I’m always looking for ways to be productive, even when I’m physically down. There are days that I don’t stay on my feet much. Fatigue or pain send me back to bed before I’m ready. Being a bookaholic, I have found one way to be productive is to read! I always have a list of books I’m trying to get around to reading. There are practical books to help me be more organized and productive. Some are books to help me grow in my walk with God. Others are biographies, books to encourage, etc. When I can’t clean house or do the other work I have planned, I like to try to read one of the books on my list. So today I’m going to share a few books with you. Some have been a blessing, and some I’m looking forward to reading.
Before we get started, let me say that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That simply means that if you buy anything through these links, I get a commission from Amazon. I only recommend products that I use and love. I do not advertise for Amazon, just for the sake of advertising. The affiliate links are marked.
Now, on to the good stuff…BOOKS! I love to read. When we moved to Africa, the hardest thing for me to get rid of was my books. Not being able to bring a vast array of “real” books with me, I brought my Kindle Fire (affiliate link). I actually have the 7″, but we just bought Rob an 8″. That’s because today we saw Amazon had a Black Friday sale and they’re pretty cheap. Now we just have to wait until someone comes to visit in a couple of months. (Sigh) I still love to hold an actual book in my hand, but books are not as easy to come by here, so I am thankful for my Kindle. However, my dream is to one day have a real library, stuffed with real books. (A gal can dream, right?)
Books I Love
Besides my Bible (the best book of all), God has used some good books to help me along the way. Here are just a few of them…
One of the great books that helped me when I was having one miscarriage after another was a book by Cary Schmidt. Off Script (affiliate) was written about Bro. Schmidt’s experience with cancer. It’s about what you do when your life “goes off script”. How do you respond when your life takes a turn you never expected, nor wanted? This book was so encouraging to me, and I go back and reread it from time to time. A friend loaned it to me, and I read it the first time in less than a day. Then I went back and reread it slowly. I just recently read it again. Bro. Schmidt also taught this in a conference somewhere and I ran across the audio recordings. You can listen to Part 1 here and Part 2 here for FREE.
The Burden Bearer (affiliate) by Bro. Paul Chappell was another book that God used when I was trying to keep up with everything while struggling with health and loss. This was especially helpful to me because I have a tendency to over-commit and berate myself when I can’t do it all. I tend to take on burdens God never intended me to bear. We either gave our copy away, or stored it. I need to get this on Kindle, so I can read it again.
Evidence Not Seen (affiliate) by Darlene Deibler Rose is an incredible book. Darlene Rose spent four years in a Japanese prison camp in the jungles of New Guinea. When I get discouraged, this book does two things. It reminds me that my situation is not nearly as bad as Satan is telling me. It also reminds me of the awesome power of my loving Heavenly Father. This is another book I’ve read again and again.
The First Gardener (affiliate) is one of the few fiction books I will recommend. I have no idea why I bought this book. I was only getting free books during this time, I had never read anything by this author, and I had no earthly reason to buy it, but it kept showing up, and it drew me in. So, I bought it. Wow. I had just miscarried for the first time, so it really struck a chord with me. But it wasn’t just that the book was about infertility and loss. (Nor because it is set in Tennessee and I lived in that area for several years.) It’s about God cultivating our hearts, and our decision to let Him have His way, or to struggle to get our own way. It is one of the few fiction books I reread.
Books on my Wish List
These are books on my to-read list or my wish list (I don’t have them yet, but I plan on getting them). If you have read them, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
In Desert Places: What Happens When Unlikely People in Unlikely Places Encounter the Presence of God (affiliate) “This book is the true story of God’s incredible work in desert places. It tells of real people, unlikely people, who saw God transform their deserts by His grace. These stories tell of the numerous works God does in desert places…” (Excerpt from the book description)
Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy (affiliate) “Gratitude is a choice. If we fail to choose it, by default we choose ingratitude. And once allowed into the heart, ingratitude does not come by itself, but with other seedy companions that only succeed in stealing joy…” (Excerpt from the book description) I need to choose to be grateful. It is a choice, and I need to be more purposeful in this area. I’ve heard great things about this book, and I am looking forward to reading it.
Living Life Beyond Your Capacity (affiliate) is high on my to-read list. Because, let’s get real here. Living with chronic illness means everything is beyond my capacity. I look forward to reading this one. If you have Kindle Unlimited, this book is free now.
A New Song (affiliate) is written by a pastor’s wife. This was recommended to a group of ladies in ministry as a good resource. When my Lyme Disease was at its worst, I struggled with depression. It wasn’t terrible, but it was a constant companion. I know now that it is common in Lyme patients, and it probably is related to the inflammation in the brain. One of the things that kept me from slipping into an abyss that some slip into was the Psalms. Book description: “Often described as a dark, lonely pit, depression is a common struggle in our world today. Everyday there are many Christians who are struggling to get out, stay out, or lift someone else out of the pit. The struggle can be immense but there are answers in God’s Word. Journey through the verses of Psalms 42 & 43 and discover a plan to win your fight with depression.”
Share Your Favorites
This is just a few on my lists. I hope some of them are an encouragement to you. What is your favorite book, or other resource, that has helped you through your valley? Please leave a comment below. We’d love to see what God has used to help you. It just might help someone else. If you read (or have read) one of the books listed, let us know in the comments below.
God bless you in your journey to praise in spite of the pain.