Here are some of my favorite books to encourage you through all sorts of seasons in your life…
- Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To: Divine Answers to Life’s Most Difficult Problems (by Anthony DeStefano) – I’ve told you before how this book pulled me out of a spiritual funk last year. I’ll get around to writing more about that at some point!
- Here’s a cute kids book: Secretly Do Good Deeds
- If ever you start to get whiney about your life, pick this book up: He Leadeth Me – it rocked my world. The sufferings described here are so unbelievable, they’ll make you question everything; yet through it all you’re drawn back to God and His providence.
- Another one, and this one has powerful lessons in forgiveness: The Hiding Place by Corrie TenBoom.
- Anything by Max Lucado – a gifted Christian author who has a writing style that is as easy and fun to read as good fiction. He’s a great teacher on the basics of Christianity. He also wrote one of my all-time favorite children’s books, with good lessons about not letting what others think matter so much to us:
- “Surprised by Truth” book series by Patrick Madrid – great information to dispel common myths about what Catholics do and do not believe. Also helps you learn about how the sacraments draw us closer to Him.
Book 1, Book 2, Book 3
- Just this title is motivating: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. This book has helped me a lot in the past. It teaches how to shut off the “chatterbox” in your brain that keeps you from doing what you should, something I think many people struggle with. The only problem with the book is that since it isn’t Christian based, it stops short of the full Truth and doesn’t explain how Jesus can give us the courage, strength & healing we need in our lives.
- “Good News About Sex & Marriage” by Christopher West is another book that explains very well what the Catholic Church really teaches on often misunderstood topics:
- “Hidden Keys of a Loving Lasting Marriage“ by Gary Smalley was a great help when Kent and I went through a VERY tough time in our marriage years ago. This was unbelievably painful and we surely would have divorced if not for Jesus showing us the way back – feel free to e-mail if you’d like to know more or if I can help you somehow. (Read more about that here: My Conversion Story and how God healed our marriage.) This book is PERFECT to help each spouse know how to do better (you need to look at *yourself*, not at the other person, in order to fix a broken marriage), and an important note: Do NOT read the section meant for your spouse, you can read that later. For now read ONLY your part.
- “Love Must Be Tough” by Dr. James Dobson is great for helping to heal marriages, especially when one spouse wants to stick with it and the other is ready to give up or has already left, either emotionally or physically.
- Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life – This is a book that, along with the Dobson one above, I suggested to a friend who recently found out her husband was having an affair.
- Praying the Bible for Your Children – This book has been part of my morning “quiet time” since 2003. It helped me get past the same prayers for my children that I always prayed (“Lord, please keep them safe, healthy & close to You”), and instead helped me pray more deeply for them using verses from the Bible. There are 122 prayers in all, and each day I also note the date on the bottom of the page, so someday my children will see how often they were “lifted up” in prayer by their Mom! I use it not only to help me pray for our children, but also to pray for all the children in our lives. Whether it’s relatives, our friend’s kids, or other children who we know are hurting.
- The best for last: the BIBLE – I wish everyone would read through the whole Bible at least once – getting the “big picture” has helped me understand so much more. There are great sites to help you do this in one year, here is one. If you prefer to have it broken down for you right in your Bible, you can find that here:
After all this, find a good daily devotional (a fancy name for a prayer book) to help you digest more day-to-day. If you don’t think you would read the whole bible, at least try to read the book of John – you’ll learn some basics: how much Jesus loves you and how to be more like Him. Here’s the devotional I use. Here’s one more good one, and there you can also order, “Magnifikid” – we look this over with the kids each Sunday.