I closed the book loudly and threw it to the floor in an outburst of frustration. Though I yearned for the spiritual experiences it described, it was so not my life.

The book, a classic text on disciplines, described sustained time alone with God spent in contemplative prayer and solitary retreats, deeply connected relationships with other Christians, life-giving Scripture study and meditation, silence, meaningful worship, simplicity, and more. It resonated with my own deep spiritual longings.

Yet as a brand-new mom, my actual life consisted primarily of late-night feedings, hardly any sleep, roller-coaster hormones, endless diaper changes, and repeatedly wiping spit-up (and other gross substances) off my clothes. There were moments of great, overwhelming joy, and moments filled with crying (often the baby but sometimes me, too). And every so often there was a sadness: a quiet, hidden-away grief for my old life—spiritual, relational, intellectual, physical—that seemed to be entirely gone.

Hidden Opportunities

Becoming a mom means facing a jolting realization that life is now utterly and completely different. Though it’s amazingly joyful and essentially good, for many Christian moms, it’s also tinged with a sense of spiritual loss. Motherhood is full of so much giving to another and so little time for one’s self that many of the spiritual practices of our old, pre-kid life become nearly impossible.

Or so it seems.

I began a journey that day, seeking out for myself what deep spiritual growth could look like in the real, everyday life of a mom, and that journey turned into a book: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Spiritual Survival. What I began to learn as a brand-new mom—and what I’m still ...

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