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November ReadsWe put in an offer on a house at the end of September, and then moved at the end of October, so I haven’t been able to read like I usually do. I have been able to finish a couple of books I have been working on forever, and got through a couple more, so here are my November reads. 

november readsPlay With Fire By Bianca Juarez Olthoff

Bianca Olthoff is a name that I recognized from the If:Gathering. She is a bubbly, hilarious speaker, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. If you follow my book reviews, you know I have been reading this one for a while. Its actually a pretty easy read, I was just delayed by life being crazy.

This girl gets me on a spiritual level. Instead of the typical theological tome that presents doctrine and quaint anecdotes to back it up, she gets real. Really real. 

“I see it now. In spite of how much I loved God, I’d fully managed to quit trusting him.”

This book has funny and poignant stories of her childhood growing up in a rough LA neighborhood with parents who took the call to sell everything they owned and serve God seriously. 

If you have ever questioned your faith, or wondered where God was when it feels like you are wandering through the desert, or even if you just want an authentic read, check this book out. From insecure teenager to an international faith speaker, Bianca reminds us that God was ready to use her throughout her entire journey, and he is ready to use us as well. Pick up a copy here.

november readsJesus Always By Sarah Young

Jesus Always is the follow up to Sarah Young’s Wildly successful Jesus Calling devotion. Its a small book of 365 dated devotions written from the perspective that Jesus is talking directly to you. Where Jesus Calling encouraged us to “enjoy peace in His presence,” Jesus Always is about “embracing joy in His presence.” 

I know there has been some criticism of these devotions because some people feel it’s not appropriate to speak as Jesus. I find both devotions to be Biblically sound and have zero issue with that. If you do, scroll to the next review.

I have been doing the Jesus Always devotion with my daughter every night. Its a great, quick read that is always spot-on with a reminder that I need that day. I love that it has a built-in bookmark so its easy to pick up and do a quick devotion at night. Each entry has Bible verses at the bottom that you look up in your own Bible. If you are looking for a daily dose of perspective and positivity, this is a great little devotion. Grab a copy here.

november readsThe Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

If you have ever read a Christian book geared towards women, you have probably heard of Ann Voskamp. I was included on the launch team for this book, but to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. Her wildly popular book One Thousand Gifts has been sitting on my book shelf for over a year, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it.

The back cover of The Broken Way says:

“There’s a way that beckons you into more time, more meaning, more authentic relationships. There’s a way, especially when things aren’t shaping up quite like you imagined, that makes life take the shape of more – more abundance, more intimacy, more God.”

My impressions … This book blew my socks off. It wasn’t a quick read by any means. Rather a slow, painful slog through my own brokenness and wrestling with with the holiness of suffering.

“Suffering asks us to bear under that which is ultimately not under our control, which proves to us we have no control.”

This book does not shy away from heavy things like suicide, and even daily doubts, but Ann weaves together a beautiful story of God gathering our broken pieces and binding them back together with healing. Ann is a modern-day psalmist, and this book is written in her usual style, but there is a certain fierceness she brings in it. 

If you’ve ever felt lost, hurt, or broken, read this book. Even if you haven’t, its a well-written read. Grab a copy here.

So those are my November reads! I am looking forward to a little more down time to read now that we are moved, but who am I kidding with the holidays coming up? Have you read anything good lately? Let me know in the comments!


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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is a wife, mom, and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.



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