As a single mother who has herself, gone back to university studies and rarely goes out to catch up with people (let alone meet new people), to say I have know what depression and desperation is like, is an understatement! (Thank God for the internet and all the lovely ladies I have met online!!!). So when Sarah Mae gave me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of her latest book Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe, I jumped at the chance - in fact, I literally fell off my chair when I received her email to say that I was one of the lucky ones who would be receiving a copy of the ebook!!!
This is the book I wish was available back when I was in the midst of late night feedings, 24/7 nappies, and the 3am pacing of the halls that made me want to scream and cry myself while almost at the point of wondering why it was that I’d so desperately wanted a child to begin with!!!
This is the book that, as a mother of an almost-5yr old, I read and find comfort in the reminder that I’m not alone - and that there is one out there who is greater than I who can give me the strength to get through it all when things start to feel all too tough again; and that if I take the time to look, there are others out there who He’s situated in my path, who can give me the advice and support He knows I need right at that moment in time.
This is the book I want to give to every new mother I know, whether brand new to motherhood, or a veteran to the calling who already has children … and maybe even some who’ve been through it all and are enjoying the role of grandmother.
Through the flow of each chapter, the journey between a mother of youngun’s (Sarah Mae) and her mentor (Sally Clarkson) plays out through personal letters which were exchanged, peppered within their words of wisdom, advice and encouragement. And with each chapter they offer bible studies and journal exercises that help you bring the principles and ideas they’ve discussed into your own life … with a link (URL or QR code) to a video that just totally heightens the experience by bringing Sarah Mae & Sally right there with you, further discussing the ideas in each chapter!!
I love that it is written from ‘both sides of the battle field’ - the mother right there in the thick of parenting three young children; and the mother who’s come out of this stage and is enjoying (and dealing with) the years that follow, her children having grown and become young adults themselves. The love, respect and affection for each other between these ladies is refreshing, and their mutual love of God shines through each page. As they say in the introduction,
‘Sally and I want to encourage you to keep going even when it feels like you can’t, and we want to help you. We won’t offer you formulas, but we will offer ideas, perspectives, transparency, and wisdom. We have some ideas for you in getting help, and we are making a plea for older women to remember the tired years and come alongside young mothers, so that our children and our children’s children will know how to serve and receive help.’ p. xix
Some of my favourite quotes would have to be …
‘And above all, I need to remember that “good” motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me. Nothing. I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days. His love for me never wavers … and never will. Because I’m His.’ p.6
‘This kingdom of home is the place of refuge, comfort, and inspiration. It is a rich world where great souls can be formed, and from which men and women of great conviction and dedication can emerge. It is the place where the models of marriage, love, and relationship are emulated and passed on to the next generation. One of the great losses of this century is the lost imagination for what the home can be if shaped by the creative hand of God’s Spirit.’ pp.10-11
‘… motherhood is a process, a journey.’ p.11
‘None of us are made to deal with life alone. All of us, even introverts, are made for relationship, to experience God’s grace through our dearest friends around us.’ p. 21
‘Love them. Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, spend more time rubbing their heads and holding their hands. Give yourself to them without rush. Pray with them, and let them twirl your hair in their little fingers. Look them in the eye when you talk to them. Give words of affirmation. Tell them, whether you feel it or not, that you delight in them, that they are a delight (if they don’t feel like a delight, ask God to give you those feelings). Tell them, “You are beautiful and smart and God loves you. I’m so glad you’re my child.” Tell them that they can never lose your love, no matter what. And mean it.’ p.30
I laughed, I cried … I even wondered where they’d hidden the cameras in my house at times; there was so much I can relate to! I underlined passages on at least 90% of the pages on my copy, and every time I go back over a chapter (yes, I’ve read it through a few times already!!), I get more out of it than I had done so previously … This will definitely be one of those books I can see myself going back through time and time again over the years!!
‘The amazing truth of it all is that God really wants us to be fulfilled and joyful. He wants us to find real fulfillment in real people, real work, real accomplishments, and not in things that substitute for life. As believers, we need to champion each other’s lives and struggles, and love and support one another so that each of us will be given the opportunity to end our journeys well.’ p.99
And because I am so in love with this book, with its message of hope and the importance of community, I want to offer a copy of this book to a couple of my readers. Whether you’re interested in having a read of it for yourself, or know someone right in the thick of that time of mothering little ones, let me know in the comments section who it is you know who could use a little encouragement in this thing called motherhood - and yes, that can certainly be you!! I’ll come by again on Tuesday to announce the lucky recipients (and yes, I’m willing to post internationally!).
** This Giveaway is CLOSED now **