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This time last year I published a post about books that I thought you should consider putting under the Christmas tree. This year, I didn’t get this done in time but I am finding it really fun to reflect back on what I read each year and recommend some of my favorites to you.
I use the goodreads app to track books I am currently reading, have already read, and want to read in the future. Please follow along with me there so we can see what each other is reading and get ideas for our next read!
I love to see the lists of what my friends are reading, they always seem to stumble across the coolest books and I am often catching myself adding those books to my “want to read” list.
It should be no surprise that most of the reading I’ve done in 2020 has been a little singularly focused. I mean, can you really expect much different from a first time mom? Most of the books you will see below are amazing reads for first time moms, but are great for moms and women in all seasons and I highly recommend them!
I read three books on sleep training, and by far my favorite was Happy Sleeper by Heather Turgeon. I found that as someone who prefers to follow my baby’s lead, this book was much less rigid and easier to apply than some of the other sleep training methods or programs. The basic principle of the book explains the difference between baby sleep needs versus adult sleep needs and how sleeping through the night may look different from baby to baby. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the basics of infant sleep patterns and is interested in learning how to teach self soothing to their baby!
Anna slept in our bed for the first month of her life. We were slowly able to transition her to her cradle in our room for naps and eventually bedtime. She stayed there until she was 4.5 months old. By then Anna was taking naps in her crib and was a pro at putting herself to sleep. I loved the methods in this book because it helped me to see that my baby was not broken, she just wanted to be close. It also helped me realize that I was not inadequate for being unable to make her fall asleep without me right away. This was something that she would eventually learn to do. These things just take time.
I absolutely LOVE this book and will probably read through it many times. I’d been wanting to use scripture to pray for quite a while and honestly, (just being real) I didn’t know where to start. In this book Jodie talks about all the topics that God’s word shows us to pray for our children and uses some real life examples of how prayer has impacted the lives of her children, and the children around her.
God’s word is a mighty force and he literally gives us all we need to pray for his blessings over our children. As parents, we want for God to bless them, to help them to be kind, and considerate. We want our children to fall madly in love with him the way we have. We want Jesus to shape their lives and teach them to be meaningful members of society and to show compassion to His creation. All we need to pray this truth over them is in the word of God. And Jodie makes that incredibly simple! Jodie has included guided prayer prompts through scriptures that focus on each topic which allow you to insert your child’s name right into the scripture and pray God’s truth over them.
I’ve been practicing this with Anna every night and it’s such a powerful experience spending time with God in this way. I’ve been trying to practice this for the children I nanny as well, and let me tell you, the difference between the mornings I pray for those kids and the mornings I don’t is significant. Prayer works, y’all, and it’s powerful.
The subject of racial justice and equality has been a passion point of mine for quite some time now, especially when it comes to sharing the Gospel. Something I took notice of a couple of years ago was how segregated the Church is on Sunday mornings. I come from a church that claims to be diverse, and don’t get me wrong, we absolutely do our best. As with all of humanity, there are times in which I feel we fall short. Last year I read a book entitled One in Christ: Bridging the Racial Divides by David D. Ireland. It was an amazing book on this subject and one I will continue to recommend.
We all remember the tragedies we learned about in the news earlier this year. The number of cruel, brutal, and unjust black deaths sparked conversations about the Black Lives Matter movement, BIPOC suppression, and white supremacy. It was about this time when some friends of mine chose to get together to read this incredible book by LaTasha Morrison. On it’s pages you’ll find yourself reflecting on your own prejudices, learning the impact of terms and mass suppression that you may not have even known was there, and so much more. LaTasha also has an incredible podcast worth checking out if you like the book, and if this is a subject you’re passionate about as well.
I know I am not the only out there who suffers from “imposter syndrome”. I am constantly thinking I’m in over my head; who am I to be sharing advice, teaching about God’s word, or even just being a wife and mom. There are so many days where I think to myself: I have no idea what I’m doing.
Moral of the story is, if God brings you to it, he will see you through it. So even if you think: oh there is no way I can do this; God has called you to it for a very specific reason. Jess Connolly empowers her readers to step up to the plate and walk out what God is calling you to in your life. Whether that be home making, mothering, or even building a career, she will encourage you to lean on God and trust that he has brought you to this area in your life so that he can shine through you.
As a new mom, a wife in ministry, and a blogger, I found this book to be really encouraging and has changed my perspective to give the credit where it should be. I am the mom my daughter needs because God is providing what she needs. I am the wife my husband needs because God is providing what he needs. I am writing posts that (hopefully) my readers need because God is prompting me and telling me what to say.
This book has motivated me for 2021, and I am sure it will do the same for you!!
Ah, this book. I saved it for last because I think it’s my top recommendation right now. It’s no secret that I’ve got anxiety, I mean I talk about that on the regular. Just spend some time around here and you’ll see.
When I waltzed into motherhood and a pandemic within weeks from each other, postpartum anxiety hit me hard. I’ll continue to talk about this as I work through it. But I found myself for a few months being very distant, even angry, with God. This book popped up as a suggested read for me when I honestly needed it most. My soul was very not settled and I needed to create space for God again, not just on Sunday mornings. I’m actually still in the process of working through this one. It’s 100 quiet moments so I have chosen to do one each day and meditate on the scripture on each devotional.
My prayer life has grown significantly over the last 2 months. I truly believe that spending these 5-10 minutes each night has been the pivoting factor for me this year.
That’s the thing about our walks with Christ. They’re never linear. It’s not a one time “come to Jesus” type thing. Just as with every relationship, there are seasons we feel close with God, and seasons we feel very distant or disconnected. I’m grateful that the season of disconnect with God was short lived. I can honestly say that God never left my side at all. I was the one who allowed the chaos of my life change and the broken world around me to affect how I viewed not only the church, but God himself. God is good all the time, and the more time we spend with him, the more hope and undeniable peace we will feel.
If you’re like me, and you don’t feel settled, I highly recommend you grab this book. Set aside just 5-10 minutes each day to start and I promise you Jesus will take hold of that chaos you feel and will replace it with a peace that only He can give.
- Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2021
- What We Learn from Eve about Marriage
- The Birth Story of Anna Grace
- The Best Convertible Car Seats
- Understanding the Christian Worldview
So there you have it! There’s my recommended reads from 2020. I hope you’ll grab one or two (or all of them). If you’ve read any of these, let me know in the comments what you thought! If not yet, let me know which one you think you’re most excited to read next?
Mamas, keep a lookout for some recommended children’s books that we’ve been loving this year!