A Well of Conviction - Sarah Mae
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A Well of Conviction

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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

Related:

What Story Will the Days of Your Life Tell?

The True Beauty of a Woman is Reflected in Her Soul

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  • Lemonadelucy

    Beautiful! I can’t wait to read the book. All of Sally’s books that I’ve read so far have touched my heart and in turn the hearts of my 3 kiddos. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Sarah Mae, now I KNOW I’ve got to get this book too!! 🙂

  • Janice

    I was so convicted reading chapter 15. My marriage should be a picture of Christ’s love for the church, and just in case I thought I could get away with putting my marriage on the back burner, she reminded me that my children are always watching. Just last night I went to sleep angry because my husband hurt my feelings and didn’t apologize, but as I prayed about it this morning lessons from Sally came back to my mind…. How many times has God forgiven me and offered unconditional love when I didn’t say I was sorry to Him? This chapter gave me a lot of much needed direction. “Owning a marriage by taking personal responsibility for its health is one of the most basic ways we worship God.” What a gift this book has been!

  • mariah

    Chapter 11 was extremely difficult for me to read. I guess I don’t always love easily. Even my own precious family. I can easily emotionally detach myself from people. I will say though chapters 14-17 were a God send. I enjoyed them so much. This was the first book I read from Sally. It blew me away. Where are all the women like this? I’m a mom in my 20s and desperate for this kind of encouragement and leadership. God bless Sally, truly.

    Having moved 10 times in the past 11 years (across the country 4 times in 5 year span) I have felt alone and completely gave up on making a home. This book encouraged me, got me excited and amped up to actually create a loving and nurturing atmosphere for my family.

    We are currently living in Texas for the first time and I’m determined to have a welcoming, loving home. Kids in the neighborhood love to come over and I am trying to welcome them in.

    So far some pratice applications I’ve applied from the book:

    1. Take some moments throughout the day to destress and connect with the Lord, if I haven’t been connecting.

    2. I bought a beautiful statement piece to hang above my mantel. I have a minimalistic, Non-decorative house. That was a big step for me.
    I also bought some more organizing baskets for the homeschool clutter that was looking unpleasant.

    3. I’ve been using positive phrasing. Telling my kids God has a story He wrote for them and they will be able to be heroes in it. Heroes are made in silent and may look much different than we originally think.

    4. My oldest son, 10 years, just started reading his Bible every day and copying down verses sometimes. I have to think he is watching me as I’ve been doing the same. It’s how I connect with God.

    5. I bought some paper plates, cups, etc and some easy-to-make snacks. Like I said kids keep coming over, which is new to us, and their parents like to hang around and chat too. I want our home to be a refuge of love for all who walk in the door and feeding them is part of that.

    This has been one of my very favorite non-fictional reads of all time.

  • Theresa @ Heavenly Glimpses

    Awe, I’ve only read a few chapters, just before the Mom Heart Conference, but this posts excites me to read on! You nailed it. Sally is an extraordinary person. I might just have to jump in to this book club!!

  • Rebecca Peet

    I was also convicted by chapter 15. My favorite quote from that chapter is, “God is the ultimate lover. Marriage is meant as a picture of our Bridegroom, Jesus, and His never-ending, unconditional love. He initiates and pursues a relationship with us. He values us so much that He gave up His life for us. He promises never to leave us or forsake us; He says that nothing can separate us from His love. He forgives us for all past, present and future failures; and He is preparing an indescribably beautiful place where we will celebrate and enjoy life with Him for all eternity.”

    In order to live intentionally and love well, whether my husband or others, I have to truly understand the love of God for me.

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