Recent Reads

My poor mom had the absolute worst time getting me to read when I was younger. She had to pull teeth to get me to sit down and read for more 10 minutes. So, I can imagine that my mom will do cartwheels of joy as she reads that I’ve been reading for pleasure. I’m really enjoying it – it’s like a quick recharge. Recently, that has been in the form of The Fault In Our Stars, The Best Yes, and the She Reads Truth studies.

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I couldn’t put The Fault In Our Stars down, Justin didn’t see me for like 3 days straight, he also caught me crying sobbing a couple of times. Such a good book and I enjoyed the movie, too.

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The Lord used Lysa TeKeurst’s book The Best Yes to show me how important it is for me to be all-in to each and every decision that I make and how important it is to work toward wisdom and discernment. I’m such a people pleaser, I’m quick to say yes or offer up help. So, I was slapped in the face when I read this: “I know I’m caught in the rip current of people pleasing when I dread saying yes, but feel powerless to say no.” Dang. Called out. That’s often my exact feeling. Perfect example of this: A couple weeks after I launched Rise, I’m working to build that up and still working full time, Justin and I just started our missional community. We made the tough decision to give away our sweet pup, Lily, to the greatest family because her puppy craziness {very sadly} didn’t line up with our call to be missional. Look, she’s so sweet.

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You could say our plate was pretty full but in the very best way.

Here comes the poor decision making I had mentioned: every so often I served in children’s ministry when there was an opening that needed to be filled last minute. I did that for 2 or 3 weeks in a row and the same kids that threw a tantrum the first week that I was there, as a new visitor, started coming in without those tantrums. They were able to get so much more out of their time with us (and so were the parents) because their babies were past the “Lady, I have no idea who you are, so I’m hoping my piercing screams bring my mom back real soon” phase. They trusted me and were ready to move on to the next thing: these are babies in the nursery, y’all, so we weren’t going too far but I was struck with the realization that these littles were just lacking some consistency in their visits to our church and I wanted to be the one to provide that. So, I committed to filling that need without really a thought or prayer about it. Saturday night church and hangout with our friends after was replaced by volunteering with the sweet toddlers while my friends went to church and I joined for dinner after. I would say that I’d make it to church on Sunday, but didn’t because Justin had already been. After a couple weeks of that, I got to this part of the book where Lysa lays out a couple of decision making guidelines that I inserted my situation in: Do I have room for this emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially? And, I came to the realization that I could physically be there, but I would’t really be there: this was not a “Best Yes” decision for me at the time. Having to break that commitment was dreaded, disappointing others is probably my least favorite thing to do especially because I know this was a genuine need and I felt foolish for committing in the first place but I can’t let the “awkward disappointments of others keep me from my best yes appointments with God.”

Sometimes the Lord calls us in to being stretched in each of those places but He doesn’t base our growth or righteousness by how full our schedule is, it’s about obedience and the willingness to listen. It’s about being willing to fill our schedule to the brim if that’s what you’re being called to do {because the Lord will give us strength to do that}, or willingness to free up your schedule to let God invade our time with HIS divine appointments, appointments that we could not schedule on our own {because there is a time to rest}. I love what Lysa says, “the one who obeys God instruction for today, will know His direction for tomorrow.”

By no means am I a professional decision-maker now, but there has been a major heart change in making decisions from booking every open slot in my calendar, to praying through and using these really great guidelines to make wise, purposeful, and intentional decisions. It’s also slowed me way down and humbled me because I can do nothing apart from the Lord – I find such freedom in that! I say ALL that to say, I am so enjoying this book and the sometimes uncomfortable realities that it reveals.

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As for She Reads Truth, I’ve been using this as my daily devotion and I am totally crazy about their studies, the women behind the studies and the work God is doing through this great resource to grow women of God. I’m so encouraged by it daily. Their study right now is on Biblical Hospitality and with us starting our MC, I’m reading scripture that reminds me of the kind of host that Jesus was on this earth and brings even more of a desire to be more like Christ. I honestly cannot say enough good things about the wonderful community that is She Reads Truth – I am so grateful for so many of these women that I have never even met.

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One thought on “Recent Reads

  1. I was the same way did not like to read books. Until i had a job working third shift its gets boring than night a saw story about harry potter so i went out bought the first book. After that i been enjoying books

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