For eight years, Lance and I have casually discussed taking a trip to Europe. We’ve dreamed of croissants in France and coffee on the sidewalks of Italy. I can nearly smell the rainy fog of London and feel the biting chill in the air as we make our way in and out of tiny book shops, finding rare books and pretending we are expats on holiday.
It may very well happen. One day. One day when our children are old enough to be without both of us and things stop going wrong in our quirky Blue House long enough for us to build a little trip fund– we might just make it.
I have always been a pretender. As a middle schooler I bought Celine Dion’s French album and danced around my bedroom to On ne change pas, pretending I knew that the words meant. I like to dream that we will one day look back over years of marriage with a few more laugh lines and a few more stamps in our passports. But until then, there are pieces of countries I’ve never visited swimming around in my head. And until I read this book, all those pieces seemed just a little bit silly.
Sarah Mae and her lovely book, Longing for Paris gave me permission to dream about the silly, the maybe-it-will-never-happen, the over the top wonderful and to enjoy the dreaming almost as much as the reality of those things. She showed me that dreaming is not a last resort. It’s not just the thing we do when the reality is rough. Sarah Mae gently opens the door for our longings, helps us find the true source of them, and then allows the truth of scripture to weave with loving creativity to ENJOY THE NOW.
To not discount the desires of one’s heart but to allow them to point to Christ– and to still find ways to bring our dreams into today? That is a gift.
One thing I held in my hands after reading Longing for Paris was the remembrance that not having instant gratification is an insurmountable gift. NOT having all that we would choose immediately when we would choose it brings us so much more than gratefulness. Delayed answers, difficult seasons, and dreams of one day are all the building blocks of our true selves. Both our longing for tomorrow and our loving the today speak volumes about who we are as created ones. Both the beautiful life we have been given in Christ and the knowledge that tomorrow, the REAL tomorrow– when we are no longer longing for ANYTHING– and we find ourselves FINALLY HOME— preach to our souls about that which we are made for. Our longings for beauty, completeness, love, and community are all homesickness. The kind of Homesickness that makes you love your future home all the more.
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I read this book alongside Julia Child’s My Life in France and they were a perfect Frenchy, bookish, couple. If you enjoy dreaming, if you love the “maybe one day…” conversations, if you sit in Starbucks with a croissant and a latte and wish you were 2,000 miles away– If you find yourself wanting a vacation from the every day and also wanting to find yourself freshly LOVING the everyday– I highly recommend Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae. It’s a good one.
*I received a complimentary copy of Longing for Paris from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest opinion. If you’ve visited before, you know that you always find honesty here.
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