January 2013 - Sarah Mae
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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Desperate Book Signing, Skype Chat, Mom Heart, and Book Club Thursday!

Happy Wednesday!

I am off to California tomorrow for the west coast Mom Heart conference! I am very excited as I have never been to CA, plus I will get to see some friends from all over and meet new ones. I will be keynoting on Friday night on “Motherhood Unchained – How Freedom Makes Us Better Mothers.” I would really appreciate your prayers. All of this is of course dependent on whether or not I get sick. My kids got throw-up sick yesterday and I’m hoping and praying my body is strong enough to fend off the germs. I’m also hoping the hubs doesn’t get sick. You all can pray for him too, I know he’d appreciate it!

Other news…

Book Signing at Barnes and Noble!

I will be doing a Desperate book signing at the Lancaster Barnes & Noble on February 8th (my birthday!) from 6-8pm. Come, hang out with me, have coffee, and I’ll write something pretty in your book for you. Plus, hidden in three of the books will be gift cards for Starbucks coffee – yum! So please come on out, I’d love to meet you!

Skype With Me!

If you have an in-real-life Desperate book club, I would love to Skype with your group some time! If you are interested in hanging out with me for a bit during one of your group times, please email me at sarahmaewrites (at) gmail.com with subject: SKYPE 🙂

Don’t have a group yet? Consider getting one together! Here’s a FREE Desperate small group guide to get you started!

Online Book Club!

Don’t forget that Chapter 1 of Desperate is being written about and discussed over at Sally’s blog itakejoy.comtomorrow (Thursday)! We’ll be back here on Tuesday for Chapter 2!

That’s all for the updates today – have a great night friends!!!


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Tantrums in Barnes & Noble, The Motherhood Nod, and Being Rocked (Desperate Book Club – Introduction)

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The other night I was in Barnes and Noble on a date with my Caroline. She was already a bit on edge for who knows why, so it was no surprise that right before we went to leave, she decided to have a meltdown, over juice. I told her “no” to the juice and that is when she plopped down in the middle of the cafe floor and proceeded to scream, “I want JUUUUUUUICE!” On the floor, in B & N, in front of everyone in the cafe. I look around, assess the situation, and try and figure out how I’m going to deal with this. I could,

A.) Buy her the juice

B.) Quietly, calmly, and sternly tell her to come to me (all while giving her the mean mommy eye) and hope that she would immediately get up and obey by coming to me

C.) Pick her up, listen to her scream, and get out of the store as quickly as possible because I’m not buying the juice and I know the calm mommy thing is an ideal that I never mastered.

I walk over, pick her up, and whisper, “if you don’t get up right now I’m going to strangle you  you are in massive trouble.” I’m sweating now, but I carry the little screaming banshee out of the store and to the car.

Now, I just have to say that for all of you who read this post and are thinking, “see, that’s what you get for not training her properly” I would like to take a moment to say…

I’m trying; I’m doing my best. Caroline has thrown me for a loop in my parenting, and let’s just say I’m a much more humble woman because of it. Which is a good thing, because now when I see mama who has a screaming child in the grocery store, I just nod the “I know, mama, I know, keep on” nod. Motherhood is hard; we need compassion.

Where was I…

Ah yes, the joy of motherhood.

Seriously, I do love being a mom, and my babies are a gift, and I can’t stand how much I think they’re amazing. But underneath the amazing, they are crazy {albeit precious} people just trying to figure out their worlds, and in doing so they rock yours.

And basically, that’s what the introduction is about, acknowledging the “rocking” and not pretending everything is wonderful. Do you know how freeing it is to feel not alone? To feel like you aren’t crazy for not having it all together in motherhood? I have received dozens of emails from moms who have read just the beginning of Desperate and it brought them to tears. Emails like this:

“I just had a chance to look at it this morning and I am crying because you are writing me: my life, my thoughts, my secret feelings, some I’ve mentioned to my husband, but some still those thoughts in my heart I’m afraid to voice aloud.  I can’t wait to read more.  So refreshing after reading so many “Christian wife & mother” books that just leave me with a weight of burdens on my back, everything I “should” be doing/feeling/thinking, but am not.”

Why the tears? Because they know that someone gets it, someone hears them, someone cares about the days they aren’t sure they’re are going to make it.

But it doesn’t stop with the relating, oh no, because that’s not enough. Moms need each other, we need to lavish grace on each other, do the motherhood nod in the grocery store, but we also need mentors. We need women willing to share their life-offerings with us. We need that kind of life-lived encouragement, the kind that says, “you can do this, you will do this, and you don’t have to do it alone.”

And that’s what Desperate offers, insomuch as a book can.

But you all, you have to step out of the pages and into the lives of the women around you. Older moms, we need you to reach out to the newer moms, and newer moms, don’t isolate yourself, it will just about drown you if you do.

Your Turn

How did the introduction speak to you?

What are you hoping to gain from reading Desperate?

Where are you most feeling Desperate right now?

Just now joining in the study? Here are some detaily things for you:

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When You Give Up, and You Break, You’ve Made It

“I don’t want to be a servant, I want to be a Caroline.” So says the three year old wonder-child who humbles me as a parent and makes me think deeper about life.

I want to be a Caroline.

That’s confidence, isn’t it? And freedom? I love that about my girl; she hasn’t learned yet to try and be anything but who she is. She doesn’t know that one day she’ll feel the pressure to be good enough, to be holy enough, to be quiet enough, or wise enough or all the “enough’s” that fill our head and make us neurotic about who we are and how we should live.

The “enough’s” make me tired.

And I think they make a lot of us are real tired, because in all the enough’s we begin to lose ourselves in order to be something else…something better…something expected…so far from who we really are that when we  fall apart, we just give up.

We stop trying. We think, “why bother, I will never change.”

And the lie sinks deep and we believe it for so long, and man it hurts.

But here comes the upside, the so unbelievably bright side…

Read the rest of this article over at Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience

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I Was Six and She Broke the Window

I’m around six years old.

My brown hair is scraggly, my leg warmers are uneven on my legs, and there is a space where my two front teeth will soon be.

I’m standing in front of my dad helping him tie his tie; a morning ritual between the two of us. It’s quiet, and the room feels empty; it’s just us in this big, old grey farm house.

Knock knock!”

Our moment is interrupted by the forceful knocking at the front door.

I run to the steps and peek over the railing to see who is there. It’s my mom. “Dad, it’s mom!” I yell excitedly  “Don’t answer, come upstairs.” “Why, why can’t I answer?”


I hear the loud noise of glass breaking and falling and the thumping in my chest goes into overdrive. My dad tells me to stay put and he leaves to go downstairs.

I don’t remember point A to point B, but somehow I’m now next to my dad downstairs, pulling on his arm and begging him, “please let me go with mom, please.” He’s not talking to me. My mom and dad are talking, but I can’t hear them, I just know she wants me and I want her, and I’m so confused about why I can’t go and why she broke the window and I wonder if she’s hurt.

And then she’s gone.

But I’m still here.

Daddy says she broke the glass with her purse, and that she’ll be fine.

I can’t remember too many things before that day, and after is a blur as well. It’s a funny thing, memory, what sticks, and what hides. I’m told I lived with my mom for the first three years of my life. I think we lived in Alaska, and the memories of then are scattered; I don’t know if they are from living there or visiting her after I lived with my dad. I know we had a brown house, and there was snow, and there was a girl named Moriah who would steal my tea set, but I let her, so I guess it wasn’t really stealing. She would stuff everything into her pants and my mom and I watched her as she walked awkwardly home. And then there was the earth quake. I was on the toilet and she was holding my baby sister. The house would shake and then stop, and I wanted her to hold me but she couldn’t because her arms were full with a baby. Yes, and Keith, her daddy, who always called me “pumpkin head.” I remember those things, but that’s about it.

Then there was Arkansas, and Georgia, and a new husband, and then a boyfriend, and then I lived with her and I saw what an alcoholic was for the first time in my life. She looked like my mom.

I can’t tell her story, but I have one to tell. I have a story of what it was like to live with her for three years in Georgia. I have a story about a teenager living with her alcoholic mother, her alcoholic mother’s boyfriend (who was half her age), and a time when a razor was dangerously tempting to a broken girl.

I don’t like sad things. I like beauty and happiness, and who wants to talk about dark things. But there is a story to be told, and it wants to be told, and while there is dark, there is also light. So maybe, bit by bit, I’ll let it out. As she sees fit.


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The Desperate Online Book Club Starts Tuesday, the 29th (Plus I’m Giving Away 3 Copies of Desperate!)


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Absolutely the best mothering book I have read…” -From an Amazon review

UPDATE: The study location has changed. We are doing the book study here and at Sally’s blog.

Sally and I will be leading an 8-week Desperate book study over here and at itakejoy.com beginning on January 29th and we’d love for you to join us!

Here’s the breakdown:

Tuesday, Jan. 29th – The Introduction (I Can’t Be a Mother Today) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, Jan. 31st  – Chapter 1 (Ideals and Going Under) – Sally

Tuesday, Feb 5 – Chapter 2 (The Go-it-Alone Culture) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, Feb. 7th – Chapter 3 (Formula’s) – Sally

Tuesday, Feb. 12th –  Chapter 4 (Oh Right, There’s Sin) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, Feb. 14th – Chapter 5 (When the Dark Invades) – Sally

Tuesday, Feb. 19th – Chapter 6 (Lack of Training) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, Feb. 21st – Chapter 7 (Sacrifice in the Mundane) – Sally

Tuesday, Feb. 26th – Chapter 8 (Escaping) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, Feb. 28th – Chapter 9 (Taming the Beast of Housework) – Sally

Tuesday, March 5th – Chapter 10 (Figuring it Out New) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, March 7th – Chapter 11 (Voices that Influence Us) – Sally

Tuesday, March 12th – Chapter 12 (Living on Purpose) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, March 14th – Chapter 13 (The Art of Life) – Sally

Tuesday, March 19th – Chapter 14 (Desperate…Not Defeated) – Sarah Mae

Thursday, March 21st – Conclusion (Living the Story of Motherhood) – Sally

There will be an opportunity to link-up posts if you write about the chapters each week, but you do not have to write a post to be follow along in the study. Just come on over to my blog each Tuesday and Sally’s blog each Thursday and “listen in” as Sally and I add more thoughts to each chapter. If you want to gather a group of friends to study Desperate with, head here for a FREE small group guide!


Desperate Giveaway!

Today I’m giving away 3 copies of Desperate. This giveaway is only open through tomorrow night (Wed) at 9pm, so if you win, you should get the book just in time to start the study with us!

Just enter using the form below! (Don’t want to wait? Find the book at B & NAmazonCBD, or DaySpring!)



Open to U.S. only.
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Related: Announcing: The Desperate Book Study! 

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