With our new radio show The Visitation Project set to launch on May 3rd, I thought it might be fun for everyone to get a chance to meet the crew behind this exciting venture. There are four of us if we include our sound guru Keith, and we can never forget Keith, so I’ll be introducing (or re-introducing) someone on the Wednesdays and Fridays leading up to our launch date. If you have any questions I haven’t asked, please add them in the combox, or tweet them to us @TheVisitProject, and we’ll answer them for you.
First up is the author of Real Catholic Mom and the brains behind the whole project,
1. Who are you?
Hi, there! My name is Heather Renshaw, and I am the producer and co-host of The Visitation Project. First and foremost, I’m a child of God. I am pretttty sure that makes me a human being, but sometimes sleep deprivation makes me wonder. I’ve been married for almost 14 years to my beloved Instigator, and we have five boisterous children – three girls and two boys – ages 11 down to two. I like to speak and write and do things with people. And I like coffee and music. I love being Catholic. Did I mention I’m tired?
2. Why did you decide to get involved with The Visitation Project?
Well, between Rebecca Frech begging and my husband harping on me to finally make something of myself for once, I truly had no choice. Sincerely, though, I’ve been wanting to do something like this since I hosted the Ladies’ Live Hour on the Catholic radio station down in the Mobile, Alabama area, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance! I have big-time love for Catholic radio, as it takes a front seat in my reversion story, so it’s amazing to be able to give back to something that gave so much to me. Plus, doing a show that’s real and funny and encourages Catholic women in their faith (especially here in Portland, Oregon, where we won some sort of an award for “most Godless” city in the nation) – was extremely attractive to me. Plus, I can’t shut up. So, there’s that.
3. What has been your favorite part so far?
My favorite part so far has been the sleepless nights putting together media kits for our marketing efforts. Just kidding. By far, my favorite part has been the on-air collaboration with my co-hosts (Bonnie and Rebecca). It has just been really cool to enjoy such a fun on-air chemistry with two amazing women who are really trying to live out their Catholic faith one day at a time like I am. We just have a blast in the studio. It was almost more fun than we should be allowed to have. Almost.
We want to really get to know you, so here’s the important stuff:
4. Fill in the blank: When I’m driving and ________________ comes on the radio, I must immediately stop the conversation, crank up the volume, and jam.
Oh, that’s easy. For sure the song, “Shackles,” by Mary Mary. That is mah JAM. But my kids can also tell you that I will crank up “Lord I Need You,” by Matt Maher, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen, most anything by Lauryn Hill, and pretty much a lot of other stuff that has a good bass line or a killer guitar riff, or if, for some reason, the minivan just strikes me as too eerily quiet. I’m definitely a musician at heart and a band geek from way back. Although I can’t really headbang anymore. It hurts my neck. Not sure what that has to do with band, but anyway. I’m getting old.
5. Which book do you read over and over and never tire of?
Honestly? I don’t really do that. I mean, I read A Wrinkle in Time a bunch when I was a kid, and Anne of Green Gables, too … now that I’m a grown-up (mostly) I think my need-and-want-to-read booklist is just way longer than the time I actually have to read, so repeating titles just seems like a luxury I don’t dive into these days. Gosh. That sounds sad. Maybe I should do something about that.
6. Who’s your favorite character in that book and why? Now, see what you’ve done?
I can’t even answer this question, because I don’t have a book that I read over and over. Okay. Well, if I had to choose, I’d say my favorite is probably Meg Murray, from Wrinkle, because she is awkward and wears glasses (like I did) and she’s smart but super goofy and a bit angsty (I can relate) and she ends up helping to save the world (like I have never done nor could I ever do).
7. Which saint is your go-to guy/girl in an emergency? Explain.
Oh, boy. Not enough space for this one. I mean, I often lose things and my daughter’s birthday is the same as St. Anthony of Padua’s Feast; he’s been a go-to since I was a kid. But I have also really learned to love Therese of Lisieux over the past several years, because my life is so complicated and busy sometimes, and I just look at her and think: she is the patroness of missionaries all over the globe, yet she never set foot outside her convent. I need to get some of that simplicity and trust and littleness and just hang out with Jesus, doing good things where I am, too! That sounds really good. At the end of the day, though, Mary is my Lady. My Mom says I began a relationship with her when I was a wee tot, and I am grateful for her guidance to this day, especially when I am struggling with my kids or a difficult situation. I really just go to her like a Mom and ask for help. She’s awesome. There’s also Elizabeth (Mary’s cousin, who is my Confirmation Saint), and St. Gianna Molla, and Padre Pio, and Maximilian Kolbe, Faustina with the Divine Mercy, and Mother Teresa … too many to count. I love the Communion of Saints!
8. When you were growing, what was your dream job?
I had a lot of aspirations as a kid, beginning with wanting to be a mailman when I was really young. Don’t knock it – in my child-like mind, they brought good news to people, and that’s what I wanted to do. But the longest-held dream I had was to be a broadcast journalist. We went to the World’s Fair in Canada when I was in elementary school, and I had the opportunity to read the TV news live from a newsdesk on the BBC set. I was hooked. Later I realized how cut-throat doing television news could be, and sort of gave it up for writing. It’s kind of cool that, as an adult, I still like to bring the good news of God’s love to people, and I’m on the radio, which is a broadcasting sort of thing, so – I guess you could say I’m livin’ the dream, baby!
9. What snack do you stash in your house/desk so that you don’t have to share?
Most recently I am really loving the sweet chili popped snacks. You’d think that, since they’re a bit spicy, the kids would avoid them, but noooo! The babies – my littlest two – love them! I have to hide them. Oh, and I really like mint m&ms. Those are bomb.
10. Do you have a plan for the zombie apocalypse? Any of it that you care to share?
I definitely have a plan, and it involves Cari Donaldson, lots of marbles, and my minivan. That is all I am permitted to say at this time.