If you want to make this girl happy, just take me into any Barnes & Noble Bookstore. I could spend hours in there and never grow tired! And don’t even get me started on Lifeway. In the several months I worked there, I created quite a wish list!
Books. A good one can make me laugh, cry, get lost or highlight like crazy. But even surrounded by thousands of great books, there is something missing from their bound pages. It is the continuing stories of real people, facing real life. People like Katie Davis. After reading her book, Kisses from Katie, I read her blog and Facebook page like I knew her. Seriously, when I found out she was married and expecting, tears came to my eyes. I’m such a sucker for a good love story, and I’m crazy about seeing how God’s purposes come together in someone’s life.
Then, there are the stories I don’t usually read on a whim. They take a little bit of “heart preparation.” The Life I Live by Rory Feek is one of those blogs. As I type these words, I’m listening to Joey’s sweet voice mingle with Rory’s. Together, they made beautiful music and a beautiful life. Sickness almost destroyed all that. But God has given them joy even in the midst of mourning.
Grief is a terrible thing, but it doesn’t have to be wasted. You only need to talk with Julie to find out this is true. She writes from a place of brokenness after losing her precious daughter to an awful, awful disease. So, I feel like I need to read these stories. Because they are real. Because they speak into my own hurts and teach me something and remind me of the parts of life, the moments that really matter.
Brittany is a friend of mine, and I am so proud of her because she is doing a brave thing. Sharing a wounded life with an unforgiving world takes a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone and be vulnerable. She came to me months ago asking for my thoughts on the idea of starting a blog. I could tell she was unsure, maybe even anxious, but God was calling her to do something bigger than herself. Someone needed to read her story and see the hero it. God redeems. He restores. He does the impossible. The world needs to know these things. They need hope to see a new beginning rather than an inevitable end.
If I am looking for a blog with more than a story, one that shares with its readers the Bread of Life, I can find daily devotions and sparks of inspiration on Proverbs 31 Ministries and Wonderfully WOVEN blogsites. I could spend an entire evening at home or a morning in a hospital waiting room reading one blog after another.
Often, I will find a blog after reading a book by an author from whom I longed to hear more. While reading Heart Sisters, I discovered Natalie Snapp’s blog – I only wish she posted there more frequently!
But the blog I love the most, the one that captivates me with its rich theology and breathtaking beauty, is Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience. Whether Voskamp is writing herself or she welcomes a guest author to the “farm’s front porch,” I am rarely (if ever) disappointed. There is always something to take away, a truth to be learned or a promised to be remembered. And the pictures are just as amazing as the writing! When I click over to her blog, I feel as though life pauses for just a moment and I see God’s abundant grace in my life a little better.
Blogs I Love:*
Katie Davis: katiedavis.amazima.org / amazima.org
Joey & Rory: thislifeilive.com
Proverbs 31 Ministries: proverbs31.org
Wonderfully WOVEN: wonderfullywoven.com
Natalie Snapp: nataliesnapp.com
Ann Voskamp: aholyexperience.com
*This is not a blanket endorsement of every blogpost. The authors come from different backgrounds and different denominations, and like all blogs, they are written by human authors and are prone to human error.
What blogs do you love? I’d love for you to share them with me! Maybe there is a story growing inside of you – one that God is calling you to share. Find someone to share it with today!
Finished Books on My Playlist:
Lowis Lowry’s Number the Stars: I read it to Austin and plan to keep it in my collection and reread or share it. Made me want to read The Hiding Place for the third time!
Mildred T. Howard’s These are My People: A Biography of Gladys Aylward: Fascinating book about a missionary to China in the 1930’s.
Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave: My second time reading it. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?
Annie Downs’ Looking for Lovely (audio book): Beautifully written and inspiring. Going into it, I had in mind that it would resemble another book I had read and loved, and I was a little disappointed when it wasn’t what I imagined. There were a couple alcohol references that made me uncomfortable/I thought crossed the line, and that may be why I lean toward liking her first book (Let’s All Be Brave) better.
Wendy Blight’s I Know His Name: Have your Bible and a pen handy when you are reading this one!
Max Lucado’s Before Amen: Third time is the charm! 😉
C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle: SO good! I was disappointed to see the series end!
Katie Farrel’s Devotions for a Healthier You: More about this in a future post!
Lynne Reid Banks’ Uprooted: One word – ugh.
Books in the Works:
Stuart Gibbs’ Spy School
Teach Us to Want (almost finished)
Coleen Coble’s Into the Deep: A Rock Harbor Novel
Jodi Detrick’s The Jesus-Hearted Woman