Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Reading List

This year one of my goals is to get back to reading. I have always loved to read, I couldn't put books down starting in 1st grade, but over the last few years finding the time seems harder and harder. This year I have a goal of reading 15 books in 2015. Here's my reading list:

1. The Most Important Year in a Woman's Life (the other half of the book is the Men's version) by the DeVries and the Wolgemuth


Your marriage could be one of history’s great love stories! As newlyweds, it’s time to ensure that your marriage can meet the challenges it will face right around the corner. Cultivating good habits during these first twelve foundational months of your marriage and knowing what to focus on will set the stage for years to come. Robert and Bobbie and Mark and Susan know that there’s a big difference between preparation and actual experience. This is your guide to actually dealing with all the things that come after “I do.” In this unique flip-over format, the chapter topics are the same but one half is written by men for the husband, and the other half is written from a women’s perspective for the wife. As a couple, you’ll each progress through your part of the book and meet somewhere in the middle. Become an expert on what really makes your spouse happy, and enjoy the benefits of a great partnership. Take an honest look at the family you grew up in: its unwritten codes, how it has shaped you, and the ways it affects your relationship with your mate. Learn how to speak each other’s “language” and appreciate the qualities each of you brings to your marriage. You’ll also get an eye-opening look at communication skills, secrets for a great sex life, budget basics, dealing with in-laws, navigating tough times, and much more. Above all, you’ll cultivate a spiritual unity that draws the two of you closer to each other as you draw closer to God. Start reading, and make this first year together what it was meant to be: the most important year in your life.

2. You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan


Marriage is great, but it's not forever. It's until death do us part. Then come eternal rewards or regrets depending on how we spent our lives. In his latest book, Francis Chan joins together with his wife Lisa to address the question many couples wonder at the altar: How do I have a great marriage? Setting aside typical topics on marriage, Francis and Lisa dive into Scripture to understand what it means to have a relationship that satisfies the deepest parts of our souls. In the same way Crazy Love changed the way we saw our personal relationship with God, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity will radically shift the way we see one of the most important relationships in our life. Jesus was right. We have it all backwards. The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage.  Whether you are single, dating or married, You and Me Forever will help you discover the adventure that you were made for and learn how to thrive in it. 100% of the net profits from You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity will go towards providing food, shelter and rehabilitation for thousands of orphaned children and exploited women in partnership with global charities.


3. Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara Hagerty


In the age of fingertip access to answers and a limitless supply of ambitions, where do we find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw? Sara Hagerty found him when life stopped working for her. She found him when she was a young adult mired in spiritual busyness and when she was a new bride with doubts about whether her fledgling marriage would survive. She found him alone in the night as she cradled her longing for babies who did not come. She found him as she kissed the faces of children on another continent who had lived years without a mommy’s touch. In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance. Most significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well. Whatever lost expectations readers are facing—in family, career, singleness, or marriage—Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will bring them closer to a God who longs for them to know him more. What does it look like to know God’s nearness when life breaks? What does it mean to receive his life when earthly life remains barren? How can God turn the bitterness of unmet desire into new flavors of joy? With exquisite storytelling and reflection, Hagerty brings readers back to hope, back to healing, back to a place that God is holding for them alone—a place where the unseen is more real than what the eye can perceive. A place where every bitter thing is sweet.

4. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup



Have you ever that your life--and budget--is spiraling out of control?  Do you sometimes wish you could pull yourself together but wonder exactly how to manage all the scattered pieces of a chaotic life?  Is it possible to find balance?

 In a word, yes.

 Ruth Soukup knows firsthand how stressful an unorganized life and budget can be. Through personal stories, biblical truth, and practical action plans, she will inspire you to make real and lasting changes to your personal goals, home, and finances. With honesty and the wisdom of someone who has been there, Ruth will help you: 
    *    Discover your "sweet spot"--that place where your talents and abilities intersect.

    *    Take back your time and schedule by making simple shifts in your daily habits.
    *    Reduce stress in your home and family by clearing out the clutter.
    *    Stop busting your budget and learn to cut your grocery bill in half.
    *    Bring order to a messy life and create a practical cleaning schedule that works.


5. When God Waits: Making Sense of Divine Delays by Jerome Daley



Is God keeping you waiting? Does it feel like God has pushed the pause button on your life? If you’re frustrated by God’s apparent slowness, don’t assume that having to wait is a waste of time. God does some of his most important work in your life during these divine delays. Many of the men and women of faith that we read about in the Bible had to endure long, difficult seasons of waiting before they could fulfill God’s destiny for their lives. And just like these biblical heroes, you can learn how to see what God is doing–and how he is changing your life–while you’re waiting. Don’t miss out on the richness of this God-ordained lag between catching a vision for your calling and seeing God fulfill it. No matter how long you have to wait, you can be transformed as God prepares you to fulfill your divine calling.


6. The Good Wife's Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet by Darlene Schacht



In The Good Wife's Guide New York Times best-selling author Darlene Schacht encourages women to joyfully serve their families. In doing so she offers reasons for achieving a well-managed home backed by scripture and gleaned from experience. As well she provides readers with detailed cleaning and organizing schedules for practical application. The Good Wife's Guide encourages women to make faith and family their first priorities from a place of sacrificial love. It reminds women that they were created with a specific purpose in mind, which is that of being a help meet. In supporting our husbands and living in unity we reflect God's blueprint for marriage. If you like books on organization and housekeeping, this book is for you!

7. The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst



Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul? Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:
  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no. 
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process. 
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.


8. 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love by Lisa Leake



The creator of the 100 Days of Real Food blog draws from her hugely popular website to offer simple, affordable, family-friendly recipes and practical advice for eliminating processed foods from your family's diet. Inspired by Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, Lisa Leake decided her family's eating habits needed an overhaul. She, her husband, and their two small girls pledged to go 100 days without eating highly processed or refined foods—a challenge she opened to readers on her blog. Now, she shares their story, offering insights and cost-conscious recipes everyone can use to enjoy wholesome natural food—whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seafood, locally raised meats, natural juices, dried fruit, seeds, popcorn, natural honey, and more. Illustrated with 125 photographs and filled with step-by-step instructions, this hands-on cookbook and guide includes:

  • Advice for navigating the grocery store and making smart purchases
  • Tips for reading ingredient labels
  • 100 quick and easy recipes for such favorites as Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale Pesto Cream Sauce, and Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn
  • Meal plans and suggestions for kid-pleasing school lunches, parties, and snacks
  • "Real Food" anecdotes from the Leakes' own experiences
  • A 10-day mini starter-program, and much more. 

9. For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn



What's going on in a man's mind? From their early days, every woman has struggled to understand why males behave the way they do. Even long-married women who think they understand men have only scratched the surface. Beneath a man's rugged exterior is an even more rugged, unmapped terrain. What bestselling author Shaunti Feldhahn's research reveals about the inner lives of men will open women's eyes to what the men in their life - boyfriends, brothers, husbands, and sons - are really thinking and feeling. Men want to be understood, but they're afraid to "freak out" the women they love by confessing what is happening inside their heads. This book will guide women in how to provide the loving support that modern men want and need.

10. Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages by Darlene Schacht


Messy Beautiful Love delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love. Love gets messy. Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up. Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer. When you surrender your relationship to God, then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as He intended. This is the blessing of obedience. Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.


11. Life Management for Busy Women: Living Out God's Plan with Passion and Purpose by Elizabeth George



Elizabeth George--speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of A Woman After God's Own Heart(R)--admits to being a disorganized, goal-less woman when she was in her 20s. Over the decades, the love and patience of God and the transforming power of his Word and Spirit have taught her the life-changing principles she shares here, including how to...
  • live each day God's way
  • take charge of busyness and find a balanced life
  • be a better steward of resources
"Just for Today" and "Just for This Week" sections help readers apply and solidify transforming new habits. This unique sourcebook will strike a chord with women hungering to live orderly lives that are a testimony to their faith.

12. Knitting; Learn To Knit: The Ultimate Guide On Learning How To Knit Hassle Free



Knitting is an old craft—centuries old—that is being practiced all around the world. While knitting is now being done mostly as a past time, knitting is also being practiced out of necessity. If you want a scarf, then you can do one on your own as long as you know how to knit. If you want a sweater or a pair of socks, you can also knit them yourself. Perhaps there is nothing that you can’t do with knitting. The thing about knitting, too, is that it is very handy. You can always bring your materials with you and knit wherever you are as long as you have the time to do so. Knitting is indeed more than just a hobby; it can also be an obsession! If you still don’t know how to knit, you do not have to worry. It is never too late for you to learn how to knit. While knitting appears to be difficult, complicated and even overwhelming, you might be surprised to find out that it is in fact very easy to do. All it takes is patience and creativity (and time, of course). As a beginner who wants to learn how to knit, all you need to have it a good partner which will help you develop your skills on knitting. With that being said, this book can be your greatest companion as you are starting on knitting. 

13. From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel by Christine Hoover



Many women feel as if they do not do enough and are not enough. They're always trying hard to be good: a good friend, mom, wife, Christian, employee, or ministry leader, hoping for that "atta-girl" from God. With compelling illustrations from her own life, Christine Hoover leads readers to the understanding that they're living by a lesser gospel, the gospel of goodness, one without Christ's grace. Relying on Scripture, they can start asking, "What does God want for me?" before asking, "What does God want from me?" Women will breathe a sigh of relief at this powerful message of freedom and hope. Rather than serving God out of obligation or duty, they'll be compelled to love and serve God with great joy.

14. Trials Of A Northeast Louisiana Child by Nicole Brown

Trials Of A Northeast Louisiana Child


Trials of a Northeast Louisiana Child is poetry about growing up in a region that is all around underprivileged. It depicts the life of Author Nicole S. Brown. This poetry collection has the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of her life. Trials of a Northeast Louisiana Child shines a light on the horrors of the environment in which she grew up and how the Lord developed her into the woman who she is today. This book has five sections titled: Folklore and Lagniappe;School Treks and Giving My Best;My Journey Fleshly;My Journey Spiritually; and Enhanced Learning. This poetry collection is a must read to really know of the life of Author Nicole S. Brown.

15. Still undecided....Holding this spot for a 2015 release perhaps. :)


I do have to give one suggestion for you all that I read in 2014, and it was EXCELLENT. I strongly recommend this book.

BONUS: Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home by Courtney Joseph

Women desire to live well. However, living well in this modern world is a challenge. The pace of life, along with the new front porch of social media, has changed the landscape of our lives. Women have been told for far too long that being on the go and accumulating more things will make their lives full. As a result, we grasp for the wrong things in life and come up empty. God created us to walk with him; to know him and to be loved by him. He is our living well and when we drink from the water he continually provides, it will change us. Our marriages, our parenting, and our homemaking will be transformed. Mommy-blogger Courtney Joseph is a cheerful realist. She tackles the challenge of holding onto vintage values in a modern world, starting with the keys to protecting our walk with God. No subject is off-limits as she moves on to marriage, parenting, and household management. Rooted in the Bible, her practical approach includes tons of tips that are perfect for busy moms, including:  
  • Simple Solutions for Studying God’s Word
  • How to Handle Marriage, Parenting, and Homemaking in a Digital Age
  • 10 Steps to Completing Your Husband
  • Dealing With Disappointed Expectations in Motherhood
  • Creating Routines that Bring Rest
  • Pursuing the Discipline and Diligence of the Proverbs 31 Woman 
There is nothing more important than fostering your faith, building your marriage, training your children, and creating a haven for your family. Women Living Well is a clear and personal guide to making the most of these precious responsibilities.


So my books can be summarized into the following categories/interests:

1. Growing as a wife
2. Growing as a Christian
3. Learning to knit
4. Understanding people that don't have all I have
5. Growing as a homemaker

These things interest me and are areas where I want to grow. These books will be informative but also enjoyable because learning is fun! In a world around where we just want to be entertained by a screen, I think it's important that we continue to challenge our minds. It's easy to be lazy and waste time. There are so many nights where I waste hours doing who knows what online or watching HGTV and all of a sudden, it's 10pm. This year I want to use my time more wisely.  I'm hoping to meet my goal of reading all 15 books this year! Wanna join the challenge?

*Please note that I am not promoting or condoning what is taught in any of these books (except Women Living Well) since I have not read them yet, but I will post short reviews as I read through them this year!

Do you like to read?

What are you currently reading?

Do you have a list of books you want to read?

I would love to hear about your reading list in the comments!





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