1. What inspired you to write a book focusing on your personal journey for joy, beauty, and adventure? I decided to write Longing for Paris because I had a lot of questions about dreams and longings. I was hearing a lot of this philosophy of, “follow your dreams, follow your dreams!” but I felt like there was no context to it. This frustrated me, because I thought, “What does that mean?” As far as Paris is concerned, I sort of had this fantasy world built in my mind of Paris in the 20’s and 30’s and Hemingway—and I wanted to be a part of that. Those two things, the questions and the longings, mixed with part of my soul that wants to go travel and see the world and figure my life out, inspired me to write the book and go on a personal journey to cultivate that joy and answer these deep questions of my soul.
2. How did your longing for Paris spark your desire to deepen your spiritual walk with God? Because I had a lot of questions and longings, I was open and willing to hear God and see God, and I think that kind of vulnerability and humility allows God to really heal places in us and speak to our hearts, down deep into our souls. For me, having these questions, this journey allowed me to get very honest and vulnerable with the Lord. As I went on this journey of figuring out the joy and the beauty part, the Lord really met me where I was as He often does when we are vulnerable. That really deepened my spiritual walk, for sure. I was able to get some answers to my questions and not even just getting all the answers, but being able to see truth—that God delights in me personally and that God died for me personally.
3. As a mom, how do you manage to balance certain longings with your daily reality? The biggest thing is that I’ve learned to give my longings, completely, over to the Lord. I say, “God, I trust You with my longings. I trust You with my soul because You made this soul. You made me long. You made me dream. You made me like art and beauty and deep conversation.” Because of that, I can trust Him. That has really helped me. I can go about my days now and instead of dreaming about two lives, I give myself fully to the season that I am in, knowing it’s not forever. Really trusting the Lord has been super helpful for that.
4. What is a media fast?And, how does it aid in building your relationship with God? A media fast is taking a certain period of time away from the voices online like Facebook, Twitter and blog comments. For me, there’s so many voices and so many opinions and everything begins to get a little bit confusing and lines get a little bit blurry. When I walk away for a while, I gain clarity. I just really want to be resolved and grounded in who the Lord is, and who He says that I am. So when I start to feel frustrated or confused, that’s when I know I have to walk away for a while. That certainly aids in building my relationship with God because I want Him to be first. I want to trust Him alone. I don’t want to listen to other voices. I want to listen to His voice because He is true, good and kind.
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5. What does a purposeful life of adventure look like? A purposeful life of adventure means being willing to do things that are out of the ordinary. It doesn’t have to be big and grand. Adventure is not a one size fits all thing. I have a dear friend who is about to go climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I would never want to do that. I have no desire to climb any mountains. That’s not me. But, I love the idea of waking my daughter up at ten o’clock at night and surprising her and taking her to get a milkshake and driving with the windows down, singing at the top of our lungs. Adventure does not have to be some grand ideal. Adventure can be just doing little things, out of the blue, to keep a spark in our lives, to keep joy going.
6. Finally, what's your best advice for new moms? You are not crazy. Give yourself grace. Jesus does. Give yourself lots of grace—on the hard days, on the exhausting days. It’s okay. You’re are going to make it. It’s gonna get better. Give yourself grace.
Sarah Mae is a writer who encourages women to keep on and begin again. She is a wife, mom, homeschool teacher, conference founder, speaker, and piecrust botcher. She makes her home in the beautiful Amish countryside of Pennsylvania, where she often ponders what life would be like if she actually finished all the laundry. You can find her and her books at sarahmae.com. Sarah Mae’s most recent book is Longing for Parispublished by Tyndale Momentum.
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