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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Longing for Paris

For anyone who has ever daydreamed of another life . . . Most days, you wouldn't trade what you have for the world. You love your husband and your kids, and you are grateful to God for your life. But there are days when you feel as though life is rolling over you in waves and you are just going through the motions. You find yourself aching for something more, something that is calling to depths of who you are, maybe for something you can't even name. 

For Sarah Mae, it was Paris, a place that is known for breathtaking beauty, inspiring art, and exquisite food. But as she searched her heart, she found there was more to her longings than she anticipated. Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae

We all have longings for something else. "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" type longings. Sarah Mae shows us her search for joy, beauty, and adventure - right where she is. 

Page xx "I wanted to get out of the dailiness of life and into an adventure. I wanted to travel and see and touch and do, but my life didn't afford me that luxury. I couldn't just up and leave my family in order to figure out what was going on in my soul."  

I so could have written that. This speaks to my heart. Probably yours as well.

Page xxvi "Life is like that, a mix of fun and hard, beautiful and ugly, painful and life giving. This book - the stories in it, the teaching- is all a mix, because I am a mix of this life, as are you."

Mae gets real, down and dirty, and shares about her marriage struggles, about an abortion as a teenager, and how she climbed out of that pit of despair. Because no one's life is perfect and life really is beautiful and ugly all at the same time.

This book encourages us to use our talents. To become who God made us to be. Page 84, "I often wonder if the distractions in today's culture hamper kids from releasing untapped talent. Instead of being bored and going out to discover their talents, they are glued to TV and video games and the internet. It takes an immense amount of time to create a masterpiece." This also speaks to me, not just for my kids but myself as well. Necessity is the mother of all invention. A child may not find out that they are a great artist if they don't "get bored enough" to first pick up that paintbrush. A mother may not find out that she is a wonderful quilter or writer or pianist if she is always "too busy" to perfect her hobby. 

So when it comes to mothering, it's important for us to help our children, to guide them to their talents. For every single person has a hidden talent. And we should let our children be the guide. Page 131 "This is what children do: They bring laughter to our world. They are curious and observant and innocent in their understanding of so many things. They make us remember, for a moment, what it is like to see the world with fresh eyes and unscathed hearts.
   They don't have scars yet. Life is truly wondrous to them."

While Mae makes the point throughout the book that she does long for Paris...the culture, the people, the beauty...she also knows that what she truly longs for is HOME - Heaven. She mentions a dream that she had about running. 
Page 186: "I ran, and I thought about Heaven, and I thought about the wind in my face.
No tired legs.
No twisted ankles.
No gasping for breath. 
No side aches.
I just ran.
My new body fit inside of me perfectly.
My spirit was not held back.
It was glorious.
I felt absolutely light and free, and I knew I would one day experience what was in my dream.
My longings are the reminder that there is more-another world, another place where I am meant to be."

Why did that make my heart skip a beat? Because I have that dream. That running dream, quite often since Jacob was sick. The running, the feeling of flying, the sense of freedom. I always, always, always wake up from those dreams with a wonderful peace. And I didn't realize, until reading those words of Mae, that someday I will run with that freedom, that lightness. And that my sweet Jacob already is. He is running without getting tired, flying across the ground with his strong legs and his happy spirit. He is HOME.

So while this book touched me on so many levels there was one thing bothering me, nagging at me through the whole book that I couldn't figure out, until page 137 when Mae writes "As I mentioned earlier, French women are known for accepting who they are, embracing it, and working to grow into it. They don't strive to be like someone else; they want to be fully themselves." Mae seems to put France, and it's people, on a pedestal. Though she's never been there. I am curious to see what she thinks of the culture after she gets there someday. Because I have a feeling she will find that they are just human as well...and not as perfect as she seems to think they are in her mind. That is the one fault I have with the book, that sense of Paris perfection didn't sit well with me and became quite annoying.

This book was sent to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.     

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