|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Longing for Paris
One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure â" Right Where She Is
By Sarah Mae
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Sarah Mae
All rights reserved.
UNTANGLING MY SOUL
Before my heart would even allow me to consider Paris or other dreams, I had to sort through some bitter roots, weeds that had entangled my heart. Because of my wounds and anger and sin, I had a warped view of God, one that led me to believe that He didn't really want me to enjoy the longings in my heart. I believed that God was all practicality. He was interested in me "carrying my cross," not dreaming about the stirrings in my soul. After all, I thought my longings were selfish. I needed to buck up and be responsible. Being selfless meant having no self, no color, no joy other than the fact that I was to have eternal life. In reality I had to learn to see that because I am made in the image of God, I have emotions that run deeply, long deeply, and ache deeply. I am a person of the deep.
Deep calls to deep ... PSALM 42:7
And because He loves me so, and because of His kindness, He led me to repentance and to clarity.
Come into my questions and see His hand as He leads me.
* * *
The Bible lay on my lap, open to 2 Samuel 3. I was reading a heartbreaking scene from the story of Michal (Me-call), King David's first wife.
But first, let me give you some of her backstory. We are first introduced to Michal, the daughter of King Saul, in 1 Samuel 18:20. At the time, David was Saul's military commander — a strong and brave and handsome leader — and Michal fell in love with him. Saul, who knew that his reign was in jeopardy because of David, capitalized on his daughter's love for the future king by giving David a dangerous task to win her hand — killing one hundred Philistines. It was a mission that should have sent David to the grave, but instead sent him into the arms of the woman in waiting when he returned victorious. He had doubled what Saul had required, killing two hundred Philistines.
After Michal and David were married, Saul's jealousy got the best of him, so he sent men to David's house to arrest him. Michal found out about the plot and helped David escape. When she knew he was safe, she covered for her husband, by stalling and filling his bed with items that made it look like David was there. Of course, Saul's henchmen discovered the ruse, and soon after, Saul began a relentless manhunt for David (see 1 Samuel 19:11-17).
While David was on the run, he took at least two more wives. Saul had given Michal to another man — Palti — to marry.
David continued to assert his power and build up loyalty, and right before he became king, he demanded Michal's return. She was torn from Palti, who wept as she left and followed her, powerless to stop what was happening. Finally David's men told him to go home (2 Samuel 3:16).
Michal, the woman who had once loved David, now "despised him in her heart" (2 Samuel 6:16). Her reaction could have been the result of feeling neglected while David was fighting, being jealous of David's success as king, loathing him for taking other wives, or having second thoughts about her loyalty to him instead of her father. Venom spewed from her mouth when she saw King David celebrating the return of the Ark of God, the first time she had seen him since that night she helped him escape years before. Her words were meant to shame him.
How could her heart that had burned with such love for this man now be filled with such disdain? David basically tells her off, and the last we hear of Michal are these fateful words: She "had no child to the day of her death" (2 Samuel 6:23).
And that's it. That's all we know.
My heart ached for Michal, for this woman who seemed to be a pawn between her father and her husband and power. And my ache led to questions, as pain oftentimes does, and then it made me mad, so I gave God my questions. "God, did You even care about Michal's heart? Do You even care about women? Do You even care about me?"
I needed to know how God saw me. I needed to know I was more than parts, more than a pawn, more than a cursed woman trying to figure out how to live redeemed in a fallen world where men hurt women.
I needed to know what it meant for me, as a woman, to have a calling or a dream or longings. This was personal, not only for me, but for my daughters.
WHO AM I, GOD?
How could I possibly begin to understand my longings if I didn't even understand who I was to God? How could I begin to truly enjoy my life if I had these deep-seated questions?
I have been a Christian for many years now, and I know Jesus and His grace and His love. I have had great training in the Scriptures and in discipleship through The Navigators ministry. I have been poured into and have pored over the Scriptures for years, leading Bible studies and giving talks to encourage women in faith. And yet there I was, begging God to tell me how He viewed me. I was desperate to know what I meant to Him as a woman.
I ended up in the book of Job. I have read Job before, and I wasn't interested in reading it again. Yet I felt led to read it again.
I read and I pondered, and I saw that Job accused God, just as I had.
Everything had been taken away from Job — his family, wealth, possessions, even his health. He was suffering in pain and yet trying to hold on to his integrity and righteousness before the Lord. But it was getting to be too much to bear.
I have pulled just a few lines from his bold accusations aimed at God.
Is not man forced to labor on earth, and are not his days like the days of a hired man? (7:1); You destroy man's hope. You forever overpower him and he departs. (14:19-20); ... God has wronged me. (19:6); ... Why should I not be impatient? ... Why do the wicked still live, continue on, [and] also become very powerful? (21:4,7); Oh that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments. (23:3-4); ... You have become cruel to me. (30:21)
Job throws questions and indictments at God, exactly like I did: "Why, God? You are unjust! I don't even know if You're really good."
But then along comes Elihu, a young man who has remained quiet while Job's other three friends' counsel exasperates Job and angers God.
Finally, Elihu can't hold it in any longer or he'll burst. He says,
I am young in years and you are old; therefore I was shy and afraid to tell you what I think. I thought age should speak, and increased years should teach wisdom. But it is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding. Job 32:6-8
After Elihu puts the three older friends in their place, he goes through the list of reasons Job has given for feeling he's been shortchanged by God and deserves answers. Elihu says, "Let me tell you, you are not right in this" (33:12).
Far be it from God to do wickedness. (34:10)
One who is perfect in knowledge is with you. (36:4)
Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen. (37:13)
And then, God says to Job ...
Gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! JOB 38:3
Job finally has an audience with God. And it's God's turn to barrage Job with questions, ones that none of us can even begin to fathom.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? JOB 38:4-7
God speaks two chapters' worth to Job, and in all of it He's asking Job to see Him for who He is. He is the almighty God, and all that exists is under His authority. He has reasons for His plans, reasons we cannot even begin to comprehend with our finite minds that hold such limited knowledge.
You know what Job says in return?
I have declared that which I did not understand. ... I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes. JOB 42:3, 5-6 (EMPHASIS ADDED)
Job wasn't repenting because he did something; he was repenting because he didn't see God for who He is, and he didn't see God's love for him. Job felt like a hired hand, and quite frankly, he was prideful. He recognized God's power, but he thought he had God's understanding.
As I read through and pondered Job's lament, considered Elihu's rebuke, and paid attention to God's rebuttal, I began to see Him.
In Hosea 2:16-20 (NIV), the Lord says, "In that day you will call me 'my husband.' ... I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord."
Oh, that I would see Him and know Him!
THE COMMUNION TABLE
I found myself in the middle of all my accusations and confusion, and with thoughts of Job and Hosea swirling in my head, at a Sunday Communion service. Sitting in my chair, I took the bread and the wine, and in that moment the Lord spoke to my heart. All of a sudden, the truth was clear as day: God didn't die for a woman; He died for me, because He loves me and I'm worth His very life for me to see Him. God died for His loves. He wasn't obligated to die; He chose to. And now, I'm His daughter.
I see You, God. I see You.
I could stop asking, "Why God?" and start saying, "Teach me to see what I do not see."
It's interesting that God uses the Communion table to make us see Him. In fact, after Jesus' resurrection, His own disciples didn't recognize Him until He broke bread with them:
When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. LUKE 24:30-31
We see Him in the sacrifice. We see His love for us and His great mercy when we see that He was broken for us. He was broken for you and for me, personally.
I wished that Michal had been sitting beside me at that moment. There is so much that Scripture doesn't tell us, hidden things in her story, things I wished I could ask her and then share with her about God. I know this for certain: God cares about women, and He cared about Michal. I know this because He hasn't changed; His character is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If He cared and died for me, I can tell you He cared for Michal and He loved her.
God sees us, but how often do we truly see Him? He wants us to see that there is not one unjust or wicked thing in Him. He is fully good, and He is fully for us.
Let's face it. When we're hurt, we put up walls. We want to know, "Can I trust You, God?"
We're afraid we can't trust Him. Why?
Because we're afraid He won't come through.
And, yet, as we begin to see Him for who He is, we see He is trustworthy. He helps us see ourselves for who we are.
I can't speak to the specific strongholds that might be in your life, but I can say this: If you're at that point where you are desperate to hear Him like I was, then you are blessed.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3). The literal meaning of that Scripture is "blessed are those as helpless as a beggar."
You are in a good place. God wants to bring you to where you can see Him and know who you are. Your destiny is not to be in pain, but to walk in confidence and know who you are as His son or daughter.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. ZEPHANIAH 3:17
As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you. ISAIAH 62:5
As I began to see myself as a beloved daughter of the God who is not only my Father, but a happy Father who smiles over me, I began to see my longings in a new light.
GOD CARES ABOUT OUR DREAMS
She told me that God cares about our dreams.
Her words made me catch my breath.
There we were, the three of us, friends huddled close at a restaurant talking over chips and dip and the most delicious chocolate cake. And she said those words: God cares about our dreams.
He does? I had thought that dreams were selfish, mostly, and the thought that He cared about dreams never even entered my mind. I remember another friend telling me once that she didn't even think dreams, as in "following our dreams," was even a biblical concept.
I was so confused. But this conversation at the restaurant did something to me; I felt the truth of my friend's words in my spirit as soon as they were uttered. And I was changed.
I knew in my depths that what she said was true: God cares about our dreams, because He cares about us.
He cares about me, His daughter, whom He loves and delights in. He cares about you, too.
There it is, the first thing in figuring out how to think about our longings and dreams: Our God cares about them. This is important theology. If God cares about us and delights in us and therefore cares about the things we care about as a Father cares for the joy in His children, we can exhale.
I've been so concerned with being "right" and "good" that I never stopped to contemplate the heart of my Father and His pleasure over the things that stir my heart. He made me for goodness sake! He knew every piece of me before He even breathed a soul into me.
And He not only knew me; He designed me. He put the very ability to long in my soul; He gave me the gift of dreaming so I could have vision in this life.
The Bible says that without vision a people perish (see Proverbs 29:18, KJV). We need our dreams to give us the motivation to have a plan so that we can keep on. With no vision and no dreams and no longings, we lack the ability to creatively and joyously make plans for how we will spend our days. Granted, the Lord directs our steps, but we faithfully begin the walking of them.
Oh yes, dreams are biblical and good, and we can thank God for them.
I have learned that where we go wrong is when we hold so tightly to our dreams that we neglect to fully trust God with them. The reality is, some dreams are woven into our souls from our Creator, and some are the result of our sinfulness. The good news is we can ascertain which dreams are good and which are of the flesh by asking ourselves some "search me" questions, and then be open to God's revelation to our hearts. I'll explain the questions in a minute.
The other trouble we run into with our dreams is when we take our very good dreams and try to walk them out before their time, which can bring frustration and/or neglect to our families or where God has us. We all need time in the pasture, so to speak, where we can mature in faithfulness. I call these years the "hidden years." Consider David. As a young shepherd, he was hidden in the pasture tending to sheep, learning how to direct them and care for them before he would direct and care for a nation as a king. If we can be patient and trust our Father with the timing of our lives, I believe He will use us as He sees fit in His time.
But how do we deal with these longings in the meantime? What do we do with them?
Throughout this book you will see how I've been dealing with my longings, and I'll even talk more in depth about dreams and longings in chapter 7, but for now, this:
If you're anything like me, in the everyday of life, there seems to be a constant pull between self (the things I desire) and sacrifice. I want to do what I want to do, but my kids need me present and available most of the days, particularly because I have chosen to homeschool. They are my first work, so they get priority (in theory). But it is a battle. I have to choose daily to trust that God will use me when and how He pleases. I may not be able to use the gifts He's given me outside of family full-time right now, but one day I may be able to. Perhaps one day I'll be able to travel to Paris and maybe even take my family! I don't know what the future holds, but I know that the God who holds it is good.
Excerpted from Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae. Copyright © 2015 Sarah Mae. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Author's Note xvii
The Catalyst: Paris & Questions (A Must-Read Introduction to Understand Le Book) xxiii
Chapter 1 Untangling My Soul 1
Chapter 2 Everyday Adventure 19
Chapter 3 Learning to Savor 41
Chapter 4 Beauty 61
Chapter 5 A New Definition of Romance 87
Chapter 6 The Wonder of It All (Striving to Mother Well) 105
Chapter 7 Holy DNA 135
Chapter 8 Called to Sparkle 155
Chapter 9 Home 179
33 Search-Your-Heart Questions 201
Group Discussion Guide 211
About the Author 219
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"[H]ow 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?" Sarah Mae begins by posing these questions. She then continues to transparently share with the reader how she explores these, and other, questions. This book navigates the tension between loving where you are at, while still honoring the God-given longings of your heart. Sarah Mae poses thought-provoking questions and offers helpful (and fun) suggestions at the end of each chapter to help you go deeper and apply the book's principles to your own life. This book is a must-read for every mom who has wondered if she is called to do more than change diapers, for every woman who has day-dreamed she is sitting in a cafe in Paris rather than in a cool cubicle, and for every wife who has longed for a little more romance. Longing for Paris is at once thought-provoking, soul-quenching, and joyful. It will stay with the reader long after the last page is finished. "Yes, it will be very good to be with our Father, and He has a place for us that is more beautiful than Paris or Tuscany or whatever exquisite place that holds your imagination."
Sarah Mae lives in Lancaster County, PA... but her heart longs for the storied streets of Paris. The question needs asking: what are we supposed to think and do about these deep, earnest longings and dreams? What are we supposed to do when our dreams look NOTHING like our present lives? My son, Ezra, showed up on the radar when I was on the brink of a major life change: I was planning on starting cosmetology school the next month. I knew myself, I knew pregnancy + beauty school just wasn't going to work. So, back to the drawing board. It would just have to wait. Once again, I needed to put off a personal goal, a dream that I've nursed for years, something I have longed to achieve and experience... Again, *my* plans would have to change to fit circumstances. It was a bitter, bitter pill to swallow. I knew I was excited to be pregnant, and how can I argue with the result? But I also really wanted to be more, do more. I wanted to have something of my own, and right when I was about to embark on my long-awaited adventure... the door closed. It didn't lock - I knew then that having another baby certainly didn't mean I couldn't ever attend school, but it did mean that it would have to wait for at least a few years. I mourned my short-term circumstances. The change of plans got my mind wandering. Was I even right to dream of a career? Was it selfish to want a career of my own? Was it pride driving my hope? Who was I to want more than what I had? Self doubt crept in, and eventually, my dream turned into a failed plan. It just wouldn't come to be, and I had to accept that. Now, Ezra's closing in on 1.5, a veritable bucket of joy, and I'm happy with my lot. I don't think too much about what could have been, because that's wheel-spinning. No sense in dredging up faded disappointment. Enter "Longing For Paris". It promised to address whether God cares about my dreams, where they come from, and what I'm to do in light of all that. Alright, fine, I'm listening. The answer is yes: God cares, because He created us with the very ability to dream. He gave us the capacity to hope. We were designed for more, to long for more. Speaking generally, my perspective and attitude have genuinely benefitted from hearing what Sarah Mae had to share - sharing/hearing testimony has a way of doing that. This is no lofty dispensation from a Pinterest-perfect wife/mom, this is a real, vulnerably (beautifully) written book from a woman desperate to be who God lovingly created her to be. I'm thankful Sarah felt called to share what she's learned through joy and pain. If you've ever questioned if your dream matters, or if God is even aware of your innermost longing... Sister-friend, give this a read.
"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 (and drudgery, I might add) of it all?" I am immediately pulled in with these two questions. You see, as a stay at home mom of four, who also happens to be a head-in-the clouds, never-quit-dreaming kind of creative, the drudgery of everyday tasks required to keep a household going and young ones and pets and the husband alive and well often wear me down, and aren't exactly conducive to the romanticized artist's lifestyle of spontaneous creating and exploring. At least, I didn't think so. Until I read this book. Sarah Mae writes in an easy-to-read, conversational manner, almost convincing you that you're sitting across the table from her with a cup of coffee, laughing with her as she shares stories from her family and her life, and sometimes crying with her as she bares her soul, revealing how she questioned her own longings, discovered the way that God sees her and why that's so important, and finally comes to the conclusion that "God cares about our dreams, because He cares about us." So she invites us on a journey with her as she figures out how to bring beauty and creativity (or Paris) into her everyday life, through food, art and beauty, for herself, but also for her husband and children, and encourages us to do the same, even giving practical, everday tips for doing so. I have learned through this book, and through Sarah Mae's vulnerable sharing of her own experiences, that I can bring beauty into my life as well; I don't have to go anywhere, and it doesn't require experiencing some lofty artist's lifestyle. It's as simple as stopping to get ice cream on the way home a little more often, or taking a break to listen to my son describe (in great detail) how he put together his newest lego set even when I'm busy; it's coloring princess pictures with my girls, and making a point to spend extra time with my husband. It hasn't required me to change my entire lifestyle or give up on my dreams, but I am now more aware of the little things, and am encouraged to make more effort to really enjoy this life that I have been given, even in the midst of the normalcy of it all.
I love this book. Its a great reminder of how to live a wonderful life right where I am. Being a stay at home can be overwhelming and Longing for Paris took me to a great journey to be a better woman , wife and mother.
I'm sure most women can identify with Sarah's voice and her stories of longing and searching in the midst of the chaos of everyday life. I know I have an ongoing, internal struggle between my own dreams and my responsibilities as a wife and mother. But, what if there didn't have to be a tension between our realties and our dreams. What if we could learn how to bring our dreams into our present reality and find joy and purpose and adventure right where God has placed us. Yes, many days we may dream of traveling to Paris (Sarah's dream) or spending our days writing and teaching (one of my dreams), but that doesn't mean we can't find beauty and wonder and awe as we do our day-to-day tasks as wives, mothers, employees, etc. The most refreshing part of Sarah's book is her constant encouragement to search your heart to discover your dreams and longings, not so that you can selfishly drop all responsibilities to "follow your dreams", but so you can identify how God created you and how He wants you to bring your gifts, dreams and longings into your present reality for His glory. Do you crave adventure? How can you create adventure for your family where you are now? Do you love all things beautiful? How can you create beauty in the space you are in now? Do you dream of ministering to others and using your gifts for God's kingdom? How can you use those ministry gifts in your family, in your neighborhood and in your church as you live with purpose where God has you now, not stagnating waiting for the kids to grow up or to retire so you can "really serve"? I highly recommend Sarah's book if these struggles sound similar to your own. With humor and transparency, she lets us into her struggles and successes in order to encourage us as we "navigate the tension between our reality and our longings".
Longing For Paris by Sarah Mae was like sitting down sharing a cup of tea with a good friend and listening to her experiences as a mom and wife. This book is well written and honest. Sarah Mae doesn't sugar coat the truth about marriage and motherhood, she tells it like it is. My favorite part of the book is at the end of every chapter, she has a section called "An Invitation to Paris" where she gives a fun assignment on how to bring "Paris" to our everyday life. One such invitation invites her readers to spread out a blanket outside and look at the stars. This book is full of honesty, stories, and simple ways to live "fully alive" right where God has placed us.
Between the Cheerios and crayons do you long for something? Sarah Mae shares her longings with you in this powerful book. I read the first couple pages. Stopped. And went to search out my highlighter. I almost wore the sucker out. I was challenged. I was liberated. I was Blessed. You will be too
Not long ago, I read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love and I wanted to escape my day-to-day life--for real--to have those kinds of adventures and "find myself." Thank God--I really do!--for the next book to come along: Sarah Mae's Longing for Paris: One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty and Adventure Right Where She Is. Pause for a moment and take all of that title in. In this book, Sarah Mae recognizes our longings and affirms them as gifts from a God who cares about our dreams because He cares about us. This book could not have come at a more perfect time. (Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my review.) I'm in the middle of a year focusing on the word "whole" and my kids will both be in school all day starting in the fall. I have this amazing opportunity to rediscover who I am after feeling like motherhood swallowed me these last 7 or so years. Longing For Paris encourages moms at any stage of parenting (or any woman with unfulfilled longings) that we can have that beauty, adventure and meaning we're looking for, right in our own homes and towns. But it's not just empty platitudes Sarah Mae offers; it's practical ways to do this. I took a lot of notes with this book, and I want to plaster some of the quotes from the book in front of me always so I can remember these words. It's a beautiful call to live a full and rewarding life, even if it's not everything you hoped it would be. If you love your life--most days--but wonder if there's still room in it for your dreams, then this is the book that will help you live with that tension, not just in a settling for less kind of way, but in a deeply satisfying way.
I was so excited to read this book because it seemed like it was going to speak to my heart about the things I longed for in the here and now - and I wasn't disappointed! It almost seemed as though the author was speaking to me personally. If you have dreams that you feel you're having to put on hold or you're longing to go somewhere exotic, like Paris, this book is for you. God truly does care about our dreams because He truly cares about us. He puts those dreams and talents in us and He understands that we would want to pursue them. Another thing I loved about this book is how pretty it is, inside and out. It has lovely designs on each corner of each page, and while unnecessary, it just blesses my heart and makes me feel like the author and publisher went the extra mile to make the book enjoyable. I also love that Sarah Mae brings Bible stories and Scriptures to help us relate. At the end of each chapter, there is also a section called, "Unearthing Your Longings" where she asks a series of questions to help you dig deeper into your thoughts and feelings about thing. She also has a box called, "An Invitation to Paris" where she has suggestions for making your life special right now, where you're at. Sarah Mae helps us to realize that our lives are truly special. She writes from the heart and has such a beautiful insight to our heart. She shares how we can make our lives exciting and find adventure where we live by looking at our surroundings with new eyes. I enjoyed this book so much! It's exactly what I have needed to read and it has given me a lightness and a hope that God truly does care about me and my dreams. I also know that God has me right where I'm supposed to be and that life is an adventure - even in my little town. I know you'll enjoy it, too, and have the link to buy it below. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. *This book was provided to me for my honest review by Tyndale House Publishers
Sarah Mae wanted to travel to Paris, to have excitement in her life but couldn't reconcile it with the stability needed for a life as a stay-at-home mother. How did she work through the dilemma of balancing necessary priorities with a fulfilling life? Can daily life be anything other than mundane? Sarah Mae's fresh, encouraging style of writing is engaging and witty. I love her honesty as she encourages women everywhere to embrace their longings and live life to the maximum. Live life wide awake!
As I read, Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae, I realized the beauty which has been found in my everyday life. The longings which I thought were in my heart to pursue other avenues, truly has been met and fulfilled while I have been in the midst of raising them. Longing for Paris is a quick read as it is hard to put the book down. It is also a slow read as I found myself savoring the words before me like a warm and soothing cup of coffee. Nothing in this life will ever completely satisfy. He places people and experiences in our lives to bring beauty and love and grace into our lives. They are but a shadow of the beauty He alone can bring to us. I loved this book. This truly is a must read for every woman. Sarah Mae’s words truly speak deeply, encouraging each of us to live fully alive and present right where He has placed us. ***Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am disclosing this as required by Federal Trade Commission.
I loved this book!!! I highly recommend it to all moms who struggle with feeling discontent in the routine of life while at the same time realizing how important and short the time with our little ones truly is. Sarah writes so beautifully and is so easy to relate to. She helped me see that my dreams are important, and I can create beautiful memories right where I am. This would make a great read for a mom's book club.
This book was written with such transparency into what a real mom and wife longs for. We all have dreams of going places and having amazing adventures. The reality is that money can get tight and we start longing for more. Sarah Mae has written this book that helps us think about how we can be content with the life we currently live. She encourages us to take life to the next level and bring "Paris" to us. A couple of quotes that I loved most include: "God cares about our dreams, because He cares about us." and "We can't always change our circumstances, but we can choose our perspective."
One of the BEST books I have read in a while! Sarah Mae was so honest and vulnerable which made her so easy to relate to! This book was very timely for me as I have been thinking a lot about my dreams, desires, and what makes me come alive. How do those things fit into my life right now? How can I live out my dreams and do those desires in my heart really matter? Where did they come from? Do I just jet off to the biggest city I can think of because that's where I feel alive? What about REAL life? And the thing is, most of the time, I wonder if I am the only one who struggles with the tension of reality and my dreams. Sarah Mae took thoughts and feelings that I couldn't warp my mind around and put words to them. Many times I felt I was reading my own heart written out in black and white. Excellent read! Can't recommend it enough!
Do you feel like you’re in a funk? Do you dream of something more? We all have longings—we dream of a bigger home, a new job, another baby, a romantic getaway with our spouse, a day of rest. You may long to travel to Paris (I personally long for Rome), but no matter what you find yourself longing for, you will find wisdom and encouragement in the pages of Longing for Paris. My husband pointed out to me that I have always been longing for the next thing in my life since he's known me, but now that I arrived at my "dream" (of being a stay at home mom) and it's nothing like I thought it would be, I have been struggling. Sarah Mae’s book helped me wrestle with my longings, understand why I have them and taught me what to do with them. Sarah has a gift for storytelling that will make you laugh out loud one moment and speak to your soul the next moment. Full of stories, scripture and practical wisdom, Longing for Paris is a book for every woman, mom and wife who struggles to find joy and contentment in her everyday life. God spoke to me so clearly through Sarah Mae’s words. If you want to be transformed, take some time to read Longing for Paris and let the Spirit move in your life and help you move beyond surviving to living. We were created to live a full joyful adventurous life. Sarah Mae will help you get there!
Sarah Mae gives us permission to pursue our longings, reach for our desires, and to really live life. She let’s us know that God gave us these very desires for a reason. “God cares about our dreams, because he cares about us.” And she teaches us that the answer to these longings have been right in front of us all along. We just need to wait for their time to come. “The other trouble we run into with our dreams is when we take our very good dreams and try to walk them out before their time, which can bring frustration and/or neglect to our families or where God has us.” I have been there. I have desired something SO much that I’ve forgotten to live in the moment and enjoy this precious and wonderful gift called life that I’ve been blessed with. To take a look around and see the beauty around me right where I am. I needed this reminder to do more than just survive- to thrive. I won’t take these words for granted, I will plant them in my heart and encourage them to grow. I will remind myself to savor my food. I will really intently listen to my family when we’re together. I will push away distractions. I will know that someday my dreams will come to fruition and my desires will be fulfilled, I need only to enjoy this moment…because it will be over much too quickly. Sarah Mae gives me the longing to visit Paris, but reminds me to love the place where I am.
There are a few Christian women's books I set apart as vital to my walk. Sometimes they're old books, the tried and true, but sometimes I'm surprised by a new finding. That's how it is with Sarah Mae's 'Longing for Paris.' It'll go in my special pile. Sarah brings joy to life in her book, talking about her actual longing for Paris, and how she incorporates small blessings into her daily life. Her sub-title is 'One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure---Right Where She Is.' And she succeeds. With tenderness and an acute ability she talks about disappointments and fears, and walks the reader through simple tasks and routines to reach God's best for us. Individually His best, since we're all made in His image, but are oh, so different than one another. This book is a joy to read, deep at times, and full of sweetness. It's a book I'd want to buy in bulk to give to friends. To recommend reading with a pen/pencil handy. It's definitely one to mark up. (i received this book free to review from tyndale publishers)
How do you deal with the gap between your dreams and your reality? You read this book. Sarah's authenticity will help you process your own pursuits in the midst of raising kids, managing a home, maintaining a marriage, and making a difference. Highly recommended!