Books for the Healing Journey

As I begin writing again, I can’t help but recognize the books that have impacted me greatly and share my book list with you.

It has been a season of growth, introspection, counseling, truth-telling and learning to simply have compassion on myself.

I’ve learned that the lessons of just keep going have truly kept me going for the past many years but, to sustain the going, I need to stop.

I need to let myself tap out, ask for help, set boundaries and say no.

God has been asking this of me for a few years… and, I’ve slowly let myself answer his stop with a willing yes.

Journals full of prayers, tear drops, writings, truths, verses and quotes.

Stickers to mark pages, highlights, screenshots, folders, and notebooks.

A Bible that I’ve read word-for-word, allowing God to speak from every single page in a new way.

I want to share my book list with you in case you are on your own journey of moving from “just keep going” to “Lord, light the next step. I’ll stop and wait until you show me where, how, what and when.”

The books {a few podcasts and other resources} that have been impactful:

1} The Bible Recap. I must start with this one. This book has helped me read the Bible like I’ve never read it before. If you’re looking for a short guide to go with a daily, chronological plan, this is THE ONE. Get the reading plan, journal, book, check out their podcast… you’ll love it. It’s transformational.

2} It’s Ok Not to be Ok. This book by Sheila Walsh got my journey going this year. To just say I’m not ok.

3} The Journey Toward Wholeness. Suzanne Stabile writes about loss, anger, anxiety, stress… all things I needed to examine.

4} More Than Your Number. This enneagram deep dive was so, so good. If you love the enneagram, this is one to read, especially if you’re in counseling or a growth process right now.

5} Trust. Dr. Henry Cloud gives such a clear definition of trust. How it is broken, how it can heal, and the reality of rebuilding relationships that lack trust. Read it.

6} She’s Still There. I needed this book. I needed to read every word.

7} The Body Keeps The Score. This is a long, hard, technical read but it was so helpful to understand what was happening in my body and why.

8} The Practice of Processing. We all hear a lot about processing. What does that even mean? My friend Elizabeth Vahey Smith does a fabulous job of explaining what it really means to process emotions, events, past hurt, trauma, current experiences, relationships and more.

9} The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. This book was very helpful in understanding what God was asking me to do when He said stop. My “just keep going” mindset had served me well, kept me strong, allowed me to accomplish what needed to be done and get where we were going. But at some point, I must eliminate the hurry and rest.

10} Healing for Damaged Emotions. Unfortunately, this book sat on my kindle for a very long time before I actually read it this year. Don’t wait on this one.

11} The Emotionally Healthy Woman. Geri Scazzero actually showed me how to stop. This is a must read with 8 things you probably need to quit doing.

12} Beyond Boundaries. How do you move forward after hurt? This one.

13} Changes that Heal. I feel like this one changed something in how I was looking at circumstances and past experiences with myself and with other people.

14} Boundaries for Your Soul. Everything by Dr. Alison Cook. The podcast, this book, her new book called The Best of You, and her instagram. Check it all out.

15} Forgiving What You Can’t Forget. I’ve loved Lysa Terkeurst for years. I love her writing and her story. This book about forgiveness was what exactly what I needed, right when I needed it. It’s a view of forgiveness that you haven’t read before and a book that takes you beyond our normal wording for the forgiving process. There’s a personal miracle story in this one that goes in deep #behindtheprayercard in a 5 year term that has been rife with challenges, hurt and rough days. I’m so thankful for her writing and her new podcast, Therapy and Theology.

Also read… Good Boundaries and Goodbyes. This newest book is everything you need to know about boundaries and goodbyes and why they are necessary for health.

16} When Narcissism Comes to Church. This is a hard one to read. Really hard. But I think it is an important book for church leaders, pastors, missionaries and really anyone, in any form of leadership to read this year.

17} Aggressively Happy. You all know I love something that brings on #getjoy moments. But this one digs deep under the feelings to what is real. I needed to read it this year.

18} I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet. Ok, all my friends who are hitting their 40s+… read this one. There really are new things to learn in every decade of our lives. Her story brings to life the process of growing older, growing up, and growing deep.

19} Nothing to Prove. Jennie Allen spoke truth into my year of stopping. I have nothing to prove. Her story spoke life into unseen places.

20} Braving the Brokenness. Following my theme for the year, in this journey to stop… seeing it as brave… to feel, learn and find purpose in the brokenness.

21} Try Softer. Oh, wow. Yes. I needed to learn, and I’ll be learning for a while, to try softer. I don’t have to keep going. I can stop. I can go slow, soft, quiet, less. I’m also reading/reviewing her newest book, Strong Like Water. Pre-buy this one. Reading the two together will take you on a journey, digging deep into what God is doing through trying softer and being stronger. I’ve learned so much from both of these books together. It’s like having Aundi as your own personal therapist from home, teaching me about safety, security, and hope.

22} Yet We Still Hope. This is a compilation book from Velvet Ashes of stories from women living around the world. If you live overseas, you must read this book. If you want to understand missionary women, you must read this book. I laughed, cried, felt, learned and held my breath through each story. So much of it was almost triggering {yes, I’ve learned to recognize this word and it’s impact on me} but I love how God weaves stories to help us and build community.  Also check out Velvet Ashes’ new podcast!

23} The Great Sex Rescue. In this season of #metoo and hearing women’s stories, this one is important. It’s not a topic I’d normally recommend here on the blog but this book is a must read for those working with women, working in church settings, desiring relational health in families, and trying to understand where Christian marriages are at today. The authors’ survey of over 20,000 women is a powerful amount of data to look at, digest and hear. It definitely presents a side we don’t talk about often enough.

24} Strong in Battle. As my year has included new and more profound health challenges, this book was impactful in that Susie Larson is on her own health journey. I connected with her battle, both spiritual and physical, and I wrote copious notes as she shared her process of remaining strong in the battle.

25} Fighting Words. This 100 day devotional speaks daily truth. It gave me fighting words to help me stop, breathe, rest, and learn.

And yes, that face expresses many of my days on this journey. “Ok, Lord. Really. Fine. Ok.”

One crazy moment at a time. A glimpse into the book list that brought on all the emotions.

26} Unstacking Your Grief Tower. This book is excellent and essential for our third culture kids, but I also found that it was excellent and essential for me. I have a grief tower, even just from this term, that needed unstacking.

27} Becoming More Fruitful. This book takes the simple concept of the fruit of the Spirit and revisits the challenge to continue cultivating these things in our lives. A challenge all believers need right now. A challenge I needed this year.

28} Stop Living Small. I read this book in the early months of this year and I might go read it again as the year ends. Ten truths I needed to read.

29} The Night is Normal. It really is. Alicia Britt Chole reminds us that God is with us in the dark and dark times can be deep seasons of personal growth.

30} The Book of Common Courage. Buy this one in hardcover. Keep it by your bed. Read nightly.

All of these books were impactful, memorable, helpful, challenging and deep. You can find more that I’m reading on Goodreads.

So, go grab a journal or buy yourself a new one.

Get a good Bible that you can write in. I love this one.

Let God take you on a journey, in whatever area He is speaking to you today.

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