As I have engaged in more personality tests, strength finders tests, and gotten to know myself better over the last year, two things have emerged or been reiterated: I love reading and I love learning. I love reading fun books that are easy and help me to destress. But I also love reading books that help me to learn.
On this blog, I used to post fun recipes I had tried and I used to post books I had been reading. I haven’t done that in a long time because, well, life, but I am hoping to pick back up on that a bit, as well as continue fun family and ministry updates. So, today, I present my first in a very long while, and long overdue, book update of what I have been reading. I am including the books that I enjoyed or that taught me a lot, and not the duds (because I have had quite a few of those in the last few years).
First, lets start with my favorite, Dee Henderson. I love her as an author. Love, love, love, love. She is a believer, but her books aren’t cheesy “put a Scripture in here and there completely out of context” books. They are also mystery, which I love, and they usually have a little love element mixed in. If you haven’t tried her books, RUN to the library and get one!
I love parenting books, but because there are so many out there and everyone has such different opinions on so much, it can be hard to find quality parenting books. Again, you may disagree, but these two are my favorites that I have read lately. “Mom Set Free” was used immensely by the Lord to help regain perspective from this Type 1 (Enneagram), perfectionist, can tend to live in guilt and shame momma. I am so thankful for how the Lord has used this book in my life over the past year. “Parenting the Whole-Hearted Child” is another parenting book, but it does such a great job of addressing how to love your whole child and not just one area or another.
I also read “No More Mean Girls”, which is similar to a parenting book, but geared towards girls, especially in this generation. Based on the title, I actually wasn’t sure how much I would like this, but it came highly recommended. And let me tell you, I borrowed it as a library book but I am going to buy it from Amazon to have on hand because it was great. It gives so many great things related to girls specifically, from how to encourage them to build other girls up instead of tearing them down, to how to grow them as leaders, to how to help them handle their emotions and feelings. It had great practical ideas and there were already many things in the book I thought applied to my girls as well as things I think will be issues one day that I could use these ideas to solve.
Increasing our cultural competency is something that Ed and I are very passionate about, especially considering where we are living and ministering. “The Color of Compromise” was SO challenging and a little hard to read, but one that I feel like should be read by everyone. Honestly, I am still mulling over so much of what was said and wrestling with my feelings, but its a worthy read for sure.
On our team, we have been doing tons of research about Generation Z, which is the generation that is in college now and the generation that will include our kids. As we have been ministering here this past year, we are seeing so many changes in students and we recognize that the methods we have been using to minister to students are outdated and not being very effective to this generation. So, again, the learning side of me has kicked in and I have been consuming anything I can that will be helpful in understanding Gen Z. Hence the reason for the following books. All 3 of these books are beyond great, and I feel I could read them 15 times and not consume all the information, but if you are at all interested in learning more about this generation, these are a great place to start. “American Girls: Social Media and the Lives of Teenagers” scared the pants off of me and I keep telling Ed that our kids won’t have a smartphone until they are 18! While it was terrifying to read, I think every mom of girls HAS to read it to be aware of the pressures and challenges associated with girls and social media. But, be prepared….
I have a few more of my list to read this year, some fun and some spiritual and some learning, so I look forward to sharing more in a few months. I also am going to aim (noticed there are no promises here!) to share a few recipes throughout the month that are family favorites and home runs in our house….because I love taking tried and true recipes from others to incorporate into our menu plans.
And because I love my kids and have a hard time not sharing their cuteness with others :), I am going to include two pics from the last week: Blake walking to school in his small Star Wars backpack (he loves school by the way!) and Emerson enjoying a bubble tea date with Ed (the bubble tea was for her, as he hates it….its funny since we had never had bubble tea before moving here and now its a favorite of hers).