Great Lessons Found In These 3 Summer Reading Ideas

Hey there ladies! Since summer is just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to write a post about some good books you might like to put on your Summer Reading List!

First of all, I absolutely loved the book, “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way”, by Lysa Terkheurst. The tag line reads: “Finding unexpected strength when disappointments leave you shattered.” In the book Lysa tells about a series of major challenges that she faced in her life, one after the other; infidelity in her marriage resulting in a three-year separation from her husband, a major life threatening emergency surgery, and a shocking breast cancer diagnosis. In each chapter she provides stories of her raw, human responses to these situations, and then explains how God helped her see a wider perspective through each of these challenges. A few of my favorite quotes from the book are:

“What if disappointment is really the exact appointment your soul needs to radically encounter God?”

“God is our only source of perfection on this side of eternity. And He sees a perfect plan for our dust. If I want His promises, I have to trust His process.”

“Jesus is in the process of turning your hurt into wisdom. And this wisdom will be life! Jesus is saying to us, ‘Nothing you desire compares to this wisdom. I will turn your pain into peace. I will turn your heartbreak into honor. And it will be worth it.”

“Redemption is here. Dust is being made new both for me and for you. The enemy may be vicious, but he is not victorious.”

There are so many more! This book is human, engaging, thought-provoking and so encouraging!! Take a look!!

My second book review is of the book, “Start with Amen”, by Beth Guckenberger. Beth is a beautiful storyteller. I first encountered her at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Conference where I heard her tell the story of building her organization Back2Back Ministries which provides holistic orphan care through support, education, and LOVE.

This book is about how we walk through life’s struggles as Christians, and generally the rhythm we might take is struggle, pray, say Amen, and wait. Her suggestion is that we take a look at the inevitable challenges we will all face as humans in this world and try a new rhythm. With full knowledge of Who God is, and what He has done, she says we should approach life’s issues with full expectation (my word of the year!) of what He WILL do, in His time, in His way, in His power and control. So, the new rhythm would be, say Amen first, based on the relationship we have built with God, and walk through the challenge with confidence that He’s got it, praying all the way, and then say Amen again when the results of His will are revealed.

I have been practicing this for about six months now, and it is life-changing!! Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book:

● “It is surrender in a spirit of ‘It’s up to you; you do it’ and ‘I made the promise, but only you can fulfill it.’ So I whisper, You sell the house. You move her heart. You heal that body. You open the door. You provide. You go before them. So be it. In Your time. I trust. I surrender. Amen.”

“I think that’s a picture for what the Lord wants to tell you tonight. You can only see a part of this story, and so you worry. But your minds eye is telling you there is more there, more coming, and it’s going to be good. Have faith and listen for him.”

“In the end, ‘so be it’ says, ‘It’s up to you to do the wooing, Lord, and the breaking. I can’t convict or convince anyone of anything. I can’t want for someone what they don’t want for themselves. I can only regularly listen and then obey. Listen, then reach out. Listen, then offer.”

She really changed my posture on prayer. I’ve walked through some tough days since reading that book. But when I take a step back and remember to start with Amen, peace washes over me.

The final book I’m going to offer for your summer reading list is “The Undoing of Saint Silvanus”, by Beth Moore. Beth is well-known for her wise and gifted non-fiction work, Bible studies and for speaking world-wide at Christian women’s conferences and retreats. This is her first novel. It is a mystery and a story of the complexity of family relationships. It is set in New Orleans and begins when Julia Slater is invited to go back there for her estranged alcoholic fathers’ funeral. The story develops as she gets to know her grouchy grandmother and tells how she learns a lot about family and connection in the process.

I love to read. I have read all kinds of books; non-fiction, self-help, mysteries, love stories, and books about the depth and complexity of human relationships. I am okay with reading contemporary fiction, but sometimes it seems authors can’t seem to avoid including inappropriate themes. I realize that is just part of our culture and I’m not “overly innocent”, but it is refreshing to see an author accomplish mystery, human connection, great character development while “keeping it clean”.

The story was engaging and I found myself feeling empathy for the characters, and the mystery part was compelling. So, if you are looking for a good, clean fiction read this summer, check this one out!

So, what’s on your reading list this summer? Share some ideas with us in the comments below, or on Facebook in the Better Than Fine Facebook group! I don’t know about you, can’t wait to park myself on my porch, or in a beach chair and get some good reading in!



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