I’ve been reading again. With the time to myself after work, I get tired of watching TV and Youtube, so I’ve turned to reading. Plus my tower of books I keep buying and not reading was making me feel super guilty. Not to mention all of the seemingly endless benefits reading has.
As a result of trading in binging Netflix episodes, I’ve been clocking hours turning pages, taking in advice from the lives of fiction and non-fiction people. I have a deep love of fiction, YA fiction, but the books I’ve been gravitating to are not really memoirs – but stories about people’s lives as they give advice. Not self-help, more like life guides. We all need those – a little guidance to show us a direction to the path of life.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This book is about the lies we believe on our way to chasing our dreams and living the life that we long for. From “I’m not good enough” to “I need to make myself smaller,” Rachel’s book challenges you as the reader to get up and get going. This book was 50/50 for me. It taught me to confront myself when I didn’t follow through on starting something even though I wanted to, though I’d follow through on my assignments for school or a task a friend asked of me. On the other hand, I hated the fact that the whole book was about attacking these lies, while not acknowledging the reasons these lies were formed in the first place. The blame was placed on the reader for not working hard enough, when sometimes life doesn’t give you what you worked for anyway.
Lesson: Be accountable to yourself. If you write it down, you better get it done.
Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
I really enjoyed this book because it takes apart Scripture as being the answer to our anxious thoughts. It doesn’t shrug off that some people may need medication and therapy. However, it provides postures to keep in mind where you’re feeling anxious. Write it out. Talk to someone. Spend time with someone you love. Pray. Meditate on Scripture. Be grateful. Think about good things, about the good gifts in your life. Remember that this too shall pass.
Lesson: Keep CALM. Celebrate the good. Ask for help. Leave your concerns with God (in prayer) or with someone you trust. Meditate on good things.
Love Does by Bob Goff
Bob Goff is a very well-known lawyer turned author, and Love Does, he writes about his experiences seeing love in action. This book was not what I expected, but I still liked reading it. If you’re looking for a book to tell you how to put your love in action, this is not the book for you. Nevertheless, Bob has some amazing stories about persistence and extreme lengths that people will go to show someone they love them.
Lesson: The love you show, the love you put in action will inspire those around you.
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
The Liturgy of the Ordinary is the kind of book that helps you rethink ordinary life. I absolutely love it! Honestly, none of our lives are these fly-around-the-world-and-have-an endless-supply-of-money lives. We wake up every morning and brush our teeth. We lose our keys. We check our emails. We sit in traffic. Tish takes all these ordinary moments and takes them as moments to remind ourselves of God. If you’re not religious, I would take these moments to remind yourself that life is precious because as far as we all know, we only have one.
Lesson: In every moment, no matter how ordinary, there is room to make space for what matters most.
Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher
I devoured this book in a day. This is my most recent finished read. I probably shouldn’t have devoured it, but I couldn’t help it. Come Matter Here is about Hannah’s story of depression as well as the lessons she takes away from the whole period of her life falling apart and putting it back together again. With chapter titles like “Dig wide, dig deep”, “Do what Dot did,” and “Don’t flush the fish,” you will be too captivated to put this book down. Hannah teaches that you need to build yourself community and actually invest because that’s what makes life wonderful and meaningful.
Lesson: Do the hard thing. Do the thing that you least want to do. Stay. Be open. Let someone in.
Bonus: Thirst by Scott Harrison
This book was one I read in December, when I felt much like I do now. TV can be so exhausting, and reading someone else’s story is preferable to whatever is on Netflix. Scott’s book talks about a point in his life where he got sick, physically and mentally, and he realized he needed a change. He went on this journey that eventually led him to start the charity, Charity: Water, where the company builds wells in places where there is a lack of access to clean water. It’s inspiring and beautiful because the book details Scott finding his passion and amid all the obstacles, he really works to make his dreams come true.
Lesson: If you ever need a change of pace, if you want to get outside yourself, volunteer somewhere and ask the people around you how you can help them.
I highly recommend you check out one or more of these books if you’re looking for a good, inspiring read!
What books have you read lately? Anything you recommend?
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