I go in and out of reading phases. Usually in the seasons where I am not reading at all, I am also struggling. Reading keeps me balanced. It reminds me of truth. It keeps me feeling connected. And it provides important narrative in my sometimes difficult and lonely days of raising littles.
In the first few weeks of Thatcher’s life, I found myself picking up and reading actual books. Those were the weeks of lots and lots of late night nursing sessions. I found myself devouring words at 2 am. It was the place I was in at the time.
Now, Thatcher is almost 5-months old and my days feel SO much more full and frantic. I do not have the energy to casually grab a book + read on the couch. It is not the place I am currently in, but I have found that I have a lot of quiet space when I am doing things (preschool pick-ups, laundry, dishes, runs, and cleaning the floors…again). I am a big believer that some quiet space is a very good + necessary thing for my own soul, but there are times where I could use some words of wisdom. I have been using Hoopla and it is my new favorite free library resource.
I wanted to share the last few books I have listened to because they have had a profound impact on me, personally. I have noticed that they all share a common thread about dealing with feeling overwhelmed and anxious. They also all point back to Christ. On my runs, I have gotten literal chills as my own heart has so deeply resonated to the words.
Here are the books I am currently listening to:
- The Well Watered Woman by Gretchen Saffles
- Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
- Get Out of Your Head: A Study in Phillipians by Jennie Allen
- Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst
My plan is to keep adding to this list.
I think the books we gravitate towards matter. It can be profoundly impactful on providing perspective on the season you are currently living through. I also am a slow learner and need to hear repeated truths again and again before they seem to really stick in my heart. All these books have been repeating the verses of Philippians 4:4-8 in my head and heart again and again.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:4-8, NIV).
These verses have been what my heart is clinging to in a season of raising littles.
It is reminding me that through clinging to the Lord as my true source of strength, it is possible to rejoice ALWAYS. It is possible to show others gentleness even in the midst of chaos and imperfect circumstances. It is also possible to not be anxious! The Lord does not leave us in our anxiety + meltdowns. He tells us very clearly to pray about it; to ask him for help. When anxiety creeps in, my first response is not to land on my knees and ask for the Lord to help me with these emotions. It usually is to keep spiraling. Imagine the change in our days, if instead of spiraling in our own thoughts, we hand it to the Lord. It will change everything. The Lord promises that if we come to him in prayer and gratitude that he will grant us with peace and protection. Amazing! I need more of His peace in my life.
Verse 8 has been my reminder to cut out a lot of the noise I easily let into my daily life. Most of this is from social media + negative inside chatter that Lysa TerKeurst discusses in Unglued. I am realizing how I need to focus more on how God views me and less on how I think everyone else views me. I need to focus on what is true, lovely, and admirable. These days, it is extremely difficult to find these things through what my phone shows me on social media. I need to intentionally fill my mind with truth and that means spending time with the Lord and reading his Word. And it also means reading/listening to good books that continue to remind me of His great love for me.