People who know me very well know that I have a few things that it doesn’t take much to get me excited about. Well…maybe it’s more than a few things, but that’s okay, right? In no particular order some would be: Jesus, John, babies, children, teaching, family, friendships, natural health-related topics like essential oils, good fats, and fermented foods, reading, Jane Austen, chocolate, homeschooling, the Muppets, Dean Jones era Disney movies, Beth Moore Bible studies, goats screaming, hiking with my family, beaches, mountains, cooking, baking, travel, writing, history, the Marx brothers, houses with cool slides in them, tiny ballerina girls, baby animals…I at no point promised this list would make any sense, did I?
I generally don’t make ridiculous promises like that.
Anyway, right in that list for the last few years has been my passion for all things Sally Clarkson. I started going to her conference two years ago and it completely blessed the socks off of my year. In a 24 hour period I became a better woman, a better mother, a better daughter of the King. She has a heart full of love and grace for mothers. She shares from her experience. She avoids formulas and embraces the Spirit’s leading. She shuns criticism and “better-than-thou” mentalities and welcomes all broken, weary, hurting moms to the foot of the cross. I love her. She’s been around since my mom was having my siblings, and has blessed thousands of women with her message of the heart of motherhood. Please read her blog. Please go to her conference next year. Please buy all her books and share them with your friends. I do not recommend things lightly. I am sure she will bless you because she does not call you to follow her perfect picture of motherhood, but instead calls your attention to the gentle ways of Jesus. You leave time spent with her more in love with your Lord, your role as a woman, and your family. One of her most urgent messages is that women must not fall into the trap of aloneness. We are created for community, for encouragement, for older, younger, and same-stage women to walk this journey beside us. It is a true dilemma in this age of more far-away friends than ever before and less heart-to-heart friends than a pioneer woman in the middle of a deserted prairie (yes, you can read that in your Dolly Parton voice – I did).
Sally’s latest book was co-written with a young mom and is perfect for the stage many of my friends and I are in today. When you read the title, you will understand. And if you have a child who wrote in permanent marker on your wall, stashed apple cores in his closet, didn’t sleep through the night last week, decided to cry every time he had to write sentences, randomly concluded that biting everyone in his acquaintance was acceptable behavior, melted into a sobbing puddle because her brother touched her, forgot to brush his teeth for a week, fill in the blank with other unimaginable options, etc., etc., etc. (this requires your Yul Brynner voice from “The King and I”), THEN you will also want to read this book.
P.S. Please do not assume any of those things have ever happened to me.
P.P.S. But they have.
Enter the book, DESPERATE. Told you that you would immediately want to read it.
You want to read this (I am resisting another voice instruction). Get a group of your friends together to discuss the questions at the end of each chapter and watch the video of Sally and Sarah Mae you can access from the web. Read their blogs and be encouraged. If you’ve never read any of Sally’s books before, comment on this post and tell me why you want to read this book. What needs do you have as a mom, and how could you be blessed by knowing you’re not alone in your desperate state. In one week, I will do a random drawing from the people who post and send you a free copy of the book! So share this with your friends and maybe it will be you! If it’s not you, maybe one of your friends will be met exactly where she is by Sally’s caring spirit and Sarah Mae’s genuine transparency. Either way, it’s a win! And if you’re the only one who comments…well, then you have a 100% chance of getting the book! 😉 I want more and more women to begin hearing this kind of mothering message, and if I can do some tiny spreading of the word then I want to do my little part. We are not enough. God most definitely is. And He will meet you right where you are.