Favorite Freebie Friday!

After this week of just a lot of stuff I think we could all use a place to have just a reprieve for a moment.

I am heading over to South Carolina to see my favorite band, NEEDTOBREATHE tonight. This will be the 11th show I’ve seen in person. (Yeah, I kinda like them…) They released a new album this year and have been plugging away at the Tour De Compadres all fall. My sister and I saw them at Ascend in Nashville (nearly sweat to death too) in September.

So in honor of show 11, traveling to another state to see them, spending time with my sister and her bff, who lives in the town we are headed to….

img_0059I am giving away a copy of NEEDTOBREATHE’s Hard Love today. Comment below on what band you’ve seen the most times live to enter the giveaway. Winner will be chosen by my sister at random on Saturday, November 12th!

Steadfast Love: Review and Giveaway!

Confession time around these parts…

I love books.

You all probably knew that by now, but I seriously get anxiety over all the great books I have yet to read. I keep a shelf in my bedroom of books I read each year, and those I plan to read. I got the idea a couple of years ago from my friend Jon Acuff. It was this whole “empty shelf” challenge, and one I have kept to for the last three years. My goal each year is to match the number of books I read with the age I will be turning. That’s the only stipulation. So I read professional development, fiction and Christian living books. Every once in a while I share those on here with you all, as you’ve seen from Choose Joy, Fervent and Dancing Through Life.

This month I got a jump on my book challenge with the new release from Lauren Chandler called Steadfast Love (You can pick it up at your local LifeWay which now does price matching!). You may or may not be familiar with Lauren or her family. I have been what you’d call a “follower fan” of Matt Chandler for a while, as he pastors in Texas. Several years ago Matt fell ill and captivated alot of Christians for how he and his family navigated the diagnosis and subsequent journey under the “new normal.”

Let me say I started this book off slow, as I was finding it hard to get into personally. But I had to deal with that as this book is beautifully written on a Psalm which is personal to Lauren, but is one to be learned from by us all.

We deep dive into Psalm 107 section by section, verse by verse throughout this book. She pinpoints anchors we choose to use, instead of the the everlasting, eternal one in Christ. One such quote found in the early pages digs right at the heart of where we need to start when seeking/living in steadfast love:

What we choose to use as our anchor determines how well we will weather the seasons of life. (pg 19)

God’s steadfast love is our anchor, in the midst of any storm or seas of life, when we need rest, to enjoy the perspective, or when we need refuge.

Lauren walks you through each of those areas, from the heavy and hard to the folly of our own hands. You see her worship of Psalm 107 and it ignites within you the desire to look at the steadfast love in your own life, the anchors you fashion out of your own hands, and begin to examine the Psalm with eyes on Him. She gets to the crux of her book with the synopsis of “Sometimes he wrings the worship from our hearts.”

In truth, He does. We get wrung out through praise, but it has to be from a heart filled with steadfast love in Him from Him.

As we enter the month of love awareness (I’ll save you all my soap box on that), I wanted to encourage you to check out this book from Lauren Chandler and examine the Psalm a bit deeper as we look at steadfast love in a time where love seems to be bought and traded far too cheaply. See how His steadfast love grabbed Lauren to prepare her for a time when she needed the anchor which holds stronger than any one she could’ve fashioned for herself.

To celebrate Lauren’s release and to get this book into the hand of a reader, I am giving away a copy of Steadfast Love RIGHT HERE! All you have to do is tell us what Psalm you love in the comments and a winner will be picked at random. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, February 2nd!

Day 6-Happiness and Obedience

Today I wanted to take a moment and share a quote from one of the best books I have read in the past ten years. Over the course of the last few years I have been ever-more focused on singleness, dating relationships and marriage. In doing so, I have read more and more on those areas with fervor and discernment.

There are some great resources out there for you, regardless of marital status as to what those roles look like. There are also some truly terrible ones.

I would encourage you, as a part of becoming wife material, to explore reading on the facets of marriage that are formed in a biblical structure. God created and ordained marriage so that it would honor Him and bring Him glory. Why not go to resources that will illuminate that pathway for you?

“If we try to put our own happiness ahead of obedience to God, we violate our own nature and become, ultimately, miserable.”

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

In order to explore wife material, I must examine where my obedience is to God. My ultimate goal in life is not to obtain a man or beat another woman out to be married. No. It is to be woven with the strong thread of Christ throughout that the fabric of being a wife in ingrained into the material.

Happiness is fleeting. It is temporal and based upon circumstance. Obedience is commanded and leads to joy and contentment that outlasts a moment.

I’d love to share resources of books you have read that have influenced how you view marriage, singleness and/or dating relationships. Feel free to share below. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” at the end of the 31 Days!

Top Five Friday-Booky Bookerson

So for those of you who know me, you know I am an avid reader and Learner is my soaringly high number one strength. So today, on my top five Friday I thought I would share some of my favorite books as of late…with all this extra time from my sad lonely single life I lead I have had alot of time to read. (ha!)

1. The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
As what typically happens, many of my reads come from the lovely Hanna. She mentioned one day that she and her man friend were reading it together. So I grabbed it to see what I could glean from it. I do have to recommend this book to every single, dating, engaged person I know. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I tweeted about it while I was reading last month.

2. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

You talk about a game changer of a book. He and his wife Kathy co-wrote this and let me tell you how much it shook my foundation. There was a night when I wanted to chuck it across the room. But it’s so worth it to dive into what the meaning of marriage is from a faith lens and really see where God is using and moving you as a person and as a husband or wife.

3. Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

I got this for my birthday a couple of months ago but I just cracked it open now. Good stuff, I like her heart and mind on having a community and life around the table. In all honesty, that’s what I want for my life…joining community around food and loving the growth from it.

4. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud

Another game changing book. One that I know for me had me pushing back in life…recognizing boundaries are needed in some places and that it’s okay to say so. It’s alright to say this far and no farther. It makes me feel like I’m in The Lord of the Rings sometimes (You shall NOT pass!) but it’s ultimately for everyone’s good.

5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I love the Mortal Instruments series, and sadly it’s the only fiction I have been enjoying as of late since I am rereading the series. While some people mocked the movie, if you have read the books, it made sense the way they did it. I encourage these books alot since it’s not like Twilight and the female lead is actually rather strong and independent.


Others on my list to read: Think by John Piper, God and Football by Chad Gibbs (that one is loaned out currently), and Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

So what are you reading? Share below and be entered to win The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas! Happy Friday!