January 2015 - Sarah Mae
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Monthly Archives: January 2015

I’m Calling a FREE Day! Plus, a $200 Mary & Martha Giveaway! #31DaysToClean

Giveaway! $200 in Mary & Martha products!


I need a catch-day up. I, your fearless cleaning leader, am behind. OH AM I BEHIND. Because apparently, when you clean your kitchen, it gets messy again. Yea. So I need to clean it, again. And the bathroom, and MY WHOLE HOUSE IS DRIVING ME NUTS.

So today, do whatever you need to do to catch up or just take a day off, or whatever. NO OFFICIAL 31 days to clean post today.

Ahhhh.. Isn’t that better?

So today I shall offer something else, something much more fun. SHOPPING! 🙂

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In honor of the newly released 31 Days to Clean – HAVING A MARTHA HOUSE THE MARY WAY it would only make sense to have a stellar giveaway from Mary & Martha!

31 Days to Clean, the REVISED version is available now for only .99 cents!

Today, $200 in Mary & Martha products are up for grabs! WOOT!

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Tea parties!

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To check out Mary & Martha products, go HERE! (You can click on their catalog to browse!)

All you have to do to enter is fill out the form below! Good “luck”!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on Tuesday at 9pm EST!

Love, SM

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

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A Well of Conviction


With my Care

This is an Own Your Life Book Club post. Even if you’re not reading through the book with us, please read on and be encouraged!

In my half-sleepy stupor this morning I was thinking about how I needed to clean my house and have more vision for my home and how it could be used to truly shape the souls of my children. And then of course I thought about Sally and that she is an extraordinary person.

As I read through the final chapters of the book, it is more and more evident that not only is she extraordinary, she is rare voice in our culture.

I have never met anyone like her before. She is wise and scriptural and calls us to be holy, but she is anti-legalism and is full of grace and faith and fun and beauty and freedom. She raised her children with deep intention and time and cultivating, and yet she, with her husband, has run a ministry for the last (almost) 20 years without losing her integrity or at the expense of her children.

I have come to see that she was able to do these things because she had a well of conviction.

In Chapter 14 of Own Your Life, pages 193 and 194, she shares her vision for her home. “You cannot build what you have not imagined.” (Tweet That)

She wrote down several things, such as:

Home is the foundation upon which great civilizations are built…

Home is the place where virtue is shaped: minds are fed great ideas, truth and beauty, the finest of writing, and the clearest of thinking…

Home is the place where the whispers ofGod’s love are heard regularly, the touch of His hands is given intentionally through the day, and the words of His encouragement and affirmation lay the foundation of loving relationships.

Home is the place where stories of heroism, sacrifice, love, and redemption are celebrated and embraced…

Over time she refined these thoughts and made them practical. For example she put…

  • Bookshelves in every bedroom
  • A library/tea room with comfy chairs, a tea set, paintings, and candles and music, which provides a lovely getaway for heart-to-hear conversations
  • A basket of books and a chair in each bedroom to encourage reading and quiet time, during which God can speak to our hearts and minds

Those are just a few, but the point is, she was creating an intentional environment all around her and her family. I love this and plan on implementing several of her suggestions.

Throughout these last chapters, Sally talks about cultivating character and integrity. She says that, “character is the internal attributes that determine a person’s external integrity and work ethic. Character provides the foundation of spiritual and moral strength that rules life decisions, commitments, and faithfulness. Unless we own the fact that the choices and actions we make in life will indeed have important consequences, we will make flippant, easy decisions that kill the potential of our becoming strong and fit leaders in our homes and communities.”

In Chapter 16, Sally gives us some “secrets” of motherhood. Let me share a few:

  • Time spent together is what communicates love to your children. You can’t influence them or expect them to adopt your values without making this commitment…
  • You are the mother your children need. Be yourself. When you like who God made you to be, you give your children the invaluable gift of a happy mom.
  • Don’t make your children an idol. They were not placed on earth to fulfill your needs and desires…
  • There is no formula or exact way to ensure you are doing it right
  • All children resist training
  • Remember that God has access to their little brains

There are more “secrets” she lists, and of course she goes more in depth into these truths, but I wanted to give you a taste, especially since it’s so easy to think, “I’m not a good enough mom for my kids” or, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” You are the mom God gave to your children, and there is no formula, just wisdom principles. Have you got a copy of Own Your Life yet? If you haven’t, now would be a good time. SO MUCH WISDOM. 🙂

One of the most powerful things in this book is found in the last chapter, and it is a letter Sally wrote that she wants to be read at her funeral. You guys, she read it at her conference and I cried. It is so beautiful. I’m not even going to give you a hint of it because you just need to get the book and read it yourself. It will so embolden you to live a life of discipleship and love and faith.

Well friends, this concludes the Own Your Life book club. It was a quick one, I know, and I would encourage you to go back and relish some of the words and put in place a vision and a plan for your life and your home.

You won’t regret it.

Wisdom Gems

“Our children learn to read our lives, and they long for our love before they believe our doctrines.” Chapter 11

“When a culture has no heroes to inspire, no models of integrity to capture people’s imaginations, the level of dignity, decency, ad nobility declines.” Chapter 12

“God has placed seed potential in each of our lives. We have the potential for blooming, so to speak, but we also require wise tending to grow and to thrive.” Chapter 12

“Your life cannot be separated from your character.” (Tweet That) Chapter 12

“If I could give you only one encouragement in this book, it would be to measure your life by how well you have loved. In the moment that you love well, you are the most like Jesus.” Chapter 13

“To build a home of ideals means a life of sacrifice. It means a lot of work, and it’s never going to be over. These ideals don’t come easily to anyone; they come through battle. It’s an illusion to think that building a place of beauty ever happens naturally to anymore; it happens little by little…through hard work…When we cultivate our souls, our children will have something to draw from. The house with the life of God isn’t a perfect house, it’s a redeemed house! It’s not a home without sin, or without messes or without spilled milk, but we redeem one more moment, in the joy of living with Him, and that moment becomes a memory, an unspoken message that lasts for life.” Chapter 14

“Marriage is a work of divine art and a masterpiece created over a lifetime.” Chapter 15

“Mothers, I came to believe, were God’s finest idea for how such a righteous legacy would be passed on in each generation. They were designed by Him to influence the hearts of children with the sanctuary of their own homes and to help shape them into the next generation of godly leaders…The key to building godly souls is growing them in maturity in a home where the life of Christ is lived, breathed, and taught. Satan would love to obscure such an important calling. No wonder our world has lost the imagination for just how important the role of motherhood is to the health of further generations.” Chapter 16

Your Turn

What stood out to you in these chapters? How does it impact your life?

Love, SM


What Story Will the Days of Your Life Tell?

The True Beauty of a Woman is Reflected in Her Soul

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Day 8 – Second Bathroom Closet (And a Poo Story)

Today we are organizing the second bathroom closet! Or in my case, playing catch-up. Because…

I spent the afternoon into the evening at the ER. With my son. Who was SCREAMING in pain and begging me to get him a doctor, so I finally took him to the ER because I had no idea what was going on. He kept saying it felt like a needle was pushing into his stomach. The pain was on his left, not right side, so I was pretty certain it wasn’t appendicitis, but my doctor told me to take him to the ER just in case. The poor kid was in so much pain.

We get there, check in, a nurse talks to him a bit, then we wait and wait and wait (you know how it is). Finally a doc comes in and tells us they’re going to X-ray him. We get X-rays.

$1000 later (I’m guessing but hoping not), the cause is revealed…


My son had so much poop sitting in his intestines.

You can imagine the delight of my son when he found this out. He thought it was so cool. We even got to take home the X-ray so he could show his friends.

The long story short, if your child is screaming because of a pain in the lower left side of their tummy, get them some juice and load up on fiber and they’ll be just fine.


The kid is alright.

(He wanted me to tell you that.)

 All to say, I did not clean the bathroom yesterday.

Today, I will get it clean. Fortunately, I don’t have a second bathroom closet, just a nook, and it’s not so bad. Whew!


Here’s to a, Lord willing, productive day! 🙂

UPDATE: To see the after pics of the second bathroom, click HERE!

The Online Friends Who Clean Together, Stay Together

Or something like that.

If you want to join the challenge using your social media channels, use the hashtag #31DaysToClean. I’ll be posting updates on my Facebook page, Instagram account, and Twitter account! Also, if you are blogging through the challenge, feel free to leave the direct link to your blog post in the comments!

Love, SM

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

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Day 7: Next Bathroom! #31DaysToClean


Um, so the trash…


The shaving sink. Ew.


Why oh why did I put bathrooms at the top of our list to clean? Because no one wants to clean them! I don’t.

Also, your fearless leader is a day behind. I have yet to organize my bathroom closet, so I will be catching up on that today as well as tackling this nasty beast.

If you have another bathroom, you’re with me today, sister! Get to it!

If you don’t have another one to clean, go bake something yummy and share it with someone! Mmmm… cupcakes!


After Pics!



The Online Friends Who Clean Together, Stay Together

Or something like that.

If you want to join the challenge using your social media channels, use the hashtag #31DaysToClean. I’ll be posting updates on my Facebook page, Instagram account, and Twitter account! Also, if you are blogging through the challenge, feel free to leave the direct link to your blog post in the comments!

Love, SM

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

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For All You Non-Cleaning Types Out There: 5 Tips That Will Help You in Your Cleaning Efforts

bathroomreadyI am cleaner. Hear me ROAR!

Just kidding. I’m totally just psyching myself up to wash the toilet. Ew.

So here’s the thing, I’m not a cleaner.

While I believe in working hard and teaching my children how to take care of a home, if I could afford some help, I’d get it in a hot second. I have no problem with someone helping me take care of my home, and if and when I ever do have someone help me, it doesn’t mean I won’t clean or won’t have my children clean. They will because they must learn and I will because that’s life.

All to say, for those of us who don’t have a cleaning lady, and those of us with a particular visionary bent who would rather do anything else {ahem} we need some tips to keep us motivated. Today, I humbly offer some of the ways I have found help in cleaning.

5 Tips to Help You in Your Cleaning Efforts

Get Your Kids to Help

For real! When my kiddos were babies, I was on my own. Granted, there was less mess, but there was still mess. And diapers. And exhaustion. But now, NOW, I have three little helpers and it is wonderful! I cannot stress enough the glory in having your children help, besides the fact that it’s good for them to learn how to work, it is actually a help. Yes, you will have to train them and there might be some huffing and hawing, but eventually it will get better. I find that when we work together, things get done quickly and we are all happier. I’m always saying to my kids, “We are a team!” and the classic, “Many hands make light work!” I will overhear my kids saying that phrase sometimes and it makes me smile.

Keep on and your kids will be a delight and a help to you!


Good Enough is Good Enough

I am a recovering perfectionist.

My brand of perfectionist looked like this: Oh, I can’t get it all cleaned perfectly because I don’t have time so I just won’t do it all. Makes sense, right? NO! Of course it doesn’t! It’s better to do something than nothing! And honestly, I’m learning, that sometimes good enough is good enough. Maybe I didn’t wash my windows, but I cleaned up my living room. Maybe I didn’t dust the floor boards, but I swept up. Life just keeps on moving and sometimes we have to be willing to let go of the details in order keep on. It’s okay. When you have that magical day that affords you ALL THE TIME, go on and dust those floor boards. Or maybe you’ll be able to hire someone to do that kind of detail work. But in the meantime, get what you need to get done and move on to enjoying your life!

Love Yo Self

You are beautiful and glorious and colorful just the way you are! So what if you don’t clean well and you’re not detailed! You are made in the image of God and you have the capacity to do great things for His Kingdom, which yes, most often times involves hidden things, like cleaning. But your identity should never be in what you do or don’t do. Love yourself because God weaved you together and He loves you. You are not more holy because you clean well, and you are not less holy if you don’t. Yea, cleaning is part of life and it’s a way to love others, but it has nothing to do with your identity. So crank the music up and dance yourself silly and get it done, but don’t ever think for one second that you are a worse person or wife or mother because you don’t rock at cleaning. Okay? K.

Use a Subscription Service (Best Decision Ever)

Oh my goodness, having something delivered to my door is THE BEST. I don’t have to think about it, and in the long run it saves me money. I use ePantry and it’s WONDERFUL. Because ePantry is a subscription service, and it “pays attention” to what my family needs when, I don’t have to think about it! It knows when we need paper towels or toilet cleaner or dishwasher detergent. IT KNOWS. And so when we are just about out, we will get a box on our door step! How awesome is that?! But no worries, because just in case they got something wrong, they send an email 7 days before the goods ship so you can quick check to make sure all is well. LOVE IT.

I’m sure there are some wonderful subscription services out there, but I am liking ePantry because the products are ones I used before I found them. Method and Mrs. Myers products in particular.

You must check them out! Head HERE to read more of why I think they rock (including how YOU can get FREE cleaning supplies, potentially, for life). Also, if you decide to give them a go, you will get $10 in credit and a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap! WOOT!

Bit by Bit (Slow it down, sister!)

Sometimes you’ve just got to put on a good podcast or some music and go slow.

Scrub the toilet slowly.

Take your time on the kitchen floor.

Go through your bookshelf, dusting, and carefully placing your babies, I mean books, back on the shelf with love.

There can be a lovely rhythm to cleaning if we allow it. Sometimes the rush is good and fun and practical, but sometimes the slow is just what the soul needs.

Well, there you have it friends, what I have found helpful in getting me to clean.

I’d love to hear your tips! Give it to me!

Until next time…

Love, SM

RELATED: The Great Book Purge of 2015! (I Marie Kondo’d my bookshelves!!!)

Want to get your clean on with me? Go through all the challenge right here on my blog or Pre-order the revised version of 31 Days to Clean, now called Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, by clicking HERE!


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