Longing for Paris is only $8 on Amazon today! Get it HERE!
More signed copies from B & N are up for grabs! Get them HERE!
Today is SUCH a happy day!
First of all, I’m sorry I haven’t been around here much, but I have been cooking things up behind the scenes. Well, that and spending my days at the pool with my babes. POOL PASS FOR THE WIN.
Back to today.
I HAVE READ about women taking off to travel the world in order to discover themselves. They journey to beautiful places and they meet interesting people, try irresistible food, and gain perspective into their souls. I have often thought about how much I would love to do that. I would love to go somewhere beautiful and release myself to it. I would love to go to Paris. But I have a family and a life that calls me to the normal everyday lifestyle, so I need to figure things out in my soul right where I am. Some of you might relate.
Some of you might feel suffocated and are just about dying to get away or figure out your life or do something that gives breath to your soul. I get it. And so I’m asking, how do I navigate the tensions between my longings and my reality? How do I figure out how to enjoy my life right in the middle of the normalcy of it all? Read the rest HERE!
You can also read the author’s note, intro and the first chapter by heading HERE. But WAIT, I have more fun for you! Read on…
First, I was so tickled to get 321 copies of my book in the mail today to be signed for Barnes & Noble online, only to discover that THE FIRST 16 PAGES WERE OUT OF ORDER. For the Love (hat tip Jen Hatmaker). Speaking of Jen, if you are on her email list, which I am, then you were privy to the her hilarious story about her own signing debacle. She had just finished signing the pages and had a stack when water got spilled all over them! After getting them as dry and flat as she could, she spritzed perfume on them, and sent them off anyway. I would tell you to order them, but they are already sold out. FOR THE LOVE. Again.
From my Instagram
These things happen. But I did get to at least see and feel and hug the book, knowing all would be corrected soon. Joy.
Get a Signed Copy of Longing for Paris!
I will still be signing over 300 books for Barnes & Noble and you can get one by going HERE! Now listen up! I am not just signing these books, I am numbering them. Why you ask? Oh friends, sweet friends, I have plans. 🙂 There will be some random giveaways happening. That’s all you need to know for now.
Go on, pre-order your signed copy, but do it fast because once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Now for MORE good stuff! Most of you know by now (I think) that pre-orders are important. Retailers need to see that people are interested in the book, or they won’t order very many. For example, some of you might remember when Sally and I launched Desperate, we did not have a pre-order campaign and because of that many of you had to wait WEEKS before you could get a copy on Amazon because the warehouse sold out within hours. I don’t want to see that happen with Longing for Paris. So, I planned a few fun things to encourage you to pre-order.
Why Pre-Ordering Rocks FOR YOU
When you pre-order you will get your book on the launch date. No waiting. This happens because technically the books are in the warehouse before the launch date, so they will ship to you and you will have them to hold and hug and read on launch day. Score.
Also, when you pre-order, you don’t have to think about anything. The book will just show up on your door on August 4th, a lovely surprise in your mailbox. You will pick it up, smile, and immediately go out for a croissant and coffee. I mean really, isn’t that bonus enough?
And last but not least, when you pre-order Longing for Paris, you get gifts. SO FUN. I’ll be sharing different gifts for those who pre-order throughout the weeks counting down to launch day on August 4th! Today I’d like to tell you about the first gift I have for you…
Live Webinar with Me and Sally Clarkson!
Everyone who pre-orders the book gets access to a webinar Sally Clarkson and I are doing on longings and how we can fill our souls right where we are. This is especially pertinent to moms.
If you already pre-ordered you get access to the webinar! You just need your receipt so you can fill out the form at the end of this post!
The webinar will be in late July and will have a live chat function; we want to talk with you! If you can’t make it, we’ll send you a link to listen to the recorded version. Sally and I are so excited about this! Make sure you fill out the form at the end of this post to get access!
Get your signed copy from Barnes & Noble or head to Amazon or whoever your favorite online retailer is!
Whew! That was a lot. But I have to tell you, it is an honor to write words that I pray will bring relief to the souls of those who need it. And friends, that is it, the whole point, the prayer, the everything; it’s to write words that matter in the Kingdom.
Thank you all for your support and your kindness and the fact that you actually buy my books. May I never take it for granted.
Love, Sarah Mae
To get your gifts, just fill out this form!
P.S. What should we do with all the books where the first 16 pages are jumbled. Anyone have any fun or brilliant ideas?
My girl, being a good sport for me! Always the ham!
Well, the most glorious thing has happened in my house.
My 9 year old can clean the WHOLE ENTIRE kitchen by herself. The pots and pans, the dishes washed and put into the dishwasher, the counters, the floor, and I am ALL KINDS OF HAPPY DANCING. For some of you this is no big deal, your kids have been cleaning since they are they were born. Practically. But not my kids!
Let me back up a minute.
I was on the phone with my sister-in-law interviewing her for Having a Martha House the Mary Way, (she’s rocks at cleaning) and she told me that her kids clean the kitchen every night after dinner. Her kids are 8 and 6. 8 AND 6!
I have clearly been slacking. My kids unload the dishwasher and set the table. Dude.
So I asked her to tell me more, and she said that her 8 year old son does it all, dishes, pots, pans, counters, BADA-BING-BADA-BOOM. And I was all, “REEEALLY?!” Her 6 year old loads the dishwasher, and she has 15 minutes to do it or she has to do the dishes for her brother the next night. THAT’S some motivation.
Now listen, my sister-in-law is lovely and kind and gentle and is a great mom. She is teaching her children to take care of a home, and she’s knocking it out of the park. Which is why I interviewed her. Which is why I’m going to do everything she tells me to do.
Which brings me back to my kitchen and my 9 year old.
I said to my girl, “Honey, it’s time you learn to clean the kitchen. You are old enough, and I need your help because we are a family and we help each other. Okay?”
She looked at me suspiciously. I could see the challenge in her eyes. But I was going to do this; I was going to teach her to clean the kitchen, top to bottom. And boy did she have her work cut out for her! I made her learn on a Monday, after the weekend, after dishes were everywhere.
Sponge fun, thanks to the awesome folks at Grove Collaborative and their new pop-up sponges!
I showed her how to wash off the dishes before putting in the dishwasher. As she did that, I decided to make her a pretty little chart with steps to cleaning the kitchen. When I was finished, I, smile on my face, showed her the chart. She looked at it, grabbed a pen, and PROCEEDED TO PUT SAD FACES ALL OVER IT. Oh, ya’ll, I was not having that.
I told her that in addition to cleaning the kitchen, she was now going to have to make the chart all over again, and she had to copy it just as I had made it.
She did it. And when she was done, there were SMILEY FACES all over it. Mom wins.
Back to the kitchen…
I taught her how to do the rest, and she washed and scrubbed and swept, and I as SO proud of her. She had mentioned a few times that making her clean the kitchen would be an excellent punishment. We had a talk about attitude. But here is the best part: when she was finished, I watched her as she walked out of the kitchen, turned around, looked over worked, and SMILED. I could see accomplishment in her eyes. She felt good about her work.
The next time she cleaned the kitchen, she did it without fuss.
This is a glorious new beginning. I mean, truly, I think there are angels singing somewhere on behalf of all moms. HOPE has sprung!
Next I will be teaching my son and youngest to clean the kitchen, because what I know now is that my kids are capable of doing more than I have given them credit for. Also, I just needed to ante up and do the work of teaching them. Because you know what, it’s worth it.
Not only do I know have legitimate help cleaning, but they are learning valuable skills and their characters are being refined. So good.
But mostly, I DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!! WOO HOO!!! Okay, my husband helps. Actually, he’s amazing. But now we also have the kiddos helping, and that just rocks.
Here are some encouraging words in getting our kids to clean from my sister-in-law Sarah, AKA, cleaning ninja:
“As much as I can, I allot to each child according to his/her age and ability, a task. I work with them and teach them the first one or two times on the “how to’s” and then they are required to help out when asked, needed or scheduled. The old “many hands make light work” couldn’t be truer. When a job has been well done, I verbally or sometimes monetarily praise the child. If the child inquires is the job “well done”, I often ask them if they did their best and if they would be pleased with the outcome if Jesus were to see it. I don’t want the effort made to be for me, but for the LORD. I believe having a clean home creates a sense of calm in the home, although keeping it clean can feel meaningless, redundant, and constant. However, if we view our work as serving others and by doing so, loving them, it changes our heart attitudes. When we serve those in our home by taking care of it we become more Christlike. Jesus Himself, came to serve us, we can do the same.
I fail so many times. Our God is not a condemning God, but a gracious one, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness! Ultimately, all our efforts in this life are to glorify Him.”
There you have it! Go forth and clean NOT ALONE!
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When I’m frustrated, I make this horrible grunting/groan type sound.
It’s awful, really.
My knowledge of the sound I make was realized when I kept hearing my youngest make the sound. Everytime she would get upset at someone, she made that noise, and she made it loud and long. I told her to please stop making that terrible sound.
Then I got upset about something and I made the sound. “Oh. She gets that from me.”
I was thinking about how I could ask my children to help me by gently saying something like, “Mom, you’re making that sound” every time I did it. But then another thought came in. “You are the parent. You shouldn’t have your children correct you.”
Where did that thought come from? What voice put that in my head? Maybe a parenting expert?
It’s not that I want my children to correct me, it’s that I want them to encourage me to stop doing something I want to stop doing. They’re my people; we help each other. I realize I am their authority for this season of their life, but I also realize, I’m just human.
And we, together, are just walking this life out together, imperfectly, humanly, as we lean into faith.
I am their mother, and I intend to do my best to lead and instruct them, but I also want them to see me as flawed and in need of Jesus everyday, because I am, and I do.
There are so many should’s and should not’s and it kind of exhausts me. And confuses me sometimes. And makes me neurotic. I often say I want to parent from my gut, listening to that inner whisper that so gently guides. I like to think that God puts that whisper in the soul of a mother to help her along, to help me along. And then to also have the Holy Spirit tangled up in me, and God’s Word directing me, I can do this; I can mother. And thank God He gives us wisdom through mothers who have gone before us, and who are willing to teach us. Those women who have heeded God’s call to help the younger mothers, they are gifts.
But all of us, young and old, we are just so human. I want my kids to see my humanity. I want them to see me trying and listening and praying and working out this life, because I want them to know they are not alone in the human experience. I want them to see that life is not cookie-cutter, but it is beautiful. It’s hard and good and delightful and painful, but we get to do it together.
“Caroline” I say, “I’m so sorry I have been making that terrible noise and then yelling at you not to make it. How about this, I’ll help you and you help me. We’ll work on it together. Sound good?”
“Sounds good, mom.”
I show the way, but we walk together. And together, encouraging one another daily, we can do this life, and we can do it well.
One human, holy step at a time.
Keep on, sisters, SM
If you clicked right on this blog link, click here to see the new homepage!
Well, I was up late last night, but not as late as my AMAZING, dear designer Emily, who created this beautiful new skin for my site! I love it. It has my favorite colors, and, SPARKLES. It’s just very me, a little serious, a little sparkly. I’m tickled over it.
To celebrate getting a new look after THREE YEARS, I thought I’d have a little giveaway!
First up, since my new book, Longing for Paris, is available for Pre-order (WOO HOO!), I thought I’d give away two copies of it!! You won’t get it until late July, but you’ll have it before everyone else! FUN!
Next up, how about TWO $100 GIFT CERTIFICATES FROM DAYSPRING?!!!! Yes, oh yes, this is golden because DaySpring just got in some new and LOVELY products! These are some of my favorites…
Loose Leaf Tea, and of course, a…
Jumbo Mugs! Bigger for more COFFEE! (Or tea. Whatev.)
Or hey, use your $100 to go crazy in the clearance section! All kinds of goodies there!
To enter to win, fill out the form below! GOOD “LUCK”! 🙂
Contest open to U.S. only. Ends Monday, June 15th, at 11:59pm.
Here’s to fun and sparkles and new things coming!
There are affiliate links used in this post. Click here to learn what that means!
She asks the same question over and over and over again.
She’s been asking since she was five.
“If God is good, why did He let evil into the world? Why did He create Satan?”
We have listened to her and talked through this question several times over the years, but it keeps coming back. We have told her that while we can do our best to answer and understand the world around us and God and His Word and good and evil, there are some things we can’t fully understand or answer on this earth.
Heaven abounds with answers and enlightenment, but here, we stumble a bit in the dark still.
She nods as though she understands. But then a few months later, the question comes up again. She’s stuck on it. It’s a question she will have to wrestle out with God over the years.
We all have things we get stuck on, things we can’t wrap our minds around or understand, and it can drive us crazy, if we let it.
Read the rest at (in)courage today!