How I Fell Back In Love With Reading (And What I Read In October)
I had a hard summer.
We lost my beloved father-in-law to his two year battle with cancer.
Throughout the summer and the months that followed, every time I would pick up a book, I would lose focus and my mind would drift and wander. I had lost my reading ninja mojo. This coming from the girl that couldn't keep her nose out of a book back in the spring.
I decided to give myself grace and put books aside for a while. I binged on too much Netflix and slept late instead.
After months of not reading, I didn't feel like myself. I felt a little mushy in between the ears if you know what I mean.
But at the beginning of October I started to crave a book in my hand again. My love of books was coming back to life.
Once I started, I didn't want to stop. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. I got up early to read, I showed up early in the car rider line to read, and I burned the midnight oil finishing up a book a time or two.
After a full month of reading great books, I feel more alive, more content, more rested and much more centered.
Something in my soul needs a book in my hands daily to feel complete. I am so glad to have that part of myself back in working order.
I didn't set out to read a lot of books in October. I just set out to read. And to feel like myself again.
The right book can speak right to the person God is molding you into at the time.
Books force me to rest. They force me to look within myself in a way that I haven't done before. The words from an author that has lived my story and is sharing it with me through their writing is like a bear hug when I need comfort.
I read four amazing books in October and not one of them was fiction. I had this craving for nonfiction, for books that God practically threw in my hands and said, "This is it. This is the next one I have for you." (Don't worry. I have some great fiction books on my list for the upcoming months.)
Well, here they are...the four amazing, life changing books I read in October. I want to share them with you just in case God is using me to throw them in your hands as well.
1. Crash The Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
This is the book that woke me up. It's the one that reminded me that I love to read a book with a pen in my hand, ready to underline the words that are jumping out to me from the page. The words that I don't want to forget. The words I want to remember to tell a friend.
Crash The Chatterbox (our inner critic, the enemy, the lies we believe, the self doubt that weasels its way in every single time we feel called to do something) is all about winning the war of words within our soul.
Friend...we will never be able to live out the purpose we have been planted on this earth to do if we keep letting the Chatterbox determine our future.
Do you struggle with the negative lies that the enemy whispers in your ear to keep you from taking action on your purpose? Get this book.
2. Equipped To Execute by Rebekah Scott
I am going to be perfectly honest with you. I decided to read this book for three reasons.
One, it was written by a fellow mom business owner. I liked that right away. Two, my friend, Beth was reading it too and I love the idea of reading a book that one of my friends is reading at the same time. It is exciting. And three, the author's name is Rebekah but her momma thought wisely enough to spell her name from the version in the bible. I have always secretly wanted my name to be spelled the same way.
My point...most of the time I choose books based on what other people tell me about them. I hardly ever even look inside before deciding to read it. Most likely, I bought it on Amazon anyways.
What I loved about Equipped to Execute was that Rebekah shares the same belief that I have. The belief that we can be both a rockstar mom and business owner at the same time. We don't have to sacrifice one for the other. And the two actually work really well together and can have synergy. It all starts with our intention, focus, and purpose.
If you are a mompreneur or considering starting your own business, I highly recommend this book. It is a simple, quick read filled with tons of tips and encouragement for the business owning momma.
3. Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
Obsessed wouldn't be strong enough of a verb to describe how I feel about this book.
First of all, let me be very honest when I say that this is my first Max Lucado adult book to read. I read tons of his children's books with my students when I was a teacher and with my two boys when they were younger. But until now, I hadn't picked up a Max Lucado book for adults.
But goodness, I love it so much.
Basically, Max does a wonderful job of teaching us how scripture is clear on the topic of worry and stress. He has laid out a detailed plan for dealing with stress that can rule, and even ruin, our lives.
Anxious for Nothing is full of scripture and application of how to stop letting anxiety and worry keep us from doing what we are called to do. (Do you happen to notice a theme in the books that I am drawn too?)
Are you struggling with anxiety, worry and stress? This book just might hold some of the answers you have been looking for.
4. Looking For Lovely by Annie F. Downs
I snuck this book in at the last minute of October. I was in the middle of going through Annie's bible study version of this book and was loving it. I decided I had to read the book too.
Looking for Lovely teaches us how to be grateful for the small moments that matter throughout our struggles.
The entire book is based on Romans 5:1-5.
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us - set us right with him, make us fit for him - we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, andhow that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectacy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't roundup enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit. - Romans 5:1-5 MSG
Let me finish by asking you to make me a promise. Promise me that you won't look at my list of books and compare yourself. Or start to think that you are less than in anyway because you don't love reading as much as I do.
Instead, look at this list of books as a place to reference. When you are looking for your next book to dive into, come back here and take a look again. You might find one that you want to read and learn from.
How about you? What have you read recently that you want to tell me about? Leave me a comment and tell me about it. I am always looking for recommendations for my next book.