Books, Books, and More Books (What I read in 2018)

Books I have Read in 2018:

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living–Shauna Niequest. I have always been a huge fan of Shauna’s books. This one was no exception. I love how her words speak to my life. This book gave great practical advice about settling down and being less hectic. 

She: 5 Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry–Karoline Lewis  Dr. Karoline Lewis is a professor at Luther Seminary and is one of the regulars on their website and podcast I picked this book up at the Festival of Homiletics in May of 2017 and was excited to dig into this book. Lewis has a way of helping women to see that they truly do have the power for ministry. Such practical advice for any woman who feels called to lead and serve in ministry. I love how each of the chapters focused on the five keys which made it easy to follow. 

100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self–Annie F Downs Annie is one of my most favorite authors. I always feel like she is speaking right to me. This devotional book was a beautiful gift that she gave me this year! 

A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging–Kate Motaung Kate is a blog friend and she is hosts one of my most favorite blog link ups the Five Minute Friday.This memoir is a beautiful gift that Kate gives to all of us as she journeys through the story of losing her mom to cancer while she was thousands of miles away. This book could not have come at a better time in my life. Her words were a gift as I journeyed through my own season of grief. It is a story that pulls us all back to our heavenly home. (You can my review of this book here:

Holy Hustle:Embracing a Work Hard, Rest Well Life–Crystal Stine Crystal is another blog friend. I served on the launch team for this book. This book is a great reminder of self care and taking care of ourselves. Crystal talks a lot about balancing and how to balance all the things in our lives. I cannot help but think of how God tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” (

Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved–Kate Bowler This book that spoke to me in so many ways. Oh how many times I was angry with God growing up because of our journey with mental illness. Her book is full of honesty and vulnerability that we don’t always get from authors when they tell their stories. (Read my blog review here: (

The Little Book of Hygge; Danish Secrets to Happy Living—Meik Wiking. Hygge is my 2018 one word for the year. So of course I had to pick up this book when I saw it. Hygge loosely translated means contentment. How do we find contentment in our every day lives? As I read, I couldn’t help but reflect on the ways I can find hygge in my daily life. It truly is a cozy read and reminds us all of the importance of taking time for ourselves.

Girl Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so you can Become Who You were Meant to Be–Rachel Hollis. I picked this book up after I heard lots of friends talking about it. I am one who always apologizes so Rachel’s words hit home for me. Now I know I am in the minority as several friends of mine were bothered by this book. I’ll let you judge for yourself. You can take it or leave it. 

Love Without Limits–Jacqueline Bussie Jacqueline and my paths crossed at Concordia in Moorhead Minnesota. This book is a true act of love as it was almost not published. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve on her launch team. Bussie pushes the limits and truly gets us thinking about what it means to love our neighbors for who God created them to be. The stories she shares are exquisite examples of God’s love for all God’s people. Please pick this book up and read it my friends! (The full blog review can be found here:

The Ministry of Ordinary Places–Shannan Martin Shannan’s book Falling Free has always been one of my faves. And this one is no exception. I was lucky to serve on Shannan’s launch team for this book. Her words always have a way of flowing so freely and getting me to think. This book helps us to explore what it means to find the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary. It helps us to share God’s love with all the world. 

Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much–Ashley Hales Friends, how many of us have too much? This book explores the question of abundance. It really helped me to think about what I truly need and how to share my abundance with others. Even though I do not live in a suburb, Ashley’s words spoke to me too. I was lucky to serve on the launch team for this book as well.

Remember God–Annie F Downs I have been waiting for this book to come out since I knew it was going to be released this year. I even preordered my copy. Annie has a way of writing and sharing exactly what I am feeling in the moment. And this book was my most favorite book that I read this year. Tears streamed down my face as I read her words. She talks about home and how she wishes it were full of so much more life. All the words she writes are words that I have thought in my head. In Annie’s words, there is indeed always something on the other side of the pain and mystery. 

Books I have started but haven’t finished yet:

The Inheritance–Niki Kapsambelis This book is a true story of a North Dakota family who have struggled with the Alzheimers gene. Almost all of the family carry the gene. This book is a beautiful memoir of their journey and reminds us that the reality of Alzheimers disease is all too real in our world.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World made for Whiteness–Austin Channing Brown I have started reading this book and need to finish it. I appreciate Brown’s honesty. This is a book about the reality of white supremacy and whiteness in our world. Read her words and then be an ally! 

Books I am looking forward to reading in 2019: 

Everybody Always–Bob Goff   This book has been on my to read pile for WAY TOO LONG! I cannot wait to read it! 

You are Enough–Mandy Hales Mandy Hales is often known as the Single Woman so her words often speak straight to my heart. This is her newest book and I am excited to see how it speaks to my heart and soul.

Becoming–Michelle Obama I heard Michelle on a tv special recently and now more than ever I am excited to pick up this book. She is a wise woman and I have always respected her. Excited to learn more about her and read her stories. She is a beautiful storyteller who weaves her words together eloquently.

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