Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

TITLE:  Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
AUTHORS:  Sarah Mae  &  Sally Clarkson
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson

FORMAT:  paperback or ebook

ISBN:  9781400204663
PRICE:  $15.99

I have to confess that I have all of Sally Clarkson's books on motherhood, but I wasn't as familiar with Sarah Mae's writing. At least I didn't think I was, until I realized I actually have both of her e-books saved on my computer. Both of these ladies have a heart for encouraging Christian mothers, and pointing them back to God for their strength and direction.

Desperate has a unique format. It is a conversation between Sarah Mae and Sally, as well as a conversation between them and the mothers reading their book.  Each chapter begins with a letter from Sarah Mae to Sally, and Sally's loving and wise response.  The chapter is then started with Sarah Mae honestly sharing her struggles as a young mom of 3 very young children.  She shares her struggles with depression and perfectionism, as well as the lessons God has taught her as He helped her overcome the struggles.  The chapter closes with more encouragement and personal stories from Sally of how God helped her grow as a mother and overcome the same struggles.  Neither woman pretends to have been perfect or to have it all together, but they offer hope for change and progress in our mothering.

There are a few special features in this book.  Each chapter closes with Bible verses and questions that can be used for personal devotions and journaling, or for group discussions.  There is also a special QR code you can scan with a smart phone (or a website link if you don't have a smart phone) that will take you to a video of Sarah Mae and Sally discussing the chapter. There is also a question and answer section at the end of the book, where Sally addresses specific questions from real mothers regarding a variety of situations  --working moms, husbands working long hours or frequently traveling, and single moms.

ElCloud Thoughts:
As I said earlier, I have long been a fan of Sally's books for mothers.  She writes with compassion and understanding, providing encouragement as well as a vision to strive for.  This book is no different.  I have never struggled as deeply with depression as Sarah Mae has, but I often find myself feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and as if I am failing in my role as a wife, mother, homemaker, and homeschool mom.

Each chapter of Desperate spoke to me in some way, but the second section of the book (Getting Real About Mama-Hood) spoke to me most.  The chapters on overcoming selfishness in ourselves, the desire to escape, and housework struggles hit really close to home.  I have to admit that I was so encouraged to read that Sally had some of the same struggles as me in her motherhood.  I had an image of her as a perfect mother, with a beautifully kept home, and I needed to have that false image destroyed.  I needed to know she was more like me than I had previously thought.  It gave me hope and renewed my vision for my role as a mother and homemaker.

I absolutely recommend Desperate to every mom who has found motherhood to be harder than she expected.  If you look at yourself each day and only see failures, weaknesses, and disappointment ... then you need to read this book.  If your vision for motherhood doesn't line up with the reality of your everyday life, and you feel like life has become drudgery instead of joy, then you need to read Desperate.  Sarah Mae and Sally's gentle encouragement is life-giving.

This book was provided to me in e-book format for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this review, and these are my honest opinions.

April E.

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