For the past year or so, with our mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law and I have done a book swap for Christmas. I have been a reader all my life and friends knowingly laugh when the words ‘In this book I was reading…’ come out of my mouth. (Which is probably once a day.)
Here are a few of the books I enjoyed this year….
When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin
I discovered Charles Martin earlier this year. I am already a girl who will shamelessly ignore other needs such as laundry or dishes (or sleep) because I’m hooked in a story, but this author hooks you quickly and creatively and you don’t want to stop. I’ll also admit I teared up more than once. If you’ve never read Charles Martin and you enjoy fiction, pick this one up.
Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simmons
Ruth Chou Simmons’ writing has been inspirational to me for many years, and this book is a beautiful combination of spiritual Truth and illustration.
To our all-seeing God, everyday faithfulness is an act of worship and not just an act of survival.
Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Ed Welch
This is my second book of Ed Welch’s, and I’m learning these words come to mind to describe his writing: thorough, insightful and inspiring. If you or a friend struggle with fear and anxiety, this deep dive will (hopefully) be a breakthrough for you. It has been transformative in my life as a new mom and has taught me a lot about the nature of God and my belief in Him.
Worry is usually about seeking something other than God’s kingdom. Worry is a sign that we are trying to have it both ways, with one foot in the kingdom of the world and the other in the kingdom of heaven. What is the way out of worry? We must become students of the King and his true kingdom so that we see its beauty and glory and become enthralled by it.
What I loved most about this book was Jamie’s heart for helping introverted moms glorify God in their wiring. She doesn’t give you excuses. She doesn’t ask you to compromise what helps you flourish best. She writes to extend affirmation and conviction for how we introverts can honor God and love our people well.
Enjoying the Presence of God: Discovering Intimacy with God in the Daily Rhythms of Life by Jan Johnson
I talk to God pretty much all the time. In my understanding, all my thoughts and feelings and external processing happen in His presence because He is everywhere I am. This book aims to teach its readers how to not only pray but to develop a praying life.
I had complicated the spiritual life with my notebook and checklists and invented my own version of “spiritual correctness.” In truth, I needed only one thing—God. I didn’t need a great quiet time, I needed a God-centered lifetime. I saw that my responsibility as a Christian was to seek God’s company, not to seek spiritual maturity.
Something Needs To Change by David Platt
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this latest from David Platt, only that I’d heard him say it was different from anything he’d written before. It is full of encounters and insights from a week-long trip through the Himalayas, and it was inspire and convict you. I finished it with greater humility, gratitude and fresh desire to live generously with my words, energy and resources to share the gospel of Jesus.
Let gospel reality in your head fuel gospel fervency in your heart that leads to gospel urgency in your life.
Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes Jr.
Many of us are familiar with Charles Spurgeon, but few probably know much about his wife. I was definitely in that boat, and greatly enjoyed this telling of her story. I’ve only read a few biographies in my life, but after how much I liked this one that might be changing. It’s a page-turner of spiritual encouragement.
If we would trust Him for the keeping, as we do for the saving, our lives would be far holier and happier than they are.
I’ve been a fan of Rebekah Lyons and her heart for freedom and Jesus ever since I read You Are Free. I mostly read this latest book of hers because I’m all about the general themes: rhythm, renewal, peace, purpose, etc. Especially upon transitioning into a new role – momhood – her practical steps toward spiritual, emotional and relational health were refreshingly helpful.
We cannot run if we cannot rest.
Books on my 2020 list:
- Be The Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison (Currently reading)
- Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More by Sharon Hodde Miller
- Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology by Eugene H. Peterson
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
- I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
- All That’s Good by Hannah Anderson
- The Warner Boys by Ana and Curt Warner
- What If It’s True? by Charles Martin