August 2013 - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Just When I Thought Moms Weren’t Really *That* Desperate

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I’ve gotten comfortable.

I’m not desperate. I’m happy. My kids are older, they’re sleeping through the night, and they mostly play nice. I’ve got a good husband who watches our children at least twice a week in the afternoon after work so I can write. Or buy candles. (It’s a thing).

Also? I haven’t been depressed in a long time, which is just light.

And right there, between sleeping and getting away and experiencing light, I forgot. Even though I wrote a book about it, I forgot.

Already.

But then I got a letter this morning, and it reads like so many letters I get. So many, in fact, that I started tuning out because I got overwhelmed. Because I can’t help everyone, but I want to.

This is a portion of the letter:

“I don’t know what to do and I feel like I’m drowning…They are the most willful, difficult kids I’ve ever known. When we visit friends who have kids the same age the difference is night and day. I do my best not to compare, but I can tell that my girls are much more… um. Spirited….I am so, so alone. My husband helps when he’s home but often works 13 hour days, and I don’t understand it, but I cannot seem to find any girlfriends…I have tried everything I can think of…I don’t want to do this mothering thing by myself, and my heart is breaking, and I am so lonely. I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to find my solace in our Savior right now, but I am so desperate for community and real bonds.”

For the first time in a long time I wrote back. Because I don’t want to be the person who forgets, or ignores it. And what I said to her I want to say to you:

I wish I could reach out to each of you individually, invite you to coffee, watch your children, be your friend, make you cake. Because I would. I hate that you are so lonely and so discouraged. I know you’re just tired, and overwhelmed, and you’re doing your best with what you’ve got. Oh mama, hang on. Hang on. It doesn’t sound like much, but I want you to know I will pray for you. I will. And I’m hoping with you and for you for a friend, and for light and for encouragement, because what you are doing matters so much. And you, you matter. You matter to me and you matter to God and you matter to those little ones in your care. As Kat says, you are kind of a big deal.

So I know I can’t be there for you personally the way I’d like to, but I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to pray for you by name. Would you leave a comment with how you need prayer? If you don’t leave your name, that’s okay, I’ll whisper on your behalf anyway. I’ll be up early interceding for all of you who leave a comment.

I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing…

Psalm 40:1-3, The Message

There’s one more thing I can do for you, and I’ll tell you all about it on Tuesday. If you don’t want to miss the post, you might want to consider signing up to receive my posts via email; you can do that here.

Keep on, friend, keep on.

Sarah Mae

P.S. The winners of Desperate and its DVD Companion Guide are Jennifer, Kimberly, and Kadonna. Congrats! I have sent emails to each of you.

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Savoring September – A New Series!

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My favorite months are September, October, November, and December. I like May as well, because by then, I’m ready to be playing outside! But by far, the fall months are like cozy socks to my soul. I just love them and want to slip them on and relish in the warm feeling; I want to savor them.

This year, I have decided to pay more attention to my days, and to savor the new winds, the air cooling, and the freshness of something new; the fall new year. And I’m beginning with September.

September is like January. There is a newness to it, almost more so for me than January. It’s like a fresh start, a new beginning.

I’m already thinking about cardigans and sweaters, cowboy boots and farm days, the fair (where we are sure to put our kids in the annual pig chase), apple pies, and all the wonderful things my town (the coolest small town in America, by the way) has coming up during this delightful month.

Man, I love September.

If you have an affinity for September as I do, then won’t you join me in my new Savoring September Series? We’ll begin on Tuesday, September 3rd. Hope to see you!

Love, SM

P.S. Come back tomorrow, I have a special announcement about a 5-Day course that Sally and I are offering to all you mama’s out there who could use some practical mothering encouragement and help!

P.P.S. I’ll announce the winners of the Desperate giveaway tomorrow!

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I Still Need Over 150 People to Help Rescue Girls From Brothels (I’m Looking at You)

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Four national investigators.

Undercover brothel raids.

150 victims of sexual trafficking…rescued.

The team I’ve adopted (with your help), BRAVO team, is currently on location getting ready for a potential raid. They have identified the bar with 30 girls, 10 of them are minors. It is assumed that all 30 are trafficked victims. They are working with police now to plan the raid.

Friends, as of now we have 36 supporters, but we need 200 to fully fund this team in India. We need 164 more of you to commit to $35/month.

Here is where your money goes:

Investigator Salaries, full-time, four men and one director:  $2,500

Social worker salary: $300

Travel, Lodging while on mission (usually about one week at a time, 2-3 weeks per month. Team lives 6 hours from red-light districts): $800

Investigative Expenses: $1200 (rental car, camera batteries, drinks at places, “buying” girls, entrance fees, etc. for five investigators)

Food/ Misc. Expenses while on mission (5 men, two weeks): $200

Total: $5,000

To help me support Bravo Team, please GO HERE. For more information, click here.

Put “BRAVO – SARAH MAE” in the comment box so we can keep track. I’ll continue to keep you updated.

On behalf of the 27 million,
SM

Three Things Everybody Needs to Know About Sex Trafficking

Exodus Road FAQ

Bravo Team in India is composed of four national investigators operating primarily in a major city of India. This team, lead by a former-journalist-turned-abolitionist has rescued 150 victims of trafficking with The Exodus Road in one month alone. They travel six hours each way into the red-light districts and find underage victims in brothels and dance bars. This brave team has literally rescued dozens of virgins before they were sold. After gathering evidence through their covert cameras, they work closely with police to conduct fairly immediate raids.

P.S. If you become a sponsor, please let me know. I have a private FB page set up just for supporters.

 

 

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How My Daughter Became a Delight to Me

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You may remember me writing about my sweet Caroline in this post, Loving a Wild One.

She was the one who humbled me as a mom. She was also the one who I thought was going to cause me to

Lose.

My.

Mind.

For real.

Here is a little excerpt from Desperate about her:

After approximately one thousand and one times of Caroline getting out of bed, I was ready to head to the mad house. I would have happily packed my bags and gone to bounce off the white walls. It was that bad. Spanking didn’t work, sternness didn’t work, ignoring her didn’t work, begging and tears didn’t work; she laughed in the face of my formula-wielding ways. The only reason she finally fell asleep was because tiredness overcame her. She won. I was defeated. I cried again and again.

The reality sunk in: Caroline was not going to fit in any box. There would be no pat answer for how to raise and discipline her. I was not prepared to raise an out-of-the-box (as Sally calls her) child.

But you know, that precious girl is now such a delight to me. Truly! I mean, not in mom speak, in for real, she’s a joy to be around, truth. She is sweet and kind and {mostly} obedient and fun and just lovely all-around.

She delights my soul. But it didn’t just happen. I’d like to share with you some things I think made a difference in how she has changed.

How My Daughter Became a Delight to Me

I Quit

I had too much going on, and the fact is, I was neglecting my daughter. I felt like I was losing her heart, and at such a young age! At two and three years old, I had already offended her to where she would push me away. I finally just started quitting things, including the Allume conference. Jesus said that He left the 99 for the 1. I took a cue from Him and decided that I needed to walk away from most of what I was doing and go after my one, my Caroline. And after her I went. I was determined to win her heart, and you know what? I have.

No regrets.

Also, by slowly taking outside work off my plate, I became much less stressed, which was helpful all around.

I Gave Her My Time

In going after her and her heart, I had to give her my time. She needed me, and isn’t that exactly what little ones need, their mamas? I really began offering myself to her, loving her, nurturing her, working with her, encouraging her, and really being for her. In practical terms, I began spending more time with her, being patient when she messed up and teaching her instead of yelling at her, smiling more at her, rubbing her arms and legs and head, reading to  her, cuddling, snuggling in bed with her, talking with her, and doing fun things with her. I don’t get it all right (I still get impatient, yell sometimes, etc.), but I’m present with my family, and that has made a huge difference.

I Got Wise

It finally sunk in that without time and intention and hard work, I wasn’t going to raise my children well. And by “well” I mean intentionally teaching and training them in how to do life.

Recently Sally turned 60, and for her birthday all her children came home and spent a week with her. One of her children said, “You took the time to teach me, and you poured into me, and wherever I go I have the wisdom to make decisions, use manners, rely on scripture to guide me, and I realize how much time it took for you to accomplish all that. I realize you gave everything in your life to raise us to be great people.”

That’s what I want, but it’s not going to come easy, and it’s not going to come if I don’t pay attention and work for it.

She Matured

For the love, my sweet girl was only two years old when I started to feel like I was going to go under with her! I thought being two was a forever sentence, and life would never change. I also thought all two-year olds would obey the same. Laugh now. She had her own gig, and she was not going to go along with my plans (and I wasn’t going to beat her to make her). But here’s the thing, we both matured.

For one, Sally told reminded me that, “She is only two, and I really think if she could obey you she would.” Sally encouraged me to spend more time with her, and to be patient with her, and to fill her needs. As I shared above, I gave myself to that good work. The other thing though, and the really big thing to keep in mind, is that little ones grow up! This is the nature of a child. We need to be patient as they mature, and in the meantime, give them what they need: our time and love. Discipline is in there, but sometimes we discipline for immaturity, which I think will do more harm than good.

All this to say, if you have a little one that is making you feel crazy, cut yourself some slack, cut them some slack, and remember: they mature (if you help them).

Keep on

Motherhood is hard work if we give ourselves to it, but it’s good work. We will mess up so many times, but we will also get so many things right.

Don’t give up. I know some days you feel like throwing in the towel, but listen to me: hang in there. What you do, it matters. Keep loving and snuggling your babes; you’ve got this. For real.

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Keep on!

Love, SM

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Apparently, You Want to Know More About My Homeschooling Plans

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You all left some great questions in the comment section of my homeschooling revamp post, so I thought I’d use a post to answer them.

First of all, please remember, it’s all an experiment. I am not a seasoned homeschool mom. I’m a “Hey, let’s try that new thing” homeschool mom. And did I mention this is my first “for real” year of homeschooling? I’m actually responsible now. To the state. For educating my {almost} eight-year-old.

As you read the answers to my questions, keep in mind the fact that my babes are young and I’m still learning how to do this homeschool thing well. It’s all a process!

Okay, here goes…

Will you share the character traits and accompanying Scripture that you’re doing each month?

I’m using the Character Concepts for Preschoolers flash cards and book that have the character trait and scripture. Depending on how things go, I *might* add in Our 24 Family Ways this year. I don’t want to be overly ambitious, so I’m waiting to see how our first month pans out before I add anything else.

Will your little ones be involved in all of your older ones learning?

Yep, just not as thoroughly. I’ll have age-appropriate things for them to do that correspond with the theme of the month and what I want them to learn.

Are you getting your unit study information/curriculum from anywhere in particular? Or are you just picking and choosing from books and other sources?

I’m just picking and choosing. Yay for Google and the library! Oh, and as I come up with ideas, I’ll share them for each month.

What day are you starting?

Monday!

Can you recommend any good character training books?

I really like Character Concepts for Preschoolers https://www.thelearningparent….
Even though it says it’s for preschoolers, I use it for all my kids.

My oldest is 3 and I want to start homeschooling! Where do I even start?

Start when they’re 6/7! Seriously, just play with your babe – they are always learning. The biggest mistake I made was trying to homeschool too early. Just relax, have fun, sing songs, go places, but don’t feel like you need to do anything formula-ish until they are older. My four year does worksheets here and there because she wants to be a part of schooling with her older brother and sister, but it is very simple and fun work. My son is six and we just do a few things, but nothing intense. Some math, and reading lessons, and letter and number writing, but we go slow. My oldest didn’t start reading well until nearly 7 1/2 years old, but now she is an avid reader. No rush!

Can I attend your homeschool next spring?

Yes. 😉 But you have to bring your own food. My babes are eating me out of house and home already!

I did see your other post for this year’s homeschooling and was curious as to why you changed it up?

I don’t know, I think it had to do with Clay and Sally Clarkson’s philosophy to not rely on curriculum (except math) and my own revelation that putting theme’s into months could be fun and a great way to focus and engage on a topic. I’ll still use pieces of the curriculum I mentioned in that post, I’m just not going about them systematically (except maybe the spelling book – not sure yet).

Do you have a daily schedule/routine? I’m just starting my son with preschool material in 2 weeks and trying to figure out some sort of schedule.

If you mean a preschool schedule, my opinion is that preschool is a time to just be a kid and you don’t need to do anything formal. They are always learning, and when you’re in the car sing a verse and the alphabet song, when you see ants outside say they are insects; when you go places point out the colors, and count cars, and it’s all just really natural. My routine with my four year old is to print out a few worksheets for her (because she loves them) and have her practice her letters or numbers or patterns. I don’t get worked up about how they look, I’m just trying to let her enjoy and get used to the idea of school work, as it were. It really depends on your child, where they’re at personally, their bents, etc. I definitely wouldn’t push anything though. Honestly? Just read to your preschooler a ton.

If you mean our schedule in general, it’s flexible. I’m up around 6am every day (something I’ve committed to and have been doing for a month and half now) and my babes have to be up at 7:30 to begin the day: breakfast, jobs, school work. My mornings are going to be sacred this year; no plans until after we finish school work each day. Other than that, we are pretty wide open!

Are you hand picking each thing? How do you go about doing this type of thing with portfolios/submitting to school districts?

I am picking each thing, except for math (Math-U-See) and a few other resources here and there. I’ll be using the library and Google for books, craft and field trip ideas. 🙂

I love the Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson, and in it they say forgo curriculum (except for Math). I feel confident enough to do that. Also, I just connected with an evaluator today (she’s great) and she said this will work just fine as long as I’m meeting their learning needs as set by the state (we will). And good for you for just taking it easy with your four-year old. Just let her be little and play and have fun – she’s always learning! “School time” will come soon enough!

How do I figure out exactly what is needed for state and assessment tests?

Your state will have a department of education website and that will tell you what you need to know. As far as a general assessment (and I do stress *general* because all kids learn at different rates and that’s fine), see here:http://www.greatschools.org/st…

Here’s another good article, “Stepping Outside the Grade Level Box” http://simplehomeschool.net/st…

And just for fun:

Click here to see an info. graphic on how American Homeschoolers measure up!

Keep on!

Love, SM

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