a resolution to read

Reading is one of the three R’s of new year’s resolutions and I have noticed there are quite a few people who are committed to reading a few books this year – everyone is sharing their lists! I notice because I love to see a good book list, and because I am a reader myself.

Ever since I was a little girl, if  I wasn’t outside playing, I was inside, on my bed, with a good book in hand. Nancy Drew and Babysitter’s Club gave way to Max Lucado and then Elisabeth Elliot.

College was full of books that still fill our book shelves and my list on amazon “to read” is quite. long.

I tell people that I read like some people run. I have conditioned myself to read a lot of books over a short period of time. I like to read capital G “good” books and that often means non-fiction Christian. I do love good literature but right now in this learning+growing season of life I just cut to the chase with the books that present flat out propositional truths. Capital T “truth.”

I don’t typically start the year with a year-long list, that seems crazy to me… but as friends recommend books, as I come across one book in another, I add the title to the “to read” list, and ask the Lord what I should read next. and with whom. Often times I am reading “this book with her” and “that book with these girls” and these couple on my own.

However, I did start this year with a pile in mind, one I thought connected the themes of life that were filling my thoughts – on growing, living brave, and getting to the good work the Lord has prepared for me. 

Before I share my January book list with you and how I go about reading through the pile, I want to list a few considerations concerning reading.

I said I’ve noticed people sharing their book lists. and I am gonna join in on the fun and share mine, too. But here’s the thing – reading is not the thing. books are not IT. With that made clear here are some consideration…

  1. If you’re gonna read any book, read The Book of books. Read the Bible. If you read a bunch of others but neglect this one, the others don’t matter. THIS is the book that matters. These Words are truth and life. This is the book you can build your life on; you can completely recommend to anyone and everyone. This is THE book. Read it.
  2. If you’re gonna read some other books – before you begin, answer these “why’s” and repent when you realize that “yep, I’m reading for all of the wrong reasons
  3. Funny enough even something as wholesome as reading can be messed up by sin. One way is you reading for all the wrong reasons. The other way is by a bad book. Don’t read bad books. Now, if you read point one and you think – well the Bible is full of awful stories with terrible characters, what of that!? Remember this – the protagonist in scripture is Jesus and right and wrong are correctly understood; the antagonist is actually bad, and the story is True and points you to Truth. Plus, scripture is well written. It’s high literature. Think through this sort of lens when you are determining if a book is good or bad. And then with a repentant, righted heart, read good books.
  4. Once you’ve gotten yourself into the practice of reading the Bible, once you’ve repented and now you’re on the way to reading 📖 well and good books, – which by the way, I’m writing this in list form, but of course the experience of it all sort of may swirl around – repenting and reading and righting all mingling together – I would love to share with you the books on my January list
  5. I would also love to know A. what you’re reading and B. If you’ve read any/all of the books on my list, what you think about them. I mean maybe you have another suggestion or perhaps a helpful critique of one of them (my list isn’t “ultimate” you know 😉
  6. Here’s my January Book List
  • bible with a year long bible reading plan
  • Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines
  • Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson
  • Falling Free by Shannan Martin
  • Unseen by Sara Hagerty
  • The Peace Maker by Kevin Sande

Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Which one do you want to add to your book list? And, what books do you currently have on your list? I want to hear from you 💙💙💙💙

Like I said, I read like some other people run. I read a lot. I read at a steady pace and lap through each book. I am going to leave the running analogy now because – I don’t run. I chose these books because most of them were sitting on my shelf already, not-yet-read, and that in and of itself is enough motivation for me.

To get through the books this month, with the exception of the bible which will take the entire year, I simply read one page at a time. Often. I started with Capital Gaines because I thought it would be a quick, easy, non-life.changing but still encouraging read, and I was wrong for the most part (it was a quick read.)

*Full disclosure – I read Capital Gaines before the month of January began, but didn’t plan to, and had it on my January list, which is where it stayed. So, feel some relief, if you need to.

Then I moved on to the book Unseen because even though I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it, I was gifted it, my sister said she loved it, then another good friend pulled it out of her bag and asked me if I had read this book… and I felt like maybe I just should! So I did. It was so good. I know it took her so much more time to write this book than for me to read it, … which is like any book,… and part of me wants to go back through it slowly so that Sara can know how much I truly appreciate the work she put in and the heart she poured out. I am still sifting through the message of the book and hope to share a cup of coffee with the friend who gave me the book in the first place.

Now I am in the middle – literally – of Falling Free, a book I purchased as my sister was still lauding it, but it took me a few months to start. I am so glad I did now and I am sad I didn’t sooner. It is a hilarious, hard to hear, hurts real good book. You should read it. I told another friend it’s sort of like a girl’s Radical by David Platt. See what you think 😉

My sisters and I are reading Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. Let me tell you, when I first saw the title of this book. I was IMMEDIATELY completely PUT OFF by the title. I still feel a lingering tinge of “ew” towards it. But one I realized Sally was in her sixties and hopefully not too affected by our culture’s god-of-this-air named Productivity I felt a little bit better. Then, so many friends recommended it, I thought… ok. I can at least skim it. Plus, with my sisters whatever is always better. I wanted to FLY through this book, but my sisters want to sit in it, so I have paused around chapter four.

I have yet to start The Peacemaker, but plan to by the beginning of next week.

If I don’t finish the January list, the books roll on over to February, where my list is shorter. March doesn’t have a list yet, and would like one, so your suggestions are welcome!

(links for the books : BibleCapital Gaines / Unseen / Falling Free / The Peacemaker / Own Your Life) PS when I was inserting the links to purchase these books from amazon, I noticed that each one of them are considerably less money than I remember them being a couple of weeks ago. So, seize the day! and buy the book!

planning – tips and tools

Part of fulfilling your purpose is planning your life before the Lord, as you listen and obey Him. This is simple – and a life long practice. Just like running- which honestly, I don’t do much of, I just know it’s an easy to understand analogy – it’s a simple exercise; you just have to train yourself to do it and be good at it. Soon, you are going miles and miles.

With planning, you must start with the Lord, before the Lord, surrendered to the Lord. I begin most of my mornings early and in the Word. Many times with a cup of coffee in hand, too. I read the Word, pray for my husband and son, journal, and ask the Lord how I can love Him and love my family in this day.

Like the book of James says, it is important to say ‘as the Lord wills’ as you plan. This is not a magical blanket statement; this is a truth that you understand that a man makes his plan and the Lord orders his steps (that’s from Proverbs).

Continue reading “planning – tips and tools”

currently reading

i have a new topic – oh but it’s so much more than just a topic – to really read and grow in my knowledge of… and here’s where i’m starting!



This is no trite 'first book' that I'm reading - This is THE BOOK I am reading - and I am starting in Colossians and Proverbs. Which particular books of the Bible encourage you in your parenting?
Tyler and I are reading through this helpful guide to pray for our child. We will continue this practice - to pray specifically and particularly and together - throughout our child's life. We can think of no greater, better, more special way to raise our child than in complete trust before the Lord. This is all but for His grace! (I also recommend Power of a Praying Wife; I use that book as a guide to pray for, of course :), Tyler!)
This book deals with the philosophy and psychology of parenting. Rosemond exalts the Christian worldview and states that only when we understand humans based on the Word of God will we be able to raise our children well. This book is serious! very practically applicable! And I am super glad that Rosemond had the courage to write it!
I haven't started this book yet, but I love Martha Peace's The Excellent Wife (in that book, if you are going to argue with her, you will be arguing with Scripture - the book is chalk full of the Word of God). Because of the author, the title, and of course the need to grow in this way, I am excited to start this read soon!
This is a MUST MUST MUST READ! for everyone involved in ANY family (which is you)!! J R Miller, a pastor from the late 1800's, writes for his - and our - generation. The first chapter is on the wedded life, the second, on the husband, then the wife, the children, the siblings, family worship, and last, making memories. Tyler and I are reading this well-written, straightforward, poetic book together and enjoying it immensely. We are considering giving to everyone from now one who we know is getting married!

Remember to Read Your Books!

Isn’t it true that by the middle of January your resolutions are completing left by the wayside and you are onto something …. regular. So for me, I decided I would make my resolutions in the middle of January. That seems reasonable, right!? Maybe, like my good friend Samantha said, it would create sustainability in resolutions.

Well, one of my 2010 resolutions is to read, read, read! Here is my must-read list for this year – well, at least through March!

If you want to join me in this resolution, every picture is linked to http://amazon.com so that you can quickly purchase and begin to read as soon as possible!

A Year with C. S. Lewis By C. S. Lewis

Thought provoking and life challenging, C. S. Lewis helps his readers to love God well with their heart, mind, and life. Read day by day in order to soak up all the Lord wants to teach you through this great man’s godly wisdom.

Tyler's 2010 devotional must read

Streams in the Desert By L. B. Cowman

My grandmother gave me this book for Christmas and ever since January 1, I have enjoyed it every day. L. B. Cowman, a frontier missionary who worked with her husband in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917 and endured much suffering, is such an inspiration and challenge to me as I read all that the Lord taught her.  Don’t we all at sometimes feel like we are wandering in a desert, a bit weary and in great need of water. The Lord has poured His refreshing spirit over me, and I look forward to reading this book every day.

** Recession Proof Tip : She found it at a used book store in great condition for only a couple of dollars!

Pursuit of God By A. W. Tozer

I am reading this book in the 31-Day Experience version. Tozier hits you right between the eyes as he writes about the things of God in such a  straightforward manner. He makes you deal with yourself, with your sin, and helps you to delight yourself in the Lord, for He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life By Hannah Whitall-Smith

What a beautiful cover – and what a beautiful inside too!  Tozier and Smith deal with several of the same topics and Smith’s feminine point of view complements Tozier’s book, so I am so glad I am reading these two books together. Hannah Whitall-Smith writes that the Christian life is not to be one of legalism and lackluster, but abundant love life lived under the cross.

Heaven By Randy Alcorn

With this book, there is even a study guide, which from what I have heard from others who have read this book, I think would be really helpful! The book deals with heaven, a deep and profound subject, so to have a study guide may help to pull out the important aspects of each chapter and allow the reader to understand the main points and meditate well on what the Lord wants to show the reader.

E. M. Bounds on Prayer By E. M. Bounds

I have talked to so many friends and family who say that one of their New Year’s resolutions include praying more intentionally – for others, their family, themselves. This book is the perfect companion to growing your prayer relationship with the Lord.

Hopefully by the end of March, I will have read these books (except for the year long devotional books) and I will be onto a whole new list of great reads!