This book review contains such a wide array of books. From cross-generational relationships to a memoir on infidelity in a marriage, and everything in between. So, let’s get started!
- Forward by Nick Cunningham
For those of you who don’t know, Nick is my husband and I’ve had the honor and privilege of getting a front row seat as he has logged countless hours, research and passion into writing this book. It definitely gave me a whole new appreciation and respect for all the authors of the books I read and what an intense labor of love that goes into writing a book. This is actually his second book, his first book One came out in Spring of 2016 which is a great resource for small groups. One of the things I love about Forward is that it can be used in a small group setting, but it’s not limited to that. This book is all about living life in a forward motion towards spiritual maturity and is centered around the passage in 2 Peter 1:3-11. I love what he says in the introduction that truly sets the stage for the rest of the book…”In life, there is no such thing as neutral. Just as in a paddle boat, even when we are not trying to get anywhere we are still headed somewhere. It’s easy to believe that we can put life on hold and one day get around to straightening things out, but it doesn’t work that way. Whether we are meaning to or not, we are all making decisions or not making decisions, that impact our trajectory and shape our lives in various ways. We’re either paddling in a direction we choose, or we’re drifting in the direction the waves happen to carry us. Bottom line: We are all headed somewhere and we are all becoming someone. The question is, are we headed where we want to go and becoming who we want to be?”
2. Wearing God by Lauren F. Winner
The very first book I read by Winner was her book Mudhouse Sabbath in which she writes about incorporating the Jewish traditions and spiritual practices that she grew up with into her new-found faith, Christianity. In Wearing God, she explores lesser-known metaphors for God such as clothing, smell, laughter and reflects how they work biblically and culturally. This book definitely made me think about God in ways I haven’t before and it also, left me scratching my head at some of the metaphors she used. The most thought-provoking metaphor for me personally was the one on clothing. In this chapter she writes, “What we are asking for, of course, is not clothing that is more articulate, but that are disposition–which is indeed on display, often to a greater extent than we wish–would be more congruent with the Jesus whom we wear.”
3. Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson
I read this book actually for the first time back in the Fall and enjoyed it, however, the truth of it stayed with me and continued to stir in my heart for months. I felt God impressing on my heart to lead a book club at my church this summer specifically with this book in mind. Essentially this book is about cross-generational relationships and it takes a deeper look at the relationships in the Bible between Mary and Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi, Eunice and Lois. My hope going into the book club was that it would stir in women the desire to be in relationship with other women because let’s be honest we need each other. We need the women who have blazed the trail before us and we need the women coming up behind us. I was envisioning a small, intimate group of women, maybe 20 or less but I was blown away by the response. On average we had 50 women show up every Wednesday night for 4 weeks and on our last night, they didn’t want it to end. I am excited to see how God is going to use the truths that we learned from Giddy Up, Eunice as we move forward in the life of our church, specifically among the women. This book is a light and funny read, but packed with some amazing truths about relationships among women. I highly recommend this book!
4. A Fierce Love by Shauna Shanks
This book is about a woman’s journey to save her marriage after receiving the news that her husband wanted a divorce and further finding out that he had an affair. Infidelity and divorce run rampant in our culture, in fact, my husband probably meets with at least one couple a week who is in the trenches of marital issues whether its infidelity or one of them has “fallen out of love.” Having walked this road with some dear friends of ours and currently walking through it with another couple who is near and dear to our hearts, I was hopeful that this book could be a resource to share with others and even give me some insight on what it’s like to walk this journey. I’ll be honest, I had a really hard time with how this book was written. In my opinion, it was too “filtered.” Now I have never experienced infidelity in my marriage, but I can imagine that if I did, I certainly would not have responded the way she did, with so much grace and love. I want to be sensitive, because it took a lot of vulnerability on this author’s part to put her story out there to the world like this, I’m just not sure it’s a book that I can recommend to others who find themselves in the trenches of infidelity in their marriage and be confident that it will give them hope and healing instead of further wounding them.
5. Sacred Privilege by Kay Warren
I’ve long said that there are very few resources/books out there that are truly helpful for pastor’s wives, until now. Sacred Privilege is hands down the best book I have read geared towards pastor’s wives. So, if you are a pastor’s wife or have a pastor’s wife in your life, I strongly encourage you to snag a copy of this book for yourself or gift it to someone. In the book Warren writes, “I’ve always believed that when the wives feels connected to one another and have a safe place to vent, cry, ask questions, serve, and be prayed for, they experience more satisfaction in their role as a pastor’s wife and are happier overall.” This sentence on sharing your life with other pastor’s wives is key. When we lived in Ohio, I spent every Wednesday night with a group of fellow pastor’s/ministry wives and it was a game changer for me. Living a “glass-house” life has its unique positives and negatives and it’s so important that we feel supported by others living a similar life experience. I appreciate Warren’s real and honest view of life as a pastor’s wife and soaked up her encouragement and wisdom. Cannot recommend this book enough!
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