I know, I know. Moms don’t have time to read. I get it. I don’t either. I recently spent a weekend at the beach with my husband and didn’t hardly talk to him the entire car ride. Why? Because I was cherishing every spare moment of quiet time to READ. He gets it. He loves to read too.
A few years ago I decided that while physical books are great, audio books are more practical for me. I own physical copies of every single one of these books, and every one is full of markings and notes and post-its and underlining. If you decide to listen to the audio versions, I highly recommend keeping a notebook nearby!
1. Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson
This was one of my favorite reads of 2016. If you haven’t read it, you NEED to put it on your priority list! It’s the most encouraging book for moms that I think I’ve ever read–and I loved it SO much I applied to be on her next book launch (Love Unending, see below). When I read this book, I felt like she KNEW me! And she verbalizes exactly how I felt in her introduction: “Sometimes we don’t even realize that we need hope until someone offers it.” YES! And indirectly, Becky inspired me to finally write my blog (and become a podcaster.) Moms need hope. You need this book!
The audiobook is available here–and it’s narrated by Becky Thompson herself!
2. Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker
This is one of the books that was so enthralling on my trip to the beach that I couldn’t be bothered to make conversation with my husband. Lisa-Jo pegs every one of us: “The teenager inside our grown-up bodies still worries about fitting in, being included, and what her friends think of her.” And then she explains the purpose of her book in one perfect sentence: “It’s about looking deep into the eyes of that teenager inside of you, cupping your hands gently around her tender, confused face, and pointing her in the direction of all the IN that’s waiting for her.” Wow. I don’t know any mom that hasn’t felt left out at times. We all need to be reminded that we are loved and known, and sometimes, it’s up to us to be the friend we ultimately need others to be. Never Unfriended is such an excellent reminder!
I first “read” the audio version of this book last summer. Beth Moore narrates it herself, and I can’t begin to tell you how much this book wrecked me in a good way! Immediately after finishing, I bought the physical copy. I plan to read it again this summer to take better notes! Beth Moore says that this book was the closest she’s come to an autobiography, and her narration gives her listeners the sense that she’s just sitting down chatting (or preaching) with you over coffee. It’s precious; and her charm helps soothe when the message hits a wound in our (totally) insecure hearts. I cried and laughed and prayed my way through this book. In my opinion, you should purchase both the physical AND audio versions of this book. You won’t regret it.
This is another of the books I read on my beach getaway. I’ve already posted some of my favorite quotes on Instagram, but you can’t hear it enough: this book is GOLD. Bekah’s heart shines through on every page, and I found myself relating to her God-journey over and over. Most of us who were raised in a Christian home understand what we believe about God, but as Bekah reminds us, choosing a real relationship with Him means seeing His invitations to really KNOW Him in our everyday lives. He’s there, waiting to speak and listen and relate to you; it’s up to you to respond with “yes.” The hashtag she frequently uses, #realisthenewperfect, pops into my brain daily now as I juggle my own chaos. In one of my favorite chapters, she describes how she “got pulled over for texting on the way to speak about social media.” But she is the REAL DEAL and you will love this book, I just know it.
5. Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side by Natasha Crain
Ok. Here goes. I’m not done this book yet. It’s my current read (other than a pre-release I’m proofreading for my dear friend). But I’m far enough into this book to say, without reservation, that every. Christian. parent. needs to read this book and keep it nearby as a reference and conversation starter for our children. Natasha tackles Christian apologetics on a level our children can understand–but not only understand–they can then argue and defend their beliefs with the support she offers for each of the 40 topics. It’s like an apologetics encyclopedia for children. I have taken hundreds of notes already, and in every topic I’m considering how and what my children believe about God, as well as what I believe or could defend. Wow. This book is incredibly eye-opening and I plan to write an entire blog post about it as soon as I finish.
As I mentioned above, I had the unique opportunity to participate in launching this book. I also referenced it in a recent blog post. I wish I had had this book when I first became a mom, but regardless, it’s a wonderful tool for married mommas. It’s SO easy to forget that we were wives before we were moms, and Becky Thompson challenges her readers to spend 21 days remembering how we interacted with our husbands BEFORE the kids came along. This is an easy book to keep on your nightstand and read once a day in addition to another audio book you may be listening to throughout the day. The 3 week structure means it won’t take you long, but don’t be fooled: the effects of following through on her challenges can last an entire lifetime! Every mom I know who has read this book has had tremendous testimonies afterward. Marriages are rescued, hearts are softened, and lives are changed through the message God gave Becky in this book. Not sure if your marriage needs any help? Give this book a try. Get back to me in three weeks.
You can listen to Becky narrate the audio book here!
7. Hands Free Mama by Rachel Stafford
I’ve started this book because of my apology post, but I haven’t finished (although I’m still working on the principles of this book) because I’m still reading Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side. So far, I love the practical help Rachel offers to succeed at being Hands Free. Throughout the book, she has noted challenges and reflections on the struggle it can be to let go of our addiction to our phones. She gets it. And she offers hope and inspiration to do better. Again, I’m positive I’ll have more to say on this topic later.