We just got back from a family camping trip and it was just what we needed. Our family loves camping. It’s something our boys look forward to every summer. I’m sure it has to do with being outside all day long, running and playing in the dirt and getting beyond recognizable by the end of the day, but it’s these memories I truly cherish. There are so many great things about camping but the one thing I really enjoyed from this trip was the time I had to read.
Fall is just around the corner. You could already feel it in the cooler mornings. The temperature didn’t quite warm up enough for the beach until closer to 10, which meant we took a little longer in the mornings to get up and go outside. It was so nice to just spend time together in our trailer. The three boys did some colouring, cars and blocks at the table, while little Miss had her morning nap. My husband and I lounged on the couch, each reading our own thing. I just took a moment to enjoy the peace of it all. I shared with my husband how much I just loved this time and his response was, “But it’s just like being at home.” To which I replied, “Yes, but with no guilt.”
As moms, we always have so much to do, especially when we have young kids. To take time for yourself is either near impossible or makes you feel guilty because the to-do list is never ending. While we were camping, I felt no guilt to just sit and read. The kids were all fed and cared for and there was nothing needing to get done. It was a much-needed time for me.
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If you’ve read some of my other blogs you may know that I feel reading your Bible is a priority but I also believe that reading literature written by Christian authors is also important and valuable to our Christian walk. This is how I see it—God uses each of our circumstances to grow us and draw us closer to Him. Because of the sin in our world, many of us experience many of the same situations- difficult children, strained marriages or relationships, loss of a loved one, just to name a few. When we are open to God working through us in these situations, He does great things.
He has gifted many people with the gift of writing. There are many Christians who have beautifully written about their circumstances and the powerful way God has redeemed them out of that difficult time in their lives. Often, they have gained valuable wisdom and insight from the Spirit that we too can apply to our everyday situations.
Rather than us trying to solve our problems on our own, God has surrounded us with a community of believers who have graciously shared their experiences and wisdom from God. Thanks to technology, we have access to an endless supply of this Christian material. We can order or download books online. We have access to many books through the local library. Often churches have a well-stocked library of Christian books and resources. There are Christian podcasts, sermons and blogs all at our disposal with a simple click of a few buttons.
So, we have the material available to us, but how do we make reading more of a priority in our busy mom lives?
Well here are a few things I have found helpful to me:
1. Limit TV and social media throughout the day, especially in the evenings. Designate this time for reading, rather than scrolling through Facebook or flipping through channels.
2. Commit to a Bible Study with a friend or even one on your own. Have a goal to read a chapter each week and answer the questions that coincide. This also gives you time to reflect on what you’ve read all week and apply it to your life.
3. Leave books lying around the house. This may drive some people nuts to have books everywhere, but if you put the books in the rooms you spend the majority of your time, you’ll be more likely to pick it up and read it if you get a couple minutes of free time.
4. Blogs and podcasts are a great alternative to books. They are often shorter in length and cover a wider variety of topics. Podcasts allow you to listen while getting other stuff done around the house. I enjoy listening to a podcast while cooking dinner.
5. Audio books are another great alternative to reading. Some people much prefer listening to someone read to them rather than actually reading themselves. Audio books also allow you to listen to some great literature while driving or even working out.
6. Pack a book in your purse. I find this is a great way to sneak in some reading. If you’re waiting at the doctor’s office for your appointment or waiting in the parking lot to pick up your child from an activity, you can pull out your book and read. This helps pass the time and fills you up with some daily encouragement.
Now that you have some suggestions in hand to start prioritizing reading into your day, you’ll need a good book. Below I’ve listed some of my favourite reads that I’ve recently read.
1. Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes
2. Brokenness, Submission & Holiness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
3. Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin
4. Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker
5. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
6. You, Me & Eternity by Francis Chan
7. The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
8. Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
9. Grace Based Discipline by Karis Kimmel Murray
10. Gods at War by Kyle Idleman
11. Keeping Place by Jen Polluck Michel
12. Brave Enough by Nicole Unice
13. Girls Gone Wise by Mary Kassian
14. Power of the Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
I hope you will be encouraged to pick up a book and start reading today. You just never know how it will encourage you in your walk with the Lord. It may hold some answers to prayers or simply guide your path. I pray that the book you choose to read will help you grow in your faith and demonstrate God’s goodness at work in the good and the bad at all times.
SHARE: What has been one of your favourite Christian books you’ve read lately?
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