Soaking It In

I don’t really tend to read hype-you-up, trendy self help books but now in my old age, my 30’s, I have learned to read the books that offer Christian wisdom based on experience or revelation.

I always thought nonfiction, “be better” books were boring, fusty-dusty sleepy reads until I got to a point in my life where the person I was wasn’t getting me any closer to the person I wanted to be for those around me. I started looking around for help. I cracked open a few different reads and had this “aha” moment with the first one that “clicked” – it felt like someone was reading my spirit back to me from the pages, putting into print the real feelings, struggles and desires in my own heart that I hadn’t been able to fully pin down or define.

What I’ve been feeling lately is a huge amount of respect for boldness and faithfulness to share God-given wisdom. We as believers have the same Holy Spirit within us, so God can certainly pass a word of wisdom on to you through someone else’s experience, revelation, and interpretation, regardless of age or walk of life. We feel like we earn a badge of honor if we go it alone and forge our own path, but the truth is, that’s just silly- if God has given a word of truth and clarity to someone else to share, I certainly want in!!

Previously, when I had a free moment, I always wanted read a novel to go to another world to escape, to be a part of something exciting, resolvable, different. But one of my deepest heart’s desires is to create a life I don’t need an escape from. Now, I will always enjoy a great novel, don’t get me wrong – Regency dramas are my jam!! – but recently I have been soaking up the wisdom from others that is helping me to find beauty, joy and depth in the life that I have. I want abundance from my own life, and not be waiting for an escape at bedtime.

Since reading books is sometimes not practical with toddlers running around, I’ve also taken to listening to podcasts and sermons online – if you would have told me ten years ago I would be voluntarily listening to semons, I’da giggled right in your face! But. My soul is thirsty. And I’m drinking up the wisdom that speaks to me, that convicts me and that challenges me. God is speaking to me through His other kids who have been there before and learned it and now have the generosity and the bravery to pass it on. He has given them the gift to clarify, relate and teach and I want to be listening. I want to be sure I am always a learner – we never have it all figured out, and as much God as I can get poured into me through eyes and ears, I want it all!

In keeping with the reason I started this blog – to share what’s helped me – I wanted to share with you just a few of the books, sermons, and podcasts that have been working in my heart and soul — some of them you may say “well, duh! Everyone has read that one!” but others may be new for you. And as I read or listened, I made notes on what they wrote or said, and how it applied to my life and my growth – I also made note of the people that they said influenced THEM and began to peek into this ever growing network of inspirational, encouraging, faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. I encourage you to do the same! Technology can be a wonderful gift as we have access to so many resources – let’s use it so iron sharpens iron throughout our body of believers!

Stephanie May Wilson – The Lipstick Gospel
Bob Goff – Love Does and Everybody Always
Shauna Niequist – Bread and Wine
Val Woerner – Grumpy Mom Takes A Holiday
Karen Ehman – Keep It Shut
Stephen Kendrick – The Love Dare
Stormie Omartian – The Power of a Praying Parent
Dr. Tony Evans – Detours
John and Stasi Eldredge – Captivating

Transformation church
Christine Caine
Priscilla Shirer

Bible Studies:
Lord, Change My Attitude – James MacDonald
Many, many studies on the YouVersion Bible App! If you dont have it, it’s an amazing resource!! I have been influenced and blessed by too many studies on there to name them all…just go peek for yourself.

The Balanced Life – Robin Long (she is also a Pilates instructor and her workouts have been transformative for me!! Check her out!)
Whoa, That’s Good – Sadie Robertson
Focus on the Family (I have only listened to a few of these but have learned from them too!)

Some of the books on my upcoming list are:
Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequist
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Peter Scazzero
Cultivate – Lara Casey
The Bait of Satan – John Bevere
Ordering Your Private World – Gordon MacDonald
Soul Keeping – John Ortberg
Moving Mountains – John Eldredge
Wild at Heart – John Eldredge

I would absolutely love to hear what you’ve been reading or listening to lately – drop me a comment with your favorites! Some of these have been recommendations from dear friends and so let’s keep it going and share all the best, encouraging, challenging things that have helped us, so we can help others.

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