I read a lot. However, most of the books I read are fiction – books where I can get lost in the story and “escape” my everyday life for just a little while. I have always struggled to find a good balance between the fiction books I read (devour, really) and the nonfiction books that sit on my shelf (and too often collect dust) or on my “wanting to read someday” queue.
Fiction books are easy for me to read – they don’t usually require my brain to be engaged, they don’t challenge my heart, they don’t often stick with me beyond the final page.
I read them, I sometimes review them, and then I move on with my life.
Nonfiction books, especially ones written from a biblical perspective with the purpose of edifying and encouraging believers to walk more closely with Christ, are more difficult for me to read. For one thing, to get the most of them, you can’t just read them in one sitting and be done. They require you to read them in small chunks and to reflect on (and often implement) truths they bring to light through the application of Scripture.
This can’t be done in a two or three hours chunk of time. This process takes time, and as a busy mom, time isn’t something of which I have a surplus.
What I’ve learned, however, is that as a busy mom I need these nonfiction books to be a part of my life – perhaps even more than I need the “escape” the fiction books provides me. I need to be challenged and encouraged in my walk with God and my relationships with others. I need to have these godly men and women come alongside me to help me understand and apply the Scripture more effectively to my life.
When I make (and take) the time to spend reading nonfiction books, God uses these books to grow me into the image of His Son – to draw me near to Himself, pointing out the areas of my life that need work, and to encourage me to lean fully on Him.
That’s why I have been making it a priority to read a chapter a day in a nonfiction book (or two, depending on the topics) along with my daily Bible reading, journaling, and prayer time. By creating a habit where I read and reflect on a chapter each day, I’m allowing God to use these books to encourage and challenge me as a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter, and a Christian.
Here are some of the books that are currently on my “want to read” nonfiction list:
- Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy
- Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts
- For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards
- Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life’s Transitions
- Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need To Knock It Off
- Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love
- Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes
- Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World
- Steadfast Love: The Response of God to the Cries of Our Heart
- The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You
- The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption
- Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds
Are any of these books on your “want to read” list? What books are you currently reading that are helping you to apply Scripture and grow in Christlikeness?
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