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When You Long for Faraway Adventure {but find it in your own backyard}

Ever long to go to a faraway land? You know–to “find yourself”? You’ve heard tales of those who have. They had a sudden “aha!” moment that snapped their soul to attention and gained them a fresh new perspective on life. And it happened in a place far, far from home.

Meanwhile, you aren’t far from home in an exotic place. You are up to your eyeballs in kids and laundry and your seemingly mundane life. And by comparison, you feel you’re missing out on something so ahhhhh-mazing and instead living a life that is beyond blah. :-(

Wife, mom, and ordinary girl Sarah Mae has been there. I’ve asked her to share with you today a bit of her thoughts on this topic and not only did she agree, but she is also giving away 5 copies of her new book: Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure–Right Where She Is.

Long for adventure and excitement but you're up to your eyeballs in dishes and laundry and life? Check out Longing For Paris book giveaway with Sarah Mae on karenehman.com


GIVEAWAY of 5 copies of Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae on karenehman.com

I have read about women taking off to travel the world in order to discover themselves.

They journey to beautiful places and they meet interesting people, try irresistible food, and gain perspective into their souls. I have often thought about how much I would love to do that. I would love to go somewhere beautiful and release myself to it. I would love to go to Paris. But I have a family and a life that calls me to the normal everyday lifestyle, so I need to figure things out in my soul right where I am.

Some of you might relate. Some of you might feel suffocated and are just about dying to get away or figure out your life or do something that gives breath to your soul. I get it. And so I’m asking, how do I navigate the tensions between my longings and my reality? How do I figure out how to enjoy my life right in the middle of the normalcy of it all?

As I wrestled through these questions I discovered that there were pieces of my soul I had hidden away, parts of me that I had decided years ago to snuff out in order to live right. And those pieces, those parts of me that God wove together, were not content to stay buried. They wanted out; they wanted to breathe and be resurrected from the dead. No, they wouldn’t stay underground.

Thumping on my soul, these longings for beauty and art and adventure wanted to be seen; I couldn’t ignore them. But I didn’t know what to do with them. Were they just selfish things trying to make a comeback into my life, or were they justified in wanting to be acknowledged? I could push the longings away, but it was clear they weren’t going to heed my instruction.

I began to gently peek at them in order to discern if they were real or just something I was going through—a phase that would pass. Nope, not a phase. I asked the Lord about them, and I discovered that there was a yearning in me that wanted something more, something I couldn’t quite place. But on the surface, it looked like a desire to explore more of life. I was desperate to see and experience new things. 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.

On the outside, I wanted Paris. But on the inside, what I was really searching for was a filling to the deepest parts of my soul.

And I wanted to know what to do with Paris and my soul and my every day. This book is the story of me untangling my life and figuring out how to experience and enjoy the good things all around me. It’s me doing something about the fact that a half-dead life is no life at all.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with longings and the desire to understand them and do something with them. I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to live like a zombie. I believe we need each other if we are going to keep on. Life is hard enough; we shouldn’t attempt to survive on our own.

We need each other and to hear each other’s stories to know that there is hope and that our being alive and awake to life matters. It’s what the world needs. So this book is me allowing you to watch my evolution, to come into my unfolding story, on the chance that your soul has some longings and questions and color that wants to come out as well.

Thank you for coming along. It’s so much better doing this together.

GIVEAWAY of 5 copies of Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae on karenehman.comGiveaway!

Sarah is giving away 5 copies of her new book. {Winners announced Monday}

To be entered to win, tell us your thoughts on longing for an exciting adventurous life. Have you ever felt this way?

Or, tell us the details of your blessed ordinary life. Your kids ages. What your daily days look like.

We’re all in this together.

And….as a little bonus. Enjoy this video. Sarah’s book release jogged my memory about a song from the recording artists Out of the Grey. I did a few events with them a few years back, LOVE their music, and their song “So We Never Got to Paris” mirrors Sarah’s book so well.

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  1. This article is 100% relatable to me. Married 3 years, blended family of 4 amazing kids. Two boys age of 8, one girl age of 13 and our amazing little 1 year old Micah. My husband works many hours a day and I am a stay at home mom. My days consist of getting up and tending to kids, breakfast, dishes, laundry, cleaning, lunch, dishes, cleaning, dinner, dishes, kids shower, more cleaning. It’s a cycle. At times I feel like a robot. I sneak in my intimate time with God & prayer, but it gets exhausting just trying to find the time. (By the way the first 5 app has helped immensely) I have dreams of one day recording a Christian album and writing a book & even working with proverbs 31 ministries. I feel like my marriage is also on one steady beat that never changes. No big adventures. Hardly or even no date nights. No ‘finding me’ time. I am in a tall glass of water trying to swim up but my daily responsibilities keep me at the bottom. I love my family and my husband very much. I just wish I had more life inside me to soar high! More time. More motivation. I believe this book will most likely open my eyes to see things that I don’t see. Would love a copy! Karen you are one of the ladies that I definitiy look up to. Thanks for your ‘Keep it Shut’ book! With such a chaotic home life it’s hard for me to…well…keep it shut. You’re amazing. Thank you!!

  2. I think like so many women here as we become mothers we lose our sense of self, finding our way back to that is key to living a life you love and being present with the little people in it. For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be the best mom ever. Now that I am here, it’s a feeling I seldom actually have. I have 3 kids (7,3,&2), who I feel I am failing not only as a mother but as a teacher. How I long to go back to the newborn days to stop the cycle in its tracks, prepare myself and co-create the perfect life. But the truth is, my kids have taught me more about life, love and living in the moment than I have ever learned on my own. That is what I am grateful for and will spend everyday trying my best for them and forgiving myself when I need to.

  3. I was a very active woman at home and church until fall of 2012. I now suffer from several chronic illnesses, with one that came close to taking my life 2 years ago. God showed me that I needed only Him and him alone. I face medical challenges weekly but I am embracing g my new normal and look forward to God using me in unique ways!

  4. My days of having babies home are now long gone. I spend my time with the Lord reading his word and anticipating his GLORIOUS return. I love spending my time in prayer and with friends and of course my wonderful husband whom I love so deeply. I have done some travelling in my life and now I am content with the days that are less rushed.

  5. Life is absolutely what happens when I’m making other plans. Thank you for this reminder and for introducing me to that wonderful song. I do not want to miss my life as I’m always looking to the future. The future may never happen, but I have right now.

  6. I love this. I think that I left pieces of myself behind when I added thevmommy and wifevroles that are vital for me to be fully ‘me’. I am now realizing that, and am incorporating those things back into my life….Much better.

  7. I’ve wondered what it would be like to escape on an exciting adventure … the streets of Paris, a deserted island. But alas, the realities of life and responsibilities hold me back.

  8. I don’t really want to go to a far off place. I’m not looking for anything exotic. I just want to move to Pennsylvania. I feel like that’s where I should be. My husband on the other hand isn’t quite on board. He keeps telling me that I won’t be happy there until I can learn to be happy where I’m at. That’s my biggest struggle right now. I’m working on making my house my home and being happy where I’m at. I don’t expect to instantly move to Pennsylvania once I am and who knows, I might not end up there at all. I just want to be the wife and mother God wants me to be wherever I am and wherever He needs me to be.

  9. I have four kids ranging in age from 4-10 years old, and I work full time. It is the best job because I work at a school and get my summers off, so you could say I am a part time stay at home mom. I did not meet my husband until I was 30. I can clearly remember my 20s when it seemed like all my friends were getting married and having babies, and aching for my “Mr. Right” to come along, rather than enjoying what life was offering me right then. Now my life is so consumed with work, kids’ activities, laundry, cooking, cleaning, church committees, etc. Sometimes I think back on how I felt during my 20s and wonder to myself, this is what I wished for? Really? It’s not how I pictured things at all! But then again I did not picture being single throughout my 20s either. The life I “planned” for myself clearly differs from the one God actually has planned for me. I am praying that I can love every season of my life, no matter what it brings. And that as I let go of my plan and embrace God’s plan for me, I can allow Him to use me right where I am.

  10. My children are grown but am definitely feeling a part of the sandwich generation. Living next door to my in-laws and dealing with their needs and trying to be available as needed for the local grandkids or enjoy visits with the distant ones is a trial. I could use an adventure.

  11. I so relate to the feeling that there has to be something more beyond the parts of my current life. Although maybe “more” isn’t really the right word. I certainly don’t want more of what I already have in my life because there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for sure then. It’s a matter of wanting to find myself and my purpose and start on the path to fulfilling God’s plan for me.

  12. My kids are 8 and 11. As we begin another school year tomorrow, I am excited for the “new” that begins. In about 3-4 weeks, the monotony will kick in, and I will yearn for a place to “get away”, an adventure. I think mothers all long for this whether they work or stay home, breast or bottle feed, have toddlers or teenagers. I look forward to reading this book and hearing Sarah Mae’s perspective!

  13. The theme of this book really hits home with me. I’ve always been a dreamer and adventurer. My grandma wisely told me when I had kids to look for adventures near to me and make the most of those situations. I often think of her advice when I long for faraway places.

  14. Something tells me that this longing to be more…more than a mom and a mimi, more than the woman who lives to work with children with special needs and their families, more than the weary woman who even when I think the day couldn’t get any longer, the phone rings and as I wash dishes and do laundry, I try to share love with those who reach out to me. My life is more than ordinary…through God it is extraordinary! And yet the longing for the time just for me is still there…selfish thoughts or hopes and dreams? The title alone gives me pause to ponder the very moment of now and my place right here…Paris? Would love to feel His call to a different adventure…

  15. I have always wanted to go to all of these amazing places and have these aha moments, but sometimes it is easiest to hear God in our everyday home lives. I want to learn and grow in Him in both types of places, but not limit myself to the “hope I get there someday” mentality where I miss how good life can be here and now at home.

  16. I’ve also always dreamed of going to Paris. I often tell me husband that we just have to go someday. We have 3 littles under the age of 5 so that ‘someday’ is a long long ways away….but I know I’m right where God wants me to be today!

  17. As a woman, I think we all have wanted more out of life. I am very guilty of this, I’ve always wanted the “perfect life” with “perfect” kids. When things didn’t work out the way I thought it should, I blamed the people in my life not myself.

  18. I would give my copy to a dear friend who I went to Paris with over 15 years ago, to remind of a time when she did not have cancer, as she is facing potentially her third cancer surgery.

  19. Bless you Sarah for speaking to my heart and for sharing your ‘journey to Paris’. God gave me my dear husband, however, children of my own were not meant to be. Instead I received ‘children of my heart’, my stepchildren. Didn’t get the big 50th birthday trip to France or the secretly hoped for 20th anniversary trip to Paris. Today in the mail came a care package from my Mom including the latest ‘French Style’ magazine. We’re richly blessed when we wait in the Lord in Christ. So looking forward to reading your new book. God’s best to you!

  20. Yes, longings – longings to escape the ‘humdrum’ of daily schedules. My husband and I were SO fortunate to have been in the UK for 12 weeks (we’ve been back for 4 weeks now). I still long to be back there – away from routine and ‘responsibilities’, and am still adjusting. Yes, family and friends are here, and the ‘shine’ of our overseas adventure would have worn off. I pray for guidance, leading, and contentment, for where God has placed me.

  21. I think we all feel like this, especially when our children are little! This sounds like a great read, am looking forward to it! I sometimes want to go to all the churches in Italy, but I really don’t like flying. But if anyone has a Gulfstream I am in! ; ) xo

  22. My dream job was travelling the world as a personal assistant to some corporate big wig. Now, I’m married and a SAHM to 4 beautiful girls. I love my family and what I do, even on the hard days when I’m ready to throw in the towel.

  23. I agree with the many comments already submitted in this blog post. We all long for something more than what we have. Learning to be content where we are at requires God’s help and our understanding of our purpose here on earth. As a stay at home mom who homeschools and teaches college online, I sometimes feel like my longings to do something extraordinary are in vain. I feel stuck in a rut! My beautiful, high spirited kiddos are 5, 8 and 10 years old and they keep me on my toes. Hoping to someday feel comfortable enough to venture out and truly find my place in this world. Who knows? It might already be in front of me, maybe I am just not fully seeing it.

  24. I am there now… My Soul and Spirit have always longed for Paris France to buy real French Laces and perfumes , but unfortunately, I am also trapped inside of a body that just refuses to cooperate with my desires. You should be informed that I have too many physically painful diseases that do keep me trapped inside this decaying body.

    However, on the days that the pain is only tolerable, I work on my Crafts and Garden. This brings me happiness and joy. I love to create beauty for others to enjoy. Seeing smiling faces are what makes my day. I just wish I could afford to do more of my Crafts but low fixed finances and dominant people in my life pretty much prevent me from my Dreams. But on the too much pain days I browse Pinterest to find things I want to do or be.

  25. I long for Alaska, Swiss alps, Canada, Tenn., anywhere with mountains! I love hiking! But life demands money, attention, commitments, etc…wife and mother of two boys.

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