30 Books in 2018 GoodReads Challenge
It’s been a while since I updated you all on my GoodReads Challenge! Here I am 8 months in and I have read 24 of my 30 books I’ve challenged myself to read. I have definitely veered off course with my original book selections but, I have definitely read many of my original selections. The amount of joy I have experienced in reading is somewhat unexpected on my behalf. While reading has always been a great outlet for me I have gotten away from it. I’m so happy to say that I am totally baaaack and LOVING working on personal development!
Recently I was asked, why don’t you read books outside of the personal development spectrum? In all honesty I really don’t have an answer for that. If something caught my attention I’d definitely read it. I had a conversation with a friend the other day that offered to her reading is about escaping from reality and embracing new people and places. I loved that. It’s so cool that we can have a common love for reading but, enjoy reading different things.
*The standout book from this group would have to be Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis (<–affiliate link). This isn’t a surprise to some of you that have been keeping up with these book updates of mine. I’ve wrote about it here and here. I actually just purchased an audible subscription! I’ve been tossing the idea around for the better part of this year and just decided to go for it. I selected Girl, Wash Your Face as my first ever audible book. I’m excited about this!
It’s a little unfair to pick just one book because there were gems in all the books that I’ve read. “Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith” (<–affiliate link) was the first book I’ve ever read related to parenting… how sad is that? Do you have any parenting books that are a must read? I really enjoyed Heidi St. John and this book. I’m excited to see in 2019 Heidi is releasing a pocket-size book “Bible Promises for Moms (<–affiliate link).” I’ll definitely be pre-ordering that!
This is a tough one for me to pick my favorite read from April. I read through “If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free” (<–affiliate link) by Jamie Ivey in a day. I just couldn’t put that book down. Jamie shares her life and just as the name suggests walked through many different trials. She’s real, authentic, vulnerable and straight up raw. The underlining theme would definitely have to be trusting God with the details of her story and giving herself grace upon grace. I loved her book.
The remaining books challenged me differently and I enjoyed each. Havilah Cunnington is a new find for me this year. I read her book, “Stronger than the Struggle: Uncomplicating Your Spiritual Battle” (<–affiliate link) which challenged me on so many levels spiritually. After reading her book I knew that I could really learn from this woman of God. I purchased and completed “Eat Pray Hustle: Dream Chasing God’s Way” and was (<–affiliate link) and was challenge to dream God sized dreams. I highly recommend this devotional.
Both of these books “Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption” by Katie Davis Majors and “One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both” by Jennifer Fulwiler (<–affiliate links) were good, quick reads for me. Kisses from Katie challenged me to do more for people. Katie’s mission statement might be summed up by love God and love His people well and I love that. Jennifer Fulwiler embraces the chaos of life and encourages chasing the dream God placed on your heart. Her main point I feel was you can have your family and your dreams and I love that.
Within the first couple of chapters of the book “Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward in Faith, Embrace Adventure” by Christine Caine (<–affiliate link) I was texting my sister, “Ashley you MUST READ THIS BOOK.” I found myself saying things like “Wow this book is anointed” or, “wow this book was definitely God inspired.” I didn’t even know how badly I needed this book until I started reading it. It is my opinion that this is a MUST READ book. Christine didn’t simply talk to fill pages, she shared the pain in her story and evidence of God’s mighty hand on her life. Everything was backed up with Gods word and I love that! Not one thing in our life takes God by surprise… What a relief that is.
“Lala Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday“ (<– affiliate link) by Trina McNeilly was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The usage of beautiful fonts and imagery sets this book apart. Trina writes about the brokenness in her story and the simple things of beauty that inspire her through her journey. One of my takeaways from her book that I wrote down was pertaining to loneliness. Trina challenges, “What if loneliness is God’s cry for intimacy? Turn loneliness into alone time with God.” Therefore loneliness is an invitation or opportunity for intimacy with God. In our loneliness it’s easy to feel alone but the truth is we never really are alone. YOU always matter and God ALWAYS cares.
Hannah Brencher, in “Come Matter Here: Your Invitation to Be Here in a Getting There World” (<–affiliate link) chronicles her journey with deep depression and anxiety. I really enjoyed her book and found it to be eye opening. Hannah is both vulnerable and real in sharing her “mess”. She chooses God and to surround herself with people when it would be easy to retreat and be silent. She has opened my eyes to the weight of anxiety. This book invites people to start showing up for their lives. Life can be scary and life can be hard; scary hard even. Hannah encourages intentional relationships to get through hard times.
*I really need to write an actual blog post about this book because I loved it. I had no idea how much I actually needed this book.
“Tailor Made: Discover the Secret to Who God Created You to Be” (<–affiliate link) by Alex Seeley, challenges the fact that no one is an accident. We are more than the hurtful labels and lies that have been spoken over our life. We are made in the image of Christ and our identity is found in Him. Alex does a wonderful job of weaving her story in with the truths that God has used to transform her story, to show His glory.
Havilah Cunnington’s “Radical Growth: A Guidebook to Growing a Vibrant Life” (<–affiliate link) was an easy read devotional. She encourages people to live a vibrant/radical life in Christ. Havilah likens radical growth to a garden that is flourishing.
I just finished listening to the audible version of Girl Wash Your Face (GWYF). This was my second time this year “reading” it. I now own both the book and audiobook and love it. I highly recommend both. My current reads include: Fierce Faith and Inspired. I’ll update soon on my thoughts. It has been particularly challenging this summer to get my reading in with the kids home and I’m not exactly sure why. I just started up my audible subscription and listened to GWYF why the kids splashed around in the pool. I have a feeling audible and I will become good “friends.” It makes doing the laundry a little bit more fun as I’m able to be productive and enjoy something that I like at the same time!
*Want to get started on your own challenge? It’s not too late! Here’s a link to my original post containing books that I set out to read earlier this year. Click HERE.
*If you have any recommendations or must read books please don’t hesitate to drop a note below.