Favorite Books for the Joyful Mama

I absolutely LOVE books. I love a book that leads me to the Cross, reminds me of God's abundant grace, convicts me of unrecognized sin, and helps me love my husband or children better. God's Word is my go-to for all of those things, but there's something special about hearing experiences and lessons from other people, just like me. (Here's my very favorite note-taking Bible by the way. I'm an ESV girl.)  I want to share some of my FAVORITE books of all time that I think are the perfect fit for any Mama looking to grow in any area of her life.

So, I prayed hard, and identified 6 books (and a journal) that have been extremely influential in my life. I wanted to give you a quick rundown of each of them here, so you can know WHY I love them so much.

So which books and WHY? 

First up- "The Best Yes" by Lysa Terkheurst. Lysa is a prolific author and basically a Women's Ministry Rockstar in my book. I love everything I've read from her and have been in awe as she's gone through a variety of trials the past few years with astounding grace. "The Best Yes" is one of those books that you can't put down, and you keep quoting for years after. I gave it to a dozen friends for Christmas the year I read it. She delves into topics like expectations, analysis paralysis, boundaries- not just looking for the good thing but looking for the BEST that God has in store. It's a juicy, insightful read that will leave you underlining and highlighting all over it. 

Looking for some great, passionate book recommendations for moms who love Jesus? This list has a fantastic review of 6 favorite books from a homeschool mom of 4.

Next- "Sacred Influence" by Gary Thomas. If anyone asks me for my primary marriage recommendation, this is my default. God used this book to tear the veil from my eyes about the astounding role a wife plays in being a helpmeet to her husband. For years, the idea of that made me gag. {Just being real.} But Gary has such a clear vision (and a phenomenal way of articulating it) as to how GOD sees the influence a wife has over her husband- how he designed our role in a beautiful and sacred way.  It's not just about "he's the boss". As wives, we have been anointed by God to have an incredible influence over every aspect of our husband's life and heart. This is precious and sometimes precarious, thusly it must be tended with care. I highly recommend any book by Gary Thomas (I've read them all). 

The next two are "The Life Giving Home" AND "The Life Giving Home Experience" by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. I'm a huge Sally Clarkson fan and really enjoyed her team-up with her daughter Sarah on these titles. I chose this particular book by her because of it's deep impact on my heart for being intentional about cultivating a family bond that transcends time and distance. Seeing how profoundly Sally's choices in tending her home have shaped her children and have been a reliable comfort to them really spoke to my heart. Our homes are SACRED spaces to break chains of bondage, bind up our brokenness, comfort the lost, and create deep and lasting memories. Sally and Sarah's eloquence in "The Life Giving Home" spoke to the deep parts of my heart that hopes that my children will cherish their childhood deeply and take it with them forever. The second book- the companion- called "The Life Giving Home Experience" is a wonderful, practical companion to walk through the year developing new and lasting traditions for your family.

The last two books are relatively new to me but are just SO GOOD, I couldn't pass by sharing them. They are "Free of Me" by Sharon Miller and "Women of the Word" by Jen Wilkin. I actually just reviewed them both in my "Stuff I Love Too Much: January" post, so check that out. Suffice it to say, I'm starting a small group this Saturday morning, and we will be using "Women of the Word" to dive into an invigorating, disciplined study of God's word. I'm finishing up "Free of Me" now, and I cannot even express how much YUCK God is undoing in me through Sharon's inspired writing. This book was filled with raw truth that just NEEDED TO BE SAID

Those are my favorites, friends! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!