I married young and we started our family soon after. One look at the little face, swaddled and with her little hospital cap on her head, and I knew I would not be able to leave her. Seven years later, along came her brother and now with the two, the thought of doing anything other than raising them was firmly laid to rest.
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.
Sure there were those days of going through the motions – the endless day in and day out routines. But it was in those very routines, I learned that consistency and faithfulness, in the small things, brings the larger harvest.
There were those days when I cried, “Calgon, take me away!” knowing full well even if I were able to get away, I would return quicker than I could blink – for there truly is no place like home.
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.
Life is hard work. Yet it is in that hard work, we find love and fulfillment. True love never gives up. Sarah Mae writes, “I’ve learned over the years that if hearts are tender, there’s a settling in.” There’s that comfort and security which comes from the settling. It’s in the settling in that you make the decision to be there for the long haul, through thick and thin, with a resolve that brings strength and comfort.
In raising my children, they raised me. The weight of the responsibility, of those two little lives we had brought into the world, became the driving force to seek Him.
“My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
(Psalm 27:8, NIV)
The search every day for strength, for wisdom, for patience, for grace, and for laughter became imperative. My desire, to mother them in such a way that they would seek God for themselves, meant that I would need to do the same.
As I read the quote by A.W. Tozer on page 74, I came to realize this is exactly what has occurred in my life as my children were growing up …
“The great of the kingdom have been those who loved God more than other did … The one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them Godward.”
God had used my very own children to urge me towards Him and in so doing, to love Him more deeply. To become more receptive to His Word and truth. And now He is using my granddaughters to further deepen my longings.
I have come to realize anew –
He has given us longings in this life to make us long for Him.
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.
“When we awaken to the dreams God has placed inside of us, our very lives become the beauty, magic, and wonder that the world needs.”
(quote from Awake by Joel N. Clark, shared on page 145)
You can enjoy more of Sarah Mae here.
***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.