Saturday, April 23, 2016

What Am I Reading?

This month, I've been reading a bit different then my normal fare of reading materials.  Instead of the typical fiction, I have been really looking to more self-help, self-exploration books.  This month, I've had a really great opportunity to read and review some wonderful books geared towards spiritual growth of women as well as accepting and loving who we are, inside and out.

5 Habits of A Woman Who Doesn't Quit
By Nicki Koziarz

 The author is a self proclaimed quitter and that this book almost wasn't finished because she nearly quit (multiple times).  Nicki Koziarz is very down to earth and a wonderful story teller.  Using her own stories along with the story of Ruth, you'll find yourself motivated to do something - I'm not exactly sure what but you'll want to do it and you'll want to finish it once you start ;)    It is not a "how to" book with step 1, step 2 ect that is going to walk you through how to micromanage a task but instead helps you stay on course by changing your attitude about how you approach a goal, a relationship or a tough situation.  Instead of taking the burden on yourself and holding the weight of it all on your own shoulders, Nicki explains how allowing God to take the burden by using these 5 steps will help you go from wanting to throw in the towel to persevering til the end.

I REALLY enjoyed this book a lot and I cannot wait to get my hands on the Bible Study that accompanies it. 

Beauty Begins: Making Peace with Your Reflection
By Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha

Prior to reading this book, I was already a fan of Chris Shook, wife of Terry Shook of Terry Shook
Ministries. If I still lived back in Texas, I would most likely be attending Woodlands Church as it was right down the road.  However, I was completely shocked to see that Chris and Terry had a daughter old enough to be married and co-authoring a book.  Chris does NOT look her age!! 

This is a very quick and easy book to read.  It's not very deep but more a look into why women chase after societies definition of "beautiful" and instead learn to accept that true beauty comes from inside, the way that God sees you.  This seems like such an easy concept but I think this valuable lesson gets lost when women are bombarded constantly by the fashion industry and a male driven definition of what a woman should look like.

I will be the first to admit I hate looking in the mirror.  Now, I have a few different verses on my mirror to remind me that regardless of what I see in the mirror, God sees me as the beautiful creation he made me to be. Through the use of these verses, positive reinforcements and questions for reflection at the end of each short chapter, Chris and Megan help you to make peace with the reflection staring back at you, wrinkles, double chin and all.  It also explores how the definition of beauty has changed throughout history and how it will most likely change in the future.

I plan on passing this book on to my teenage daughter as there are many lessons among the pages that I think she could learn before society causes her to dislike the perfectly beautiful young woman she already is.

You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You To Be (LifeGrowth Guide)
By Holley Gerth

This book is the six session workbook to work in conjunction with the book by the same name and allowing women to dig even deeper into their lives as they explore beyond the book. 

The theory is pretty simple - God made you who you are and because of your identity through him, you are already amazing.   The author, Holley Gerth is a bit too "hip" for my 40 years but overall, I found this workbook (and the book) both to be uplifting and a great reminder that I am a daughter of God and that no matter what the world around me thinks, He thinks I'm amazing and his opinion is what counts most. 

The workbook is filled with plenty of quizzes, self reflection questions, journaling pages and coaching tips to help guide you to realizing your personal strengths, your emotional crutches and your passions as you develop a personal statement to achieve your goals. 

Pressing Pause:  100 Quiet Moments For Moms to Meet with Jesus
by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

This is another great book that I really enjoyed.  Taking only a few moments out of your busy day,
this book is filled with 100 quick stories that provide inspiration and encouragement through scriptures and personal stories.   If you are familiar with Proverbs 31 ministries (which Karen Ehman is a part of) and their short daily devotionals then you'll be very familiar with the format of this book.  These are nice "feel good" devotionals that share in the difficulties, trials and triumphs of being a wife and mother while also being a daughter of Christ.

Each devotional starts with a verse to reflect upon, followed by a personal story and then follows up with a few personal questions to help you reflect on your relationship with Christ. Even if these are the only moments in your busy day that you can devote to him, you'll still walk away feeling spiritually refreshed as well as feeling comradery with the authors as they describe both good and bad days that you can relate to. 

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