption by an American family and got what they asked for!

It has been said that God cannot be outdone in generosity. The stories in these pages will show you how big hearted families experience this truth in a myriad of ways, sometimes miraculously.

I can’t wait for a quiet moment to sit and enjoy the book. I am sure the other contributors have written some amazing and inspiring stories.

Thank you Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas for including my story in your new book, Big Hearted. I hope the book is a huge success.

I blog at Sue Elvis Writes and Stories of an Unschooling Family. Please feel welcome to visit!


  1. Hi Sue - do you think this book can be bought at Christian Bookshops here in Australia? Thanks :-D

    1. Petra,

      I think the Cardinal Newman Faith Resources Bookshop will be stocking this book in the future.

      The Portico Bookshop might already have copies. Try this link:

      I hope that helps!