Bookshelves

10 Books by Amazing Women

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting Ten Books by Amazing Women.  This list features women who share their wisdom, stories of courage and lessons of faith. Be inspired by their stories.

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White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker

A Gentle Invitation into the Challenging Topic of Privilege
The notion that some might have it better than others, for no good reason, offends our sensibilities. Yet, until we talk about privilege, we’ll never fully understand it or find our way forward.

Amy Julia Becker welcomes us into her life, from the charm of her privileged southern childhood to her adult experience in the northeast, and the denials she has faced as the mother of a child with special needs. She shows how a life behind a white picket fence can restrict even as it protects, and how it can prevent us from loving our neighbors well.

White Picket Fences invites us to respond to privilege with generosity, humility, and hope. It opens us to questions we are afraid to ask, so that we can walk further from fear and closer to love, in all its fragile and mysterious possibilities.


Becoming Gertrude by Janice Peterson

Becoming Gertrude is one woman’s wisdom on the beauty of spiritual friendship and God’s unfolding grace over the course of a life lived for Him. Jan uses the term spiritual friendship to capture this idea of journeying with others through life, sharing experiences and wisdom and seeking God together. In Becoming Gertrude, Jan wants to be your spiritual friend, sharing what she’s learned and painting a picture of what you might uncover as you seek to develop these kinds of relationships in your own life.

Join Jan in exploring the critical pieces of spiritual friendship: hospitality, encouragement, acceptance, serving, and caring. With seasoned wisdom and winsome stories, Jan uses personal experiences to walk you through what each of these things can mean in your life. You can have rich, rewarding, faith-filled friendships that emerge from the everyday rhythms of your days—and Becoming Gertrude will lead you on that journey.


The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson

Lament helps us hear God’s louder song.

When you’re in the midst of suffering, you want answers for the unanswerable, resolutions to the unresolvable. You want to tie up pain in a pretty little package and hide it under the bed, taking it out only when you feel strong enough to face it. But grief won’t be contained. Grief disobeys. Grief explodes. In one breath, you may be able to say that God’s got this and all will be well. In the next, you might descend into fatalism. No pretending. Here, you are raw before God, an open wound.

There is a pathway through this suffering. It’s not easy, but God will use it to lead you toward healing. This path is called lament. Lament leads us between the Already and the Not Yet. Lament minds the gap between current hopelessness and coming hope. Lament anticipates new creation but also acknowledges the painful reality of now. Lament recognizes the existence of evil and suffering—without any sugarcoating—while simultaneously declaring that suffering will not have the final say.

In the midst of your darkest times, you will discover that lament leads you back to a place of hope—not because lamenting does anything magical, but because God sings a louder song than suffering ever could, a song of renewal and restoration.


Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Even though we want to be content and trust God, we can still feel overwhelmed by worry. Filled with encouragement and practical help for overcoming anxiety, this 12-session Bible study for women explains what God says about contentment and offers ways to apply it to daily life.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Long Days of Small Things by Catherine McNiel

Dirty laundry, crayon-smeared bills, and smashed crackers . . . And there’s your Bible—buried under a pile of diapers. Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, without a moment of peace and quiet, you wonder if the spiritual life you crave is even possible. But God sees you. He designed this parenting journey, after all. He understands the chaos of motherhood. And he joins you in everything—whether you’re scrubbing the floor, nursing a fussy newborn, or driving to soccer practice. Catherine McNiel invites you to connect with God right here, in the sacred mundane of every mothering moment.

 

 

 


You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford

Our culture as a whole, and often the Christian culture in particular, discourages confidence in women. Tricia Lott Williford explores how confidence and self-awareness can be a path toward stronger and richer faith. She offers stories and strategies to inspire and lead women to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses, and disappointments in life.

Readers of this book will think, laugh, and gain confidence to do what is set before them. They will feel hopeful, courageous, strengthened, encouraged, present, and confident. And finally, readers will be equipped to implement simple strategies to inspire contagious confidence in themselves and others.

 

 


Sacred Questions by Kellye Fabian

As Christians, we believe that Jesus has invited us into a new kind of life with him—one that is full, free, and for others. And yet many of us don’t actually experience this promised life. We continue to act out of fear, withhold grace, refuse forgiveness, drown in worry, return to old habits, tolerate distraction, and harbor a desire to be right. While inspirational stories abound in our world and fill the devotional books on our shelves and apps on our phones, inspiration does not equal transformation. Transformation only happens when we open ourselves in God’s presence and align with His work in us and the world. But many of us just don’t know how to do this or where to begin. This book provides a way.

Sacred Questions invites readers into a daily personal practice of reading Scripture and responding to questions arising from the text about God, themselves, and others. Guiding readers over a yearlong journey into an open posture and daily heart examination and reflection, the book helps them see themselves more clearly, understand more about who God is, break patterns of sin, and grow in forgiveness and love. One day at a time, readers learn how to partner with God in their transformation into Christlikeness and live the full, free, and others-centered life Jesus offers.


Return to Joy by Bev DeSalvo

In Return to Joy, Bev DeSalvo shares her own story of healing from past pain to draw other women along a journey toward intimacy with their Savior. The road to healing is arduous and long. But when we bow our pain in worship, this broken road leads to the heart of God, where all masks are removed and divine comfort can be experienced.

On this journey, understanding the true nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit brings healing and restoration to all father, relational, and mother wounds. Learning to aggressively fight against Satan, who is devious but not creative, replaces his evil lies with the truth of God so that they no longer define the person. Recognizing that God is always “with me” leads to a place of rest where there is no fear of being rejected or abandoned. As a result of these new insights, the reader can finally return to joy and experience emotional and spiritual balance. Out of the overflow of intimate worship, God becomes their refuge, provider, and protector, enabling them to move toward others in forgiveness and true community.


Family by Jessie Minassian

Parents know the drama of living with a teenage girl. Teen girls struggle to honor their closest relationships while finding their unique identity during adolescence, especially in today’s families which can be messy, complex, and even painful. But family—however messy—can also provide the perfect training ground to make us more like Christ.

Family: How to Love Yours (and Help Them Like You Back) is written to come alongside a young woman and equip her as she navigates her roles, responsibilities, and responses from a Christian perspective. With tender, funny, and hope-filled insight, Jessie Minassian digs in deep where parents sometimes struggle to be heard. Jessie offers trusted advice and wise, Godly counsel for a young woman to honor her closest relationships, see her family’s dynamics in new ways, and have some fun along the way!


God in the Dark by Sarah Van Diest

Life’s painful trials can bring shame about our inadequate and broken faith. There is relief in hearing the expressions of desperation in the psalmist’s voice. He didn’t experience this life perfected, and we don’t either. But the psalmist was loved. So are we.

God was so kind to give us the Psalms.

To walk through darkened days is part of the human experience. To walk through them with faith, comfort, strength, joy, and hope is part of the divine experience. Our eyes, though, are often clouded to those blessings by the thing oppressing us. When we remember and recognize our Father’s faithfulness, when we see reality with the eyes of understanding, the darkness ebbs and the light of hope grows. The impossible, unbearable, and unthinkable becomes the hidden passageway to truth, hope, and joy in Christ.

These letters were originally written as encouragement to a friend when the darkness began to overtake his path. Each day for 22 days, a letter arrived with one of the eight-verse sections from Psalm 119 along with a small thought to bring light and hope and to be a reminder that we do not fight our battles alone. The letters, along with nine more devotions on the subject of experiencing God in the dark, make up this powerful, honest, hope-filled 31-day devotional.

Leela was raised in Kansas City and has called Chicago home for the past five years. She works on the team to help coordinate advertising and media traffic. In her free time, she enjoys coffee shops, running and traveling with her husband.

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