Tuesday, 12 February 2013

'Desperate' Winners

Thankyou to the four ladies who put their hands up to win a copy of this fabulous book!  I know I said I was only giving away two copies, but I feel prompted to give each one of you lovelies a copy - so Congratulations Jen B (though I told you last night at bible study, lol!), Merri, Amanda P & Dawn!!  I'll contact each of you soon, to determine the best way to get your copy to you.  I hope it blesses you just as much, if not more, than Sarah Mae & Sally's words have (and will continue to) blessed my journey!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

'Desperate' Book Review (& Giveaway)

As a single mother who has herself, gone back to university studies and rarely goes out to catch up with people (let alone meet new people), to say I have know what depression and desperation is like, is an understatement!  (Thank God for the internet and all the lovely ladies I have met online!!!).  So when Sarah Mae gave me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of her latest book Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe, I jumped at the chance - in fact, I literally fell off my chair when I received her email to say that I was one of the lucky ones who would be receiving a copy of the ebook!!!
This is the book I wish was available back when I was in the midst of late night feedings, 24/7 nappies, and the 3am pacing of the halls that made me want to scream and cry myself while almost at the point of wondering why it was that I’d so desperately wanted a child to begin with!!! 

This is the book that, as a mother of an almost-5yr old, I read and find comfort in the reminder that I’m not alone - and that there is one out there who is greater than I who can give me the strength to get through it all when things start to feel all too tough again; and that if I take the time to look, there are others out there who He’s situated in my path, who can give me the advice and support He knows I need right at that moment in time.

This is the book I want to give to every new mother I know, whether brand new to motherhood, or a veteran to the calling who already has children … and maybe even some who’ve been through it all and are enjoying the role of grandmother.

Through the flow of each chapter, the journey between a mother of youngun’s (Sarah Mae) and her mentor (Sally Clarkson) plays out through personal letters which were exchanged, peppered within their words of wisdom, advice and encouragement.  And with each chapter they offer bible studies and journal exercises that help you bring the principles and ideas they’ve discussed into your own life … with a link (URL or QR code) to a video that just totally heightens the experience by bringing Sarah Mae & Sally right there with you, further discussing the ideas in each chapter!!

I love that it is written from ‘both sides of the battle field’ - the mother right there in the thick of parenting three young children; and the mother who’s come out of this stage and is enjoying (and dealing with) the years that follow, her children having grown and become young adults themselves.  The love, respect and affection for each other between these ladies is refreshing, and their mutual love of God shines through each page.  As they say in the introduction, 

Sally and I want to encourage you to keep going even when it feels like you can’t, and we want to help you.  We won’t offer you formulas, but we will offer ideas, perspectives, transparency, and wisdom.  We have some ideas for you in getting help, and we are making a plea for older women to remember the tired years and come alongside young mothers, so that our children and our children’s children will know how to serve and receive help.’ p. xix

Some of my favourite quotes would have to be …

And above all, I need to remember that “good” motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me.  Nothing.  I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days.  His love for me never wavers … and never will.  Because I’m His.’ p.6
‘This kingdom of home is the place of refuge, comfort, and inspiration.  It is a rich world where great souls can be formed, and from which men and women of great conviction and dedication can emerge.  It is the place where the models of marriage, love, and relationship are emulated and passed on to the next generation.  One of the great losses of this century is the lost imagination for what the home can be if shaped by the creative hand of God’s Spirit.’ pp.10-11
… motherhood is a process, a journey.’  p.11
‘None of us are made to deal with life alone.  All of us, even introverts, are made for relationship, to experience God’s grace through our dearest friends around us.’ p. 21
‘Love them.  Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, spend more time rubbing their heads and holding their hands.  Give yourself to them without rush.  Pray with them, and let them twirl your hair in their little fingers.  Look them in the eye when you talk to them.   Give words of affirmation.  Tell them, whether you feel it or not, that you delight in them, that they are a delight (if they don’t feel like a delight, ask God to give you those feelings).  Tell them, “You are beautiful and smart and God loves you.  I’m so glad you’re my child.”  Tell them that they can never lose your love, no matter what.  And mean it.’ p.30

I laughed, I cried … I even wondered where they’d hidden the cameras in my house at times; there was so much I can relate to!  I underlined passages on at least 90% of the pages on my copy, and every time I go back over a chapter (yes, I’ve read it through a few times already!!), I get more out of it than I had done so previously … This will definitely be one of those books I can see myself going back through time and time again over the years!!
‘The amazing truth of it all is that God really wants us to be fulfilled and joyful.  He wants us to find real fulfillment in real people, real work, real accomplishments, and not in things that substitute for life.  As believers, we need to champion each other’s lives and struggles, and love and support one another so that each of us will be given the opportunity to end our journeys well.’ p.99
And because I am so in love with this book, with its message of hope and the importance of community, I want to offer a copy of this book to a couple of my readers.  Whether you’re interested in having a read of it for yourself, or know someone right in the thick of that time of mothering little ones, let me know in the comments section who it is you know who could use a little encouragement in this thing called motherhood - and yes, that can certainly be you!!  I’ll come by again on Tuesday to announce the lucky recipients (and yes, I’m willing to post internationally!).

** This Giveaway is CLOSED now **

Sunday, 3 February 2013

February FNwF

Despite fantastic plans of getting lots done this past Friday, I was only able to get two SKoW blocks prepped for their needle turn appliqué ...
L to R: Tree block & Shoe block
... and a little more done on my Christmas bon bon stitcheries - one finished, one started.
I was really hoping to get onto the quilting for the table runner which has been sandwiched for the last week, but at this stage it looks like this wont be until tomorrow evening, as tomorrow (and through the weekend) needs to be focussed on an assignment.

At least I had some hand-sewing to keep my hands occupied this morning *wink*.

2013 Goals

So, okay, 2013 ... Feb 2013 … how time flies?!!!

I'll spare you a rambling of my year just gone (mainly because its either already been blogged ... or its not worth mentioning), but needless to say, 2012 was *not* one of my best years, in terms of achieving goals or seeing the fulfilment of dreams.

I have learnt that I really need to plan out my days & weeks better ... especially with the little one attending Preschool, 3 days a week, this year; and my desperate need to finally see some movement in the case of my university studies (I will be studying full time this year from March, rather than the part time ... spotty part-time ... the past few years have been).  There are things that have become so darn stagnant, in regards to stuff that really *should* have been done years ago ... and there are some new goals and dreams that I wish to incorporate into the coming year.

I have decided that this year, my focus word will be ...


To love my Lord.  To love my family.  To love myself.  To love those around me ... and to show this through action and deed.

... 100% better than I have over the past year *grin*!

… And I have kept this in mind when determining my goals for the coming year (and yes, I am starting from February!)

Goals for 2013

  • Listen to the entire Bible on audio.
  • Complete at least 4 in-depth bible studies.
  • Spend at least 15 mins each day in communion with God.
  • Read through at least 12 real-hold-in-your-hand Christian non-fiction/living books
  • Listen to 6 entire audiobooks or podcast series.
  • See the scales read 60kgs {This means a loss of approximately 25kgs} by the end of May.
  • Exercise at least 5-6 days per week, whether this is a 30 min walk on the treadmill, or an exercise/workout dvd ... I have begun Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution 90-day extreme weight loss program, which I am loving (!!!), and am just about to start week 3.
  • Drop the diet Pepsi addiction, drinking soft drinks only once or twice a week at most.
  • Focus on forming one new habit a month {I will be sharing my plans for this sometime next week}.
  • Pass all my enrolled units for uni {I am hoping to enrol in 7 or 8}.
  • Go to the Lets Get Stitched retreat in Adelaide in March ... Tickets booked, ready to go!!!
  • Cook three meals from scratch every week, at least one-new-to-us meal.
  • Declutter and reorganise the bedroom, hallway & lounge room ... early in the year {Jan-Mar}
Mothering / Child
  • Continue with gymnastics lessons.
  • Go to either the local waterpark or swimming pool, twice a month during the warmer months.
  • Go on one 'field trip' each month.
  • Finish at least 12 read-aloud books.
  • Be intentional about spending *quality time* with my daughter.
Ministry / Friendships / Extended Family
  • Write at least one handwritten note/letter every month to encourage someone.
  • Write one handwritten letter to family down south every month.
  • Continue helping out with Sunday School at our local church.
  • Catch up with at least one extended family member every month.
  • Write and post at least twice a week.
  • Work on refining my writing style.
Sewing & Craft
  • Complete at least 3 quilts this year.
  • Begin all items on my NewFO plan.
  • Spend at least 15 minutes per day / 3 hours each week doing something creative.
  • Send all swap items on time, being careful to be realistic about whether I can meet the deadline before signing up to participate.
  • Complete and send all overdue swap items by the end of February.
  • Make an effort to tithe at least 5% of my income.
  • Be intentional with my purchases - considering whether I *really* need the item/s
  • Pay off one credit card (and cancel this account when paid off!), and make a noticeable dent in the debt on the other.
  • Sell some of the excess *stuff* I have accumulated on ebay (or somewhere similar).
Lots of goals, but I'm determined to be realistic about them, knowing that life happens ... and that God's plans may look very different from those above - I want to take His lead this year, but I also feel I need to have some idea of where I'm going.

I will endeavour to post a quick update each month to 'check in' on my progress, as I need the accountability this *should* will provide.

Anyone else feel like this past month has just flown by?!!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...