When I come across a great book, song, or resource, I love telling my friends all about it. So even though we’re just days away from Christmas, I am sharing a few of my (somewhat) recent favorite things with you. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for a friend or an encouraging resource for yourself as you look to the new year, here are a handful of meaningful items to consider!
I have so much respect for Dennis and Barbra Rainey of FamilyLife Today (a Christian radio ministry), so when I learned about this book, I immediately added it to my wish list. The book is set up as a series of letters written by Barbara as she answers the kinds of questions that her own daughters and other younger wives might ask marriage. Her frank, yet gentle wisdom was such a blessing to my heart, and I truly felt like I was getting to sit down to coffee with her and pick her brain on all things marriage! She helps wives better understand God’s beautiful design for marriage, but also recognizes and addresses the very real challenges of such an intimate relationship. Filled with lovely watercolor paintings and hand-lettered art, this book is a wonderful gift for married women of all ages, especially new brides.
By far one of the very best books I read this past year, this book by Sabina Wurmbrand (c0-founder of Voice of the Martyrs), was an incredible challenge to my heart as a Christian, a wife, and a mom. Sabina shares the story of how she and her husband Richard met as young people in Romania, came to know Jesus, gave their lives to ministry, and how their lives were turned upside down during the Communist takeover in 19–. Even in the midst of intense, unthinkable persecution, Sabina never wavered in her devotion to the Lord. She endured years of harsh prison life and separation from her family – yet emerged a triumphant, glorious testimony of God’s faithfulness.
I’ve had my eye on one of these journals for awhile now and just recently had the opportunity to start using one. Normally, I’m hesitant to use “fill-in-the-blank” journals, for fear they won’t feel as intimate and personal. But this journal has been a huge blessing to my prayer life and the more I get to know Val Woerner through her blog, the more I love her heart to encourage women. This journal is set up as an undated, six-month journal (so you can start using it at any time), with writing prompts for specific categories of prayer such as your nation, community, loves, family – and space to record answered prayer, Scripture, and quotes. I love that it is nice and slim, but so pretty and available in a number of colors. In addition to these undated prayer journals, Val also offers pregnancy journals, infertility journals, gratitude journals, and prayer journals for men.
When I stumbled across this planner a couple months ago on one of my favorite blogs, Richly Rooted, I was excited to learn more. I tried two other planners this year but was disappointed in both for various reasons. Personally, I like my planner to be medium-sized; big enough to write comfortably in, but small enough to fit in my purse or bag. I also love having monthly, weekly, and daily layouts to write down my appointments and daily to-do’s. Since I found the 2016 planner so close to the end of the year, it was on sale for $1 – and after using it for a couple months now, I can say with confidence that this is my planner for 2017! It has the monthy, weekly, and daily layouts that I like, along with sections for your shopping lists (perforated, so you can tear them out!), project lists, important addresses, AND two pockets for storing receipts and notes. There is also an encouraging Scripture or quote on each page spread.
I often pick up these devotional books, brimming with inspiring photos and timely truths, when I need some encouragement as a mom. This devotional is one of my personal favorites because it focuses on why you need to keep your marriage a priority over your children – and how to practically do that. Personally, I know all too well how easy it is to pour myself into my children and give the sad leftovers to my husband. Leslie shares refreshing spiritual wisdom and helpful ideas for building your marriage – and then your family – on the strong foundation of Jesus Christ.
If I had to pick only one Christmas album to listen to, it would be this one – which is saying a lot! I’ve long admired Christy Nockels for her lovely voice and consistently Gospel-rich lyrics, so I was just thrilled when I learned that she was working on a Christmas album. I know it’s getting pretty close to Christmas Day, but truly, these songs will add a sacred richness to rest of your holiday season, even if just for the next week! Two of my favorites are the hope-filled “Advent Hymn” and her beautiful arrangement of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Find the hard copy here and the digital download here.
A group of friends and I went through this eight-week study this fall and were so blessed. The study focuses on the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 and I learned so much about what it means to thrive spiritually even during challenging seasons of life. Whether you go through this study on your own or with a group of women, you’ll come away with a greater understanding of how to have a flourishing relationship with Jesus.
Elijah and I don’t know what specific plans God has for growing our family, but we do hope to adopt children into our family someday. This beautiful print captures that hope and desire for us and I gifted it to Elijah for his first Father’s Day when I was expecting Chloe. I adore Breezy’s beautiful work and have my eye on several others I want to display in our home. In addition to the prints in her Etsy shop, she has illustrated an absolutely gorgeous book, For Such a Time As This, a devotional for young girls that highlights women in the Bible and how the Gospel is woven all throughout Scripture. Her portrayals of biblical women like Sarah, Elizabeth, and Anna are just what I’ve always pictured in my mind!
I am a huge fan of Crystal Paine, a.k.a “Money Saving Mom” and thoroughly enjoyed her 14-day online course on how to establish a productive morning routine. There is an assignment each day that takes about 15 minutes total to complete and the results are completely worth your time! Included in the course are daily videos, a workbook, and helpful printables. The assignments really helped me think through what was holding me back from getting my day off to a good start and what I could do to make positive changes. She also has a Make Over Your Evenings course that I want to go through sometime soon!
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