Almost Holy Mama: Life-Giving Spiritual Practices for Weary Parents

by Courtney Ellis

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Retail: $16.99
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Pub Date: July 2019
ISBN: 9781628627909
ISBN-13: 9781628627909
Item Number: 627912
Categories: Christian Living

Product Description

With the honesty of a close friend, the hilarity of a late-night comic, and the humility of a mom up to her eyeballs in diapers and dishes, Courtney Ellis invites us on a journey to draw closer God amid the joyful, mundane, exhausting days of young parenthood. Probing ancient Christian practices for renewal, Almost Holy Mama: Life-Giving Spiritual Practices for Weary Parents chronicles one mom’s quest to discover an answer to her most pressing question: Can God use the crucible of parenthood to grow us in virtue?

From studying Scripture in the shower to listening in prayer at the foot of Laundry Mountain to being forced into the discipline of stillness by a rough pregnancy, Ellis finds that meeting God in sacred disciplines can breathe new life into one of life’s most joyfilled and trying seasons.

1. Running on Empty, Longing for More
2. Car Rides & Contemplation—Finding Jesus on the Freeways
3. Sleepytime & Service—Sacrificial Love at the End of a Long Day
4. Eating & the Examen—Finding God at the Dinner Table
5. Laundry & Listening Prayer—Because Sometimes the Voice of God Sounds a Lot like the Dryer
6. Showering with Scripture—Wash over Me, Lord
7. Fasting from Facebook—Giving Up to Gain
8. Suffering & Stillness—Because Sometimes All You Can Do Is Nothing
9. Getting Ready with Gratitude—Thanksgiving amid Chaos
10. Travel & Pilgrimage—Going Away and Coming Home
11. Ceasing & Celebration—Discovering the Playful God
12. Almost Holy, Fully Loved—Where Do We Go from Here?


“It’s easy to think the years of middle of night feedings, long bedtime routines and the constant wiping of hands and passing out snacks means you don’t have time for a spiritual life. But Courtney Ellis’s book Holy Mama debunks all of us. She shows us with clarity, humor and tons of #reallife examples what it is like to be present— to yourself, to your children, to your partner, and God’s presence all around. This book is what tired mamas like me have been looking for: how we find God in the lives we inhabit (not the ones we used to have or might have ten years from now). I can’t wait to share this book with my congregation and mom friends.”
—Elizabeth Hagan, author of Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility and senior minister of Palisades Community Church in Washington, DC

“Where was this book three decades ago? After giving birth to three children in the span of 36 months, I found myself drowning in diapers, laundry, and half-eaten PBJ’s. How was I supposed to cultivate my relationship with God in the midst of the (blessed) chaos? Most of my prayers were either ‘Help!’ or ‘Lord, I’ll be back practicing the classic spiritual disciplines that sustained me before I became a parent. Gotta put it all on hold for now.’

“With wit and honesty, Courtney Ellis shares her story of learning to weave disciplines like prayer, fasting, contemplation, and service into the warp and woof of her days parenting small children. Her confessional style and practical, wise insight show parents of young children how to practice the presence of God in the car, in the shower, folding laundry, or through nine months of morning sickness. She is a relatable guide to your Lego-strewn journey with Jesus through the challenging early years of parenting.”

—Michelle Van Loon, author of Born to Wander: Recovering the Value of Our Pilgrim Identity

Author Bio

Courtney Ellis serves as associate pastor for Spiritual Formation and Mission at Presbyterian Church of the Master. She holds degrees from Wheaton College, Loyola University of Chicago, and Princeton Theological Seminary, and has been published in Marriage/Partnership, Rock & Ice Magazine, and Christianity Today Women. She’s a contributor at The Glorious Table and The Mighty.