It's mid-May and time to start planning those vacations, road trips and weekend getaways. There is nothing I love more when waiting at an airport terminal or sitting on the beach underneath your umbrella, knowing a good book is close at hand.
Or, if you are not going anywhere this summer, grab one of these books off my summer reading list and sit on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea and get lost for a couple of hours.
These are the books I have read just since January and I would be remiss to not share with you some of these incredible titles! How ironic that most of these books dealt with a current season I was facing in my own personal life.
I am a huge fan of the Christian non-fiction genre and there is one nod in there to a Christian fiction book. So sit back, grab a highlighter (all of mine are covered in pink, blue and yellow highlight) and let's dive into each of these!
1. The first book on top is The Girl's Still Got It: Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World by Liz Curtis Higgs. Liz is a well known author for both Christian fiction and non-fiction and has written many books! I actually got to meet her last Summer at a women's conference I attended. She is a hoot to hear speak and is an incredible story teller. This book journeys through the book of Ruth and breaks apart each verse explaining the significance behind the bond shared between Ruth and Naomi. She then explores the beautiful love story of Ruth and Boaz using a bit of a non fiction twist. Where the Bible leaves gaps, Liz does a fantastic job of transporting us there with details like sights, sounds and smells of what it was like during that time. I am currently reading through this book with a group of ladies as a bible study. This book also includes study guide questions for those who want a more in-depth look into the Story of Ruth.
(Me and Liz Curtis Higgs-2015 SheSpeaks)
2. Next on the list is Come with Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads by Suzanne Eller. Get your highlighter ready for this one! Suzanne fills this book with incredible statements and profound personal experiences that bring her to a place of complete and utter trust in our invisible God. Sometimes we get excited when God says to go, but it takes a lot of grit, determination and prayer to stay in God's will instead of throwing your hands up in the air and telling God, "Nevermind, I was just kidding when I said, "Here I am , send me!"" Enduring a her own and her husband's cancer diagnosis and the strain of moving across states, Suzanne, takes us on a journey of complete and total dependence on a God who never failed her and reminds us that He will never fail us either. I can't recommend this book enough! Oh, and I got to meet this incredible lady at a writer's conference I attended last year also. (I hadn't even bought this book then!)
(Micca Campbell, Me, and Suzanne Eller-SheSpeaks 2015)
3. The next book is 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn't Quit by Nicki Koziarz. Do you see a recurring theme here? Most of these ladies are all writers and speakers for Proverbs 31 ministries! If you haven't heard of Proverbs 31 ministries, check them out! Incredible ministry!!! So back to the book. 5 Habits is a book that also takes you through the book of Ruth. Author, Nicki, has a bad habit of quitting pretty much everything. So when God brings her to the book of Ruth she feels the Holy Spirit convicting her to stay the course in life, wherever God's will leads, and don't give up! Using personal reflection of past experiences and seeing how much she missed out on lights a fire under her to apply Ruth's tenacity and determination to her own life. This book will wreck you-but in all the best ways!
4. I could not leave this incredible author and dynamic speaker out- Christine Caine. This is one of her older books, but incredibly powerful- Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win. This book makes you look at life like a runner in the Olympics that pass the baton to each other. It makes you stop and think about the baton being handed to you in your own personal life and if you are running your race to meet your fullest potential living inside of you. It also gets you to think as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, etc...who might be getting the baton behind you. Sharing stories of those who work in her organization she founded, A21, that fights human trafficking, you will look at your life like, "I don't really have it all that bad". I love reading books that show me struggles going on all over this world. Sometimes living in my own little suburban bubble needs to be popped and books like this gets me to think from a much bigger kingdom perspective. Oh and grab your highlighter for this one too! (She has a brand new book out this month too called Unashamed. Oh, my Amazon wish list keeps getting bigger!)
5. Next is Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick. I was lucky enough to actually get this book in Pastor Steven's church's bookstore near Charlotte, NC last year. I had never been to a mega church and honestly had negative preconceived notions when I arrived. But after hearing him speak, I could understand why he needed so many locations. He spoke truth- like honest, raw, get all up in your business truth that rivaled no other Pastor I had ever heard before. His podcasts and books such as Crash the Chatterbox, made me feel like it was ok to be a hot mess and still be used and loved by God anyways! I had just finished writing a youth series delivered to the teenagers at my church called, Voices in My Head, so hearing that a well-renown pastor deals with the same issues, validated my craziness. Oh and let me just say again- HIGHLIGHTER! (Check out his new book Unqualified too!)
(Hearing Pastor Steven preach at Elevation Church- Summer 2015)
6. Ok all you fiction readers! I don't think there is a more powerful read than biblical fiction. Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt takes you on a journey with Esther and her uncle Mordecai. What a beautiful story that is brought to life using historical information from the time that makes all the characters all the more real. Humanizing King Xerxes and even telling the story from the perspective of one of the King's eunuchs, you see a perspective that even though isn't included in the bible, makes you wonder if it could have been.When a good Biblical fiction book makes me want to go read the Bible, you know Angela did a very good job!
7. Last but not least is Glynnis Whitwer's book, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day. This book fell at the bottom of my to do list. Not because it wasn't good but because that is how bad, my to-do list got! She dives deep into the how's and why's we get overwhelmed- oh, that's right we all inherently have a procrastinator inside all of us! I didn't think I did, but was shocked at how many similarities I had with the ones described in the book...uh oh...GUILTY! So I kept reading and the last part of the book explains great practical advice on how to organize your to do list so that each day is very productive. She brought fresh, real and honest insight into this area of my life. Now I have a planner with things written down weekly and daily that I want to accomplish and being a better steward of my time opens up my schedule to say yes to more things I enjoy and whatever God wills. Also, I wanted to give a shout out to Glynnis! I met her last year at the same conference and she told me I was the first book she ever signed! Woot!! See? Here's proof!Well that's a wrap! I hope you check out these incredible resources. I have to put in a plug for my book too if you haven't gotten a copy yet: Arm Yourself: Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God.There you go!!!
Be blessed and I am sending happy thoughts of beaches, mountains and summer fun your way!!!