Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, but it’s something I really have to make time for or it doesn’t happen at all. Unless I’m intentional about taking time to read, then many days may pass by without picking up a book. There are just too many distractions. But, oh, how much we grow when we make reading a regular part of our daily routines!
The caveat, of course, is that we must read books that promote and encourage growth, for we all know that not all books are created equal. That being said, I want to challenge us to read more in 2015, and not just to read more, but to read better. What do I mean by that?
To read better means to read books that:
- uplift, encourage, and edify you in your daily walk as a Christian
- give you helpful, useful, Bible-based focus or direction
- stir in you a greater love for the Lord and a desire to please Him even more
- help you improve in any of your God-given roles as a wife, mother, homemaker, homeschooler, etc.
- keep your mind focused on the true, the honorable, the just, the pure, and the lovely
We can read tons of books this year, but if none of them help you to grow, then what good are they? Are you not wasting your time and exposing yourself to worldly things that can separate you from your eternal focus? Let me encourage you to be very careful what books you choose to read this year. Satan is prowling, friends. You must be careful what you allow into your minds.”Oh, be careful, little eyes what you see!”
Lest I present myself falsely, here’s what I’ve learned over the years of reading. There are books that I can escape into — thrillers, mystery, fiction. Those books can take me out of my present life and transport me to somewhere more exotic. Those books in themselves are not bad unless they are filled with filthy language or impure situations. However, if I allow those books to hold me captive and keep me from doing the housework, or disciplining my children, then they are certainly not helping me to grow.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read books that bring you enjoyment. My hope, however, is that you will balance those pleasure reads with books that will help you to improve yourself in one way or another. That is what I mean by reading better.
In 2014, I read 43 books. (You can see my favorites here.) In 2015, I aim to read 45 books.
Here are a few books I plan to read in the upcoming year. Most of these book are Christian. Some deal with motherhood, others with homeschooling, and a few pertain to blogging. All have been highly recommended by women I deeply respect. However, I do ask that you use your discretion. I have not read any of these books myself, so I cannot confirm that they are all better books. I will let you know if I read one and it does not meet my criteria 🙂
Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It’s Too Late by James MacDonald
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen
Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson
Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson
How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval–& Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes by Jennifer Dukes Lee
The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller
The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner
Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper
Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane
In closing, do you think reading better books might help you to grow this year?