Book List – Club 31 Women A Passion for Husband, Home, & Family Mon, 20 Feb 2017 01:09:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Book List – Club 31 Women 32 32 Missionary Biographies to Inspire and Challenge Your Faith Thu, 16 Feb 2017 01:00:11 +0000 Missionary Biographies to Inspire and Challenge Your Faith

Reading missionary biographies can be life changing and really challenge us in our faith. I hope these stories can whet your appetite for a deeper faith.

I grew up surrounded with books about missions. The bookshelves were lined with stories of Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, David Livingston, Eric Liddell, and more. It was clear by the message of these books, that sharing Jesus with all people, no matter the hardship, is a vital aspect of our Christian life.

The Brave Stories of Others

As I grew older, I hate to admit, but the stories stayed on the shelves. Until recently, I happened across Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson. Within a few pages, I couldn’t put the book down. These true stories of God working through people to triumph over evil became more exciting than any fiction book. Even though they often contain tragedy, the story doesn’t stop there.

I shared these books with some of my friends. When they returned them, I asked what they thought of the stories. We found ourselves in a discussion of what spiritual aspects we never had before. We talked about how God prepared people for His truth, how the wives of the missionaries trusted God with even their children’s safety and health, how faith in God trumps any fear, and more.

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Books to Help Your Children Face Tough Times Thu, 09 Feb 2017 01:00:44 +0000 Books to Help Your Children Face Tough Times

When our children face tough times, how can we as their parent help them navigate life while assuring them God is still good and still in control?

Four years ago, I nonchalantly walked into the office of our family doctor only to walk out in a panic.  One of my worst fears as a mother was happening: my then ten-year-old daughter had Lyme’s disease.  The leg pain, severe exhaustion, and abdominal discomfort she had been dealing with were not just from “growing pains” as I had hoped, but from a disease with so many unknown details.

What’s Best?

As a parent, you desire to make the best decision possible for your child, but everywhere I turned there was opposing information.  Who should I believe?  Which treatment plan should she have?  What if my child’s health is never the same?

Three years ago, my children helped me pack up our house and then unpack it all in a new state.  Everyone told us that if we were going to move, now was the time: “Your children are at great ages to move and they are resilient.”  We prayed.  We fasted.  We prepared.  

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5 Books for Brand-New Brides Thu, 02 Feb 2017 01:00:35 +0000 5 Books for Brand-New Brides

New brides enter marriage with all gusto and joy but sometimes don’t realize how unprepared they are to settle into a new life with another person.

I’ve been told I get to claim the title of newlywed for a full year after my wedding last June. But I know that, as much as I’m looking forward to our first wedding anniversary this June, there’s not a magic formula for “getting” marriage that comes just because we cross that first milestone.

So instead, during this first newlywed year, I’m choosing to invest in some books about womanhood and marriage so that these 365 days set the stage for a lifetime of God-glorifying marriage. Below you’ll find some of my favorites.

Also included in this list is one Bible study book I recommend because, if your brand-new bride season is anything like mine, you’re also adjusting to a new quiet time schedule and that can be just as big an adjustment as blending finances and fostering communication!

Personalities in Love by Donna Partow

I’ve been a personality-type junkie ever since I first took the MBTI assessment in college.

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A Book List to Equip Word-Centered Moms Thu, 26 Jan 2017 01:00:15 +0000 A Book List to Equip Word-Centered Moms

I’m a mom with three kids five and under. I desperately long to build a Word-centered home for my kids. I want them to be saturated in the Scriptures, bursting with knowledge of who God is and what He does. I want to read, pray, and memorize the Bible with them, little as they may be.

Sometimes my reality seems incompatible with these lofty ideals. Little sleep, lots of messes, and all of the chaos can crowd out my best intentions for being a woman of the Word. I believe that the quest to know the Lord and introduce Him to my kids is worth the fight, however. These are a few books that are equipping and encouraging me to be a Word-Centered Mom.

Together: Growing Appetites for God by Carrie Ward

This book is mercifully short for busy moms! It details how one mom began reading the Bible, chapter by chapter, to her three small children. It took them seven years, but they made it through the entire Bible together! I’m so inspired by her stories of how consistent Bible reading changed her and her family. Her advice for navigating difficult passages and energetic kids is also extremely helpful.

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7 Encouraging Books for When Life is Hard Thu, 19 Jan 2017 01:00:18 +0000 7 Encouraging Books for When Life is Hard

Sometimes life it just plain hard. There are sorrows, loss, brokenness, hurts.

It’s the way of this world we live in, where everything simply does not go as planned.

Yet, even here, God’s faithfulness is astounding. He is good, even through sorrow. He is gracious, even through brokenness. He is gentle, even through hurts.

You don’t have to just take just my word for it though. These truths are being stirred up in the Body of Christ. I know, because I’ve watched book after book by fellow Believers hit the shelves. Books that tell stories of incredible brokenness, incredible loss, incredible sorrow—and God’s ever-present grace and compassion and comfort.

If you are struggling through a difficult season, this list is for you.

The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot

When I was struggling through infertility, a friend sent me this book. I read it slowly, underlining passages that spoke right through my sorrows and into my heart. If you are feeling the loneliness that comes with hard seasons of life, The Path of Loneliness is the perfect book for you.

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For the Love of Discipline: 5 Books That Will Get You There! Fri, 13 Jan 2017 01:00:23 +0000 For the Love of Discipline: 5 Books That Will Get You There!

As a child, I hated the word “discipline”. But as an adult halfway through my thirties, I have come to appreciate the word and the action it represents.  If it was not for discipline, my house would be a complete mess, I would eat every carton of ice cream I could get my hands on, my checkbook would never get balanced, and I would be a wimpy Christian.

Spiritual Discipline

While there are mornings when I can’t wait for the alarm to ring, waking me for the time when I cozy up in my smooth leather chair to read the Bible and pray, that’s not usually how I feel.  It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with God; it’s just that I listen to the distractions of life more than my desire for God. In those moments, I have to train myself to do what I know is best: to discipline my wandering heart in choosing God over my to-do list.

Learning how to exercise my spiritual muscles isn’t a solitary sport. Through the years, I’ve met some friends who have encouraged me and taught me how to develop my spiritual discipline.

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A List of the Best Christmas Story Collections to Read Fri, 16 Dec 2016 01:00:09 +0000 A List of the Best Christmas Story Collections to Read

I love many kinds of books, but Christmas stories have a special place in my heart. Every year, I scour the huge used book store near me for yet another one to add to my stack, and happily read as many as I can as soon as the calendar changes to December and the month of Christmas is finally here.

While I can’t pin my love of stories in general on a single book, I can tell you which book is responsible for my great love of Christmas Collections. A family friend gave me a paperback collection of Christmas stories by Joe L. Wheeler when I was eleven. It was called Christmas In My Heart. Ever since that day I’ve dreamed of one day owning all of the dozens of volumes of Christmas in My Heart that were ever published.

Sometimes people ask me why I love Christmas stories so much. I think it’s because, in a time when our world often feels dark and unkind, I cherish the reminders that there is still good and beauty in this world.  And like the time Christ was a babe in a rustic manger, He still comes down to our humble homes to be “God with Us”.

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More Than 11 Books to Put You in the Christmas Spirit Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:00:21 +0000 More Than 11 Books to Put You in the Christmas Spirit

There is nothing quite like curling up in an old armchair before a blazing fire, perhaps with a cup of tea or coffee and a good book. At my house, we read literally year-round, but the short winter days seem to call to the bibliophile in me in a unique way. Emptying a high cabinet where we store Christmas books during the rest of the year, we find many picture books about Baby Jesus, Santa Claus, and snow. We have pop-up books and easy readers and beautifully illustrated picture books which bring back sweet, warm memories.

However, in the past few years, I’ve learned that “Christmasy” reading doesn’t have to be a contained in a 32-page hardback about a reindeer with a red nose! With this mind, I’ve compiled a list of eleven books that are a bit longer reads, perfect for cozy December nights. Several of them would be great to read aloud to children, others are intended for adults. Each of them is a heart-warming, wintry title sure to put you in the spirit.


1. A Coat-hanger Christmas Tree by Eleanor Estes

I have been an avid Estes fan since I became an independent reader.

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6 Inspiring Books to Encourage You in Hospitality Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:00:18 +0000 6 Inspiring Books to Encourage You in Hospitality

A bowl of fire-roasted goat passed around under an inky Kenyan sky, the unforgettable smell of camel and smoke permeating the air. A ride offered by an acquaintance so the foreign student could join a Bible study at her temporary church. A perfectly made cappuccino and slice of toast waiting every morning, crafted by a woman who didn’t speak a word of English.

The common denominator between a goat, a ride, and daily breakfast? Home. I have been on the receiving end of hospitality all around the world, and no matter what language was spoken (or not spoken) or what we ate, I have felt at home because of other people’s willingness to give a piece of themselves to a stranger.

It’s inspiring to think I have the same opportunity to create a sense of place and belonging for other people, even my own family, by keeping an open heart and home. We should always be on the lookout for ways to offer hospitality, but the holidays are full of opportunities to welcome others into our homes with care and to be a little beacon of peace when we visit others.

The following six books approach hospitality with different nuances and styles but all have been instrumental in shaping my view of hospitality.

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9 Engaging Children’s Bible Story Books Fri, 18 Nov 2016 01:00:19 +0000 9 Engaging Children’s Bible Story Books

“I know that story!”

I was just as excited as my five-year-old was to know he recognized the Bible story we were reading. While I grew up on flannelgraph Sunday School lessons each week, we keep our children with us during the church service so they can learn along with us. But we’ve realized that means we have to be more proactive about teaching our children not just the big truths of the Bible but also telling them the beloved stories of the heroes and kings, the saints, and sinners recorded in Scripture.

Retelling the Old

The beauty of telling and retelling the old, old story in different ways and with different books is the way our children learn to recognize the story within the story. And it’s humbling to realize that the more I explain the Scriptures to them, the more I see for myself the way the Old Testament points to the New.

While word for word Bible passages make up much of our family devotions and memory work, we also like to use Bible story read-alouds that reinforce biblical truths while instilling in our children a love for the story of Jesus and His love.

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