Reading, Reading, Reading... And a Surprise Find!

Can you believe it's already the END of Spring?
It's amazing what a little "break" does to you, though.
Since the kids have been out of school, I've been consistently trying to stay present.  In the moments of every day.  Emily Ley's "Grace Not Perfection" was a beautiful book I read at the beginning of this year, and Shauna Niequiest's "Present Over Perfection" keeps coming back to me after so many months.  After reading and hearing about so many books about the reality that we, as mamas, NEED to purposefully enjoy our days, I KNOW it must be a theme for me, for this season in my life.

All that to say... Yes, I've been enjoying a little break from the usual.  And I'm liking it.

And because of the change in pace in my routine, I've been able to READ a ton!  As you know, I love books and I've been really trying to pursue a more active and diverse reading life.  So, in my quest to balance reading non-fiction AND fiction books, I've come across some really good ones!  Some expected finds, and some really surprising finds.  It's apparent that I really DO need to get out of my literary comfort zone.  If plainly to experience a place and culture I wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do so.
Here's just some of the titles I finished these last couple of months and highly recommend:

"Hillbilly Elegy" by J. D. Vance
"Piecing Me Together" by Renee Watson
"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch
"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas (which I got on audio!) 
"The Leavers" by Lisa Ko

And honestly, I could go on and on about each one.  And I should... since some of you will probably ask me why I'm recommending these titles.  But I'm choosing to share about my one surprising find today.

The book is called "You Can Do This - Seizing the Confidence God Offers" by Tricia Lott Williford.
At first I wasn't sure how I was gonna feel about this one.  Not that every book that lands on my hands has to be "liked", but despite the lack of knowledge about this book and who Tricia even was, I dove right in.  And OH. MY. WORD!  It made me cry.  It made me laugh.  It made me want to be her friend!  This wasn't just a book about how to become confident.  It wasn't a book about how I needed to do more to achieve something different.  And it wasn't even a book about learning to love myself. It was a book about experiencing God's grace, following Him regardless of your circumstances, and trusting Him through the journey.   

Through this beautiful "memoir", Tricia shares some of the most intimate chapters of her life, through deep grief, renewed joy, new beginnings, and emotional starts.  Yes.  Those are the exact themes in my own life.  I found that even though our circumstances and situations were quite different, I could identify with her journey.  I could identify with how she had to navigate through the changes in her life, relationships, motherhood, and marriage.  And I loved how she approached and challenged me.  At the end of each chapter, I was given a "Stepping Forward" action prompt.  And I appreciated that this wasn't just a memoir.  Tricia really wanted her readers to join her in this journey.  To experience Jesus in a different way.  In a refreshing and new way.  To experience community to the fullest.  

Oh... and did I mention how refreshing her writing felt?  She is so witty, funny, and often just plain truthful!  You're gonna love her writing style!

And now, besides having a ton of other books in my nightstand (and really, all over the house), I've been resting under God's own Holy Word, and reading the Proverbs this month.  

Proverbs 16:21 says, 
"Anyone with a wise heart is called discerning, and pleasant speech increases learning." CSB
"The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness." ESV
"The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction." NIV

This morning I saw the Word come to LIFE in my own household.  With my 3 year old.  YES, it was a morning of all mornings when he was the first to wake up, and the first to complain, whine and cry because my choice of breakfast for him was obviously NOT HIS CHOICE of breakfast.  I made oatmeal on the stovetop... and he wanted instant oatmeal!  WAIT, I KNOW it's not the same!  Don't we all?  Apparently not!  

But, oh how I needed to be reminded that the sweetness in my speech could truly persuade Noah to stop the madness... to increase his learning that stovetop oatmeal was, INDEED, better than instant oatmeal.  At least for this morning's breakfast.  

Let's keep on reading, friends!  It's THAT GOOD for our soul, heart, and... sanity!  

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of You Can Do This for review purposes from Tyndale House Publishers.  My reviews are honest and in no way influenced by their generosity!  

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  1. I hope you are enjoying #52commands with your children, Helen!