I love to read. Typically, I finish a book or more a week. I can’t help wanting to share my favorites, in hopes they’ll resonate with you the way they do with me. So here’s a handful of just-released or soon-to-be-released titles you may want to add to your reading list:
BECOMING MOM STRONG by Heidi St. John
I love Heidi’s heart for God, for strengthening families, and for encouraging mothers of every age. That passion shows in every page of her new book and is summed up well in its subtitle: “How to fight with all that’s in you for your family and your faith.”
That’s what the book is, really. A battle plan. One that relies completely on the wisdom and sustaining strength that only God can provide.
There are so many forces at war against the family today, and Heidi knows that mothers need to be firmly rooted in the Word of God and bolstered by prayer if they are to withstand the attack, and so the encouragement she offers is well-steeped in both. She sympathizes with the struggles moms face and helps us to see and appreciate whatever season we are in with new eyes, reminding us that God has divinely placed us right where we are for a reason.
I had the privilege of being on the MomStrong launch team, which means I got to read a digital copy of the book before its release date. I devoured it in two days, then immediately pre-ordered four hard copies — one to keep in my own library and three more to give to daughters-in-law. Becoming MomStrong is inspiring reading for mothers of all ages and stages, but particularly timely and encouraging for moms of littles.
FINISH: GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF DONE by Jon Acuff
I had a hard time getting through this book, because Jon Acuff is hilarious! He gets me laughing so hard I cry, then I can’t see to continue reading until I wipe the tears from my eyes and clean off my reading glasses.
By that time, my family has heard the commotion from the other room and flocked around me to find out what is so funny, so I have to back up to reread it aloud to them. Then I have to reread it again to the latecomers who didn’t notice my laughter but heard everyone else’s, and so on and so on. All of which is actually kind of nice, because good laughs — like good books — deserve to be shared. By the time we’re done, our sides are splitting and we feel great, because laughter is such good medicine.
But the advice Acuff doles out in Finish is much-needed medicine, as well. It’s amazing to me that anyone can be so incredibly funny and still be so perfectly spot on. The book does a great job of identifying the obstacles and myths that sabotage our ability to finish what we start. I’ve seen a lot of myself in the book — especially in the chapters about perfectionism and how paralyzing that mindset can be. It’s the kind of advice that needs to be followed, in a book that begs to be shared.
I was on the launch team for this book, too, but the advanced reader copy I received was in a digital format that would not let me print it out, highlight favorite passages, or mark it up in any way. Since it’s like torture to me to read a book without a pen in hand, I didn’t finish Finish until after it was released and I could read the print version. I’ve since ordered copies for several of my adult children. They have some fairly impressive finishes under their belts already, but I know they’ll be able to accomplish much more and find greater joy in the process once they’ve slain the ghosts Jon writes about. What’s more, I’ve taken his advice to heart myself and have already finished two book projects that had been on my back burner for years…
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS by Jennifer Flanders
“Bless the LORD, O my soul,” the psalmist writes, “and forget none of His benefits.” That’s good advice for all of us. We should be mindful of the many ways in which God has blessed us.
Count Your Blessings, the newest addition to my series of devotional journals, is designed with that goal in mind. Filled with writing prompts, word studies, and beautiful vintage clipart with related scripture verses on nearly every page, it will help you cultivate a heart of gratitude and feel truly thankful, not only in the month of November, but all year long.
Whether you choose to write, sketch, doodle, or paste special keepsakes in it, you can use the pages of this book to remember the Lord’s mercies and be grateful for them, to count His blessings and name them one by one, to recall His faithfulness to you in the past and, in doing so, be encouraged to trust Him with the future.
Although the official release date is still a few weeks off, Count Your Blessings is available for pre-order. Reserve your copy before October 21 to qualify for a fun assortment of advance-purchase bonuses, including a printable packet of kitchen essentials, a beautiful selection of printable thank you cards and stickers, a collection of printable Thanksgiving activities, and a digital copy of Get Up & Go. (To receive the bonuses, pre-order Count Your Blessings on Amazon, then email me a copy of your receipt and/or your purchase number).
SIT DOWN & EAT by Jennifer Flanders
If there’s one thing our family knows how to do, it’s how to enjoy ourselves around the dinner table. We love to eat, we love to celebrate, and we love to talk –and we’ve packed this book with all of our best ideas for reclaiming the dinner hour and making the meals you share with your family and friends more memorable.
This book is difficult to classify. It’s not exactly a cookbook, although it does contain some recipes (and an eclectic assortment at that — everything from comfort foods that our family has been making for generations to healthful vegetarian/vegan dishes that delight even our pickiest eaters).
It’s not really an organization book, although I do provide tips on things like stocking shelves, planning menus, and shopping efficiently. It’s certainly not a book on home design and decor, although I do share pointers for making your kitchen and eating space the kind of clean, cheerful, inviting area that others will want to spend time in.
Sit Down & Eat is not a parenting book, but it does discuss ideas for getting kids to eat their veggies and do their chores and contribute to the conversation. And it’s not a book on entertaining, but does offer suggestions for setting a pretty table, showing hospitality, and celebrating special occasions.
In short, Sit Down & Eat spans lots of different categories. It was a fun book to write, and I hope you’ll find it a fun book to read, as well. This one is also available for pre-order and is eligible for the same pre-order bonuses. Claim yours by ordering here, then sending a copy of your advance purchase receipt here).
Interested in being on the launch team for either (or both!) of my books? I’d love to have you help me get the word out! To apply, just fill out this short application. Those accepted will receive an advanced digital copy of the book(s) they wish to preview, as well as the complete collection of pre-order bonuses.
I really believe both these books have the potential to impact lives for the better.
In a culture that fosters feelings of entitlement for things we want, we’ve lost the ability to express sincere gratitude for the things we have. Count Your Blessings will help shift our focus.
And for fragmented families who’ve grown accustomed to running in different directions every night of the week, Sit Down & Eat serves as an important reminder of what we miss when we don’t take time to connect over the dinner table and offers a wealth of ideas for making such regular connections a reality.Blessings,
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