Having a Martha Home the Mary Way {Book Review}

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way
by Sarah Mae

About the book:
Get your home and your heart in order in just 31 days! 
Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself—yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts. 
Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart—and your home—at the same time? 
Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.
This book, oh how I loved it. Normally I jump right into the review.  But this gorgeous cover deserves some love.  The cover drew me right in. If there is one thing I can appreciate, it's a well designed cover. It has pretty watercolor flowers surrounding a beautiful hand-brushed script font. Such a perfect way to begin this book!

One of the first things that set this book apart for me was Sarah Mae’s confession that she isn’t naturally great at cleaning! Hallelujah, me either! That instantly made me feel connected to her. And since she doesn’t like cleaning herself, she isn’t looking down on the reader. She just wants to come alongside you. This book is full of humor, grace and encouragement. And let's not forget honesty. Sara is honest about her own struggles and constantly offers room for mistakes, learning and differences in personality and style.
This book is written a little like a month devotional, it has a quick read section for each day of the month; a few pages of inspiration, a Mary Challenge, a journal-style page of devotions and questions, followed by a Martha challenge, with practical cleaning tasks and tips.

This book is filled with inspiration, personal insight, practical suggestions, daily activities, Bible verses for inspiration and questions to ponder, along with so much more. You can take each day as it comes, read the whole thing at once, address the Martha-housekeeping tasks, or focus on the Mary Bible-study. It’s truly versatile, fantastic and flexible. Homemaking shouldn’t be this daunting thing and it doesn’t have to be, but we also need to keep our priorities and faith in order.

The most important takeaway from this book that I hope to apply to my life is it's not about judgement.  It's not about do this, and do that. And if you don't, your a failure. It's just a gentle approach to housekeeping. It's about just doing the best you can. And when you've done your best, leave the rest up to God. It’s about creating a home that is filled with that grace, so that you can pour it out on those who walk through your door.  I hope to remember that, and cut myself some slack.  I hope to create an environment in my home that overflows with grace and love.  

Thank you to Tyndale Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Sarah Mae, listed as one of Christian Broadcasting Network's "Six Women Leaders to Follow on Twitter," is an influential Christian blogger, conference cohost, and coauthor with Sally Clarkson of the bestselling book, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.

Because of her drive to inspire women to hold fast to Jesus and to live by faith, Sarah Mae has cultivated blogs and websites that have encouraged thousands of women all over the world. She is the author of several bestselling e-books, a contributing writer to DaySpring's (in)courage, and the founder and cohost of Allume, a national Christian women's blogging conference that has sold out each year.

Those are her street creds.

In her everyday life, she is a wife who passionately supports her husband, even on the days when he drives her crazy (and, don't you know, she drives him crazy sometimes, too), a mom to three of her favorite people whom she homeschools, and a piecrust botcher. Oh yes, she bakes, but it's never pretty.

She makes her home in the beautiful Amish countryside of Pennsylvania where she often ponders what life would be like if she actually finished all the laundry.

You can find her at sarahmae.com.