Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.
Happiest of Fridays to you, friends! When I sat down to draft my business and personal goals for the second half of 2017 and then 2018, my personal goals reflected a lot on self-care and balance. I have always been a huge lover of books growing up, but reading was always pushed aside by the drive I had for my work in school, the work place, and now in my business. As part of that search for more balance, I made it a goal of mine to read at least one book per month.
It’s safe to say that this goal of mine has been going extremely well! I’ve loved all of the books that I have picked up and read so far during this journey of mine – and for once in my life I’ve been making a reading list of what I need to get my hands on next. The only problem is which one do I read first!
READ ALSO: Faves Friday // Spring 2018 Favorites
Books I’m Loving Lately
In the spirit of Faves Friday and encouraging you to embark on this road of balance with me, here’s a list of books that I’m loving lately. I’m also sharing with you what I’m currently reading (it’s a personal one!) and what’s on my list to read next. Hopefully this list will inspire you to curl up on your sofa this weekend (or on a beach this summer!) and lose yourself while flipping pages.
Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
I read Crushing It! back in February after hearing Jasmine Star rave about it on her Instagram stories. As a sequel to his 2009 best-seller, Crush It, he offers new lessons and inspiration drawn from the dozens of entrepreneurs and influencers that he features in the book. I personally loved that he went through each social media platform and gave his take on them individually. And, as always, I love his blunt attitude about striving for success as an entrepreneur. I highly recommend this book to all my business friends!
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
The book, Present Over Perfect, is really perfectly explained by the tagline: leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living. It’s no secret that, as an entrepreneur and small business owner, life is frantic. We’re told in society that if we’re not ‘busy’, we’re not successful. So we fill out calendar with busy while craving connection, meaning, and depth.
This is something that I really struggled with when I first started my business. Right in a weak moment of mine where I was tired and burned out on ‘busy’, this book met me where I was at and was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t recommend it more to every woman I know going through the same thing. While I’ve gotten so much better with this over the past year, I’m not perfect. It’s definitely a book I plan to read again with the study guide.
Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst
Lysa Terkeurst is one of my absolute favorite authors for so many different reasons. Uninvited is also one of those books that really spoke to my soul, and it’s one that I still refer back to (and want to read over and over again!) As someone who grew up struggling with friendships, feeling left out, and feeling like I wasn’t enough, I couldn’t help but tear up so many times as I read it. Throughout the book, Lysa leans in to honestly examine the roots of rejection, as well as rejection’s ability to poison relationships from the inside out, including our relationship with God. It reminds us we are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken–a love that does not reject or uninvite.
To say that Uninvited changed my life may be a little dramatic. But, it really did change my perspective on my relationships – whether they be personal and business oriented. If you were to pick one book from this list to read, my heart hopes that you’ll choose this one. I can only hope it touches you like it did me.
Make It Happen by Lara Casey
Make it Happen was actually the book I had planned to read throughout the month of April. However, I read the entire thing during our plane ride to and from Boston. It’s safe to say that I was hooked! I related to her so much with my ‘extreme’ personality of putting my entire self into everything I do, and hearing her story was remarkable.
Meanwhile, the way Lara describes the premise for the book is spot on. Your time has come to take a leap of faith, and by reading the book you join her in surrendering our fears, ending the chase for perfection, and saying yes to cultivating the meaningful lives God desires for us. Like Uninvited, Make It Happen really changed my perspective on how I spend my days as I try to grow this blog and business of mine. It was just what my soul needed to hear, and I hope it speaks to you as much as it did to me.
A Simplified Life by Emily Ley
I decided to read A Simplified Life after falling in love with Emily Ley’s first book, Grace Not Perfection. Throughout the book you’ll find Emily’s strategies, systems, and methods for permanently clearing the clutter, organizing priorities, and living intentionally in 10 key areas—from your home and meal planning, to style and finances, parenting, faith life, and more – all while showing you how to truly make the most of your days with realistic, achievable, and tactical tools.
Meanwhile, while it seems pretty straight forward of a process as you go through the book, you don’t realize how much is really simplifies and betters your daily life until you start. The book actually is what kick started my massive closet clean out where I donated or Poshmark-ed almost my entire closet to move towards a more capsule style wardrobe. (Can we talk about how scary yet freeing that was?!) While it’s definitely a marathon of a process and not a sprint, it’s inspired me to slowly do the same throughout the rest of my home.
Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan
You may remember that I talked a tiny bit about my Keto journey in my last Faves Friday blog post and how I raved about Simply Keto. I get a lot of questions about how I ‘do’ Keto, and Simply Keto by Suzanne at Keto Karma has been an amazing resource for kicking off this new lifestyle. If you’re curious about Keto or thinking of adopting the lifestyle yourself, I highly recommend this book! Not only does it teach you everything you need to know about how Keto works. But it also has shopping lists, meal plans, and over 100 recipes!
Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst
All of this brings us to what book I’ve currently got my hands on right now. Like I mentioned above, Lysa Terkeurst is one of my absolute favorite authors, and I’m on a journey to read all of her books. As I start on my new health journey, I thought Made to Crave would be the perfect book for my soul in the present moment. While I don’t necessarily like to talk about my weight journey, I am someone who has struggled with body image and that aspect of food and cravings. I loved that this book was suppose to be about satisfying your deepest desires with God, not food. I’ll have to give you an update with my thoughts when I finish it!
Up Next On My Reading List
- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson – My mom has raved about this book for so long. It’s time to give it a read!
- The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst – I have done the study on this as part of the women’s ministry at my old church back when I first moved to Georgia. I really want to read the book and re-work the study in the future!
- Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst – Naturally, she’s one of my absolute favorite authors, so I want to read all of her books!
- Cultivate by Lara Casey – With how much I loved her book, Make It Happen, I know I have to get my hands on this book too!
There’s nothing more relaxing that cuddling up with a cup of coffee, a good book, and a snoring pup on a rainy spring day – except reading that good book with your toes in the sand! As you can see above from what I’m loving lately, I have chosen a lot of books that have a personal connection to me and my life journey. What are some of the books that you’re loving lately? Add to my reading list by sharing with me your favorite recent read below in a comment. It’ll be like our own little A Hosting Home online book club!