It's been hard for me to find time or mind space to read over the past few years. When the boys are awake I don't normally have the focus or quiet to read, and once they've gone to bed for the night I'm generally too tired to pay attention to words on a page or I'm ready to go to sleep myself.
But somehow, this summer, Connor started sleeping through the night and those hours of uninterrupted sleep made my mind a little quicker in the hours that I was awake—and that added together with a few baby-free trips, resulted in the perfect recipe for a book-filled summer. I read some fiction and some non-fiction, but it was the non-fiction that really made a mark so that's what I'll share with you:
- Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton: “Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard. In this one woman’s trying to love herself and others, readers will find a wise and witty friend who shows that we can build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities.”
- Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor: “Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.” ...Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways, and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen. Often, it is while we are in the dark that we grow the most.”
- Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans: “A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.”
- For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker: “Jen Hatmaker is convinced life can be lovely and fun and courageous and kind. She reveals with humor and style how Jesus’ embarrassing grace is the key to dealing with life's biggest challenge: people.”
What's powerful about each of these books, is that they are filled with ideas about how to live out love: some of them address challenges faced by women, wives and mothers; another discusses darkness and how it's not something to fear or hide from; they all address faith and commitment to God. They are honest and raw, sometimes uncomfortable, and at times they incite both laughter and tears. They made me rethink some ideas and they affirmed others—but most of all, they were a welcome breath of fresh air.