Desperate Book Archives - Sarah Mae
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For the “I just can’t be a mother today” mom out there


With my sweet babies. Caroline was still in the mind of God.

Anxiety struck me immediately.

It was too early to be up, but “too early” didn’t matter to my sweet little boy who was ready for the day the minute the sun shone through his bedroom window. My daughter Caroline needed milk and a new diaper, and all three of my little ones were, of course, hungry.

After forcing myself to sit up, I stared at the wall, then fell back down into my bed. I pulled my knees to my chest and the blanket over my head as tears came down and these words tumbled out to my God: “I can’t be a mother today, Lord, I’m just too tired.”

Getting awakened multiple times a night, every night, is enough to make anyone crash, but add the weight of having to function throughout the day in order to take care of a one, two, and four-year-old, and this mama was spent before the day began. Just knowing the strength and energy that would be required to make it through the day was enough to sway me to stay balled up under warm covers. Serious sleep deprivation combined with the constant giving of myself, soothing cries, breaking up fights, training, disciplining, and trying to stay calm and gentle in the middle of it all was breaking me. I needed help. I so badly needed someone to call who could come and rescue me, just for one day. But that wasn’t my reality.

My mom was ill and living in Florida, my mother-in-law had a full-time job, and there was no money to hire someone to help me out for a couple hours a month, so I could get a break. My husband took over sometimes, but he was tired too, and we wanted weekends to be with each other. Plus, there was nowhere to go even if I could get out because money was tight; coffee at a coffee shop was a luxury out of my reach. It sounds like a lot of excuses, but the point is that I felt very alone, and very, very tired. Depression snuck up on me; there was a shell of a woman where I once was. My ideals, my hopes, my joy were snatched away before I had a chance to notice. Pleas for help aimed at heaven seemed to be met with silence. The message was clear: this was my life, and I needed to just deal with it.

Adjusting didn’t go well. Anger and resentment were living just under my skin. Exhausted, out of my mind, and still hormonal, every day felt like a fight. Feelings of desperation were like an everpresent shadow over the good in my life. Experiencing hope in Jesus felt like chasing gold at the end of a rainbow . . . getting to it was always out of reach. Motherhood was something I planned for, something I wanted, so why was living it out so drastically different from my expectations?

Down to the bone, to the deepest part of my soul, is the love I have for my children. Every day of my life is imperfectly offered to them. But the little years, they’re hard and oftentimes lonely. It’s like a secret we fear sharing, just how life-altering motherhood is, especially when you don’t have training or support. Let me pull back the curtain on the idea that just because you love and are thankful to be a mother, parenting will come easily or naturally. The lifetime commitment that is motherhood will, many days, stretch you beyond what you think you can handle.

We moms don’t need an instruction manual. We need physical help.

If you’re a mom of little ones and you don’t have very much help, I know you’re struggling to breathe. Your days morph into your nights and mornings come too quickly. You’re bone-tired and would give just about anything for a break, a soul-filling, relaxing, quiet break. You need to be pampered. I’ve been there. I get it.

My children are older now. They not only sleep through the night, they sleep in! They can can fix themselves snacks and play independently. It’s good. I’m grateful for the reprieve. 

Looking back on those desperate days and looking at where I am now, I can confidently say, “It gets better!” If only I could have seen that during the hardest times, hope would have been so much easier to grasp.

I just wanted you to know that you’re not crazy. Motherhood is so very hard. Yes, beautiful and such a gift, but exhausting. Hang in there. They grow up so fast.

You just read an excerpt from Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.

Now I know I can’t pamper you like I’d like to, or clean your house or bring you a meal (unless you’re local – hit me up!), but I can offer a little something. Keep reading…

Giveaway For You Tired Mamas Out There

Desperate-6-15-672x1024Today I’m giving away my book (co-authored with Sally Clarkson), Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe to three winners. One of you will also win The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, a bundle filled with encouraging, practical resources, to help you keep on in your mothering (Read more about the bundle HERE). And a copy of our eCourse, Discipleship & Discipline, a four-part video teaching series that offers practical help and encouragement for mothering. Read all about it HERE.

To enter the giveaway, just fill out the form at the bottom of this post.

This giveaway has ended and the winners have been picked and emailed!

Keep on mamas! You’re not alone.

Love, Sarah Mae

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

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Sally and I are on Focus on the Family TODAY Plus Desperate GIVEAWAY!


Sally and I have the privilege of being on Focus on the Family today! If you’d like to listen, tune in HERE (or your local station)!

We talk about the reality of motherhood, isolation, my unmet mother-need, and more.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of the book, just leave a comment below! Oh, and if you think this broadcast would encourage other moms, share it? Thank you!

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

Learn more about Desperate here!

Love, Sarah Mae

P.S. I’m also over at with an article on moms needing each other. Check it out HERE!

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One-Year Anniversary Celebration with Desperate Gift Set Giveaway!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Happy Monday! 🙂

Today Sally and I are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

To celebrate, I will be having a giveaway here every day this week!

About Desperate:

“I just can’t be a mother today.”

If you’ve ever whispered those words to God in quiet desperation, you are not alone.

Desperate is for those who love their children to the depths of their souls but who have also curled up under their covers, fighting back tears, and begging God for help. It’s for those who have ever wondered what happened to all their ideals for what having children would be like. For those who have ever felt like all the “experts” have clearly never had a child like theirs. For those who have prayed for a mentor. For those who ever felt lost and alone in motherhood.

In Desperate you will find the story of one young mother’s honest account of the desperate feelings experienced in motherhood and one experienced mentor’s realistic and gentle exhortations that were forged in the trenches of raising her own four children.

If you’re tired and struggling as a mama, Desperate can help you…

  • see, through the honest words of a young mom in the thick of the little years, that you are not alone or crazy
  • get through the little years with grace and sanity (wisdom from Sally Clarkson, wise woman, mentor, and mama to four grown children)
  • affirm you as a mom instead of make you feel guilty
  • create and pursue a vision of perseverance in the good, daily work you are doing as a mother
  • answer specific parenting questions through the Q & A at the end of the book
  • encourage you through videos of Sarah Mae and Sally talking about each chapter (via QR codes at the end of each chapter)

Today’s Giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is a small group gift set to get you started in leading your own Desperate small group book study! The winner will receive 8 books plus the DVD with all the videos discussing each chapter. If you’ve never led a small group study, check out my post on How to Lead a Women’s Small Group Bible Study. And specifically for Desperate, you can download this Desperate Small Group Guide for FREE!


“Powerful, captivating and gut-wrenchingly honest; if this superb book could get into the hands of every mom, our world would drastically change, for the good! It’s a new classic for a new generation.”

-Kristen Habermehl, Author & Speaker from

To Enter

Just fill out the form below! (Email readers, click here to come to the site and enter.) Giveaway ends this Friday at 11:59pm EST!

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Love, Sarah Mae

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I’ll be signing books at the Lancaster, PA Barnes & Noble THIS Saturday! {Plus 15% off Coupon}

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My sweet friend Darlene at my last book signing!

Good morning, friends!

Just wanted to let you all know that if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift, and you’re thinking about purchasing Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, come on out to the Lancaster Barnes & Noble this Saturday between 6-8pm and I’ll sign your book (and have some coffee with you)! I’d love to meet you! Plus, click on the image below to get 15% off Desperate (or any one item at B & N)!

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Hope to see you there!

Love, SM

“Excellent, encouraging, surprisingly balanced book on motherhood by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae. Highly recommended.” -Catherine Gillespie, Review of Desperate

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For When You Could Use a Maid {The Desperate DVD Launch and Giveaway}


Today, today, today…

Fun things are happening.

Today the Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe DVD Companion Study releases! So, what is the Desperate Companion Study? Glad you asked! At the end of each chapter in the book there are QR codes which lead the reader to a 2-3 minute video of Sally and I talking about the chapter. Those little videos are now available on a DVD to make group viewing much easier (speaking of groups, get a Mom Small Group Guide for free here!). The DVD also includes a bonus Q & A time with Sally and I.

If you don’t have the book yet, take a peek at this video to get a feel for the videos:

To celebrate the release of this DVD, we have some special things for you…

A Sale!

The Kindle version of Desperate is on sale TODAY ONLY for $3.99! Get it here!

A Special Deal!

If you have been wanting to start a book club or group in your church using Desperate, now would be a great time to get the books! If you buy five *paperback* copies of Desperate this week (through Friday) you can get the Desperate DVD for FREE! And if you are among the first 50 to buy the five paperback books, you also get these lovely DaySpring Redeemed – Everything Beautiful Earrings!


Go HERE (or your favorite store) to get the books! Then just take a picture or scan your receipt and send it to: (Remember, the books have to be in paperback to get the DVD and the earrings!)

A Giveaway!

And what’s a launch without a giveaway?! Here’s what’s up for grabs today…


To enter, just fill out the form below! Good “luck!”
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, SM

P.S. Want to know more about Desperate? Head to the Desperate website for free resources, the trailer, interviews, and more!

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