I just started reading Sarah Mae’s newest book Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure-Right Where She Is.
I pre-ordered it as soon as I could. I love Sarah Mae’s writing. She is co-auther of the book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. I highly recommend it to any mother.
Anyway, when you read anything by her, you feel like she is sitting across the table from you sipping on some coffee. I always think to myself, “Did she write this about ME?” God uses her to speak directly to my heart in such an amazing way. I had packed this book away because I have a stack of books that I have been wanting to read. I kept feeling God tugging at me to pull out Longing for Paris. I was getting ready for a doctor’s appointment, and I decided to put it into my purse. I have been feeling stuck; like I am barely keeping my head above water. I feel like I am drowning in the slowest and most painful way possible.
All I got through was the forward, and I was already on the verge of tears. “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.”
Shew.. That is it. That is my heart put into words on paper. I LOVE my life. I love my family. I couldn’t imagine life without them. I don’t want my life without them. But, I want adventure. I have these desires in my heart to see the beautiful world around me. I want to get unstuck. I want to feel alive again. My soul is in such a difficult place. When I became a mother, I feel like I sort of lost myself. Ashley become “mom” and “wife” only. Where did ASHLEY go?
“I want to know how to live between this tension of following my dreams and living a Jesus-following, cross-centered life. I want to know how to not shut out my longings, while at the same time giving myself to the daily work of raising my children well and not being so divided that I neglect them. I want to know, does the Lord approve of my dreams? And really, what are dreams? What are my longings, and why are they there? Can I be a good mom, and intentional mom, and also allow my longings to come to life? And can I truly enjoy my life right where I am?”
Please do not misinterpret what I am trying to say! I LOVE my children. They are such a huge gift from God. I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I am still in here somewhere, and I have neglected allowing myself to grow and nurture my own soul. I cannot pour into my children if I am completely empty.
This is going to be a long process; a life-long process. We constantly have to discover who we are in Jesus. If I don’t figure out who I am, and allow these desires to come alive, I will be neglecting who God created me to be. I will not be using my gifts the way that God wants because I have neglected them for too long. I want to be used to my full potential.
What are you longing for in life?