How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm Fine.")

Authentic & Encouraging Psalm Reflections on the Many Emotions of Motherhood

Non-Fiction - Parenting
142 Pages
Reviewed on 02/18/2019
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Author Biography

A self-described “sappy soul whisperer and sarcasm aficionado,” Shelby Spear is a wife of 25 years and a mom of three 20-something kiddos who has a deep love for Jesus and storytelling. Most days she muses in rhetorical wonder over what God was thinking when He put her in charge of three humans. Now that she and her husband, John, are in a season of empty nest, Shelby spends her days writing about all the ways motherhood has shaped, transformed, inspired, and aged her. You’ll find her stories all over the web at places like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Today, Love What Matters, and in print at Guideposts.

Lisa Leshaw is excited to be entering a new frontier in her life—meeting the eligibility requirement for Dunkin' Donuts senior discount. Because she's now a 'biddy,' she lives in the same attire as new mommas: t-shirts and sweats for daily living and extravagant affairs. She’s an avid storyteller with plenty of material to pull from in her role as wife of 40+ years to Stu, step-mom to a son and daughter, and a grandma to six grandbabies: five boys & one girl, ages 6-16. Her decades of experience as a mental health professional along with her weekly empowerment circles give mommas of every age a place to celebrate themselves and one another. You can find her words online and in print at places like Her View From Home, Grown & Flown, Guideposts, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You Don't Need To Say, "I'm Fine."): Authentic & Encouraging Psalm Reflections on the Many Emotions of Motherhood by Shelby Spear and Lisa Leshaw is an engaging book that speaks about the challenges of motherhood. The parenting journey is not that easy and every mother has her share of ups and downs during the various stages and phases of growth of their children. Though each one has their unique parenting road, there are many common issues they all face, challenges they all encounter, and struggles they all endure. There is a universal bond all moms experience which is created through a mutual understanding of love and passion they have for their children. This book will give all moms the wisdom and understanding they require, and give them the confidence to reveal their secret struggles and sensitive issues.

Motherhood is a beautiful experience and I like the two different views about a topic that is so relevant. The 31 short reflections take readers into the inner lives and emotions of both the authors, which are universal. Reading the experiences of the authors will give comfort to all mothers and grandmothers out there to know that they are not alone. The book is fresh and original, and the personal reflection question at the end of each chapter is good when it comes to reflecting and introspecting. The book will take moms closer to God and will help them realize that it is hard to get stuck in the muck when they focus on God and his glory. I like the authors' approach to the topic; it is different and I like how the authors seamlessly knit their two faiths into the topic of motherhood and include psalms to help moms handle motherhood more easily.

Jami Amerine

How Are You Feeling, Momma? is helpful, but it is so much more. Eloquently written, fresh, and dear. I felt seen and heard. Perfect. - Jami Amerine, author of Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors and Stolen Jesus

Christine Carter

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.--Christine Carter, mom of two teens ages 13 and 15, and author of, Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness

Elizabeth Spencer

How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") had me at its subtitle. As women--and especially as women of faith--the pressure to be fine...or seem fine...or say "I'm fine" always feels like it's hovering over our interactions. But as God speaks to us through the Psalms, He clearly gives us permission to express the full range of emotions He intentionally equipped us with when He created us!

Traci Rhoades

Whether we identify as Jewish or Christian, as moms, when we open Scripture, we're reading the same Psalms. It's a beautiful thing to realize, as these women did, the way we apply the truths we read, in our home lives, our communities, and in our places of worship, are remarkably similar too.

Laura Wolf

As a mother of six, reading How are You Feeling, Momma? is like sitting on my front porch with a couple of friends and having a much-needed conversation.

Sandy McLeod

This book is a delightful guide for mothers and grandmothers to reflect on the spiritual joys & challenges of motherhood. I enjoyed the two different perspectives, which bring alive the love of God through all the turmoil of motherhood and the world.


Shelby Spear and Lisa Leshaw share an unflinching and extremely supportive and encouraging look at motherhood. You could read it straight through, but the real value comes when you're feeling trapped, jealous, impatient, insecure, etc. -- because they have a chapter for that! It's the precise support you need, when you need it, with truly helpful encouragement.

This book would make an excellent gift for new moms or any parent going through a major change, like a move, divorce, illness, empty nest or even your child starting middle school. Well done, Shelby and Lisa!


What a wonderful, uplifting book! There is so much good truth in here! The authors have some great wisdom and encouragement for moms who aren’t always ok. I love this book and plan on buying more to give to friends.


Words to live by (and to get you through the day!)
This book is in a user-friendly format and filled with gentle (and funny!) guidance for Moms young and old. If we're not in the throes of being a young parent right now, we've surely been there! The Psalms are brought to life with the vignettes these two authors share and will bring comfort and a smile to all who read this wonderful book. Enjoy!


I loved reading this book and it will be my new go to buy for my mom friends! I love the raw and honest shared by these two women who made me feel like they've known me forever. They share such wonderful wisdom and insight along with spiritual advice and practical steps to help us take on this journey of motherhood. Great read!


I love how Lisa and Shelby aren’t afraid to address all of those nagging emotions every momma stuffs down daily, like fear, loneliness, insecurity, and exhaustion. They approach each emotion with what feels like a warm hug. Such an uplifting book!! A warm hug...

Michelle Koch

Great Book For All Moms. Moms so often doubt that they're getting it right. They feel lonely and doubt themselves. This book lets all moms know that they aren't alone. It provides two perspectives from moms who have been through it all and lived to offer some perspective. A great gift for any mom.


I adore this book! It's a wonderful resource to help women with the many diverse emotions of being a mom. This book will help moms better cope with the ever-changing struggles of motherhood. It is divided into quick short read chapters to help uplight moms who are feeling afraid, alone, tired, overwhelmed, sad, and more. I love this format in a book because as a busy mom, sometimes I don't have a lot of time to read, so I can grab this book and be uplifted quickly. Plus, I can zone in on what I'm feeling at the moment and simply turn to that specific chapter. A great book to leave on your coffee table for when you have a free moment to read or bedside your bed for support and inspiration when you need it, like right before bed, or when you awake in the morning. It also celebrates joys of motherhood with specific wonderful examples of life as a mother. I also love how each chapter has a Psalm in it, a great source of inspiration, and a great reminder of those important things I need to be reminded of from time to time. Great storytelling, insight, and advice in this book. I highly recommend it for moms of all ages!

Tiffany O'Connor

Buy This For All The Moms in Your Life!! If you buy one book for the mothers in your life this year make it this one. Often motherhood makes women feel like perfection is expected from them. Like it's not acceptable to let other people know that you are not ok. The wisdom and grace shared in this book will make every mother feel a lot better about motherhood and herself.

An Ordinary Mom

Love, Love, Love! I’ve been in love with Lisa Leshaw’s writing for a while now and I love that I now have a book with her wisdom and humor. Shelby Spear too brings important truths to light and you can feel her spirit.
One of the things that surprised me was how much hope this book brought me.
Some favorite quotes-
“We are permitted to make mistakes without jeopardizing our worth and causing us to feel insecure”- Lisa Leshaw
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.”- Shelby Spear
And this one because it made me laugh out loud-
Lisa’s advice for when you feel like quitting-“ Humming is cursing without getting caught. I actually hum the bad words in lieu of spewing, and everyone around me thinks I am feeling joyful, and then they act joyful, and that makes me actually feel joyful, and I’m not stuck in the muck.”
Go buy this book!


An Absolute Must-Read
Every mom, no matter what stage in motherhood, has a season where she feels like a failure. Lisa and Shelby dive into a heartfelt read that is bringing with the encouragement every mama needs to hear. This is a must-read and a terrific gift for moms of all ages.

Heidi Joyce

Added to my standard Baby Shower Gift
Wow! I sure wish I had this book when my kids where little it gives great insight to how we all feel and feel like we are the only ones that feel that way. Lisa and Shelby do an amazing job lets us know we are only human and all on the same level. With every page read I thought of another Momma that would benefit from this book and will be receiving it as a gift from me. Thank you so much Ladies!!!


Bravo. This is what was needed in the mama market. What a fantastic, wonderful, uplifting book. I laughed, I cried and the authors' priceless wisdom makes this book a must-read. If you haven't, order this now.

Valli gideons

What a wonderful marrying of two beautiful faiths. Told with such grace and insight! I love it!