“Living Liturgically”: An Interview with Jenna Hines
St. Josemaria Escriva wrote: “Let us turn to the example of the saints. They were people like us, of flesh and bone, with failings and weaknesses, who managed to conquer and master themselves for love of God. Let us consider their lives and, like bees who distill precious nectar from each flower, we shall learn from their struggles” (Friends of God, no. 20).
In this interview, the St. Josemaria Institute speaks with Jenna Hines about her background in creating faith-focused resources to help children and families bring the feast days and liturgical year of the Church into everyday life.
The St. Josemaria Institute was excited to collaborate with Jenna to create a set of activity pages for children (and adults!) as a fun way to get to know St. Josemaria Escriva – his life and the many ways he helped children of all ages discover their mission in life and the desire to become saints themselves by finding God in everyday life. The activity pages are available for free in our online shop.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to begin creating liturgical and faith-focused resources for children and families?
Jenna: I’m a homeschooling mom of four, so I spend time each day catechizing my children. I never grew up living liturgically, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into my kids’ lives. Being a former English teacher, taking information and putting into an organized and interesting format is second nature to me. It all just came together so naturally. I can only believe that God knew the strengths He gave me and inspired me to use them!
Q: When did you decide to launch your online shop, “Call Her Happy”? What inspired the name?
Jenna: I launched my shop back in 2012, but at that point, I was not creating liturgical activities. My shop started off with digital scrapbooking files, then I went into embroidery, I dabbled in jewelry, then art prints and postcards. Finally came the activity sheets. It was a long process getting here, all inspired by God and my family – which is fitting considering the name of my shop. Call Her Happy comes from Proverbs 31:28 (NRSV): “Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her.” My creativity allows me to be a happier mom for my family as well as provide for them.
Q: Coloring has become a popular hobby not just for children anymore. What do you believe are the benefits of coloring as a hobby? How can it help children and adults alike to grow in the life of faith?
Jenna: I’ve always known coloring to be so therapeutic for children and adults alike. There is something about the simplicity, the analog nature, the repetitive and meditative physical action of the crayons. It makes good spiritual sense, really! It’s a way to calm down and listen to God. To create like the Creator. To be still and know.
Q: Many of your coloring sheets and activities highlight the lives of saints. Why is teaching devotion to the saints to children so important to help them grow closer to God? Do you have devotion to one of the saints in particular?
Jenna: The saints are our examples. They lived on this earth, and they suffered during this life – just like we are now. And they made it! We need to learn their stories and take their advice. My favorite saint is St. Dymphna. I think she is a powerful intercessor for the anxious times in which we live. Currently, I am finding myself drawn more to St. Joseph too, which surprises me. I never felt particularly close to him, but I feel God asking me to lean on him more, so I am!
Q: What have been some of the challenges and rewards of launching and running your own business? How do you balance work, home and the pursuit for holiness in your everyday life?
Jenna: I am an extremely focused person – to a fault. When I have an idea, I want to sit down and work on it to completion, which you can imagine is not an ideal mode of operation when you have a family. I have had to learn to prioritize my first vocation as wife and mother in lots of ways. Most of the time it is as simple as just putting down what I am working on and making eye contact with my family when they “bother” me while I’m working. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but when I do practice that, it helps me focus on their needs more than my own.
Q: Thank you, Jenna. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Where can our readers learn more about you and check out your shop?
Jenna: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share with your audience. You can find my shop at callherhappy.etsy.com, and stay on top of updates on Instagram at @callherhappy. I’d love to put in a plug for my husband’s rosary shop too. I am so proud of him! He’s on Instagram at @zuvergoodsco.