Tag Archives: books

Read. Reading. To Be Read.


I love sharing what we’ve been reading and getting good book recommendations from YOU, so here’s some of what we’ve read, what we’re reading, and what’s up next on our reading lists.

Personally What I’ve Read so Far in 2016:

  • Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova – I really enjoyed this author’s book Still Alice, so I decided to give this one a try. It was a tough read, but one I’m glad I finished. Lots of perspective for family + health!
  • A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner – Loved the parallels in this story and how it all came together.
  • You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan – One of the THE BEST marriage books I’ve read. Really want to go back through this one again and soak up even more.


What We’ve {Re}Read with the Boys: 

They read so many chapter books on their own these days, but we still love reading books aloud at the end of the day.

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe  by C.S. Lewis – The boys and Brad finished this one for the second time. This time was even better, as the boys were a little older and able to grasp more of the story.
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Loyd-Jones – I think this is our 4th total time through this book. It’s always fresh and such a cherished read.

What I’m Currently Reading: 

  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger – I’m about halfway through this one and still not able to anticipate where it’s going. It had a bit of a slow start, but now I’m really into the characters and anticipating the ending.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – This one has been on my list for some time after so many friends have loved it. I figured it’s the perfect time to dig in as we’re already in the mode of updating and organizing before the baby comes.


What We’re Currently Reading with the Boys:

Here’s what we’ve been reading for nightly devotions… (Here’s more of our devotional favorites.)


And Here’s What’s On My Personal To-Read List: 

I’m fortunate to have friends who are authors. I’ve known them from back when they were “just bloggers” and I’m so incredibly proud of their efforts that have poured onto these pages. Get your hands on these! They can be found at Target, Amazon, your local Christian bookstores, and on best seller’s lists!!!!

  • My Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner – I’ve always admired how Jess balances her roles in life with self-care and creativity – something I definitely want to grow in.
  • Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World By Kristen Welch –  I’m anxious to gain more perspective on raising our kids to be thankful and have a greater perspective for what they’ve been given – something we’re constantly working on in our home.
  • Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver – So many lives were touched by Sara’s life, and I’m so thankful that my dear friend Mary could continue to share her story and the beauty of choosing joy regardless of circumstances.
  • Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington – This is an area I’ve really been intentional in growing in, and I’m looking forward to gaining more wisdom from someone whom I admire so much.

What’s On the Boys’ To-Read List:

  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis – The boys are looking forward to the next book in the Chronicles of Narnia series.
  • Unbroken (Young Adult Adaptation) by Laura Hildenbrand – Brad and I both were greatly impacted by reading Unbroken and consider it one of our top 3 books we’ve ever read.  The boys have heard us talk about it over the past couple of years, and when Brooks and I found the adapted version at the library, we had to check it out. We’ll definitely preview this one before reading it aloud, but I look forward to the boys getting to hear the astounding story of Louis Zamperini.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madelene L’Engle – I cannot wait to dive into this classic with my dudes!

Now for my favorite part….YOUR turn! What are you reading for fun? What are your reading for personal growth? What are you reading with your kids? Can’t wait to add more books for my “To Be Read” list! 

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 (Diaper Money!!!) – 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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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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5 Books I’m So Glad I Read in 2013…

I’ve had some downtime over these long days, which has given me a little time to do some reading. In the busyness of the end of the year, my beloved Kindle had been neglected on my nightstand. Although these have been some of the most difficult of days, I’m thankful to find a little quiet reading time, which I didn’t realize I had been missing so much.

However, I did read most of my reading list for 2013, and handful more.



Here Are My Top 5 Favorite Reads From 2013:

1. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist


This book was a beautiful recipe memoir of why we gather around the table, and how food serves as a comfort, a place for community, nourishment, and tradition. I started using the recipes from this book immediately, and continue to do so.

2. Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live. by David Platt


We have been unpacking this read with my small group and it has been so convicting and provoking.  It’s definitely a book that requires action and application, and gives you a heart for global missions as well as those within your everyday circles.

3. Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle


Definitely the funniest read of 2013, but this memoir by Melanie Shankle was so much more than just laughs.  It was so easy to relate to her writing and her heart, and I am so anxious to read her next book that comes out in February!

4. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriaty


It’s not often that a fiction book sticks with you and makes you think long after you’ve flown through its chapters, but this one did just that.

5. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman


I was instantly hooked to the characters, circumstances, and the mystery of this novel, and the strength of love through tragedy and loss.

I’ve already made my way through 2 1/2 books in 2014, and I’m still up for suggestions to add to my list!  So what did YOU read in 2013?  What’s a must-read for my list this year?  Stay tuned and I’ll share what books I’m looking forward to sticking my nose in during 2014…


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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