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Finding Beauty in the Brokenness: Books


There have been so many things pushing me through this loss and grief.  First and foremost is my hope in Christ. I honestly cannot imagine walking this road without His hand leading us, comforting us, caring for us, and faithfully providing for our needs. We would simply be left to wander aimlessly.

I’m all the more thankful for the lives we have been entrusted. Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac have been reasons to get out of bed, and great sources of both joy and distraction.

Brad has been fiercely loyal.  We’ve hurt together, differently, but in unison. I know it’s times like these that either break you or make you, and we’re determined to let it grow us, even if it’s painful.


Additionally, there have been a few other helps along the way that I’d like to share with you.  I know that so many of you have or are facing different hardships and grief, and I hope these can be a source of encouragement to you.  If you are coasting right now, perhaps you can use these resources to be a source of comfort to those hurting in your circles.

I’ll start with books. Words have been a powerful tool in helping me walk through the pain.  I’ve been listening to others who have walked through pain, uncertainty, loss, difficulties, and have come out shining. They’ve found beauty in the broken road – a journey I’m determined to endure.

Here are 3 Books God Has Used to Show Me Beauty in the Brokenness:

1. You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth

The timing of this book was impeccable. It arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep as an early release the day before my D&C.  You think that was simply accidental? I was a little afraid of working through this book, because I knew it would force me to swallow the hard things, and see God’s goodness through it. And it did.  This book was the warm hug and reassuring pat on the back that I needed in some of my darkest hours. It forced me to see so many truths, and embrace the hope that I can cling to in the joy and in the sorrow.


2. Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman

I read this book in a little over 24 hour hours in some of those first hard days, because I simply could not stop reading it.  Although the Chapman’s weight of grief in loosing their daughter Maria, must be so much heavier than my own load, I could relate so much to her words, “All stories of hard are different, but pain and suffering are the common ground.” I found so much comfort through her writing and honesty in the struggle of choosing to SEE.


3. I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

I read this book back in 2010, and it greatly changed the way I’ve responded to friends and family’s pain and losses. Brad and I have referenced it frequently over the last few weeks, and know that we both read it for a purpose. It’s a beautiful depiction of the sacred dance of grief and joy.



What books have been a treasure to YOU in finding beauty in the brokenness?

{Original Photo by RonWLS}


Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!

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Library Book Haul: Favorite Check-Outs from October

I’m a little late in sharing our Library Book Haul, our favorite library check-outs of October with all the Halloween festivities.  However, it’s not a reflection of our enthusiasm for this month’s reads.

Out of Our 43 Books That We Read from the Library This Past Month, Here Are Our Top 10 Favorites:




1. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen We read this one twice in a row, a sign of a instant favorite. It’s one we definitely need to add to our personal library, about a family’s camping adventure. We loved the fun illustrations as well!

2. Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett I love how Jan Brett uses foreshadowing in her books to help kids predict what comes next. This was definitely one of our favorite’s by Brett, a close second to The Mitten.

3. Inch by Inch by Eric Carle This Caldecott Winner is another great classic from Eric Carle. It’s also a great tie in to measurements and comparing lengths for math enrichment.

4. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell The boys have been fascinated with owls, and we’ve been reading lots of non-fiction and fiction books on these birds. Even though this was a simple plot, the boys really enjoyed the family relationship between the owletts and the return of their mother.

5. Robin Hood by Neil Philip Hands-down the favorite read of the month! The boys were so into this classic tale, and couldn’t wait to read each chapter.  The illustrations and historical explanations in this version are fantastic.  The boys learned so much and so did I!

6. Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel This book has a great collection of bedtime stories that the father mouse tells to his son. All around delightful stories! Another one I would like to own to read time and time again (and simple enough for them to read to me soon)!

7. Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo We can’t get enough of books by Kate DiCamillo books. This one was a humorous adventure of a chicken, which reinforced being content in your own circumstances.

8. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharat This book has been on our list for quite some time, and I’m glad we checked it off this month. The boys enjoyed the mystery element and of course all the pancake references.  We can’t wait to check out more from this series!

9. If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty We’ve been studying astronomy for science this year, and the boys are hooked. This book explains the perspective and aspects of the moon better than any other book we have read. It’s visually amazing as well!

10. The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman You recommend this, and now so are we! We read this book at the beginning of the month, and the boys are still talking about it. They enjoyed reading about these seven siblings and their picky eating habits, and seeing how something good came from their mess.

So that concludes our Top 10 Library Check-Outs from October, but I can’t wait to hear what YOU recommend for us to check-out next!

Want more great Library Haul suggestions? Check out these:

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!
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Library Book Haul: Favorite Check-Outs from August

library book haul august books you should check out

When we make trips to the library, often my book stack looks like this one that I posted last week on Instagram

library book haul august stack

I look like a crazy woman hauling a giant bag of books that I can barely muster out to my minivan – but someone out there needs a laugh for the day, and I’m happily the victim.

I love reserving book titles online, and then checking out my giant stack that keeps us busy for the next few weeks.  That way, we can peruse the rows of books and get a few that look good by their cover, and have a stack of that I already know we will enjoy that I take from a giant book list that I’ve been compiling.

Here Are Our Favorites From Our August Library Haul:


favorite library books - Stick

Stick by Steven Breen – We read this one countless times over the few weeks we borrowed it from the library, and I’m thinking we need to add it to our own library collection.  It’s about a frog and his journey through things he sticks to – very clever and enjoyable read.

favorite library books - Harry the Dirty Dog

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion – This was the first Harry book we’ve read together, and I’m sure it won’t be our last.  The boys could relate to this dog’s desire to be free and dirty!  

favorite library books - Feathers for Lunch

Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert – This book is filled with delightful pictures and an engaging story to go with the illustrations.  I love how Lois Ehlert books offer so much more than just the text.  It’s a great bird/feather reference that tells all about what the birds in the story eat, where you can find them, etc.

favorite library books -  The Three Pigs

The Three Pigs by David Wiesner This isn’t your traditional “Three Little Pigs” tale.  The pigs in this version escape the storybook and run into other familiar stories, before taking revenge on The Big Bad Wolf.

favorite library books - City Dog, Country Frog

City Dog, Country Frog – Mo Willems This is a sweet book on friendship through the seasons with beautiful watercolor pictures of nature to accompany the story.

favorite library books - Children Make Terrible Pets

Children Make Terrible Pets  by Peter Brown – Our librarian recommended this book, and I’m glad we tried it.  It was a heartwarming story about how a bear wanted a pet so badly that she picked a human one she names Squeaker.

favorite library books - Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback  – A great lesson in making something out of nothing, as Joseph teaches us a lesson in resourcefulness as his coat shrinks and transforms page by page.

favorite library books - Froggy Plays Soccer

Froggy Plays Soccer by Jonathan London We love Froggy books, but this one became a quick favorite, since Froggy plays soccer just like our boys. Froggy is always great for humor including using the word “underwear” in each book, which my boys find hilarious.

favorite library books - The Monster Who Ate My Peas

The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein  – In this clever story, a boy makes several deals with a monster to eat his least favorite vegetable, but in the end he finds out the peas he’s been bargaining and avoiding aren’t so bad after all.

  favorite library books - The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon 

The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon by Mini Grey – This story picks up where “Hey Diddle, Diddle” leaves off.  The Dish and the Spoon take off and make money, and loose it and each other in the process. We loved this spin off!

What have YOU been reading with your kids this month?  Share some of your favorite library or bookstore finds with us in the comment section!



Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!

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