I love books. Now when I say love, I mean LOVE. This isn’t just the kind of love that where I’ll pick up a book every now and then because I want to read, or where I have a small bookshelf neatly lined with a few books. No, my love for books is big and messy and at times probably quite unnecessary. Yes, I’ll pick up a book, but it’s more often that I’ll pick up three books and read them because I need somewhere to escape to. And yes I do have a small bookshelf, but it has books packed and piled and crammed into it, with books spilling out onto the floor, and onto neighbouring dressers and nightstands. I love books, I love reading books, I love buying books, I love looking at books, and I love recommending books. I especially love recommending books that have made an impact on my life. So in the spirit of sharing, here are six books that have changed and challenged my perspective in all areas of life…
-6 Books to Change and Challenge Your Perspective on Life, Love, and Loss-
- Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food – Lysa TerKeurst
Food and health can be a touchy subject for a lot of people (myself included), but in this book, Lysa comes alongside you as a friend who has waded through the same waters of trying to take care of the body God gave you. Packed with Scripture, power, and promises, this book challenges you to readjust what you run to for comfort. It also provides you with practical steps to make God the one you crave, not cookies. I loved it, and have gone back to it multiple times for the amazing reminders is holds.
“We were made to crave – long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for – God. Only God.” – Made to Crave
- Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life – Shauna Niequist
This was the first book that I read of Shauna’s and I immediately fell in love with her writing. She has a way of talking to you like you’re an old friend and gently asking you to see things from another angle. In this book, she challenges you to see the exciting and extraordinary things in your everyday life. After reading Cold Tangerines I saw the day to day activities of my life in light of the amazing gifts from God that they were. This book will take you by the hand and show you the magic that is all around you.
“Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the last supper.” – Cold Tangerines
- Hello, Beauty Full: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You – Elisa Morgan
If you’ve ever struggled with seeing your outward and inward appearance in the light of how God sees you then this book is for you! Elisa comes alongside you and shows you the deep truths and promises, and the reality that despite this broken world you are made beautiful. This books challenged me to not only accept how God sees me and all that he has planned for me but to fully embrace it and the life I’ve been given.
“When we don’t embrace how God sees us, we don’t embrace God. We miss out on the very lives he created us to enjoy – and died to make sure we could experience. When we do embrace how God sees us – beauty full – we are freed to live loved, and in so doing, we love God back.” – Hello, Beauty Full
- Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living – Shauna Niequist
After reading Cold Tangerines I knew that I had to get my hands on this book. In a world that has become obsessed with hustling to grow our personal brand, this book breathes calmness into the chaos. While reading it, I came to realise that there isn’t anything wrong with slowing down and being more intentional in my life. In fact, there is something profoundly beautiful about taking time to really connect with the life that we’re living.
“Present over Perfect living is real over the image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice. Present over perfect living is the risky and revolutionary belief that the world God has created is beautiful and valuable on its own terms, and that it doesn’t need to be zhuzzed up and fancy in order to be wonderful.” – Present Over Perfect
- Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely – Lysa TerKeurst
Rejection. Pain. Hurt. This book addresses all of the pain that comes with being discarded by those that we love, but it also shows you the love and acceptance of God that is waiting for us if we only turn our tear-stained faces towards him. I can’t express how encouraged I felt by this book, and how many amazing tools and boundless truths that are packed into these pages.
“God isn’t afraid of your sharp edges that may seem quite risky to others. He doesn’t pull back. He pulls you close.” – Uninvited
- A Scandalous Beauty: The Artistry of God and the Way of the Cross – Thomas Schmidt
The first time that I read this book was in Bible College, and the way of writing captivated me right from the start. Schmidt uses so many different analogies and scenarios in the form of stories to make you feel the humanity of the crucifixion and resurrection. His artistically crafted prose captures you with its beauty and then convicts you right at your very core. I’m on my third read through of it, and I try to read it every Easter season. (Sadly this book is out of print, but you can still pick it up on Amazon!)
“Is it terribly threatening to imagine that God might not respect my boundaries; that God might, without my invitation or without my knowledge, pass through my walls, demand more from me, do more with me, than I am willing to allow.” – A Scandalous Beauty
- Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Second Chances – Rachel Anne Ridge
While I’m only a couple pages in, this book has already made me laugh until I cried. It is amazing how a book about a homeless donkey can be both deeply profound and insanely hilarious all at the same time. I look forward to diving deeper into this peculiar story.
I hope that the next time you’re at the bookstore you pick up one of these books. And I hope that they have as big of an impact on your life as they did on mine. Keep those pages turning and cramming those bookcases full!