One of the fun “pre-baby” projects I have been excited about is getting to preview (and review) Sarah Mae’s new book: Longing for Paris. Do you know Sarah Mae? If you haven’t acquainted yourself with her writing, allow me to introduce you! I first discovered Sarah Mae when I read Desperate, which she co-authored with Sally Clarkson (one of my favorite authors). I was touched by her heart, by her honesty, and by her whole-hearted mothering of her three kiddos – even as she waded through challenging seasons and the overwhelming feelings of inadequacy and weariness that all of us mamas sometimes struggle with. I have since found, through Sarah Mae’s blog posts and video seminars, a true kindred spirit – an open-hearted mom who loves Jesus, loves her children, and is refreshingly “real” about life in the trenches. I love the way she leans fully into her role – rising above the chaos to nurture her family with deep love and faithful intentionality. Her insights on parenting a “wild one” with love and grace have served to encourage and inspire me. So – I have been so excited about her new book, and I am thrilled that I was given the chance to read it before it hit the bookstore shelves!
Longing for Paris is Sarah Mae’s story of reconciling the deep longings in her soul to experience beauty and wonder with the reality of each day’s often monotonous motherhood grind. It’s the story of how she bravely set out to find contentment and joy in the here and now, to live un-regrettably, to embrace all the sweetness of life… while untangling the desires of her heart for something “more.” And it’s the story of how, as she purposed her way through the untangling and the searching, she met God in a deeper way, discovered who she is in Him, found fresh meaning and beauty in daily living, learned how to abandon herself to the roles He has fashioned her for, and realized that the longing for Paris is ultimately a longing for the perfect beauty of Heaven. Earth is not our forever home; Heaven is. But when we live our lives with purpose, for His glory, we see glimpses of His beauty all around us!
I loved this book. Sarah Mae is tender and real, and her insights into the heart of women are profound. She encourages us to find pieces of “Paris” all around us – whether through savoring an exquisite meal (or just a flaky croissant), experiencing beauty in art and music, or making memories by sharing adventures with our loved ones. Our world is broken, but beauty rises from the dust all around us, and as we savor that beauty, we truly “taste and see that the Lord is good.” As we receive the Lord’s goodness and seek to know Him, He equips us to sparkle! We see His goodness, and we bestow His goodness in the ways we love, serve, and create. Sarah’s call to live well is not one of ethereal, flimsy, Peter Pan-ish good thoughts, though. The book is replete with Scripture and biblical wisdom. It’s a book of tender theology for those of us who revel in poetry and prose.
Every chapter of this lovely book is plump with sweet morsels to chew on – and ends with an invitation to join Sarah in savoring a Paris sort of moment. If you feel stuck in the mundane – like life is just chores and work and struggle… then pick up this book! You will be so encouraged!
The book actually does not release until August! But – pre-order it! You won’t be disappointed when it shows up on your doorstep. I am going to host a month long book study here on my blog in August (I’ll be pre-writing my posts since we will have a brand-new baby by then!), so if you decide to order and are interested in having some accountability, would you let me know in the comments? Order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book, or anywhere you shop for books. Better yet, order directly from Sarah Mae, here! I think the price is actually lower than Amazon's! Plus, she has a few fun giveaways (like signed copies, and journals from Dayspring) on her blog right now, so check it out!