Personal Integrity & The 24 Family Ways Intro & podcast

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Integrity: The quality of being strong and having strong moral principles; having soundness and wholeness in faith, word and deed.

As we observe the landscape of leaders in our country, sometimes it is difficult to find a very many who stand out as wise, strong, morally true, sound—those who have true integrity. Yet, our hearts long for stories of those who are brave and good; those who sacrifice their lives for the good of others, who are trustworthy and true.

Integrity is something that is embraced and developed over time. It must be taught, practiced, lived to grow strong and vibrant. When Clay and I dreamed up the 24 Family Ways when our children were young, we wanted them to have strong foundations of godly character and an understanding of what it meant to please God so that they could develop integrity. Integrity must be taught, practiced, modeled.

The next Mondays of my podcast will be mostly devoted to reviewing a 24 Family Way for you as adults and for you to ponder as you teach them to your children. I would encourage you to get your own copy and teach them to your children. We went through the Ways 3 times with our children before they left our home. I hope it will be of great encouragement to you to practice and develop integrity in your own life.

I have learned the most about integrity by pondering my walk with God, searching my heart for attitudes that are not worthy of His love for me, seeking direction from His word, is a yearly foundational search of my heart.

We live in a world that, from the beginning, cares what people think. Seeking to keep up with the "Joneses" is age old. But scripture is so very clear that God wants our focus, our love, our heart to be on Him first and then our obedience to the very values of his heart.

Surrounded by a world that gives us permission to be self-centered, we glance at ourselves and all of our pictures on facebook, cell phones, listening for that little bing that says someone has thought of us---Hey, everybody, want to look at me and notice what I am doing and comment on my blog and give me higher numbers if I give things away and, and, and..........

We become our own idols and strive for recognition and affirmation. It is not wrong to desire to be loved and to belong. But Jesus meant for us to find our meaning in  our family, our community of believers, those we serve in our own day to day lives. We were meant tie our lives to flesh and blood people who we spend our lives to help, so that we can better understand Him, who spent all for our sakes.

In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells of the lives of those who could pontificate and argue the law and wear the robes of righteousness, and yet, he exposes their worthlessness to God by their heart of neglecting those who really needed redemption--the man caught by robbers, left for dead, beside the road.

But really, who has time to give to such a person--we have our appointments, our priorities, articles for blogs, our day-timers and schedules to keep.

"Just a minute, can't you see I am doing something important!" I ,I, I, .... the endless I and me, me, me..........

"Let not a wise man boast of His wisdom, let not a rich man boast of his riches, let not a mighty man boast of his might, but let him who boasts, boast of this, that He understands and knows me, for I delight in these things." Jeremiah

"He who keeps his life will lose it, but he who gives his life will find it."

And yet, as I read His words over and over again, I understand anew, it matters little what others think of me, if God is not at the center of my desire to live for His glory and the focus of my actions in serving others, as He did.

And so this week and really this summer, I am searching again to find, how I need to reorder my life to please Him, what is the work He has given me to do, how may I invest in real people with real needs, so that His loving touch will reach those in my culture.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?

And then, when I live in true integrity of following hard after Him, my children find the real him living in my home--not philosophy or curriculum or denomination or rules--the the real Christ who lays down His life, shepherds the sheep of his fold, the servant king who cares about real people.

True personal integrity comes from following hard after Him and obeying and loving obeying what He has called me to do.

What does integrity look like to you?

 
Our 24 Family Ways (2010)
By Clay Clarkson
 

This is not the Life I Expected & Part 2 Podcast

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It’s so common for moms to feel overwhelmed by the demands of life; from breakfast to bedtime we are meeting other people’s needs. Sometimes the sheer quantity of demands can make us want to stay in bed with the covers over our heads!

And of course there are all the larger issues we face. We live in an imperfect world filled with disappointments, devastation, and difficulty. Without hope, our lives can feel purposeless sometimes. In my own life, I have struggled with hardships I never could have seen coming. My heart has been broken, my faith has been tested, and I have had to push myself in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Circumstances will come our way, and we will always have a choice to make. We can choose to give up, or we can choose hope.

Hope it not just wishful thinking. Hope is an assurance that our King has ultimately won the raging battle. Hope teaches us that this is the broken place, where we have the honor of believing Him who is fighting on our behalf.

This was from my thoughts a number of years ago,

""We live in an imperfect world filled with disappointments, devastation, and difficulty. Without hope, our lives can feel purposeless sometimes. In my own life, I have struggled with hardships I never could have seen coming. My heart has been broken, my faith has been tested, and I have had to push myself in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Circumstances will come our way, and we will always have a choice to make. We can choose to give up, or we can choose hope.

Hope it not just wishful thinking. Hope is an assurance that our King has ultimately won the raging battle. Hope teaches us that this is the broken place, where we have the honor of believing Him who is fighting on our behalf." ~ Sally Clarkson

Remember, you may go your whole life having "bad feelings." Sometimes things are so hard and may never change--a "Different" child who will never be totally rid of their issues, who are hard day after day; a marriage partner who has wounded you and may never be emotionally whole; some wounds you have that may revisit you or give you regret, and so on. 

There have been many times I have given a very difficult issue or relationship into God's hands and then found at a later time, the same issue or sadness needed to be yielded all over again. But I have made progress, I have grown, I have developed sympathy and humility for others, and I have seen God's faithfulness, even though some of my sad feelings might just come back from time to time. 


God cares so much for you and all of the burdens you carry and wants you to know He has compassion and sympathy for you. Just know that your perseverance in faith and being faithful pleases His heart and He understands how you feel. Do not feel guilty about feeling bad for difficult things--that is a proper response. But choosing to take joy and seek to light candles in the darkness so to speak will help you make it through. And the hope that every day of your faithfulness matters will keep you going forward. 

Join Misty and me for this 2 part discussion on hanging in there even when you want to give up.

This is Not the Life I Expected! It is So Hard #1 podcast

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Do not fear, for I am with you! Do not anxiously look about you,  For I am your God! I will strengthen you, I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  

Isaiah 41: 10

Seems so many sweet ones that I get letters from are living overwhelmed, weary, distraught and feeling a failure. How I identify with such women as I look back through the journey of my life. My life has not been what I thought it would be. Being an intentional mother was harder than I could ever imagine and a longer journey than I understood. Staying faithful and giving up my rights in marriage is more challenging than I ever thought it would be. Finances have been difficult; good community in church has been hard to find, things fall apart, Christians are sometimes disappointing and the world is falling apart. 

I wish I had understood and known that life would be such a battle when I had started out with my ideals. If I had been prepared to be a warrior, I might have not struggled as much. But I was not prepared or trained to handle real life and certainly had no realistic expectation of what marriage and motherhood would require of me. I just supposed that I would easily be happy, and that I would handle the struggles with ease. And then I came up against my own limitations.  

Yet, I can also see that as I met with God and studied scripture I would have the strength to pursue my faith ideals one more day, as it seemed like God never allowed me the grace to give up when I felt like I couldn't go on. 

 Recently we had lunch with some of our very dearest friends and they related to us a story. A sweet young couple had decided to kayak from Maine down to Florida. They planned their trip, got sponsors to support them, and blogged and wrote about their trip. With all of the seasons and storms, it took them a year to finish their trip. 

Storms of great magnitude arose amidst their journey, and would send the waves crashing all around them. Often the rain would pelt continuously on their weary bodies and soak them to the bone. Discouragement would overwhelm them and they would think, "Why did we undertake this? We will never finish. It is too difficult. No one can do it!"

One time, however, in the midst of one such storm, they made a pact with each other. "We will never make a decision to quit when we are in the midst of a rain storm." 

A simple, but profound commitment. I decided that this was a statement worth following. 

So many dear friends are surrounded by storms in their lives right now--economic, illness, weariness, loneliness, no support systems or anyone to help; difficult marriages, prodigal children, fear of the future, despair because of the times we are in, ......... The list goes on and on. 

I have been through so many storms in my own life when I felt I could not go on---3 out of 4 asthmatics with constant illness and emergency room situations; 17 moves and loneliness; 4 children to homeschool and very few or no support systems over the years and years of exhaustion; stress in finances, ministry, marriage, "giants" within our family that caused great difficulty and despair, about which I may never write, because I believe in honor and loyalty in family relationships.

Often, I would think, "I cannot go on. My circumstances will turn out for the worst. There is no hope. Where has God gone."

And yet, it is in the midst of the storms of life, that our faith is most precious. It is in these times when we can say to Satan, "You would have me fear, but I choose to believe in the goodness of God and in His provision."

I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Nebuchadnezzar had commanded them to bow down to the serve his idols and to worship them. The three godly men refused to bow down to his gods. The king then said that he would throw them into the fiery furnace and there would be no one to deliver them. 

This is the threat of Satan, "There will be no one to deliver you." 

Yet, their response is what I desire to be the response of my own heart, "Our God whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire, ..., but even if He does not, let it be known to you, Oh king, that we are not going to serve your gods." Daniel 3 gives the story.

Of course the result is that the great king found out who was really God and made a proclamation to the whole land of God's greatness and never ending kingdom.

We are told very clearly in scripture that difficult times will come. We know from the warnings of scripture that at the end of the times, earthquakes will increase--and so they have. We know that many Christians will be persecuted all over the world. Great economic troubles, shaking our foundations as we know them, have been predicted  and are coming true before our eyes. That as Paul has told us, immorality and wickedness and godlessness will be rampant. We know from Revelation that, Satan, knowing his time is short, is pouring out great wrath. (Revelation 12:13)

This, then, could from God's eyes of history, be one of the finest hours for Christians to stay true, to be faithful until the end, to endure hardship, to rejoice in His reality, to live by faith, "assurance of things hoped for, convictions of things not seen."

When I was working in Communist countries many years ago, where there were constant persecutions and imprisonments, I was so surprised to see the fervor of so many Christians in their worship of God and their delight in His reality, their praise of Him in music was heavenly. I asked an old woman about it and she said to me, "You Americans have had so much heaven on earth, that you have not known what it is to long for and hope for the heavenly Kingdom of God, where righteousness will rule, where our real longings will be satisfied, and we will see our precious Lord face to face." 

And so, when our hearts are surrounded with fear and discouragement in the storms of life, let us look to the face of Jesus, our king, our savior and our Lord. He is with us. He will not abandon us. He will carry us through. Today is the best time, to believe, to hold fast, to worship by faith and to rest in His strength.

He is coming. We don not know when, but  if He has seen fit to "born" us into these times, then these times are the best place where we have the opportunity to live our story of faith, which will be a testimony for eternity, that He is our trustworthy God. 

May our hearts be as David's,

"The Lord is my light and salvation; Whom shall I fear.

The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? 

When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and enemies,

they stumbled and fell.

Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear.

Though a war arise against me, 

In spite of this I shall be confident." Psalm 27: 1-3

Today, He would say to us, "Fear not, for I am with you. Be not anxious, for I am your God."

Today, may His love, strength, wisdom, and overcoming spirit be ours. May He give you the grace to keep going with a heart that says, "I believe this is the pathway God would have me follow, He will give me the grace to persevere and to finish well."

Girls Club Getaway Registration is Open! Join me, Sarah and Joy!

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Woohoo! Today is the opening of our registration to our GirlsClubGetaway! Registration will begin at midnight Colorado time. The girls and I cannot wait for you to come be with us. 

Our weekend gatherings over all the years have been life-transforming, emotionally uplifting, spiritually engaging and have given thousands of women all over the world a new vision for life. 

It is so very wonderful at this season of my life to be able to share the platform of our getaways with my two girls. They have amazing messages, wisdom and encouragement stored up from years of gathering into their souls and you will be so encouraged just by hearing them and being with all of us. 

Don't wait too long! Our capacity is limited and we think we might just fill up quickly and we don't want to disappoint anyone. 

Registration is HEREhttp://sallyclarkson.com/girls-club-getaway

Looking forward to seeing you in February and celebrating women, community, friendship and all the good things that happen when women are together in authentic fellowship. 

Ideals versus Reality for Mamas

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“Ideals" is practically my middle name. And it reaches into nearly every area—I’m idealistic about faith, about romance, about life! Every area, that is, except one: I didn't have any ideals about being a great mother. Honestly, I was one of those women who just didn't think about having children or mothering them. Having only older brothers meant I never lived with babies,  and I only remember babysitting about twice in my whole life—and that, under duress.

Now, if I had been a mothering/baby-oriented sort, I would have been idealistic about that, too. Honestly, though, what could be so hard about having a baby? I figured that as a fairly mature Christian (I had been in ministry for eight years, and missions at that!) I should also be a fairly mature mom.


Fast forward, a few years into marriage. Living in Southern California was such a challenge for me as a young mother of two young children. Clay worked 65-80 hours a week, I didn't know many women in my area, and I had almost no "mother" friends. Our families lived halfway across the United States and I was exhausted all the time. It didn't help that I was pregnant with my third child and struggled with morning sickness for six months.


After straightening up my house one afternoon, I poured bubble bath into my oversized double sink with Sarah, 4, on one side and Joel, just under 2, in the sink next to it. I gave each of them small plastic cups to use in the warm, bubbly water to play with and hoped for a bit of reprieve for myself.


"This will hold them for at least 30 minutes and I can get a break," I thought as I waddled to a chair nearby.


All of a sudden, 22-month Joel stood up straight in the sink. With a very exuberant smile from cheek to cheek, he screamed in delight and started scooping bubbles and water out of the sink and onto the floor as fast as he could, having a merry old time. He was just being an exuberant, happy little boy.


Something in me burst, and I started screaming at him with vein-popping intensity. "What are you doing? You are making a mess all over my floor! Stop it. Don't you know you are making a mess? Don't you know how tired I am?" The lecture had evidently been stored up for months, and I just kept going and going in anger and frustration.


My stunned, happy, easy-going boy plopped down (making another big splash on my floor) and looked at me with wide, sad eyes and then just started crying and crying and crying, as though I had wounded him for life.


All of a sudden, I felt soooooooo awful! What had happened to me? Where had this kind of anger come from? Here was my gentle Joel, my cuddly one, who was doing nothing wrong but just being a darling little toddler.


Shame poured over me in waves. Sarah looked at me in fear. The fun I had planned was totally spoiled. Everyone was crying. And all afternoon, I shook my head over the incident. How could someone who called herself a mature believer lose it like that? I was not worthy to be a mom. What would my friends think? What would Clay think if he had heard me being so irrational?
Darkness seemed to cover my whole being in disappointment with myself. I knew I had been wrong and impatient; that my son had done nothing wrong. He had been so delighted in his bubbles and then .....!!!!!


As a young mom, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had three children in less than five years. I had never been trained to take care of children, to change diapers, to nurse a baby, to miss hours of sleep for months at a time; or anything else that was required, and had almost no knowledge of what it looked like to be a "good" mother. Of course I read as much as I could, but the books didn't cover everything. And then there were so many formulas, and so many differing voices!

Scripture, though, became my saving grace. I would pray and pray that God would help me--and little by little, He started building in me a philosophy of parenting, motherhood, and home building; generation-inspiring messages, and I found grace and freedom as I slowly grew.

As I sought Him, and followed what I believed was the way of wisdom in parenting my children, by faith, I began to really, really fall in love with my children, with who they were, and the deep call of motherhood. This took years, and for me it was never easy. But my home began to become a place of deep happiness and fulfillment. It was not from seeking the fulfillment of ideals, but from seeking Him and His wisdom and seeing His love and patience with me.


"Even as a father has compassion on His children, so the Lord has compassion on you." Psalm 103


I wish I had known ahead of time that motherhood was a place of battle and growth.
If only I had understood that there were no perfect moms and that all moms, including good moms,  became frustrated, sinned and were selfish, and succumbed to exhaustion. If only I had not wasted so much time on guilt and inadequacy, but instead focused on seeking to enjoy life with my children more.


I wish I had known that all mamas get angry, that messes happen on a daily basis; that's the norm--it is nothing to get upset about! I wish that I had understood that children are pre-wired to behave like children and do toddler-ish, baby-ish, teenage-ish things, and that God wanted me to learn to enjoy them and not be so neurotic about every single little thing.


I wish I had relaxed my ideals as a young mom, and just leaned into the life of being a mom more.
So many of my friends miss their children now that they are older. Most all of them say they wished they had relaxed more, loved more, and paid more attention to them personally--looked into their eyes more often.


Wisdom applied:
What are your biggest disappointments over how you expected yourself to be as a mom compared to your reality?
In what area were you least prepared?
How do you most need to adjust your expectations and find a way to enjoy this stage of your children's lives?
 

Tolkien & Building Your Own Homely House & Podcast

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“Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.” 

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

As a lover of great literature, Rivendell, in Lord of the Rings, captivated my attention and Sarah's and Joy's attention. Picturing our home as a place that remembers all the great life from eras gone by and that captures its beauty, has been one of our goals, that has given us hours and years of collecting and crafting and nurturing over the years.

 As you read this, I am living in Oxford, via London, with thoughts of helping Sarah with baby Lily  as she begins a new part of her history. I am also supporting Joy in her endeavors to completing her PHD while doing some work in Oxford and being a friend to Joel amidst his comings and goings here. Nathan will be in our world often this year and we will all continue to pass on the life of vision and inspiration within our close bonds.  We all  cherish the same sorts of ideas for building a place that holds a legacy of faith, a marriage that holds fast through all the years and all the seasons, or as a single mama who gives of her love generously to create Life through her own planning and creativity, a holding place for the reality of Christ to be lived through all the moments. We all know this requires planning and a conductor of such a life. It is the theme of my first book in the Lifegiving series, released 2 years ago  with Sarah, The Life Giving Home

 

Building a Home Requires Imagining it as a Place of Resource for Life:

A library that holds all the great books of children's literature and classics and great thinkers, biographies and writers is a must. And now, due to Clay's kindness to move his office to the basement, I have our library as a tea room of sorts. With comfy chairs, a tea set, art and paintings from my background all over the walls, with candle light and music--it is a lovely getaway where I can share heart-to-heart with all in my wake.

A well-stocked kitchen with all sorts of home-made recipes crafted over years of testing, with all the holiday food; food for those who are ill; birthday fare; winter-cold-night soups and breads and all sorts of healthy variety in between.

Fireplaces where stories are told and ideas discussed and children are cuddled.

bedrooms with comfy chairs and piles of books in baskets to encourage reading and quiet times and of course candles galore.

Piano, guitars, drums, flute, dulcimer--all collected over the years--some more used than others, but all for practicing producing music of all sorts.

Games and book baskets and art books and cd's and Pandora and dvd's from all imaginings to instruct, inspire, soothe, comfort and to stoke the imagination.

Clusters of chairs, grouped together to encourage great and close conversations--rockers on the front porch; setees and big chairs on the back deck; gatherings of chairs in 2's all over the house to make a close meeting and discipleship time for all who are there.

And of course a bookshelf in every room, with each child collecting his own library.

A suitable place for traditions celebrated and momentous occasions retold and the Bible read, over and over and over again--to remember Him and stories of faith and heroes and courage and holiness.

This is what I have had in my heart to shape--a home that breathes life and truth and love into all who would enter--

To make sure my home, for my family and friends, is indeed the last homely house and that all that has been excellent and worthwhile over the ages is celebrated in its walls--

because everyone needs a place to belong and a home where welcome is always fresh with all who cross the doorway.

We hope you will enjoy our podcast today. 

How Tolkien Saved Sarah & Podcast & Book Girl Launch

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This week my Sarah launches her solo book, Book Girl. I know many of you will love this book. We made a really fun and funny podcast for you last week--we have so much fun talking together about all aspects of life, past stories and memories and of course books. Be sure to get your copy to be lifted up in spirit at the beginning of this new school year. Fall is a great time to read. 

Sarah tells a story at the beginning of one of her chapters about how Tolkien truly saved her faith through Lord of the Rings. Here is a bit of that chapter so you can take a peak into her book. 

I was seventeen, and it was actually, in the words of so many mystery novels, “a dark and stormy night.” Oh, I felt the drama of it with all my teenage intensity. I was wrestling for the first time with real pain, with the reality of circumstances I hated and could not change. In many ways, the world I knew was coming to pieces around me. After a terrifying two months of anxiety, I had been diagnosed with obsessive- compulsive disorder. I felt that my mind was broken; I could not control the images or thoughts that intruded upon my consciousness. In the same time period, I watched our church experience a painful and bitter split that made me question the whole concept of Christian integrity. And my family decided to move across the country and away from the starlight and mountains we all so deeply loved. I felt a sense of bitter vulnerability as the things I considered immovable—a controllable mind, a beloved home, my lifelong faith—revealed them- selves as frail and faulty. I had the comeuppance we all must face, the smack of my heart against the fallenness of the world as I discovered that what I best loved could be harmed, broken, lost.

My reaction was outrage—a grieved sense of betrayal, com- pounded by the drama and shifting identity of my teenage years. I was hopeless on that stormy night, and my faith felt very frail as I reached for my current book, The Fellowship of the Ring. It was distraction I was after, but ah, it was a challenge I found as I was swept into a story about dark lords; evil powers intent on destruction; and the good elves, the wise wizards, the small but courageous hobbits who give the whole of themselves to fight for beauty and health and kindness. I stumbled across Frodo’s grieved wish that such things “need not have happened in my time” and nearly wept in agreement. But I was also gripped and almost mercilessly challenged by Gandalf’s gentle rebuke that such wishes are not in our gift; rather, “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

The words seemed to be aimed directly at me, confronting my undisciplined bitterness so that I felt myself begin to wonder, What must I do with the time given to me? In that moment, with Gandalf ’s challenge ringing in my imagination, I encountered the reality that a girl who reads is a girl who understands that she has a part to play in the drama of the world. A woman who reads is a woman who knows she must act: in courage, in creativity, in kindness, and often in defiance of the darkness around her. She understands that life itself is a story and that she has the power to shape her corner of the drama. 

Book Girl, Sarah Clarkson

e sure to plan on joining Sarah, Joy and me on Tuesday for a cup of tea and time to chat. I will be trying to put up a facebook live event on my facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/therealsallyclarkson/ 

Be sure to join us for the launch party and be entered to win a really fun prize--12 of Sarah's favorite books. 

 

Yes or No? It's a Question of How You'll Spend Your Time, Mama.

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“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
John 17:4


As September approaches, many are busy preparing for and entering into another school year. It can feel a bit like January 1st--a chance to begin something again, to look over our calendars and planners and decide how we will spend our time in this season. Colorado has beautiful aspen trees whose leaves are a fantastic gold every fall, and I know I will miss their shimmering beauty even as I adore snuggling in to chillier Oxford with my sweet family and especially baby Lily, who will experience her first fall this year.

One thing I think many moms find difficult is the fact that every yes is by definition also a no. A "yes" to time watching somersaults in the backyard is a "no" to a phone call, a glance through a magazine, or a bit of alone time. A "yes" to asking friends over for a time of encouragement is a "no" to the free time you might have spent on yourself, rather than cleaning the bathroom, organizing your notes for the evening, or baking cookies to share. "Yes" to the carpool means "no" to sleeping in; "yes" to playing during bath time means "no" to your favorite television show ... and on and on it goes.


As a mom, what we really need is long-range vision! While the decision to draw your circle of direct influence a little smaller than many around you choose to draw theirs might appear to minimize who you are,  the truth lies elsewhere. Think about a drop of food coloring splashed into a cup of water. The more water, the more diluted the color. And so it is with each one of us. When we spread ourselves thin, leaving no time for snuggles and backrubs, Bible study and reading deeply, family vacations and Saturday afternoons at the park, our influence becomes diluted.
So may I suggest something, mama? Feel free to say lots of "yes"-es to your littles, and lots of "no"-s to others. Limit yourself in this season of mothering young ones, and watch your influence grow where it's most important. Truthfully? Your big kids are going to need a lot of your yes-es and time, too!


I have never heard a woman say, "I wish I would have worked more hours while my children were young" or, "I wish I would have read more magazines and watched fewer somersaults." Rather, the longing is for time long slipped away, somersaults tumbled and blown away like so many autumn leaves.

Book Girl: Shaping Your Life Story, Imagination & Choices & Podcast with Sarah

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   Imagine Sarah's shock that someone who traveled to Prince Edward Island several times a week, 35 weeks a year, not having any idea who "Anne of Green Gables" is.      When I look back on our reading life at home, I   think   the characters of our books actually became almost friends to all of my children. These friends went deep to their heart issues and lead my children to safe places, to learn to make good choices.     Aragorn helped Sarah out of a pool of doubt, Anne led her to dream of becoming a writer, reading the story of Narnia gave her friendships with countless characters who led her to become a   student   at the very place one of her most admire writers took her in his books, C.S.Lewis.

Imagine Sarah's shock that someone who traveled to Prince Edward Island several times a week, 35 weeks a year, not having any idea who "Anne of Green Gables" is. 

When I look back on our reading life at home, I think the characters of our books actually became almost friends to all of my children. These friends went deep to their heart issues and lead my children to safe places, to learn to make good choices. 

Aragorn helped Sarah out of a pool of doubt, Anne led her to dream of becoming a writer, reading the story of Narnia gave her friendships with countless characters who led her to become a student at the very place one of her most admire writers took her in his books, C.S.Lewis.

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Sarah's book, Book Girl, is filled with wonderful, personal stories. I am even one fo the people she writes about. I know you will be inspired by this book. Leave a comment about either why you love Anne, what some of your life time favorite books are, and you will be entered into a giveaway on my site where I will give away 4 copies. 

If you want to know the rest of the story, you will have to buy your own copy of the book and you will be so glad you did. :)

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Becoming A Book Girl: New Podcast with Sarah & Sally

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"There are moments when it seems the clouds of life part and the sun comes peeking through like a warm blanket grace, wrapping around my soul. It feels as if God is tenderly bending down to kiss my cheek to remind me of his affection and grace."

"This sunshine invaded my life when I had my first child, Sarah."

"I was not prepared to be a proper mother. I had never changed a diaper, had only babysat once that I remember, and was totally ill-equipped to know what to do. Not being practical by nature, I awkwardly learned how to meet her basic physical needs. But I mainly dreamed of caring for my little one by attentively investing in her mind and soul. "

"Prior to Sarah's birth, I had lived in Vienna, surrounded by highly intellectual and educated adults from then international community of the United Nations with diplomats, expats, and people from countless nations and every walk of life coming through the international chapel where my husband and I worked. Though I had a college degree, had studied four different languages in the countries where I had lived, and had taken theology classes with my husband, Clay, while he was in seminary, I felt keenly the lack of a broad and well developed education in my own life."

Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

By Sarah Clarkson

And so begins the intro Sarah allowed me to write for her newest book. It has inspired me, challenged me, brought tears of gratefulness to my eyes and made me aware of how much God had affection for me to bring such a gift as her into my life. 

I know you will love the podcast today, and even more, I know you will be challenged and blessed to your toes as you read this book. I pray you are inspired today as you listen to our time together to renew your commitment to take care of your own soul by taking intentional time to invest in it. 

Enjoy!