2015 - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
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Yearly Archives: 2015

The Type-B New Year Plan!

Happy New Year!!! Well, almost. It’s almost happy new year. It’s a little after 9pm EST right now, but you know, SO CLOSE.

Also, I’m sick. Nasty cold. But that nasty cold has kept me in bed pondering and planning, looking back at 2015 and onto 2016. And you know what I made for you? I made a little planner I call, The Type-B New Year Plan. Oh yes, it’s relaxed new year planning for the chill among us. You know who you are. You want to plan and ponder and be intentional, but sometimes the planning is too detailed and you never actually get around to it…yea. I know. The Type-B New Year Plan is simple, thoughtful, and intentional. It’s also something you’ll want to keep through the years, as it was created to be something of a memorial stone for you to look back on.

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10 pages of simple, thoughtful, intentional planning goodness!

I’m actually quite tickled by it. And it’s free. To get it, just enter your email below and BOOM, it’s yours.

And just for fun, here are my…

Top 6 Posts from This Year:

I have bad thoughts about my husband (and not the dirty kind) <—— #1 post of 2015

Choosing to wake up to my own life

What I know about cheating and consequences 

A steady soul

One of the secrets to nurturing a strong mind in your child

I think I’m not so scary, but maybe I am

Here’s to a wonderful new year!

Love, Sarah Mae

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Sibling Conflict is Par for the Course (Here’s Some Help in Dealing with It)

The day almost always starts out so promising.

I make my coffee, start slow, the kids get up and play together for awhile, and I get some time in the Word. I love our mornings. But then, almost without fail, I hear the first harsh tone. And then a yell. And then I can almost feel the hearts being hardened.

I’m trying to concentrate on reading my Bible, but before I know it I shout, “Why don’t you all just beat each other up and get it over with!”

Yea, not exactly a holy response. I cringe after I say it because I know it’s just a sinful impulse and I let it fly. My son says, “We don’t want to beat each other up.” And I say, “Well your hearts do.”

Oh man, I’m blowing it. {Deep breath.}

“Lord help me.”

I go into my oldest daughter’s room and sit on the floor and begin to rub her feet. I ask her how she is feeling. She talks, I listen. I call in her brother. She tells him how she feels, he listens pretty well. He tells her how he feels. She listens pretty well. We talk, we work things through, we say we’re sorry, we forgive.Hearts are tender. They hug and move onto playing again.

This is the hard holy work that happens every day. This conflict? Par for the course. My sinful response? A constant reminder that I am in process right along with my children. We are all in process, and our hearts can only be molded and matured by Him. I can’t fix their hearts. I can’t fix my own.

But forgiveness. And grace. And new days with new mercies. This is how we get through.

Here are some things I’m learning that might be helpful to some of you out there.

Have Coffee, Take a Deep Breathe, Invite the Holy Spirit In

When I begin to feel the tension of the morning, or I feel myself getting angry, I think, “Get the coffee stat!” And then I sit, breathe, and pray. “Holy Spirit come. Be with me, with our family. Help us.”

I also tell my children to never let me begin homeschooling them until I’ve had my coffee. Seriously. They know.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it, go somewhere and breathe. If you haven’t had your coffee or your tea, get it. And pray. If you’re kids try and interrupt this time, tell them, “I’m getting my heart in order. I’ll let you know when I’m good.” If they’re younger and wouldn’t understand that, go into the bathroom. Or your closet. Or hold them close and breathe and pray. But do stop. It’s in the getting still and quiet – a quietness of soul – that you will be able to gain composure in order to keep on.

Ask Forgiveness, Give It

I’m pretty certain I ask my children to forgive me every single day. Because every single day I blow it. I remember Sally telling a story where she says she woke up one day and told her daughter Joy that she would not sin that day and Joy said, “Oh just give it up mama, it’s bound to happen!” Because WE ALL SIN. We all blow it. We all are desperately in need of Jesus.

When you lose your cool, or tell your children to beat each other up, or sigh loudly when they can’t do something, or whatever, go to them and humbly ask for forgiveness. They’ll give it. Kids are pure grace.

And when they blow it, which they will, forgive them wholeheartedly. Look in their eyes and say, “I forgive you, and I always will.”

Without the tenderness of forgiveness, hearts become hard and bitterness grows. Pay attention to the heart, yours and theirs. Work towards tenderness.

Don’t Ignore It

It is so tempting to ignore the conflict because you’re just SO SICK OF IT. I know. Lord knows. We all know. But ask the Lord for the strength to keep on dealing with it. Be in the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Talk to your local girlfriends about how they deal with sibling conflict; talk to older women. Listen for wisdom and truth and grace.

“Indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom…”

Proverbs 2:3-6

Talk issues through with your kiddos. Work it out. Listen. Don’t let it go.

Letting sibling conflict go will likely cause bitterness to grow, especially when one child has take offense to the heart.

Don’t just try to mask the conflict with good behavior or right words, but really dig into the roots. Ask the Lord for help in seeing the truth of what’s going on. Yea, sometimes you just have to say, “Work it out.” But there is a time for intervening, especially when you see hardness. I tell my children, “God gave us to each other, and relationships are hard, but they’re worth working on.”

Keep working on relationships, in love. This is great practice for their marriages!

Pray for Their Hearts

You can never fix your kids sin issues.

You can guide, teach, correct, love, forgive, and prepare the “soil” for them to believe and receive the gospel, but you can’t fix their hearts. You must pray. Pray that your children will stay tender, that the love of God would fill them so deeply and profoundly that they would follow Him forever. Pray that they would submit to the power of the Holy Spirit, because only that power can change a person; only that power can fix a heart.

Know You’re In For the Long Haul

Raising children is a good work that takes YEARS of loving, training, correcting, forgiving, over and over and over and over and over again. The prayer is that one day it will all click and your hard-fought efforts will have sunk in deep to you children’s souls.

And listen here, because this is important: even your breadcrumb efforts can make a difference if they’re all you’ve got. Some of you out there are reading this and thinking, “I’m trying but I feel so inadequate. I feel like I’m failing all the time.” Motherhood is hard, and we all blow it. But here’s what the Lord does when we ask, He multiply’s our small offerings, our fishes and loaves. We do the work the best we can with who we are and where we are, and then we pray for God to multiply our efforts. Don’t let your tiredness, your bad days, your weaknesses or the constant conflict discourage you. It’s all part of the gig. Submit it all to Him, do your best, one step at a time, and keep going.

Yes, you’re in this for the long haul, but this good work of mothering was prepared in advance by God for you to do. And He will not leave you alone in the doing.

sibling hug

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

With love, SM

Need a space to catch your breathe? Check out A Night to Breathe, happening in January!

Related: Why I’ve Stopped Trying to Tame My Kids Tongues

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A Night to Breathe Take 2!

*UPDATE* THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH DUE TO THE SNOW!

The new date is March 19th!

Get your ticket HERE!

I am so tickled to be able to tell you that…

WE ARE DOING A NIGHT TO BREATHE AGAIN!!!!!

Oh, I cannot even tell you how excited I am about this. And it took a looooooooooong time to make the decision about whether or not to do it again, but you know, we moms all need encouragement and Amy and I both believe that A Night to Breathe is a lovely, special, wonderful way to encourage and build up “the motherhood.”

Also, we (Amy and I) know that you are so excited about Christmas and the spirit of this wonderful, cozy season, and who needs to breathe when we’re all happy and cozy?! We get it! But you know how it is, after New Year’s, the days get long and dreary and we ache for rest and rejuvenation in those long winter months. That’s why we decided that we are going to host A Night to Breathe in January. Read on for all the details!

All the Details

Who (is this event for): This event is mainly for moms of little ones WHO NEED TO BREATHE. You know who you are. Of course, anyone woman can come, but the evening is geared towards the moms who really do need a break. And cake. And inspiration to keep on.

When: Saturday, January 23, 2016, March 19th, 7pm (registration begins at 6:15pm)

BUT we HIGHLY recommend you STAY THE NIGHT. We know that after the talks and the cake and the bread (yes, and because of course) what you really need is a night away in clean sheets that you don’t have to wash. Also, you can sleep in, and then you can eat as slow as you want, and THEN, you can pray and have brain space and do the mini-bible study we will give you. TAKE THE TIME. We got you a room rate of only $99, and the rooms are beautiful. Get a room for yourself, just yourself, and BREATHE. Go here to book your room (you have until February 10th to get that room rate) and use code: NIGHT

Where: The event is held at the beautiful Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, PA

Speakers: Myself and the dear, wonderful, wise, Amy Smoker

Cost: The tickets are $49. There are 100 spots available. Tickets include access to the talks, dessert, coffee/tea, a mini-bible study, and a gift. To get your ticket, go HERE. All desserts are provided by Yellowroses Bakery. YUM!

Eventbrite - A Night to Breathe
A word from Amy:

When we planned A Night to Breathe last year, Sarah and I originally wanted the event to be in January. Because our hearts can ache for rest in the wake of celebrating. Sometimes I need renewed vigor for this motherhood mission, especially as I settle into winter. As a mama, I long for some quiet; I long for a solid night’s sleep, I long for uninterrupted reading and a complete conversation. Ultimately, I desire space and time for my soul to rest.

 
Our hope is that this event would provide space for us to gather in His name to be refreshed and restored in God and with one another. True soul resting is only found in The Lord (Psalm 62:1), even still, He has designed us to need each other. As a bird finds the needed endurance for her journey in the upwash of her flock; likewise, we need a coming together. This is the heart behind A Night to Breathe.
 
We all need a bit of relief in the journey of motherhood. Let us carve out a night in our hard winter to take rest, to breathe in the fresh wind He offers within the flock. As we come and gather, we find the courage needed for enduring- for thriving in the endurance.
 
Sarah and I are super excited and counting down the days, because just like every other mom in January- we need a night like this.

We can’t wait to see you and hug you and KEEP ON TOGETHER!
Love, SM and Amy

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At What Age Did You Stop Sinning?

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My two friends and I were sitting at the kitchen counter eating fresh strawberries from a local farmer’s market and telling war stories. You know, stories about all the crazy things our kids had been doing recently. At times like this, we talk about what we do when our children back-talk, what training techniques seem to work well at what ages, what we do when we are sleep deprived, and on and on the stories and lamenting and encouragement go. We support each other and affirm each other and give counsel when needed. We love each other and we cry and we laugh when we talk about life with little ones.

This particular evening, much like our other times together, we found ourselves complaining a bit about the naughty things our children had done. And then my friend said something to the effect of, “If only I could cure my complaining problem! Guess we’re not much different from our children!” We laughed and agreed, and the words went deep.

We are not much different from our little ones…

Read the rest over at (in)courage today!

Love, SM

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My Favorite Things Giveaway!

WINNER IS ANNOUNCED AT THE END OF THIS POST!

It’s that time again…

favthings2015

I know, I’m not Oprah, but I too have favorite things, and I too love sharing with you! Now, I can’t give all of you my favorite things, but I can give one of you ALL of them! Yay! And as a side-note, I’m also giving you a great Christmas shopping guide. You’re welcome! 🙂

(See my past giveaways favorite things giveaways HERE 2013 and HERE 2014)

Now, let’s get this party started!

My Favorite Things Giveaway!

The goods…

Shoes from The Root Collective!

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My feet in my favorites, Millie in Silver Spiral!

These are my favorite of my favorite things. I ADORE these shoes and wear them ALL THE TIME. I only just got them at Allume, but since them, we’ve been inseparable. They are so lovely and comfortable and they can be casual or dressy. Another bonus, my husband likes them, and apparently, he’s not a fan of most of my shoes. These were his exact words when he saw me in them, “Those are the only shoes I’ve ever loved on you.”
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The best thing about these shoes though? They are handcrafted, ethically produced shoes by artisans in Guatemala in partnership with The Root Collective, whose goal is focusing on economic development in rural and urban slum communities in Guatemala. Read all about The Root Collective HERE, and be sure to follow them on Instagram where they post the cutest pics of their shoes and those who make them.

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Our makers are defying the odds in their communities, pushing forward with hope in a place where darkness often overwhelms. They are providing jobs, food, and family to many without.
We keep our margins slim because we don’t take advantage of our makers and pay them fairly, while keeping prices affordable for consumers. We believe there is power in our business model, and invite you to be a part of that.
Remember that you are powerful this holiday season. Shop with intention.”
-Bethany Tran, Founder

For the giveaway, I’m going to let YOU choose which pair you want if you win! WOOT!

(If you want to get a pair for yourself or someone else, go HERE and use code SARAHMAE and you’ll get 10% off!)

Related: Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

The Shine Pullover from Persimmon Prints!

shineshirt

I also snagged this comfy little thing while at Allume this year! It is so cute and comfy and has become a favorite clothing item of mine. It was designed by the sweetest woman, Kacie, who owns Persimmon Prints, a lovely “faith-art” shop with things you will adore. And it’s much more of a delight to shop with them knowing they give back to help those in need.

View More: http://giftoftodayphotography.pass.us/persimmon-prints-fall-2015

“As the designer of persimmon prints, it’s my joy to creatively capture & display God’s divine words, and to share His message of love with the world. i want to help your fill your life with print, fix your heart on God, and fight for those in need.” -Kacie

Allumeamyme

The shirt I’m wearing here (“Free Indeed”) is also Persimmon Prints, and it’s on sale now!

The Evening Bonfire WoodWick Candle 

hearthwick-flame_evening-bonfire

Oh my goodness, this candle SMELLS SO GOOD! It’s like, you’re at an evening bonfire! And who doesn’t like an evening bonfire! 🙂 Seriously. I love WoodWick candles because they make that crackly fire/rain sound while also making your home smell delish. You will love this candle.

Want to shop for some WoodWick candles this season? Here you go.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a deeply touching book, and is one of the best books I have ever read. It was also a delight to read aloud. The kids and I were hooked; we couldn’t put it down. It is an exceptional work by Kate DiCamillo. If you don’t win this giveaway, you absolutely MUST get it. Love, love, love.

The Mitford Cookbook

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I mean, do I really even need to explain why this is a favorite? COMFORT FOOD! Oh, and if you haven’t read the first Mitford book, At Home in Mitford, I’ll throw that in the pot as well because it is a delicious read that will have you baking and longing for the warmth of small town living.

YUM!

A Mom Heart Conference Ticket!

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My favorite conference, the one that inspires me in my first calling, is Sally Clarkson’s Mom Heart conference. These conferences are so inspiring and helpful and I always leave encouraged. I cannot recommend how highly I think you should go if you’re a mom, particularly a mom of little ones. And you all know how much I esteem Sally. She is such a wise, gracious woman of God.

If you haven’t registered for one of the Mom Heart conferences, just get on with it by going HERE to find a conference near you (I’ll be speaking in Texas)!

Today, I am giving away a ticket to the California conference which is February 12-13th. You can read all about that conference HERE. Oh, and Chrystal Evans Hurst is speaking at the CA one, and she is a TREAT! You will laugh until you nearly have an accident (easy to do if you’re a mom!) and you will walk away with a good word. And of course, Sally will be speaking, and her insight will so fill your heart you cannot help but go home ready to keep on as a mother, in grace and Titus 2 wisdom.

My Longing for Life Video Course!

Sarah Mae's Longing for Life Course

I know there are some of you out there who really want to go through this course/study but just don’t even have the $10 to purchase it. I understand, and I’ve been there. Therefore I’m not only giving away one course, but THREE courses! When you leave a comment, let me know if you would like to specifically win the course.

Now, speaking of $10, right now my Longing for Life video course is only $10 through Thursday, and even though you have a chance to win it, if you don’t want to miss the deal go ahead buy it now, and if you win, I’ll refund you! Easy peasy.

To get it for $10, click HERE and put in this coupon code: ten

To read more about the course, click HERE.

Okay, last but not least…

You know I’m going to go on and throw in my books!

Longing for Paris and Desperate!

LFPcover

For those trying to navigate the tension between their longings and their reality

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For the mom who has ever whispered, “I just can’t be a mother today.”

There you have it, my favorite things of 2015!

The winner of the whole shebang is…. Brittany Osborne!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!

The other two winner’s of the course are… Sarah Koontz and Sara Shultz! CONGRATS!

To Enter the Giveaway…

Just fill out the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to the continental US only. Giveaway ends Thursday at 9pm EST!

Love, SM

There are affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy here.

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