I used to hate reading. I know, crazy! I hit college and all of a sudden I was buying books all the time, looking for the next, best thing! I don't just read any books though, if I am reading I am wanting to learn something. I typically pick up a book that is hot off the press from a Christian author that is able to help me process & understand things I may be going through. I am not one to process well, ask my husband. :)
Regardless, these books are amazing and I want to tell you about them so that the next time you are looking for a good, uplifting book you can look no further! Whether you are married or single, I have a list for all the girls!
For All The Girls
Alright, let's dig in..
Make It Happen by Lara Casey : Let me tell you that this book will inspire you and get you fired up to do something & fast!!! Lara Casey has a gift or organization, goal setting, helping others reach goals, and getting things going so that you don't regret it later. If you need a little push or if you just don't know what your next step is, this book will help you make your dreams happen.
Emily Freeman has a gift to write. Both of these books I can't say enough about. Grace For The Good Girl was huge for me figuring out how to take the life I had grown up in (Christian home, Christian school, etc) and see how much I needed God's grace. This book helped me realize that pleasing others was not at all what God wants us to do, He wants all of the glory and all of our attention. BIG turning point in my life - and I read this on a beach vacation so let's just say that made it just a tad bit more wonderful. :) A Million Little Ways is the book that helped me just GO FOR IT and launch my photography business. In this book, Emily talks about all of the little ways that we create or inspire and how to uncover those, in everyone's different way.
Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs
Alright, if you haven't read a book by Annie yet, you must. This is because she will have you belly laughing and crying in the same page. She is too good. This book is all about finding the brave life that you desire and going for it despite the fear that is holding us back. She is so personable and is able to empathize with you about how fear can easily hold us back from big dreams we have but how we have God on our side to drive out that fear so that we can live in abundance.
Love Does by Bob Goff
I have a feeling that you have probably heard of this book and if you have not, read it now. I know love sounds like an easy thing to do but this books puts how you love others in perspective. This can be friends, family, spouse, etc. Love is a verb, love is something that you do; it is not just a word you say. Bob uses inspiring stories to show you how doing love is way more important, effective, and meaningful than just saying that word. He even has an organization that 'does love' in 5 countries and you can get involved!
Wild and Free by Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan
Ever heard of the wild horses on the beaches of North Carolina that just roam on the beach in all the beauty around them? Well, this book is based off of this freedom that is seen on the North Carolina beaches with the raw beauty of wild horses. This book was written to inspire and encourage woman to live the wild and free lives that God calls us to. We enslave ourselves to people, chain our feelings inside, and keep dreams locked up because we think we are supposed to live a reserved, quiet life. NO! Jesus made us to be free in His light so if you have forgotten this truth and need a great reminder spoken over you, check this book out!
Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen
THIS IS IT. Raise your hand if you have been trying so hard to fit in, to perform perfectly, feeling like you have to prove yourself to someone. Jennie reaches into your soul to find the exhausted and overwhelmed you who is missing out because you are paralyzed by people or expectations around you; she finds you and speaks God's truth of wanting you to be all you can be. She explains how God wants to move in and through us, we just need to know and love Him well but we can't do this if we are focused on trying to love & please the world around us. He did not create this world for us to be distracted by, He created it so that we can be examples of Himself on this Earth. Jennie does an amazing job of tending to this tough subject lightly but with such encouragement that you want to change and refocus whose we are.
For The Married or To Be Married Ones
The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
If you are getting married soon or have been married for years, I can't recommend this book enough for you and your spouse. The Bible has so many things to say about marriage and what God intended it to be. In this book, Tim Keller and his wife create a story using God's word and real life experiences to explain how marriage is really just a worldy example of Christ and the Church. Through this book you can see the different ways that men and women handle situations, how people feel love differently, and how appreciating God's marriage in the gospel can make your marriage exactly what God intended it to be. This is a wonderful reminder of how putting Christ first above everything else can truly showcase our Savior.
You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisa Chan
Francis Chan and his wife Lisa use this book to point marriages back to Christ. They use these pages to remind us that our earthly marriages will not last forever. Well, that is depressing huh? Yes, but only because we are so caught up in what our marriage is here. God has such big things in mind, He brings a man and a woman together simply because they can showcase more of His glory, mercy, and name to the world than they would be able to on their own. So that's a pretty cool reminder in and of itself - YOU are important and are a huge part in God's story. Pick up this book because it will change the way you think about marriage. It will remind you that God is forever and marriage is a way for us to prepare. It certainly shifted my mindset much more eternally and that is for the best; I hope you (along with me) want marriages to be centered and focused on the One and Only.
The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp
Proverbs 31 Ministries did a bible study for wives to intentionally practice loving their husbands. This book came along with a workbook with daily tasks to do, it is a 21 day 'project' that will leave you wanting to do little loving gestures daily. This book got down to the core of how your man feels love - and everyone is different. So, wifey, you will have to think and do the work here. But let me tell you, it is SO worth it because you are able to really see how the things you say, little things you do, really affect your hubby. Shhhh, do NOT tell him that you are doing this and hide this book where he will not find it. The best part about this book is that you are learning about how to intentionally love your man but he has no idea. Even better, keep it going past the 21 day mark and tell me if it doesn't do something for your marriage!
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
The question on the front does a great job of summing this book up, "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?" All of these marriage books seem to have a common theme, marriage is not about us being happy, it is all for God's glory. Gary uses this book to share with you about how uncovering the ins and outs of your marriage can lead you to discovering a closer walk with Jesus and even with each other. Anyone who is married can attest to the fact that when your relationship with Jesus struggles, your marriage struggles. There is no doubt in this that Jesus is the sole reason we stay together, we stay joyful, we stay to fight when things are not easy. Therefore, putting effort into our relationship with Christ together will help us grow as individuals and as a married couple. Your marriage is sacred so protect it, grow it, preserve it, and exhibit it for God's glory only.