Deep breath in, hold for four counts, now breathe out. May is almost over.

I sat back recently and wondered if May has always felt this intense. It has. Ever since Kindergarten when I had a mullet haircut. (No picture provided. And, you’re welcome.)

May is the month everything structured stops and the big, hot, easy begins.

May is West Virginia: wild & wonderful.

I have had “Emma” moments this month, too: I love May! I hate May!

But May is drawing to a close and before you finish reading this it will likely feel like summer.

So let’s be ready for it!

One of my favorite ways to savor summer (when I am freed up to do this), is to sit in the sun with a book in one hand and a favorite snack in the other (along with my favorite cold summer drink – Coconut La Croix!)

C.S. Lewis and I apparently have this pastime in common, too (minus the La Croix):

Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”

Amen and amen, Mr. Lewis.

Since my intention with this blog is to serve you in living your meaningful life in any way I can with what I have, I’ll share some books I’ve read and enjoyed, or am reading and want to share. Order these or check them out at your local library for those moments in your summer when the pleasures of eating and reading combine admirably for you!

Oh, and these books cover different areas of life, so I’ll try and organize them that way for you too. (*Note* I’m going to share Amazon affiliate links as both a courtesy to ease your shopping experience, and so I can earn a tiny commission for giving them interweb-time here. This is at no additional cost to you, but just helps a mama get her grays colored every six weeks! Bless you.)

Books for your Soul

 

It was my distinct privilege to read the advanced copy of this book by best selling author Carol McLeod and give it my personal endorsement inside! It just so happened I read this while in a storm season myself, so I can attest that this book is loaded with wisdom, encouragement and hope for the battered souls among us! Because it’s not “if” you are in a storm, it’s “when”…


I cannot talk about books that inspire and aid the soul without sharing this one by my friend Jessica Honegger! You do not have to be an entrepreneur to absolutely love this book, so just get it and read it and thank me later.

 

 

Ya’ll, Emily P. Freeman has not really been talking and writing to the public the last decade, it has all been just for me. Or that’s at least how her words have felt! It’s also my joy to share her words because she became a friend somewhere along the way, and I enjoy her even more after seeing her life up close. She is my age (hey, still so young), so I won’t limit her future and say this is her life work here, but it sure will be hard to beat!

 

 

First of all, though this title actually thrills me, I didn’t buy it because I’m so grown up. I’m taking courses for a training that has me all ears to my life and this book is one of many in the curriculum. So far, I am right where my soul wants to be learning because this book has me paying close attention!

Books for your Home

 

 

Emily P. Freeman’s home decorating genius sister, Myquillyn Smith (who has the cutest white barn, I’m just stayin’) wrote a new book and it sits on a small table in my living room – it’s that cozy. And minimalist. I loved her first book, The Nesting Place, and her newest book here did not disappoint. Whether you are starting from scratch or just needing a fresh start, this book can help you shape your space without stuffing it with what you don’t need.

 

 

If you have ever watched TV, searched “home decor” online or been to Target, you know Joanna “JoJo” Gaines. There is little I need to say here, it’s no surprise this is the #1 best seller in so many book categories. She is helping us all make our home on this earth, as best as we can. God bless her, it ain’t easy. Even if you aren’t a “home body” you have to go home sometime, you may as well enjoy it!

 

 

Ya’ll, my name is Heather and I secretly daydream about burning (or selling, which is less aggressive and makes more sense to our checkbook), all our things and starting over with only the bare essentials. I follow #tinyhouses on Instagram and fantasize over seasonal clothes stored under extending stairs. My husband laughs at me (maybe because he has seen our basement closets with all the things), but at my core what I long for is uncluttered space filled with only the things I enjoy. This book will be one of the few that will sit on my shelf this summer! I promise. Well, there are a few more here. Oh Joshua, teach me your ways!

Books for your Body

 

 

I could go on and on about the impact of this message in my life, but that’s another post. Or another book?! But this book by Barb Raveling (such an amazing Bible teacher and mentor) is a great 30-day journey for anyone wondering how in the world to actually break free from the stronghold of overeating. This book presents easy-to-read content with questions and tips that are practical and Scripture-based, and you will be as encouraged as you are challenged. I recommend a buddy for this journey, as accountability makes things stick better and is just more fun!

 

 

If a 30-day challenge during summer months makes you want to punch holes through carpet, but you still want to read a book that guides you toward the freedom from overeating I shared above, this book by Asheritah Ciuciu – Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction – is for you! I have led both as studies with women and they are chock full of nutritious soul goodness!

 

Ok, this book is amazing. It’s another from Barb Raveling because it is just so stinking helpful. I Deserve A Donut is less a summer read as it is a summer resource. If you tend to eat for any reason other than hunger, ever, then this little book helps you stop and ask the questions that can get you right back on course. It also comes in a creative handy APP format too, and it’s genius. I’ve been using it for years and will never stop passing it on!

Books for Motherhood

 

 

My book club is reading through this right now and so far I’m a big fan of Mrs. Valerie Woerner! Her storytelling is so relatable, and her approach to transformation is Biblical, so you are in good hands here if you feel a wee bit grumpy mama. I see that hand!

 

 

I have taken Erin’s lead and have chased her book slowly. I was late to buy it and slow to read it, but it has been SO WORTH IT. I’m only a few pages away from being done, and her lyrical storytelling has helped me slow my roll as her content has filled my soul. Take your time, enjoy this and imagine a different rhythm for your life!

 

Books for your Relationships

 

 

I’ve read Shannan’s blog before and listened to her speak at a blogger conference, but this will be the first book of hers I’ve read. I personally felt God nudge me at age 37 to start looking intentionally for His goodness all around me, and to record it. That was the beginning of me returning to my love for writing, so when I saw Shannan’s tagline, “Waking Up To God’s Goodness Around You” she got all my attention! This reading sounds like it’ll be a lovely place to land if your heart feels weary from winter months.

 

 

I’ve been curious to read something by one of my favorite Hallmark movie actresses and “DJ” from Full House (Candace Cameron Bure), but I haven’t had the chance yet. I’m thinking this will be my first book of hers! I hope she tells stories about what happens behind the scenes making Hallmark movies…because I’ll tell you a secret: being an actress on a Hallmark movie is on my bucket list. Amen.

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I could go on but I’m happy with this list. It’s good to be happy with our work, and move on to new things!

So move on from May and happy reading this summer friends!