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My Recommended Reading List

I often get asked for book recommendations, and I love sharing what I am currently reading. Here are some books that I have loved, and think that you might too. You can click on any of the images to learn more about each book.

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Bibles:

I would love to hear what books you love, and think that I should add to my list!

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Kinzie Marie Harvell

I read Kisses from Katie in one sitting, no joke :). I also loved Jen Hatmakers newest Interrupted.. Super challenging and I’m still digesting it 2 months later! Love to my sweet friends!

Debbie Maminski-Nahrebecki

Keep it Shut (Karen Ehman)
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
Healing Oils of the Bible (David Stewart, Ph.D.)
The Shack (Wm. Paul Young)
My Bible, preferences NKJV & NIV
What Love Is (Kelly Minter)

Jamie Gregory

I’m currently reading “The Gathering Place: Creating a Culture of Titus 2 Discipleship” & its great! You can order it here: http://harvestdavenport.org/titus-2-curriculum/

LOVE Angie Smith… all her books!

Donna

Thanks for the recommendations!

I started “Keep It Shut” by Karen Ehman last Thursday and I am almost done. I tend to talk a lot and interrupt people during conversation. Last week, God made it abundantly clear that I need to learn how to speak less and listen more. I’ve made tons of notes and it’s really convicting me. She covers learning to listen, how to talk to God before your talk to others, gossip, etc. The chapter on gossip is definitely convicting me in ways I never thought possible.
Highly, highly recommend it!

Also reading “Boundaries” by Dr.Henry Cloud.

Happy reading!

Nicky Peterson

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!!

A Conversation with Christine Hoover

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am married to Kyle, who is the pastor of a church we started almost seven years ago in our living room in Charlottesville, VA. We have three boys, who are 11, 9 ,and 7. When I’m not pastor’s wife-ing, I’m reading or writing. I blog, write articles for online sites such as Desiring God and Send Network, and I have the wonderful privilege of authoring books.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I slice my days according to my differing priorities. Every morning before my kids get up, I can be found on my couch with my coffee and my Bible. Then the whirlwind happens where I find shoes, make breakfast and lunches, and remind my kids to brush their teeth before sending them off to school. My best hours for ideas and words are from 8-11 am, so as soon as they’re gone, I sit down to write. I typically meet up with women for counseling, discipleship, or friendship after lunch. The afternoon and evenings are for family (homework, cooking dinner, eating around the table) and, on some nights, ministry opportunities. No matter what, though, my days always end with a good book.

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You have a brand new book! Can you tell us a little about it, and why you wanted to write about this topic?

This book, called From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel, was written on my heart through many years of wrestling with spiritual perfectionism. For so long I attempted to be good for God—which is what I term the “goodness gospel”—but then He taught me about His grace and that changed everything. I want other women to experience that same freedom and joy, the abundant life Jesus promised us yet so eludes so many of us because we live according to the goodness gospel.

The premise of the book, after debunking the goodness gospel of course, is that the Christian life is received from start to finish. Just as we receive our salvation by faith, we grow and are sanctified by faith, not through self-effort. We receive God’s love and grace and it compels us to respond.

From Good to Grace cover

What helps you stay organized?

Every Sunday, I map out a general plan for the week so I can assess what I need from the grocery store, what specific needs my kids have, what deadlines I need to meet, and when I’m scheduled to meet with women. I make notes to myself on Google tasks and sometimes even designate what days I will get to that specific task. Most importantly, I keep an open document on my computer to capture random ideas for blog posts and articles, because I tend to have them at inopportune times.

In regard to physical organization, I have certain days that I do routine tasks each week, such as menu planning, grocery shopping, and laundry. I probably need to add cleaning to that list! In order to write, which is my work, some things just don’t get done as much as they used to, and I try not to worry about this too much.

 

You have an amazing blog, and have written a lot for church planting wives. What is your biggest piece of advice for women that are just starting the journey of church planting with their husbands?

Learn God’s character and what He takes responsibility for. In my book,The Church Planting Wife,
I elaborate on this, but the most important thing to know about God is that He is the grower. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Paul uses “planting” terminology to describe God’s actions: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” As a church planting wife, you will most certainly plant and water, but only God can give the increase. Only God can change a heart, save a soul, produce spiritual fruit, and induce repentance. This really takes the pressure off and allows us to focus on what we are responsible for: faithful obedience.

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What is the biggest things God has been teaching you this year?

God has been digging around in my heart and asking me to name my greatest insecurities. I’ve discovered that my greatest insecurity or fear is that once people get to know me that they will find me deeply disappointing. This insecurity can at times cause me to put a protective barrier around myself and keep me from loving people well. God has asked me to name it so that He can free me from it. He’s done that through Psalm 5:11-12, where the psalmist says that God defends those who trust in Him. God has been chipping away at my wall and asking me to come stand behind His protection instead. His protection allows me to freely love without worrying about how anyone perceives me, because I’m already loved by Him.

What are your daily must have products?

Coffee and a good book. That about sums it up.

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Looking forward to grabbing this book. I have learned so much about grace this year. Sometimes in my head, I repeat grace abounds. It always abounds. Thanks for telling your story Christine. Kristin – thanks for sharing!

Kristin’s Book Club | From Good To Grace

I had so much fun reading all of your posts and insights from our February book club book Women of the Word. I am so excited to announce that the book we will be reading in March is Christine Hoover’s brand new book From Good to Grace!

Christine and her publisher sent me an early copy of From Good to Grace, and just a few pages in, I knew it would be the perfect book for our March book club! The official release date is March 3, but you can already find it on Amazon!

I think the message of this book is so important! It is all about resting in God’s grace instead of trying to live life in our own strength. This book is soaked in the gospel and all about living a life of grace. I think the message is one that we so desperately need to hear. It is a reminder that it is all about what He has done, and not about how good we can be! This is a book about living a life where we serve God out of joy and not just duty. The book even includes a discussion guide in the back that will give us some great questions to talk about as we chat here and over on instagram.

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The book club will be super easy, we will use the hashtag #kristinsbookclub on instagram which will help us find each other and see what others are thinking about what they are reading. I will also do a recap and review post at the end of the month about the book.

I am so excited to be reading this book with you girls, and I am also excited to be featuring Christine here on the blog very soon! Grab your copy of the book here, and let me know that you will be joining us!

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Samantha Phillips

looking forward to the book club

Rebeca Kline

I just orderes my book! Yay! Totally excited about this.

Kelsey Riley

I will be joining!

I’ve never participated in one of your book clubs before but I have observed from a distance (: I read the first few preview pages of the book on Amazon and I have a feeling I will be ordering the kindle version this evening! Those first few pages were so relatable! I am not yet a mother, but as a self-employed, work from home wife that is living out of the country while my husband is in medical school…I can totally relate to feeling like what I’m doing isn’t adding up to much. Looking forward to the insight this book can give (:

Allyson

Looking forward to joining everyone in the March book club!!

Kelly A. Kantola

My book came yesterday :)

I am beyond excited. As a young pastor’s wife, I feel like this will be a great read for me! Looking forward to everyone’s insights on Instagram (I’m @chrissydj).

Nicole Hoffman Clark

Should get the book tommorrow

Kristen Grace

Im ordering tomorrow!

Shannon Oros

Getting my book in the mail this week! :-)

A Conversation with Taylor Schumann

I am thrilled to introduce you to my friend Taylor. Taylor is one of those people that I have never actually met in person, but have realized in the past year that she is a kindred spirit. She is a huge encouragement to me, and I am so thankful to have found her in the insta world. She has faced joy and suffering, and has allowed both to always point back to Jesus. I think you will love her just as much as I do. She also just started a new blog…and you need to go read it!

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hi! I’m Taylor, obviously. I live in Tennessee right now with my husband, Eric, and our sweet pup Molly! Right now we are living life here while he’s in pharmacy school. I love the Lord and spending time in His word and following him. I enjoy spending time with good friends and drinking way too much coffee. I know a lot of people say that, but I really do drink too much coffee. But, I have no plans to change that as of now.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

Oh boy! A typical day. Most days I get up in the morning, walk our dog, and start the day with a huge cup of coffee. I like to spend time reading my Bible and watching the morning news. But can we be honest? Sometimes I choose to start the day being busy and forget to open my Bible. And that’s okay. I usually spend time around the house tidying up, doing laundry, organizing and reorganizing things, and cooking up new recipes. And maybe to some people this sounds super boring, but I love it. I find a lot of joy in keeping a good home and serving my husband in that way. He works so hard and is so busy with school, and I’m thankful I can do these things to at least make it a little easier on him. Even when he is busy with school, but we always try to make it a priority to have dinner together and talk about our days. And this time is really invaluable to us. In the evenings I spend time reading and winding down. I’m getting ready to start grad school to get my Masters in Counseling so I’m trying to enjoy my last days of freedom while I have them.

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What helps you stay organized?

I have so many methods of organization, sometimes I feel like a crazy person. But like a super organized crazy person. I love my Simplified Planner by Emily Ley and my Ellebook from from good friend Lauren over at Elle & Company. My best friends are my meal planner and grocery list sheet. I live by these guys. They have helped me plan out our meals and save so much on groceries – and for a couple working our way through expensive pharmacy school, that is huge! I’m also super into the YNAB software (You Need a Budget) for helping us stay on track financially and putting our money where it needs to go.

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You are very active on social media, how do you find community on and offline?

Social media to me can be a huge blessing, and that’s how I like to think of it. It can be hard to weed through the bad stuff to find the good stuff and you have to work a little bit at it. Start by unfollowing people who don’t encourage you or lift you up or think good things about yourself. They won’t get a notification or anything so don’t fret about that. When you spend time on social media, you are opening up yourself to a lot of other people and their thoughts and opinions. And whether you think about it this way or not, you open up your heart to all of those things. And if what is going in isn’t doing good things for your heart, then you need to get rid of it. Find people to follow that are good for your heart. And chances are, you’ll discover even more people through them. I remember browsing Instagram a couple years ago when I was sort of in a really dark place and I stumbled across Kristin’s account. And immediately I could tell she was a kindred spirit. She encouraged me so, and through and the lamp and light hashtag, I discovered more people just like her, that were out there to encourage and be encouraged. And through that I realized what a blessing social media can be. Comment and start conversations with people! And always remember that social media is not the end all be all. If you are discouraged by it, or seek comfort from it when you should be looking to the Lord for that, then I think it’s time to take a step back for a little while. The world will still turn while you take a little break and you will come back better for it.

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What is the biggest thing God has been teaching you this year?

This year the Lord has been teaching me a lot about waiting. And that he isn’t done with me quite yet. In April 2013 I was shot during a shooting at the community college I was working at and my life changed forever. After 4 surgeries and countless doctor and therapy appointments, I only have about 30% use of my hand. And I suffer from a lot of PTSD and anxiety issues. It has changed our lives tremendously. And there are a lot of days I might feel a little forgotten about, or like there’s nothing for me to do. And those are the days I hear the Lord teaching me that he’s not done yet. That the wait is not over. That He is working behind the scenes. I remember reading a quote by C.S. Lewis that says “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.” And I loved it. I put it up on my wall and constantly read it to myself. Because if I’m waiting, then it’s because He sees that it is good for me to wait. And it means God has something else for me. And even when it really sucks and it’s hard, he always gives grace and shows me that I’m not left behind, but just the opposite.

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What products are a must have for your day?

My Keurig. Because, coffee. My Simplified Planner by Emily Ley – I would probably die without it. A big comfy cardigan to make me feel cozy, even in the summer because I’m just constantly cold. I also love my Powersheets by Lara Casey to keep me on track with my goals each month. I am obsessed with my ESV journaling bible and it goes with me everywhere! I am also a huge lover of essential oils. I use them everyday, all day, and I am so thankful for how they have made a difference in my life and my families life.

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