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Category Archives: Faith

Favorite Books & Music of 2019

Don’t you just love a good list that you don’t have to come up with yourself? I’ve compiled my favorites for ya, fat-free and full of flavor, so all you have to do is click the pics and join me.

Great books are the gifts that keep on giving through this new month, year and decade.

Feliz Año Nuevo, Amigos!

Books

1. Braving the Wilderness, by Brené Brown

The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

I mostly feel like I belong, and I feel fairly courageous, so I didn’t think I needed this book. #wrong  So. Many. Great. Points.

2. The President is Missing, by James Patterson & Bill Clinton

I don’t read much fiction, but the unexpected twists and turns kept me reading. Patterson brings the gripping writing style and Clinton brings the behind-the-scenes presidential expertise. 

3. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

A bit of a slow read in parts, but powerful. Think you’re not racist in any way? Ever? This is a story all of humanity could stand to check themselves against. It made me think about what I truly believe, and I can’t wait to see the small book about justice unfold on the big screen.

4. Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown

How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

The v-word is one of my least favorites and one of my most favorites. I’m usually torn as a result of pride, but this book got dog-eared more than any other. Be brave and read it.

5. The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile

An Enneagram Journey

Sooo eye-opening. Reading about myself and then my husband had me tilting my head and wondering how the authors knew us. Our strengths, weaknesses, fears, motivators… all of it. 

If you’re leery about learning from this ancient guide, remember it’s just that. It’s not the bible—it’s a guide. The most helpful one I’ve ever used. 

Self awareness and emotional intelligence are two things I’m choosing not to ignore. What might have worked in 1994 doesn’t translate to where we all stand today, so make 2020 a year of productive rediscovery by starting with this book. Your friends and family will thank you. 

Well, they probably won’t, but they should. 

6. Jesus Every Day, by Mary DeMuth

Prayers to Awaken Your Soul: A Journey Through the Bible in One Year

I met Mary at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference a few years ago. She has a crazy powerful story of abuse and forgiveness, and is making a huge cultural impact through her writing and speaking. 

I’m jumping into this new devotional and realizing it will most likely last longer than a year, but I love that fact that she didn’t date the pages! Start late, pick up where you left off, whatever. It’s about spending time with Hay-soos, not how perfectly you go through the book. #noguilt

7. Adorning the Dark, by Andrew Peterson

Thoughts on Community, Calling and the Mystery of Making

This came highly recommended through a podcast and I love the premise behind Andrew’s message. He’s also a phenomenal singer and songwriter. #community

8. Doing Life With Your Adult Children, by Jim Burns

Keep Your Mouth Shut & the Welcome Mat Out

Our oldest is old for his grade. So even though he turned 18 last summer, he’s a senior in high school. We still have an active voice in his life, but I know the day is soon coming when we won’t. 

Thought I’d get a jumpstart on this whole, it’s-time-to-hold-your-tongue thing. (insert eye roll) Apparently his poor choices shouldn’t be a reflection of me or my parenting? Awesome. But unsolicited advice? It’s usually taken as criticism. Hmm….

La Musica

I liked a few slower worship songs last year too, but this list is for those of us who like to move and need some inspiration to get going. Pulling weeds? Washing windows? Scrubbing grout? These hits will kick you into gear and keep you there. No caffeine needed. 

1. La Luz (Live) – Crowder, feat. Social Club Misfits

A bit of Español mixed into a fun beat is never a bad thing. 

2. Rescue (Chill Mix) – Lauren Daigle

The Chill Mix makes the original a little edgier and pop-y, but have you seen the music video? Yowza. Singing from an iceberg in Alaska with a chopper flying overhead can’t be cozy, but watching it is definitely mesmerizing. 

3. I’m Gonna Let It Go – Jason Gray

The perfect happy song for a kitchen dance party or kitchen scrub fest. Choose wisely, grasshopper.

4. 21 Years – Toby Mac

A tribute to his recently deceased son, Truett, this brand new song dropped a couple days ago. Heart-wrenching from a parenting perspective, but I love Toby’s vulnerable honesty.

5. Never Walk Away – Elevation Rhythm

Legit lyrics, sweet beat. Got this one on repeat. 

6. Revival Anthem – Rend Collective

High energy to say the least, the drums drive this anthem right into my soul. The arial shots in their music video rival Lauren Daigle’s, but since the band’s in Ireland on top of a castle(!) they get bonus points.

7. Fight For Me – GAWVI, feat. Lacrae

What are you fighting for? Justice? Babies? Anti-racism? Marriage? Besides letting Jesus fight our battles, having a human fight for you on this earth is life-giving. Raise ‘em high. 

Alrighty… I told you mine, now share yours!

Gripping book? Catchy song? Tell me in the comments!

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The Hungry Games

(Shared with permission) Age: nineChild: mineAttitude: fine Until it wasn’t.  When one of our kids got in trouble for a garden-variety no-no, I figured the next steps would resemble the rest. Too tall to spank and not naughty enough to ground, I sent him to the back room where his timeout minutes matched his age.… Continue Reading

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What the What? Didn’t See THAT Comin’

I cooked in my kitchen when the house phone rang. “Sharri has cancer.”I sat in his Jeep when he told me we were done. “I’m loving you more than I’m loving Jesus.”I stood on my college campus when I read, “You have not been selected for the position.” I walked through a Costco parking lot when… Continue Reading

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Praying for Closed Doors

“I don’t know which college to pick. I got into these two schools and I like them equally, but I’m afraid to pick the wrong one.” When we ran a GAP-year program in Baja, MX, each class of students lived with us from August to June. They were all recent high school graduates and no… Continue Reading

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A Loss, a Baby & Secondary Infertility

  After five years of marriage, my husband and I decided we wanted a baby.  Sad to say, I don’t recall checking with God much about this, but He didn’t send a concerned email so I laid my clothes on the bed next to Doug’s and bam—prego. Phone calls, nursery plans and a roomy pair… Continue Reading

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When You Don’t Wanna Bloom Where You’re Planted

  When the Mary Englebreit craze invaded 1996, I joined millions of other fans and hung her calendar on my wall. I liked her one-two faith punch: “Everything is a risk. What if it doesn’t work out?”  “Oh—but what if it does?” Over the years my floral style changed, but I now see that she produces… Continue Reading

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The Day I Deleted Her

  Just because two sets of parents are good friends doesn’t mean their offspring will follow suit. So was the case with Chelsea and me. We saw each other every summer at Mount Hermon and ran through camp together while our parents hung out and caught up. It took 358 days to bring us together… Continue Reading

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Do It Afraid

  “No Fear,” claims the American lifestyle clothing brand. “Fear not,” the preacher says.  “Do not be afraid,” Jesus commands. Sounds brave. Courageous. Bold. I want that; I’m guessing you probably do too.   Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash   But we’re human. And some of us deal with fear. How we deal with… Continue Reading

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