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Buckle your seatbelt – or maybe hide your credit card. You are going to need to buy every single one of my September reads.
I have been so busy lately, but somehow I have managed to read quite a bit and this month’s selections have truly been life-changing. So without further adieu, lets dig right in.
All The Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth
All The Pretty Things is the best book I have read in a long time. It is beautifully written, and it sucks you in until you feel like you are a part of the story.
I have read Edie’s blog for a long time. I love her insights into scripture, and her soup recipes! When I had the opportunity to be on her launch team I jumped. When I agreed to read the book I didn’t realize it was a memoir, and nothing could have prepared me for what was in those pages.
Edie was born in extreme poverty in the Appalachian hills of Tennessee. She spent her childhood chasing the love of her absentee, alcoholic daddy, and being shuffled around to different family members while her momma worked several jobs to try to make ends meet. Sometimes the stories she recounts are painful, and sometimes they are downright hilarious. This is the story of someone who had every reason in the world to quit, but was lifted out of the ashes by a Heavenly Father who never failed her even when her earthly father did.
As someone who also grew up in poverty and abuse, I was really inspired by this; the characters in her life were very flawed and inflicted a lot of pain. But, she reasoned, they did the best they could. I had never thought about my childhood in those terms, but when I started to shift my perspective, I was almost immediately freed from the bondage of past resentments.
This book will leave you a different person than you were when you opened the front cover. I literally sat down and read this in one day! Whether you can relate to the story of her life or not, you NEED to read this book. It doesn’t release until September 20, but if you pre-order now Edie has all kinds of goodies for you!
Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
When I picked this book up I was expecting a women’s devotional that was a light read. Boy did I get my socks knocked off. I read this book on my Kindle, and I swear I highlighted more of the text than I didn’t. This book is about rejection, something we have all experienced at one time or another. Whether it was an absent parent, or the girls at school who wouldn’t let us play with them, our past rejections continue to play a big role in the adults we have become.
Because the need to be loved and accepted runs so deep, we find ourselves doing things we never thought possible just to try and satisfy those desires.
I feel like there was SO MUCH meat in this book, it’s almost difficult to unpack it and summarize it for you. Since reading it, I have definitely taken a look at some of my relationships and started to realize that sometimes we just have different goals and expectations from the relationship. Things that felt like rejections were really just side effects of trying to force a relationship that wasn’t working.
There obviously isn’t an easy fix to heal from rejection, but Lysa offers sound advice for getting on the right path.
We can go to Bible study and amen every point made, but if we don’t apply it to our lives we wont be changed.
Hope Prevails by Dr. Michelle Bengston
Dr. Bengston is a blogging acquaintance from the Write 31 Days challenge, so it was really exciting to see her publish a book. When I was offered the chance to review it, I couldn’t pass it up. I wanted to read it because it was exciting to see a peer get a major book deal, but as I got into the book I realized God put this in front of me for a reason.
Depression. Its not something often discussed in the church, and can even see taboo. In Hope Prevails Dr. Bengston examines the spiritual toll that depression can take. It’s a road that she has walked herself, so she has a very unique insight – doctor, patient, believer.
Each chapter of the book concludes with some action steps and a prayer, which I loved. I also love that she doesn’t present a band-aid, one-size-fits-all solution for depression. But she does offer some hope for those who are struggling.
Depression does not have to become a permanent way of life. There is hope. Jesus has offered “inexpressible joy, which must be the absolute opposite of depression.
If you or someone you love suffers from depression, this is a must-read. It is reveals how important our faith is in the battle against depression, and how faith coupled with real-life treatments can overcome.
A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker
I talked about this book in an earlier post, but now that it is closer to the launch date, I decided it was time to actually sit down and read it. The book is a pretty short read and consists of 2 parts – the gospel in us and the gospel through us.
Brandon talks about the state of many believers in the church today:
We’re doing more of the same things, expecting different results. Like a hamster on a wheel, we’re working harder but not going any farther. We’re hoping to create new depth, but instead we end up spreading ourselves thin. And there we are: a mile wide and an inch deep.
So many of us, myself included, lack depth in the things that will turn the church into a powerhouse that changes the world. Brandon packs exactly what is holding us back and how we can start serving our big God in a BIG way, instead of a shallow existence that only scratches the surface of what Jesus intended for us to live out.
This is a must-read for leaders in the church, but really for anyone who desires a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. There is a lot of proselytizing in the church today, but very LITTLE discipleship, and I love that this book calls for a change.
If you think Brandon Hatmaker’s name sounds a little familiar, it’s probably because off his wife Jen. I have reviewed one of her books before as well. The couple that writes together stays together? This book releases September 13, but you can pre-order now!
I’m a little wiped out from everything I have read this month, not only because I crammed a lot of books into a little time, but because they were all SO good and full of life-changing encouragement. Not a miss in the bunch! I would love to hear which of these you have read or are planning to read. And recommend me some titles to add to my October stack!