With February being “I Love to Read Month” I thought I’d take the chance to highlight a few of my favorite books.
I know as moms it’s hard to find time to sit down and read a book. And when we do finally get to put our feet up, the last thing we feel like doing is learning something. We want our thoughts to be swept away with entertainment that doesn’t require any brain power.
But the truth is that reading books is really important. It’s just as important for us adults as it is for kids. Our brains still need the stimulation and in a world filled with media and screens, it’s especially important that we continue to exercise our brain muscles. They are in fact muscles that need strength training daily just like our physical muscles. Plus, God encourages us in His Word to pursue wisdom and knowledge.
Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge. Proverbs 18:15
This may take figuring out what a reasonable goal is for yourself and setting a time in the day when you can make it happen. Even 15 minutes a day is healthy and wise. Then if you meet your goals each week, reward yourself with a treat! If you don’t have time to pick up the book, download the audio version and listen to it while you do housework or go for a walk.
So what do I like to read? Well, I generally like to have a couple of styles of books going at any given time: a parenting book, a spiritual disciplines book, a leadership book and a fun/easy to read book.
Parenting books are so good to read regularly. I find that having a good parenting book that I read a couple of times a week, helps me stay focused on my kids and how important my job is in raising them. It takes my mind off myself and helps me see perspective. Over the past 2 years, I’ve been reading and re-reading Dr. Dan Siegel’s parenting books. These are phenomenal because they offer scientific solutions for raising emotionally healthy children. Parenting from the Inside Out is a particularly challenging read but if you can get through it and do the practical steps, it will change you and your parenting!
On the more inspirational side of motherhood, one of my favourite authors is Sally Clarkson. She has devoted her life to supporting, encouraging and empowering moms. She uses stories from her own life that all moms can relate to and uses her own failures to encourage moms to stay on course. This past winter I read one of her newer books, Your Mom Walk with God. It offered much needed refreshment to my soul during the cold, dark days of winter when mothering housebound kids can be particularly draining.
The Power of a Positive Mom was another game changer for me. I was given this book by a dear friend, right at the time when we were developing the “Joy Course” for Selah. This book highlighted the power of joy on the mothering side and gave simple yet practical ways to grow in being a positive mom. It was a book I picked up in summer and would read for a few minutes each afternoon. It refueled me for the rest of the day by reminding me of how important my attitude is in the home.
On the spiritual side, my favorite devotional book is Secrets of the Secret Place. The first time I read this was in the summer of 2016. It changed my devotional life so much that I decided to take a group of Selah leaders through it. Together we dove deep into the discussions and prayers and God met us in powerful ways. I went through it again last year, reading a few of the chapters each week. The author provides incredible insights that will change your view of how God sees you. When you learn to believe that you are loved by the Creator of the Universe, you walk with greater security and confidence.
Biographies are awesome to read regularly! Because they are stories, they are captivating and easy to read. Plus, you feel motivated by reading how regular people can live extraordinary lives. I think my favorite biography is Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. It is a page turner of a story that brings history to life and shows you the power of never giving up. This summer I also came across the Darlene Deibler Rose story. She was missionary in New Guinea during World War II and her story deeply moved me to think about whether I could remain faithful to God even in tough times. I found it at Evangeline’s Flower shop in Steinbach which, surprisingly has a whole bookshelf of amazing missionary stories.
On the Christian Fiction side, Lynn Austin never disappoints. Many of her books are based on history and she always weaves in a strong, but not cheesy, salvation message. Her 5-book series The Chronicles of the Kings brought to life the story of King Hezekiah and was a particularly stellar read.
On the completely fun side, my favorite fun author is Mary Higgins Clark. You’re thinking, really? Yes. I fell in love with her books when I was in junior high and still read them now. Her page turning mysteries are clean and easy to read anytime.
I love to read and have many more books that I could highlight! But I just picked a couple of my favourites in the hopes that I could encourage you to find something you enjoy to exercise your brain muscles!
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6-7