Over the past year or so, I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing writers to launch their books. I have truly enjoyed being a part of something greater than myself. Each of these books have helped me become a better person in a lot of ways. I highly recommend you read all of these books.
Holy and Set Apart: A 30 Day Devotional by Kelly Goldson
I started it yesterday and had to stop to sink into the refresher in who God is: provider, LORD of Lords, Bright Morning Star, the God who hears, the Redeemer. Favorite part so far? The prayer at the end. It really helped to be still and be guided into prayer instead of rambling. It’s just nice to be still from someone’s heartfelt and see what I stop on. …There are bigger things. And I don’t have to strive, but rear in his love right now. He gives me what I need when I need it. He’s my father after all.
A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging by Kate Motaung
As soon as I saw Kate’s book, I knew I wanted to read it. Not just because the cover makes me remember the first time I went to visit a friend in Texas. Or that I’m captivated by how the sun looks, It was title and the blurb of how she struggled with her parents divorce and the longing for home. I felt interested that maybe someone could put to words what has been hard for me. She did…
In Bonnie Gray’s new 40 day devotional, I’m learning about the ways God calls us to be still and relax in his love. Whispers of Rest has come into my life when I’ve been recovering from a hysterectomy. For the last few weeks, I’ve felt no where near worthy to be God’s beloved. From the way my emotions have flip flopped every other day to wanting to nothing at all, or completely running away, I’ve watched God gently meet me in this journey of being his Beloved. Hearing him say, over and over, “It’s okay. Embrace my grace.” through friends and family.
“Love has the last word.”
After being a part of Dawn Camp’s launch for The Gift of Friendship and reading those stories, I knew I would enjoy this launch. I got a page into the introduction before I knew the book would be good.
“It’s not too late for you. Wherever you are in life, this can be a beginning.”
This [book] is a really good reminder that God’s thoughts toward me are precious, beloved, when all I see is is the less-than-shiny girl with cerebral palsy. The girl who walks, writes, and processes thoughts very slow. The girl who takes five, ten minutes to get something done when it should maybe take two, And yet, God still sees me as His Twinkle, His little star who will illuminate the world.
Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things by Jennifer J. Camp
“Love is never mundane.”
This book is not one you can rush through, but one I’ve found you can need to take day by day and let God delight in you…Watch as you delight in him more, too. If you subscribe to Loop devotionals, this will be like having them everyday until you finish the book!
I love how after each story, there is a space to write a prayer in response to God, questions to go deeper, a trust exercise, and prayer.
The Happiness Dare: Pursuing Your Heart’s Deepest, Holiest, and Most Vulnerable Desire by Jennifer Dukes Lee
“Jesus didn’t die for pretend you. he died for real you.”
When I read this in The Happiness Dare, I immediately thought how easy it is to wear a mask and pretend we are all fine and dandy, but some days, we aren’t. And what I’m learning is we don’t have to be. We can be all over the board, and Jesus loves us still. And he will go to great lengths to show the height, depth, width of his love in very personal ways, like friends/family who remind you of his joy.
Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain into Your Greatest Strength by Christa Black Gifford
I love the way Christa talks about her own pain with losing her daughter Goldie, and how she has made a constant effort to stay in touch with her heart. In the Pain and the joy…I love the way she teaches through her own story, and it’s okay to be in pain because there is hope, “And for love to be love, it must always be given a choice.”
Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy by Mary DeMuth
What I love about this book is the way Mary writes as a friend. A friend quietly sharing her broken with you and how Jesus continues to be her hope. Her truth that is also ours as we let God change us.
If you are a woman who is or has struggled with your worth, this book will remind you aren’t alone. Mary doesn’t tell you how to fix yourself. Instead she walks alongside you in the struggle, whispers, I know it’s hard, but I struggle, too.” gives you space to explore your own story, and guides you in prayer at the end of each chapter.
Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That’s Been Hiding by Leeana Tankersly
Leanna’s honesty has had me hooked, how we all struggle with being brazen. How we should not only embrace our brokenness, but our belovedness…How we are allowed to take up space in this world and not apologize for it.
There’s so much in this book that only having a week and some time to read and take in, I couldn’t do it. This is a book that you need to spend time with, and I’m honored to continue taking this journey to come out of hiding and see Jesus along the way.
Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki
I found the family dynamic the most interesting. Because of Sisi’s sadness of her two eldest children being taken away, she poured into her youngest, Valerie. There was a strain in all of their relationships throughout Sisi’s life and I loved how Allison captured these moments.
I loved the way Allison incorporated favorite quotes from Sisi’s favorite poet and playwrights throughout the book. It gave an interesting look of how she must have felt most of time.
Even though so much sadness and longing trailed Sisi’s life, it shows we are all the same, regardless if we are royalty or not…between the history and fiction, this novel will definitely make you feel like you’re somewhere far away, lost with an empress who dared to break away.
I read Dawn’s words in the introduction of her new book, The Gift of Friendship: “Don’t let anyone tell you that a friendship that begins online lacks a foundation. Treasure friendship in whatever form it comes.“ I wanted to weep.
Instead, my mind kept repeating, Someone understands! while I smiled to myself. It’s difficult to explain to people how close you can become to others through having a blog…there is an ease in slowly opening to another soul a distance away. A kind of community you don’t expect.
Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington
Who here is carrying out-of-control demands on themselves thanks to themselves?
Yes, me, I’m looking at you.
Breaking Busy came into my life when I’ve convinced myself I need to strive. I cannot take myself lightly. I need to prove myself or I will not be acceptable.
If you struggle with over-capacity, making decisions, your thought patterns, or the serpent of shame, this book is worth the read, and we can stop wringing our hands together.
Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily P. Freeman
Having Cerebral Palsy, I have always felt the world moves too fast…We talk, read, eat so we can move on to the next task.
In Simply Tuesday, Emily brings answer to a question I’ve silently asked Jesus. “Why doesn’t the world slow down?” Most days, I forget I ask myself the same question. Even with walking slower, my soul whirls on the same. I want more than my soul can hold.
[Simply Tuesday] has helped me appreciate my smallness, my desperate need for Jesus and how I want him to lead me in love, rather than be pushed by fear. I hope you’ll get this book and linger with your smallness on a bench for awhile. Your soul will thank you.