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Longing for Paris: One Woman's Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure—Right Where She Is Paperback – August 4, 2015
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Angie Smith, Bestselling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, What Women Fear, and the Bible study Seamless
"This book is a must-read for moms."
Sarah Hagerty, Author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
"Sarah Mae has a rare gift to unearth the longings each of us feels for the "more" in life that God created us to have. Compassionate, sympathetic, and inspiring are the ways she understands our personal needs and gently leads us to the One who satisfies. This book is a gift to all who have dreamed of places beyond our present reality and want to know the hope we can cling to each day. I was deeply touched by her words."
Sally Clarkson, Author of Own Your Life and cofounder of Whole Heart Ministries
Help women live the dream without leaving home.
The daily grind―many women know and can picture what this means. Sarah Mae knows this routine well. She loves her family and her life but was giving up on dreams of Paris and settling into “the mundane.” Slowly, she realized God was re-awakening her longings and taking her on an adventure, where she found that her “Paris” wasn’t so far out of reach after all.
Part memoir, part devotional, part “inspirational-adventurism,” Longing for Paris is a great read for any woman who feels like she may be in a rut―who still has grand dreams but doesn’t know how to achieve them.
Chapters include brief sections called “An Invitation to Paris,” where Mae gives tips for infusing a bit of Paris into life. Immediately following these sections, readers can “Unearth Your Longings”―sections that point them to truth from God’s Word on which they can meditate. (CBA Retailers+Resources)
About the Author
Sarah Mae, listed as one of the Christian Broadcasting Network's Six Women Leaders to Follow on Twitter, is an influential Christian blogger, conference founder, and coauthor of the bestselling book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. She makes her home in the beautiful Amish countryside of Pennsylvania.
Sarah Mae, listed as one of the Christian Broadcasting Network's Six Women Leaders to Follow on Twitter, is an influential Christian blogger, conference founder, and coauthor of the bestselling book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. She makes her home in the beautiful Amish countryside of Pennsylvania. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sarah Mae has a new book, Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure—Right Where She Is, that addresses these very questions. And let me tell you….it’s a good one!
I felt like every page had such truth and wisdom in it, a new way to think about what I felt and why. How about this? Our longings for Joy, Beauty and Adventure are completely natural, God given even, because we are not meant to find contentment in this world, we are meant for so much more, we are meant for Heaven. We were created in the image of a God who created all of the beauty that we can experience in this world.
Sarah Mae talks about how we can go about finding the beauty and adventure that we long for in this world, even as mothers and wives and women who have constant demands on our time and energy. More important than satiating our own hunger for more, Sarah Mae talks about the importance of stirring that hunger in our own children, and how, through words of wisdom from Sally Clarkson, we can.
She talks about how we can get caught up in looking for the thing that will fill that longing, letting it consume our time, all of which never will. There is only one way that longing with ever be satisfied,
If you’re completely content in your life and have no longings for anything beyond the immediate, then this book isn’t for you, but if you do….THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! This book is for anyone who feels trapped and needs to breath, who wants to climb to the mountain tops, to revel in the adventure and the glory of God’s world. Who feels like there has to be something MORE to this life than what we experience ever day.
I'm glad I persevered. Turns out that the central messages of the book--that we can find joy and satisfaction in our current circumstances and not always wait for “someday,” and that our deepest longings are actually symptoms of homesickness for our true home in Heaven--did resonate with me. I’m glad I didn’t pass it up as a book just for “moms.”
Sarah Mae longs for the City of Light--its art, architecture, gourmet food, culture. But right now the Paris experience seems out of the question, tethered as she is to her duties as a wife and mother--a life she also loves. Gradually she comes to understand that she doesn’t have to wait for Paris to make her dreams come true--she can seek out elements of that other life in her current life, and enjoy them in the here and now. The essential elements she associates with “Paris” can be found anywhere for those who are willing to look. She muses about whether dreams are dangerous (and let's face it--the "follow your bliss" theme often leads to disaster) or whether they can be gifts from God, indications of His design and purpose for each one of us.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, life on this earth is largely formed by our choices, and mature adults understand that saying "yes" to one thing means saying "no" to another. For Sarah Mae, "yes" to wife-and motherhood means "no" to writing in Paris cafes, at least for a season. As she envisions a parallel life without children and domestic responsibilities, I sometimes envision a parallel life WITH children, the way a city dweller might imagine life on a farm, or a teacher might imagine a career as a nurse--musings about the road not taken, not necessarily better, not worse, just different. Ultimately, for a Christ-follower, the road leads Home, whatever our earthly circumstances.
If Sarah Mae's frequent references to Paris and French-style living don't ring your bell, try substituting a dream of your own. Personally, I'd pick England over France as my dreamed-of geographic locale: the rosy, soft-focus, idealized England of Beatrix Potter and A. A. Milne and Rosamund Pilcher. Even if I never get there, there's nothing to stop me from enjoying a treat of scones and tea on an otherwise ordinary day. And anyone who knows me, knows that I long for a rosy, soft-focus, idealized past. Obviously I can never go truly back (and probably wouldn't really want to, if I could--not for long, anyway) but there's nothing to stop me from fastening a strand of pearls around my neck and cueing up Cole Porter on Pandora to get a taste of the past in the present day. I think that's her point.
Overall Longing for Paris was a quick and light read, clearly written for a Christian audience, with abundant Scripture references, 35 “search-your-heart” questions for deeper thought, and a group discussion guide.
Disclosure: I’ve been given a review copy of this book by the publisher. This generosity, while appreciated, has not biased my review. I also post some of my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
But then something changed, either in the tone or my perspective. By the time I finished the book, I felt as though I'd spent time with a good girlfriend, who was simply sharing her story, her experience, and her heart with me. I felt another mom was taking time to invest into me as a mom, and to encourage me to live fully right where I am.
I completed the book feeling refreshed as well as feeling less guilt for letting go of outside-the-home opportunities, so that I can focus on my husband, children, and home. It's crazy how so many moms have bought into that mentality. I didn't realize I had until now. I'm very thankful for moms like Sarah Mae, who are willing to open up and share their challenges with others.