Lent has arrived, the slow quiet cousin and herald to the celebration of Eastertide.
Temperatures hover between 20-32 degrees this week as our piece of Northeastern sky flirts with sunshine and the ground is brown bare in places (unusual for where I live).
The path where I walk is snow-crusted and the wind blows bitter on my face and hands. I look forward to coming inside again where it’s warm and to a good read if I can.
And on some days I do.
My reasons for hunting down a good read have changed, as I have, over the years, but reading still remains one way I care for my soul.
Some books leave us free and some books make us free. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m always fascinated by what books my friends are reading. Maybe you are too? So, I thought, what better way of passing along good reads then to begin sharing them right here? I hope you agree.
Is reading a way you care for your soul?
Next to my curl-up corner of the couch, or resting on the dresser top, sits a small stack of finds. I’m calling them soul reads. At the beginning of every month I will share in a post what books have made it to the shelf… and I would love it if you’d do the same in the comments below.
To begin, scroll down for a lake house tale, lessons on soul-keeping, a daily companion for the season of Lent and more…
We are duly thankful, challenged, and inspired by Jesus’ forty-day fast from food in the Judean wilderness. Perhaps we should likewise be grateful, awed, and humbled by His thirty-year fast from praise, power, and potential in Nazareth. – Alicia Britt Chole
Decrease isn’t natural for my soul, friends. I met Alicia at a Real Women Real Life conference years ago. (And can I just say? I’ve rarely enjoyed a speaker more since.) Alicia’s become my quiet companion this Lent season, and her message on decrease? It’s one my heart needs. Her words, right here, are pure gift.
Impossible is God’s starting point. – Christine Caine
Christine Caine is a force. For runners (or would be runners like myself) this book will especially resonate. Not a runner? Don’t worry. In God’s divine relay you and I have an important part in the race. Be inspired.
A person never forgets the landscape of their childhood. – Kate Morton
In the hunt finding good fiction is a bit more tricky. Stories containing rich metaphors teach us more about ourselves and about the world. Without stories my life would be flat. The term “good fiction” is highly subjective, I know. This one was worth the search.
The tale splits between the present and the past and a mystery surrounding a lake house set in Cornwall, England. Honestly, I didn’t see the ending coming. It both surprised (and that’s difficult) and delighted me.
The best place to start doing life with God is in small moments. – John Ortberg
Some books are benchmarks. This is one, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. John Ortberg is the kind of author that can move me, the reader, through depths with ease. One of God’s greatest gifts is the gift of our own soul. In here, John will show you how to care for yours. There’s rich treasure to be found here. This one’s staying on the shelf for a while. Can’t recommend enough.
Anonymous seasons are sacred spaces. They are quite literally formative; to be rested in, not rushed through—and most definitely never to be regretted. – Alicia Britt Chole
(You’re not seeing things. This is a second book by the same author.) I intimated earlier that Alicia’s the kind of speaker you won’t soon forget. What I didn’t mention is that I haven’t always liked what it is she has to say…
I didn’t enjoy hearing this message in person. Not because there is anything wrong with it—quite the opposite. There was too much right with it. Recently, I stumbled across this book and its companion journal at another conference…and it’s found its way onto my shelf.
The season is right and my heart ready to listen. In here, Alicia points to the purpose and joy that can be had, and hope that can be ours, in seasons when God pulls us aside from the rest of the world.
And last, but not least…
For the place God calls us into isn’t doubt free—how can any place where we walk by faith and not by sight be that? No, the holy wild is where we have driving and haunting doubts, God-hungry doubts that pull us to our knees, force us to the Word, make us wrestle all night and not let go until He blesses us. The holy wild throngs with true skeptics. – Mark Buchanan
This one I’m in hopes to finish because here is another author who moves me like no other…
What about you?
What books have tapped you on your soul lately?
What story or prose has lifted your thoughts or stretched your imagination? I would love to hear about in the comments.
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