I’m genuinely thrilled to share this brief book review with you today. My wife and I are big fans of Sally and Sarah Clarkson, and they are also very dear friends who mean so much to us. We love the Clarksons. Sarah was our first Clarkson friend, a kindred spirit in so many things. Clay has been a wise and generous friend on several fronts, and even helped us get Story Warren off the ground. Joel performed The Green Ember audiobook with great success. And Sally. Sally! She has been a voice of wisdom for us at many crucial times, giving sage advice and helping us adjust our thinking. I’m grateful for her and deeply pleased at the impact she has (and is having) on my beautiful wife. I love that Sally can raise Gina’s aim, without waylaying her heart. So many “experts” deal in guilt and specialize in multiplying burdens. Sally has been for Gina, and for us, a sane and serene alternative. I commend her work, and this book, to you without reservation.
–S. D. “Sam” Smith
I’ll be truthful from the get-go here and say that it’s been a long time since I’ve read a “self-help”/mothering/wifing/
This book begins with some wonderful perspective on establishing vision and focus for a home that is both rhythmic and life-giving. Whether there are children present, whether a person is married or single, a home owner or a dorm-dweller, there are avenues of inspiration for all. While it is brimming with ideas for bringing beauty, light, comfort, and rest to a home, both Sarah’s and Sally’s writings were refreshingly honest in acknowledging that things were not always consistent or easy along the way. A weary mama won’t come away feeling like she’ll never live up to a standard. All the lovely sentiments and memories shared will instead give her a hopeful, realistic vision of what a life-giving home might look like. And she’ll sense the relief that comes when she accepts that all these things look different for everyone. Incorporating beauty and being intentional about life-giving practices are seen as both valuable and vital, but they are also unique to each family and every home. (I wrote more about the Adding beauty aspects here.)
It continues, broken down month by month, so that the readers are given practical ideas and resources for creating a home that feels safe, beautiful, restful, and nourishing. The accompanying website is sure to be an invaluable source of inspiration and practical tools. All of this is presented graciously, with absolutely no pressure to “do it all.” It’s a banquet table that we can admire. There’s a menu that can be emulated in part, and for a season. We’re permitted to graze the greenest pastures, to enjoy the lovely meal, and to save the leftovers for another time.
I hope every gal I know will get her hands on this book and enjoy the bounty within.