Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller

Mom Seeks God by Julia RollerWhen I looked at the email in my inbox, I almost deleted it.  I was in the middle of my final semester and my book review pile looked daunting, especially since I was too busy studying to even think about reading.  But something about the title—Mom Seeks Godmade me look at this book twice.  Yeah, I seek God.  When I’m not frantically trying to keep up with my growing to-do list.  I replied to say I’d be happy to review the book.  I needed something to help me get my faith life back on track.

When Julia Roller’s book arrived in my mailbox, it went into my review pile.  And there it sat for a few weeks as I pushed toward the end of the semester.  Finally, feeling like the flowers beginning to bloom on the trees outside my door, I reached for Mom Seeks GodFrom the first pages of the book, I felt like Julia understood me.  She’s also a WAHM with a small child who knows how easy it is to push God to the farthest corners of our lives.

As I read Mom Seeks God, I didn’t feel guilty or pressured or burdened.  I felt encouraged and inspired.  Julia shared honestly about her struggles, as a mom and as a writer and as a Christian.  I found myself nodding along, feeling like I was sitting down with a good friend.  If she could find a way to seek God in the busyness of her life, then so could I.

Julia bases her book on the idea of spiritual disciplines, practices Jesus modeled that can help us stay connected with God.  She mentions working with Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline, as her inspiration for this idea, but also explains, “I had a lot of ‘head knowledge’ about why I should be engaging in these practices, but with the life changes necessitated by motherhood, I was really struggling to incorporate these practices into my life.”  Um, yeah.  Me too.

Julia picks ten spiritual disciplines to tackle over the course of a year.  That encouraged me, because too often I want to grab a book, read a chapter a day for a couple weeks, and feel like I’ve mastered it at the same time that I’ve finished reading.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t often work.  Julia shows that developing spiritual disciplines takes more time than that, and that’s okay.  In Mom Seeks God, she focuses upon the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fellowship, submission, study, simplicity, silence, worship, fasting, service, and celebration.

I really appreciated Julia’s ecumenical approach in this book.  Too often when I pick up a book about faith, I feel like it’s too Catholic for my Protestant friends and readers or get annoyed by something in a more Protestant-focused book that disagrees with what I now believe as a Catholic.  Mom Seeks God is a book I feel I could honestly recommend to any of my friends, Catholic or Protestant.  Julia mentions great figures in the church from Martin Luther to Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Saint Ignatius of Loyola to Henri Nouwen.  No matter what church we attend, we are all moms seeking God and we can learn from others who also sought God.

Julia talks about learning to pray the Examen:  “I felt like each Examen was almost a strategy session with God, where we worked together to try to figure out how to handle things differently next time.”  The Examen is basically a short examination of conscience done at the end of the day, something I’ve been meaning to start myself.  Julia’s experience encouraged me to write up the Examen and post it near my bed to remember to pray.  (The follow image should print on a 5×7 recipe card if you want to do the same.)

Evening Examen

Julia also talks about the importance of fellowship, something I (a definite introvert) have also come to appreciate since becoming a mother: “Hearing some of the other women’s reactions to [The Shack]… I could also see the truth of something Dallas Willard writes about: that God can be more present, and present in a more concentrated way, among a group.  By myself, I could have thought about that book all day and felt very satisfied with my little insights, but in the group, I received a much fuller picture and one that resulted less in a feeling of satisfaction with myself than in a sense of awe of all that God is and can do.”

Julia Roller is an author, editor, wife, and mom who lives in California.  She has written study guides for authors such as Desmond Tutu, Richard J, Foster, and Henri Nouwen.  She has a master’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Theological Studies.  You can find out more about Julia and her books by dropping by her website or following her on Facebook or Twitter.

“Julia Roller has written a wonderful book for moms who long to freshly connect with God. She explores spiritual disciplines in a beautifully honest, practical and humorous way. What a wonderful resource for all of us.” ~ Rebecca St. James, singer, author, actress and new mom

Mom Seeks God Facebook Party

Show Comments

One Response

  1. Bonnie May 3, 2014

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.