So here is what I read this year...
Looking for Lovely--Annie F. Downs
Annie is my soul sister as we are both single women. Her book "Lets All Be Brave" was so good. So I was excited to read this book. I love the reminders Annie gives about looking for Lovely in the midst of life's ups and downs.
The Happiness Dare--Jennifer Dukes Lee
Jennifer's words always speak to my heart. I love that she is a woman of faith who trusts in God. Through this book, I found out that I am very much a giver. Giving to others is indeed one of my love languages. Are you a giver, a thinker, an experiencer, a relater? Read The Happiness Dare to find out.
Beautiful Uncertainty--Mandy Hales
This book was gifted to me by my dear friend Susan when she attended the Allume conference. Mandy is also single. Every word of this book felt like it could have been written by me.
An Altar in the World; A Geography of Faith--Barbara Brown Taylor
I've always wanted to read BBT and now I'm hooked. She encourages each of us to look for altars in the world. I love the ways she sees the church outside of the church walls. Where are the altars in our own lives?
Who Does He Say You Are?--Colleen Mitchell
Colleen is a dear blogging friend and I'm so excited to say meeting her was one of my highlights from 2016. I read this book slowly as to savor her words. I found myself slowly reading and soaking in these words by my friend as they were indeed anointed by the Holy Spirit. I could have literally underlined and highlighted the whole book. Yet there is only one quote that I wrote down. It reads "Jesus doesn't deny the truth, but he shines the light on the whole truth, the whole big wide story of human brokenness." Read my review here: Brokenness and Resurrection Joy
Falling Free--Shannan Martin
I became a quick fan of Shannan Martin and was excited to be on her launch team for this book. Her words are true gift in this world. This is one of my fave quotes from her book. "If community is the heartbeat of the gospel, hospitality is the hand that opens the door and waves it in." Read my review here!
I won a copy of this book from my blog friend Katie M. Reid. A sweet love story that takes place during Christmas. I'm always a sucker for a good love story and of course, with a Christmas setting is an added bonus. I recorded the movie but wanted to finish the book first so now I can watch the movie too.
Accidental Saints--Nadia Bolz-Weber
Nadia is not your typical Lutheran pastor, but I've always admired how she was at rock bottom and fought her way back. Nadia's church is truly a welcoming place for all people. Her first book Pastrix was so good so again I was excited for book two. We can find Saints in everyone. I love that because Jesus himself was the first to sit with tax collectors and sinners.
A Witness;The Haiti Earthquake, Song, Death and Resurrection
Renee Michele Splichal Larson
Renee and I worked at a Bible camp in western WND together. Renee, her husband Ben and Ben's cousin Jon were in Haiti when the earthquake hit there. Ben lost his life that day along with many Haitians. In the midst of grieving, Renee and Jon were each other's light. They got married and have a son. This story is a powerful reminder of how God stands with us and never leaves us alone. Please read this story as a magnificent reminder that God makes beautiful things out of us.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek--Annie Dillard
A seminary professor recommended this book a long time ago. I've been meaning to read it and finally got around to it. In fact, it was my last read of 2016. I'll admit it started out a little slow but once I got into the book, I enjoyed it. I love Annie's description of the land and Tinker Creek.
Distant Lights--Marie Gregg
A collection of poetry by my blog friend Marie about her health battles. I love her honesty and vulnerability. I also love that she wanted to gift my mom a copy to let her know she isn't alone. As a poet myself, I love reading others poetry.
Living as a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness by Tara L. Ulrich
It seems weird to mention it but it is a book that I indeed read this year. I'm proud of this book and the ways that I hope it helps educate others about mental illness. Watch for a podcast coming up soon that I recorded last week about my book. "The bravest thing you'll ever do is tell your story."-Brene Brown
On the to read pile is:
Learning to Walk in the Dark--Barbara Brown Taylor
Full; Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction--Asheritah Ciuciu
Five Minute Friday--Compiled by Susan Shipe
I'm currently reading Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am reading it so slow because I want to savor every word. It is a book for all of us because we are all creative beings.