Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Book For the New Year

I've spent much time since Christmas speaking of my goals for the coming months and of books I want to read, both to myself and to my children.  Dare I propose to you that there is a book that all moms should read in this new year that could bring all of our goals and aspirations into focus? 

The first book I checked off my list this year was Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  Haven't we all been there?  I remember clearly having three small children, ages three and under.  When Owen was born, Gavin was three and Maddie was two years, two weeks old.  Owen was a fussy, sensitive, snuggly, needy baby.  Most days were about tending to the basics-- getting everyone dressed and fed-- and most days I felt inadequate and helpless.  I have good memories of that time, but I still wondered if I played enough, smiled enough, loved enough. 

Fast forward six years.  I now have five children, ages ten and under, and it's a different world.  My youngest is independent and confident.  My oldest children help with everything from laundry to dishes, plus they are companions to me and to each other.  I don't have as many feelings of desperation, but I still wonder if I discipline enough or too much, if I'm teaching them what they need to know or pushing them to learn what they're not ready for.  

Once I began this book, I wanted to keep reading.  It was a balm to my soul.  I found myself nodding along and I found myself searching my heart. I loved the conversational style and I loved how the authors took turns writing, one from a "living it now" perspective and the other from a "been there, done that" mentor perspective.  What made this book so refreshing was that it was not a how-to book of ideas or suggestions.  Instead it spoke of accepting motherhood with selflessness and of seeing our children as souls needing grace.  

My favorite passage from the book, and the one that has come back to me over and over, was when Sarah Mae speaks of a story that Sally Clarkson told from her time as a young mother: 

"She felt like her efforts weren't proving fruitful, and no matter what she did with her children or how many times she told them what to do, it wasn't working.  Clay [her husband] said to her, 'Honey, at what age did you stop sinning? Because that's when our children will stop.' " 

Desperate is not a book of formulas or trendy parenting advice. It speaks to the heart of mothers with Biblical edification.  It takes the pressure off of families to be perfect and lays a foundation for grace-filled parenting.  

Sarah Mae says, "There are forty different ways to parent, but we need to ask, 'Lord, how do you want me to raise my kids?' "


I was provided an advanced reading copy of this book through BookSneeze®, but all opinions are my own.


  1. Added to the tippy-top of my "must read" list. I often feel the desperate need to breathe. I love my life but sometimes it's really, really hard! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. i've been on the fence with this one. it sounds great ... i'm just not even a slight SM fan.

    you have me rethinking though.


  3. I just realized that I meant to request a copy and never did, I'll have to see if it's still available.

    If so, I guess I know the first book that will be added to my 2013 Reading List :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...