stack of books on the dark wood background. toning. selective focus on the middle book

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS.

February 1, 2016 , In: Confessions of a Closet Book Nerd , With: No Comments
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So many good books!! I can’t wait to share my latest reading list with you! 

Come and Eat by Bri McKoy

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In a world that is so caught up in virtual relationships, and tiny squares of perfection, this book is a breath of fresh air. It brings you back to the simplicity of what sharing a meal around the table truly means. Whether it be close friends, homeless strangers or new neighbors, the invitation to “come and eat,” is one we can all use more of. 

Bri McKoy offers recipes, tips and conversational suggestions to help grow your community right around your own dining room table. It’s a wonderful resource and an encouragement all of us can use to put down our phones and look face-to-face with someone new across our table. 

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

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Of Mess and Moxie is an anthem for every woman who is sick and tired of living in the fear of failure. It’s a book that gives us permission to mess up, to be sad, and then the encouragement to get our big girl panties back on and live another day. Every woman has great moxie build right into our DNA, and Jen Hatmaker, in her usual loving hilarity, encourages each woman to find theirs, in the midst of their mess. Through personal stories, she reminds every woman that they’re not alone in their mess, but totally normal. This is a must read for every woman!

A Fierce Love by Shauna Shanks

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Wow. This book. Just wow. In a world where people are throwing in the towel due to “irreconcilable differences,” Shauna proves that marriage is worth fighting for. 

After she finds out her husband had an affair and wants a divorce, she realized she had two choices: give into her husbands demands for a divorce, or follow God’s laid out description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and try to save her marriage. Even though she realized God’s definition of love was insane, she lived it out and fiercely followed after God, and found herself falling in love with her husband and her Lord all over again. 

This is not a sugar-coated, “and they all lived happily ever after,” fairy tale story, but one of gut wrenching pain, hardship and hard work at a marriage that most people would call dunzo. Read it. It’s worth every word. 

Start Where You Are Week-at-a-glance Diary by Meera Lee Patel

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I am loving Meera Lee Patel these days…as seen by my choice of this diary/planner, and the notecards below. Her products are so colorful, so uplifting and just wonderful quality. I usually go for dated planners, so the fact that this one isn’t dated and I have to fill those in isn’t my favorite, but it gives it flexibility. There’s lots of space for each day, and before each month there’s a place for important dates and goals. Which I LOVE, cause I’m all about monthly goals! 

So all in all, this is a great planner for anyone looking for one! 

Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel

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I am a huge fan of old school correspondence, so I love cute, colorful cards and notes. Meera Lee Patel’s note card pack does not disappoint! With 12 different designs and inspirational phrases, her note cards are perfect for different occasions, or simply saying hi. To me, there’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten note or letter. In today’s world of instant technology, going old school just feels like it means so much more. 

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene H. Peterson

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This book is amazing. It is basically a journey through the scriptures through the teachings of Eugene H. Peterson. As a pastor, he saw a disconnect in what he was preaching from the pulpit and how he was living out what he read in Scripture. So he set out to figure out a better way to live out the teachings of the Bible, and now all of that can be discovered in this book! 

It’s an amazing journey into a deeper more truer life of living out the Word of God, and one you will not regret tackling!

Swipe Right by Levi Lusko_240_360_Book.2282.cover

In a world where sex is watered down into one night stands and not even knowing the other person’s name, Levi Lusko’s book could not be more perfect. Reminding us that the “old school” view of sex might in actuality be better than today’s sex-crazed culture, he keeps it real with personal stories, and compassion for mistakes made by readers. Today’s culture needs this book, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Cultivate by Lara Casey

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I don’t know if you’ve heard of Lara Casey, but if you haven’t, you should look her up on every different medium possible! She founded Southern Weddings magazine, wrote the book, Make it Happen, and created multiple goal and planning tools for women to achieve a more successful life. 

And if you do know of her, you won’t be surprised to hear this latest book does not disappoint! Lara uses her love for gardening to show how, when we’re willing to get dirty in the rich soil of possibility, we can better embrace an imperfect, grace-filled life of joy. 

This book includes actionable prompts, a ten week discussion guide, and “Grace from the Garden” vignettes that will provide readers with encouragement and inspiration. It’s an amazing book, and one that will leave you changed for the better after reading it. 

The Weekly Prayer Project

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If you’re looking for a book to help you take your prayer life to a new level, this book is the one for you! It’s simple, biblical and very pretty! Separated into 7 different biblical prayer topics: Requests, Gratitude, Lament, Intercession, Faith, Repentance and Awe, there’s a prayer topic for any prayer we could hope to pray. I love that it’s based around biblical prayers, and gives a little direction before giving you space to journal out your own prayers.

With 52 entries, one for each week of the year, this book will greatly help grow your prayer life over the course of a year!

Devotions for a Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

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I love this book! My husband and I have read Sacred Marriage together, so this one was great for day to day time together. This book will help you to see further how God is able to teach you about Himself through your marriage. As they say, “marriage is not meant to make you happy, but to make you holy.” Well I think with this book, you can have both! Through the 52 different devotions, you can create a healthier, stronger, godlier and more loving marriage one week at a time! 

The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell

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Do you know your neighbors? Do you know them? Do you wish you did? So many of us wish we had neighborhoods like ones we grew up in, where neighbors were friends, and kids rode bikes and played cops & robbers together. That’s exactly what author Kristin Schell wanted, so she did something really simple: she put a picnic table out in her front lawn and painted it turquoise. She then invited friends, neighbors and strangers to come sit with her, talk and enjoy the day. 

It transformed her neighborhood, and because of her example, lots of other people have been putting their own turquoise tables up in their neighborhoods. 

If you have a desire to get to know your neighbors deeper than the, “how are you?” “good” type conversations, this book is for you. It’s fabulous!

Giving it all away…and getting it all back again by David Green

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Hobby Lobby. I could spend ALL my money there if I was a millionaire. I love that it’s a store that so many people have come to love, and one that has an amazing story and an amazing man behind it. 

David Green shares his story of how Hobby Lobby began in his garage, and through all the difficulties, one thing remained: generosity. Green believes that leaving a legacy that has integrity, truth and faith is one worth leaving, and he has definitely done exactly that. 

This book will encourage even the most stingy person to see generosity as a way of life, and on that is a risk worth taking. Because when you see your belongings not as something to be hoarded, but given away, what you gain in return is worth all the money in the bank. 

The Mediterranean Love Plan by Stephen & Misty Arterburn

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I love a good marriage book. I’m always looking for ways to savor and spice up my marriage. And this book is definitely that! 

As a mom of littles, it’s easy to only have your exhausted, annoyed, don’t-touch-me side left for your husband at the end of each day. Mothering is amazing work, but it’s also tiring and hard and emotional and a whole slew of other things. So what gets pushed to the back burner? Our marriages. And one day, our children will move out and too many of us will have to get to know our spouses all over again. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever stop knowing my husband. I want to always know him, to always love him, to always support him, to always desire him. And that may sound unrealistic, but with energy, effort and love, (and JESUS!) it is possible! And this book will definitely help too!

In their insightful, new book, Stephen and Misty Arterburn present 7 secrets to lifelong passion in marriage. The secrets of Attunement, Playfulness, Savoring food, Enjoying beauty, Creativity, Health and longevity and Blending the sacred and the sexual. 

If you’re willing to put in the work to implement these 7 secrets, this book will help transform your marriage in the best way. Buy it! Read it!

The Lucky Few by Heather Avis

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This book was amazing. Simply amazing. 

How many times do your plans get thrown out the window because life goes unexpectedly? When Heather and Josh Avis decided to start growing their family, their plans did not include adoption or Down Syndrome. But very quickly they figured out that God’s plans, as unexpected as they may be, were better than their wildest dreams. 

In this vivid and honest telling of their life, Heather and Josh share their story of how when life gives you lemons, the sweetest lemonade can be created. It’s inspiring, emotional and empowering, and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I highly enjoyed it, and I’m sure anyone who picks it up, will as well!

If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock

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If I’m Found is the exhilarating follow-up to If I Run, the first book in Terri Blackstock’s newest series. If you loved If I Run, you’ll be overjoyed to know the sequel is no less exciting! 

Casey Cox is still on the run, being hunted by Dylan Roberts, but now he’s insisting he knows the truth and wants to help her. Should she trust him or protect herself at all costs? Even more questions erupt when she meets a child and man who are both also wrongly accused. Now she faces the decision of helping them or saving herself. 

Trust me, pick up this book, because you won’t be able to put it down!!

Only Love Today by Rachel Macy Stafford

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Have you heard of Hands Free Mama? It’s an awesome book, and an awesome concept. Well, from Rachel Macy Stafford, the woman who wrote Hands Free Mama, comes this new and awesome book, Only Love Today. Each entry is short, sweet and a great way to begin your day. If you’re like me and love the idea of reading a little devotion every morning, but get caught up in the “perfection” of missing a day and getting all messed up by the dates, this is the book for you! It’s non-dated lay out is perfect for someone who wants to be able to pick it up when they can but not feel the pressure to make sure it happens every day. 

This book is also set up by seasons, and provides unique encouragement and insights for each season of the year and season of life. 

The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd

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Do you love coffee dates with a close girlfriend? Where you have time to get a hot drink, (still drink it while it’s HOT!) put your feet up and just chat? Well, this book is exactly that. It’s full of essays about identity, adoption, body image, miscarriage, friendship, faith, infertility and more. (List taken from the back of the book.) 

If you need to read a book that feels like a breath of fresh air, and having a conversation with your best friend, this is it. If you want a book about motherhood that doesn’t feel like advice being thrown at you, but a friend sharing her heart, this is it. If you feel alone in your journey through motherhood, the good, the bad and the extremely messy, this is it. Trust me, you’ll love it as much as I did!

Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

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If you have ever thought that fame and popularity were the be all end all of life, you need to read Erin Loechner’s book, Chasing Slow. She was dubbed “the nicest girl online” and had a following of over a million people. But one day Erin decided to turn away from the fame and the frenzy. Along the way, she and her family faced multiple trials, including her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, among other things. But it was along this new journey that Erin realized true grace and surrender were found off the beaten path, and that was just where she wanted to be. 

This is a must read!

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

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How many of us believe the lie that we will BE enough when we HAVE enough? Or we will be enough when we DO DO DO more? We put so much pressure on ourselves to do more, be perfect, and never mess up. But that’s not the answer to life. We work hard FOR God, but forget that all He really wants is for us to be WITH him. All this striving leaves us thirsty for more, without anything that will quench that thirst. 

Jennie Allen’s latest book helps remind us of what God wants from us: to be with us. He created us to be who we are, and loves us just as we are. We don’t need to prove ourselves in order to gain or deserve God’s love. God just wants us to know him, love him and be with Him. 

If you need that reminder today, pick up this book! It won’t disappoint!

What Falls From the Sky by Esther Emery

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Can you imagine life without the internet for an entire year? 365 days. No internet. At. All. 

I can’t! And maybe that’s why I needed this book so badly! Esther Emery takes you on her year long journey of life without the internet, where she travels back to a more simple life. Along the way she figures out things about herself, her faith, and her life that change her life for the better. 

Reading this book will encourage you to also take a journey of looking up from the screen and enter into a more present life with those around you. I definitely need to take a page out of Esther’s book and let go of some of the addictive behaviors I have when it comes to social media, so this book was life changing and one I want to share with everyone!

Strengths Based Marriage by Jimmy Evans and Allan Kelsey

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This book is a MUST read for marriages! The organization I work for is big on helping their employees figure out their strengths and allowing them to work in an area that focuses on their giftings and strengths. I’ve gone through Strengths Finder a couple times, and have really enjoyed learning about myself and how I can use the unique way God gifted me. 

When I got married, I knew my husband and I were different from one another, but I never realized we were COMPLETE opposites until we went through Strengths Finder and some other personality tests. So when I saw this book, I jumped on it! Learning about each other and how to appreciate our strengths instead of become annoyed at how we’re different has helped our marriage in enormous ways. We communicate better, love each other better and appreciate each other so much more. 

If you’re married to someone who is opposite of you (or even if he or she is very similar to you!) this is a book that will do WONDERS to your marriage! I highly encourage everyone to read it, and even think it should be used in pre-marriage counseling to start off a marriage on the right foot! 

Love Unending by Becky Thompson

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As pretty much every married mom will tell you, your marriage definitely changes once you have a baby. Not in a bad way, because having a child will make your marriage so much deeper and sweeter than it was before, but there are difficult times that come along with becoming a family too. It can be easy to put your marriage on the back burner and ignore your spouse at times. But if you allow your marriage to fall on your list of priorities, it could suffer in big ways, and could end up affecting your children as well. 

Enter: Becky Thompson’s Love Unending. This book is one that EVERY SINGLE married mother should read. It reminds you that loving your spouse is one of the most important ways to show your children love. When you love your husband well, your children will witness that and it will impact the way they look for a spouse one day. 

Through reading this book, you will embark on a 21-day challenge with Becky that will help reignite the love your marriage once had, will recenter your heart towards your spouse, and help you discover all those butterfly emotions that you once experienced at the beginning. 

If you haven’t read this book, you are missing out! Pick it up today!!

Open by David Gregory

The description on the back of this book made it seem very The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe-esque. The main character Emma Jameson is in a rut and all of the sudden receives a note telling her an exciting adventure is behind the nearest open door. So she walks through her pantry door and onto a boat! 

Emma watches first hand as the Gospel is played out right before her eyes, which makes her question everything she ever thought she knew about her life, her faith and what it means to be a Christ follower. 

This book is as exciting as it seems! It was so fun to go on this adventure right alongside Emma and experience the Gospel through her eyes. I loved it, and I think you will too!

A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker

This book intrigued me because I’m a big fan of Brandon’s wife, Jen! I just finished reading her book For the Love, and LOVED it. So seeing her husband had written a book was pretty exciting to me! 

In A Mile Wide, Brandon takes what he knows about rehabbing houses, and shares how to rehab your spiritual life! He shares 8 essentials of the Christian faith: the gospel, identity, scripture, discipleship, kingdom, mission, community and justice.

Brandon wants every believer to revitalize their faith, and live out of their faith right now, right where they are. This book will not disappoint! 

Raising an Original by Julie Lyles Carr

This book is a must-read for parents! Every child is different, and we need to treat them as such. In Raising an Original, Julie Lyles Carr encourages parents to recognize the unique gifts, talents and personalities each one of our kids has, and help them grow in those areas. This book helps equip readers to: 

  • Understand their unique strengths and the challenges associated with them
  • Discover their God-given gifts and how to use them for His glory
  • Succeed regardless of their circumstances

You and your kids will not be disappointed in this book! 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

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I’ve always been a huge fan of Shauna Niequist, Savor, her daily devotional book is a favorite of mine, and Bread and Wine is on my nightstand to be read very, very soon! So when I heard she was writing a book about being present over perfect, I was super excited to read it! 

I’ve strived for ways to make my life more simple, not always being successful, but this book was a huge help in aiding to that end! 

Shauna puts it this way: “I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.” And she invites readers to join her on her journey away from pushing on to the next thing, and instead focusing on who you are, who God created you to be and realizing where your worth truly comes from. 

Play with Fire by Bianca Olthhoff

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Bianca Olthoff’s debut book is an interesting one. I have to admit it wasn’t my favorite book, but I didn’t hate it either. It has a different style, both storytelling and Biblical teaching. 

Bianca parallels the mythological creature of the Phoenix to her own journey of faith, sharing how the beauty of reinvention through fire creates a opportunity for change. 

The back of the book states that Play with Fire will help women discover: 

  • The way out of the middle is moving forward
  • The personal and powerful nature of the Holy Spirit
  • The power and sacrifice of transformation
  • The unique calling and purpose of life involves transformation

If you’re looking for a book that gives a different storytelling style, but also includes some great Biblical truths, this is a great one to check out! 

Devo for the Rest of Us by Vince Antonucci

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Devo for the Rest of Us is a 40 day journey to a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. We are loved by an extravagant God, and He wants us to understand that love deeper and deeper every day. 

So many of us don’t understand what that love means [not that we’ll EVER be able to fully understand it] and this book will take us on a journey unlike any other. These devotionals are a great way to start off your day on the right foot, feeling focused, refreshed and rejuvenated to live each day for Jesus!

Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson

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Not everyone knows the story of Benaniah from II Samuel 23, regarding his 15 minutes of fame where he chased a lion into a cave and killed it. (If you’re going to be famous for anything, that’s a pretty rad reason in my book…) The idea behind his amazing feat is that with God you can do anything, including killing a ferocious lion. 

Chase the Lion is Batterson’s sequel to his best-selling book In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. Taking the idea from his first book even further, Batterson invites readers to figure out their “five hundred pound dream,” something that is so impossible, it takes facing our fears, defying the odds and holding tight to the Lord in order to accomplish. 

Whether or not you’ve read In a Pit, this book is an amazing wake up call to live a life dependent on the Lord, one that is outside our comfort zones, and chasing victory in small and large dreams we have for our lives. 

Check out Chase the Lion on Amazon.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

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You guys. This book. Holy moly. 

I was already a Lysa TerKeurst fan, but this book. Whew. This book kicked my butt, in the best way possible. I don’t know ANYone who hasn’t felt left out, lonely or less than at one point or another in their life. 

There are different seasons you walk through, and this book can impact anyone at any age. Seriously. Lysa speaks with such vulnerability with stories and experiences from her own life and experience with rejection, you can’t help but relate to her. She gives biblical truth on how to combat that rejection, and work towards not letting that rejection ruin your life or your day. 

We will all face rejection in our lives, and this book is exactly the tool needed to fight against the fears and insecurities that rejection can cause and remember moment by moment that you are handpicked by God. 

READ IT. You won’t be disappointed I promise. [Then go read her other book, The Best Yes, cause that one was amazeballs too!!!]

Check out Uninvited on Amazon. 

Rooted by Banning Liebscher

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I absolutely love the music that’s come out of Jesus Culture, so when I saw Banning Liebscher had written a book, I was intrigued. And this book doesn’t disappoint. 

Taking a look at the life of David from the Bible, Liebscher reminds readers that life “God is not interested in developing your vision first. He’s interested in developing you.” This book is a great one for anyone in any season of life, as a reminder that our best life is when we embrace the process God has us on, even if it’s painful, slow and undesirable in the moment. 

Check out Rooted on Amazon.

For Better or For Kids by Patrick + Ruth Schwenk

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On the day you say yes to “for better or for worse,” you don’t anticipate part of the worse could be the impact having kids has on your marriage. Kids are WONDERFUL, I love my son with every ounce of my being, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t add strain to my marriage. 

For Better or For Kids is an amazing help at walking you through how to love your spouse better, even in the midst of the stress of children. This book will help in the following areas: (taken from the back of the book)

  • Build a God-centered marriage instead of a child-centered or me-centered marriage
  • Avoid the dangers of spouse neglect and self-neglect
  • Effectively communicate in the chaos
  • Explore ways to parent together as one team
  • Find balance in the busyness

If you need a little extra help in figuring out how to love your spouse and yourself in the midst of the difficult days of having kids, this is definitely the book for you!!

Check out For Better or For Kids on Amazon.

Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

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I’d been a part of the Influence Network for a few years, attending two Influence Conferences, so when Jess and Hayley, the Influence Network founders, wrote a book, I was sooo excited!! 

This book is jam PACKED with truth and encouragement. From the first page, it will feel as if you are sitting across from Jess and Hayley at a coffee shop, instead of reading the pages out of a book. Having heard them both speak at Influence Conferences, it’s like I can hear their voices chanting encouragement and truth through the pages. 

This book is for anyone who has felt like their either “not enough” or “too much.” This book starts off with an anthem to enter into the freedom God provides to be the woman He created you to be, and that anthem is repeated throughout each page of the book. 

Wild and Free will help to quiet the voices of insecurity and maximize your unique, God-given influence. It’s a must-read!!

Check out Wild and Free on Amazon. 

Man, Myth, Messiah by Rice Broocks

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I loved the first movie, God’s Not Dead, so when I saw this book, I wanted to read it right away! I haven’t actually seen God’s Not Dead 2, but definitely plan to! 

This book was great…it’s a great help to anyone questioning the existence of Jesus. This book helps prove that Jesus did in fact exist as a real man, and exposes the beliefs of skeptics that He was a myth. It’s a great book, and won’t disappoint!!

Check out Man, Myth, Messiah on Amazon.

Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs

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Ok, I was attracted to this book not just because I love Annie F. Downs, but also because the book itself is actually lovely!! The cover, and of course the inside is so beautiful. Annie is so real, so honest, so vulnerable in her own walk towards realizing the amazing life God wants for her, it’s hard to not desire the same thing. 

And as she writes in her book, it’s attainable for ever single one of us!! Annie uses Biblical truth, her own life experiences, and stories of how others have walked the path God set them on. This book is about finding that path for yourself, focusing on what truly matters in life, and following God to whatever He has in store for you! It really is a lovely read, and definitely worthwhile!!

Check out Looking for Lovely on Amazon.

Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield

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Craig Greenfield lives life loving the people in the margins. Drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless. He loves them because Jesus loved and loves them. Subversive Jesus is about his journey to bring justice to the forgotten. He and his young family lived all over, following Jesus’ call to love the “least of these.”

And while Craig has done some pretty counterculture and radical things to follow God’s calling on his life, he doesn’t make you seem like you have to do the same exact things to be a “good” Christian. He simply encourages you to think outside the box and outside your comfort zone to follow God wherever he may call you to go. 

Check out Subversive Jesus on Amazon.

Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

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One thing it doesn’t take moms long to realize: time is scarce. And unfortunately, one of the first things to go is consistent time with the Lord. I used to love spending time digging into a chapter of scripture, doing some inductive Bible study, and spending lots of time learning as much as I could about each sentence. 

Now that I’m a mom? Inductive what? More like small, short prayers throughout the day, whenever I remember to do so and mayyyyyybe reading some scripture, if I can fit it in. So when I got my hands on this book, it was PERRRRRFECT! 

Pressing Pause has 100 short devotionals with some scripture, some encouragement and some prayer prompts. One of the authors: Karen Ehman, is a Proverbs 31 speaker, and her wisdom is clear in the pages of this devotional. If you are a mom, and feeling guilty about not having very much time to spend with Jesus, this is exactly the book for your. Jesus understands our life stage, and He cares more about the motivation of our hearts than the exact amount of minutes we spend in prayer and scripture. And this book is great for quiet moments spent with our Savior that only take a few minutes out of your hectic day!

Check out Pressing Pause on Amazon.

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

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I don’t know about you, but I find myself collecting more and more stuff that is just unnecessary. I constantly want to declutter, to live with less, and find more joy in generosity. Materialism can be an idol, and one that comes easy to me, so I need to be reminded that “stuff” just doesn’t matter. 

Enter The More of Less. Joshua Becker’s book is a fresh look at why we should declutter our homes and aim to own less. He helps you realize the benefits of owning less, how to declutter your home, how to find joy in owning less, and use your energy to be generous instead of greedy. His catch phrase is, “it’s time to own your possessions instead of letting them own you.” 

If you need help minimizing the unnecessary stuff in your life so you have the time, energy and space to spend it on what truly matters, this is the book for you!

Check out The More of Less on Amazon.

Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi

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In the wake of the attacks on San Bernardino and Paris and having lived through 9/11, this book definitely intrigued me. There is so much I don’t know about the jihad and Islam. 

This book helps to answer a lot of questions such as “what is jihad?” “How does jihad relate to any Muslim friends or neighbors I may have?” “How should I respond to islamic terrorists?”

The author, Nabeel Qureshi, answers these questions and more, and due to being a former Muslim, and still having Muslim friends and family, as well as a deep love for America, his views are real, vulnerable and can definitely be trusted. If you’re curious about jihad and how it relates to you today, this is definitely a good book to pick up.

Check out Answering Jihad on Amazon.

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

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I don’t want to give away too much about this book because it’s just such a tastefully fun read, but if you like books about the south that are both charming and witty, you’ll LOVE this book! It’s full of laughs, will put a smile on your face, maybe cause a tear to fall, but most of all, it’ll make you feel like you’re in the book, becoming friends with the characters! 

From the back of the book: 

“In the South you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food—especially dessert— is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family— even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you’ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.”

This book won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a fun read! 

Check out The Secret to Hummingbird Cake on Amazon. 

Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington

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Finding “balance” in life sometimes seems like a myth. There’s always something that takes more time and energy than you plan on, leaving hardly anything left for the other things in life. In a funny and refreshing way, Alli helps women get unstuck, by letting go of things that drag them down, in order to pursue the things that bring life to their souls. 

By reading this book you will: 

  • Learn how to stop chasing what leaves you empty and start doing what you were created to do.
  • Identify the common lies you believe and how to strip their power from your life.
  • Recognize how what you say no to determines what you can say yes to.

Alli uses secular research mixed with biblical truth in order to take you from “crazy busy” to a confident calm. If you need a break from the crazy, from the busy, from the mediocrity, this book is for you. 

Check out Breaking Busy on Amazon. 

1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ by Jen Wilkin

1 Peter

I love studying the Bible with guides that really help me dig into the purpose of the book. Jen Wilkin’s study on 1 Peter does exactly that! This 9 week study helps readers to find the deeper meaning behind Peter’s words and how it is applicable to any circumstance they find themselves in. 

From the back of the book:

Our inheritance through Christ is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. In 1 Peter, a man of faith and flaws and eyewitness to the life of Christ challenges us to look beyond our current circumstances to a future inheritance. He shares his concerns on big picture issues for the early church, describes believers’ true identity in Christ, and ultimately helps readers discover what it means to experience the Living Hope they have in Christ. Key themes of humility, submission, and identity in Christ guide the study of 1 Peter as participants are challenged to read the book in its entirety each week. (9 sessions)

Features:

  • Personal study segments to complete between group sessions
  • 9-session study with 8 weeks of homework
  • Verse-by-verse approach to complete a book study

Benefits:

  • Expand your understanding of 1 Peter for personal spiritual growth by reading the book in its entirety throughout each week of study
  • Follow a verse-by-verse approach to complete a book study
  • Discover the gospel of Christ as learners seek to conform fully to the Scriptures
  • Dig deeper into Scripture individually and alongside other women—both those new to Bible study and those more familiar with Scriptures—with this widely-applicable study

This study was so good for me to really focus on what matters in life- not the here and now, but eternity and the reward I’ll receive from the Lord for living a faithful life that is glorifying to Him. It reminded me that my true identity is in Christ, I am a daughter of the King! And living a humble, life submitted to His purpose will best help me live out my identity. 

I highly recommend this study for anyone who needs a reminder of what’s truly important in life, and why finding our identity in Christ will give immeasurable purpose, satisfaction and fulfillment to life.

Check out 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ on Amazon.

How to Weep in Public by Jacqueline Novak

HTWIP

I was drawn to How to Weep in Public because Amy Schumer gave it a raving review. The author is a comedian who knows how to bring authenticity and humor to a subject not often talked about in comfortable settings. [Although usually it’s done lying on a couch, but that’s beside the point…]

Author Jacqueline Novak claims to offer something most books about depression don’t: how to just sit and be in the midst of your struggle. She doesn’t offer “how-to’s” of getting better or overcoming your depression, she’s been there and wants you to know you’re not alone. 

I thought it was just that, a humorous look into the heart of what a lot of people are struggling with but don’t want to admit it. Depression is one of those “off limits” topics in most social settings, and Novak changes that notion. She brings it into the light and offers up some normalcy to the condition. 

It was enjoyable, but not my favorite book in the world. If you are depressed or know someone who is depressed, it would probably be a book that would make them laugh, and bring some humor to their situation, but won’t offer any help in how to get over it. [She states that from page 1.] But overall, it wasn’t a bad read! 

Check out How to Weep in Public on Amazon.

This is Awkward: How Life’s Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection by Sammy Rhodes

This is Awkward

I first heard of Sammy Rhodes when he was a speaker at Influence Conference in 2014. So when I saw his book, I was immediately intrigued. And I wasn’t disappointed. 

I remember him being funny at Influence, but his book brings his comedic stylings to new heights. He is so frank and candid about himself, his awkwardness and even mistakes he’s made in the past. [Like the time he got accused of plagiarism.]

He brings to light important topics that no one wants to talk about because they’re…you guessed it, AWKWARD. Topics such as depression, sexual issues, parent problems, divorce, and being an introvert in an extrovert’s world. 

I think my favorite parts were just how relatable he is, and the fact that I literally laughed out loud multiple times. He’ll make you nod your head in agreement and wonder why no one else has been courageous enough to address these issues in such a real way. I highly suggest this book for anyone who wants a vulnerable look into some of today’s biggest issues, while laughing your way through the hard truth. 

Check out This is Awkward on Amazon.

How to Live in Fear by Lance Hahn

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Every since becoming a mom, I’ve realized I have a lot of fear over my family’s wellbeing. Fear that I’ve tried to pray about, but it’s proving to be difficult to get rid of. Fear is the opposite of trust, and God calls us to trust Him fully. In my journey of letting go of my fear and holding onto trust with every fiber of my being, I came across Lance Hahn’s book How to Live in Fear. 

Lance struggled with severe anxiety since his childhood, so he relates readers from his own experiences. He gives practical insights and concrete methods of how to begin to fight your own fear or anxiety. He doesn’t sugar coat it and make it seem like it’ll be an easy journey, but gives hope for why it’s worth the fight. Although we don’t know what trials we may fight, we do know that God promises we’ll never face those difficulties alone. And that knowledge can help us take one step forward in our journey of wrestling with our fear or anxiety. 

This book is great for anyone who struggles in these areas. It’s a real look into the life of someone’s who’s been there and understands that sometimes fear and anxiety can feel so real it’s  suffocating. It can be so hard to begin to figure out where that fear comes from and how to combat it, but the hope that God gives us makes that fight worth it. I would highly suggest this book for a good look into the reality of fear, and how to cope it and overcome it.

Check out How to Live in Fear on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received these books for free from their prospective publishers for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Jenn Grandlienard

wife, mom and lover of sour patch kids.

Hi! Welcome to my little corner of the world. I love to share stories from my life, [mostly about motherhood] and lessons I'm learning along the way of this thing called life.

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