I recently accomplished a lifelong dream by publishing my first book! A large part of what inspired that dream is my experience of reading books that have changed my life by helping me connect more deeply with God, others, and myself. Today I want to share some of them with you! They are not all “self-help” books. Some of them are novels and devotionals! Take a look and let me know in the comments if you’ve read them too!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis – A beautiful work of fiction that grew a deep desire to meet Jesus in my heart as a child and continues to move me as an adult. Reading the Chronicles helps me overcome shame and believe that God really does love me.
Changes That Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud – I keep coming back to this one when I struggle with direction and to believe that I really can change. It helps me find the next practical step to take so I can keep growing.
A.D. 30 and A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker – This historical fiction thriller is a 2 part series. It’s one of the only books I’ve ever physically cried while reading, and I cried for both grief and joy. Fictional character, Maviah, journeys across the Middle East nearly destroyed by shame, grief, and rage until she meets Yeshua (Jesus) and is transformed by his miraculous power. But will her life and soul saving transformation last when Yeshua himself is condemned to death? No spoilers…
Boundaries for Your Soul by Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller – A super practical way to apply Internal Family Systems Theory to your own internal world. This book has been key to managing my anxiety and perfectionism and learning to live out God’s grace for me so I can give grace to others.
God Loves Sex by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III – Because of the sexual abuse I suffered, and the awkwardness surrounding the topic of sex in the Christian churches I grew up in, I struggled to understand, accept, and enjoy sex as the gift God created it to be in my marriage. This book helped me move past that. It’s not only written for married adults, Allender and Longman intentionally wrote this for everyone in between adolescence and death regardless of your current relationship status.
60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy by Randy Alcorn – This devotional helped me understand what the Bible says about happiness; that God himself is happy and created us for happiness. It also addresses the common misconception in American Christianity that happiness and joy are at odds with each other, and that pursuing happiness always leads to sin. This is a game changer for Christians struggling with depression, feeling distant from God, or even with just a general lack of interest in practicing their faith.
Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay – Changed the way I parent! It is such a relief to have a plan for responding to my kiddos when they don’t listen. Especially a plan that is focused on not just surviving until they move out, but helping them become adults who live responsibly and make wise choices for themselves and others. This could be a game changer for anyone struggling with quarantine parenting and home schooling!
Tasting Dirt: When You’re Disappointed with God by Me! – This is more than just a shameless plug. Writing, reading, editing, re-reading, and ultimately publishing this book changed my life and my relationship with God for the better. I pray it does the same for everyone who reads it!
Next time I’ll take a look at what I’m currently reading, and how God is changing my heart, mind, and relationships through these new books!