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Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

Becoming Myself – Stasi Eldredge

I remember when everyone was talking about the book Captivating by Stasi and her husband, John, so even though I never read that one, I thought I’d better get a copy of this one.  This is a book about becoming our true selves through the love and restoration of God.  After the first chapter I was really encouraged and excited to read on, but I have to admit, the chapters felt pretty lengthy to me and eventually I lost my interest in the book.  I’m not sure what it is exactly, because I know that this book is full of great encouragement for many women.  I hate to write a negative review, I always think of how I would feel as the author and know that the author has put their very heart out there in the form of a book.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but the chapters just felt like they went on forever and I was kind of thinking to myself “get to the point already”.  Don’t write this book off just because of my review though, it could really be encouraging for you.  I’ve been doing Stasi’s Becoming Myself bible study on RightNow Media and have found that encouraging so it’s not that the info is bad, it just wasn’t something that grabbed me.

A Million Little Ways  – Emily P. Freeman

I read Grace for the Good Girl by Emily a few years ago and it was so good.  I’ve been following her blog for some time now and find inspiration there as well.  And I totally love the idea that God can work through all of us in a million different ways.  But something in this book just didn’t connect with me.  Again, I hate to post a negative review.  I think the idea behind this book is really good: creating a life of meaning so that we can glorify God but I think what I couldn’t get past is the constant reference to the idea that we are made to make and live art.  I mean, I get it… life is a metaphorical poem and even though I do consider myself to be somewhat artistic and creative I just kind of felt like every chapter was trying really hard to tie the Christian life to art.  I’m just not quite there in the same way Emily is.  But don’t just take my word for it, go check it out for yourself because I still did find some good stuff in this book, and if Ann Voskamp, Lysa TerKeurst, Mark Batterson and Tsh Oxenreider loved it — it’s probably just something wrong with me and not the book.

 

 Notes from a Blue Bike – Tsh Oxenreider

Ok this is a book that will make you start to think about the little things in life.  The tagline is “the art of living intentionally in a chaotic world” — now who doesn’t want that?  I think almost everyone I know in North America is wishing they could slow down and live more simply.  I know I do, and this book is making me long for it even more.  I love reading about Tsh’s journey, about the life the Oxenreider’s lived abroad in Turkey, the trips they’ve taken, the joy they find in preparing nutritious and delicious foods, their decision to homeschool, and so much more.  This book gives permission to “change the everyday little things in our lives so that our paths better align with our values and passions.”  Everyone I know who has read this book has thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m sure you, dear reader, are no exception.  You won’t want to put it down.

 

 

 

My Story – Elizabeth Smart

I passed by this book on the New & Notable shelf at the library and brought it home with me.  I love a good memoir — it is so powerful to hear someone’s story and how they overcame hardship.  I read this entire book within 24 hours, it was that engaging.  And horrifying.  If you don’t know, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom and held captive for 9 months in Utah & California before she was found by the police.  This is such a powerful story of hope and it is amazing to see how Elizabeth has gone on with her life and is using her experiences to help others instead of remaining a victim.

 

 

 

 

The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook – Diane Sanfillippo

You may remember a few months ago when I posted a review of The 21-Day Sugar Detox.  Well this book is a great companion if you are doing 21DSD since it will add 100 more grain-free, sugar-free recipes to your repertoire!  Some people just really know what they are doing when they are in the kitchen, and I think you have to be really knowledgeable to be able to create delicious food with so many restrictions.  Diane knows how to do it!  If you are totally brand new to The 21-Day Sugar Detox then you should definitely go read my review of the program and the first book and check out this book too.   Personally, I wouldn’t want one without the other.  Being prepared is the best way to be successful in your detox and this cookbook will definitely help you out with that!

 

 

 

All of Me That You Can’t See – Callie Grant

This beautifully illustrated book has an equally beautiful message for children: we are more than what we can see.  This board book is geared for children ages 3-6 and is based on Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  It is such a sweet little story about how our inner self grows right along with the rest of us.  I love having a book like this that beautifully explains concepts that are sometimes hard to explain to children (and adults!).

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing My God – Jesus Saves Me – Callie Grant

Here is another cute board book that can be read to kids of various ages.  This interactive book explores the relationship between sheep and shepherd with pictures from real life to engage children.  I think most kids would learn a lot from this book about what Jesus says about how he is our Shepherd and what that means.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close as a Breath – Callie Grant

This is another beautifully illustrated board book!  Close as a Breath is about an inquisitive little girl out on a walk with her father.  As they explore, the little girl asks many questions about creation and nature and all the father’s answers point toward our God, the creator and how you can’t see him but you know he’s there because His love and power are alive everywhere — He is Spirit and he is as close as a breath to us.  Another beautiful book to read to your children.

 

 

 

 Seven – Jen Hatmaker

I had heard about this book a lot and had wanted to get it so when I saw it for $1.99 on Kindle, I went for it.  Jen Hatmaker does not disappoint.  I love that she writes in such a real way and with humour but also passion.  She just seems like a real person that I could really get along with.  I loved what she said at IF: Gathering and I really was inspired by Seven as well.  For seven months Jen limited what clothes she could wear, where she could shop, what foods she ate, what social media she could take in, how much she could possess and also waste, and lastly the stress in her life and documented it all in this book.  You will definitely be convicted of your addiction to excess, no matter how un-materialistic you currently perceive yourself to be.

 

 

 

 

To Walk or Stay – Lara Williams

I first “met” Lara in my very first Hello Mornings group and I was so excited for her when she released this book.  It has been out for a while but you can’t get it in print in Canada, so when I saw it for $0.99 on Kindle, of course I had to get it!  This book was so powerful for me.  It is about marriage but really, it’s just about LIFE.  It’s about working the yucky things inside of us out with the Lord.  The part that was so amazing for me was reading all about what Lara does to take thoughts and make them captive to the Lord.  I had recently read that verse in the bible and thought to myself “But HOW does one do that?”  Lara shares how she does it and I have found it to be an amazing way to keep your thought-life in check.  Each chapter has questions and “homework” and usually I ignore that but felt so convicted by Lara’s words that I actually did it!  I highly recommend this book to anyone, married or single.

 

 

 

 

Becoming Myself has been provided courtesy of David C. Cook and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller.  A Million Little Ways has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider for free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook provided by Victory Belt Publishing.

All of MeKnowing My God – Jesus Saves Me, Close as a Breath were provided for free by Shelton Interactive.

 

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