Wednesday, September 5, 2012

4 Books That Changed My Life

This year has been the best yet.  I'm 31.  I have a great marriage.  I have two wonderful children.  And I have a lot of junk.  I've tried to pack up my life and myself in a nice little package so that I'm able to check things off the list and work towards a person who is emotionally accomplished.  I've worked hard to manage everyone's opinions of me so that I appear to be the best at everything.  

That's not the case anymore.  I am striving to feel uncomfortable in my views of life, and I'm craving change and brokenness.  I'm so ready to be wrong and take responsibility for my actions and apologize on a regular basis.  (If you have beef with me, this is a really good time to bring it up-and I would love it if you did.)  The Lord has used relationships, a wonderful trip, my church, and four books to bring on this transformation.  I would like to share them here.

A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller.  While on the trip to Belize, I read this book about stories.  Some of our stories include ending each day in front of the TV; stories that revolve around spending time and effort accumulating things; or stories that are manly focused on our household, picking and choosing what relationships and organizations we join based on comfort.  My story was a small buffet of all of those things. We are all living stories, and the stories mean something.  It had me asking what my story was?  What story am I creating for my kids?  What story am I shaping for my household?    

Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas.  I hate to talk about this one.  I wish I didn't have to put it out there.  Food.  Exercise.  It's important.  The sin of excessive eating and laziness is not mentioned much in the church.  In fact, it's not mentioned in the Bible much, but what is mentioned is gluttony.  I (and several others in the church) have a problem with it.  We don't talk about it, we ignore, and instead we point the finger at other sins.  We go around pointing out specks in others' eyes, but we don't see the plank of gluttony in our own eyes.  (A great example of this is going out in droves to buy fried chicken, waffle fries, and milkshakes to support traditional marriage under the banner of Christianity.  What was that!?!)  I shouldn't bring Chik-fil-a into this.  This book was about me and pursuing holiness, and my eating habits were in the way.

7 by Jen Hatmaker.  (Not pictured, loaned to a friend.)  I've said it before: I think the biggest struggle of being American is learning to say "no" to all the excess.  Food. Expectations. Clothes. Stress. Scheduling. Media.  I started feeling this when I saw this on Wall E, felt it more when I went to Belize, and even more after reading this book.  I'm starting to take a different look at time, efforts, and money and think of it in terms of something larger.  Saying "no" is my new favorite thing to do.

Grace For The Good Girl by Emily Freeman.  The tag line is "letting go of the try hard life." Hallelujah  Amen. Preach it, sista. Sock it to me.  I could write forever about this one. I talked about it so much, a few of my friends read it too and I get texts quoting the book and talking about which character we relate to best, and just how accurate this book is.  If you want to be the best, have it all together, never let anyone down, never be wrong, and have strong feelings of guilt and prideful achievement, then this book is for you.  We're  Even on the second read, I was being blown away by how much of my heart was being revealed.  Also, I just re-watched the first video on the link that is above and I cried. Again.  Please, read it and find freedom.

I'm not great at writing book reviews.  If we were sitting face to face, then I would talk your ear off until you waved your white flag and yelled, "ok, ok, I'll read it if you'll just stop talking!"  Please know, that even though these brief reviews are not lengthy or well written, they have a lot of heart behind them.  If one of these books stirs up your life like it has mine, then I would love to know about it.  Also, I'm always up for a good, heart-felt recommendation as well.  The written word is a beautiful thing.


This post was written a while ago, but I'm joining Jones Design Company today as we talk about books.  For more people, click on the picture below:

what i'm reading


  1. I second your motion on these books. Actually, I'm going to third it too. And finally, I'm going to go re-read A Million Miles....

  2. I love you, Meg! Your blog is always a refreshing read for me during my day! You bless me with your honesty! I can't wait to read some of these you've mentioned... p.s. I recommend reading 1000 gifts. It has been changing my life. Love ya!

  3. I'm looking forward to reading those last two. Hello, Christmas/birthday list!

  4. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like I need to get started reading!

  5. Three of those are on my to read list. Thank you for sharing what He is doing-it is encouraging! I so enjoy your blog. :)

  6. you ARE a great book reviewer, Meg! you've hit on some of the core issues of the christian life and our purpose for even spending time here on earth. i'm going to have to get the gary thomas book - that's something i feel passionately about too.

  7. I have a few of those on my "to-read" list. Looks like I should add some of the others.

    If you are looking for another great read, try "anything." Here's the link to my book review.

    I don't think you'll be disappointed in the book. If you liked the ones you just read, you'll eat this one up.