Reviewed by Shannon Trenton
First-time parenthood is a journey filled with joy, wonder, and the nagging feeling that nothing will ever be in order again. I watch my baby grow into a little boy and even as I treasure his laughter and celebrate his new discoveries I struggle to find my own sense of balance. We’re reincorporating church into our lives but I wonder how I am supposed to find God when the service ends.
I chose Mom Seeks God because author Julia Roller’s situation spoke directly to me. Here was another busy mother who had a hard time balancing work and a child with a strong relationship with God – and she writes about God for a living! Mom Seeks God promised practical advice to develop spiritual disciplines as well as to see motherhood as its own spiritual discipline, so I decided to give it a go.
This book delivered on every promise, and more. I was drawn immediately into Roller’s story about adjusting to new parenthood with son Ben and to the trouble she had finding peace in her faith. Roller’s decision to practice a new spiritual discipline every month came from her reading of Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, among other books, and was her way of taking small steps into building a larger faith.
Each chapter follows Roller’s efforts through a long and busy year – well, ten months. She begins the story by warning her readers that life got in the way and that she didn’t meet her goal of a new discipline every month. I was comforted by her admission and felt like I was taking the journey with her rather than listening to a lecture about a perfect process. In fact, the entire story is peppered with moments that Roller didn’t live up to her own expectations or set the bar too high for what God intended her to do, and so her efforts became ever more realistic for the normal mother reading this book.
While Roller discusses each discipline separately, she is careful to point out that her practice of each did not stop on the last day of the month; rather, each discipline influenced her practice of subsequent disciplines in one way or another. Through the year in this book Roller practiced:
• Failure and Fasting
Roller’s writing style is genuine and humorous, as well as easy to follow. Any parent, new or seasoned, will appreciate her frustrations as well as her proudest moments. More importantly, her journey toward spiritual discipline is one that any reader can incorporate into her (or his) life. Every chapter ends with some easy tips to begin practicing the discipline covered, and the notes at the end will guide readers to other books Roller mentions that helped her along the way.
Mom Seeks God is inspirational, instructional, and a joy to read. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks God in the chaos of their everyday life. I hope you will all take this spiritual journey for yourself.
Shannon lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, son, and two cats. When she isn’t reading, getting paid to play on social media, or running her own business she enjoys playing with her baby and cooking.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Abingdon Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.