Books I’ve Read {June Update}

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Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider – I ended up not reading this book because I received the launch team copy of Longing for Paris, and didn’t have time to read both. (You can read more about this book HERE, and about us meeting Tsh HERE.)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – Hmm…where do I start with this one? I have lots to say about it, but that would turn into a long review, and I know you are in the middle of summer fun. I love Marie’s perspective on clutter. She pretty much says get rid of it all!! The more I have decluttered, the more happy I have become, for sure, but I can honestly say I will never be a minimalist. There are items in my life I would love to pass on to my future generations, photos or items that hold great memories which I will forget if I tossed them, etc. I really like the process she describes to go about decluttering so you can be tidy, but I am not a huge fan of all the talk about (spiritual) energy and saying “thanks!” to my possessions when I get rid of them. I think she does more or less trash (maybe recycle) all items leaving a home, which I don’t like because someone else really can use them, or you can sell them. I also don’t believe that she has kids…when you bring kids into the picture, it’s a whole different story when it comes to the rate of accumulating things. :p

Be You, Bravely: An Experiment in Courage by MOPS – So good! This book is a devotional for MOPS members this past year, so it is not a book you can purchase. I really enjoyed all the stories shared by the authors, and the questions at the end of each article were super thought-provoking. It gave me a new perspective on stepping out of my comfort zone and being brave(r) to do the things God has called me to do. I think there is a new book for the upcoming MOPS year, and I hope someone will let me borrow it when they are done reading it since I am not a member anymore.

Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae – I’ll be posting about this more later, but it is awesome. That’s all for now. 😉 It is only $8.37 on Amazon right now, probably for a limited time, so get on it! Anyone who pre-orders the book can fill out this form HERE and get an invite to a webinar with Sarah and Sally Clarkson. See the video about the book HERE.

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READING
Looking forward to reading these books in July. Anyone else want to join me?

Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls (8 Great Dates) by Dannah Gresh
– A Girl’s Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls by Dannah Gresh
– Classical Christian Education Made Approachable by Classical Conversations
– The Get Yourself Organized Project by Kathi Lipp

20150708_165154Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {May Update}

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desperateflash

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Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson – It was a busy month, so I didn’t get through the entire book. This is my third time reading this, and I pick up a few more great nuggets each time. I actually have two copies of this book, and the one I’m reading is the marked up one with underlining, notes, and highlighting, which is fun to go through, remembering the last season I read through it and things that were happening at that time. Here’s one I posted to my HelloMornings group:

“And above all, I need to remember that “good” motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me. Nothing. I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days. His love for me never wavers…and never will. Because I’m His.”

Sometimes all we need are reminders like these…that someone knows exactly how we feel, and that it is okay in the rough seasons because God still loves us. Review

Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge – From the moment you read about Flash the Donkey’s arrival appearance in the Ridge family’s driveway, you will start to fall in love with his charming ways. I love Flash..both the book and the donkey. If you don’t think you could learn a thing or two from a donkey, think again! Flash may teach you something about life. Read more about the wisdom that Flash has to bestow upon us in the following links: Flash | My Day with (Flat) Flash.

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in June. Anyone else want to join me?

Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Be You, Bravely: An Experiment in Courage by MOPS
may15books

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {April Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.IMG_1191

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I have been feeling a little scattered-brain after coming back from our trip, so I was glad to jump into reading some books that helped me to get on track with what my priorities. “Focus” has been on my mind.

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine – This was a re-read. I had gone through this book when HelloMornings did a little book club. Part of the book discusses being disciplined in working through one small project a day and one Mega project from beginning to completion through the 21 days. If you know me, this is challenging for me because I like to do many things, read many books,…you get the picture, all at once. A hard lesson I have learned is that for some things, I really do need to focus. This book is perfect. There is one chapter for each day for 21 days. The chapters are short and there is a practical application each day to guide you to complete your task.

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins – What do you want to be when you grow up? I think a lot of grown-ups are asking that question of themselves. In The Art of Work, Jeff shares his personal experience of really taking a look at what he was meant to do. He also shares some powerful stories of others who have re-evaluated what they were meant to do, and figured out how to live their lives beyond the mediocre. Now…to figure out what I want to be when I grow up… 😜

Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews – This was another re-read for me, but this time I actually worked out the different steps that Amy shares about and going through the printables to come up with a practical schedule that helps me to reach my goals and build important relationships. The roles, goals, and activities, and charting the activities on the grid were simple, but getting all of that into a real-life schedule that worked was really hard. I realized that none of the groups/activities we are involved in happen at the same time each day. MOPS is on Tuesday mornings, Awana is on Wednesday evenings, AOK is on Thursday afternoons, etc. It was kind of hard to plot it on the schedule. I think I might have to tweak it some more, but I do see that I have more cushion than I thought I had, I just have to make sure I use my time more wisely. (aff link)

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in May. Anyone else want to join me?

Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge

desperateflash

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {March Update}

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marchbooksWe packed fairly lightly for our Australia trip compared to what we normally bring (our whole house), and I thought about not bringing a book since I have a Kindle app on my phone plus the iPad with Kindle on it plus we were off on some adventures, but let’s be honest, I prefer having a physical book to read and there are lots of waiting periods between adventures when traveling! I was able to finish three books – Interrupted, Read More, and Begin.

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist – I read an advanced copy of this last year, and LOVED it! The girls love the blueberry crisp recipe from the book. I lent out that copy, and it’s nowhere to be found. I think I mentioned it to Kris and she sent me an extra copy she had!!! How awesome is she! Make sure to check out her wonderful site –> Grace Table. I love love love community, and so I love how Shauna shares about the different ways she has gathered community around the table…or at one point in time, around the piano in her bedroom. “We don’t learn to love each other well in the easy moments. Anyone is good company at a cocktail party. But love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right, when we cry in the kitchen, when we show up uninvited with magazines and granola bars, in an effort to say, I love you.” Stories and food is always a good combo. This is definitely one I will read again.

Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin – I had read the older version of this book, but it is always refreshing to read words of encouragement from other moms who get it. It is a good reminder that we are not alone in this journey. Yes, we have our support systems of family and friends, but God is also there in the midst of the never-ending dirty dishes and laundry piles, and He wants us to come to Him with our greatest joys and our greatest needs as moms. I am still reading through this book again, but it’s wonderful to know that I can #choosehope. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker – Interrupted is one of those books you find yourself scared of starting because of what it might reveal about you, about God, about what God will call you to do if you really listen. And of course, it does just that! Jen shares how God, slowly but sure, took her from her comfortable life of “doing church” to answering the question of how He could use her to be the church for those who might not otherwise hear about Jesus. She challenges us to look beyond what we’re supposed to do as the church, but to pray, to listen, to read, to take action. Of course, this action doesn’t look the same for every person, but Jen shows us what can happen when we lean in to hear His voice. And also, an added bonus, she’s pretty funny.

Read More by Nicole Bennett – This was one I didn’t have on my list (I think probably because it hadn’t come out yet), but after I finished Interrupted on the plane, I went looking for something to read, and I found the download in my email. 😜 I was blessed to have had Nicole in one of my HelloMornings group, and I love that we are in the same life stage homeschooling our kiddos. I also love that she loves to read and she loves ice cream (no joke, she loves it a lot!). Anyhow, I always feel like I’m a super nerdy bookworm because I don’t actually know people in ‘real’ life who read a lot (totally different story when it comes to my online friends)…or maybe they’re just all closet bookworms. And if you have kids, the closet might be the best place to read some days. 😜 haha! I also know lots of people who say they would love to read, but don’t have time. Nicole shares in her book, like the tagline says, “why and how to make time for reading amidst the busyness of life”. Get your own free e-copy in the link above.

The Growly Books: Begin (Volume 1) by Erin Ulrich and Philip Ulrich – Melody got this book as a gift from my sister when it came out in 2013, and she has read it multiple times since then. It is her favorite of the three volumes in the series. She has been asking me to read it ever since she finished it the first time, but I always have other books on my own to-read list. After finishing Interrupted and Read More, I was looking for another book in the Kindle app to read, and it was one of the ones I had actually loaded (when it was offered for free). I have a ton of books, but not too many loaded to read offline, and on the plane, we were offline. So, I started reading this lovely story of the adventures of a young bear cub named Growly who sets off on his own. Short chapters (my fave!) made for a quick read even though there were 35 chapters. Detailed descriptions of the places he visited and friends he made helped the story to come alive. Now, Melody’s going to have me read Volume 2 and 3 in the upcoming months. 😜

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in April. Anyone else want to join me?

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine
The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews (aff link)

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Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {February Update}

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I am going to try to remember to give updates on what I am reading, so I can keep to my book list for the year. If I miss an updates, please give me a reminder. 🙂

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IMG_0580Happy Habits for Every Couple by Roger and Kathi Lipp – Kathi Lipp is joined by her husband, Roger, to write this book. Don’t skip the first part of the book. It is important to be reminded why we need to have couple time. Whether we go out for dinner, out for a walk, or spend time doing some goal-setting, having some time together on a more or less consistent basis helps us to remember why we married our spouse in the first place! The second part of the book has lots of great ideas for date nights to connect. There is a bit of planning involved, depending on if you need to buy things for a particular task, or if you will be need of a babysitter, but whatever you end up doing, I know you will enjoy spending some time together as a couple without the kids around.

Mindset for Moms by Jamie Martin – After having kids, I am all about the short-chapter books!! Jamie Martin does a wonderful job helping readers to find refreshment in the midst of the messes that are sometimes involved in mothering during those early years. She shares the struggles she has had, and how she has found a different mindset when it comes to parenting her children with a more joyful heart. It was the perfect time for me to read this book as my girls were recovering from sickness. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns, but I have learned so much as we live life together, and the have brought so much joy to my life.

EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey – I know lots of people who have gone through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. They give raving reviews and it has truly proven to helped friends and others I know get out of debt!! Besides our mortgage, we have never been in debt. I am planning on reading Total Money Makeover and Smart Money Smart Kids, but I was intrigued by his book EntreLeadership, and wanted to know more of how Dave has found success. Since I had a few other books going at the same time, and this one was borrowed from the library, I only read a few chapters. It was a good read, and mostly things I knew already about being an entrepreneur and leader (I was a business major, you know), but great reminders about how to lead alongside the people in your team, not just overseeing them and managing them. I’m sure I’ll check it out again so I can finish the whole book.

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in March. Anyone else want to join me?

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist
Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker

marchbooksHave you read any good books this month?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {January Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I am going to try to remember to give updates on what I am reading, so I can keep to my book list for the year. If I miss an updates, please give me a reminder. 🙂

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I’m so glad I started the year with these books! They’re all sooo good, and just what I needed to help me get a clearer vision (and clearer home!) for 2015.

IMG_0578Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp – I honest to goodness thought that I would read the book and just share with everyone that it was released (because I’m a serial declutter-er already), but y’all, there is some good stuff in this book. I met Kathi when she came to speak at our MOPS meetings in the past 2 years, and I love that she is honest, authentic, and funny. She speaks truth. I have read a few books on this same topic, but none seem to address it from the point of view that Kathi does. It has helped me to take a good look at the ‘why’ behind the clutter, and given me peace when passing an item on. If it is not something I need, want, or love, it has got to go.

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae – Cleaning is the next natural step after decluttering, right? This is a re-read for me, but a first read of the revised edition. Another awesome book with Scripture to help me make my house a home. Sarah helps us to see our home from the Mary and Martha perspectives. “Before the cleaning and the day and all its troubles get a hold of you, I’m encouraging you to get a hold of Him.” And this is exactly what she does in 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way. I’m still working through the challenges.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine – This is another re-read for me. The first time through last year, I just read it through quickly, but this time, I took each day to complete the little assignments Crystal has in each chapter, and really making it practical and applicable to my real life. I love goal setting, but I’m pretty bad at being intentional to take action on those goals.

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in February. Anyone else want to join me?

IMG_0580Mindset for Moms by Jamie Martin
Happy Habits for Every Couple by Roger and Kathi Lipp
EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey – bits and pieces
Plus another book…probably a fiction…

Have you read any good books this month?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Book List 2015

Aside

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Sooo…last year, I didn’t do a good job of updating you on the books I read. I lost track myself. :p But I have a little more accountability this year, so hopefully, I will share my thoughts on some of them. You will notice that there are some that are repeats from last year. It wasn’t that I didn’t read them. I did! And I really liked them, and I want to implement some of what I learned from them.

What books do you have on your Books-to-read list for this year? Are you more of a nonfiction or fiction reader?Book List 2015I will update as the year goes on. Italicized = currently reading, Bold = done reading

Visit our Amazon store to purchase your own copy of these books, or look for similar books.

My Brave Emily

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beyoubravely_logoIf you have been around the blogosphere recently, you will see that “Brave” is a hot word! Our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) theme this year is Be You, Bravely! I love it! (You can tell by all the exclamation marks!)

I think most of us who are moms (esp during the new mom stage) sometimes tend to forget about who we are apart from our kiddos. I love how this theme helps us to not only remember who we were, but who we can become as moms, but also as we grow in this journey. I’m sure there are tons of books out there for us about being brave, but I loved when an email showed up in my inbox about a new book series for girls on being brave!

05291089843There are so many things we can be “afraid” of in this world, especially with how fast (bad) news can travel in a tap of a few keys. There are some brave women in the Bible who can show our girls how to be brave in a world that maybe doesn’t really agree with them. I was listening in on a conversation Emily was having recently with some kids she just met. She started telling them about A/OK (Alpha Omega Kids), which is a weekly kids’ group at our church where they have a worship time, attend different workshops (computer, cooking, crafts, recreation, etc.), eat dinner together, and have a Bible time. She told them that it was about God and how God loves them. One of the boys responded that it was weird…or she was weird. I couldn’t hear what he said. I was so proud of her for sharing her faith, but it also broke my mama heart. It didn’t faze her at all, and she just kept right on playing with them. I don’t want her to ever feel defeated by how others view who she is or what she believes, but how much easier it would be for me to tell her now to say those things because someone might not like her. I would hope and pray that those around her would love and accept her whether they share the same beliefs or not.

If you remember, I am not a huge gifts person. It is definitely not my love language, and we don’t always do Christmas gifts and such because we have enough stuff already and it really isn’t what Christmas is about, but I think these books will end up on the list. (The devotionals are available in March 2015 but you can preorder today.)

brave index

It would be neat to have a series like this for boys too. And because I can’t resist, below are some “brave” books for grownups:
*50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Spiritual Giants of the Faith
*50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith
*Brave Mom: Facing and Overcoming Your Real Mom Fears

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I Need Some Help Here!

So…if there’s a day when things seem to be going crazy, you know, those days when you think either all your kids have gone crazy or you yourself have gone crazy, here’s what you do:

inshhGo into the garage and lock yourself in the car. BUT don’t forget your copy of I Need Some Help Here! by Kathi Lipp because you will end up reading at least half of it. True story. (Also, make sure your kids are with a trusted adult while you are locked in the car.)

<—— This was obviously NOT taken on the day when things were crazy.

If you have a child in your life, there will be one of those days. Trust me. And if you have a child in your life, you will need this book. Trust me on this one too.

kathilippIf you have been ’round these parts for some time, you have already heard me mention Kathi. She basically rocks!

Hey, look! —–>
There’s a pic of me and Kathi! :p

Don’t let the cover of this book fool you. This book isn’t just for moms with little ones. This book isn’t just for moms who have out-of-the-box bouncing-off-the-wall kids. It is for ANY and EVERY mom with kids. Hey, it’s can even be for dads! It covers a whole range of topics, from bullying to illness to suicide. Some of the chapters:

  • When My Child Is Different
  • When My Child Is Overwhelmed
  • When My Child Is Running Away from God
  • When My Child is Lacking Character
  • When My Child is Struggling

Kathi is all about keeping it real, and you will hear her heart for giving moms hope as she shares her own stories with her kids, as well as other moms’ stories about their struggles and frustrations with their own kids, and how they all dealt with issues that have come up in their lives. What I love about Kathi’s books is that she doesn’t add a bunch of fluff. She has practical steps to give us hope when our kids don’t go according to plan. (That’s the tagline of the book you know. ;p) And the best part? The end of each chapter is filled with Bible verses and prayers for our child/ren and prayers for ourselves. Whether your child/ren is struggling with an issue or not, I Need Some Help Here! offers parents hope for their child/ren’s futures. And I know it has opened up my eyes to how I can be more aware of children’s (not just my own) emotions and behaviors, and how my actions or reactions can help and guide them in their life.

Here’s a little more about Kathi and how you can connect with her:

kathilippKathi Lipp inspires thousands of women each year to take beneficial steps in their personal, marital and spiritual lives through purposeful living. With humor and wisdom, Kathi offers hope paired with practical steps to live each facet of our lives with meaning.

Kathi is the author of ten books with Revell Publishers and Harvest House Publishers. She is a national speaker and is often featured on Focus on the FamilyMOPS InternationalCrosswalk.com, and Nickelodeon TV’s Parent Connect as well as a number of other reputable organizations around the country.

She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Buy the Book

Psst…You can also get Kathi’s Surviving Summer Vacation eBook for free right now!

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Book List 2014 {June Update}

With all the end-of-school-year activities and summer vacation, my reading had slowed down a bit. When we came back from our trip, I got back into it so I can get some reading done for the Summer Reading Programs through the libraries. So here’s how I’m doing with my Book List 2014 reads.

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Chasing God
Finding Mommy Bliss (not on my list, launch team)
I Need Some Help Here! (not on my list, launch team)

READING
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
STILL READING!
Undivided Mom (incourage group)
Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom (Balanced Challenge)

STARTING
The Ministry of Motherhood

Have you read any good books so far this year?

booklist2014To check out the books on my book list, you can visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.