A Blessed Collision — Mom Seeks God (part 1)

Friends, to wrap up our “Be Mom” focus in May and to launch into our “Be Inspired” series for June, I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Julia Roller. She’s recently written a great new book looking at two of my very favorite topics: that blessed collision between motherhood and spiritual disciples. It’s called Mom Seeks God. Join me for a two-part conversation with Julia about the spiritual side of motherhood.

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Julia, can you tell my readers a bit about yourself?

Julia Roller lowresMy husband, Ryan and I have two boys, ages 4 and 7, and live in San Diego, where we are often busy driving to (seemingly) every soccer and baseball practice and game in town. I love reading so much that I do it while I’m cooking (which is probably why I almost invariably burn the garlic bread). I often wish I were more crafty, but alas, I use Pinterest mainly to find quotes about reading and new ways to trick my children into eating vegetables.

I love the title of your new book, Mom Seeks God, because it sort of describes my everyday life. Can you tell readers more about your book? What motivated you to write it?

You receive a lot of warnings about life after becoming a mom—you’ll be so tired, so covered in spit-up that you won’t even care that you may never lose the baby weight, etc.—but no one ever warned me that becoming a mom might lead to a time of spiritual dryness. As much as the incredible love I felt for my new baby taught me about the inexhaustible nature of God’s love for us, I also struggled to feel connected with God after becoming a mom because my new life seemed to leave little time for prayer and Bible study the way I had practiced it before. Mom Seeks God is the story of my journey to figure out how to reconnect with God in the middle of the busy life of a mom with small children.Mom Seeks God jacket

Yes, I totally get that. The same experiences led me to write a book too! Like you, initially, as a new mom, I found my spiritual desires sort of colliding with the reality of motherhood. The practices I wanted to do didn’t seem to fit with my reality. What are some of the specific struggles or spiritual challenges you faced as a new mom?

I felt like I should be setting aside quiet time daily, ideally in the morning, for prayer and study, but I couldn’t figure out how. I was so tired after my son’s frequent night wakings and my son was such an early riser that getting up earlier than him was difficult to imagine. He did take two half-hour naps per day, but those precious and all-too-short time blocks were crammed with things like showering and washing dishes. Even praying at night didn’t work because I always fell asleep before I got through more than a word or two!

Being a new mom had shown me just how imperfect, how sinful, I was as I was confronted by how difficult I found it to continually set aside my own needs and wants for those of my child. I realized I wasn’t always as patient or as kind or as loving as I wanted to be. I desperately needed God and God’s forgiveness, but I was struggling to reach him.

How did you work through (or how have you been working through) those challenges? What spiritual good has come out of those struggles or frustrations?

I set aside a year in which I tried to practice one spiritual discipline per month—to figure out how I could practice it in my new (read: chaotic) life as a mom. It turned out, of course, that it certainly is possible to engage in prayer, fellowship, simplicity, service, study, celebration, fasting, worship, submission, and silence as a mom. Those practices will just look a little different than they did before. With prayer, for example, I realized that nighttime really was the best time for me to have an uninterrupted time of prayer, and I discovered a form of prayer that had a bit more structure to it and that, I found, helped keep me awake.

Seeking to reach God through these practices left me feeling so much more aware of God in my daily life and activities, so much more connected to God. I’m grateful for the yearning for God that led me to work harder to meet him in my daily life. Even seeing the reality of my own sinfulness was a spiritual good because it helped me to realize how deeply I needed God. And to be all the more grateful for the way God meets us where we are.

For me, parenting’s spiritual struggles are often the same fertile ground where I experience meaningful spiritual growth. Where I learn difficult things about myself but where I find God meeting me there, drawing me in and prodding me along in character and faith. Do you know what I mean? How have you been challenged to grow or change in faith or character through your experiences–maybe even your failures–as a mom?

Oh, exactly! Those failures and low points for me as such meaningful spiritual ground (at least in retrospect, right?). When I realize that I’m not yet the mom I want to be, the mom I believe I was created to be, it’s all the more impetus to continue to reach God through these spiritual practices so that I can continue to become better, to become incrementally more like Jesus.

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be mom series

Thank you, Julia! Friends, learn more about Julia over at www.juliaroller.com and be sure to check out her great, honest, and encouraging book Mom Seeks God: Seeking Grace in the Chaos. You can also find some of my own reflections on the blessed collision between motherhood and spiritual disciplines in The Busy Mom’s Guide to Spiritual Survival. I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s “Be Mom” focus!

Be sure to stay tuned for part 2 of this interview with Julia which I’ll run next week to launch June’s “Be Inspired” focus. Throughout the month of June, I’ll feature interviews with women whose stories, thoughts, ideas, and choices inspire us to love more deeply, to seek God more passionately, to live more abundantly.

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2 responses to “A Blessed Collision — Mom Seeks God (part 1)

  1. Lynnette Lang

    I can well remember the busy, hectic life as a mom of three and the frustrations of staying connected spiritually. My life right now is in the caregiving of a husband and my life has returned to the “barely time for me and God” mode and I get physically, psychologically, and mentally tired quite frequently again. So, this is very applicable to many of us in varied stages of life…. thank you for your insight.
    ~Lynnette

  2. I’m coming to this motherhood dilemma later in life – as a new step mom – but the desire to have the rhythms of my parenting and my relationship with Jesus connect more deeply is very present as I continue to transition to this new role. The book sounds great!

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