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Scroll down to read a full detailed review on each book.
#StayMarried: A Couple’s Devotional –
“In this couple’s devotional, you’ll find:
Devotions that require only 30 minutes per week and address everything from finances and arguments to trust and intimacy.
Wisdom from the Bible incorporated with up-to-date research from research-based sources such as The Gottman Institute.
Inclusive, open-minded guidance that applies to a diverse range of couples.
With #staymarried: A Couple’s Devotional, you and your spouse will learn to connect meaningfully and communicate honestly while renewing your shared commitment to your marriage and faith.”
“#staymarried: A Couple’s Devotional is filled with practical advice on what it takes to create a marriage that beats the odds. Every chapter of this couple’s devotional is a powerful reminder of how small changes in awareness and actions can be the tipping point in any relationship.”
―Dave Nelson, Lead Pastor, Great Lakes Church, Kenosha, WI
This is a book that was gifted to Luke and I as a wedding present. Getting in the word with my husband and learning alongside him how to strengthen our marriage has been a huge blessing and growth point for us. This devotional is meant to do one chapter a week together, so we have been doing a chapter every weekend. There’s a different topic per chapter and application questions at the end of each one. For any soon to be newly weds or already marrieds, I recommend this book!
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers –
“California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.
But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.
A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.”
The first time I read this book I was in high school, and now I’ve read it multiple times since. Francine Rivers is one of my favorite Christian authors. In my opinion, this is one of her best works. This book is based on the book of the Bible, Hosea. After reading Redeeming Love, I was able to better understand the book of Hosea and God’s love for His people in a whole new light. This one is a page turner, you won’t want to put it down.
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst –
“The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than.
In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences of rejection–from the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over to the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father. She leans in to honestly examine the roots of rejection, as well as rejection’s ability to poison relationships from the inside out, including our relationship with God.
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa will help you:
Stop feeling left out by believing that even when you are overlooked by others you are handpicked by God.
Change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady your soul and restore your confidence in the midst of rejection.
Overcome the two core fears that feed your insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.”
I first discovered this book from many of the christian women I follow on Instagram. This book was all the hype and I new I wanted to get my hands on a copy. The perfect time came when I had a flight home from Vegas to Spokane and had a 2 hour layover. I bought the book the day before my flight, and by the next afternoon as the wheels of the plane hit the tarmac, I had finished the book. It had me hooked from the first chapter and left me feeling LOVED, WORTHY, and FULL of the Spirit! It’s an easy read; perfect for travel!
Let Me Be A Women by Elisabeth Elliot –
“In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her.” Working from Scripture, well-known speaker and author Elisabeth Elliot shares her observations and experiences in a number of essays on what it means to be a Christian woman, whether single, married, or widowed.”
In a world where our role as a woman can become confusing and skewed, Elisabeth Elliot lays out beautifully what it means to be a woman no matter what phase of life she’s in. I love this book because I see Elisabeth Elliot as such a strong woman of God, who I can trust and I value what she has to say. I know she doesn’t stray from what the Bible says, so her opinions are important to me. This book shaped my thinking the first time I read it in high school, and has continued to deepen my understanding of God’s purpose for my life as I’ve reread it, a few chapters at a time, since.
Ready to Wed: 12 Ways to Start a Marriage You’ll Love by Greg and Erin Smalley –
“You’re engaged, and the checklist for the day of your dreams is a mile long. In the who, what, where, and how of planning, the why can be forgotten.
Ready to Wed discusses 12 Traits of a thriving marriage and offers a variety of topics to guide and advise those preparing to say, “I do!”
Define a vision statement unique to your marriage.
Positively engage conflict to build a foundation of trust and forgiveness.
“Leave and cleave,” even if you are a child of divorce.
Manage expectations―and your in-laws!
Navigate hot-button issues including, sex and the chore wars.
Cope with change, stress, and crisis―especially in your first year.
Build a community of support and find mentors.
Assess your progress using the Couple Checkup.
Loaded with advice, tips, and instructions, this valuable resource is ideal for soon-to-be-newlyweds and those who support them!”
I purchased this book a month before my wedding, and sped through it in less than a week. I loved it so much that I read through it again with Luke after we got married. We’d work through anywhere from a few pages to a chapter a night. I found everything in the book to be applicable and valuable information to strengthen our marriage and deepen our understanding of marriage topics that would inevitably come up in our future as newly weds. This book taught me everything from how to handle conflict in a God-honoring way to thriving as a newly wedded couple in a new community (as we are doing right now.) I even took notes in a notebook as we read through the book my second time together because I found the information so valuable. I highly recommend this book to engaged couples or newly weds!
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers –
“To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.
To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua―Abra’s closest friend―watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth have etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking charmer who lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at a devastating price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted. Now all she wants is a way back home.
In this riveting and highly anticipated tale of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.”
This book was part of my summer reading list and it did not disappoint. It’s a fiction book about a girl, who from a young age, feels unloved and forgotten. Because of this, she clings to the first man she thinks loves her, and flees to Southern California with him. From there, she is discovered by Hollywood and lives a life of fame, thinking it’s what will make her happy. Eventually, she discovers she was searching for love in all the wrong places but isn’t sure how she’ll be able to face her family again back home.
If you’re looking for an easy read that you won’t want to put down, this is the book for you.
Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness by Candace Cameron Bure –
“Candace Cameron Bure first became known to millions as a co-star on the hit ABC television series Full House. Today, like her brother Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains, Fireproof), she is the rare Hollywood actor who is outspoken about her Christian faith and how it helps overcome certain obstacles.
Bure’s healthy lifestyle has been featured in US Weekly and People magazines as well as national talk shows including The View and NBC’s Today. In Reshaping It All, she continues the story, inspiring women to embrace a healthier lifestyle by moving faith to the forefront, making wise choices, and finding their worth in the eyes of God. Candace shares a candid account of her struggle with food and ultimately her healthy outlook on weight despite the toothpick-thin expectations of Hollywood.
More than a testimony, here is a motivational tool that will put readers on the right track and keep them there. In addition to practical advice, Candace offers a biblical perspective on appetite and self control that provides encouragement to women, guiding them toward freedom.”
My love for Candace Cameron began as a young child watching Full House, and only grew all the more as I discovered she was the star of many of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies. (Yes, I shamelessly LOVE watching Hallmark Christmas movies with my mom and pup, holding a mug of hot cocoa and curled up in a cozy blanket. AH I’m getting excited for Christmas just thinking about it.) What I love the most about her is that she has remained strong in her faith and lives down to Earth, despite living a life of fame. When I found out she had written books, I knew I had to get my hands on them. Now, because I am passionate about taking care of my body through health and fitness, this book tug on the heartstrings. Reshaping It All is about living a healthy lifestyle by living out your faith as well as having a healthy mindset about food and how you look. Coming from a Hollywood star who has known ALL the pressures of looking “perfect” on the screen and “fitting in” with many famous nonbelievers, I found her book refreshing and inspiring as she promotes living for Jesus, choosing Jesus, and glorifying God with your body through a healthy mindset and lifestyle.
Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure –
‘“How do you do it all?”
That’s the question that wife, mom, actress, and best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure is often asked. And it’s a question that women everywhere are asking themselves as we seek to balance all of our roles, responsibilities, and opportunities.
So, how do we do it? Working since the age of 5, Candace has been in a balancing act for nearly her entire life. She is the first to tell you that there is no miracle formula for perfect execution in every area of your life, but there definitely are some lessons to be learned, lessons that come to life in Candace’s story.
Come along and dig into Candace’s story from her start in commercials, the balance-necessitating years on Full House, to adding on the roles of wife and mom while also returning to Hollywood. Insightful, funny, and poignant, Candace’s story will help you balance it all.’
Although I am not a mom yet with kids running around, baseball practice in the evenings, and tournaments on the weekends, I was inspired to read this book because I already feel like I struggle balancing it all as a working wife. I also hope to be a mom one day so I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn while I’m young before the chaos gets even more chaotic. I found this book to be relatable, refreshing, and inspiring to put faith first in all aspects of life. Candace writes about her everyday life, as well as her life as a celebrity, and how she’s keeping it all balanced. The book is a light read, without feeling too preachy and certainly not boring. I feel I have a more well rounded outlook on how to prioritize life now while keeping God the main priority.