Mom Life

My Top 7 Reads from 2016

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I know that this is not my usual post of home decor and projects.  But, I wanted to stretch myself a little bit here on this blog.  We aren’t just a family working on a home.  That part of our life is just the bonus {well, at least to me it is}.  Most of our time is spent living life with all the necessary, as well as fun parts of raising children.

In my {rare} spare time, I like to read.  I go through cycles of the types of books that I am drawn to {and it looks like fiction books were non-existent to me last year}.  Although I didn’t read as much as I would of liked to in 2016, I thought that I’d share my top 7 books.  I love to hear what others have read and am thinking that you may too.  I’ve also included some links to each book, so you can check them out a bit further.

I promise…back to our regularly scheduled program of DIY and home projects in my next post.

And in no particular order, here it goes…

1. “The LifeGiving Home” by Sally Clarkson

This book by mother and daughter team, Sally and Sarah Clarkson was incredibly inspiring!  I decided to read this book slowly over the course of the entire year.  The chapters are broken into months that walk you through inspiration pertinent to that particular month.  The week before a month would begin, I would soak in that chapter.  And then I would pray about how to incorporate their lifegiving home ideas into my family.  The Clarkson family has such beautiful and impacting memory-making ideas that I couldn’t wait to add some into our lives.  This book encouraged me to be more fully-present in my day to day life when it is full of the mundane.  I was blessed by their words to mark seasons and family activities with new traditions.  I became excited with the practice of creating beauty and memories in my home.  I also became keenly aware of the “culture” of my family and sought out ideas that would solidify us.  This is one of those books that I will read again and again as it deeply resonated within me to create a home that my children and others love to be in.

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2. “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian

This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for too many years.  My regret is that I did not read it sooner.  But, now I have and it was so enlightening.  I know that I should pray for my children, no matter what their age, but I hadn’t quite realized the scope of all that I should be praying.  The power that Stormie uses in her example prayers are deeply moving.  Every chapter revealed areas that I need to be praying for in regards to my three children.  Her poignant topics and an example prayer have been the catalyst to a deeper prayer life.  It occurred to me that there are 30 topics and now that I have read through the entire book, my idea is to use one topic/prayer a day.  (30 topics = 30/31 days in a month!)  I begin my prayer time by reading what she has written and then expound upon this one topic and personalize it towards our family.

3. “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas

I have owned this book for a few years and had attempted to read it at least once before.  I honestly had to be in the right place in my mind in order to fully process this book.  I had come to a place in my own life where I was ready to embrace the fact that my marriage is more about my relationship with God than it is with my husband.  This book tested me in how willing I was to lay aside my own desires and happiness for God’s greater purpose in my marriage.  This book is definitely staying on my nightstand so that I can pick it up again to read cover to cover!

4. “Victory in Spiritual Warfare” by Tony Evans

This book…go and get yourself a copy right now!  If you’ve ever heard Tony Evans preach, then you already know how incredible this book is!  Dr. Evans is so theologically sound and his knowledge of Biblical principles has grown my faith exponentially over the years.  This book is a study of the armor of God and how we can find strength in Christ.  The last few chapters are categorized according to particular strongholds people may have in their lives.  This book really empowered me to see where the real battle lies and the victory that we have in Jesus!

5. “Seasons of a Mother’s Heart” by Sally Clarkson

I picked this book up at a homeschool convention last spring completely on a whim.  Wow!  That was the best whim I’ve ever followed.  Sally writes this book specifically for homeschool mom’s, but she does say that all mom’s will glean much from it.  I say go for it all mom’s, but know that there are specific references to homeschooling within the pages of this book.  This edition of the book was printed in 2009…10 years after the original publication.  In this second edition, she adds an intro to each section that includes her perspective 10 years later.  This book has profoundly impacted me as a mom.  And I’m not just saying that.  It really ranks up there with my top 10 favorite books ever.  Sally has a way of gently “convicting” you…but all in the best way.  From reading through this book, I have made some adjustments in my role as a mom that my children will benefit from for eternity.  I am actually now reading through this book a second time with a friend!

6.  “Choosing to Wait” by Laura Gallier

The tagline for this book sums it up pretty well, “A Guide to Inspiring Abstinence”.  As parents, we can’t force our children into abstinence.  But we also can’t step back and let them get too deep into a situation that compromises their purity.  There is too much on the line if we ignore this aspect of raising children.  I have felt very empowered by this book to walk our 14 year old through this process.  It goes beyond the “birds and the bees talk” as I inspire her to choose abstinence.  Laura’s research is based upon current cultural facts and the truth of the Bible.  My daughter has been reading the teen companion book and we meet regularly to discuss the reading and chapter questions.  I can see that she now feels empowered to make this decision for herself (because it really is her decision) to stand strong against our current culture.  This book has been so good at opening up the channel of communication between my daughter and I in regards to this topic!

7. “The Armor of God” by Priscilla Shirer

This list really is in no particular order, because if it was, this book would be fighting for the #1 spot!  I have been a fan of Priscilla Shirer’s for a while.  I even got to meet her one summer…and I have a picture to prove it!  Yup, almost stalker status!  In all seriousness, she has an incredible anointing upon her discernment and teaching ability!  I had the privilege to walk through this study guide, along with her DVD teaching for each chapter, with a women’s Bible study group.  The clarity that Priscilla gave to the armor of God was amazing.  It certainly is possible to study this book on your own, but if you have the opportunity to watch the DVD along with reading this study book, do it!  This book really will increase your faith and open your eyes to the spiritual world, where life is really playing out!  Oh, and she is Tony Evan’s daughter (yes, as in #4 on this list!)!

I would LOVE to hear from you…what books do you recommend?  I always have stack of books (and a full Amazon cart of books) that I like to add more titles to!

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