Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons
I’ve been wanting to read this book after a friend recommended an episode of the Rhythms for Life podcast hosted by Rebekah and Gabe Lyons. Anxiety, stress, and loneliness are things that almost every one of us has experienced and there is an influx of resources and opinions on the topics. It can be overwhelming! I love how Rebekah breaks the book down to four rhythms (rest, restore, connect and create) with scripture, research and practical steps to bring us closer to the renewal and rest are bodies are needing and the balanced life we all desire. As the holiday’s approach and the year comes to a close, I hope to incorporate some of these rhythms in my life!
To Read: Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott
Leadership Revolution by John Perkins and Wayne Gordon
John Perkins and Wayne Gordon are legendary. As the co-founders of Lawndale Christian Health Center, among many other partnered organizations, these two men have followed God’s calling and assisted thousands in changing their lives. This book has inspired – and re-inspired – me to see how leadership is not just something you “check-in” to do a few times a week. Leadership is a foundational characteristic of your entire life; both who you are, and what you do. Perkins and Gordon take the reader by the hand, and – without coming across as belittling or condescending – show through experiences and practices of their own how any Christian can become a leader.
To Read: No Treason by Lysander Spooner
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
November means Thanksgiving . . . and the perfect time to delve into One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp! I’ve had this New York Times bestseller on my to-read list for a while now and am grateful to finally experience Ann’s iconic writing style firsthand (see what I did there?). So far, I’ve particularly enjoyed her deep contemplations about life and the cyclical way she further builds upon previously introduced concepts throughout the chapters. Her literary voice came as a refreshing shock to me in how raw yet soothing it reads – a gripping, rare dynamic I’ve scarce encountered in written works. Already I am sensing how this book’s success was no accident. Ann Voskamp has also penned other bestsellers that are fitting for the Christmas holiday season, including The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, and The Wonder of the Greatest Gift (an Advent calendar pop-up book).
To Read: The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Between the World and Me is a letter written by a father to his son about the realities of being Black in the United States. This book was heart-wrenching and incredibly eye-opening for me to read. Growing up as a white woman in the Midwest, this story was convicting and foreign to my own experience. I found it helpful and humbling to read and I think it has been a crucial moment of education for me. I think this book is incredibly important in the education of all people in order to love all of our brothers and sisters.
To Read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, especially books about WWII and the holocaust (hard as they are to read). These stories make history personal by inviting readers to step back in time and relive events through the eyes of their characters. The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke weaves together two such stories during the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939. A young British woman living under the identity of a dead Pole finds herself involved in a network to help hide Jews, and a young Jewish couple, living in the ghetto with their long-awaited newborn, face an impossible decision.
In 21st-Century America, it’s easy to become blind to the suffering and atrocities of history (as well as the present). Stories like The Medallion challenge me to grapple with the brokenness of humanity as well as my faith in a God who can seem silent in the face of suffering. Yet these stories also remind me of God’s redemptive work through those who lived “by faith and not by sight,” trusting God and helping others when all hope seemed lost.
To Read: God and Churchill by Jonathan Sandys and Wallace Henley