Saturday, April 6, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe - Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson


Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. -Titus 2:3–5

Before I became a Mom, I obviously had no idea what it meant to be a mother.  I remember wondering if I would love my children more than my dogs (ha!).  If I would be a good Mom, be able to see past my own needs and desires in order to nurture another human being.  And then my son was born and in an instant my heart was beating outside of my body, it was no longer my own, he held it in his hands.

I remember the surprise of my second pregnancy- a little life I had not anticipated and would never have sought on my own.  I wondered if I would ever love this next baby as much as my first.  If there was any way I could handle two little ones day in and day out.  And then my daughter was born, and she looked into my eyes, it was love as first sight.

Nobody tells you how hard it is, this incredible job of raising children, of molding young souls to know and love the Lord.  I had no idea there would be so many sleepless nights, days where I literally make myself get up in the morning to change another diaper or cuddle a child to sleep.  I had no idea that I would second guess every word, every decision, every moment, asking myself- did I teach them something?  Have I crushed their spirit?  Do they see God in me?  Do they notice I'm struggling right now?  Do they know how much I love them?  Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson was a breath of fresh air to my soul.  I am convinced this book is for every Mom.  For the joyous Mom celebrating their baby's first steps to the exhausted Mom patiently discipling her screaming toddler or rebellious teenager, this book gives you hope that God has a plan and purpose for motherhood.

The authors start with an honest confession about their own struggles with raising children.  Sarah Mae goes so far as to say this, "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."  Author Sally Clarkson, who treasures her role as a mentor to young Moms, explains Desperate in these terms, "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 to receive help."  Each Chapter of the book begins with a question or struggle from young mother Sarah Mae and then an answer of wisdom from Sally Clarkson.  There are also scripture verses, journaling questions and an activity to drive home the lesson from each section.

I often find myself struggling with the monotony of being a stay at home Mom to young children.  It is easier to stay in than lug around all the necessary equipment required to leave the house with two children.  Nap times and early bedtimes mean we're usually tied down to the house.  Honestly, having little ones is not at all conducive to having an exciting social life.  Then, taking into consideration my need for quiet in order to recharge....well, we don't have a lot of that around here!  Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, reminded me that we must first turn to God in order to have the strength to parent.  Family and friends are here to help recharge and love on our littles ones so that we can take a step back and focus.  Clarkson stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with wise women who can help you grow in the Lord.  She believes that it is helpful to find women who are strong mothers and raised children in the knowledge of Christ so that we might emulate them.

Desperate was such a wonderful book.  It reminded me about the beauty of motherhood and the high calling it is to invest in our children's lives.  The scripture, stories and encouragement truly breathed life into my tired mommy moments.  I felt encouraged both spiritually and mentally- knowing that it is ok to feel overwhelmed at times, as long as you remember Who to bring your burdens to.  Jesus uniquely equips each of us to parent the children we have been given and, as we turn to him, he gives us all we need to succeed.  I will never be a perfect Mom, but I can love God with all my heart and love my neighbor as myself.  My children will see the love of Christ in me, and in the end, isn't that all they need?

Get this book my mommy friends, it is honest, hopeful and helpful!

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher via Book Sneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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