the new book: Motherprayer


“Motherprayer is not just a book for mothers. It’s a book, finally, about loving, and if you let it, it will transfigure how you see yourself as a giver and recipient of love.”

— Lauren Winner, author of Wearing God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and Girl Meets God, among others.

an excerpt from Motherprayer: the essay, “Why We Do It,” as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune, March 2017. 

a few kind words from readers…

“Barbara invites you intimately into her world, always with her luscious hand, whether on children, fear, prayer, language, sorrow, neighborhoods, cardinals in the back yard, or cooking — there’s something for all about the way we live our lives. As chronicler and interpreter she helps us to stop and remember our own stories, and see them a little bit differently than we did before.” — Jan Sugar, motherfriend

“Barbara’s words are a balm for our sorrows and struggles, and a celebration for all we do as mothers. Her words are poetic prayers. She puts to words faith, hope and love–all the necessities of motherhood….This book also opened a lovely floodgate of memories of my own three children, things I haven’t thought of in years, and moments in my relationship with them as mother that formed who they are, and also who I am now because of them. This book is one that will be a gem for all time.” — Sue Pearson Sklansky, Goodreads

from Abingdon Press…

Barbara Mahany writes, “Mothering was my crash course in love. Love of the sort I call Divine. Love in the way we yearn to be loved: Without end. Without question. Without giving in to exhaustion. Love with a big and boundless heart. Love with eyes and ears — and soul — wide open. Love even when it’s not so easy.”

Motherprayer: Lessons in Loving (Abingdon Press, April 2017) is Mahany’s poetic collection of field notes — love letters, really — culled from keeping close watch across the arc of her children’s growing-up years, from kindergarten through college graduation and beyond. Its most stirring meditations are the ones that bring into sharp focus one essential question: How do we love?

The whisper at the heart of Motherprayer — in writings that capture the ephemeral moments of motherhood, ones that might find you wiping a tear, or chuckling aloud — is the one that implores: “Pay attention. There is much to be studied, and learned here, in the curriculum of loving.”

we’re in the countdown days. in less than a week, Motherprayer will be birthed — and my heart will hold breathtakingly still.

this is the book that pulses from the deepest place inside me. it’s the one piece of work i knew i needed to leave in my wake, a lasting record of how deeply i have loved, and the lessons of the heart learned through mothering. someday, i pray, the boys i love — will and teddy — will hold it in their hands, turn the pages and breathe in — again and again — the truth of the depths of that love. and how, in becoming a mother, their most blessed mother, the depths of me was born.

in the meantime, you can find Motherprayer on amazon, or at your very favorite bookstore, where some gentle bookseller will happily order it for you. and i will thank you from the bottom of my motherheart.