It’s hard to believe that in a couple weeks, children across the south will be back in school. That means many parents with older children are wrapping up their vacations and those who had uneventful summers are, once again, filling up their calendars with after-school activities.
If you’re like me, no matter how much you try to keep your life at a moderate pace, it always turns into a series of quick sprints and stops. There are periods of intense busyness that leave you spent, and make you want to do nothing more than hibernate. Then you recharge, and you’re at it again.
In fact, one call about a job offer for my husband–out of state–had me sprinting for nearly four months.
I never thought about how much work would go into moving just a couple hours away. That is until I was thrust in the middle of it like debris swept up in a tornado. We had to find our next home, sell the old one, unpack, and do it all with a very curious toddler. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and the entire process overwhelmed me and exhausted me like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Yet, it taught me a lot, including how important it is to slow down and get to the pace that allows you to go, but gives you space to breathe deeply.
It’s so easy to get caught up in a schedule or to-do list that emotions run high and we forget about the things that tend to keep us grounded.
Over the past few weeks, though, I actually found time to slow down. I had dance parties with my daughter. I got back in the gym. I put down my cell phone and didn’t worry about what I was missing. I remembered to pray. I enjoyed the quiet.
I would love to keep that going throughout the fall as I work to get back in shape, get some writing projects going, and help get my family settled into our new home. That is why my fall reading wish list includes four books written to inspire us to breathe, let go, and find rest in God. (I call it a wish list because, with a toddler, you never know how much reading you’ll actually get done.)
These books are some I either started reading and never finished or just never got around to reading. A couple of them were even in the goodie bag I got at last year’s Allume Conference. All of the books were released in the last few years and received several great reviews.
Finding Spiritual Whitespace
I wanted to read Finding Spiritual Whitespace the moment I heard about it last year on Bonnie Gray’s blog, Faith Barista. There’s something about a book that promises to “help you find a better story for yourself, one that feeds your soul and makes room for rest. I found it so appealing. It’s probably because it’s an area I tend to struggle with very often.
When I received Breathing Room at the Allume Conference, I didn’t know anything about Leeana Tankersley. However, I was drawn to the book’s description and felt it was something I needed to read at some point. Leeana calls it a “beautiful release of self-condemnation, a discovery of the rest that comes when we offer ourselves some space to breathe.” And boy, do I need that.
Hope For The Weary Mom
I also received Hope for the Weary Mom at the Allume conference. In this case, the title and the cover image said it all. I knew this would be something I wanted to keep on my bookshelf. After all, I am a first-time mom of a toddler who keeps me on my toes. And she can be feisty. The authors, Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin, say if you read this book, you will invite God into your mess, reconnect with His heart for you, and experience the peace and freedom of walking with Him.
Let It Go
Let It Go, by Karen Ehman, is a book designed to “gently lead you out of the land of over-control and into a place of quiet trust.” I started reading it some months ago with a couple of my close friends. However, life with toddlers got the best of us and we had a hard time keeping up with the weekly studies that are available for purchase with the book. I tried to continue on my own, but life just became more hectic. So as a self-proclaimed control freak, I think I owe it to my family and myself to give it another go. As the book says, “trying to control everything can be exhausting.”
If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as any suggestions for other books you think I should read. I’d also love to know how you would answer this question: