It’s time for the mother load of posts! The one where I share my favorites from the past year. There are lots of things to read, listen to, and be encouraged by, here.
I hope you enjoy this collection of my favorite books, podcast episodes, and posts of 2018. Let us know YOUR favorites, in the comments.
*Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. If you choose to purchase through the links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you. See full disclosure policy.
Of course it is hard to make a list like this when you are an author, with lots of author friends, but these came to mind as I curated this for you, so enjoy!
For the Go-Getters:
My friend Megan said that those of us who are Enneagram Ones should read more books that are written by Enneagram Sevens. I think she is right, because they help us tap into our more carefree and fun side. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just know that Everybody Always is a must-read for the human race.
It’s an easy-to-read, page-turning, bold invitation to love people more fully and selflessly. We are going to read this out loud as a family in the coming year.
Excerpt of book’s description via Barnes & Noble:
Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.Everybody Always by @bobgoff is a must-read for the human race. Click To Tweet
Jennifer affirms and assists go-getters—helping them see when to let go and when to hang on— in the pages of this book. It was a joy to listen to the audiobook of It’s All Under Control. I found myself nodding and looking for a pen to take notes, as I inhaled this resource.
Excerpt of book description via Amazon:
It’s All Under Control is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic. Join Jennifer on the journey of learning how to:
- Overcome the anxieties and worries that burden your heart
- Prioritize your busy life so you can make choices that align with God’s best for you
- Find freedom through a new “Do, Delegate, or Dismiss” approach to your daily tasks
- Let go of what God has not asked you to do, so you can shine at what he has
Discover a new way of living that will free you to be you, and finally experience the peace of knowing a God who truly has it all under control.
Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done by Katie M. Reid
We are blown away by all the support we received this year, as this book launched into the world. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Here is what Mary Carver says about this book:
As a lifelong overachiever, I’ve been called bossy, Type A, perfectionist, and more. Reading Made Like Martha was the first time I felt like someone acknowledged those parts of my personality as something good, and then reminded me that I’m also called beloved. This book offers a “me too” hug from a fellow doer, who knows that we are exactly the way God created us to be, as well as the relief of letting go of the burden to get it all done and get it all right.
– Mary Carver, blogger and author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts
Starting on January 15th, we are going through the Made Like Martha Bible Study, over in the Made Like Martha Sisterhood Group, on Facebook. To participate in this six-week online study, just grab a copy of the book, and join the Facebook Group and you’ll be good to go. We can’t wait to dig into God’s Word together in the new year. Feel free to invite your friends….the more the merrier!
Brave Moms, Brave Kids: A Battle Plan for Raising Heroes by Lee Nienhuis
Lee is a dear friend of mine and she lives what she writes. One of my favorite part of Brave Moms, Brave Kids is when Lee describes how our children (and us) have triple worth—made by God, redeemed by Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. As we parent in this current age, it is necessary and good to live courageously, without compromise.
Excerpt of book description via Barnes & Noble:
Brave Moms, Brave Kids is an equipping tool that will help you…
- identify the qualities present in true greatness
- reject “mommy fears” and replace them with immovable truth
- learn strategies for praying for and training your children more effectively
- develop seven key lessons we must teach our children to live for Jesus
Fledge: Launching Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind by Brenda Yoder
I have recommended this book a lot! It is such an important read for parents who find themselves with tweens, teens, and college-aged kids (or a mix of both). As a counselor and mom, Brenda is well-equipped to help you navigate this stage of parenting with wisdom and dignity.
One of my favorite chapters was about not stealing the struggle from our kids. So often we are tempted to rush in and save the day, but what if the struggles our kids face are necessary to strengthen their faith and help them develop their problem-solving and relational muscles?
Excerpt of book description via Amazon:
Your job as a parent isn’t over; it’s just changing. Equip yourself with biblical wisdom for this season of transition in your family life. Learn the patterns to avoid and the habits to pursue. Launching your children can be scary, and some days it might make you crazy. But you’ve been raising them to do just this. Fledge will help you release your children into the future that God has planned for them.
I met Julie via a podcast interview and recently finished listening to her audiobook. Raising An Original is beautifully-written but more importantly you can tell that Julie has tried and tested the advice she offers in this book. You will be inspired and equipped to be a more intentional parent through both the profound and practical resources that Julie offers. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook, because Julie did a great job narrating it and because (as a busy mom) I could listen to it while I checked items off my list (like laundry, carting kids around, and cooking).
Excerpt of book description via Amazon:
Raising an Original will provide readers with tools for better communication with their children as well as tools for uniquely guiding and disciplining each unique child. With a helpful and detailed Personality Trait Assessment Tool included as a major part of the book, readers will understand themselves, their parenting style, and their child better. They will also discover ways to improve their children’s communication within sibling groups and with parents themselves. Readers will find freedom in discovering that God hasn’t asked them to raise perfect children; He’s asked them to uniquely raise purposed children.
It was a joy to write the foreward for this hilarious and liberating book. If you’re tired of parenting books that make you feel guilty, grab a copy of this grace-filled gem. I read this book in just a few days because it’s that entertaining and freeing, all at the same time.
Excerpt of book description via Barnes & Noble:
As moms, we know we’ve messed up in so many ways. Royally. Maybe you think you’ve failed your children, your spouse, and your God. But did you know that in the midst of your failures and fears, you are still loved—royally? As a child of noble birth? Do you believe your children are in better hands than your own and that you don’t need to hold on so desperately?
Jami Amerine delivers a totally relatable account of her hilarious and honest experiences and misadventures in motherhood. She’s eager to help you see how to let your Heavenly Father parent you, so you can embrace peace as you parent your children.
For Those Who Are Hurting:
A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging by Kate Motaung
I had the honor to endorse this book, so I’ll share my endorsement here, as an enticement to pick up this stirring memoir.
An honest, beautifully-written book that maps out a story of longing for home in the tailwinds of uncertainty and loss. More than the account of one woman’s journey, this is for all of us who ache for solid ground in between what if and now what. From the tulip-lined streets of Holland, Michigan, to the vibrant coastline of Cape Town, South Africa, you will land closer to the hope of your eternal home as you unpack Motaung‘s moving memoir.
Book description via Amazon:
A Place to Land is a globe-spanning memoir that wrestles with the question, “Where is my home?” Kate Motaung watched “home” slip away again and again—through her parents’ divorce, a foreclosure, two international moves, ten rental homes in ten years, and her mother’s terminal battle with cancer. Add in the challenge of a cross-cultural marriage, and Kate was constantly adapting to a new environment. Through her experiences, you’ll realize—as she did—that no matter where we go or what we do, this world is not our home.
Choosing Real: An Invitation to Celebrate When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned by Bekah Jane Pogue
Bekah listens wells, therefore, she loves well. What a treat to drink in the audiobook of Choosing Real. I felt invited to the table of my real life (instead of the filtered one) in this honest and insightful narrative by soul care champion, Bekah Pogue. Do yourself a favor and listen to Bekah read you this honey of a book. Chocolate cake recipe included!
Excerpt of book description from Barnes & Noble:
Better than our ideal party, it is He who is inviting us, setting the table, breathing peace and freedom into details we aren’t in control of. When we recognize how He surprises us by using our greatest pains and detours to draw us to a beautiful dependence on Him—freedom and peace replace control and worry.Checkout Katie's favorite books, podcasts, and posts of 2018... Click To Tweet
Favorite Podcast Episodes:
This is a new addition this year, since I have so enjoyed listening to podcasts. It makes cooking and folding laundry so much more enjoyable.
- Grit ‘n’ Grace Girls with Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory (Episode 109: Being a Loved Daughter Who Does All the Things). If you are a try-hard gal, you’ll enjoy this podcast as we talk about embracing our do-er natures while living in our truest identity as daughters. And be sure to check out the follow-up episode (110) too.
- More to Be with Elisa Pulliam (Episode 214: When You’re Made Like Martha). Elisa and I are cut from a similar cloth and we had a great conversation about birth order, home keeping, and God’s love for doers (we even touched upon birth order and feet tattoos too).
- The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman (Episode 61: Look Back—How Reflection Can Help You Make Better Decisions). I’m going to get bossy for a minute, and tell you that you must go listen to lots of episodes of this podcast. It’s short, Emily’s voice is soothing and calm, and her insights are a balm to the soul. This particular episode put words to my deep need to journal and process/reflect on a regular basis.
- The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman (Episode 31: Grow As You Go). As we have crossed an invisible line between girlhood and young adulthood with our oldest daughter, this episode both pricked and spoke to a tender place in this mama’s heart.
- Out of the Ordinary with Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy (Episode 5: How to Know When You’ve Had Enough). This is a new podcast, that I binge-listened to. This episode speaks to an important issue we face, as we live in a “more is better” culture that promises satisfaction but serves up emptiness.
- Out of the Ordinary with Lisa-Jo Bake and Christie Purifoy (Episode 2: The Antidote to Dissatisfaction). There is so much goodness in this episode, as these story-telling hosts unpack this topic. However, my favorite story is when Lisa-Jo shares about a rainstorm in Africa that poured a profound truth into her thirsty heart.
- Sleeping at Last with Ryan O’ Neal (Episode 4: One & The Enneagram). This is hands-down my favorite on the list because it made me cry (in a good way) and the song that is showcased in it, is one of my new favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed all the other episodes with the Enneagram songs as well, and invite you to listen and learn along with me.
- That Sounds Fun with Annie Downs (Episode 91 with Steffany Gretzinger). This episode reminded me to rekindle those parts of my heart that were buried under busyness. I listened to several of Steffany’s songs on repeat (from her “Undoing” album) while I wrote my book, so this episode was extra special to listen to and learn from.
- The Sounds Fun with Annie Downs (Episode 71 with Bob Goff). As I mentioned before, Bob will help you love people in a way that will shut them up (in a good way)! Such an interesting man who inspires others to love like Jesus and do crazy things for people.
I know, I know, this post is getting so long but I wanted to end with some of my favorite posts from this year. I don’t know about you, but I like to catch up on my reading over the holiday break…so I wanted to share some articles that you might have missed.
- Dear Mom: You’re Doing a Better Job Than You Think (post on TODAY’s Parenting Team blog)
- Give Me a Break: Exchanging the Guilt of Rest for the Gift of Rest (Guest post on Proverbs 31 blog)
- How a Red Door Christmas Can Change Everything by Holly Haynes
- Plan B: My Baby Ishmael Backup Plan for When God Forgets by Jami Amerine
- A Way Forward for the Muddy, Wandering, Try-Hard Woman (Guest post on Ann Voskamp’s blog)
- What It’s Like Having a Sibling with Down Syndrome (Confessions from a Type One on the Enneagram)
- Winter Depression, I’m Not Letting You Win by Abby McDonald
Well there you have it, some of my favorite books, podcast episodes, and posts from 2018. From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a fantastic 2019!