Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Books to Read When Your Soul Needs Strength

I've been reading rather a few books lately, some bought and others borrowed.

Books that are for my spirit. Books that I think are especially encouraging and helpful and maybe even healing for the soul of a woman that might be feeling a bit battered, judged, confused or just tired with life and trying to juggle a million plates!

Some of these I've read recently and others are books I've read a while ago.

If you want something to read this winter and your soul needs encouraging or stretching or challenging can I recommend one or more of these titles?

The 1000 Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are - Ann Voskamp
I love Ann's blog and her book. Both have challenged me to appreciate the mundane, the ground hog days, the less-than-impressive parts of life. She is so honest and beautiful and her writing is poetic and filled with imagery that captures my imagination. This is a book for people who want to get back to the heart of a God who cares about small things, unnoticed things, things done with love. I adore this book. There is a lot of lofty praise for this book but for me it's enough that I frequently want to cry with delight and joy when i read it.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood - Rachel Held Evans
This book is a book for women who want to understand what the bible actually says about women. It's a great choice if you feel a bit scared that possible the bible and God only like quiet women who like sewing, homeschooling and having hundreds of babies. (which it doesn't just by the way!) It's a funny book and an encouraging book. It gives a lot of context and some great profiles of some very impressive women in the bible. I think any woman would find this book life giving and affirming of who they are.

I Dared to Call Him Father - Bilquis Sheikh
A book written a while ago about a woman who took a dangerous risk of trusting and leaning in to God despite the serious possible backlash and the love she found. A wonderful book.

Kisses from Katie - Katie Davis
Another book to cry through. About the amazing, beautiful, courageous journey of Katie Davis who lives in Uganda with her 14 adopted daughters and runs an amazing charity called Amazima - that provides for local children to go to school... and so much more. Beautiful, challenging, inspiring. She also blogs here.

What's So Amazing About Grace? and Soul Survivor (how my soul survived the church) - Philip Yancey
Both of these books are filled with the message over and over that God loves us and his love is SO big and expansive it covers over the failings, the brokenness, the stupid/thoughtless/terrible ways in which we, Christians and the church have behaved. Yancey is a journalist and so these books are very readable. They aren't heavy, religious books they are tales that encounter you, encourage you, challenge you and give you hope.

The Return of the Prodigal Son - Henri Nouwen
If you are familiar with the story about the prodigal son - who takes his inheritance, wastes it and returns hoping to become a slave to his father but instead finds love and restoration (it's a parable Jesus told), this book takes it deeper. When Nouwen came across a painting by Rembrandt of this scene it had a massive impact on him and led him to a place of exploring the depths of this incredibly beautiful picture of God's love to us.

The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S.Lewis
I'm going to read all 7 of these again over winter. I try to read them all every couple of years. These books are good for my soul and the depiction of Aslan very good for my understanding of Jesus.

If you'd like to look for a second hand version of any of these I would also suggest this site. Less carbon miles, less consumption of new things - win, win! They currently have I Dared to Call Him Father $6, several of the Narnia books, some Yancey books (although not the ones I mentioned), ... and probably others.

What book/s have you read that have spoken to your heart and encouraged you?

Love you more than a good book, a quilt and a bar of green and blacks chocolate x

(Links provided for your convenience I don't get anything from your purchase and none are review copies)