This Spring on Bloom (in)courage, we would like to share with you a few of our favorite reads. There’s something for everyone in our lineup — we hope a selection or two speaks a blessing to you! Tune in each week as each author shares about their book. And you know there will be giveaways involved!
Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle
“There is really no better indicator you’re a mother than acquiring the ability to catch throw-up in a plastic bag, disinfect your hands, and immediately ask your friend to pass the beef jerky as you put on another Taylor Swift song and act as if nothing has happened.”
This is the type of insight Melanie Shankle offers in this quirky memoir of motherhood.
Written in the familiar, stream-of-consciousness style of her blog, Big Mama, Sparkly Green Earrings is a heartwarming and hilarious look at motherhood from someone who is still trying to figure it all out. Filled with personal stories — from the decision to become a mother to the heartbreak of miscarriage and ultimately, to the joy of raising a baby and living to tell about it — Sparkly Green Earrings will make you feel like you’re sitting across the table from your best friend. This is a must-read for anyone who’s ever had a child (or even thought about it).
Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough by Justin and Trisha Davis
How safe is your marriage? The answer may surprise you.
The biggest threat to any marriage isn’t infidelity or miscommunication. The greatest enemy is ordinary. Ordinary marriages lose hope. Ordinary marriages lack vision. Ordinary marriages give in to compromise. Ordinary is the belief that this is as good as it will ever get. And when we begin to settle for ordinary, it’s easy to move from “I do” to “I’m done.”
Justin and Trisha Davis know just how dangerous ordinary can be. In this beautifully written book, Justin and Trisha take us inside the slow fade that occurred in their own marriage—each telling the story from their own perspective. Together, they reveal the mistakes they made, the work they avoided, the thoughts and feelings that led to an affair and near divorce, and finally, the heart-change that had to occur in both of them before they could experience the hope, healing, and restoration of a truly extraordinary marriage.
You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You by Holley Gerth
We all long to live with more purpose, passion, and joy. Yet in the middle of our hectic lives, the God-sized dreams that have the potential to lead us into all God has planned for us are the ones that tend to get lost. With her intimate, approachable style and constant encouragement, popular blogger and author Holley Gerth invites women to rediscover the big dreams God has given them–and then dare to pursue them.
With the enthusiasm and honesty that we all want from our closest friend, Holley encourages women to overcome excuses–too busy, too late, too far out of my comfort zone–and believe that their God-sized dreams can become reality. She takes readers by the heart and says, “Yes! You can do this! Let’s go!” and then guides them forward with a loving hand. A licensed counselor and certified life coach, Holley insightfully combines inspiration with practical application in this positive book.
Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus by Mary DeMuth
“I don’t write this book as a condemnation or as a sermon. The last thing I want to do is provide a ‘how to be the best Christian in ten easy steps’ guide. I pen these words as a fellow struggler who is learning that what we think about God matters, how we allow Him to reign in our hearts matters, and how we obey Him in the moment matters. It all matters. Everything.”
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth has been abused, foreclosed, abandoned, and betrayed. She has been pressed and drained till it was too much . . .
But it was just enough to bring her to a place of surrender, piece by precious piece. In that surrender, she found the freedom of giving everything to God. And through Scripture, community, and the work of the Holy Spirit, she gives it all over again, every day.
In this gentle and challenging book, Mary describes the process and the nuances that shape us to be more like Christ. Her words are clear, vulnerable, and thought-provoking, and every chapter is infused with Scripture. Most of all, Mary provides personal and practical evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. We must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives.
Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
Desperate is for those who love their children to the depths of their souls but who have also curled up under their covers, fighting back tears, and begging God for help. It’s for those who have ever wondered what happened to all their ideals for what having children would be like. For those who have ever felt like all the “experts” have clearly never had a child like theirs. For those who have prayed for a mentor. For those who ever felt lost and alone in motherhood.
In Desperate you’ll find the story of one young mother’s honest account of the desperate feelings experienced in motherhood and one experienced mentor’s realistic and gentle exhortations that were forged in the trenches of raising her own four children.
Whether you are a first-time mom, or an experienced mom, Desperate will inspire you to be a part of the ultimate goal of the book, to be a part of the no-more-desperate-moms movement.
Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg
Just like you, Margaret Feinberg longs to live in such a way that makes her feel fully alive. She suspects she’s not the only one whose sense of splendor and delight has faded with the demands of modern living. What do we do when holy awe is replaced by unholy indifference? When hope is diminished to a manageable emotion? When love becomes a fleeting expression in short supply?
In Wonderstruck, Margaret invites you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. Learn to unearth the extraordinary moments in every day life, recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine, and discover peace in knowing you’re wildly loved. You’ll find it is possible to regain the missing spark of mystery in the day-to-day. Winsome yet compelling, whimsical yet profound, the stories from Wonderstruck will inspire you to fall in love anew with God.
Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room by Matt Appling
For most adults, the art room is a memory from long-lost childhood school days. Art class probably did not mean much more than smearing crayons and paint onto construction paper-with no real value to an adult who is dealing with the pressures of relationships, careers, finances, and raising a family.
Even with these external pressures, the biggest concern adults often face is the spiritual crisis of self-value. We fear unmet ambitions. We fear that our lives have little meaning, purpose, or value. We fear that God has a plan for us, but we’re missing it. These fears prevent us from leading the productive, contented, joy-filled lives that God created us to live.
And so, the long-forgotten art room actually holds three God-given keys, available to every adult, for living the life we were meant to live. When we entered the art room for the first time as kindergartners, we all instinctively knew some things that we would progressively forget over time and now it’s time to learn them all over again.
Join us on April 1 when we kick off the series with Big Mama and Sparkly Green Earrings! See you soon!
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