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5 books I ordered for summer

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I feel like I’m in this season of craving words. Not that I don’t always crave them — they’re certainly my love language — but right now as I’m sorting out my own thoughts and ideas and big God dreams it helps to bear witness to others who have gone before me. People who have taken the time to craft their words into sentences, that string together to form chapters, that link arms to form a book. It’s sacred. Perhaps because I know how hard it truly is. How much time, effort, excitement and fear bleed together on the page to make something beautiful.

When we moved I packed ninety percent of my books in boxes and never unpacked them because we’ll be moving again in another year. Why unpack to repack, right? I thought it would be better to live more simply and it is. But I miss my books. And I hate packing. So I just buy new ones! It’s my thing. Some women collect shoes or purses or bright shiny things — I collect books.

These are five I just ordered to add to my collection. I am near certain each one will be a blessing.

1. All the Pretty Things: The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went Through Fire to Find Her Way Home, by Edie Wadsworth.

I am so excited to read this book. Seriously, there are no words. I have loved Edie Wadsworth from my view on the inter web for years. To me she represents everything I can imagine about hospitality, humility, grit, beauty and truth wrapped up in a person, and I so hope someday to meet her. If you follow her on Instagram or her blog at lifeingrace you’ve been able to watch as she has gone through the process of writing this book – her own real and messy story – for a few years now. Through the painstaking process of rejection and resilience, she has quite literally gotten knocked down seven times and got back up eight. She’s a fighter and, like so many of the strong, brave, beautiful women we know, we don’t see half the battle. We just see all the pretty things. Which is also so incredibly true: In the midst of broken we search for beauty. I cannot wait to read her words and her story because I know they will be a gift. And the cover! Just.love. You can preorder this now on Amazon to get the absolute best price, as it releases September 20, 2016!

2. Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem to the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Not Enough, Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly.

Um, hi. Anyone else resonate with that subtitle? These two insecurities squish us together like a vice. Wild and Free is an anthem and an invitation in equal parts to find freedom from the cultural captivity that holds us back, and freedom to step into the wild and holy call of God in our lives. I’m not sure if there could be a greater yes God! cry of my heart. In the summary it says: Wild and Free will help you shake off the lies of insecurity in your life, and step forward to maximize your God-given influence for his glory and the world’s good. This is going to be a favorite read now and forever and one I go back to again and again. I’m just sure of it. Cannot wait to hold these words in my hands. This one is available now on Amazon right here!

3. Present over Perfect: Laying Aside Frantic For a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, by Shauna Niequist.

Last month I literally devoured Shauna’s book: Bread & Wine and absolutely fell in love with it’s author. There has never, ever, ever been a book that I deliberately broke the spine (gasp!) so that I could read it – love it – and use it. Ever. I revere books because I they are so much more than ink and paper. To me, they represent souls. Lives. Dreams. Hopes. There’s something about Shauna and her writing that makes me want to be better — and yet feel wholly enough just as I am. Those are my favorite kind of people. The description reads: “Many of us find ourselves busier than we want to be, missing the sweetest moments along the way. We end up resentful and distracted, full of regret and feeling disconnected. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out to a new way of living—full of grace, space, and connection.” My heart longs for this book. You can preorder it on Amazon now for the best price and it will be on your doorstep or in your mailbox on it’s release date: August 9, 2016.

4. Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love, by Katherine Wolf and Jay Wolf.

I’m not actually sure I’ll be able to read this book because just reading the description makes me cry. I just can’t imagine a loss like this — or a love like that. It’s so painfully, heart wrenchingly beautiful. I heard Katherine tell her story at the IF Conference this year and sat amazed. A couple who, like many of us married, pursued their dreams, and planted their lives in their city and their church community. They had a son in the fall of 2007, and just 6 months later, everything changed.

On April 21, 2008, as their baby boy slept in the other room, Katherine collapsed, suffering a massive brain stem stroke. Miraculously, Jay came home in time and called for help. Katherine was immediately rushed into micro-brain surgery, though her chance of survival was slim. As the sun rose the next morning, the surgeon proclaimed that Katherine had survived, though her future recovery was completely uncertain. Yet in that moment, there was a spark of hope. Defying every prognosis, with grit and grace, they committed to celebrate this gift of a second chance by embracing life fully, even though that life looked very different than they could have ever imagined. In the midst of continuing hardships and struggles, both in body and mind, Katherine and Jay found what we all long to find…hope, hope that heals the most broken place, our souls. You can be both heart broken and inspired with me, it’s available on Amazon now, right here.

5. Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotlier.

We live in a culture of scarcity — and one that, from both a parental and practical viewpoint — does not seem better than I think. My fear is that it’s actually scarier than I think! I love books that challenge my thinking, and challenge the status quo.

The descriptions reads: Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast. In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing synthetic biology, and other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous 200 years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every person on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp.

Breaking down human needs by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce us to innovators and industry captains making tremendous strides in each area. “Not only is Abundance a riveting page-turner…but it’s a book that gives us a future worth fighting for. And even more than that, it shows us our place in that fight” (The Christian Science Monitor). I’m all about a book that weaves science and humanity and helps shift paradigms of thinking. Plus, I’m totally fascinated by shifting our perspective to one of abundance. You can geek out and learn cool new things with me by ordering it on Amazon here, available now.

And don’t forget to sign up for the Work By Design Summit for FREE – it’s not too late to tune into the latest videos! You can get all the information you need right here.

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Okay, that’s all I’ve got today friends! An incredible collection of minds and five amazing books to look forward to now, through summer and even into the very first cool crisp beginnings of fall. But we won’t even think about that — yet! The sun is back out in my neighborhood and I couldn’t be happier to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and seeing the flowers bursting out of their buds. Enjoy your weekend and live well. I am so blessed to have you here. xoxo


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