Though I, Lauren, spent the first part of the year spending more time napping than reading (thanks to a newborn), I slowly caught up to speed. There is still a pile of books on my table waiting to be read this coming year, but I’ll let you know next year how they are.
Mark has an auditory learning style, so though he doesn’t enjoy to read books he loves listening to audio books and sermons online, so we’ve included our favorite sermon series, too!
Here are some of our favorites from this past year:
Ten Commandments: Set Free to Live Free by Mark Driscoll is a great tool for people trying to gain a Biblical foundation. Mark walks through the Ten Commandments and how they relate to the nature of God and His relationship, not only with Israel, but also with the Church. -Mark
Esther by Mark Driscoll was the best study of the book of Esther that I have ever been through. Mark walks through history and context and how the struggles of the day can impact our own lives today. This one also has the best video intro of any series I’ve ever seen. -Mark
When Life is Hard by James MacDonald (you can also read his book of the same title).
Listening to this before Leo’s heart surgery helped prepare my thought life. It’s always great to anchor your thoughts on Scripture, and I enjoyed James going through key passages of Scripture on suffering and realizing the purpose God has for me through hard times. -Lauren
Favorite Non-Fiction Books:
Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough by Jefferson Bethke
This is one of the coolest books that I have ever read. Jefferson is a young man who has let the Lord impact his life and isn’t afraid to share with others the true joy that comes from having a relationship with Jesus. This book is my #1 recommendation to people who want to know more about Christianity. -Mark
The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for the Soul by Christine Hoover
The Church Planting Wife has become one of my absolute favorite books on the Christian life. I would recommend this is to ANY woman, whether they are in ministry, business, married, single, etc. I loved how each chapter addressed different areas of our heart. Definitely want to re-read this book, once I can track down who I last lent it to! -Lauren
The Believer’s Payday by Paul Benware
We read this book in Bible school as a supplement to our eschatology class (study of end times), but this time I was able to take my time to ponder each chapter. Ever wonder what is going to happen at the Judgment Seat? This book is so full of wonderful truths of why we should be striving to live our lives with an eternal perspective, and how we can excitedly be looking forward to rewards on “payday”. -Lauren
A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada
Though I skimmed through a lot at the end (my personality would rather read bullet points than short testimonials), I appreciated and loved her biblical perspective on suffering and why God allows it in our lives. She, of all people, knows how to have joy and thankful in the midst of hardships, and this book spoke lots of truth into our lives this past year as we dealt with a baby with heart disease and a husband with a anxiety disorder. -Lauren
Favorite Fiction Books:
The Divergent Series by Virgina Roth
A very well-written dystopian trilogy (I think I’m enjoying it more than The Hunger Games). Makes me look forward to a kingdom ruled by a perfect King! -Lauren
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth
What a snapshot of what life was like in London’s East-End slums in the 1950s. My favorite quote was when the midwife asked one of the nuns if she worked there because she loved the people. ” ‘Of course not,’ she snapped sharply. ‘How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don’t even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people.” -Lauren
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I still haven’t finished this book (a Christmas present from two years ago) that tells the story of a girl living in Nazi Germany, but I have been enjoying it so far! I’ll add a book review to next year’s list. -Lauren
Heads by Matthew Van Fleet
A thrift store find from grandma, this was one of Leo’s favorite books this past year. He loved it so much, all the tabs and textures, that he pulled all the heads off all the animals, lol. -Leo
What books have you read this past year?
Do you have any that we should put on our reading list for this year?
Please comment them below!