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Book Reads and Small Reviews
Last year around this time, Candace Cameron Bure talked about reading a bunch of new books in the upcoming year, so for Christmas, I put about 14 different books in my Amazon cart and asked my hubby to buy nothing but books for me as a Christmas gift. He did. I had a goal of spending 2015 reading one book a month and I believe that I may have read more than 12 books this year and it is only the beginning of November. Here are some of the books I took the time to read.
January – In the month of January, I read Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons. I actually read this book while doing an online study led by her. At the time, the study was a promotion for her newly released book. The online study portion was through Lifeway and I really enjoyed getting to hear from her each week as I made my way through the pages. Reading Freefall to Fly gave me a breath of hope for 2015. It helped me to see that my life has meaning and that God created me to fly even if I felt like I was free-falling. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is scared to take a leap of faith, trust God and step into the unknown. God has a plan and a purpose and most certainly it is to fly rather than to fall.
February – In February I read Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs. During this time, I actually found out that she was speaking in town at a local church, I immediately bought a ticket and went and saw her speak. Annie’s down to earth personality touched and inspired me like no one else ever has. I left feeling encouraged to step out in faith and begin writing on my own blog. Because of Annie’s words, I am a much braver person.
March – In March I read The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner. Reading The Fringe Hours gave me permission to take time for myself and to not feel bad about doing so. Jessica opened my eyes to the need for renewal and not neglecting my hobbies like reading and running. I walked away from reading the book feeling inspired to care for myself so that I can also care for my family. Next, I read The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. This book opened my eyes to a deep problem I have. That is saying yes too much. I realized I am overwhelmed and overbooked because I never say NO. Reading The Best Yes showed me how to make decisions that are the best for me and my family. Finally, I finished the month off by beginning to read Chasing God by Angie Smith. I still need to finish reading this book and plan to do so in December.
April – I loved reading and doing the Seamless study by Angie Smith. It was a beautiful overview of the entire Bible. Going through The Old and New Testaments in a cohesive study really sharpened my understanding of Biblical context and history.
May – In May I began reading Sacred Parenting by Gary L. Thomas and Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter. I got lots out of both books and hope to finish reading Wherever the River Runs in December. Sacred Parenting helped me to realize the importance of my calling as a parent. It is important to raise my children up with a Biblical worldview. It is also important to raise them up to have their own personal relationship with Jesus. Not one based on my relationship with the Lord. Wherever the River Runs was a beautiful read for those who are missionary minded. I actually stopped reading this book halfway through the book because a friend of mine was going on a missions trip over the summer and I felt that she needed to read the book immediately. She ended up loving the book and told me to make sure I finish reading it.
June – In June I did a study with my family called 24 Family Ways by Sally Clarkson. I loved this book and learned so much about raising my children up to be godly individuals. I also gleaned so many ideas for how to be a cohesive family. I started reading and journaling from the book 50 Reasons Jesus Came to Die by John Piper. This book was deep and theological. It taught me so much and opened my eyes to Biblical nuggets of truth. Finally, in June, I reread the book Restless by Jennie Allen.
July – During the month of July, I read Brave Girl Boots by Tami Walker. This 40 day devotional really helped me to revisit the act of being brave. I started reading It’s Good To Be Queen by Liz Curtis Higgs and almost finished the book. However, I plan to finish reading it in December. I learned things about Queen of Sheba and King Solomon that I never knew. Both books inspired me to make stepping out in faith a daily practice.
August – In August my family and I went to Pine Cove Family Camp and I picked up the book Live For What Outlives You by Bill McKenzie. Bill is the founder of Pine Cove Christian Camp. The book was so good that I read it twice. The message of the book inspired me to not just live in the now but to live for what will out live me. I also read the Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. It is a new study by Lifeway on the Armor of God. I enjoyed reading the electronic version of this study. One More Step by Rachel Wojo was given to me at She Speaks Conference and I began reading Rachel’s book but did not finish it. I plan to also finish this book in December.
September – During the month of September I read For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. I actually read the book twice. Yes, the book was that good. I highly recommend this book. I started and almost finished reading Taming the To Do List by Glynis Whitwer. This book taught me so much about controlling my to-do list. Also, a message of learning what to say yes and no to was interwoven throughout the entire book. I have a couple more chapters of this book to finish reading as well.
October – During October I read Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman for the (In)Courage Bloom Book Club. I loved this book. Emily inspired me to see the gift of ordinary. She also taught me that our souls are not meant for fame. I needed to read this book and reading it came right at the perfect time for my soul. I am still finishing up the last few pages of the book but am encouraged to finish well.
November – I am currently reading Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. So far I have loved the book as it has helped me to understand the importance of not allowing my emotions to cause me to literally come unglued.
December will be spent finishing up books that I started and didn’t finish reading all the way to the very last page. I am not sure why, but for some reason or another, I must of gotten side tracked because several of the books listed above, I dropped off reading and didn’t finish the last several chapters of the book. I may have felt in a rush to complete and start the next book but this is a very bad habit to get into. It causes a disconnect with the text. I want to go back and finish completely reading Simply Tuesday, Taming the To-Do List, It’s Good To Be Queen, 50 Reason’s Jesus Came to Die, Wherever the River Runs, Chasing God and One More Step.
Daily Devotionals – Some of the Daily Devotionals that I have read all year long are If:Eqip by Jennie Allen and friends, Our Daily Bread, Choosing Joy by Angela Thomas, Savor by Shauna Niequist, The Bible and Ann Voskamp’s Only the Good Stuff Multivitamins for Your Weekend.
On The Nightstand – I have several books on the nightstand to be read in the upcoming few months. Some of those books are Hoodwinked by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk, Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur, Surrender Your Junior God Badge and The Mentoring Mom, 11 Ways To Model Christ For Your Child both by Jackie Kendall. I have further hopes of reading Stronger by Angela Thomas and The Sacred Year by Michael YanKoski. Another book that caught my eye this year was Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko.
God really opened my eyes to several themes throughout this year. One theme that I saw in each book I read was the need to be brave and step out in faith. Trusting that God has always had and will always have my best interest in mind. I also saw the theme of learning to manage my time, resources and to focus on that which the Lord has put before me in a better and more effective way.
All of the above mentioned books are only the adult reading that I have participated in during 2015, not to mention all the books I have also read aloud to my children. I am currently in the middle of reading The Little House on the Prairie series with my middle child. We are on book four entitled On The Banks of Plum Creek. I enjoy reading to my children and will continue to do so for as long as I can.
No Regrets – Whoever regrets reading? No one! In fact, after someone has usually finished reading a good book, they feel elated about their accomplishment and are eager to read more. I am so glad that I took the time and spent my free minutes reading as much as I did over this year. I am truly encouraged and inspired to spend 2016 reading even more. Life is all about learning and growing and reading helps one to develop and grow minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year. Now, my goal is to always finish the books that I start within a reasonable time frame. Not months later.