The simple question, “How are you feeling, Momma?” wins the prize for the most loaded inquiry in the history of all things wonder. As moms, we’ve concocted a gazillion ways to dodge and deflect the question in order to avoid giving an honest answer. A trite “I’m fine” keeps the heaviness of authenticity from mucking up our everyday living.
Yet, the truth is, beneath our facade lie countless felt needs just begging for healing and resolve. Motherhood is full of competing emotions that sap our energy on the regular. We often choose to ignore our feelings because if we give them room to breathe, scary things can happen. One of which is a complete unraveling of all the ‘fake it until you make it’ holding us together. Who wants to risk coming undone when we’re already on ‘overwhelmed mother’ status? But trying to side-step our reality by not being genuine only adds to the emotional weight we carry because of the missed opportunities to unburden our heart.
The good news is God is ready and willing to listen to how we feel. He already knows our heart anyway. His presence never leaves us, which means the availability God has on any given day to hear our prayers, pleadings, worries, and fears is all of time and eternity. Seems like the Hebrews took full advantage of this truth back in the day when you consider the Psalms. Turns out all the “Why, God?”, ”Why not, God?”, “When, God?”, “How, God?”, and “Are you sure, God?” questions hanging in the air thousands of years ago still resonate in our heart space today.
The Psalms depict what the Hebrews felt at the heart level as opposed to other writings from the prophets who shared what the Hebrews thought. Therefore, we can consider the poetic Psalms the heart book—the this is how I’m feeling down deep in my soul book, the real, raw, unwoven, vulnerable truth book. In essence, the Psalms are a glimpse into the inner life of the person sharing—a testament to the hopes, joys, doubts, dreams, sorrows, and gratitude tucked inside their human heart.
How Are You Feeling, Momma? is a collection of 31 short reflections giving you a peek into the inner life of my friend, Lisa Leshaw, and I as we hone in on the myriad of feelings we’ve grappled with as moms over the course of many years. Lisa is Jewish and a Moses devotee, while I’m Christian, and a Jesus groupie. You’ll find out in this book that the emotions we dive into are universal to all of us. In each chapter, you will read two perspectives on a specific emotion and corresponding Psalm scripture. One captures the emotion from my experience as a mom and the other from Lisa’s vantage point.
Motherhood is hard, and the emotions moms deal with on any given day are universal. Our words draw from deep wells of inexperienced experiences in hopes of bringing relief and encouragement to mommas everywhere. With vulnerability and a hefty dose of wit, we will:
- Inspire you to lean into and get real about your mom feelings
- Give you two perspectives on each emotion through both a Jewish and Christian lens
- Encourage you to feel comforted in knowing you aren’t alone in how you feel
- Help you connect the pleadings in the Psalms to the pleadings in your soul
While on paper Lisa and I would appear to be polar opposites, ironically, our differences are the adhesive that binds us in this joint effort to give moms some spiritual uplift while in the trenches of motherhood.
We’ve never met in person, but a serendipitous online encounter brought us together. We are living proof that despite differing views, background, and culture, when it comes to God all things are possible through love. And when it comes to motherhood, all of us are in this together.
Lisa and I have been through the trenches, a combined 66 years of parenting/step-parenting/grandparenting between us. Rumor has it I’m still wandering around my house trying to find my three kids. Apparently, they left years ago because they grew up when I wasn’t looking. My oldest son is 25, middle son is 23, and my daughter is 21. Although I remain in constant denial of empty nest, my hubby of 25+ years keeps gently reminding me it’s time to let go. Lisa is a step-mom to a son and daughter, both in their early forties. Unlike me, Lisa accepts the changing seasons and embraces mothering from a distance with her beloved husband of 40 + years. But let’s be real here; she can only do this because she has six grandbabies: five boys and one girl, ages 6-16.
The thing is, we can’t avoid all the feels in mothering, but we can cry out to God for help and comfort in times of struggle. This is what Lisa and I have tried our best to do throughout our motherhood walk. We don’t have all the answers because we are imperfect humans doing the ’mom thing’ as best we can, like the rest of you. The words you read in this book draw from our deep wells of inexperienced experiences in hopes of bringing relief to all of us. Our honest sharing is meant to inspire you to get real about your inner life and take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone in how you feel.
We hope our transparency gives you the courage to be authentic and vulnerable with others—especially God! God made us for relationship. He made us from love to be love in the world. In the end, the greatest benefactors of our spiritual growth are our precious offspring. Let’s get inside our heart and choose to be real for their sake, if for no one else. We can do this, sisters, because God’s got this.
Take care of your heart, crazy Mommas!
Do you or a fellow Momma need some heart encouragement? Subscribe to Shelby’s monthly Grace Notes and receive 3 FREE Chapters of her new book with Lisa Leshaw, “How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”) The two of them share short reflections on their perspective of 31 motherhood emotions, each tied to a specific Psalm. The cool thing is, Shelby is a Jesus groupie and Lisa is a Moses devotee!