Currently reading...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Here's what's currently on my nightstand (and in my purse, on our coffee table, and strewn about the house):

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
I've only read the introduction and the first couple chapters, and I'm already recommending it left and right. This mother-daughter writing team has opened my eyes to a profound paradigm shift when it comes to parenting. If I'd written down all the things I thought I "should" be doing as a mother, this book has basically ripped that list into little shreds, let it blow into the wind, and asked me to start over while looking at Scripture. I had been parenting in a completely law-driven way instead of a gospel-of-grace-centered way, and the difference is startling.

Here's a very small example: Instead of saying, "What a good boy for obeying mommy!" like I've told Liam a hundred times already, I should be saying, "Wow, Liam. I see God working in your heart because you're able to obey Mommy even though you're prone to disobey." I believe the Bible that tells me that all of our hearts - without Christ - are evil and do not choose good, but I parent in a completely moralistic way by telling my little guy he's "so good" all the time. And it just isn't true. I want to teach him to rely on the only Person who was ever truly good, Jesus Christ. What a responsibility.

Oh, this book. I could go on, but I'll let you read for yourself.

Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick
This is a thirty day study that celebrates how the cross changes our lives that is also affecting me deeply. Elyse's books are all excellently written, profoundly theological, yet personal enough that the words move from your head to your heart. I plan to read this one every year.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I'm reading this one on my phone, though I have a very large, 5 pound hardback copy with gold leafed pages that I read from time to time as well. Shawn tells me the story really starts to pick up after about 200 pages, and I'm only at 150. Right now, it feels like work. But after starting this book twice, I'm ready to plow through. I hear it's worth it.

The Bible
I honestly don't know if I've ever read through the Bible from start to finish in one year. This year, it's happening. I'm using an app on my phone to track my progress, which helps my motivation immensely. I'm reading from the ESV version in my new Gospel Transformation Bible (which I've mentioned before).

Verdict 1: It's safe to say Elyse Fitzpatrick is my favorite author at present. I appreciate that, while her primary audience is women, she doesn't waste time with lots of cute stories or vignettes, with which many women's ministry books are wrought. Elyse isn't afraid to cut right to the heart of the matter: the gospel.
Verdict 2: I need another novel in the queue. Anyone have a suggestion? Something a little... lighter?
Verdict 3: I apologize if these reading posts bore you. The introvert/bookworm in me delights in writing them because I love to share what I'm reading. I have no agenda to push any of these books, and I hope you know from past experience that I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't truly love them.


  1. Your book posts are some of my favorites. There are so many options out there-- it's nice to have someone's opinion of the very bests :)

  2. I love hearing what other people are reading. I recently read "The Count of Monte Cristo" and loved it. Granted, I did listen to it while I was on the road so that might make it a little easier to plow through it. If you're looking for a novel to read, one of my favorites is "The Lamplighter" by Maria S. Cummins. The story is about a little girl who is adopted by an old man and her story of growing up. I loved the story!

    Here is the link from Lamplighter Publishing:

  3. The count of Monte Cristo is DEFINITELY worth it. Keep at it. :)

  4. A light read - "Where'd Bernadette Go?" - very different, quirky, but funny.
    A great book when you want a book that is not as light and is true: "Same kind of different as me."
    A novel I loved though I wouldn't totally call it a light read, "silver star" - it actually has a lot of similar vibes to the author's memoirs on her quirky family/life/upbringing...
    And also really liked the novel, "the burgess brothers" although not one I would call a light read :) :)
    thanks for your recommendations - always love seeing what you are reading!

    1. Loved the first two you mentioned, but haven't read "Silver Star" or "The Burgess Brothers". Thanks for those recommendations!

  5. I enjoy your book posts too!

    I remember before you have recommended "Grace-Based Parenting." I just received a gift card for my birthday and I was thinking of getting it, but then I read your post and "Give Them Grace" sounds good too. Which one of the two would you recommend to read first?

    1. Gosh... they're both so, so good. I think Give Them Grace is just slightly more practical for creating a foundation for little ones (it has a very practical appendix with how to deal with common problems), while Grace-Based Parenting is also practical, but maybe more for kids who are slightly older. That's just my take on it, after only reading a little bit of Give Them Grace. I think I could choose Give Them Grace first.

  6. I love your book posts! After you mentioned the Gospel Transformation Bible the first time I told my mom about it and she got it for my birthday this fall. I'm using the one year plan for 2014 and loving it.

    I also like hearing that other people have time to read. ;) As a nursing student, I don't get a lot of time for that (you would know…)

    1. Oh I'm so happy you got it! I'm loving it too.

      And goodness... I completely understand as a nursing student. SOMEDAY, my friend, you will get to read for fun!

  7. I love your book posts! After you mentioned the Gospel Transformation Bible the first time I told my mom about it and she got it for my birthday this fall. I'm using the one year plan for 2014 and loving it.

    I also like hearing that other people have time to read. ;) As a nursing student, I don't get a lot of time for that (you would know…)

  8. Just found your blog through Ann Voskamp's link and I have had so much fun reading through some of your posts! I just love when I find someone online who feels like she could be a long lost friend!
    As for books...Give Them Grace is by far my top parenting book and has kind of pushed all the others to the side. So glad you found it, too! As for a novel of my more recent favorites is " The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". A book to fall in love with...and a tad lighter than Dumas! Blessings to you!

    1. Oooh I love that suggestion and have actually read it! Might re-read it though... it was delightful. Thanks Kameron!


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