It’s my pleasure to introduce you to two of my writer friends, co-authors Shelby Spear and Lisa Leshaw. Both women cherish their role as mom and both are natural encouragers. Their humility, humor, and faith shine throughout their book, How are You Feeling, Momma?
They are generously giving away 3 copies of their book. To enter, please answer the question at the end of the interview. You must live in the contiguous U.S. to be eligible.
How did the two of you meet?
(Shelby) I read a story in Guideposts written by Lisa and shared it on my FB page with a comment about her amazing storytelling. We connected through that post, and I kept reading her stuff, falling more in love with her brilliance. Our beautiful friendship evolved from chatting through messenger, then email, and finally on the phone. She lives in New York, and I live in Ohio. We’ve yet to meet in person but somehow figured out how to write and publish a book virtually. We had a blast. Lisa will try to tell you that I stalked her, but she is lying.
(Lisa) That depends on who you ask. If you’re seeking the true story, Shelby stalked me. One day I received an email asking, “Are you the Lisa Leshaw who wrote…?” She proceeded to list every article, essay, and story I’d written in the past 29 years. I hesitate to say that I cautiously answered, “yes,” and the rest is glorious history.
Shelby, why did you and Lisa choose to write your book based on the Psalms?
The Psalms are full of lamentation and thanksgiving, each representing a vulnerable outpouring of emotion from David and the other writers. As moms, we have quite a bit of feely stuff in our hearts as well, and these Psalms capture our cries and elation perfectly. Also, since Lisa is Jewish and I am Christian, using the Old Testament Psalms was a great bridge between our two faith traditions.
Lisa, what is the best mom advice you have received?
Do you. Find the skin you’re most comfortable in. Don’t be an imposter, nor a replica. Your children are watching
What was the most important lesson you learned as moms?
(Shelby) The way we love ourselves impacts how we love our children. Jesus said we are blessed when we get our inside world—our mind and heart—put right because then we can see God in the outside world. (Matthew 5:8 MSG) Until I healed from my past wounds, started to believe in my worth, and accepted myself—flaws and all, I could not be the mom my kids needed. But I also know I did my best with what I knew. Our best is enough because that’s all we have. We just love our kids like maniacs through the learning curve, and thankfully, love covers a multitude of mess.
(Lisa) I learned that grace is necessary 24/7. Every mom interaction is like putting together pieces to a puzzle; it requires monumental patience. Sometimes we ought to step away and regroup so that when we return, we have a clearer vision of what the final puzzle might look like because we figured where to find the border pieces.
Shelby, why do you think it is so difficult for moms to be real about their feelings?
Being vulnerable is scary. We fear being judged and feel ashamed of our faults and weaknesses. Often, we compare our lives to others, assuming everyone else has it together while we are falling apart. The truth is we are all dealing with something. However, pretending and wearing masks to hide the messiness inside us seems easier than opening up. The thing is, it takes way more work to bury our burdens than speak our truth. I’ve learned this the hard way. None of us are alone in how we feel. Our circumstances are unique, but we all share the same emotional shore. We need to believe and trust this so we can encourage each other forward.
What is the most beneficial takeaway you hope moms get from reading your book?
(Shelby and Lisa) We want moms to feel encouraged because they feel seen and heard, both by us as fellow moms and God. He hears every pleading of a momma’s soul and is always there to provide us with the strength we need. The Psalms are a perfect reminder of this truth. We hope our readers find comfort in knowing all moms struggle with similar things, and it’s okay not to be okay.
Giveaway Question: What is your favorite Psalm?
Shelby Spear is a self-described “sappy soul whisperer and sarcasm aficionado.” She is a wife of 27 years and a mom of three 20-something kiddos who has a deep love for Jesus and storytelling. She has numerous stories in print at Guideposts and all over the web at places like Her View From Home, Today, Parenting Teens & Tweens, Love What Matters, For Every Mom, and others. She just published an online mothering course, Mindful Mothering: 10 Practices for a Healthy Mom Life. Shelby is also the loving and goofball hostess on her blog at shelbyspear.com and across social media.
An endorsement from a reader of, How Are You Feeling, Momma? “It’s in this book where you will find freedom from hiding, from holding in those true emotions, from having to keep it all together with a perfectly coined, ‘I’m fine.’ You can be real here. You can be you. You can reveal those sensitive parts and secret struggles as you realize you are not alone.”– Christine Carter
About How Are You Feeling, Momma?
How Are You Feeling, Momma? is a collection of personal and candid reflections on 31 motherhood emotions we all feel on any given day, each tied to encouragement from a specific Psalm. The Psalms depict the real and raw of how the Hebrews felt, which correlates to the hopes, sorrows, joys, and doubts tucked inside a momma’s heart.
Click here to head over to Amazon to get your inspirational and encouraging copy of, How Are You Feeling, Momma?