I am trying to dedicate more time to reading books these days than I have in the past. My goal is to read at least a little each day, and though I don’t always make it, I’m getting better. Michael puts me to shame in this area, but then again, no one is really surprised by that… am I right?
Here are some books I’m reading (or have finished recently) and what I think about them:
- Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic- I’d heard several friends reference this book and had read some things that Rachel wrote on her blog, so I thought I would give it a shot. Plus, it was only $6 on the Kindle so I figured I could risk it! This is a short, incredibly funny, and encouraging book for moms with young children. Rachel has five kids that are all little and she has somehow managed to keep her sanity. This is probably a book I will read several times a year for a while.
- Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson– This is a great reminder that not only do our children need grace daily, but that we, as parents, also desperately need the Gospel. The authors say over and over again that there is no magic formula for raising children and in looking for one, we risk raising little pharisees or miniature prodigals. What comfort it is to rest in the sovereignty of God as we take on the often daunting task of parenting!
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas– This is a fantastic biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the heroes of the Christian faith. I was particularly intrigued by how he grew up, his education, and his family life. I haven’t been able to finish it, despite having started it months ago. I think it’s because I know that it will continue to get sadder and sadder and, already knowing the ending, it makes it more difficult to press on.
- How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp– Lane and Tripp take the fundamentals of Biblical Counseling and make them accessible for everyone. There isn’t anything particularly mystical or complicated about Biblical Counseling– it’s really just the practice of applying the Gospel to our lives. After reading this book, I am a firm believer that we all need counseling– we need to be counseling ourselves daily and reminding each other to apply the Gospel in specific ways.
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis– I don’t know how many times I have read these books, but I continue to come back to them year after year. These books, along with Mere Christianity, were the first books I read as a believer. Although Lewis never meant for the Chronicles to be rigorous theology texts, I have found my understanding of Christianity to be continually deepened by reading them through the years. These books are so special to me because I think it was by reading them that I finally began to see how how beautiful a Story can be, and how utterly it can change one’s life.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones– I started reading this to Jeremiah when he was teeny tiny. As he got a bit older, he really just wanted to tear, rip, and chew on the pages. So, we’ve had to take a break from reading this together for the time being. I hope to start reading it to him again soon, but until then, I am happy to read it to myself. The simplicity of the way Lloyd-Jones tells the typical Bible stories, while always, always, always pointing children to the Gospel is beautiful to me. (It doesn’t hurt that she acknowledges Keller’s influence on her understanding of the stories.)