Books for the Journey: shake up your life

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Boom.

Books have impacts on your life.

Some make bigger impacts than others depending on where you are.

Here are three that impacted my life in a “boom!” fashion.

Each one seemed to say:
“Hello, This is not what you have to do, this is what I did. But here is me inspiring you to change your life.”

And instead of saying goodbye like most good books do. These just stuck with me.

Excellent.

Thought provoking.

Highly recommended.

I wouldn’t say that by themselves they will change your life, but they will definitely shake up your life and leave you with the consequences.

Sometimes the results are momentous and huge, sometimes they just happen while your life floats on around you.

Sorta like shaking a soda can or blowing on a dandelion.

Here are the three books that did that for me:

Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen (Her new book, Restless, came out a couple days ago and I really want to read it, too!)
From the Amazon description:

Words we all love. Feelings we want. Even crave. We may love God, but being that he’s invisible, words like comfortable seem to feel better faster.

We are all chasing something. Our hearts were made to run hard and fast after things that move us. But as a generation we are all beginning to stir and wake up, identifying that these words don’t satisfy for long, especially when compared to God. If God is real, and we are going to live with Him forever, shouldn’t He be everything?

Caught in this familiar haze of worldly happiness and empty pursuits, Jennie Allen and her husband Zac prayed a courageous prayer of abandonment that took them on an adventure God had written for them.

“God, we will do anything. Anything,”

Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters. A life that is…

Surrendered. Reckless. Courageous.

If we truly know a God worth giving anything for, everything changes.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
From the Amazon description:

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
From Amazon:

In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!

So this is me strongly encouraging you to read these books.

These are three women I really admire. They are thoughtfully walking in their gifting, they are talented writers with distinct voices, they encourage women, they are pursuing God, and they are working diligently in his kingdom. I would love to meet these women one day. They are all speaking at the (If)gathering in Austin in February and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for that gathering. (You can still sign up for a local gathering here! That’s what I’m doing.)
Anyway. Really I am sure these ladies are just like you and me. God really does awesome things with what these human hands have to offer. Praise the Lord.

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What are some of your “Boom!” books? Why do you think that message appeals to you so much?

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