Recommended Reading: {Desperate}, by Sally Clarkson

pray image Congratulations to Sarah Jordan, winner of The Ministry of Motherhood and $5 Starbucks card!  Sarah wrote that she is a homeschooling mom of 9 children, so I am thrilled that a very busy Mom is receiving these little gifts of encouragement.  Sarah, please message me at with your mailing address.

Though I had a post planned for today, I am going to stick with the theme of Sally Clarkson for one more day.

Why?  Because Sally is writing what I believe to be some of the most encouraging mothering books in the Christian market today.  And I want every Mom I know to spend some time absorbing her encouragement and wisdom.

Having dropped by Barnes and Noble to pick up the Giveaway prize last week, I casually dropped Sally’s book Desperate into my cart as well.  It has been some time since I have read a book specifically addressed to mothers, but the past few weeks have made me feel the need.  I have felt weary and dull lately, certainly not encompassing the passion for parenting that I desire my children to see in me.



I brought Desperate home and flipped through it for a few moments, while the kids were asleep.  And instantly knew it was what my desperate heart was needing.

In the honest fashion I have come to appreciate about Sally Clarkson, the book begins with this phrase:

“I just can’t be a mother today”.

And so begins a raw, but inspiring conversation about the struggles we face as mothers.  As we battle our ideals, comparing them to our sinful reality.  As we struggle with perspective – feeling sunk beneath hopelessness.  As we fight for JOY in our day-to-day, exhausting ministry to our families.  Desperate addresses fatigue and the depression that results.  It speaks of the role that friendship and support plays in our mothering.  It relates the need to draw close to other women, so that Satan does not find us easy targets, due to our loneliness.

desperate book tea

It is truly God’s gift to me that Desperate found its way into my shopping bag last week.  It has begun already, to unveil some of the reasons I have been wrestling with discouragement.  I am tired.  I am lonely.  I am facing the darkness, without honestly confiding in anyone.  And I am just one woman experiencing these emotions.  I have a feeling that many of you are struggling, too.

But, isn’t this what we do?  We put on our Facebook personas, and ride through the days as though they are endlessly sunny, with only charming quotes from our children.

And then we lie in our beds at night, washed over with a loneliness and anxiety.  We are sad.  We are fearful of our inadequacies.  We are needy for support.

We are desperate.

If you need encouragement, or if you could use a Mother’s Day treat for yourself, please order Desperate today.

It will refresh you.  It will motivate you.  And it will encourage you that far from being alone, you are one of many women who simply needs to hear a message of HOPE.

Mother’s Day Giveaway: { The Ministry of Motherhood and a $5 Starbucks Giftcard}

messy hands

 Nancy Leigh De Moss asked the question best:

Have you ever considered that in becoming a mother, you have been called to a ministry?

Have you though about motherhood like that- as a ministry?  Or is ministry something you are waiting to do when the kids are a little older and you can leave the house?

These were questions entrenched in my mind as my youngest was little and I was contemplating a new life of serving, and yes, a life of ministry.  And so it was no accident when I happened upon Sally Clarkson’s The Ministry of Motherhood, while at Barnes and Noble one day.

ministry of motherhood final

I could sense that in reading The Ministry of Motherhood, I was going to be led.  But what I did not expect was to be mentored and inspired, through the gentle grace of the woman behind the pages.  Sally Clarkson has a tremendous gift.  Not only is she an engaging writer, but she is wise and she is kind.  Do I know her personally?  I do not.  But there are writers who convey their sensitivity with every word, and Sally Clarkson is one of them.

In reading The Ministry of Motherhood, it was as if layers of discouragement were lifted from me.  Rather than feeling stuck in the monotony of so many same days, I was inspired, renewed and compelled to embrace this sameness- to recognize it as ministry life. 

Last week, I emailed Sally in the hope that she might respond to 2 questions I wished to ask her.  I was eager to give her book away, but I wanted her two cents’ worth on the passion behind her writing.   So, imagine my delight when she not only responded quickly, but was open to sharing her thoughts on the mission behind The Ministry of Motherhood.

sally clarkson

I asked Sally:

What inspired you to write The Ministry of Motherhood?

I felt that the vision for motherhood had been lost and diminished in our culture and even in our churches. I wanted to write a book that would inspire and equip mothers to have confidence and empowerment to truly love, inspire and build the souls of their children with godliness and faith. I wanted them to have a book that would give them handles on how to approach this great task each day.

What do you hope women will gain through reading your book?

When women have a vision for how powerful an influence they can have on their children, and even on generations to come, by training, loving and discipling them, they will have energy to make each day meaningful in light of eternity.


Are you in need of encouragement?  Do you feel the need to be mentored?

If so, this book is for you.  Sally Clarkson will motivate you.   She will draw you to a deeper walk with God.  She will leave you feeling more directed in your mothering, more purposeful and refreshed.

And she will remind you continually, that ministry to your family is the highest calling.  As she states so honestly:

“I always wanted to be a hero–to sacrifice my life in a big way one time–and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.”


If you are thick in the middle of the ministry years to your family, or if you are a few stages beyond and would like to give this book to a younger friend who needs encouragement, please enter the Giveaway for The Ministry of Motherhood.

Oh, and because books are lonely without drinks, I am also including a $5 Starbucks gift-card with this book.

You may enter the giveaway in one of 2 ways:  1.  Click over to the Facebook page.  “Like” the page and share the link on your FB page.  2.  Comment at the end of this blog post, stating why you would enjoy this book.  3.  Email me at, and state why you would enjoy winning this book.

Sadly, due to high international postage rates, the hard copy of this Giveaway and the enclosed Starbucks gift-card is open to US residents only.  However, if you are Canadian, please enter and if you win, I will send you the Kindle or Nook copy of the book, instead.

I will announce the winner on Monday morning.

Happy Friday, all!

Giveaway Winner & Two Questions for You to Answer



Good Monday morning, all.  I hope your weekends were restful and full of the goodness of family.

The winner {via random number generator} of the Giveaway of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full is:

{Lindsey Sieders}!

Lindsey, congratulations!  Please email me at: with your mailing information, and I will send out your book.  And thank you all for entering.  If you would like your own copy of Gloria’s book, you can find it here. 

{I have already lined up the Giveaway for May- in honor of Mother’s Day- so be sure and check back in the coming weeks for details}.

I am pausing from writing content this morning, in order to check in a little with you.

Thank You

First of all, thank you for being here.  I know that the web is limitless in options, so thank you for making this spot one you return to.  I appreciate not only your presence, but the community you foster through your comments, emails and feedback on the Facebook page.

My Commitment

I have worked hard at writing for the last few years.  Not only learning how to write-to-be-read, but learning how to push through writer’s block and the fatigue that is nearly-constant with mothering.  And I have done this because I believe in you.

I believe in the value of women living for the glory of God, as they minister to their families and invest in their homes.  I see our culture’s lethargic attitude toward what you do, and I want to stand with you.  What you are doing matters more than any  societal endorsement.  And my prayer is that this space would be one small part of encouraging you in running your race.

family photo

My Family

There will be times when you can sense that the site has waning energy.  Those are likely the seasons when my family’s needs are eating up any extra stores of emotion.  From a high-energy toddler to the complexity of a pre-teen, we have it all under one roof .

By God’s grace, writing will continue to form my days.  And with God’s wisdom, I will strive to balance writing with family life.

Questions for You

I have two questions for you, and I would love you to answer either one by commenting below, or by emailing me at

1.  Which single topic do you feel needs addressing most on a women’s blog?

2.  What is one thing you would like to see more of on this blog?

{home ideas, recipes, health and wellness, parenting, time management, etc}

Thank you all.  Enjoy your Monday.  {I plan to grocery shop and clean up my neglected house today :)}.









Giveaway: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full



Photo courtesy of Moline Photography

Today, I am excited to bring you a wonderful giveaway: the fruit of many hours of work, by my friend, Gloria Furman.  Gloria is going to introduce herself to you below, but I wanted to speak a few words about her first.

Interestingly, Gloria is a friend that I have yet to “meet”.  We connected via Facebook a few months back, and since then, have kept in touch remotely. However, I could sense immediately that were we to live closer, we would spend a handful of moments at the park together.

It is Gloria’s integrity that I have come to respect and admire most over the past few months.  Gloria loves the Lord.  She deeply respects God’s teaching.  And she passionately desires to share the joy of knowing and serving God with other women.  It is this desire that is highlighted most in her encouraging new book, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full. 

Please meet Gloria.  A friend I am privileged to know, and one day, hope to “meet”!


gloria family

Who is Gloria Furman?

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, wife to Dave, mother of four young children, and a Tex-Mex enthusiast. When my husband and I moved to the Middle East in 2008 to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai it was just the two of us and our baby girl, and we had no idea what the Lord was going to do. Not a day goes by that we’re not astonished by God’s grace in calling us here, in using us to minister to people from many nations, and in blessing us with three more children along the way. In my spare time I love to write – my books include “Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home” (Crossway, 2013) and “Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms” (Crossway, 2014). I blog occasionally at

What Inspired You to Write Treasuring Christ?

 This book was borne out of a need to understand the storyline behind motherhood. I had always heard that my “hands are full,” but for too long I thought that phrase was a put down or a pointer to meaninglessness. So, I looked to a biblical theology of motherhood as it is laid out in Scripture to discover that God made motherhood for himself. And like everything else, the work I do in mothering is an expression of worship.

gloria book

What do You Hope Moms of Young Children will Gain by Reading Your Book?

My biggest hope and prayer for this little book is that moms would see the sufficiency of Jesus for their motherhood. Busy moms don’t have time for fake hope (I write this with the authority of a woman who has dabbled in countless cisterns of fake hope). When Jesus comforted his disciples saying, “In this world you will have trouble,” he did not end that thought with, “but take heart because you’re better off than so-and-so and her kids.” He said, “take heart I have overcome the world (John 16:33)” Moms need Jesus, and I hope this book points them straight to him.

Wondering about Where Gloria Lives?  A Couple of Facts about Dubai:

  • Dubai is one of seven emirates which compose the United Arab Emirates
  • Dubai is the largest of these emirates, with a population of over 2 million residents
  • Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world, the incredible Burj Khalifa
  • Dubai is officially Muslim, but is known for its atmosphere of tolerance and its progressive attitude toward religions of all kinds

map dubai


Are your hands full?  Do you need encouragement in your race as a Mom?

I have bought a second copy of Gloria’s book to give away to one of you today.

{Canadian and international readers are welcome to enter}.

You may enter the giveaway in one of 2 ways: 1. Comment to this post.   2. Click over to the Facebook page.  “Like” the page and share the link  .  3.  Send an email entry to:, and enter there.

The contest will run through Sunday at midnight.  Winner will be announced Monday morning.  Happy Friday, all!

Friday Home: Lamplights Scripture Print Giveaway

This week, Friday Home is a fun one!

Several months ago, I began to choose Scripture verses for our kitchen chalk-board.  At the time, life was particularly difficult.  One of my closest friends moved out of state.  And then another announced her husband’s job transfer.  And then yet another was moved to a new home in a new state.  And then my husband lost his job {the miracle and grace of his re-hiring is a story for another time}.  The proverbial ball was rolling, though not in the direction of my choosing.

My Bible-reading for those months was primarily the Psalms, and I held on to all those familiar words of hope and beauty from broken.  For weeks, I would pound the pavement as I ran, reciting: I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.  I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.   And He was, and He is.  But in addition to hiding God’s Word in my heart, I needed to see it.  I needed to look around my home and find it impossible to avoid truth- because it was staring down my many-times faltering heart.  Where there was space to proclaim the hope that is in us, I found it.  And from those months of pain and doubt, a desire to surround myself with perfect truth.

It was in the midst of all the life-disrupted, that I found out about my friend Liz’s business, Lamplights.

Lamplights exists to proclaim God’s Word through art, and to make the walls of our homes truth-conveying.  I have followed Liz as she has developed both her blog and her small business, and have watched joyfully as she has developed her passion for creating Scripture graphics for the home.  I appreciate the balance Liz strikes as she designs- a simple, yet classy elegance.  Liz has graciously agreed to give away a $25 gift card to her Etsy store, for one reader of the site.  If you would like a sampling of Liz’s art work, please click here.  And consider purchasing- not only is her work beautiful, with every selection, a portion of the proceeds goes to Wellspring Living, a ministry to rehabilitate girls who have escaped from sex trafficking.

Here is an example of one of Lamplight’s beautiful prints.

This is one of my favorites.

I am reading Ecclesiastes through again right now, so this print resounds strongly!

I love this design.

This would be a great, cheerful reminder for a child’s room.

And the print I chose for my own home, is this one:

If you would like a chance at winning a $25 gift card to Lamplights, so that you can see God’s Word in your home, please leave a comment stating what your favorite Scripture verse is.  Or, if you would prefer not to publicly comment, please email me at: with your favorite Scripture verse, and I will enter your name.  I will leave the giveaway open until midnight Sunday, so weekend -only readers have a fair chance, and will announce the winner on Monday.

Consider placing Scripture throughout your home.  Your faith will be strengthened as your mind is reminded of what is good and true.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Happy Friday, all!