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Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
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Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,153 ratings  ·  164 reviews
For mothers of young children, this book is a lovely offering of hope, truth, freedom, wild grace, friendship, and the knowledge that they are not alone.

Many moms have dreamed of life with children, and yet the reality seems far away from their dreams. Their hearts are committed, but their spirits are sagging. This book is a coffee-talk from one woman who is still "figurin
ebook, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Thomas Nelson
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This is a difficult one to rate. I read this over the course of a few months with a group of moms for bible study. We had new moms, seasoned older moms and grandmothers, and those of us in between. The group was wonderful and encouraging. The book has it's ups and downs.

I appreciated the encouragement and bible verses. The advice to find women who are in the same stage of parenting as you and those who are older and more experienced is great. I think all new moms could use a mom friend to liste
Really good mothering book. The blend of Sarah Mae's honesty with Sally's wise, godly, and time tested wisdom, well, I loved it. I am an idealist and a dreamer and so I connect with Sally's writing so well. She is a beautiful writer and lover of God.
I did enjoy this book and found many things that convicted and encouraged me. However, after a few chapters, I tired a bit of the whiny tone in Sarah Mae's writings and the over-bubbly cheer of Sally's responses. It seemed to focus so much on the 'me' of motherhood and not much on how as Christian mother's we are really called to take up our crosses and follow Him...without focusing on our own needs. He will supply all of our needs, according to His riches in glory...and He will provide just eno ...more
I found many good reminders in this book - that my greatest job in training up my children, that routines are helpful, that the desperate little babies time does end, that I need both to seek someone to mentor as well as to find someone to mentor me.

I do have a few finer points of disagreement though:
1. I disagree with how they handled the issue of struggling with depression. There was a little too much "just trust God, read your Bible, start working hard, and you'll feel better". That works fo

Just can't even put into words how much this spoke to me as a mama of young ones. Like having a conversation with a mentor. A must read. And I will read again.
Carlyn Canady
This is perhaps the hardest review I have ever written. Why? Because this book was so very real to me. From the moment I read the description, I knew I had to read it. Never did it occur to me that I would have such an emotional response to the book.

What is the book about, you ask?

"I just can't be a mother today." That is the name of the Introduction.

How many times have those words been in my heart? How many times have those words sunk deep into my being?

But I am a mother. Of two precious girls
Aug 03, 2013 Loraena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: moms, parents, mothers of young children
I read this whole book in one day. I realized it was due at the library, and I had not even cracked the cover open. I didn't want to return it without having an idea what it was all about, but when I started perusing it, it completely sucked me in and I just didn't want to stop reading! That is definitely a first for me when it comes to parenting books. Usually, I have found them unhelpful, but I trudge through them anyway because I want to have an informed opinion...

This book is a breath of fre
Desperate, Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
By Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson

I really want to like this book; several people I really respect love this book. I like the overall concepts of this book but there are so many little things that keep me from loving it.
Desperate is team written by a young mom and mentor mom and covers a variety of topics including the mission of motherhood, reason why we do what we do, needing others especially a mentor, the sin factor, and gritty stuff like depres
"Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe" by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson addresses the often overwhelming nature of motherhood. Mae is a mother of three young children who is in the trenches and barely on the other side of that common desperate feeling of moms with small children. Clarkson is an experienced mom with four grown children. Mae writes out of her current experience; Clarkson writes from the years of experience she has garnered.

There are 14 chapters, each one addressing a di
Bluerose's  Heart
4.5 stars

As I near the end of my pregnancy, I'm miserable. I'm exhausted, in pain(!!), and ill AS. A. HORNET! My house looks like a tornado swiped through it. My precious little ones rarely get to see "the best of me" these days. As I collapse into bed at night, I'm filled with guilt and frustration because I realize I've did more fussing and complaining at them than I have shown them what a joy they really are to me. When I picked up this book, I was truly desperate! I was so desperate to know
I've given this four stars because it was encouraging, convicting, and I'd read it again on difficult mothering days. (Well -- maybe the next day, since "difficult mothering days" don't usually offer up a lot of spare time for reading.) Some points and counterpoints:

NEGATIVE: A theme throughout the book is the concept of "me time." Maybe a short snippet reminding mothers to be sure they're physically and spiritually strong enough to serve their families is in order, but this was reiterated in al
Mandy J. Hoffman

As a mother of 3 kids birthed within a 4 year window I can relate to moments of desperation. So many books make you feel like you should be Mary Poppins and gloss over the reality of the daily grind. Sally and Sarah Mae address the issues that most of us mothers are too scared to even breath a word about. I remember being caught completely of guard by several things as a young mother in the "desperate days".

Desperate is 14 chapters of back-and-forth between the desperate mom (Sarah Ma
Gretchen Louise
There are times when I begin reading a book and realize that if I could only keep one book on the topic, this would be it. The author isn't just speaking my language—they are speaking God’s truth right into my life. That’s the kind of book Desperate is for me.

Sarah Mae and Sally don’t provide formulas—but they explain why formulas can be a formula for failure and guilt. They encourage idealistic young moms (like I was!) that those ideals are good, but being unrealistic about ideals is unhealthy.
Meghan Shaffer
This book is not perfect and I didn't love all of it, but I did love a lot of it. If you are a Christian mother who has chosen to build her own small army (like myself), I encourage you to read this book! It was very encouraging for my weary heart. I highlighted so much on my kindle version (which I almost literally never do) that I am going to buy a hard copy because I know I will be rereading it at least a few more times in the years to come. And I just like "real" book better than ebooks :)
Annie Montz
I liked a lot of the ideas about motherhood in this book, unfortunately I think it was too focused on mother's who are able to be at home with their kids.
My biggest issue was at the end of the book during the Q&A when someone asked about being a working mom. the authors write "if you work and leave them in the company of others most of the day, they will naturally love and be like those with whom you leave then with." I highly disagree with this statement. As a parent you have the responsib
Michelle Englefield
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Jamison
I read this book at the request/recommendation of a friend who wants me to help her lead a small learning group at church. I might not have sought the title otherwise, since for the most part, I am not breathlessly desperate day-in and day-out. Which is not to say I don't have my moments. But right now I'm in a good place and I'm not grasping. In that way, I read the book more for comprehension than relief.

Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson's book is written in short, digestible chapters that all sta
Michelle Maddox
For me, I loved it! Yeah, sometimes it was "too" perfect and had all the right answers, and I didn't agree with everything 100% of the time, but it has changed my outlook on a lot of things. It touched my heart and made me think deeper about all the little things that sometimes I never gave much thought to. I will be reading more books by these authors.
Christine Hoover
I would recommend this book to any mom. I love that it's a realistic picture of motherhood without pretense, but it also points to grace, hope, and that we must mother by faith. I especially loved the chapter on listening to the voice of God for direction in our families rather than listening to the countless voices that influence our choices.
Alicia Mccain
I may write a more detailed review later, but suffice to say, I loved this book. I could not think of a more perfect book for me at this point in my life as a mom of young kids. Having both the perspective of Sarah Mae (a fellow mom in the trenches) and Sally Clarkson (a seasoned mom with the perspective that time gives) made this book so helpful. It was like a breath of fresh air as I read it. I compare to this to a similar book which many moms of littles seem to enjoy Loving the Little Years: ...more
Ashley Wells
This book came at a time when I literally felt desperate and wondered if I was going to make it to the end. Thankfully, Desperate was like a friend wrapping her arms around my neck tenderly, whispering in my ear that I can get through.
I went through this book with my mentor, and that was the way to do it. It gave us some good talking points, and it did do what it claimed and gave me a bit of hope.
Catherine Gillespie
To be honest, I was a little wary of reading Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. I was afraid I’d find one of those legalistic books about how to be a perfect wife and mother.

Happily, I found that the book took a realistic and balanced view of motherhood–rather than exhorting moms to tough it out, the authors of Desperate offer hopeful advice for not losing yourself in your kids, accepting help, and finding joy in your family no matter what your work/life situation may be.

{Read my
Several things bothered me about this book. It uses discipline and spanking as synonyms. in the section about depression it implies that with the right faith and lifestyle you can avoid depression. that is a dangerous message for women suffering from clinical depression. She goes do far as to suggest that buying a scarf or hiring a cleaner might help. So clearly not suggestions for the poor mother, and trivilized depression. the mentor / mentee setup came off as trite. as a mom who needs to take ...more
I've long been a fan of Sarah Mae, Sally Clarkson, and their respective books. So when I heard they were collaborating on a book for moms I was instantly excited. It doesn't disappoint either! It's an amazing read. Not because it blows your mind with magical formulas for managing motherhood and becoming a "Super Mom." Instead, it's amazingness comes from the simple wisdom found within it's pages. It reassures those in the chaotic stages of young motherhood that they are not alone, that a mentor ...more
This book was such an excellent book and just what I needed to read right now! The book is authored by Sarah Mae, a blogger and speaker with young children, and Sally Clarkson, speaker, author, co-founder of Whole Heart Ministries which is focused on developing strong families. This combination is excellent as both women have wonderful insights born of their separate experiences. Sarah Mae is still in the throes with young children, while Sally's children are almost grown which makes for an amaz ...more

This is a really good tool for all mother's to have. I can't even say how glad I am that I not only got the opportunity to review it, but read it. It is sunshine for the mother's soul. To know that you are not alone in the way you can feel. Let's face it, motherhood is not exactly what any of us pictured. Don't get me wrong motherhood is wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for the world. My children are my everything, and I love being their mommy. They are my little blessings and I count myself grate
Ginny B
Where was this book when I had 3 little ones age 5 and under?!?! This book would have saved me so much heartache and would have dramatically affected my parenting. In all honesty, this will now be included in my gift at every baby shower in the future!

You may think that despite the fact I have "been there and done that" I still struggle with the need to breathe while parenting my princess (age 4) and 2 teens (13 and 15). There isn't a magic formula that makes you that parent that seems to always
I think there are times when parenting books serve a good purpose. Many times I find them helpful just because it makes me feel like I am not the only going through the good and the bad of parenting young children. This is a good book for mothers that want some Christian support and some ideas if they feel at the end of their rope. There were chapters that I thought better than others. But the hard part of these books is no matter how many authors you have or experience, there are infinitely dif ...more
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  • The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity
  • Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood
  • Hope For The Weary Mom
  • Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls
  • A Mother's Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother
  • Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom
  • Grace Based Parenting: Set Your Family Free
  • Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load
  • Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus
  • Everyday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children
  • Instructing a Child's Heart
  • Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms
  • Don't Make Me Count to Three
  • Treasuring God in Our Traditions
  • Christ in the Chaos
  • What a Difference a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son's Life
  • Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character …in You and Your Kids!
  • Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby's First Year
Sarah Mae (, listed as one of The Christian Broadcasting Networks Six Women Leaders to Follow on Twitter, is an influential Christian blogger, conference host, and author of the bestselling eBook 31 Days to Clean.

Because of her drive to inspire women to hold fast to biblical ideals, Sarah Mae has established herself as a social media expert by cultivating blogs and websites that have
More about Sarah Mae...
31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way The UnWired Mom Frumps to Pumps How to Market and Sell Your eBook - Everything You Need to Know to Make Money with ePublishing Core Lies – Discovering and Dealing With the Lies We Don’t Even Know We Believe

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“One of the marks of a godly woman is that she takes responsibility for her soul's need for joy and delight. A woman is a conductor, who leads the orchestra of her surroundings in the songs and music of her life. God is a God of creativity and dimension, and so He is pleased when we we co-create beauty in our own realm, through the power of His Spirit.

It was a profound realization when I understood that I could become an artist with my very life.”
“My kids don’t need to see a supermama. They need to see a mama who needs a Super God.” 2 likes
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